Asian Recipes

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Tet Recipe Ideas Recipe

Tet Recipe Ideas

02.10.15 by Jackie

With the Vietnamese New Year festivities starting tomorrow, I'd like to share some of my favorite Asian dishes with you. As I've mentioned many times, there is a tradition of abstaining from meat from the day before the new year through the day after. With as many  vegetarians as I have in my home, I always find myself coming up with new variations on Vietnamese dishes. 

The first ceremony is starting tomorrow. It's called "đưa ông Táo". It means farewelling the Kitchen God to the heaven. I'm preparing an elaborate display to pay respect to the gods and to our ancestors, and only vegetarian food will suffice. 

I also listed a lot of festive dishes that I love. Maman used to prepare so many marvelous seafood dishes for Tết (on the 19th of February this year).  I hope you'll find a lot of inspiration in this post. 

 


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Fried Wonton Tofu Recipe Recipe

Fried Wonton Tofu Recipe

02.05.15 by Jackie

The next few days mark the beginning of the Vietnamese Tết celebrations. A tradition of Tết is that you  eat vegetarian (ăn chay) on the last day of the previous year and first day of Asian New Year, so I will be sharing several Vietnamese vegetarian dishes with you until the celebration commences.

I prepared a tofu dish that included a typical Vietnamese vegetable called trái su su in Vietnamese. It's also known as chayote in English, christophine in Creole and French and it's from the squash family. So as you can imagine, if not cooked over high heat (to allow as much liquid to evaporate as possible), the dish can become very watery and soggy. To balance the texture of the dish, I added crispiness by crumbling fried wonton wrappers. 


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Festive Saffron Shrimp with Sake Recipe

Shrimp is one of my favorite festive ideas for a dinner party. We hosted one last night and I felt like adding an exotic touch to the menu, so I prepared saffron-flavored jumbo shrimp. The luxurious saffron provides a lingering savory-sweet note enhanced by the sake (Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice).

I love playing with shrimp for a quick dinner menu because they cook very fast. Normally I would flambé the liqueur but it tastes so sweet and mild, I preferred not to. I also added green bell peppers for a nice contrast in texture and balance of color. 

 


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Indian-Inspired Vegetarian Wonton Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Christmas celebrations are a few days away and I've been experimenting in the kitchen with new, fun appetizers that could be served that day. Whenever I host a dinner, I try to serve dishes that reflect the multi-cultural aspect of our household. The idea behind these fusion appetizers was to use Asian wonton wrappers and fill them with flavorful Indian-inspired navratan korm, which consists of a creamy curry made of nuts and vegetables. 

Korma is usually served with naan (flat Indian bread) and can be messy if served buffet-style. So making little bite-sized pockets is a neat way to introduce someone to this dish. Once the filling is ready, the key is to ensure that the wonton is well sealed so the filling doesn't leak while frying. With a little practice it's really easy.


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Ca Bong Lau Kho To (Vietnamese Claypot Catfish) Recipe

This is probably one of the quickest and easiest Vietnamese fish dishes. The only requirement is to use flawless, very fresh catfish called "cá bông lau" in Vietnamese. Whenever I go to the Asian grocery stores, if I find fish with bright clear eyes and the skin looks shiny and clean, chances are I bring some seafood home. Also, most important, fresh fish should smell briny and pleasant. 

The steps for preparing cá bông lau kho tộ  are simple but crucial. First, soak the fish in vinegar; that way the fish texture will maintain a firm texture, even once it's cooked. Then, frying onions and the use of red chili powder covers the fish-y flavor and lastly, braising the fish in a combination of soy sauce (not fish sauce) and coconut sauce will bring wonderful, lightly sweet flavor to the seafood dish. 

 


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