Vietnamese Food

Cuisine culture in Vietnam

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This website collect all information professionals about: Vietnamese food, vietnamese food recipes, vietnamese food Culture, pho soup, beef, rice noodles, seafood ....It is very important and useful if you want to have a tour in vietnam. And that is not bad idea for your taste.
Someone asked me the other day what my favorite food was..."Vietnamese!" I quickly replied, "At least for the moment."

About Viet Nam...

Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea, referred to as East Sea (Vietnamese: Biển Đông), to the east. With a population of over 86 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world.

Green Beans Frittata

Green Beans Frittata

1 cup green beans, thinly diced
2-3 eggs
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T vegetable oil
fish sauce, sugar, pepper to taste

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Pork's Trotter Chees

It's usually made around Tet (New Year Festival) when the weather is cold, back then we didn't have refrigerator so the weather would help the mixture set.

1 lb pork's trotter or ham hock(fresh)
6 wooden ear mushrooms
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

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Jicama Beef Stir-Fry

Jicama Beef Stir-Fry

What to do with jicama? If you are familiar with water chestnuts, this has similar texture – crunchy and a bit sweet. I some time will substitute this for bean sprouts in recipes such as eggrolls.

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Pork Trotter Stew with Green Papaya

Pork Trotter Stew with Green Papaya KikiTran


1 front pork trotter and hock, about 6 slices
1 medium green papaya
salt and pepper to taste

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Fish Cake Noodle Soup

Fish Cake Noodle Soup

1 lb fish paste
1/4 lb shrimp paste
2 eggs
4 bamboo shoots (small)
3 tomatoes
1/2 pineapple
3 lbs pork neck bones
2 blue crabs or 1 fish head
1 bunch water dropwort (rau cần nước)
1 T red hot chili oil
Garlic, shallot, green onion, cilantro
Vegetable oil, salt, pepper, fish sauce, sugar

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Grilled shrimp paste-a whole ocean in one bit!

Grilled shrimp paste, which has been roughly translated in Vietnamese as chao tom, was originally created by the ingenious cooks for the imperial kitchen in Hue. Walking along some streets and stopping at one grilled shrimp paste vendor in Hue, Hanoi or Saigon will give you the chance for tasting that dish with unforgettable flavor!

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Cha ca La Vong (grilled minced fish)

Hanoi now has several stores selling Cha ca La Vong, but none of them can be equal to the Cha Ca Road’s in terms of quality and flavor. As a popular dish, La Vong grilled fish pie is indeed a remarkable culinary invention.

The long history…

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Hue beef noodle – the typical culinary art of Hue!

In Hue city, the former citadel of Vietnam, it doesn't take you a lot of money to dine like a King!

Hue beef noodle takes its origin from the Royal Hue City of Central Vietnam. The broth is from cooking beef bones for a long period of time as well as a variety of different spices including lemongrass.

How does it taste? Well, having a bowl of Hue beef noodle, you will easily recognize that it is completely different from Pho since the former’s beef broth is much more spicy.

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Fish Sauce – a famous Vietnamese condiment

When having most Vietnamese food, “nuoc mam” or Fish Sauce is the indispensable spice of much deliciousness.

Whoever coming to Vietnam and most Southeast Asian countries (such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia) is much fond of a special condiment - Fish sauce (or nuoc mam in Vietnamese). It is a staple ingredient of numerous food like curry and sauces, and is derived from fish that is allowed to ferment.

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Ginger Chicken (Ga kho voi gung)

Ginger Chicken

For this recipe, I’m using chicken with bone since it is more flavorful. You can use a cleaver to cut the chicken into bite-sized portion of chicken. The back of the chicken can be set aside for making soup or broth later.

Boneless chicken breasts can be used for this recipe. If so, you would need to use 2 tbsp of olive oil to stir-fry the chicken.

Tip: If you would like this dish to have a sauce, rinse the food-processing bowl that you used to chopped the ginger mixture with ½ cup water and then add it to the last step (ginger mixture and fish sauce addition).

Ginger Chicken (Ga kho voi gung)

(Serves 4)

* 3 oz ginger root, peeled
* 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
* 1 red chili pepper
* 1 whole chicken (chopped into bite size pieces, leave out back)
* 1 tsp kosher salt
* ½ tsp crushed black pepper
* 4 tbsp fish sauce

1. In a food processor, grind the peeled ginger root, peeled garlic and whole chili pepper for 1-2 minutes until finely chopped. Set aside.

2. Heat a frying pan on medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Divide the chicken into two batches. Fry the first batch until both sides of the pieces of chicken are golden brown, not necessarily cooked through. Set aside. Then, fry the second batch of chicken the same way. Return the first batch of chicken back into the pan.

3. Stir the chopped ginger mixture into the pan with the chicken. Add the fish sauce. Continue to stir-fry on medium-low heat for another 5-7 minutes to release the ginger and garlic flavor.

4. Serve with rice.

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Shrimp Worm Noodle

Shrimp Worm Noodle

2 lbs shrimp in shells
6 blue crabs
1/2 lb pork paste (giò sống)
3 quarts homemade chicken stock
2 shallots, minced
2 T hot chili oil
1 T vegetable oil
3 scallions, chopped (separate white heads)
10 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
1 small piece of rock sugar
fish sauce, salt, pepper to taste
10 oz medium rice vermicelli

Add chicken stock in a large soup pot, bring to boil over high heat.
Blue crabs: Detach the shell from the body, scoop out the butter into a bowl. Remove and discard the apron and gills. Add crabs into the soup pot. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Lower heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Shell and devain shrimp, sprinkle salt over and let stand for 15 minutes, rinse and dry. Put shrimp, scallion (white heads), salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until the paste is fine and sticky. Add pork paste, mix well. Oil your fingers and make the shrimp worms out of the paste.

Add shrimp worms into the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes until the worms turn pink and float to the top. Add fish sauce, rock sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

In a small pan, add oil and fry shallot until fragrant, add crab butter in, stir well, add hot chili oil and cook for 2 minutes. Add this chili crab butter oil into the soup pot. Turn off heat.

Put rice vermicelli in boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let it sit for 2 more minutes. Rinse over water.

To serve: distribute salad greens, herbs, water spinach, banana blossom, bean sprouts into large bowl, noodle on top, ladle the hot broth amd shrimp worms over. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallion (green part). Add some fresh squeezed lime juice if preferred.

