Chinese Cabbage and Lotus Salad Recipe Recipe

Chinese Cabbage and Lotus Salad Recipe

04.22.13 by Jackie

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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Mint Julep Scones Recipe

Mint Julep Scones

04.19.13 by Jackie

If you love the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, you will adore these mint-flavored scones. I used my favorite Mint Julep Sugar from our friends over at Bourbon Barrel Foods for this sweet treat. The raw sugar creates a crunchy, sweet topping with a rich caramel flavor and a refreshing hint of mint.

Pair these with the Southern cocktail and I promise you won't be disappointed!


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Lotus Root Soup Recipe (Canh Cu Sen) Recipe

Lotus Root Soup Recipe (Canh Cu Sen)

04.18.13 by Jackie

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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Pepper Poppers Recipe

Pepper Poppers

04.17.13 by Jackie

If you've been following my culinary adventures for a while, you probably know that Daddy's (my father-in-law) diet revolves around anything spicy. So he rarely eats the French dishes (except for the desserts) or Vietnamese meals I prepare for the rest of our family. So today, I prepared pepper popper appetizers. Who doesn't like fried food? Not even Daddy could say no. I prepared mild ones using mini tri-colored peppers and jalapeno peppers, and a couple of really spicy ones just for him.

Mini peppers are hollowed out, stuffed with a cheese mixture, breaded and deep-fried. You can't go wrong!


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Coconut Curry Tofu Recipe Recipe

Coconut Curry Tofu Recipe

04.16.13 by Jackie

I haven't cooked any tofu dishes for my husband Lulu in a while and I thought it would be good to vary his diet. So I prepared tofu with fresh wood ear mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots and red bell peppers that I stir-fried in coconut, galangal and turmeric curry sauce.

I topped the tofu dish with a few roasted peanuts to create a contrast in texture and make the dish more fun. 


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