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 medley 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 …

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 …

Pantry Essentials: The Next Level

Once you have stock your kitchen with the essentials to make Vietnamese food, you should consider taking the pantry to the next level. These are items you may not need every time you make Vietnamese food, but they will come up often enough to consider having them in the pantry. Most of these items should be available at your local Asian markets or on Amazon. 1. Shrimp Paste / Mắm Ruốc Mắm Tôm – This is a pungent fermented shrimp paste made of small shrimps that are dried and fermented with salt and sugar. This is a base for many of the dishes from central Vietnam, especially from Hue. 2. Starches (Potato Starch | Corn Starch | Tapioca Starch) – The different type of starches can be used as thickening agents as well as combined with rice flour for flour based dishes. 3. Tamarind block – The sweet and sour pulp are pressed together into blocks and sold in many supermarkets including Jet.com. They are the basis of sweet and sour dishes, especially canh chua in Vietnam. …

Chè Khoai Môn / Taro with Sweet Rice Pudding

Taro is one of the most versatile root vegetable in Vietnamese cuisine. It is used often in both savory and sweet dishes. One of the more popular rendition of taro is chè khoai môn or taro with sweet rice  pudding. Steamed taro is added to a ginger syrup, mixed with sticky rice pudding and topped with a spoonful of coconut milk. This desert is deceptively simple and is also a wonderful snack or dessert. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 6 / Time: 1 hour Ingredients: 2 cups of sweet rice 4 lb. of taro peeled 1/2 cup of julienne ginger (approximately 1 large ginger root) 2 cups of sugar 1 can of coconut milk 1/2 tablespoon of tapioca powder 1/4 teaspoon of salt     Directions: Peel and cut the taro into fist size segments. Steam the taro for 30 minutes. It will be easier to cut the taro into smaller cubes once the taro is cooked. Once the taro is cooked, cut them into 1 inch cubes. Heat a pot with 6 cups of water …

Five Spice Roasted Quail / Chim Cút Rôti

Chim Cút Rôti or Five Spice Roasted Quail is a common appetizer in many Vietnamese restaurants. Quails are marinated for at least a few hours, then pan fried and covered in a sticky sweet and salty sauce. This is not a dish for date night as you will end up using your fingers to eat the quails. However, the mess is worth it for this finger licking treat. Difficulty: Easy / Serving: 4 / Time: at least 3 hours to marinate and 30 minutes to cook Ingredients 6 quails (You can find frozen quails at the Asian supermarket.) 1/4 teaspoon of Five Spice seasoning 1 tablespoon diced onion 2 and 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic 1-2 cloves of garlic 1 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder 6 tablespoons of coco rico soda 3 tablespoons soy sauce or Knorr liquid seasoning 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 and 1/2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon of annatto oil (optional) A few stalks of cilantro (garnish) …

Sautéed Cabbage with Shrimps

An easy dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare is sweet cabbage sauteed with jumbo shrimps. This dish is served with a side of rice for a satisfying and healthy meal. Difficulty: Easy / Serving: 4 / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 10 jumbo shrimps 2 lb. of cabbage 6 tablespoons of diced yellow onion 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper 1/2 + 1/4 teaspoon of sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth 3 stalks of scallions Vegetable oil Directions: Cut the cabbage leaves into 2 inch squares. Dice 1 whole onion. Cut 3 stalks of scallion into 2 inch segments. Remove the shell while keeping the tail  and remove the veins from the shrimps. Butterfly the shrimps without cutting completely through it. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the cabbage leaves until they soften. Season the shrimps with 2 tablespoons of dice onion, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder, 1/4 teaspoon …