Asian Recipes

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White Asparagus Salad Recipe (Goi Mang) Recipe

Traditional Vietnamese cooking is widely known for its healthy properties and for the freshness of the ingredients. The food is simply prepared with very easy cooking techniques, which is great if you’re in a rush.

Gơi măng tây (which literally translates to "French bamboo shoots" in Vietnamese) is a typical Vietnamese salad that embodies these qualities. What are French bamboo shoots you ask? Asparagus! Fresh white asparagus are available at my local market, so I decided to use them in this dish. They provide a different texture for this type of raw salad. It's a bit more work than cooking green ones, as white asparagus have to be carefully peeled for optimum tenderness. 


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Spicy Eggplant Recipe Recipe

Spicy Eggplant Recipe

09.15.11 by Jackie

This eggplant side dish is very easy to prepare. It's perfect if you want to cook Asian food for a vegetarian crowd. I sautéed Japanese eggplants in a hoisin sauce-based mixture for its caramel color and subtle sweetness. To this, I added several crunchy ingredients  such as shredded bamboo and black fungus mushrooms (called nấm mèo in Vietnamese) to balance the soft texture of the eggplant.

It's important to add spiciness to the dish as the eggplant can be a little bland. I added sliced jalapenos, grated ginger and store-bought chile garlic sauce. The result is a combination of sweet, garlicky, spicy and savory.


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Pho Ga Recipe (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup with Ginger)   Recipe

I've probably said it in on countless occasions; I love phở! The most commonly known version of the Vietnamese soup is phở bò (beef noodle soup) but it's pretty high in cholesterol due to the bone marrow from the quantity of beef bones used. For a lighter version that’s equally delicious, I made phở gà, chicken noodle soup with ginger.

Phở gà is judged on two main criteria: the flavor of the chicken broth and the quality of the chicken. To ensure that the broth turned out well, I used a generous helping of ginger and 6 chicken carcasses, which are very inexpensive at the Asian market. I served the soup with special Vietnamese chickens, called gà đi bộ (it literally translates to "walking chickens"). They're free-range chickens and the texture of the meat is firmer than regular chicken. The cost is higher (count $13 per chicken) but so worth it when making this dish.


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Grilled Eggplant Salad with Lemongrass Vinaigrette + A Giveaway! Recipe

Even though eggplants are available all year-round, they reach their peak during the summer. I was at the store today, and the skin looked very shiny and pretty on the Japanese eggplants, so I picked up several. I made Indian eggplant dip, but since I still had a few leftover, I decided to have some fun with them. Since these were Japanese eggplants, I made an Asian salad flavored with lemongrass and Thai basil.

First, I salted the eggplants to extract moisture from the vegetables and reduce their bitterness. A quick trip to the grill, and the eggplants were ready to eat. To give the salad dressing an Asian twist, I used lemongrass, sugar cane vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and wasabi for a little heat. I added some crunch to the salad with crushed peanuts. How easy it that?

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Pham Fatale Giveaway Terms and Conditions: No purchase necessary. All prizes are generously donated by the company featured. Pham Fatale does not accept money or gifts in exchange for these items. The companies featured in Pham Fatale Giveaways did not pay to participate in the Giveaways. Winners will be chosen at random, and odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Pham Fatale is not responsible for late, lost, stolen, illegible or incomplete entries which will be disqualified. Pham Fatale will not give your  information to the prize-giving company for future marketing. US Residents only please. Only one entry per person per giveaway. Prizes are not refundable or returnable. Giveaway terms subject to change.


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Banh Cuon Recipe (Steamed Rice Rolls) Recipe

Bánh cuốn is a Vietnamese specialty made with a very thin, steamed, loosely rolled, rice flour crêpe. The recipe is not that complicated but assembling the rice rolls can be delicate. Unlike French crêpe, the batter is made from combined rice flour, tapioca starch and corn starch, which makes bánh cuốn very flimsy and harder to manipulate. The first rice flour crêpe is never perfect, and I usually thin the batter with more water as I cook them, so they don't turn out too thick. The filling remains exposed since the rice roll is nearly transparent.

This time, I made a meat version with chicken. You could always make the rice flour crêpe with a vegetarian filling if you prefer. I tucked into each rice roll a filling of seasoned ground meat (I used chicken), wood ear mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, water  chestnuts and dried shallots. Typically, bánh cuốn is sprinkled with fried shallots (or onions) with nước chấm (fish sauce). I served shrimp cakes and fried taro cakes on the side along with mounds of steamed soy bean sprouts, combined with cilantro, Vietnamese mint (rau thơm), shredded cucumber, lettuce, lime wedges and green Thai chiles.

It's not the prettiest meal, but it's a flavorful, earthy (thanks to the mushrooms), light meal dish. If you want to improve the presentation and avoid tearing, drizzle the rice roll with a little oil and expose the smooth part of the bánh cuốn on top to hide the wrinkly side.


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