Asian Recipes

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Chao Ca Recipe (Fish Congee) Recipe

Chao Ca Recipe (Fish Congee)

05.14.13 by Jackie

Cháo cá (Vietnamese for fish congee) is Aria's favorite dish these days. At one and a half years old now, she's able to eat pretty much anything and everything. But don't be fooled by its appearance; rice congee isn't only meant for babies. Cháo is a very popular meal in Asia; I personally love it too. 

In this version of congee I cook rice in fish stock until it becomes a thickened soup. I like to make small portions at a time by adding thinly sliced white flaky fish, ginger, onions and cilantro at the last minute. The key to flavorful fish congee is to use the freshest products available.


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Mixed-Bean Soup Recipe Recipe

Mixed-Bean Soup Recipe

04.25.13 by Jackie

This is probably the last soup I'm making this season as we're slowly experiencing warmer temperatures. I prepared the soup with 10 varieties of beans. Four-pound mixed bean packages are readily available at my local Korean market. In this particular one, only seven dried beans were mixed in it, namely soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, peas, black eyed peas and lima beans. I also added white cannellini beans, green beans and edamame beans to complete the nourishing soup.

In addition to the soup, I included corn kernels for extra sweetness and deep-fried tofu cubes for texture. Everyone in my home enjoyed it because the starchy vegetables are quite filling and almost make you forget about meat!


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Chinese Cabbage and Lotus Salad Recipe Recipe

When writing my second cookbook, Banh Mi, which by the way is already available for preview and pre-order, I tried to share authentic and traditional recipes for Vietnamese sandwiches, condiments and sides. If you've ever tasted a bánh mì, you probably are familiar with the standard condiment of pickled carrots and daikon. It takes the place of cornichon-based pickles (tiny French gherkin pickles) found in Western sandwiches.

You can of course vary the ingredients to your liking, and in this recipe I prepared a modified version of the bánh mì condiment with shredded Chinese cabbage, pickled lotus and freshly-picked satsuma mandarins that baby Aria helped me gather from our garden --follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more pictures-- (sadly it was our very last batch). With a few peanuts and a nice dressing, it makes a great salad. Though it isn't strictly speaking a traditional pickle, you could also use it in your own bánh mì sandwich. The flavors are mellow enough to let the meat or tofu of your choice shine.


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Lotus Root Soup Recipe (Canh Cu Sen) Recipe

The authentic recipe for lotus soup, called canh củ sen in Vietnamese, calls for pork broth, dried scallops, dried octopus and various dried fruits and nuts. With my family being mostly vegetarian, I adapted it to fit everyone's diet. 

I tried to mimic the meaty broth with Okinawan potatoes (purple-fleshed Japanese sweet potatoes) and preserved daikon radish and flavored it with the usual dried black dates called jujube (or plum), dried South almonds, peanuts and gojee berries. Lastly, fresh lotus root is sliced thinly and added to the broth until softened. Some people like it on the crunchy side, but I prefer it very tender.


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Coconut Curry Tofu Recipe Recipe

Coconut Curry Tofu Recipe

04.16.13 by Jackie

I haven't cooked any tofu dishes for my husband Lulu in a while and I thought it would be good to vary his diet. So I prepared tofu with fresh wood ear mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots and red bell peppers that I stir-fried in coconut, galangal and turmeric curry sauce.

I topped the tofu dish with a few roasted peanuts to create a contrast in texture and make the dish more fun. 


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