Asian Recipes

Pan-Fried Banh Tet Recipe  Recipe

Pan-Fried Banh Tet Recipe

02.18.15 by Jackie

Hoa Tâm, a family friend, came to visit a few days ago and she gave us a very useful tip on how to avoid bánh tét food waste after the Lunar New Year celebrations. What is bánh tét you ask? It's a Vietnamese savory rice cake (at times sweetened with bananas). It's made primarily from glutinous rice, which is rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with a mung bean or mung bean and meat center, then boiled. It's a must-have traditional food during Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year in Southern Vietnam. We've been given a lot of the logs this season; it's a way to demonstrate the importance of rice in the Vietnamese culture. I told Hoa Tâm my fear that we'd have a lot of leftovers and didn't want to waste all the food. She then give uswonderful trick; if you have a lot of these rice cakes as e do, look no further!

Simply slice them and pan-fry them. Once crispy, drizzle with nước mắm chay (if you're a vegetarian) or fish sauce. It's as simple as that. Thanks, dear Chi Hoa Tâm!


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Tet Recipe Ideas Recipe

Tet Recipe Ideas

02.10.15 by Jackie

With the Vietnamese New Year festivities starting tomorrow, I'd like to share some of my favorite Asian dishes with you. As I've mentioned many times, there is a tradition of abstaining from meat from the day before the new year through the day after. With as many  vegetarians as I have in my home, I always find myself coming up with new variations on Vietnamese dishes. 

The first ceremony is starting tomorrow. It's called "đưa ông Táo". It means farewelling the Kitchen God to the heaven. I'm preparing an elaborate display to pay respect to the gods and to our ancestors, and only vegetarian food will suffice. 

I also listed a lot of festive dishes that I love. Maman used to prepare so many marvelous seafood dishes for Tết (on the 19th of February this year).  I hope you'll find a lot of inspiration in this post. 

 


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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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Festive Saffron Shrimp with Sake Recipe

Festive Saffron Shrimp with Sake

01.14.15 by Jackie

Shrimp is one of my favorite festive ideas for a dinner party. We hosted one last night and I felt like adding an exotic touch to the menu, so I prepared saffron-flavored jumbo shrimp. The luxurious saffron provides a lingering savory-sweet note enhanced by the sake (Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice).

I love playing with shrimp for a quick dinner menu because they cook very fast. Normally I would flambé the liqueur but it tastes so sweet and mild, I preferred not to. I also added green bell peppers for a nice contrast in texture and balance of color. 

 


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Indian-Inspired Vegetarian Wonton Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Indian-Inspired Vegetarian Wonton Appetizer Recipe

12.18.14 by Jackie

Christmas celebrations are a few days away and I've been experimenting in the kitchen with new, fun appetizers that could be served that day. Whenever I host a dinner, I try to serve dishes that reflect the multi-cultural aspect of our household. The idea behind these fusion appetizers was to use Asian wonton wrappers and fill them with flavorful Indian-inspired navratan korm, which consists of a creamy curry made of nuts and vegetables. 

Korma is usually served with naan (flat Indian bread) and can be messy if served buffet-style. So making little bite-sized pockets is a neat way to introduce someone to this dish. Once the filling is ready, the key is to ensure that the wonton is well sealed so the filling doesn't leak while frying. With a little practice it's really easy.


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