Monday, January 30, 2006

Cá Thác Lác Nấu Cà

Fish Ball and Tomato Soup

1/2 lb fish paste
1 cup dill, cut into 2-inches length
2 tomatoes
1 shallot, minced
2 stalks green onion
2 T vegetable oil
4 cups water
fish sauce, salt, sugar, pepper to taste

Season fish paste with salt, pepper, sugar, fish sauce and crushed green onion heads. Mix well until the mixture is smooth. Pluck a small piece of the paste and form the mixtures into balls or any shape, smooth with oil.

Fry the fish balls until golden brown.

Add 1 T vegetable oil in a medium pot, heat oil until bubbling hot over medium high flame. Add shallot and stir fry until fragrant. Add tomatoes, continue stir frying until nice and soft. Fill with water and bring to boil. Add fried fish balls and cook for 5 minutes, skim off any foam. Add fish sauce, salt, sugar and pepper to taste. Add dill and green onion (optional) then served.

Giò Thủ

Hog's Head Cheese

2 pork's ears
1 pork's snout
1 pork's tongue
2 wood ear mushrooms, julianed
1/4 cup shiitake mushroom, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1/2 T whole pepper
1 T vegetable oil
fish sauce, salt, pepper to taste

Friday, January 27, 2006

Chân Giò Ninh Măng

Pork Hock and Dried Bamboo Shoot Stew

1 lb pork hock (or trotter)
4 ounces dried bamboo shoot
10 Wood Ear Mushrooms
1 T crisp-fried shallot
5 stalks green onion
1 can chicken broth (10-12 ounces)
fish sauce, salt, pepper to taste

Clean and cut pork hocks into bite pieces.

Soak dried bamboo shoot overnight in warm water, remove wooden ends and cut into 3-inches length.

Boil the bamboo shoot in water for 3-4 times (change new water each time). Leave bamboo shoot in water until put in the stew.

Quarter the green onion's white heads and thinly slice the green.

Add pork hocks and water in a medium pot and bring to boil. Drain and wash the hocks one more time. Put the hocks back in the pot, cover with water and simmer for an hour. Add chicken broth, cooked bamboo shoot and simmer until they're all nice and soft. Add salt, fish sauce, pepper to taste. Add mushroom, crisp-fried shallot and turn heat to medium for 3 more minutes. Top with green onion when served.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cơm Độn Khoai

Sweet Potato Rice

1 cup rice
1+ cups water
1 small sweet potato (4-5 ounces)

Wash rice in water 3-4 times until the water runs clear.
If using rice cooker, just add the amount of water indicated.
Wash and cut the sweet potato (leave some skin on) into 1/2 inch cubes and place in water to eliminate harshness.
Add sweet patato on top of the rice and press cook button. When the button switch to warm, mix them gently and cover for 5-10 more minutes.

if you don't have an electric rice cooker, you can use a heavy bottom pot to cook rice. Add boiling water instead. Cook with medium low heat until the water is almost gone. Reduce heat to very low and let it steam for 10 more minutes.

Canh Cải Bẹ Cá Thác Lác

Mustard green with fish ball soup

1 lb mustard green
1/2 lb seasoned fish paste
1 small piece ginger, julianed
1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
fish sauce and pepper to taste
4-5 cups water

Season fish paste with salt, pepper, sugar, fish sauce and crushed green onion head. Mix well until the mixture is smooth.

Wash and slice mustard green in 1/2-1 inch length crosswise.

Add water in a medium pot and bring to boil under medium high heat. Spoon seasoned fish paste into boiling water, skim off foam. When all fish balls are floated, add mustard green in, cook for 3-5 minutes (until boiling). Season with fish sause and pepper. Add ginger and green onion.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Đậu Phụ nấu Sườn Non

Tofu with Tomato and Rib Soup

1 small block firm tofu
1/2 lb pork rib
2 ripe tomatoes
2 stalks green onion, chopped
5 sprigs cilantro, minced
4 cups water
fish sauce and pepper to taste

Cut tofu to 1 or 1/2 inch square.

Clean and cut ribs into small pieces.

Put a small pot of water on high flame, bring to boil.
Wash tomatoes, cut stem end, and core an X through the skin on the other end. Blanch them in boiling water for 5-30 seconds. Check the skin on the X, if it looks like it's peeling away then take them out, peel the skin off in cold water and cut the tomatoes into small cubes. Drain water and wash the pot.

Add 4 cups water and pork ribs into the pot, cook over medium heat until boling, skim off any scum. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add tofu, then tomatoes and simmer for 10 more minutes. Fish sauce and pepper to taste. Sprinkle onion and cilantro on, serve hot.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Indian Flat Bread


Chapati or roti is the most common Indian bread simply made with whole-wheat flour and water.

6 cups of coarsly whole-wheat flour
3 cups of water
ghee or butter to brush

Sift the flour into a deep bowl and make a hollow in the centre. Add water gradually, mix well by hand.

Knead the dough until it is smooth and not sticky or too dry. Cover and let the dough sit for 3 hrs.

Knead again if you wish before dividing. Divide the dough into 12-15 portions.

Lightly flour surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a thin round patty. Turn the patty several times to prevent sticking. Make sure the patty's edge is thinner than the center.

