Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bánh Tôm

Fried-Shrimp Chips

10 small shrimps in shell
10 wonton skins
2-3 T tempura mix
paprika,salt and pepper
frying oil

Mix the tempura with cold water (2-3 T) as directed in the box, add paprika, salt and pepper to taste, add raw shrimp with shell in. Prepare a frying pan with enough frying oil over medium high heat, when the oil is ready (bubbling but not smoking), take each wonton skin and dip into the tempura mixture, transfer to the frying pan, place 1 shrimp in the center. Deep fry each side until nicely brown and cooked. Remove and drain with papper towel. Serve this shrimp chips with Sa Dec, My Tho or Nam Vang style noodles.

How to Moisten Rice Papers #2

Place cabbage leaves between rice paper sheets. Cover tighly with plastic wrap and leave overnight.

The sheets should be pliable and ready to roll.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Khổ Qua Xào Tôm

Bitter melon with Shrimp

2 bitter melons, cut in half, scoop out seeds, sliced
10 shrimps, shelled and deveined, diced
1 T vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onion, chopped
fish sauce, sugar, black ground pepper

Heat oil in a pan over high heat, add garlic and cook until fragant, add shrimp and stir-fry until turning pink (lightly cooked). Add bitter melon, stir well to cook evenly. Add fish sauce to taste, a pinch of sugar. Cook until bitter melon is tender crisp. Add green onion, sprinkle fresh ground black pepper on top then serve.

Thịt Kho Trứng Cút

Braised Pork Loin with Quail Eggs

1 lb pork loin, sliced
1 can cooked quail eggs (25-30 counts)
4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1 T vegetable oil
2 T sugar for caramel sauce
fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper

Marinate pork with 1 T fish sauce, 1 t sea salt, 1/2 T sugar, black ground pepper, shallots.
Drain quail eggs and set aside.
In a heavy bottom pan, heat 2 T sugar over medium heat to make quick caramel sauce. When the sugar about to turn into the color you want, remove pan and add pork in quickly. Mix pork into the caramel to color evenly. Bring back to heat. Add oil in and stir to cook for a few minutes. Add quail eggs. Lower heat to medium low and let it simmers until liquid reduced. Add more fish sauce and sugar to taste. Add green onion and serve.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Canh Cà Rốt Su Su

Chayote Carrot Soup

1/2 chayote, cut into pieces
1/2 medium carrot, cut into pieces
3 shrimp, shelled and deveined, cut into pieces
1.5 cups water
1 green onion, chopped
3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
Fish sauce, black ground pepper

Bring water to a boil over medium high heat, add carrot, bring back to boil, add shrimp, chayote and cook for a few minutes. Add fish sauce and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with green onion and cilantro.

Cà chua Nấm Nhồi

Stuffed Tomatoes and Stuffed Mushrooms

3 roman tomatoes
6 medium white mushrooms
2 T ground pork
6 shrimps, shelled and deveined, minced
1/4 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped
4 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1.5 T vegetable oil
fish sauce, sugar, pepper

Remove stems from mushrooms, brush caps to clean. Discard tough end of stems, chop and set aside.
Cut each tomato in half cross wise, scoop out pulp and seeds, discard seeds and finely chop the pulp and set aside.

Mix ground pork, shrimp, onion, fish sauce, fresh ground pepper together in a bowl. Use a small spoon to fill all the caps with this mixture.

Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Place stuffed mushrooms and tomatoes in, filling sides down. Let them cook for 3 minutes until the fillings turn golden brown. Reduce heat to medium, sprinkle salt and pepper on the caps and cover to cook for 5-7 more minutes.
Gently remove them and set on a plate. Add garlic into the hot pan with oil and liquid left from the caps, stir until fragant, add chopped mushroom stems in, stir, add tomato pulp in, add some fish sauce and sugar to taste. Add green onion.

Pour this sauce on top of stuffed tomatoes and mushrooms, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bông Cải Xanh Xào Tỏi

Broccoli with Garlic and Oyster Sauce

2 stalks of broccoli, cut into small florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T oyster sauce
1 T vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Heat pan over high heat, add oil, add garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add broccoli and 1-2 T water if needed. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add oyster sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until broccoli is crisp-tender (about 3 more minutes). I just toss some red bell pepper in because it has been sitting in the fridge for too long.

