Vietnamese Recipes

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Banh Bao Recipe (Vietnamese Steamed Bun) Recipe

Bánh bao literally translates to "cakes that wrap something" in Vietnamese. The dough is made of flour, milk, sugar and a hint of oil. Once the dough rises, it's formed in the desired shape, usually dumplings similar to a pointy turban, then steamed until plump and perky. In general, they're stuffed with savory meat or sweet egg custard (called bánh bao cadé)

I've also seen them plain and shaped into a taco-style envelope at a few dim sum places. This is the version I used to finish the leftover braised duck leg from the night before. I shredded the tender duck meat and added pickled carrots and daikon and cilantro. I drizzled the bánh bao with a mole sauce using the reduced braising sauce adding 2 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate, which tied the dish together beautifully. I was tempted to post this bánh bao bun in my second cookbook, Bánh Mì: 75 Banh Mi Recipes for Authentic and Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches but decided to keep the recipes more traditional. Still, they’re a a lot of fun to make and quite versatile. 

Since it's the weekend already and I usually post a dessert, I’ll also mention that the leftover bánh bao wraps can be turned into sweet treats with the right filling. Dried fig spread, lemon curd (I had jars of the lemon curd I made last winter) and chocolate mousse or the more traditional sweet egg custard are all great choices.

If you live in the Bay Area, don't forget to pencil in next Saturday (May 25th) for my cooking demo and cookbook signing for Haute Potato at Los Altos Library. Hope to see everyone there. Have a great weekend!

Vietnamese Bun Recipe with Picture


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Chao Ca Recipe (Fish Congee) Recipe

Chao Ca Recipe (Fish Congee)

05.14.13 by Jackie

Cháo cá (Vietnamese for fish congee) is Aria's favorite dish these days. At one and a half years old now, she's able to eat pretty much anything and everything. But don't be fooled by its appearance; rice congee isn't only meant for babies. Cháo is a very popular meal in Asia; I personally love it too. 

In this version of congee I cook rice in fish stock until it becomes a thickened soup. I like to make small portions at a time by adding thinly sliced white flaky fish, ginger, onions and cilantro at the last minute. The key to flavorful fish congee is to use the freshest products available.


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Banh Mi Fish Taco Recipe Recipe

Banh Mi Fish Taco Recipe

05.01.13 by Jackie

These fish tacos are filled with grilled halibut, cilantro lime rice, salsa verde, diced avocado, shredded lettuce, crumbled queso fresco, pickled jalapeños, carrot and daikon (the Vietnamese flair in these tacos) and finally a dollop of Mexican sour cream. 

After completing my second cookbook, (shameless plug: don't forget to pre-order my Banh Mi cookbook), I've been professing my love for the Vietnamese sandwiches to whomever I meet on Twitter. Last weekend, I came across the most wonderful idea from a Texan food & wine festival through Chef David Bull from Austin: Banh Mi Tacos. In my second cookbook, I kept everything fairly traditional by sticking to straight, authentic recipes for the Vietnamese baguette, đồ chua (pickled carrots and daikon) and Vietnamese-style meat. But what I love most is the way we can get inspired from a certain type of cuisine and come up with new, creative dishes.  


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Chinese Cabbage and Lotus Salad Recipe Recipe

When writing my second cookbook, Banh Mi, which by the way is already available for preview and pre-order, I tried to share authentic and traditional recipes for Vietnamese sandwiches, condiments and sides. If you've ever tasted a bánh mì, you probably are familiar with the standard condiment of pickled carrots and daikon. It takes the place of cornichon-based pickles (tiny French gherkin pickles) found in Western sandwiches.

You can of course vary the ingredients to your liking, and in this recipe I prepared a modified version of the bánh mì condiment with shredded Chinese cabbage, pickled lotus and freshly-picked satsuma mandarins that baby Aria helped me gather from our garden --follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more pictures-- (sadly it was our very last batch). With a few peanuts and a nice dressing, it makes a great salad. Though it isn't strictly speaking a traditional pickle, you could also use it in your own bánh mì sandwich. The flavors are mellow enough to let the meat or tofu of your choice shine.


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Lotus Root Soup Recipe (Canh Cu Sen) Recipe

The authentic recipe for lotus soup, called canh củ sen in Vietnamese, calls for pork broth, dried scallops, dried octopus and various dried fruits and nuts. With my family being mostly vegetarian, I adapted it to fit everyone's diet. 

I tried to mimic the meaty broth with Okinawan potatoes (purple-fleshed Japanese sweet potatoes) and preserved daikon radish and flavored it with the usual dried black dates called jujube (or plum), dried South almonds, peanuts and gojee berries. Lastly, fresh lotus root is sliced thinly and added to the broth until softened. Some people like it on the crunchy side, but I prefer it very tender.


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