All posts tagged: Food

Lemongrass Shrimp Noodle Bowl

More than ever, we are cooking our meals at home. Vietnamese noodle bowls make for an easy, quick and healthy lunch or dinner. This version has grilled shrimps marinated with lemongrass and fish sauce. This recipe is easy to make ahead and requires whatever vegetable that you have on hand to complete the dish. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 4 / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 1 pound of jumbo shrimps (deveined and without shell) 2 and 1/2 tablespoons garlic 3 tablespoons minced lemongrass (If you don’t have lemongrass, you can still marinate the shrimps with the remaining ingredients. It won’t be as fragrant, but it will still be tasty. Squeeze some lime juice onto the shrimp before eating to mimic the refreshing citrus notes of lemongrass.) 2 tablespoons of diced onion 3 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon +3 tablespoons of fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce 1 cup of Coco Rico soda (coconut soda) – (This is for the vinaigrette sauce. If you do not have coconut soda, I …

Mom’s Superghetti / Easy Spaghetti with Sausage and Meat Sauce

One of the first American dish that my mom made after emigrating to the US from Vietnam was spaghetti. Since we didn’t know English, spaghetti sounded like superghetti and that’s what we have called this Vietnamese fusion pasta since then. My mom’s version of spaghetti has a lot of depth with traditional Vietnamese flavors, which takes this simple Italian American dish up a notch. It’s slightly savory, slightly sweet and filled with umami that makes it hard to just eat one serving. Serving Size: 6 servings / Difficulty: Easy / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 4 sausages of your choice 1 to 1.5 pounds of ground beef 1 jar (28 oz) of marinara sauce 2 cups of low sodium chicken stock 1 package (16 oz) of thin spaghetti or pasta of your choice 4 stalks of celery for about 1 and 1/2 cup diced celery. Peel the outer layer. 1/4 teaspoon of salt 2 tablespoons of sugar 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper 1 tablespoon of fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil Yellow onion 3 …

Coffee and Coconut Jelly Cake

Jelly cake was very popular in Vietnam in the 1990’s. It required few ingredients and is inexpensive to make. I remembered creating gelatin in rainbow colors with my mom growing up and pouring it into fun molds to create visually stunning cakes. This is our equivalent of Jello and is also a very refreshing dessert for those warmer days. Serving: Makes a 4-inch and 6-inch cake Difficulty: Easy Ingredients: 1 cup of sugar 4 tablespoons of Vietnamese instant coffee with creamer and sugar mix (If you do not have Vietnamese coffee mix, just use any instant coffee with cream and sugar mix.) 1 can of coconut milk 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon or 10 grams of agar agar gelatin powder (The Vietnamese agar agar gelatin brand that we used is platinum strength. You can buy it at any Asian supermarket.) If you have regular gelatin, the ratio should still be the same. 6 cups of water Equipment: Any mold that you would like to use. I used a 4-inch and 6-inch cake pan for this …

No-Knead Artisan Bread with Dutch Oven

As I dive deeper into my quarantine bread baking journey, I became fascinated with different baking and kneading techniques with essentially the same four ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt. The variety of bread is endless. As much as I love making French baguettes from scratch, it can be a process. Using the same four ingredients with a 75% target dough hydration, I tested different proofing time and folding techniques that I learned from my research. I came up with my new favorite rustic bread recipe. It’s so effortless and only requires some patience for the yeast to do its magic. This will be your go-to recipe for a weekday bread…it’s just too easy not to try. This recipe makes 1 large round boule. Ingredients: I didn’t provide measurements in cups as I found that you need to be precise with breadmaking to have the best result. You can buy a good digital baking scale for less than $15 on amazon. 450 grams of bread flour 340 milliliters of lukewarm water 1 teaspoon of salt …

Quick Caramelized Chicken

My niece’s favorite meal, whenever grandma comes around, is this caramelized chicken dish with rice. It comprises of classic Vietnamese salty and sweet flavors with tender moist chicken and crispy skin. It’s a flavor bomb and it never lasts long in this household. This is a very simple dish, which makes it a perfect weeknight meal. Ingredients: 6 drumsticks or other cuts of chicken that you prefer 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of cane sugar (You can substitute with white sugar if it’s not available. Cane sugar gives a nicer caramelized color to this dish.) 1/4 teaspoon of salt 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder 1 tablespoon of water 3 tablespoons of coconut soda 2 teaspoons of fish sauce 1 tablespoon of diced onion and thick slices of 1/4 of an onion to garnish 2 tablespoons of minced garlic A few Thai chilis (optional)   Directions: Prepare the drumsticks by removing the main bone, while leaving the end piece intact. You can also skip this step and opt for boneless …

