Vietnamese Food Recipes

Che Sam Bo Luong Recipe Recipe

Che Sam Bo Luong Recipe

03.15.15 by Jackie

Several roots, herbs, seeds and grains are known for their medicinal properties called thuốc bắc in Vietnamese. There's a Vietnamese dessert that gathers a collection of these delicious ingredients known as healing in Asian culture. It's called chè sâm bổ lượng and consists of a mix of dried lotus seeds (sen), longans (nhãn), Chinese pearl barley, dried mung beans, dried jujube (táo tầu in Vietnamese, also known as Chinese dates), dried white fungus and ginseng roots.

The natural starch from the barley thickens the dessert. Even though the jujube and longans are naturally sweet, I added a bit more sweetener to the syrup of the dessert with Chinese rock sugar. 

On hot summer days, you could also serve this chilled with crushed ice; it's amazing. 

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Fried Wonton Tofu Recipe Recipe

Fried Wonton Tofu Recipe

02.05.15 by Jackie

The next few days mark the beginning of the Vietnamese Tết celebrations. A tradition of Tết is that you  eat vegetarian (ăn chay) on the last day of the previous year and first day of Asian New Year, so I will be sharing several Vietnamese vegetarian dishes with you until the celebration commences.

I prepared a tofu dish that included a typical Vietnamese vegetable called trái su su in Vietnamese. It's also known as chayote in English, christophine in Creole and French and it's from the squash family. So as you can imagine, if not cooked over high heat (to allow as much liquid to evaporate as possible), the dish can become very watery and soggy. To balance the texture of the dish, I added crispiness by crumbling fried wonton wrappers. 

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Ca Bong Lau Kho To (Vietnamese Claypot Catfish) Recipe

Ca Bong Lau Kho To (Vietnamese Claypot Catfish)

10.09.14 by Jackie

This is probably one of the quickest and easiest Vietnamese fish dishes. The only requirement is to use flawless, very fresh catfish called "cá bông lau" in Vietnamese. Whenever I go to the Asian grocery stores, if I find fish with bright clear eyes and the skin looks shiny and clean, chances are I bring some seafood home. Also, most important, fresh fish should smell briny and pleasant. 

The steps for preparing cá bông lau kho tộ  are simple but crucial. First, soak the fish in vinegar; that way the fish texture will maintain a firm texture, even once it's cooked. Then, frying onions and the use of red chili powder covers the fish-y flavor and lastly, braising the fish in a combination of soy sauce (not fish sauce) and coconut sauce will bring wonderful, lightly sweet flavor to the seafood dish. 


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Coconut Tofu Recipe Recipe

Coconut Tofu Recipe

09.22.14 by Jackie

Eating vegan foods doesn't necessarily mean they have to be bland. My goal to jazz up a Japanese eggplant and broccoli tofu dish was to add extra richness to the taste with coconut cream. The vegetables cooked fairly quickly, so I focused more on seasoning the sauce, using soy sauce, chile black bean sauce, palm sugar and coconut.

This coconut tofu is a great way for our family (baby Aria and I are the only ones not on a vegetarian diet) to share the same meal without missing meat. The tofu was flavorful with crispy texture and the added spiciness. With a dish like this one, you won't have naysayers claiming the tofu dish is too plain!

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White Asparagus and Tofu Recipe Recipe

White Asparagus and Tofu Recipe

08.25.14 by Jackie

This is the vegetarian meal I usually make when there is no fresh produce left in my refrigerator. I had lots of  errands today and grocery shopping was part of my to-do list, but I never had time to reach that one task before my husband Lulu and daughter Aria got back home for lunch. So I went on a scavenger hunt in the pantry to make a quick and easy recipe for lunch to please my husband's vegetarian diet.  

I prepared white asparagus tofu because, well, this is what was available in the pantry. I found a can of white asparagus spears, honey, vegetarian hoisin sauce and tofu. To enhance the flavor of the dish, I also added garlic, yellow onion wedges, black bean sauce and chili garlic sauce. 

I always stock my pantry with key ingredients in case of an emergency. My go-to tofu is the one that requires no refrigeration until the package is opened (shelf-table). I usually select the firm kind. Simply make sure the package mentions that there are no preservatives, that it is gluten-free (that's a good sign for its quality) and that it’s made with non-GMO soybeans. 

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