All posts tagged: vietnamese

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 …

Viet-Cajun Butter Sauce for Seafood

Like all good recipes, I accidentally created this addicting crack sauce (per my foodie family) when I was experimenting with new toppings to take steamed seafood up a notch. In the summer, our family likes to have a variety of crustacean and shellfish. Viet-Cajun style butter sauce has been popular for seafood boil starting in the southern region of the US for a few years now. This sauce is not for the faint of heart…literally, as it comprises of melted butter and a lot of different seasoning. This sauce will make you the star at your next seafood feast. This sauce serves up to 8. You can always freeze the leftovers. Ingredients: 1 large orange 1 large lemon 4 sticks of salted butter 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of fish sauce 1/4 cup + 1/2 tablespoon of sugar 6 tablespoons of minced garlic 1/2 tablespoon of cajun boil seasoning like Zatarain’s 1 tablespoon of lemon pepper powder 1 tablespoon of paprika 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon of onion powder 4 Thai Kaffir lime …

Nước Sâm / Vietnamese Herbal Ice Tea

Vietnamese herbal tea is usually served with ice, which makes it a refreshing drink in the middle of a hot and humid summer day. This drink is inspired by Chinese medicine with a focus on ingredients that have “cooling” properties. There are many variations and the one that we are sharing includes artichokes. Don’t be put off by the scary ingredient list as they are easy to find at any Asian grocery store or online. Ingredients: 1 gallon or 3.75 litres of water 2 artichokes cut into quarters 1 pack (6 oz.) of dried longan 1 cup of dried dates 1 cup of dried chrysanthemum flowers 2 pieces of sanh dia (dried Rehmannia glutinosa) 1 tablespoon of rock sugar or regular sugar (adjust to taste). Rock sugar is less sweet and has a clearer taste than regular sugar so it doesn’t overwhelm the light drink.   Directions: Soak the artichoke in cold water and rinse thoroughly to remove any sediment. Quickly rinse the dried ingredients to remove any impurities. Boil all the ingredients in a …

Bánh Khọt  – Vietnamese Mini Rice Pancakes

Bánh Khọt is a very popular snack originating in the central region of Vietnam. The dish is made of miniature rice pancakes topped with shrimp and eaten with herbs and vegetables and a spicy sweet fish sauce. Street vendors usually hawk this savory treat with their sizzling griddle beckoning all to try them. The perfect bánh khọt is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Even though it is a fried dish, this snack can be semi-healthy with the amount of vegetables and herbs that are usually eaten in each lettuce wrap. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 4 people / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 1 to 1.5 pound of large shrimp (depending on the size). You can also substitute shrimp with mushrooms or ground meat. 1 and 1/2 cup Bánh Khọt  mix (rice flour, corn starch, wheat flour) 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder 1/2 cup corn starch 1/2 cup of coconut milk 2 cups + 3 tablespoons of water 1 tablespoon of fish sauce 1/4 teaspoon of sugar 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice 1 …

Vietnamese Grilled Chili Bread / Bánh Mì Nướng Muối Ớt

Vietnamese street food has been gaining popularity over the past few years. The combination of influences from western foodie culture and flavors from its Asian neighbors created an interesting variety of new offerings. Vietnamese grilled chili bread or bánh mì nướng muối ớt is a fusion dish that is made for gatherings. This snack is highly customizable and elevates a few inexpensive ingredients to the next level. This is our version of this popular street snack. Ingredients: 2 loaves of bread such as Portuguese roll or similar type of bread that has a  nice crust with a light and soft inside. 1 tablespoon of chili paste such as Sambal Oelek Chili Paste 1 tablespoon of Sriracha (and more to garnish at the end) 1 tablespoon of regular mayonnaise or Kewpie mayonnaise 1 tablespoon of butter 2 stalks of scallion 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon of sugar 1 tablespoon of garlic (approximately 3 cloves) Handful of fried shallots Sprinkle of ground black pepper Meat Toppings: 1/4 pound of Chinese BBQ pork or any other meat toppings like …

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 …

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 …

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) …

Salmon Braised in Tomato Sauce / Salmon Sốt Cà Chua

An easy week night meal that my mom usually makes at least a few times a month is salmon braised in tomato sauce or salmon sốt cà chua. Salmon filet is pan fried to form a golden crust and then is braised in a simple tomato garlic sauce for a a few minutes. This dish is served simply with rice. It is a quick, healthy and easy dish to make for dinner. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 2 people / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 1 large salmon filet with skin 4 ripe tomatoes 1 tablespoon of fish sauce 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon powder 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth 2 tablespoons of diced yellow onion 9 cloves of garlic (5 cloves of smashed garlic and 4 cloves of minced garlic) Sea salt Ground pepper Sugar Canola oil or any oil (not olive oil since it has a low heat point and will burn) Directions: Rub the salmon on both side with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Rinse the salmon with water and wipe dry …