All posts tagged: Sauce series

Vietnamese BBQ: Lemongrass Marinade and the Chicken Skewers

Every culture has some form of street food.  The United States has hot dogs and pretzels.  Vietnam has a whole culinary dictionary of street delights.  One of the most common snack is meat skewer marinated in fragrant lemongrass and fish sauce grilled over these tiny aluminum boxes filled with flaming coals on a hidden alley somewhere.  These grilled skewers became a staple of Vietnamese restaurants in the US and worldwide.  Every family has a marinade recipe of the same ingredients but in different proportions. This is our family’s recipe that we serve at the restaurants and at home over the years. The trick to this recipe is to marinate the meat overnight.  We tried it with just ½ an hour and it was still delicious.  I highly suggest marinating these overnight and even leaving them in the freezer during the week until you are ready to consume them. We grilled these chicken skewers over a traditional Vietnamese charcoal box, but you can easily do this on any grill or on the stove.  The combination of …

Sauce Series: Caramel for Braising Food

One popular way to cook Vietnamese food is to braise meat and fish in a caramel sauce.  You get that sweet, slightly bitter, and salty mixture with the protein of your choice. My all time favorite meal in the countryside of Vietnam, especially around the Mekong Delta, is catfish braised with the caramel sauce in a claypot.  It does take some time to master this caramel sauce but it will last in your fridge for a while. Getting this caramel sauce right takes a few tries.  There is a crucial period when the melted sugar foams and turns into a dark coffee color. The caramelization process stops when water is added.  I had a few incidents where I waited for just a few seconds too long and was left with either burnt caramel or caramel splattering all over the stove.  Be cautious when you are attempting to make this sauce for the first time.  Once you master this sauce, the possibilities are endless. This recipe makes about 8 oz of caramel and has a medium …

Sauce Series: Peanut Dipping Sauce

For those who have tried the famous summer rolls (rice paper wrapped with boiled shrimp, rice noodles, and herbs), you may have dipped them into a peanut sauce.  Many people assumed that the peanut sauce is just hoisin sauce mixed with peanut butter. That’s the short cut way of making a decent dipping sauce but it really lacks the depth that you would get from a restaurant’s peanut sauce. With Henry (Eat collaborator), we made the home version of the restaurant’s peanut sauce. This does take some time to make but will last in your fridge for 2-3 weeks.  You can use it as a sauce for an easy dinner of spring rolls or toss it with noodles and vegetables for a quick noodle salad bowl.  You can even have a summer rolls party where guests can assemble their own version to their taste. Ingredients: 2 tbs split mung bean (you may need to find this at an Asian grocer) 2 tbs sweet rice (this is glutenous rice and very different from plain jasmine rice) …

Sauce Series: Easy Vietnamese Vinaigrette and The Lazy Girl Vermicelli and Deli Chicken Salad

This is the first post in a series of recipes for Vietnamese, American, and fusion international cuisines inspired by our upbringing.  I hope that through this food series, my fellow bloggers and I can demystify the traditional and more exotic cuisine of Vietnam and our interpretation of it today.  I grew up in a family of amazing home chefs and professional chefs.  Vietnamese food can be as complicated and easy as you make it.  Whenever I see my various family members cook, it is always about the innate taste that comes with years of experience and never any real measurement.  I hope to create recipes that many people can find accessible and easy to follow to recreate that innate taste. Vietnamese vinaigrette is a deceptively simple and complex dressing.  This is our equivalent to the balsamic vinaigrette that most people have come to know.  The sauce is tangy, sweet, and salty at the same time, bordering on the sweet and tangy.  This is a great sauce to have in your pocket whenever you need to …