Bánh Tiêu Mật Ong/ Honey Glazed Sesame Hollow Donuts

Bánh tiêu is essentially the Vietnamese version of fried dough or donut. One can find them sold throughout any town from street vendors. These donuts differ from American donuts due to bánh tiêu having a hollow center. This creates a light and fluffy donut with a chewy texture, which also has a light crunch from the sesame seeds. To take this traditional hollow donut up a notch, I incorporated honey into the batter and also applied a light honey glaze. This version of bánh tiêu has just the right amount of sweetness that my family cannot get enough of.  This recipe makes 12 donuts and takes about 2 hours with proofing time. Ingredients: 2 and 3/4 cup of bread flour / 400 gram 1/2 cup of water 1/2 cup of 1% low-fat milk 3 tablespoons of sugar 1 and 1/4 teaspoon of salt 1 packet of vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 teaspoon of instant yeast 1 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 cup of sesame seeds 2 tablespoons of honey Honey glaze …

Chè Nhãn Hạt Sen / Longan and Lotus Seed Summer Pudding

Summer in Vietnam can be brutal with the average temperature hitting in the high 80F’s and with the suffocating humidity, it can feel like it’s 100F degrees. I remembered taking two to three showers a day when I was visiting my family in July. As a result, locals turn to refreshing food and drinks such as longan and lotus seed summer pudding served with a generous scoop of ice in order to keep cool. This chè comprises of sweet longan, crunchy lotus seeds, and other ingredients that are also common Chinese herbal medicine known to have cooling properties. Don’t worry…this dessert will not taste like medicine but it does help keep your body from melting during a hot summer day. Ingredients: 1 cup of dried lotus seeds 1/2 cup of dried logan meat (You can substitute with dried lychee.) 8 dried red dates (red jujube) 12 dried black dates (dried Ziziphus jujuba mill) 1 cup of rock sugar. 1/4 teaspoon of salt 5 cups of water Directions: Soak all the dry ingredients for 1 hour …

Honey Milk Bread

Ever since my first trip to Japan years ago, I have been obsessed with fluffy white bread that is drastically tastier than the US version. I could only find this at good Asian bakeries like Tous Le Jour. Due to the pandemic, milk bread was hard to come by. I scoured Youtube and blogs to find the perfect recipe and after a few trials and errors, I finally modified one that works for me. This recipe is based on Aimee’s Cooking’s dinner rolls, where I adjusted the sugar and honey ratio and used a different bread formation. The differences make the honey flavor more pronounced and the bread less sugary tasting. The loaf method compared to the dinner roll method also gives the bread more structure while retaining the fluffiness.  I hope you like this as much as my family. This recipe is for one bread using an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2” loaf pan. It’s medium in difficulty and takes around 2.5 hours including a lot of waiting time. Ingredients: 3/4 cup of milk …

Refreshing Summer Slaw

I randomly created this refreshing and crunchy slaw during our quarantine when we ran out of everything else. The key ingredients are Asian pear, apple and crab sticks. The family devoured it and kept asking for more.  Furthermore, I also found that it keeps very well in the fridge and tastes better the longer it marinates.  This slaw goes well as salad for a meal or a side dish to your next BBQ. This recipe is rated easy and serves 2 as a main dish. Ingredients: 1/2 ripened avocado (cubed) 1 green apple 1/2 English cucumber 1 Asian pear 2 scallion finely chopped 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic 6 crab sticks shredded 1/3 tsp of sugar 1 and 1/2 tbsp of Kewpie mayo (regular mayo will work, but you will not get the tangy-sweet taste that you will get with Japanese mayo) 1/4 tsp of salt 1/4 tsp of pepper Direction: Julienne the apples, Asian pears, and English cucumbers into matchsticks and place into a large bowl. Finely dice 2 scallions (discard the white ends) …

3 “Days” of Gluttony in Osaka, Japan

Osaka has been a YouTube sensation over the past few years due to its reputation as a street food haven. The city has been overshadowed by Tokyo and Kyoto for the last decade and is now finally coming into its own. On my recent trip to Japan, I made it a point to include this foodie destination on my itinerary and the city did not disappoint. I had limited time since it was only three full days, so my trip was packed with eating and some sight-seeing. This is my foodie adventure in the kitchen of Japan. Day 1: Dotonbori I had underestimated how long it would take for me to travel from Bangkok, so by the time I arrived at my hotel, it was already 7pm. Since I only had three full “days” in Osaka, every minute counted. I quickly made my way to Dotonbori, the heart of Osaka’s entertainment district, which reminded me of New York’s Times Square with its bright neon signs and throngs of tourists. I quickly searched for Mizuno, the …