Vegetable platter
2 cups chopped green salad
1 cup herbs (perilla, spearmint)
1 cup bean sprounts, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded banana blossom
2 cups shredded water spinach
lime wedges, hot chili pepper

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Cao lau Hoi An (Hoi An vermicelli)

Visitors to Hoi An never forget Cao Lau (vermicelli), the special Hoi An and Quang Nam special symbol

Cao Lau is the foremost traditional Hoi An food. Visitors to Hoi An always remember Cao Lau, which was considered by Quang Nam people as a special symbol for Hoi An.

Cao lau noodles are carefully made from local new sticky rice. Water used to soak rice must be taken from wells in the Ba Le Village; noodles thus will be soft, enduring and flavored with special sweet-smelling.
On the Cao Lau noodles were some meat slices mixed with fat made from fried noodles served with vegetables and bean sprouts. Sharp-witted eaters would find out the specific flavor of the dish.

Dry pancakes used as ingredient must be thick with much sesame on the surface. Greasy coconut quintessence and bitter green cabbage are also indispensable. The so-called genuine Cao lau Hoi An must satisfy all above requirements.

It was said that only some wells in Hoi An were used to make Cao Lau noodles. What is more, only some Hoi An families were able to produce Cao Lau by their own traditional way, but the quality was not as good as it was before.
Cao Lau did not have Vietnamese flavor. Despite its Chinese-like appearance, no Chinese accepted it as Chinese food. Until now, the origin of Cao Lau still remains in mystery.


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Com hen song Huong (Perfume River mussel cooked rice)

“Com hen Song Huong” is a dish served at room temperature, made with mussels and leftover rice. It is a complicated recipe that includes sweet, buttery, salty, sour, bitter and spicy flavors.

Com hen Song Huong (or Com hen in short) is the very simple and low-priced specialty of Hue, the ancient citadel of Vietnam. Accordingly, the way of serving this special kind of food is of great ancience, simplicity and deliciousness.

Com hen has a sweet-smelling flavor of rice, onion, and grease, as well as strange tastes of sweet, buttery, salty, sour, bitter, and peppery-hot. You have to arrive to Hen river-islet in the Perfume River to have the original Com hen. However, you can find out the dish on some streets in Hue City. It requires 15 different raw materials to prepare for the dish, including mussel, fried grease, watery grease, peanuts, white sesames, dry pancake, salted shredded meat, chilly sauce, banana flower, banana trunk, sour carambola, spice vegetables, peppermint, salad, etc.

Com hen is always attractive to many customers since it is tasty and, at the same time, economical to anybody.

What makes this simple kind of food popular is revealed in the great endeavor to adopt and process its main ingredient – mussel. Mussels are sea species, which must be dipped in water for a long while before being processed. Accordingly, people often say that com hen somehow expresses the strenuous work of the maker.

Where to find it? Very easy as it is popular everywhere in Hue and these days, elsewhere in Hue restaurants in Vietnam. More favorably, it is a low-priced specialy, thus you could eat it in luxurious restaurants in Hue or even in vendoring mobile shops on the streets.

“Visiting Hue could not miss Com hen, or else you have not come to Hue ever!” is the most common remark of visitors elsewhere to Hue. So, please come and enjoy it yourself!

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"Banh Chung" - the soul of Vietnamese New Year!

"Banh Chung" (Chung cake) is a traditional and irreplaceable cake of Vietnamese people in the Tet Holidays and King Hung’s anniversary (10th March Lunar). For the Vietnamese, making "Banh Chung" is the ideal way to express gratitude to their ancestors and homeland.

The legend of " Banh Chung"

Chung cake was invented by the 18th Prince of Hung Emperor in the contest of looking for new Emperor. According to the legend, 3,000-4,000 years ago, Prince Lang Lieu, made round and square cakes, the round Day cake symbolizing the sky and the square Chung cake symbolizing the Earth (under the ancient Vietnamese perception), to be offered on the occasion of Spring.

In the ancient conception, the Earth is square, hence Chung cake's shape is square, too, to reflect the Earth shape. Since the cakes he offered were of special meaning and delicious taste, Lang Lieu was selected to be the next Emperor. Since then, in honor of this 18th Prince, Vietnamese people always make and have Chung cake in the Lunar New Year. Up to now, Chung cake has become the most famous and irreplaceable traditional Vietnamese food in Tet Holiday. This legend aims to remind the next generations of the ancient tradition as well as the primary of Chung cake. Besides, it emphasizes the important role of rice and nature in water rice culture.

How to make a "Banh Chung"?

In contrast to the fast food in modern life, the process of making Chung cake is time-consuming and requires the contribution of several people. Main ingredients are glutinous rice, pork meat, and green beans wrapped in a square of bamboo leaves that will give the rice a green color after boiling. The
sticky rice must be very good and was soaked in water in the previous day. Rice cake is wrapped in square shape, and the wrapping power must be neither tight nor loose. Then the cake will be boiled in about 12 hours by wood. The Green Chung cake has nutrition with an original tasty flavor and may be kept for a long time. Eating Chung cake with vegetable pickles will bring you unforgettable taste!

In the traditional conception of Vietnamese people, the process of making Chung cake is the opportunity for family to come together. Sitting around the warm fire, all members in the family tell one another the past stories and are ready for a New Year with wishes of best things. Nowadays, in some big cities, the business lifestyle of modern society prevent people from preparing the cake, however, the habit of worship ancestors with Chung cake never changes. It is the evidence of the Vietnamese loyalty and deep gratitude to ancestors.

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“Cốm” - Autumn’s special gift

"Cốm" (green sticky rice) is a delicacy that is made only in autumn and cherished by all Vietnamese. For Hanoians, nothing evokes autumn like the taste of young rice from Vong village, the grain so sweetly scented that they left a lasting impression...

Served with red persimmons or ripe bananas, "Cốm" is truly delicious. Vong village, on the outskirts of Hanoi, is said to produce the best "Cốm" in northern Vietnam. When autumn comes, Hanoians everywhere always remember the special taste of "Cốm" which is a special gift from the soil made by hard-working peasants, holding a simple and fresh fragrance.

Every autumn, when the cool north-westerly wind brings a cold dew, the sticky rice ears bend themselves into arches waiting for ripe grains because these rice grains are at their fullest and the rice-milk is already concentrated in the grains, and the local farmers will know it is time to make “Cốm” – a specialty made from young green sticky rice.

