Vietnamese Recipes

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Bo Luc Lac Recipe: Vietnamese Beef Dish Recipe

I find thịt bò lúc lắc to be a fun-sounding dish. Thịt bò means beef meat in Vietnamese, but the rest of the name of this popular Vietnamese beef dish, "lúc lắc", translates to "shaking" and "moving back and forth".

This dish calls for very tender beef. I chose to use small cubes of sirloin beef; you could also use filet mignon. The meat is first immersed in a very traditional Vietnamese marinade, then tossed back and forth in a wok. The cooking time is fairly rapid, so it's perfect when you're looking for a quick and easy dinner menu item.

I served the cubed beef on a bed of lettuce, along with caramelized onions and sliced chile peppers. All you need to add is a bowl of steamed jasmine rice and a mixture of lime juice, salt and pepper (the typical dipping sauce that goes with every Vietnamese meal). Enjoy!


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Vietnamese Grilled Chicken with Vermicelli Noodles (Bun Ga Nuong) Recipe

Bún gà nướng xả is a fabulous and simple meal. It’s perfect for when the weather’s hot, and as you may have heard, California is experiencing quite a hot spell at the moment. Vietnamese grilled chicken marinated in soy sauce and lemongrass is served with vermicelli rice noodles, a few vegetables and Vietnamese dipping sauce (nước mắm) on the side.

In my opinion, what makes the dish is the marinade for the chicken. The sweetness from palm sugar and the spiciness from the lemongrass bring out the flavor of the meat. The chicken doesn't require a lot of preparation; just let the chicken marinate for an hour and you'll have a splendid meal in no time.


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Banh Mi Mam Chay (Vietnamese Vegetarian Sandwich Recipe) Recipe

A lot of Vietnamese dishes are inspired by French cuisine, because Vietnam was a longtime colony of the French empire. Bánh mì sandwich is an example of a dish that reflects the fusion of both cuisines. The sandwich consists of cilantro, fresh chiles, pickled carrots and usually a meat filling (grilled chicken, which is shredded meat with roasted rice powder) or sometimes a vegetarian filling, served on a baguette, spread with mayonnaise on one side and butter on the other.

For the veggie option, I normally fill the sandwiches with bì chay (shredded tofu with roasted rice powder). But this time, Aunt Danielle stopped by and we made mắm chay. She knows it's my husband Lulu's favorite, so she makes it very often. As I've said before, Aunt Danielle is a sweetheart and an amazing cook, except that she does not share her recipes. She used to run a successful restaurant in the early 90s. She taught me a lot of Vietnamese staple dishes to cook for the family until she found out about PhamFatale.com through her friends. I had to confess and she was not happy. It's funny; family and friends are a lot more reluctant to share their tips and secrets with me, so I have to do a little bit of recon and intelligence gathering.

In the end, Aunt Danielle hasn't entirely showed me how to make mắm chay. We prepped and mixed the ingredients together but she hid a few tricks from me. All I can tell you is that there are a lot of ingredients similar to bì chay involved, such as fried tofu, bean thread noodles, dry roasted rice powder (thinh) and seasonings (fried garlic, sugar and salt). What makes it different from bì chay is the addition of galangal (a type of ginger), young pickling cucumber, chayote squash (trái su su), ripe papaya, fresh pineapple and dried daikon radish cured in brine.

Even though the sandwich is reminiscent of the typical French jambon-beurre (ham and butter sandwich), bánh mì provides a taste of Vietnam. Lulu's been addicted ever since I first introduced him to the Vietnamese version, and if you try one, you will be too!


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Vietnamese Pickled Carrot and Daikon Recipe (Do Chua) Recipe

Pickled carrots and radishes are a very common condiment in Vietnamese cuisine. In Vietnamese, they're called "đô chua", which literally translates to "pickled stuff". The vegetables are soaked in a sweet and savory mixture made of white vinegar and sugar.

You've probably seen the popular condiment in bánh mì sandwiches (I'll post the recipe tomorrow), gơi gà (Vietnamese chicken salad) or spring rolls. Carrots and daikon are a must; today, I also added white onions, but you could combine any other root vegetables.

This recipe doesn't require any particular skill. All you need are basic ingredients and a little patience. Our family loves đô chua. So I always make sure we have some on hand. I prepare the vegetable pickles in advance, transfer them to a jar and store it in the refrigerator. You can keep the pickled veggies for up  to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.


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Vietnamese Peanut Hoisin Dipping Sauce Recipe (Tuong Goi Cuon) Recipe

We brought summer rolls this weekend for a barbecue potluck. Traditionally, the rolls are served with a sauce made from liver but as a child, I always had an aversion to it. So I made tương gỏi cuốn (which literally translates to "sauce for salad rolls" in Vietnamese) with ingredients that would be appealing to a Western palate.

The condiment is a blend of peanut butter, hoisin sauce, ginger garlic paste, đậu (lentils), coconut water and a few ingredients that balance the sweet and sour taste. For more crunch, the summer rolls are first dipped in chopped peanuts.

Whether you serve this sauce with summer shrimp rolls or veggie spring rolls, it will knock your socks off!


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