All posts filed under: Eat

Hến Xúc Bánh Tráng / Baby Clams with Rice Crackers

Hến xúc bánh tráng or sauteed baby clams served with rice crackers is a classic beer accompaniment dish in Vietnam. It is an easy appetizer to make for snacking anytime of the day. The combination of soft baby clams with crunchy rice cracker is addicting. The combination of clams with various herbs provide for a burst of flavor in your mouth. Enjoy this classic dish today. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 4 / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients 1 package of sesame rice paper 2 and 1/2 cups of baby clams (frozen or from a can) 1/2 teaspoon Knorr chicken bouillon seasoning 1 tablespoon of julienne ginger 1/2 cup of rau ram (Vietnamese Coriander) or use Thai basil if coriander is not available 1 Jalapeno pepper 1/4 red bell pepper 1 yellow onion 3 stalks of scallions 1 tablespoon of minced lemongrass 4 cloves of garlic 1/4 cup of unsalted roasted peanuts 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil 1 and 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce 1/4 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon of water or clam …

Healthy Chicken Lo Mein

Chicken lo mein has become an ubiquitous American fast food item like hamburger, as every small town USA seems to have a Chinese takeout restaurant. Along with General Tsao Chicken, the American version of chicken lo mein is not something you will find in China. The US version of this inexpensive meal is not healthy to eat…but it is delicious. My mom came up with this healthier version of the dish loaded with fresh white meat chicken and vegetables. This is chicken lo mein that you will not feel guilty about devouring. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 4 / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 2 chicken breasts 1/2 package of thick egg noodles 2 Portobello mushroom caps 1 tablespoon of minced garlic 1 yellow onion (2 tablespoons of diced onion and 1/2 of an onion in thick slices) 1 tablespoon of minced ginger 5 stalks of scallions cut into 2 inch segments 1 red bell pepper (1 tablespoon of diced red bell pepper and 1/4 of red bell pepper in julienne slices) 4 bok choi pieces 1 …

Restaurant Review: Tim Ho Wan – NYC Location

Tim Ho Wan (“THW”) is a Hong Kong dim sum destination that was awarded a Michelin star in 2010 for its Mongkok (HK) location and aptly named the “cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world”. Earlier this year, THW opened its first US location in Manhattan East Village to a lot of buzz and corresponding crazy lines. One Sunday, my group of six ventured to this NY location to see what the hype was all about. My first impression of dim sum at THW was that it was a tamer and more Americanized experience. The restaurant has only 60 seats in a small space so dim sum carts are not a viable option. For me, the fun part is seeing dim sum carts whizzed around a banquet room tempting  diners to flag them down. At THW, the menu has been stripped down to essential dishes. Getting a table at the restaurant was an experience in itself. We arrived late around 12:00pm assuming that the wait would be 1 to 1.5 hours. The wait turned out …

Bánh Bèo / Steamed Rice Cakes with Shrimp

Bánh bèo is a variety of steamed rice cakes or mini pancakes that originated from Hue, Vietnam. Tiny ceramic plates containing a small amount of a simple rice flour batter are steamed and topped with various savory ingredients such as dried shrimp, mung bean, fried pork, croutons, and scallion oil and then drenched in a salty sweet fish sauce. It is the quintessential group meal as everyone gets a chance to customize their rice cakes with various toppings. It’s not uncommon to see stacks of empty plates piled high on the table. This meal can feed a large crowd with few inexpensive ingredients.  The best part is the conversations with friends and family while waiting for the rice cakes to steam. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 6 / Time: 30 minutes to prepare, 8 minutes to steam each batch of rice cakes Ingredients: 20 jumbo shrimps 4 cups of water 2 and 1/2 cup of Bánh Bèo flour mix (approximately 1 package available online or at any Asian supermarket) 3 tablespoons of tapioca starch 3 cloves of …

Sticky Rice with Baby Red Jackfruit / Xôi Gấc

Xôi gấc or sticky rice with baby red jackfruit is the essence of any holiday feast. The red color comes from the baby jackfruit, a fruit exclusive to southeast Asia, and signifies luck.   The fragrant aroma comes from the seed of the jackfruit and resembles vanilla. This rice dish has become a staple of everyday meal in Vietnam and is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack. In the US, you will often see this xôi gấc at any Vietnamese family gathering as it is inexpensive and easy to make, feeds a large crowd and everyone loves it. Sticky rice can also be made in advance since it is usually served at room temperature. Try this red sticky rice for your next meal. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 6 / Time: 8 hours to soak the rice and 30-45 minutes to cook Ingredients: 3 jars (5.6 oz. jar) of frozen baby red jack fruit pulp with seeds or 2 jars without seeds. (I prefer the jar with seeds. This can be purchased at any …

Easy Fish Noodle Bowl

Noodle bowls are an obsession for the millennial generation. They are healthy, easy and relatively quick to make. Vietnam has many versions of this dish topped with grilled meats, egg rolls, etc. This is our take on the noodle bowl with simple pan fried fish filet that has been quickly marinated with a few herbs and spices. The secret to this dish is the slightly salty, sweet, tangy fish sauce. Make this for your next meal and you will not be disappointed. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 2 / Time: 30 – 45 minutes Ingredients: 3 filet of firm white fish like tilapia or catfish 1/2 teaspoon + 3 tablespoons of fish sauce 3 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 1 teaspoon of minced ginger 1 tablespoon of diced onion 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic 1 whole clove of garlic 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of sugar 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lime juice 1 cup of Coco Rico coconut soda 1 diced …

Vietnamese Banana Cake / Bánh Chuối Nướng

Vietnamese Banana Cake or Bánh Chuối Nướng is a cross between a bread pudding and a spongy cake. One can see the French influences on Vietnamese cuisine with this cake. Add a few spoonful of creamy coconut sauce and you have a delicious desert anytime of the day. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 8 / Time: 2 hours to prepare and 1 hour to cool Ingredients: 10 whole steamed sapa banana (approx. 2 frozen packages found in any Asian supermarket). 8 slices of white bread 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon of melted butter to coat the pan 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch 4 tablespoons of sugar 1 egg 2 cans (14 oz) of coconut milk 2 tablespoons of condensed milk 1 cup of milk 1 tablespoon of white wine or rum 9 inch spring form pan Directions: Cut 4 bananas length wise and cut the remaining 6 bananas into thin round slices. Add the bananas into a large mixing bowl and add …