"Cốm" is often eaten by hand, directly from the lotus leaves, a pinch at a time. When eating “Cốm”, you must enjoy slowly and chew very deliberately in order to appreciate all the scents, tastes, and plasticity of the young rice which is sweet, nutty and buttery.

From the complicated process...

Visitors to Hanoi during the "Cốm" making season are invited to go to Vong Village where they will have a chance to listen to the special rhythmic pounding of wooden pestles against mortars filled with young rice and see women shifting and winnowing the pounded young rice.

In Vong village, making “Cốm” used to be a common trade. People from Vong village are said to have the most complicated process for making "Cốm". Firstly, glutinous paddy is planted. To produce their famous "Cốm", residents of Vong village grow a special variety of sticky rice. The sticky rice must be harvested at just the right moment. When the paddy begins to ripen and still contains milk it is reaped but only at early dawn. The rice is plucked off manually so that the grains are not broken. Next, the choice grains are carefully selected, sifted and washed.

At night, the The rice is plucked off manually so that the grains are not broken. Next, the choice grains are carefully selected, sifted and washed. At night, the grains are dried in a large pan
over a soft fire and then pounded in stone mortars. Following this, the young rice is removed from the mortar and winnowed before being poured again into the mortar and the process repeated. This is then repeated exactly seven times so that all the husk is removed from the young sticky grains. There is an art to this part of the process. If the pounding is done irregularly and in haste, or it is not repeated seven times, the green colour of the grains will disappear and be replaced by an unexpected brown colour. Then the whole process will have been to no avail because customers will refuse to buy such produce. This should go some way to explaining exactly how difficult the whole process of "Cốm" making is.

“Not every one can dry and pound "Cốm". It is a closely guarded secret in some families that is never revealed to the mothers or daughters!” says 72-year-old Pham Thi Nguyet, whose family still produces “Cốm”. After the “Cốm” has been pounded, the crystal spring rice is wrapped tightly in emerald lotus leaves to keep it from drying and allowing it to absorb lotus flavour. other specialities

Better than any other person, peasants are the only ones who truly understand when the rice ears are ripe enough to be reaped to begin making “Cốm”. From then on, “Cốm” is still available, however, as it is used in different local specialties.

“Cốm” is an ingredient used in many specialities of Vietnam, including “Cốm xào” (browned green sticky rice), “Bánh cốm” (green sticky rice cake) and “Chè cốm” (sweetened green sticky rice paste) and so on.

“Bánh cốm” is the well-known as it is found at every engagement ceremony. The cakes are wrapped with bananas leaves into squares, tied with a red string and stamped on the outside with a Chinese character meaning "double happiness". With these characteristics, “Bánh cốm” is believed to be a symbol of steadfast and eternal love.

Green sticky rice cakes are sold on Hang Than Street. Sticky cakes stuffed with green rice are sold on Hang Dieu Street and Quoc Huong green rice paste is sold on Hang Bong Street. Restaurants also offer dishes involving “Cốm”, such as chicken stewed with herbs and green rice, or green rice served with fried shrimp.

Nowadays, thanks to convenient means of transport, many Hanoians send Vong Village’s "Cốm" to their relatives in other parts of the country, and even abroad, as a special gift. By this way, the delicious taste of "Cốm" always stays in the hearts of Hanoians wherever they live. To those who have ever been involved in farming, eating "Cốm" often reminds them of a fresh and fragrant paddy.

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Chicken and Bamboo Shoot Noodle Soup Recipe (Bun Mang Ga)

The other day, I soaked and cooked a bunch of dried bamboo shoot (mang kho) and squirreled them away for Tet so that I could simmer some with pork hocks. But the chilly winter weather got to me today and I defrosted a batch of the prepped bamboo shoots to make bun mang noodle soup, a Vietnamese favorite; bun refers to round rice noodles (think bun rice noodle salad bowls!) and mang refers to bamboo shoot. I looked in my cookbook library and found Vietnamese recipes that paired bamboo shoot with chicken, duck and pork hocks (called bun mang ga, bun mang vit, bun mang gio heo, respectively). Chicken is the fastest and easiest to make as it is readily available at any supermarket. It’s also less expensive than duck and lighter than pork.

Vietnamese food is often quite simple yet seemingly complex. That's the beauty of this preparation -- just a few average ingredients coming together for spectacular results. People have asked me what makes bun mang taste good. The answer has less to do with the protein than the quality of the bamboo shoot; for tips on buying and preparing this standard Asian ingredient, read “How to Cook Dried Bamboo Shoot.” The dried bamboo shoot lends its golden hue and naturally sweet-savory flavor to the broth for bun mang. Normally, wood ear mushroom is added for contrasting color and crunch but I love to drop in some reconstituted shiitake mushrooms so that the soup is super laden with umami goodness.
Long-cooked dishes like bun mang are traditionally prepared in advance and offered to the onslaught of guests during special events such as Tet, weddings, and funerals. I couldn’t wait for a celebratory occasion to make this dish so I cooked it for our dinner last night. It’s satisfying winter and spring fare that benefits from the richness of the chicken and the soft-chewy meatiness of the dried bamboo shoots. Viet cooks also prepare bun mang with fresh bamboo shoots, boiling them separately to remove their bitterness and then adding them to the pot midway through the simmering. The fresh bamboo shoot makes for a tasty bun mang noodle soup but dried bamboo shoot is superior.


Chicken and Bamboo Shoot Noodle Soup
Bun Mang Ga

Before embarking on this recipe, make sure you have the golden rock sugar (duong phen) as it pulls all the elements together. Golden rock sugar is one of the stealth ingredients for good Vietnamese pho broth! Get it at a Chinese or Vietnamese market. See the "Note" in the Chicken pho recipe for a photo of the rock sugar.
Serves 4 as a one-dish meal, 6 to 8 as a soup course

3 ounces dried bamboo shoot, reconstituted and cooked until chewy tender
Generous 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large chicken leg quarters (2 1/2 to 2 3/4 pounds total)
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 ounces shallot, or 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
3 tablespoons fish sauce
8 cups water
3/4-inch chunk golden rock sugar
2 dried wood ear mushrooms, reconstituted, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
4 large dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted, stemmed and quartered
8 small scallions, trimmed of upper green part to yield 5-inch lengths (you want the white, pale green and some of the green part)
3/4 pound dried round bun rice noodles, boiled 3 to 7 minutes until tender, drained, flushed with cold water, and well drained
1 or 2 Thai chiles, sliced

1. Cut the bamboo and or hand shred it long narrow pieces, about the size of a skinny index finger. Set aside.

2. Trim off excess fat and skin from the chicken. If you want a nice presentation in which the skin doesn’t pull away in an awful manner from the end of the drumstick, use a cleaver to whack off the chicken knees. The flesh and skin will pull up beautifully during cooking. Toss the knees in the simmering broth.
3. Sprinkle the salt all over the chicken and set aside. Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, until soft, translucent and sweetly fragrant; as needed, lower the heat slightly to prevent browning.

