THIT NUONG {VIETNAMESE GRILLED PORK}

I LOVE the versatility of this pork dish. You can serve it with vermicelli noodles, on steamed white rice, or use French bread and make some yummy sandwiches!

Mix all the ingredients together and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Grill or cook on a cast iron.

Thit Nuong {Vietnamese Grilled Pork}

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
½ pound pork shoulder, tenderloin, or cushion, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 each shallot, minced
3-inch stalk lemongrass, tender part, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
3. Grill the pork or saute the pork in a cast iron grill and cook until the meat is no longer pink and fully cooked.

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To make bun thit nuong, top the grilled pork with scallion oil and serve with vermicelli noodles, cha gio {Vietnamese egg rolls}, red or green leaf lettuce, mint, basil, bean sprouts, cilantro, roasted peanuts, Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon, and nuoc cham.

AVOCADO SAUCE {FOR TACOS}

When I eat tacos, besides salsa verde and salsa roja, I love drizzling avocado sauce over my tacos. I hope you LOVE this recipe. Make sure you pick out a very RIPE avocado. It’s pretty yummy and no actual cooking is involved!

The ingredients.

Blend the ingredients together.

And yes, it really is that easy to make a fabulous avocado sauce!

Avocado Sauce {for Tacos}

Source: Lo Huynh (2 cups)

Ingredients:
½ cup cilantro , washed and dried
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 dash Tabasco sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 each avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out
1 each lime, juiced
2 tablespoons sour cream
pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup water
1 each Persian cucumber, peeled and diced

Directions:
1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Serve this sauce with tacos or whatever your heart desires.

GOI CUON {VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS}

Sometimes when I want something quick and easy, this will be the meal I’ll make. It’s light and refreshing and yummy. Just remember to make the pickled carrots and daikon at least two days before you make these spring rolls. If you want to make this for a party, you can make it earlier in the day but just remember to wrap each individual roll in plastic wrap and then keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve them. This would also make a great packed lunch!

I like to prep all the ingredients first before I start wrapping up these spring rolls.

I like to lay out my shrimp first so it shows through in the wrapper when I’m done wrapping these rolls.

I’ll then put in the rest of my spring roll ingredients on top of the shrimp pieces.

I like to wrap the spring rolls by folding the bottom piece up first.

I’ll then fold the sides next and then roll up that spring roll.

To make the dipping sauce, it just consists of equal parts hoisin sauce to peanut butter. Heat it up in a saucepan with some water and it makes for a fantastic sauce for your spring rolls!

Goi Cuon {Vietnamese Spring Rolls}

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
½ pound large shrimp, boiled and sliced in half lengthwise
½ pound pork tenderloin, pork shoulder, or pork cushion, boiled and sliced in thin slices
4 ounces thin rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package
8 leaves red or green leaf lettuce, washed and dried
½ bunch fresh mint, leaves plucked
½ bunch fresh cilantro, washed and dried
1 each persian cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal
8 each rice paper, banh trang
¼ cup pickled carrots and daikon

Peanut Sauce:
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unsalted peanuts, roasted and crushed

Pickled Carrots and Daikon:
½ cup water
½ cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 each carrot, julienned
½ each daikon, julienned

Directions:
1. Bring a pot of water to boil with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes, or until the shrimp is bright orange. Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise and set aside.
2. Add the pork to the water and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pork is fully cooked. Cut into thin slices. Set aside.
3. Prep the noodles, lettuce, mint, cilantro, and cucumber and set aside.
4. Quickly run the rice paper under hot water on both sides and lay it on a cutting board. Place a couple pieces of shrimp down first, then the noodles, pork, and then the rest of your prepped ingredients.
5. Roll the rice paper like a burrito.
6. Serve with the peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce:
1. In a small sauce pan, heat up the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and water. Whisk all the ingredients together.
2. Once the sauce is hot, pour in a serving bowl and top with the crush roasted peanuts and serve with the spring rolls.

Pickled Carrots and Daikon:
Mix carrots, daikon, water, sugar, vinegar, and salt together and let this sit for 2 days in the refrigerator before serving.