Chè Nhãn Nhục

Dried Longan Drink

a palmful of dried longan
4-5 cups water
Rock sugar

Rinse dried longan over water. Put into a pot, fill water in. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add rock sugar to taste. Lower heat and simmer for 5-10 more minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Gà Ram Gừng

Caramel Ginger Chicken

6 chicken thigh fillets, cut into pieces
1 T ginger, julienned
1 T sugar for caramel
1 clove garlic, minced
2 shallot, minced
1/2 T vegetable oil
fish sauce, sugar, pepper to taste

Marinate (if you do it in advance) or mix (if you don't have time) chicken with garlic, shallot, ginger, 2 T fish sauce, black ground pepper, (1 T white wine optional).
In a pan, heat 1 T sugar over medium heat until it turns just light brown. Remove pan off the heat and watch until the caramel turns golden brown, quickly add marinated chicken in, mix well to coat the color evenly. Put back into the heat, add oil and saute the chicken for 5 minutes. Bring heat down to medium low, cook until liquid is reduced (about 15 minutes). Add more fish sauce and sugar(1 T) to taste.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bí Ngồi Xào Mực

Zucchini with Cuttlefish in Hot Garlic Sauce

3 medium zucchini squash, sliced
1 cup cuttlefish fillet
2 big cloves garlic, minced
1 t hot chili oil
few drop sesame oil
1 T vegetable oil
fish sauce, sugar, pepper

Cuttlefish: Use a sharp knife to score shallow (2/3 deep)diagonal cuts in a criss-cross pattern on the inside surface of the cuttlefish. Cut into pieces, it will curl when cooked.

Heat vegetable oil in a medium pan over high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragant. Add cuttlefish, stir to cook evenly. Just when cuttlefish starts to curl, add zucchini in, fish sauce, hot chilli oil, cover to cook for 5-7 minutes (until tender). Add sesame oil, a pinch of sugar and pepper to taste.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Su Su Xào Tôm

Stir-Fried Chayote with Shrimp

2 chayotes, cut into strips like french fries
12 shrimps, shelled, deveined
2 garlic, minced
4 green onions, cut into 2-inches length
vegetable oil
fish sauce, pepper

Heat oil in a large pan over high heat. Add garlic to fry until fragant. Add shrimps, stir-fry for 1 minute (when shrimp just turn pink), add chayote strips in, cover to cook for 3 minutes. Add fish sauce and pepper to taste. Stir to cook evenly. Add green onion.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Rau Dền Luộc Chan Sốt

Chinese Spinach with Tomato Sauce

1 bunch Chinese Spinach (Amaranth)
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
3 oz ground pork
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 T ketchup
2 green onion, chopped
1/2 T vegetable oil
fish sauce, sugar, pepper

Cut off the wooden part of the lower stems of the chinese spinach, remove dead leaves. Soak in water to remove sand and dirt. Wash thoroughly.

In a medium pot, fill enough water to cover the spinach, add some salt, bring to boil. Add Chinese spinach, bring back to boil and cook for 3-5 more minutes, drain.

Tomato Pork Sauce (Sốt thịt băm)
In a small sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat, add garlic to cook until fragant. Add tomato and onion in, stir to mix well and cook for 5 minutes, add ground pork in, stir well to cook, add ketchup, fish sauce, sugar and pepper to taste. Add green onion.
Pour sauce over spinach or put in a small dip bowl to serve.

Tôm Rang Muối

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

12 medium head-on shrimps
1/2 onion, cut 1 inch apart
2 green onion, cut into 2-inches length
1 green jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional)
1 T cornstarch
Sea salt, pepper
Vegetable oil

Use scissors to cut off part of the shrimp head, just pass the nose (hard nub above the eyes) and the 5 pairs legs part. Rinse over cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over. Lightly coat the shrimps with the cornstarch.
Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat, deep fry the shrimps until they turn bright orange, turn to cook both side about 1-2 minutes. Remove and drain on papper towels.
Put shrimps into another pan, heat on medium heat, add onion, jalapeno pepper (optional) and green onion in, sprinkle more salt and pepper as you stir (or toss if you wish) the shrimps to coat evenly. Serve hot.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Mắm Nêm

Anchovy Pineapple Sauce

1 small can crushed pineapple
3 T anchovy sauce
2 T fish sauce
5 T water
3 T vinegar
4 T sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red hot chili pepper, minced

Strain anchovy sauce, pressing the solids to extract all the liquid. Discard the solids.
Combine anchovy sauce, fish sauce, water, vinegar, sugar into a sauce pan and bring to boil. Cool off. Add crushed pineapple and put in a blender to blend to a semi-smooth yellow brown sauce. Add garlic and hot chili pepper in.

Đĩa Rau Sống

Vegetable Platter

Vegetable platter includes: fresh lettuce, herbs, unripe fruits, raw vegetables. They are used for wrapping foods at the table and, of course, eaten by hand.
Lettuce: can be red leaf, green leaf, boston, Taiwanese long leaf...
Herbs: can be any combination of mint, perilla, spearmint, Vietnamese coriander leaves, basil ....
Unripe fruits: plantain, star fruit ...
Raw vegetables: cucumber, thinly sliced, fresh bean sprout

If you don't have access to star fruit, you can subtitute with sweet and sour carrot and daikon strips.

How to Moisten Rice Papers

Rice Paper Holders
Use 10-20 rice paper holders, they are sold in pack of 10.