4. Bank the shallot, increase the heat to high and add the chicken, skin side down. Lightly sear the chicken on both sides for 1 to 2 minutes, turning midway. You don’t have to brown it; just get the skin and flesh to contract and no longer look totally raw. Add the fish sauce and continue cooking, stirring for about 1 minute, until a slight syrupy liquid forms at the bottom of the pot. Pour in the water.

5. Bring to a boil, skim and discard the scum, and then add the rock sugar and bamboo shoot. Adjust the heat to simmer.

6. Cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour, until the chicken is tender but still slightly chewy. Stick a bamboo chopstick in to test. Regardless of the bamboo shoot used, it should be soft enough to eat and not tough; a little crunch is okay. Keep cooking, partially covering the pot, if necessary. During the last 10 minutes, add the shiitake and wood ear mushrooms.

7. Skim off excess fat, if you like. Taste the broth and it should be slightly sweet and rich tasting. Continue cooking if it isn’t. If you worry about overcooking the chicken, remove it from the pot during this additional brewing time and return it to the pot when you are satisfied. Cool and refrigerate if not serving right away.

8. Arrange the noodles on 2 plates in 3-inch mounds for serving. Return the broth to a boil, taste and if necessary, add extra fish sauce for savory depth. Add the scallion and cook for about 30 seconds to just soften but retain its bright color. Transfer to a tureen or large bowl and serve with the noodles. If you like, serve the chicken on a separate plate to make it easier for guests to get at it. Invite guests to put a small portion of noodles in their rice bowls, then add some chicken, mushroom, scallion, and broth. For some kick, add a slice or two of the chile to the bowl.

Have you had bun mang noodle soup? Where and what was it like? Any suggestions for tweaking this recipe?


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Spicy Asian Chicken Wings Recipe

I’ve had a hankering for hot wings these days and it’s not even close to Super Bowl Sunday, the uber chicken wing event in America. At many of the hippest Asian restaurants these days, there is some version of chile-hot, savory-sweet chicken wings. From RockSugar PanAsian Kitchen in Los Angeles to Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon, to Momofuku in New York, Asian-style of chicken wings are on the appetizer menu. Naturally, I wanted to make my own.

Admittedly, I’m partial to the renditions that involve Southeast Asian ingredients, fish sauce, garlic, and chiles. Can you blame me?
When I had the wings at Pok Pok by Ich Truong and RockSugar by Mohan Ismail, I was hooked. Ich (“Ike”) claims that his version is from Vietnam and Mohan is a talented, smart Singaporean chef who monitors and delivers on tasty Asian food trends. (Read more about Mohan Ismail and RockSugar in my post, "Can Real Asian food be mainstreamed?" on

It was hard to decide whose version was better as they were both addictive to eat. At RockSugar, my husband and I had minor squabble as to who should/would eat the last one. We also could figure out if this style of wings is Vietnamese or Thai or something else. Shed some light, if you happen to know.

My solution is to make spicy Asian chicken wings at home. That way, you can have as many as you want.
The hardest part of making the wings is to find the wings. They used to be at all the markets but I had to go to several places. Costco doesn’t have chicken wings anymore. I got mine at Whole Foods but there weren't tons.

Chicken wings are also relatively expensive – between $3 and $5 per pound. When I asked a Whole Foods butcher why they’re pricey, he naively responded: “They weigh less than the legs and thighs.” I wasn't satisfied with that answer.

When we talked a bit more about current chicken wing prices, we both realized that chicken wings are like skirt steak and duck legs. No one cared about them and they were considered down-market. But now, they’re prized for grilling and confit.

Chicken wings used to be dirt cheap, considered nearly throwaway parts of the chicken. Amy Sherman ( remarked on Twitter that she used to rely on affordable chicken wings for her stock but that’s not the case anymore.

So once you find your wings, the process to making an Asian-style hot wing is darn easy with the recipe below. It’s not much of a secret. Lots of fish sauce, sugar and garlic equal a winning combination.

Then there’s the deep-frying, which yields the best crispy-chewy texture. It’s a relatively low-drama experience. Timid about frying? You can roast the wings (skip the rice flour coating) at 375F or 400F and then glaze them just as instructed in the step 6 of the chicken wing recipe below.

I like to go all out and get the oil going. Why not? Chicken wings are now a deluxe snack. Do the full Monty, my friends and enjoy with a beer or glass of refreshing rose or white wine. Or maybe a cocktail. If you have a tweak or personal rendition of spicy chicken wings, do share it below.

Spicy Asian Chicken Wings

I used regular rice flour from Thailand. You can use the rice flour sold at regular health food stores, if you like. Cornstarch is okay too.

Serves 4 as a snack

2 pounds chicken wings (exclude wing tips)
3 or 4 cloves garlic, pressed (generous 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoon water
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Canola oil, for deep-frying
2/3 cup regular rice flour or cornstarch
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, homemade or purchased
1 tablespoon chopped scallion, green part only chopped cilantro and/or mint for garnish

1. Split each chicken wing at the joint so that you have a drummette and a lower joint (the chicken’s forearm). Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic and water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Position a mesh strainer over a bowl, and pour the garlic water through to strain. Press on the solids to extract as much garlic water as possible.

3. Add the fish sauce, light brown sugar, sugar and pepper. Stir to dissolve. Transfer to a zip top bag, add the chicken wings, and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.

4. Remove the chicken wings from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before frying to remove some of the chill. Drain the chicken wings from the marinade and blot dry with paper towel. Reserve the marinade! Have the rice flour ready in a small bowl.