HU TIEU THAI

Every time I hit Brodard in Little Saigon, I always order the same thing…2 nem nuong rolls and a bowl of hu tieu Thai. I’m sure there’s other better noodle dishes there but I always order this dish cause I can’t get it anywhere else. Anyway, this is my version of it.

Ingredients that go into this dish.

Mise en place.

Hu Tieu Thai

Source: Lo Huynh (6 servings)

Broth:
1 each chicken carcass
1 pound pork spareribs or bones
18 cups water
1 large yellow onion, cut in half
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ounce dried shrimp, rinsed
1 each dried squid, rinsed
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 inch, ounce rock sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

* NOTE: Feel free to use 3 pounds of JUST pork bones or feel free to combine chicken bones and pork bones.

Ingredients:
1/2 pound ground pork, sauteed with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until fully cooked
1/2 pound squid rings, poached in boiling water for about 3 minutes, or until it’s fully cooked
18 each large shrimp (16 to 20 count), peeled, deveined, and poached for about 3 minutes, or until it’s fully cooked
10.5 ounces dried mungbean thick noodle, cook according to directions
11 ounces fish balls, cut in half and blanched

Garnishes:
12 ounces bean sprouts, washed and drained
½ bunch cilantro , chopped
3 stalks scallions, chopped
2 each lime, cut into 6 wedges
pickled serrano chilies*
2 tablespoons fried red onion
paprika, sprinkle
3 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, crushed

Directions:
1. In a large stockpot, add the bones and water and bring to a boil. Skim the scum that arises to the top and add the rest of your broth ingredients. Bring the heat to a simmer and let this cook for 2 to 3 hours.
2. While your broth is simmering away, prepare the rest of your ingredients.
3. In a hot sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Cook your ground pork with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Break up the ground pork and saute until your ground pork is fully cooked. Set aside.
4. Poach the shrimp by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes or until the shrimp turns a nice orange color. Set aside.
5. Poach the squid rings.
6. Strain your broth after it’s been cooking for 2 to 3 hours. Adjust the broth to your liking by either adding more salt or sugar.
7. To serve your soup, cook the dried mungbean thick noodles per the directions on the package. I just put the noodles into boiling water and take it out once it’s al dente. I don’t like to cook it too long because you’ll be pouring hot broth over it and I don’t want my noodles to get too soft and mushy.
8. Put the noodles in a bowl, a couple squid rings, a couple fish balls, 3 pieces of shrimp, and a tablespoon of ground pork.
9. Pour the broth over the noodles.
10. Garnish with the scallions, cilantro, 1 teaspoon of the pickled chilies, fried red onions, sprinkle of crushed roasted peanuts, and a sprinkling of paprika powder.
11. Serve with bean sprouts and lime wedges.

 

* Pickled Chilies:
Ingredients:
2 serrano chilies, cut into 1/4″ pieces
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together and let sit at least overnight before serving.

CHA CA LONG {VIETNAMESE DILL FISH WITH TURMERIC}

This is one of my favorite fish dishes because it’s so versatile. You can eat it in a bowl or roll it up like a spring roll. Anyway you decide to eat it, it’s pretty delicious!

I decided to use catfish tonight for this dish. Make sure you marinate the fish for about thirty minutes.

The red onions, scallions, and dill will be this dish’s aromatics.

Cook the fish first on a very hot cast iron skillet. I cooked this for about 3 minutes on each side.

After the fish has a nice sear on both sides, I then added the red onions and scallions and cooked it for a couple more minutes before adding the dill and then cooking for another minute before turning off the heat.

To serve this dish, I layered my lettuce, mint, cilantro, and cucumbers in a bowl. I then added cooked vermicelli noodles to this and then topped it off with my cooked fish along with some pickled carrots and daikon. And of course, I’ll drench it with the nuoc mam cham.

