Asian Recipes

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Ca Kho (Braised Catfish in Vietnamese Fish Sauce) Recipe

Cá kho tộ ("braised fish" in Vietnamese) is delicious catfish simmered in a caramelized sauce with garlic, ginger, green onions, fish sauce and red chiles. What I love most about the dish is eating steamed jasmine rice with the sauce made with coconut soda.

I love seafood, but the vegetarians in my home aren't always happy with the aroma of fish wafting through the house. Braising fish in nước mắm gives a strong smell to this dish, so I don't make it very often, even though I love it.


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Green Jackfruit with Tofu Recipe

Green Jackfruit with Tofu

03.20.10 by Jackie

Mít & tàu hũ kho tương is a fairly common vegetarian dish in the Buddhist community. Mít ("jackfruit" in Vietnamese) is picked when it's still green. First, the young fruit is boiled to soften it. Then it's braised in soy sauce and used as a vegetable to accompany tofu. Like tofu, unseasoned green jackfruit is fairly bland but acts as a sponge and absorbs the flavors of the sauce.

The cooking procedure helps to give the jackfruit a soft texture that resembles the pork fat in thịt kho (braised meat), and the stringy texture of the jackfruit simulates the stringy texture of the meat. The result is quite pleasant and surprising. Next time you're in an Asian market, look for fresh young jackfruit; it's delicious!


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Tofu Miso Soup Recipe

Tofu Miso Soup

03.17.10 by Jackie

Tofu miso soup is very soothing. My little munchkin caught a bad cold and I thought the simple, clear broth would help with her congestion. To make the soup, I started by preparing a kombu dashi (Japanese stock) with fresh ginger. To make the traditional non-vegetarian version, just add shavings of bonito flakes, or dried and fermented tuna.

Once the stock was ready, I seasoned it with white miso paste. No salt is necessary as the miso paste is already well seasoned. Miso soup can be served with cubed tofu and accompanied with other vegetables such as soybean sprouts, enoki and shiitake mushrooms or baby spinach.

Miso paste is a fermented rice and soybean combination. I chose white miso paste which is fermented for a few weeks as opposed to regular miso (several months). I find the flavor to be less salty with a subtle sweetness. Don't be frightened by the size of miso containers sold in markets. Miso paste stores well in the refrigerator and you can make other dishes with it such as Asian salad dressing, other soup broths and vegetarian gravy.


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Kale with Homemade Pickled Ginger Recipe

Kale with pickled ginger is one of the healthiest and tastiest ways to get a meal packed with iron. I made my own pickled ginger and an Asian-inspired salad dressing with lemongrass, miso and sesame oil. The result is the perfect condiment for boiled kale.

The reason I've been trying to make iron-rich meals lately is that my sister-in-law, Sunny, was diagnosed with iron deficiency. It's a fairly common problem that primarily affects women. She had trouble with the iron pills, so it was suggested to us that we make her foods that are rich in iron. Because of this, I've been trying to cook more with kale.

If you have any suggestions, please do share! Sunny will thank you.


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Braised Rolled Tofu Skin Recipe (Yuba) Recipe

Tàu hũ ky kho is braised rolled yuba (very thin sheets of tofu skin / bean curd) in a thick, mildly sweet soy sauce. This dish is supposed to resemble bò cuốn hành hương (rolled beef with aromatic shallots in Vietnamese). The many layers of bean curd give a meaty texture to the tofu.

I served them with steamed white rice and a Vietnamese soup called canh mồng tơi on the side. This dish is perfect for my house as everyone was satisfied and shared the same meal: rolled beef (I'll post the recipe soon) for the meat eaters and mock beef rolls for the vegetarians. Even if you don't have the same variety of diets in your house, you can of course still enjoy the benefits of this healthy and flavorful meal.  If you've never tasted tofu skins before, this is a great introduction.


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