5. Pour the oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches into a saucepan, wok, or deep skillet. Heat to about 360°F.
Meanwhile, lightly dredge each wing in rice flour, patting off the excess. Put the reserved marinade and chile garlic sauce in a large skillet and set it on the stove.

Fry the wings in batches until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel. 6. Heat the reserved marinade until bubbly and slightly syrupy. Add the freshly fried wings and stir, turn, and coat in the syrup, which will turn sticky as it reduces and clings to the wings. Add a splash of water if you want to dilute the glazy bits in the skillet and get them to coat the wings. There should be no liquid left when you’re done coating.

Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with the scallion, and enjoy hot.


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BaoHaus NYC: Asian American Bao Burgers

Last week I was in New York en route to Asia. A couple of Manhattan friends, novelist Monique Truong and restaurateur/chef Pichet Ong, suggested that I check out BaoHaus, a new Lower East Side snack joint serving up Taiwanese stuffed buns called gua bao. BaoHaus’s buns are not round, filled buns like the ones you get dim sum or the ones I made using refrigerated biscuit dough. Rather, they are mini sandwiches called gua bao.

The leavened bao dough is shaped into clamshells and steamed. Open up the resulting plain steamed rolls and slide a little morsel inside, such as red cooked pork belly or deep fried duck. (Cantonese roast duck is often served with steamed buns for you to make your own mini concoction.

Some describe gua bao as a hamburger, but I’m not sure. I suppose you could say that bao are Chinese buns so these are Chinese hamburgers. Any thoughts on whether gua bao are hamburgers or not?

The version at BaoHaus is Taiwanese, stuffed with a satisfying amount of pork belly, braised beef, or deep-fried tofu. Pichet and I like the pork belly best, though we also ate up the other two versions too!

Don’t expect a David Chang/Momofuku-esque pork belly bun here. Owner and chef Eddie Huang was born in the U.S. and raised by food savvy Taiwanese parents. His father ran a steakhouse and made Eddie work every job, though he never intended for his son to go into the restaurant business.

Eddie wanted the buns to taste like Taiwanese street food he’s had. “There’s good porky flavor in my buns because with Chinese food, you need to taste the pork,” Eddie said. “We balance the flavors, not too salty, not too sweet.” He’s got uppity Asian pride and love of food and cooking. His enthusiasm for running restaurant and Asian American foodways is honest.

BaoHaus stays true to its Asian roots but steps things up for the slightly edgy Lower East Side, which is next door to Chinatown and being gentrified. Go down the stairs into the small bao joint and there’s hip hop playing and wi-fi. Eddie’s brother will greet you with the blue and white menu. BaoHaus not ghetto, but rather cool and clever ghetto.

BaoHaus’s bao have quirky, clever names: Haus Bao (hanger steak), Chairman Bao (pork belly), Uncle Jesse (tofu). The buns are stuffed with the protein of choice, a lick of sauce, and crushed roasted peanuts, and cilantro. There may be some Haus relish which I couldn’t quite decipher. It’s a tasty mouthful and I could totally eat 2 gua bao in 1 sitting. Three BaoHaus bao was a stretch with my can of sasparilla.

Then there are the bao fries that are pieces of deep-fried bao dough finished with a light sweet sauce: black sesame, purple taro, durian, pandan or sesame butter and jelly. The fries are a nice afternoon sweet snack with tea.

Eddie knows his hipster crowd and dials in the Asian American cultural bent. For the “Straight Frush” combo, you select 3 baos and a free drink (Calpico is $1 extra). “Royal Frush” is for 6 bao and bao fries. Getting all of BaoHaus’s jokes – here it’s Asians people’s love of gambling and poor consonant pronunciation (some people can’t say the letters R and L) – gives you a certain sense of being an insider, part of a club.

The BaoHaus tagline is “Fresh off the Boat.” Don’t steal that. Eddie’s a former attorney (good Asian kid) and he’s trademarked his tagline.

New Yorkers are smart and open minded to new interpretations and presentations of food. BaoHaus is a cultural and culinary bridge that I hope many people will cross.

Note: Eddie Huang is coming to San Francisco for a Chairman Bao smackdown in late August. It's BaoHaus vs. Chairman Bao truck. Eddie's pissed that the Chairman truck took his Chairman Bao name.

He's also opening a new restaurant dedicated to Taiwanese street food called Xiao Ye. (See preview per erious Eats.)


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Vietnamese Food in the Midwest

People think of Asian cooking as existing on the West and East Coasts but that's not true. Asian people are everywhere and these days, you can get the basic ingredients to prepare Vietnamese food in many parts of the country. There's a lot going on in the Midwest, a part of the country that many foodie Americans poopoo but I think is fabulous.If people are preparing and enjoying Vietnamese food in America's heartland, then you know we've made it! Candy, a resident of Bloomington, Indiana, has been cooking her way through my cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. When I asked her about getting ingredients, she responded, "Bloomington is a university town with a very diverse population. We don't have a lot of Vietnamese here which is why we go up to Indianapolis where there are several restaurants when I don't want to cook. It is about an hour away. We have several international markets with a strong Asian presence. We do have a lot of Koreans, Japanese, and Thai here. For a town this size to have three Korean restaurants and three Thai restaurants (one of which has received an award from the Thai government) is amazing. Plus one of the few Tibetan restaurants in the US. The Dalai Lama's brother was on faculty here and his children and wife have a few restaurants." Okay, major university towns do have advantages over smaller locations, but when in doubt, ask a Vietnamese person or the owners of your favorite Vietnamese restaurant for guidance!

I was honored and delighted when she emailed photographs of her progress, including a batch of tasty corn and coconut fritters (cha bap ran, above). Those YOWZA good fritters are fabulous this time of the year when corn is at its peak. She made several batches for an event and they were all eaten up. (My mom is known to make a gargantuan amount of these tasty, fragrant fritters too!) Candy also contributed Vietnamese dishes to an Asian theme potluck. She wrote, "A couple of the photos are from the Asian themed Pot Luck my dining group had a few weeks ago. You can see your banana cake, cha gio (fried imperial rolls), corn fritters, shrimp toasts among things. It was a fun evening with 20 people all bringing their favorite dishes and some trying something new." Please note that the super easy banana cake toward the back of the photo makes terrific use of a hefty 1 1/2 pounds of super overripe bananas.

