Vietnamese Recipes

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Bun Thit Nuong Recipe Recipe

Bun Thit Nuong Recipe

02.21.12 by Jackie

Bún thịt nướng is my kind of comfort food. It's a simple Asian meal that consists of room-temperature rice vermicelli noodles and đô chua (pickled veggies) topped with grilled meat. I marinated two rib-eye steaks with soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger garlic paste, palm sugar, green onions and sesame seeds.

The ingredients that accompany the rice noodles can vary. I made this version with my favorites: sautéed crab (cua), shrimp (bún tôm nướng) and grilled beef (bún bò nướng). Of course, you could adapt this meal with fried fish (bún cá chiên), chicken (), eggrolls (bún chả giò thịt nướng) or even lemongrass tofu (for a vegetarian version). What I like most is that it's light and healthy without being too terribly difficult to make (I prepped everything separately the day before). And it doesn't hurt that it looks so appetizing!


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Vegetarian Char Siu Recipe (Tofu Xa Xiu) Recipe

If you've been to an Asian market, you've probably noticed the long pieces of Chinese-style barbecue meat glistening with red sauce on hangers. The red sauce is char siu sauce (in Vietnamese, it's called xá xíu). Since my husband Lulu is a vegetarian, I made a tofu version and coated the fried tofu with the sweet sauce. It's made with honey (but I used date syrup for a darker color), hoisin sauce, reduced soy sauce, dry sherry (optional), fresh ginger, five spice powder and sesame oil. I added a little red food coloring to reach the typical char siu color but really, it's up to you. To finish the dish I sautéed the tofu with shiitake mushrooms and red and green onions.

I didn't miss eating meat at all, but of course, you could use the sauce on a pork tenderloin and generously baste the meat with the eye-catching sauce, if you prefer.


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Canh Kho Qua (Bitter Melon Soup Recipe) Recipe

Khổ qua ("bitter melon" in English) is a truly unique vegetable. Its warty, pale-green color could scare even a veteran foodie away. However, it’s actually a very forgiving and versatile veggie! In Vietnamese cuisine, it's often served with pork or shrimp; I filled it with soybean stuffing instead to imitate the meat and served the bitter melons in canh (Vietnamese broth).

I love this dish because it's so flavorful and the texture of the soybeans is dense and very similar to meat. I also flavored the filling with fresh wood ear mushrooms for a more meaty texture. If you're trying this dish for the first time, I have to warn you that bitter melon, as its name indicates is, well, bitter. But really, you have to try it at least once. It's a love-it or hate-it kind of vegetable, but who knows, my might get struck by Cupid's arrow!


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Tofu Stir Fry Recipe Recipe

Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

01.25.12 by Jackie

Catering to a large crowd of vegetarians in my house, I often find myself cooking a lot of lentils (or any legumes) and tofu dishes. I realized I haven't cooked any tofu in quite some time, so I made my quick and easy tofu stir fry this evening. I sautéed a bunch of vegetables (Brussels sprouts, straw mushrooms, zucchini and red bell peppers) that I had on hand and mixed them with the tofu.

My husband loves this dish and says he could eat the same thing every day. I usually serve it with brown rice and a bowl of canh (Vietnamese broth). It's a complete, flavorful meal, plus it's healthy! What else could you ask for?
 


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Bun Rieu Cua Recipe (Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup) Recipe

This soup, called bún riêu, is typical Vietnamese comfort food. It's paired with the usual Vietnamese aromatic herbs and topped with other vegetables and fried tofu for a complete meal.

Just thinking about this seafood dish makes my mouth water! Tomorrow, my cousin Tri and his wife Tran are coming over to greet us for the Lunar New Year. So I spent today making a delicious, though a tad time-consuming (but oh-so worth it) soup dish for them. Bún riêu cua is a briny crab rice noodle soup garnished with feathery-like crab cakes in tomato and fermented shrimp (called mắm tôm) broth. Once you're ready to serve, shredded lettuce and mint finish the dish for added crunch along with lime and a drizzle of nuoc mam. 



If you love crab, this dish is ideal for you. If not, you could always try the veggie version (bún riêu chay) I make for the rest of my family members who are vegetarian. Either way, what a great way to start the year!


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