Vietnamese Recipes

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Bi Chay (Shredded Tofu and Crispy Mock Pork) Recipe

Bì chay is probably one of my favorite Vietnamese vegetarian street foods. Not only is it a popular everyday eat, but it is also very common at temples. It's a mix of fried Asian ingredients such as tofu, taro, potatoes, jicama and fine vermicelli noodles. The whole mix is topped with dry toasted jasmine rice mill. It gives a nice aroma and chewy texture to the blend.

Whenever I pack sandwiches for a picnic, I either make the good ol' cheese and vegetable sandwich or an Asian-style sandwich, which is called bánh mì chay. It is a Vietnamese-style baguette sandwich stuffed with bì chay, pickled daikon and carrots, and green sliced chiles.

You can also simply eat bì chay with bún (bún chay), the vegetarian equivalent of bún cá chiên (fried fish with vermicelli rice noodles). 

If you want to serve this as a appetizer (bì cuốn chay) for a vegetarian crowd, just wrap the bì chay in rice paper and create little spring rolls.


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Vietnamese Egg Roll Recipe (Cha Gio) Recipe

Just like the vegetarian eggroll recipe, the meat-filled version is perfect as an appetizer when you have a big party. It's also a great way to get the little ones acquainted with cooking. It's one of my earliest memories of being in the kitchen.

Preparation is fairly simple and will resemble an assembly line. The filling is essentially mixed together raw and then it's on to assembling, folding and frying.

My littlest sister-in-law turned five this week and we're going to have a birthday party this coming weekend. We're making the mini variety for this occasion because it's a better size for the kids and all around works great as an appetizer. We'll be making between 100 and 200 eggrolls and I guarantee that there won't be any leftovers.


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Coconut and Sweet Tapioca Pudding with Bananas (Che Chuoi in Vietnamese) Recipe

Today, my local Asian market carried Vietnamese sweet bananas called chuối xiêm. Chuối xiêm are small, thin-peel bananas that are sweet and very flavorful when they are ripe. I made some coconut and sweet tapioca pudding with the bananas, called chè chuối xiêm in Vietnamese.  

Vietnamese desserts are not always the prettiest-looking sweets, but they are very good. They are composed of ingredients different from Western desserts and might look unusual at first. A lot of traditional Vietnamese desserts are made from sticky rice or other starches like cassava


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Canh Chua Ca (Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish and Pineapple Soup) Recipe

Can chua cá literally means sour fish soup in Vietnamese.The composition of the soup is the Vietnamese equivalent of tom yum Thai soup.  The sour flavor is from the kaffir lime leaf and tamarind powder and the sweetness is from the crushed pineapple.

Recently, I made this soup for our dinner guests. I served it with a side bowl of steamed jasmine rice. At the end of the meal, I was surprised to see all the bowls completely empty, given that the flavors are somewhat unusual. But they seemed to love it, so I'm guessing you might as well.

Vietnamese Sweet and sour soup


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Vietnamese  Dipping Sauce with Fermented Fish Sauce Base (Nuoc Mam) Recipe

Vietnamese dishes are generally very healthy. They are usually composed of a starch like noodles or jasmine rice, a meat or fish, a bunch of greens and the whole meal revolves around a strong-flavored dipping sauce called nước mắm. The main ingredient is made from fermented fish sauce, which is rich in calcium and salt. The smell is very pungent. It's a very common flavoring in Vietnamese cuisine.

I made some bún cá chiên, literally rice vermicelli noodles with fried fish. I love to dip the crispy fried fish in the nuoc mam sauce. The fish absorbs all the sauce and it's divine.

Just add pickled daikon radish, carrots, coarsely crushed peanuts, some Vietnamese mint, grilled beef (or fried tofu for vegetarians) and you get a fresh healthy meal in minutes!!

 


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