And, that Candy wrapped her cha gio rolls in rice paper and not lumpia or spring roll skins. (Hurray!) She's more authentic than a lot of Vietnamese-American delis and cooks who've taken to encasing the filling with crispy skins made of wheat flour instead of chewy-tangy rice paper.

Another dish that has graced Candy's table is the splendid shrimp in spicy tamarind sauce (tom rang me, above, right). It's a delectable southern Vietnamese dish that is testament to Vietnamese cooks' penchant for preparing seafood. I understand clearly when she writes that, "The shrimp in tamarind sauce I have made several times, the page has become quite spattered."

This past weekend she make the cucumber and shrimp salad (goi dua chuot) and loved how crunchy the vegetables were. That's what you get when you do things the old fashioned way -- you have to make moisture-rich vegetables like cucumber release their liquid so that they're dry like sponges. Once you apply the dressing, the cucumber sucks up the seasonings and becomes imbued by the tart-savory-spicy hot flavors of lime, fish sauce, and chiles.

Cucumber_and_shrimp_salad_4Candy's experience highlights how in 21st century America, ethnic markets, mainstream supermarkets, and farmer's markets have many of the elements for cooking Vietnamese food. Plus, many 'normal' American ingredients can be combined to make dishes with Vietnamese flair. What goes into these foods are pretty run-of-the-mill kinds of ingredients like -- corn, regular and unsweetened coconut milk, salt, bananas, butter, and sugar. The popularity of Thai cooking has made fish sauce readily available too.

With that in mind, I'm rather famished. Thanks Candy, for sharing the pleasures of the

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A simple VietNam's meal

Com (boiled rice)
In Vietnam, com is eaten at the main meals of the day (lunch and dinner). Rice is eaten together with a variety of different dishes and is made from different kinds of rice. Typically fragrant rice is used, such as Tam Thom and Nang Huong. An ordinary meal may consist of boiled rice and the following:
Mon an kho (meal without soup) consists of dishes of pork, fish, shrimp, and vegetable cooked in oil, as well as vegetables, pickles, etc.

Mon canh (meal with soup) consists of a soup made with pork or spare-ribs, crab meat, and fish.
In the past several years, people in urban centers have begun to go out for lunch at the food stalls on the street. Consequently, there has been a proliferation of temporary food stalls along many sidewalks and public spaces in the cities. Some stalls are open until early in the morning to cater to regular customers. Around noon, owners can be seen arranging tables and benches along the pavement to form makeshift shop floors. After two or three hours, when there are no more customers, they begin to remove all of their wooden furniture, so that the place resumes its former appearance. A well served lunch for one is very inexpensive.

Gio Lua (Lean Pork Pie)

Lean pork pie is available in Vietnam only and has different names in the north and south. Foreigners as well as Vietnamese are fond of lean pork pie.
Gio lua consists of pork meat wrapped in fresh banana leaves. The little bundles are then boiled. The most delicious part of lean pork pie is the top layer since it absorbs the flavour of the banana leaves.

Cha Ca (grilled minced fish)
Grilled minced fish has been served in Vietnam for more than 100 years. The Doan family of Cha Ca Street in Hanoi first invented this dish.
A wide variety of fish can be used in this dish including sturgeon and tuna. Tuna is low in fat, has an exquisite flavour, and few bones. The bones are separated from the meat and put into saffron water to be later used in a sauce. The fish is marinated in salt before being grilled.
What is interesting about this dish is that people can add their favourite condiments: coriander, mint, dill, shallots, and more.

Canh Chua (Fish Sour Soup)
Canh chua originated from the Mekong Region, more specifically from Dong Thap Muoi. Canh chua is a fish sour soup made with fish from the Mekong River and so dua flower. This dish is mostly served when the so dua flower first blossoms at the end of the rainy season. A feast is organized and the fish sour soup is among the delicious meals prepared for this event. Fish sour soup must be eaten very hot. It must also be eaten all at one time since the taste is altered when the soup is reheated.

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Into Simplicity

I normally crave for simple and healthy food after too much festive food. At the moment, I just want steamed green veggies, a bit of rice and some clear soup to get by. No greasy food, no bake, no cake or tart, I can snack on raw nuts and fresh fruits. Wonder if everyone is the same like me?
It also seems that the holiday mood have also got into my kitchen. I haven’t been too much active there since I spent hours in shopping centers over the last few days. Then, even when I was at home, I was occupied with a few good novels. I guess that is what we call Holidays!
Nevertheless, I did cook something simple to satisfy my craving. I opted for vegetarian dishes – simple, clean and meatless. For me, it normally means more tofu in my diet. I love tofu, but sometimes run out ideas on how to make it interesting. One of my little new discoveries is this Japanese dish – Grilled Tofu with Miso and Spinach. Not sure about the authenticity but it does taste good. Not to mention it is very healthy, too – no deep-fried – and it helps us to eat more soy products, which I think is good.

Grilled Tofu with Sesame and Spinach Miso
Source: Australian Women Weekly
600g firm tofu
½ cup (150g) shiro miso (white miso)
2 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
80ml dashi (Japanese fish broth – I used the instant one. Can substitute with veggie stock for a complete vegetarian option)
2 tablespoons tahini
8 spinach leaves
1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon rinds
What to do
  1. Press tofu with a weight on top – Make sure all the water is drained out
  2. Combine miso, sugar, mirin and dashi in small saucepan. Cook, stiring unti sugar is dissolved. Stir in tahini
  3. Microwave spinach till wilted. Squeeze out excess liquid. Blend or process with half of the miso mixture.
  4. Cut tofu into 2 cm slices, pat dry with absorbent paper. Place on an oiled oven tray, cook under hot grill for about 3 mins or until browned lightly. Spread spinach miso onto half of the tofu piece and the other half with the plain miso mixture. Cook under hot grill for about 2 mins or until browned lightly, Sprinkle with rinds before serving.
  1. Miso can vary in taste so adjust your sugar accordingly.
  2. Tahini is the sesame paste, which can be found in the health food section of supermarket
I ate my tofu with this simple lentil soup:

Source :

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IIP – Dumplings! Recipe: pan-fried savoury 'sticky' dumplings

The word ‘dumplings’ brings back the memories of my uni days. It was fun and wild. I was living in a small but bright flat, sharing with two other girls. We hardly cooked at home and relied almost entirely on cheap takeaway food, the kind that I will not touch nowadays. (I didn’t really cook and learn how to bake until dating my husband. The power of love or what?)

