Asian Recipes

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Chao Chay Recipe (Vietnamese Vegetarian Rice Soup) Recipe

We just stored all the holiday decorations and a new celebration is already upon us. Tết, the Asian New year is coming up in two weeks! I haven't bought cherry blossom flowers yet or decorated the house with red, but I’ll get to it soon. The other thing is that at the beginning of the year (Lunar calendar), it is auspicious to eat vegetarian food (ăn chay) on the last day of the previous year and first day of New Year. I recently made a delicious cháo bò (beef rice porridge), and I’ve created a vegetarian version to serve to the family.

Rice porridge is a typical Asian comfort food. I made this dish with tofu, carrots, daikon radishes, beech mushrooms and peas. Not only is it vegetarian, but it's also very healthy, which fits my New Year's resolution perfectly. I'm still trying to shed the extra baby weight! I'm going to be sharing a few Asian vegetarian dishes for you to try over the next few days, so come back soon!


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Deep-Fried Fish with Lemongrass Recipe

Deep-Fried Fish with Lemongrass

01.05.12 by Jackie

Since I gave birth, I've been eating for my baby girl. I’m a sucker for old wives' tales, and anyone who tells me a certain food enhances lactation for breast-feeding mothers I rush into the kitchen and make it. I don’t know if they work, but at least some of them taste good!

One in particular comes from my Aunt Danielle. She suggested that boiled sweet potato leaves were great for mothers to produce milk. I was able to find the greens at an Asian market in San Jose. At the store, I saw that fresh pomfret fish (cá chim trang in Vietnamese) was available. I bought some and fried the whole fish in a small amount of oil in a shallow pan. The preparation is very simple; the fish is coated with a mixture of seasoned rice flour and lemongrass.  



The texture from the crispy skin of the fish contrasts well with the boiled sweet potato leaves, which taste similar to spinach, but with a thicker, more velvety texture (the texture is close to rau mồng tơi).


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Canh Ga Ham Thuoc Bac: Vietnamese Black Chicken Soup Recipe Recipe

Canh gà hầm thuốc bắc, or "stewed black chicken soup" in Vietnamese, is known for its medicinal properties. It's the cultural equivalent of chicken noodle soup when you feel sick. In addition to its purported healing properties, it has a reputation of enhancing lactation for breast-feeding mothers. I don't know if it really helped nourish my baby girl but the broth is very tasty.

"Gà ác", which literally translates to "cruel chicken" is black chicken. It's parboiled then cooked overnight in a slow cooker. The soup requires several ingredients called thuốc bắc (traditional Chinese medicinal herbs and roots). It's composed of several kinds of dried mushrooms, gojee berries, ginseng, almonds, dried dates, dried jujube, dried lily bulbs, dried longans and fresh ginger. The addition of dried fruits makes a delicious broth with a complex flavor and natural sweetness.


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Habanero Chile Garlic Sauce Recipe Recipe

Everyone who likes spicy food and has tasted this sauce says it would sell very quickly. If you've followed our family's culinary adventures, you may know how much Daddy (my father-in-law) loves anything spicy. My husband Lulu planted Habanero chiles in planters last summer and Daddy made several jars so we could enjoy the chiles all the way through the winter. Daddy came up with a very easy but flavorful recipe for chile garlic sauce. Simply combine the same proportion of fresh garlic and Habanero chiles and complete with white vinegar, a touch of salt and sugar.

You can enjoy it as a condiment on the side like Daddy does, or I've also added half a teaspoon of the spicy mixture in sauces, dressings and marinades. It adds a pleasant, spicy zing to just about any dish.


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Rice Recipes (+ Zojirushi Giveaway) Recipe

As an Asian person, rice is a staple in our house. So owning a rice cooker is essential. I've owned a Zojirushi rice cooker for several years, and it is the best one I’ve ever used. It has a permanent place on my kitchen counter, so it's a good thing the exterior design is very pretty.

With this machine, you can cook a wide range of foods, thanks to the numerous setting from plain jasmine rice to sushi rice, brown rice, rice soup or even steamed potatoes and steamed cakes. It keeps rice warm for several hours after it's cooked without drying it out. That’s really important to me, because even though we all try to eat together every day, it often doesn’t happen because of everyone’s crazy schedule.

My Zojirushi rice cooker has a simple interface so it's very easy to program the machine to make perfect rice. The provided measuring cup and marks on the side of the cooking pot to indicate the correct amount of water needed make the system virtually foolproof. Perhaps the best part about it is how easy it is to clean, especially with the non-stick cooking insert. As an added bonus, the power cord is retractable, which keeps my kitchen counter neat.

Our friends at Zojirushi have kindly offered one of their Umami rice cookers for today’s giveaway (valued at $275!). For a chance to win, just enter on the 25 Days of Giveaways page. And to get you inspired to cook rice for your next meal, I’ve compiled some of my favorite rice recipes below. Enjoy!

Make sure you're a fan of PhamFatale Facebook fan page or follow @Phamfatalecom and tweet about this giveaway. To make it easy, you can just copy and paste this tweet if you’d like: "$275 Zojirushi Rice Cooker #Giveaway from @Phamfatalecom: http://bit.ly/sp4V7y".


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