Vietnamese 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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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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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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Comfort Food: Bowls of Rice Noodle Soup Recipe

Comfort Food: Bowls of Rice Noodle Soup

10.08.14 by Jackie

 In my opinion, a large bowl of warm rice noodle soup is the perfect, healthy comfort food. It's soothing, filling and gluten-free. Of course, a must-try is phở bò, which is my all-time favorite soup

I've listed many options for you to try this fall season. 


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