Of course, there were days that we decided to put the kitchen into use. Normally, it was to impress someone special. Or sometimes, it was simply because we didn’t bother to go out, preferred to be in our PJs for the whole day. But the best occasion was when friends came over and fed us!

On one of such “best occasions”, I learned how to make these particular pan-fried dumplings from a Beijing girl, whose name I forgot (she was dating a friend of a friend, you know the normal story). The dough consists of only water and flour. Fillings? The usual suspects - meat, vegs and seasoning. The better Chinese cooks, according to that Beijing girl, would know how to pleat the dumplings properly. But hey, we were spoiled young girls who hardly knew any cooking skills. So no pleating for us (and the dumplings looked more like a pie than anything). After all, pretty food was only a bonus feature of a tasty meal.

I still make this kind of dumpling to this day. Lately, however, I have experimented with the dough a little by changing the flour ingredients. With the memory of my grandmother’s fried sticky rice “cake” (banh ran man) in mind, I opt to use a bit of glutinous rice in the dough. And to make the “skin” a bit lighter, a tiny bit of yeast is added.

I like this version no less than the original one. The final product is the cross between pan-fried dumplings and soft mochi bread. It is crispy outside, and soft-chewy at the same time. It’s also relatively easy to make, too. I’m thinking of substitute white flour with whole-wheat flour while keeping the glutinous rice four. Will it be a bit too westernised?

The dumplings (or bread/pies, whichever you choose to call them. They are known as “the dumpling bun thing” in our house) are on the heavy and rustic side. Better served as snack or breakfast with a cup of hot tea.

pan-fried savoury “sticky” dumplings

The dough recipe has been tested a few times so it’s good to use. As for the filling, I never follow a correct measurement. Lately, we have a vegetarian guest so I always do both meat and vegetarian versions. Use whatever you have!

Dough – for around 8-12 dumplings, depending on size

250g plain four, 50g sticky flour (aka glutinous/mochi/sweet flour), 1 tsp dried yeast, a pinch of salt, around 1 cup of warm water


If you like meat: 150g chicken fillet, 1 small carrot (peeled and grated), a few frozen water chestnut (defrosted), 1 small spring onion, a few drop of toasted sesame oil. Oil to fry. Salt + soy sauce + white pepper to taste.

Veg option: peas, corn, water chestnuts (defrosted). Soy sauce + pepper for seasoning.

Other: Oil to pan-fry


Prepare the dough first: combine the flours, salt together with yeast. Gradually add in the warm water. You have to watch and feel the dough here. Use enough water so the dough just comes together. Knead briefly (the dough is elastic because of glutinous flour). Put in an oiled bowl, cover with damp towel. Let it rest about 40’-60’.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: coarsely mince the chicken with water chestnut. Add in grated carrot, chopped spring onio, and seasoning. I like to stir-fry my fillings to get the seasoning right before wrapping. You can just marinade the meat mixture with seasoning and use it raw if preferred. Make sure your filling is cooled down before wrapping.

Wrapping: Divide the dough into 8-12 portions. Use a rolling pin, roll out the each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface. Make sure that the middle part is slightly thicker. Add in the filling, twist and put the seam side down. Repeat until you have finished the dough. Cover and set aside for 10 mins.

Frying: Heat up a non-stick frying pan and heat up 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Make sure the oil is hot, put the dumplings into the pan. Immediately lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook gently until the dumpling skin is golden (around 8-10 mins each side) and cooked through. (Be mindful if your filling is not pre-cooked).

Serve hot/warm with a dipping of chilli and soy sauce. Enjoy!


This post is prepared for the IPP, hosted by a fellow Melbourne blog friend Penny of Jeroxie.

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Melon soup (canh muop)

Hot summer, will have a cool melon soup, just add. Use of folk or luffa or melon respects.
According to traditional medicine, light sweet melon fruit, calculated average, a diuretic, expectorant consumption, cooling blood detoxification, through economic circuit, through milk, add air, safe pregnancy.
Melon fruit stimulates the secretion of milk in nursing mothers and help increase the circulation of blood.
Because multiple components containing mucus melon fruit should also calculated to relieve the attack of bronchial mucous membrane irritation causing cough. Summer melon soup can cook food for children to prevent the measles.
Fiber of sweet melon fruit, calculated average, anti-inflammatory effects, communication circuits, diuretic, used treat joint pain, muscle pain, chest pain, women are closing business, inflammation of mammary glands, edema (10 per day cooking water from -15 g).

Bitter melon leaves sour, cold calculation, anti-inflammatory effects, long sputum, cough, cough, headache, fever, thirsty summer. Topical hemostatic wound up, the disc, impetigo (10-15 g per day from 50 g of dried leaves or fresh leaves in excellent drinking water replaced daily. Topical regardless of dosage).

Sweet melon seeds, calculated per reduced cough expectorant effects long used treat roundworm and constipation in the elderly (50-10 g per day grain, excellent drink.) Take 15-30 g of melon root water colors every day to treat allergic rhinitis.

Rewind winding melon relieve low back pain, cough, rhinitis and airways inflammation (30-60 g per day use the best drug form). To increase the diuretic can be used 60 g in 600 ml of water colors, share drink 3-4 times a day.

Melon soup, use fresh melon fruit cooked with chopped lean meat or better if cooked with fresh mushrooms sateen replace meat, just add fresh medium, because mushrooms contain many components enhances immune body fluids, clean the cell. Women eating mushrooms will help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

If women are breast-feeding is not the melon soup helps increase the secretion of milk for the children but also help keep a good shape, anti-obesity. So people still see India as a tree melon bitter tonic and body clean.

Everyone can eat melon soup. However, as the melon fruit contains more fiber, mucilage and has diuretic properties means damage to the spleen, stomach cold, crushed to liquid distribution should be limited in use. If you need a few slices of ginger to give more to remedy this situation. During the week, eat 1-2 times as well.

According to Kim Phung Drug
City University of Medicine, TPHCM.

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vietnamese bread (banh mi)

After pho, banh mi is perhaps the second most popular Vietnamese food in the western world. Banh mi simply refers to short Vietnamese baguette which is normally packed with BBQ meat, Vietnamese pâté, herbs and pickled vegetables. Fresh, tasty and amazingly cheap, it is a popular lunch (and even breakfast) for a lot of people. Surprisingly enough, banh mi wasn’t my thing until recently.As a kid, my parents actually banned me from touching it simply because the Vietnamese pâté was normally made from inferior meat (Think hot dog and you will get the idea).