Have a basin of warm water ready. Immerse each sheet into the warm water. Quickly remove and spread out flat on the rice paper holder. The rice paper will become pliable within seconds.

How to roll a rice paper roll

Lay 1 piece of letuce over the top third of the moistened rice paper. Place all other condiments on.

Place grilled fish or meat on top

... and roll up the paper

... into a cylinder.

Fold both sides of the papper over the filling.

Keep rolling the paper into a cylinder to seal.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Cá Nướng Da Giòn

Double-broiled Catfish

1 medium live catfish (4 lbs)
1 T oyster sauce
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1/2 T honey
1/2 T melted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 T vegetable oil, salt, pepper
2 T green onion oil
1 T crisp fried shallot
1 T toasted peanut, crushed

Have the butcher clean you fish and remove all guts and gills. Clean off the black mud by pouring boiling water and scrubbing the fish's skin with the blade of a sharp knife. Clean under running water.
On a flat surface, hold the fish by the head and insert the blade point of a knife into the gill hole (where they cut to remove guts abd gills). Make a cut all the way to the belly along the length of the back bone, close but not into the rib case, run to the tail. Open the fish like a butterfly, skin side up. Make 2-3 slits each side of the fish wing (the filet parts). Rub oil, garlic, salt and pepper evenly on the fish. Put in oven, cover and broil under 500 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Mix oyster sauce + honey + egg + egg white + butter into a bowl. Use a brush to brush the mixture on the fish skin and put back in the broil, wait until dry, continue to brush until a thick golden surface is built. Brush on more butter if needed. Transfer the fish to an ovel dish, top with green onion oil, crisp-fried shallot, and toasted peanut.

Accompaniments for Serving
Vegetable platter
Rice papers
Rice noodles
Anchovy Pineapple Sauce

To eat, take 1 rice paper (on holder) put on your dinner plate, place varieties of vegetables on rice paper, noodles (optional), big chunk of fish with crispy skin. Roll the rice paper up then dip it in the anchovy sauce and eat out of hand.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Đọt Đậu Hoà Lan Xào Tỏi

Stir-fried Snow Pea Sprout with Garlic and Mushroom

1 bag Snow Pea Sprout, washed
3 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T vegetable oil
soy sauce, pepper

In a large pot, heat oil over high heat, add garlic and cook until fragant, add mushrooms and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add Snow Pea Sprout in, cover, stir occationally to cook evenly. Add soy sauce and pepper to taste. Cook until the leaves tender. Serve.

Đậu Hũ Sốt Tôm Cà

Fried Tofu in Tomato Shrimp Sauce

1 block medium firm tofu
10 shrimps, shelled and deveined, coarsely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onion, chopped
4 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1/2 T ketchup
1/2 t sriracha
Vegetable oil, fish sauce, sugar, pepper

Cut tofu into small cubes or any shape that desired. Deep fry until golden crisp. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, heat some oil over medium high heat, add garlic and cook until fragant. Add tomato in, stir to mix well. Cover to cook for a few minutes. Add ketchup, sriracha and some water (if needed). Add shrimp and stir to cook until the shrimp turns pink. Add fish sauce, sugar and pepper to taste. Add green onion and cilantro. Stir to mix evenly. Pour over crisp fried tofu cubes, served.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cải Ngọt Xào Chao

Stir-Fried Cai Ngot in Fermented Tofu Sauce

4 cups chinese flowering cabbage, cut into 3-inches length
1/2 cup of oyster mushroom
4 cubes fermented tofu + 1-2 t sugar, mix well
2 cloves garlic, minced
Vegetable oil, salt, pepper

Cut off the lower part of the stems of oyster mushrooms. Flush out the gill spaces. Gently press with your hand to remove excess liquid, set aside. Soak cai-ngot (chinese flowering cabage) in a sink with few inches of water. Move the leaves around and let them sit to allow sand and dirt to fall to bottom of the sink. Remove and wash throroughly.

In a large pan, heat oil over high heat, add garlic and stir until fragant, add cai-ngot and stir to cook for a few minutes until tender. Add fermented tofu sauce in, mix well, taste, add salt if needed. Tranfer cai-ngot to a serving dish, pour excess sauce from cai ngot into a small cup. Add a little more oil into the pan, some garlic, quick stir-fry oyster mushroom. Add the excess sauce from cai-ngot into the mushroom. It will thicken shorly. Pour the mushrooms on top of cai-ngot. Grind some pepper on top then serve.

Sườn Bò Xào Hành

Boneless Galbi with Onion

1 cup of left over Korean BBQ (beef short rib), bones removed
1/2 onion, cut 1 inch apart
3 green onions, cut into 2-inches length
5-6 dried hot chili pepper (optional)
1/2 T vegetable oil

Heat oil over medium high heat, add onion, stir-fry until edges turn golden, add galbi (and dried hot chili pepper), stir to touch the hot bottom of the pan. Add green onions. Serve with steamed rice.