Cha Ca Long {Vietnamese Dill Fish with Turmeric}

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:

Fish Marinade:
1 pound catfish filet, cod, or halibut, cut into 2-inch chunks
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 clove garlic, minced
½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil

½ bunch fresh dill, chopped
¼ each red onion, julienned
2 stalks scallions, cut into 2-inch sections

Garnishes:
½ bunch cilantro
½ bunch mint
½ head red or green leaf lettuce
1 each Persian cucumber, cut into strips

Nuoc Mam Cham:
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
10 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ each Thai red chili, minced

Pickled Carrots and Daikon:
½ cup water
½ cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 each carrot, julienned
½ each daikon, julienned

Directions:
1. Mix the fish with the turmeric powder, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, sugar, kosher salt, and canola oil. Let this marinade for thirty minutes.
2. Make the nuoc mam cham by mixing the nuoc mam cham ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Prep the garnishes and set aside.
4. Over high heat, in a hot cast iron pan, add one tablespoon canola oil. Once the pan is hot, sear the fish on both sides on each side for about three minutes or until it is golden and light brown. Add the red onions and green onions and saute for about a minute or two. Add the dill. Turn off the heat. Make sure the fish is fully cooked. It should be white and opaque in color. If it is translucent, continue cooking it on the cast iron pan.
5. Serve by putting the fish on top of a bowl of vermicellii with the garnishes and pour some nuoc mam cham over it.

* For the pickled carrots and daikon, just mix the ingredients together and let it sit overnight before serving it.

VIETNAMESE CLAY POT LEMONGRASS CHICKEN WITH CARAMEL SAUCE {GA KHO XA OT}

I LOVE cooking foods in clay pots! It just feels really homey and comforting to me. If you don’t own a clay pot, a dutch oven will work perfectly fine. But if you don’t own either a clay pot or dutch oven, a regular stainless steel pot will work too. I highly recommend cooking this dish using a clay pot though cause I think it comes out tasting much better than a regular pot. Also, I used 1/2 of a Thai red chili cause I don’t like it if my food is too spicy, but if spicy is your thing, definitely go with one whole Thai red chili.

These are the aromatics: yellow onion, garlic, lemongrass, Thai red chili

Marinate the chicken thighs for at least one hour.

Caramelize the sugar by heating the oil and sugar until it has a nice brown color.

Add the chicken thighs to the caramelized sugar and cook for thirty minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

Serve with steamed white rice.

Vietnamese Clay Pot Lemongrass Chicken with Caramel Sauce {Ga Kho Xa Ot}

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
Chicken Marinade:
1 ½ pounds bone-in chicken thighs, about 4 pieces of chicken thighs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 inch stalk fresh lemongrass, white tender part, finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ each yellow onion, finely chopped
½ to 1 each Thai red chili, minced

Caramel:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Garnish:
1 teaspoon scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon cilantro , chopped

Directions:
1. If you have a meat tenderizer, I highly recommend tenderizing the chicken thighs first before marinating.  If not, just mix the chicken thighs with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, Thai red chili, lemongrass, garlic, onions, black pepper, and kosher salt. Marinate for at least one hour.
2. In a clay pot that has been soaked for at least 20 minutes, dry and place on a stove over medium heat.
3. Add 2 tablespoons canola oil and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar to the clay pot. Heat the sugar until it caramelizes and has a nice brown color. This should take about five minutes.
4. Add the chicken thighs and sear on all sides. Add the rest of the marinade to the clay pot.
5. Cover and simmer for thirty minutes or until the chicken thighs are fully cooked.
6. Garnish with scallions and cilantro and serve with steamed white rice.

CHINESE SPARE RIBS AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

I had some leftover butternut squash so I decided to make this soup. I like to roast my butternut squash first because it caramelizes and adds an additional sweetness to the soup. If you don’t want to use roasted butternut squash, feel free to replace that with turnips, daikon, napa cabbage, spinach, or whatever vegetables you’d like. Although if you want to use turnips or daikon, make sure to cook that for an hour along with the spare ribs.

Chinese Spare Ribs and Butternut Squash Soup

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
½ pound spare ribs
1 pound butternut squash, seeds removed
4 cups water
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Garnish:
1 teaspoon scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon cilantro , chopped

Directions:
1. Roast the butternut squash in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes, or until tender. Let cool and then peel and cut into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
2. For the spare ribs, cover with water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Throw away this water and clean the spare ribs by washing the spareribs with cold water.
3. Place the clean spare ribs in a clean pot and add 4 cups of water, along with the chicken bouillon, ginger, and salt.
4. Cook on low heat for one hour.
5. Add the roasted butternut squash and let this simmer for another twenty minutes.
6. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.
7. Serve with steamed white rice, if desired.