Pre-heat a thick-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Place the patty and cook until the color changed and bubles appeared, turn it over and cook for 30 more seconds.

When both sides are done, remove the chapati and put on gas stove over medium flame and it will puff up immediately. Turn quickly to bake the other side. Turn several times and make sure the edges are well cooked. If you don't have a gas stove, leave chapati on the pan and press them with a clean towel after the first turn on each side. It will puff up as you press.

Repeat the rolling and cooking process untill all chapatis are done.

You can serve a hot chapati dry or lightly brush some butter on it.

Hành Phi

Crisp-fried Shallot

1 cup shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup vegetable oil

Air dry sliced shallot overnight.
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat until bubbling hot. Add shallot and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove immediately and drain with paper towels.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Bún (sợi nhỏ) - Rice vermicelli (fine)

Bún (sợi lớn) - Rice vermicelli

Bánh Canh (Tapioca Strip)

Bánh phở - Rice stick

Bánh phở (trung) - Rice stick (medium)

Bánh phở (lớn) - Rice stick (large)

Bánh phở tươi - Fresh Rice stick

Miến - Bean Thread, Cellophane noodle

Mì - Egg Noodle

Mì (sợi lớn) - Egg Noodle (large)

Đậu Rán Tẩm Hành

Fried tofu in onion sauce

1 block firm tofu
3 green onion, finely chopped
2 T fish sauce (or to taste)
6 T boiling water
1-2 T sugar (or to taste)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
Cut tofu into medium thin pieces.
Fry both sides until golden brown.

Disolve sugar in boiling water, add fish sauce and onion then microwave for 30 secs.

Soak the fried tofu into onion sauce then remove them quickly, sprinkle onion on top. Serve hot with white rice.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Khổ Qua Hầm

Stuffed Bitter Melon Stew

2 bitter melons, cut in half lengthwise
4 ouces lean pork, minced
2 ounces shrimp paste or fish paste
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and minced
1 ounce cellophane noodles , soaked and diced (optional)
Fish sauce to taste
Fresh ground pepper
2 stalks green onion, diced, 2 stalks knotted to garnish
6 sprigs cilantro, diced
3 cups water

Mix ground pork, shrimp paste (or fish paste), shallot, garlic, mushroom and cellophane noodles (optional) well in a bowl, fish sauce and pepper to taste.

Use a small spoon to scoop the seeds out of the melon halves, slit open and wash thoroughly.

Put melon in boiling water and cook for a few minutes, drain and press lightly outside the melon to remove the bitter juice.

Stuff the mixture into the melon, press and smooth with water.

Add 3 cups of water in a medium pot, bring to boil. Add the stuffed melon, bring back to boil. Skim off scum then reduce heat, simmer until nice and soft about 25'-30'. Add fish sauce and pepper to taste, add onion and cilantro.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Bún Nem Bì

Pork Skin and Sour Ham Noodle Salad

1/2 lb pork skin mixtures
1/2 lb fried ham
6 pieces sour ham
2-3 cups cooked rice noodle
2 cups red leaf lettuce, chopped
1 cup bean sprout
1 cucumber, Julianed
1 cup beefsteak leaf (Perilla)
3 T roasted peanuts (crushed)
8 stalks green onion, diced
1 T vegetable oil
2 cups sweet and sour fish sauce dressing

You can buy pork skin mixture (bì), fried ham (chả chiên), sour ham (nem chua) in any Vietnamese Fastfood (sandwich) store.

Rice Noodle (sold in most Asian super market). Put rice noodle in boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and let it sit for 1-2 more minutes. Rinse over water.

Sweet and sour fish sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce + 1 cup hot water+ 1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup vinegar + 1 T minced garlic. Mix well. Add shredded carrot and chilli sauce(optional)

Put Green Onion + 1 T oil in microwave and cook for 1 minute.

Place lettuce + bean sprout + cucumber + beefsteak leaf + rice noodle in a serving salad bowl then top with pork skin mixture, sour ham, fried ham, green onion, roasted peanut, add sweet and sour fish sauce and mix well.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Bún Mọc

Pork Ball Noodle Soup

2 lbs pork bones
1 lb pork rib
1/2 cup of dried shrimps (optional)
3 quarts cold water
2 lbs seasoned pork paste
1 yellow onion
2.5 ounces wooden ear mushroom (pre-sliced)
10 oz fine rice vermicelli
5 stalks green onion, shreded 3-inches length
15 sprigs cilantro, diced
fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste

Place pork bones + ribs + 1t salt in a large pot, add water and bring to boil. Drain and wash the bones thoroughly. Put the bones back in the pot + (dried shrimp) + onion, add water and bring back to boil over high heat, skim off foam, lower the heat and let simmer for 2 hours. Strain broth with a double layer of cheesecloth, add fish sauce to taste.

Soak mushroom in warm water for 30 minutes, drain and mix well with seasoned pork paste. Pluck a small piece of the paste and form the mixtures into balls, smooth them with water. Add the pork balls into the broth for a few minutes, when the balls are floated, remove and set them aside.

Put rice vermicelli in boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let it sit for 2 more minutes. Rinse over water.

To serve: Place pork balls in medium bowl, ladle the hot broth over, sprinkle shreded onion and chopped cilantro on top, ground some black pepper over. Dip noodle into the hot soup.