Vietnamese Recipes

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Braised Straw Mushrooms (Nam Kho Ca Recipe) Recipe

Nấm kho cà tô mát, which translates to "braised mushrooms in tomatoes" in Vietnamese, was my late grandma's (Bà Ngoại) specialty. Bà Ngoại was an excellent cook; she mastered vegetarian cooking in particular. This dish resembles sweet tomato beef because of the texture of dried straw mushrooms in the sweet and sour sauce. The preparation is fairly simple. A lot of garlic and a fair amount of different soy sauces (zesty, sweet and salty) really make the dish flavorful. The sweetness and tanginess from the fresh tomatoes gives the final touch for this quick side dish.

As a child, I didn't come often to Vietnam to visit my grandma but I always remember all the wonderful stories she told me. Bà Ngoại used to be the director of a Saigonese school and was proud to educate and empower Vietnamese women through various disciplines, including culinary arts among others. I remember she was a very strong-minded lady who really represented the essence of Vietnam. I'm not saying this just because she was my grandmother, but she was such a great role model, always dedicated to excellence and so devoted to her children, especially during times of crisis. She was an admirable woman.


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Mi Xao Mem Recipe (Vietnamese Egg Noodles) Recipe

Mì xào mềm, as opposed to mì xào dòn (crispy egg noodles) is the Vietnamese version of Chinese chow mein. This dish appears in almost every Vietnamese fast food joint. It usually comes with chicken and seafood such as baby squid and shrimp, but I wanted to make sure the entire family would enjoy the dish as well (half of my family is vegetarian). So this time, I mixed the soft egg noodles with rolled tofu skin and several vegetables.

Living in the Bay Area, we're lucky enough that Asian markets carry a wide variety of fresh egg noodles. I always look for the thin kinds. If you can't find any, you could always boil angel hair pasta. The flavor will be slightly different but still delicious!


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King Mushrooms in Pineapple Sauce Recipe

King mushrooms braised in pineapple sauce makes a quick and easy side dish. The beautiful part of this dish is that it works both as a vegetable side dish and a meat substitute. King mushrooms have a chewier, more meaty texture than Portobello mushrooms, which is very pleasant if you're looking for a filling meal without a ton of calories.

The mushrooms are sliced, then braised in crushed pineapple and soy sauce. If you’re a true carnivore though, you could always replace the mushrooms with chicken breast.


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Banh Xeo Recipe Recipe

Banh Xeo Recipe

03.20.11 by Jackie

The exact translation of bánh xèo is a "sizzling cake that is deflating". The crêpe-shaped dish is made out rice flour, coconut milk and other herbs and spices. It's a lot thicker than the French version but equally delicious.

Bánh xèo is a specialty from Saigon, the region where my "Papa" comes from. When I was young back in France, I remember we would have family gathering every weekend with all my dad's family at Ông nội's (my paternal grandfather's home). Uncle Philippe (Chú mười) would be in charge of the cooking and he would make the most delicious bánh xèos, just like the ones available in the streets of Saigon. And now it's become one of our family's favorites. I try to make them when we have time on weekends and it's always a hit. As usual, I made one veggie version, as well as one filled with grilled meat and shrimp. These are great options, but the filling is really up to you!


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Ga Kho Gung Recipe (Vietnamese Ginger Chicken) Recipe

Ginger chicken, called "gà kho gừng" in Vietnamese, is a very flavorful caramelized chicken dish. Like many Vietnamese dishes, ginger chicken is a quick and easy meat entree to make when I'm in a hurry. The caramel is formed with honey and coconut soda, the chicken is coated until slightly browned and finally the dish is flavored with shredded fresh ginger.

This time, in addition to the jasmine rice that we always have ready in the rice cooker, I served some greens alongside the chicken. The result is an almost effortless, delicious meal. I like that!


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