Vietnamese Recipes

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Coconut Chicken Curry Recipe (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) Recipe

Coconut chicken curry is a dish made in both Vietnamese and Indian cuisines, with minor variations. This dish represents the Vietnamese version. The chicken is cooked in coconut milk, spices and a blend of nuts to create a creamy, rich mouth feel. I added galangal, lemongrass, turmeric powder, and kaffir lime leaves. Some people use other spices and add pineapple and various vegetables, but I wanted to keep it simple so the only other addition was potatoes.

If you're tempted by this dish but are bothered by the calories you could substitute evaporated milk for the coconut milk. It won't be as creamy, but the flavor will still be there.


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Dragon Fruit Salad Recipe

Dragon Fruit Salad

04.27.10 by Jackie

Dragon fruit (trái thanh long in Vietnamese) is an exotic fruit that has a very unusual appearance. The outer skin has a fuchsia color with green leaves and the flesh is white with seeds that are reminiscent of kiwi. The texture of dragon fruit is creamy and it has a subtle aroma of banana and ripe, soft pear. When fully ripened, the skin peels off as it would from an avocado.

I made a very simple fruit salad, using the Vietnamese Jaina dragon fruit variety, spearmint from our garden and agave nectar. The agave enhances the sweetness, and the mint lends a nice contrast of color and flavor. I served the fruit salad during a dinner party. Everyone was intrigued by the fruit, so it did double duty as a conversation starter.

If you ever travel to an Asian country, don't forget to ask for dragon fruit or pitaya. The last time I had dragon fruit was on my trip to Vietnam. I had no idea that this particular tropical fruit was cultivated in America. A couple of weeks ago I found it in an Asian market in San Jose. The salesperson told me dragon fruits are now grown in Florida, due to its humid and warm weather, which is similar to Vietnam. Quite honestly, the ones grown in the US are good but the ones in Vietnam are just exquisite and so much more flavorful. No sweetener necessary!

Dragon Fruit Picture


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Cha Tom Recipe (Vietnamese Shrimp Cakes) Recipe

Chả tôm are lightly seasoned shrimp cakes. No tasteless fillers here; a sprinkling of tapioca starch, coriander, green onions, garlic and kaffir lime are the only ingredients added to supplement the flavor and texture of the shrimp. It is true Vietnamese comfort food.

These shrimp cakes make wonderful appetizers, but can also be served as an entrée. Just pair them with vermicelli (called bún chả tôm) and you'll have yourself a very traditional Vietnamese meal. You could also make mini sandwiches for a change of pace. I served them recently as appetizers for a dinner party with a plum dipping sauce. They will be delicious no matter how you choose to prepare them!


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Bi Chay (Vietnamese Vegetarian Recipe) Recipe

If you're looking for tasty Vietnamese vegetarian food, this bì chay recipe is just for you. This version respects the true Buddhist vegetarian diet, which states no onion, garlic or shallots allowed. The flavors of the dish are mainly from the toasted jasmine rice ground into a fine powder, blended with very thinly shredded fried potatoes, taro, tofu and jicama. Jicama is a sweet turnip that is used quite often in Vietnamese cuisine (as well as in Mexican food) and it mimics the texture of pork skin.

I served this tofu dish with rice noodles, aromatic Vietnamese green herbs and a soy sauce-based dipping sauce made with coconut. The result is a simple, refreshing dish that is packed with flavor. It just proves that with the right ingredients and cooking techniques, even food made for a restricted Buddhist vegetarian diet can be satisfying. Don't believe me? You'll have to try it to for yourself!


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Soybean Sprouts with Black Bean Sauce Recipe

Stir fried soybean sprouts make a healthy, yet tasty side dish if you're planning a quick and easy Asian meal. The bean sprouts are seasoned with black bean sauce and soy sauce. Baby spinach is added for a nice contrast in color.

Soybean sprouts are a lot harder to get than regular mung bean sprouts. The sprouts are much larger and have a yellow color, whereas mung bean sprouts are green. I buy mine at a local Korean store. It's definitely worth the effort to find them though, because soybean sprouts give the dish an extra dimension of flavor.


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