Vietnamese Recipes

Banh Uot Cha Lua Chay (Vegetarian Vietnamese Rice Noodles) Recipe

Banh Uot Cha Lua Chay (Vegetarian Vietnamese Rice Noodles)

09.04.14 by Jackie

This vegetarian dish is Cậu Hoà's (my uncle) favorite. Since we live near San Jose, I'm fortunate to be able to find ready-made bánh ướt. It literally translates to "wet cakes". They're sheets of rice and tapioca noodles. The assembly of the dish, after steaming the rice noodle sheets, is ultra simple. 

I accompanied the rice noodles with Vietnamese tofu ham called chả lụa chay (you can find the recipe in my second cookbook, Banh Mi.) I also added fried tofu, steamed bean sprouts, fried shallots, cucumber and a wide array of Vietnamese herbs. The vegetarian dish is then "watered" with nước mắm chay. I just discovered vegetarian nuoc mam made of pineapple juice, which is similar to but less pungent than real fish sauce. 


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Yuba Stuffed Mushroom Appetizers Recipe

Yuba Stuffed Mushroom Appetizers

09.02.14 by Jackie

Whenever I'm at the Asian grocery store, I buy large quantities of fresh yuba (tofu skin) whenever it's available. If you've wanted to try a vegetarian meat substitute but were suspicious it would taste bland, I urge you to try these yuba stuffed mushroom appetizers. 

If you're not familiar with yuba (tàu hũ ky in Vietnamese), this food product is the film that's formed on the surface after boiling the soy beans in water. I bought ready-to-use fresh yuba, so all I needed to do was season it. I made a mixture of rice vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, tahini, yuba, five-spice powder and black sesame seeds. 

The assembly was very easy. I stuffed the yuba filling into hollowed crimini mushrooms and garnished the appetizers with sunflower seeds for extra crunch. Voilà!


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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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Simple Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe Recipe

Simple Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

08.05.14 by Jackie

My husband Lulu has gone on a business trip again for the week, so I don't cook as much while he's out of town. I simply boiled a whole chicken, nothing really fancy. 

Since a whole chicken was way too much for Aria and me, I cut part of the chicken into small pieces, added a few rice noodles, carrots, mushrooms and some snow peas. Nothing more, nothing less. I like the unpretentious and elementary feel of this dish. Baby Aria enjoyed it too. 

I'll keep the leftovers and make chicken salad tomorrow.


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Shrimp Stuffed Dumpling Recipe Recipe

Shrimp Stuffed Dumpling Recipe

07.08.14 by Jackie

Ever since we were in Paris, baby Aria is finally enjoying the taste of meat and seafood. The idea of being able to feed her a wider variety of meals thrills me. During our stay, Maman served a lot of shrimp dishes. Yesterday, Aria requested dumplings. So I prepared and filled them according to my mom's recipe for the filling. Maman’s trick to give the shrimp a better consistency is to blend in a few baby squid with the shrimp. If that scares you, you can omit them; the dumplings will still be just as yummy.

Shaping dumplings can be a little tricky, and I think it's the biggest challenge the first time you try. So I simply shaped the dumplings and sealed the bottom with fresh, round pot sticker wraps. I also used unconventional flavors for the filling with fennel, carrots and green peas to please Aria's tastebuds. 


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