To make it worse, the Hanoi version is kinda boring – you normally just have ghee, pate, some slices of cucumber as filling. I would rather eat the baguette plain than chewing on those things! But a trip to southern Vietnam changed my view. The southern version is what you normally get in the west today, full flavors and aroma. No, I still won’t touch the pâté, but everything else is delicious and complete. With such delicious memories for banh mi, when I see the recipe for Oyster Po Boy in a recent food magazine, I can’t help but create my own version. The fresh oysters are rolled in dry breadcrumbs, pan fried lightly and served as a filling in the popular Vietnamese-style baguette. Wasabi mayonnaise is added for some spicy and creamy kick. And of course, it can’t be complete without some shredded lettuce, herbs and pickle veggies. When you can go for different types of pickle veggies, the most frequently used is perhaps carrot. But the authentic banh mi always include a delicious ingredient, pickled lotus rootlet, something I would go crazy for.

rootlet has a special crunchy texture. When pickled with rice vinegar, sugar, chili and/or garlic, it also has lovely fresh sweet-tangy flavours. Pickled lotus rootlet makes great addition to salad, especially when paired with prawns. You can almost always find a jar of pickled lotus rootlet at Asian shops.

With all the ingredients above, I manage to whip up a wonderful lunch. It’s quick, healthy and delicious. I can’t ask for more.

My Fried Oysters and Asian Salad Roll
Ingredients (for 3-4 serves)
14 fresh oysters, shucked
2 tbsp corn flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
Oil, to pan-fry
3-4 Vietnamese-style baguette (or French baguettes)
Shredded lettuce (I used the curly variety)
Pickled lotus rootlet, as needed
Asian herbs (choose from coriander, Thai basil or mint)
Fresh chili slices (optional)
½ cup mayonnaise*
2-3 tsp wasabi paste
  1. For the wasabi mayonnaise, mix together wasabi and mayonnaise. Set aside.
  2. Dip the oyster in flour, shake off the excess, then into egg and finally breadcrumb. Lightly fried in heated oil until golden.
  3. Quickly heat the baguettes in the oven if desired. Halve the baguettes and spread with a layer of wasabi mayonnaise. Lightly season with salt & pepper. Arrange the shredded lettuce and pickle veggies. Top with fried oysters, some Asian herbs, chili and extra mayo if desired. Serve immediately.
(*) I chose mayonnaise with less vinegar taste. If you can get Japanese mayonnaise, it will be great, too.
I would like to submit this entry to Weekend Herb Blogging. Founded by Kalyn, the host of this week is Anna from Anna Cool Find. Please check Anna site out next Monday for the roundup and Kalyn’s blog for more information about WHB.


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What is vietnamese pho (rice nooddle soup) ?

Pho is a Vietnamese soup that is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine and culture. The word pho sounds close to the sound "phuh" to English speakers and the "ph" is said as the /f/ sound. Of course, in Vietnamese, the proper pronunciation must be said with the accurate fluctuation of high and low tones of voice. Many Vietnamese people eat pho for breakfast rather than as an evening meal. Pho can be made in more than 20 variations, but always has either a flavorful beef broth or a chicken broth base.

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“Cơm Việt” – a different taste!

If you have ever tried “Cơm Việt” (Vietnamese plain boiled rice), you will find the difference from the boiled rice in other countries!

In an ordinary meal of Vietnamese people, together with a variety of different dishes, Com or plain boiled rice is an indespensable one, the most popular food at the main meals of the day (lunch and dinner).

Different cooking method makes “Cơm Việt” different!

In Vietnam, Com is made from different kinds of rice, typically fragrant rice is used, such as Tam Thom and Nang Huong. The main ingredients of Vietnamese plain boiled rice are commonly as follows:

- 1 cup of rice.

- 2 cups of boiling water.

- 1 teaspoonful of salt.

So, how can you make the boiled rice really delicious? If you have chance to see how Vietnamese people make a good pot of boiled rice, you will notice that its process is not so difficult. Firstly, pick the rice over, taking out all the bits of brown husk; fill the outside of the double boiler with hot water, ans put in the rice, salt and water, and cook forty minutes, but do not stir it. Then take off the cover from the boiler, and very gently, without stirring, turn over the rice with a fork; put the disk in the oven without the cover, and let it stand and dry for ten minutes. Then turn it from the boiler into a hot dish, and cover.

Other rice–made foods...

Beside the above-mentioned recipe of “Cơm Việt”, the Vietnamese people created many other rice-made foods, such as: rice ball, fried rice, rice gruel, steamed glutinous rice. Among them, making a rice ball (“Cơm nắm” in Vietnamese) is so interesting! “Cơm nắm” is a Vietnamese rice dish pressed into cylinder or sphere shape, which is sold in small alleys in Hanoi by vendors. This dish is very familiar with Vietnamese people. “Cơm nắm” has become a cheap but delicious rustic gift. When being fed up with nutritious food like vermicelli or “phở”, people often look for a frugal dish like “Cơm nắm” served with roasted sesame and ground nut.

Do you think it is easy to make a rice ball? A lot of people may say “Yes”, and you can obey the following simple process to make perfect a rice ball. To begin with, you boil the rice in a rice cooker. Please bear in mind that you have to make rice balls while the rice is hot or else it will not stick together. Next, you wet your hands and put a pinch of salt on your palms. Then, you put rice on your hand and wad up the rice and shape like cylinder or sphere. “Cơm nắm” is served with not o­nly sesame but also other things, such as stewed fish, simmered pork or salted shredded meat. However, salted roasted sesame (and ground nut) is still the first choice. The dish is so delicious that you surely would like to taste more than once... The rice is white clear, soft and used to be wrapped in a green banana leaf, which is so attractive. However, its cover is replaced with a plastic bag or paper. The salted sesame is roasted light brown and grated, which has an appealing fragrance. “Cơm nắm” is cut into slices and served with this sesame or/and ground nut. The sweetness of rice combining with the buttery taste of sesame is so unique that can not be found anywhere in the world.

Being in Vietnam, you are strongly recommended to give you the chance for enjoying “Cơm Việt” with dishes of pork, fish, shrimp and vegetable cooked in oil, as well as vegetables, pickles, etc. Have good appetite!

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