All posts filed under: seafood

Shrimp and Daikon Radish Soup

In my family, a typical dinner often includes some sort of vegetable soup. Vietnamese cuisine veers toward numerous vegetable and herbs.  Soup broths are typically made of bones, meat, seafood or vegetables.  The bones based broths are for the long simmered noodles soups such as pho, hu tieu, and bun.  The meat, seafood or vegetables are typically the basis for everyday home cooking.  My mom would make this shrimp and daikon radish soup very quickly. We would have a nutritious and healthy dinner in no time.  You can use this shrimp based broth with different types of vegetables. Ingredients: ½ lb of shrimp 1 large daikon radish 1-2 stalk of scallion 1 teaspoon of fish sauce 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon powder ½ teaspoon of sugar ⅛ teaspoon of salt ⅛ teaspoon of pepper ¼ of a yellow onion, thinly sliced ½ teaspoon of chili powder (I use the Korean version as the chili is sweeter and the heat is not as intense as others.  The goal is to add color and depth to the soup.) Directions: Remove the …

Gỏi tôm thịt / Summer Salad with Shrimp and Pork

Gỏi tôm thịt or a traditional Vietnamese summer salad with boiled shrimp and pork is a staple at my family’s parties.  Whenever there is a BBQ, you can guarantee some type of salad will be served and it  is usually gỏi tôm thịt.  It is not hard to see why this dish is popular in the summer.  It is refreshing with numerous vegetables in a sweet and sour vinaigrette.  My mom has many tricks to make this version even more flavorable.  It is all about the preparation method and making sure you mix all the ingredients well without over mixing.  I like to mix this gỏi by hand to ensure the vegetables are not bruised.  This recipe serves about 4 people and is rated easy. Ingredients ½ lb of pork shoulder (you can also substitute with pork ear which has a chewier and firmer texture) 12 large tiger shrimp with the shell on (approx. 1 lb of tiger shrimp) 1 large carrot 1 large cucumber 1/2 cup of Thai Basil ¼ cup of Vietnamese coriander 3 cloves …

Phu Quoc’s Razor Clams in a Tamarind Sauce

Another fantastic dish that takes me back to the beach is razor clams sauteed in tamarind sauce.  This dish is sweet, sour and just finger licking good.  We used razor clams for this dish but you can use any large shellfish. The trick is to get a type of shellfish where the shell will hold the sauce.  For every bite, you get both the sauce and the meat.  You first saw this dish in our Weekend Unexplored: Phu Quoc’s post. Today we will recreate that dish for you. This dish serves two people and is rated easy. Ingredients Protein: A dozen clams of your choice Sauce: ½ cup of wet tamarind paste (tamarind paste is usually sold in blocks at any Asian supermarket.) ½ cup of rough chopped Thai basil, culantro, cilantro mix (reserve some for garnishing) 4 red whole chili peppers for flavor (leave them whole as the seeds will increase the spiciness level) 3 cloves of garlic minced ½ cup of can pineapple chunks ½ cup of water 3 tablespoon of pineapple syrup juice …

Mì Quảng / Quảng Nam Style Noodles for the summer

Vietnam is famous for its noodles soups: pho, bun and many others.  When it is hot, it is hard to work up an appetite to eat a steaming bowl of noodle soup.  Lucky for us, Vietnam also has “dry” noodle dishes which are basically noodles topped with fresh vegetables and various protein and covered in a broth to wet the noodles. One of this dishes is called  Mì Quảng noodles. It is very popular in central Vietnamese cities like Da Nang.  I spent a few years living with my grandmother in Da Nang. My extended family still resides in the city.  This is my mother’s recipe for quick and easy Mì Quảng. It is an easy dish to prepare for the summer. This recipe serves 4 people and is rated medium in difficulty.  This recipe takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes depending on how fast you prepare the ingredients. Ingredients: 2 lb of pork belly 1.5 lb of shrimp with head 1 bunch of scallions 1 red romaine lettuce 1-2 cup of Mint 1-2 cup …

Phu Quoc’s Grilled Shellfish with Herbs and Crushed Peanuts

Vietnam is surrounded by seas and filled with rivers bringing with it an abundance of freshwater and saltwater seafood.  Last week, Thai-Anh took you on her weekend in Phu Quoc where seafood is cooked in its most simplistic form to highlight the freshness and taste of the sea. One of the easiest dishes to make that she had while staying in Phu Quoc was grilled clams with herbs.  Like most Vietnamese cuisine, this simple dish has a melodic combination of herbs, crunchiness and of course, chewy clams.  Here is our recreation of this classic and very easy dish from Phu Quoc. Ingredients   Shellfish: 2 pounds  of any type of large shellfish (clams and oysters).  Use the larger variety if you are putting them directly on the grill. Toppings: 1 cup of culantro finely chopped (Culantro has long, serrated leaves and is used often in Caribbean, Mexican and Asian cooking.) 1 cup of cilantro finely chopped 1 cup of Thai basil finely chopped (i.e. Asian basil. It is a variety of sweet basil commonly used …

Canh Chua (Countryside Sweet and Sour Soup)

In last week’s Eat post, we made ca kho to or catfish braised in a clay pot.  This week we will explore a companion dish called canh chua ca.  This is a wonderful complex, yet simple soup.  Vietnamese soup is a meal in itself and is usually eaten with rice and shared family style.  This soup is traditionally made with the head and tail of a catfish or whatever fish that the family is eating that day.  You can substitute the protein with shrimp, salmon or any other type of fish or seafood that you would like to eat. There are two ingredients (bạc hà and rau om) that may be hard to find if there is not an Asian supermarket nearby or if it’s out of season.  Bạc hà is the porous stem of a type of taro plant’s leaves with a sponge like texture when cooked.  You can usually find it shrink wrapped in a styrofoam tray at your asian supermarket in the summer.  Due to bạc hà’s porous stem, the stem soaks …

Ca Kho To (Fish Braised with Caramel Sauce in a Clay Pot)

My all time favorite meal in the countryside of Vietnam, especially around the Mekong Delta, is the braised catfish in a sweet, salty and slightly sticky sauce cooked in a clay pot.  Whenever I think of my favorite home cooking in Vietnam, I dream of ca kho to (catfish braised in a clay pot) and canh chua (sweet and sour soup).  They are traditionally paired together as most family would buy one fish for dinner. They would use the filets for the ca kho to and the head and tail parts for the canh chua.  The sweet and sour soup complement the salty and sweet catfish nicely. In this recipe, we will make the traditional ca kho to in a clay pot with cat fish. If you don’t have a claypot, any heavy pot will work fine.  You can also use any fresh water fish instead of catfish and many restaurants also use salmon filet.  If your local grocery store does not have catfish, you can substitute with catfish nuggets.  For me, nothing beats the …

Traditional Fish Cake and the Burger

It seems that every culture has a form of fried fish cake. My mom used to make a patty of fish paste and other ingredients while I was growing up. She would then fry it up and served it over vermicelli noodles and fresh herbs. In the Vietnamese culinary tradition, this simple fish cake appears in numerous recipes including bun cha ca (fried fish cake vermicelli soup), summer rolls or sandwiches. I decided to take this fish cake to a whole new level: the American burger. Placing a fried fish patty on a soft brioche bun and a variety of other herbs/condiments will result in a mouth watering treat. Traditional Fish Cake Ingredients: Approximately 1 lb fillet of a firm fish like snapper ½ teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon of sugar 1 teaspoon of pepper ½ teaspoon of fish sauce 2 teaspoon of cornstarch ½ teaspoon of baking powder garlic 2 stalks of green onions (use only the bottom white portion) Directions: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and blend until a paste …