Asian Recipes

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Spicy Eggplant Tofu Recipe Recipe

Spicy Eggplant Tofu Recipe

04.03.12 by Jackie

Japanese eggplants cook fairly quickly and this stir fry sauce consists of basic ingredients such as soy sauce, chile black bean sauce, palm sugar and fresh ginger. The ginger and black bean sauce enhances the bland eggplant and tofu. All that's left is to steam a few leafy greens and have jasmine rice ready in the rice cooker. It's as easy as 1-2-3!

I barely have time for anything these days, and when I have very little time to cook, my go-to dish is a tofu stir fry. It’s nutritious and it allows me to make use of whatever I have on hand. Learn the basics and you’ll be able to dazzle your family with creative stir fry dishes.


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Chao Vit Recipe (Vietnamese Duck Rice Soup) Recipe

The weather in the Bay Area wasn't all that great over the weekend. It's been rainy and very windy. Making rice soup seemed the appropriate recipe for this type of climate. If you’ve never had it, rice soup is a one-dish meal that is both filling and satisfying. You can add many different ingredients to your basic rice soup, but I made this particular version with my favorite meat: duck. It's called cháo vịt in Vietnamese. I find duck meat to be a lot more flavorful than regular chicken.

Traditionally, it would be served with gơi vịt (Vietnamese duck salad using the remaining meat from the duck stock) and chopped bánh giò cháo quảy, which are Vietnamese savory beignets. I skipped the fried food to keep the meal healthy; I even took the time to strain and remove the extra fat floating at the top of the duck stock!


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Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Recipe Recipe

 In the past, when a recipe called for nước mắm, I would always find a substitute. Fish sauce can have such a strong aroma, but since my cousin Aline told me about a new pure, first press fish sauce, I've become obsessed and have been cooking a lot of dishes with it.

I realize I already posted a ginger chicken recipe ("gà kho gừng" in  Vietnamese), but I've adjusted the chicken recipe so that the fish sauce becomes the highlight of the dish. No salt or caramel (sweetener) are needed and very little chile as well. The natural amber color from the fish sauce with julienned ginger and curry powder (mostly turmeric) make a flavorful and appealing dish. 

Gà kho gừng is a simple and easy dish. No marinating time is needed. Good quality products are the only requirement and of course, a dash of your love and soul. I guarantee it always makes the meal tastes better!


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Chile Fish with Yuzu Paste Recipe

Chile Fish with Yuzu Paste

03.20.12 by Jackie

You may have noticed that I eat (and thus am posting) a lot more fish than before. That's because I just found a new seafood market right on Tully road, in San Jose. The fishmonger always surprises me with his freshest catch. My most recent purchase was a couple of beautiful halibut steaks. Halibut is a very delicate fish so I had to use ingredients that accentuate without overpowering. First, I cleaned and rinsed the fish in lemony, salted water. The marinade time was fairly brief and contained the bare minimum: chile, onion and yuzu paste.

I pan-fried the halibut steaks, to which I added fried chiles and onions as garnish. It’s always nice to give hints of what flavors are in the dish. The reason I used a generous amount of jalapeno chile is to prevent the fish from being tanh ("fishy" in Vietnamese). Maman used to say that there are two rules for making a good seafood dish: the fresher the product, the better it will taste and chile can be used to mask any unpleasant odor.


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Banh Canh Recipe (Vietnamese Shrimp Broth with Udon Noodles) Recipe

Bánh canh tôm is what I consider comfort food. The warm broth with thick, chewy Vietnamese tapioca noodles is very satisfying. Unlike the usual comfort food you might expect, this Vietnamese soup is pretty healthy. I made this banh canh variation with "tôm" (shrimp), homemade fish balls made by our family friend, Co Nho, and pieces of yellowtail snapper. This specific fish works well because of its mild aroma and firm texture when boiled.

In my opinion, the most important part of soup dishes such as pho or bun mang ga is how flavorful the broth is. I made a shrimp stock using shrimp shells. You could also add coconut milk but I didn't as I'm trying to watch my weight!


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