BUN RIEU {VIETNAMESE CRAB AND TOMATO NOODLE SOUP}

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I remember making this dish when I was ten years old. My mom had given me some directions and I remember feeling incredibly proud that I was able to accomplish this on my own. Now over twenty years later, making this again reminds me of being that ten-year-old girl who became incredibly excited that my mom trusted me enough to make our family meal. I hope you enjoy this noodle soup dish!

The ingredients!

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The rice vermicelli I used.

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Bun Rieu {Vietnamese Crab and Tomato Noodle Soup}

Source: Lo Huynh (6 servings)

Ingredients:

Broth:
8 cups chicken or pork broth
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind soup mix
1 teaspoon red chili powder or paprika
4 each Roma tomatoes, quartered
6 ounces cubes of deep fried tofu
1 bunch scallions {white part only}, cut into 2 inch long pieces
1 teaspoon fine shrimp sauce {mam tom}
3 tablespoons canola oil

Rieu:
7 ounces crab paste with soya oil
1 bunch scallions {green part only}, cut into 2 inch long pieces
2 tablespoons dried shrimp, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
4 eggs

To Serve:
vermicelli rice noodles, cooked according to package
romaine lettuce, shredded
fine shrimp sauce {mam tom}
lime wedges

Garnish:
green onions, chopped
cilantro , chopped
shallots, thinly sliced

Directions:
1. Saute garlic, white parts of scallions, and shallots in a pot with 3 tablespoons of canola oil for a couple minutes, or until shallots are somewhat translucent.
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2. Add red chili powder or paprika and saute for 30 seconds to a minute. You don’t want the chili to burn.
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3. Add broth, fish sauce, tamarind soup baste, sugar, tomatoes, fried tofu, and fine shrimp sauce and bring to a boil.
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4. In a bowl, crack the eggs and mix with the crab paste with soya oil, dried shrimp, and green parts of scallions and add the egg and crab mixture to broth.
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5. Simmer the broth for thirty minutes.
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6. Ladle the broth over the cooked vermicelli noodles and garnish with the chopped scallions, cilantro, and shallots.
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7. Serve with the shredded romaine, lime wedges, and fine shrimp sauce on the side.

THIT BO KHO {VIETNAMESE BEEF STEW} WITH RICE NOODLES

Despite the fact that the weather has been crazy hot, I’ve been craving some Vietnamese beef stew, big time. I hope you try out this recipe. This stuff is yummy…or at least to me.

* serves 6

3 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 onion, diced into 2-inch pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons curry powder
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 red chili, minced
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
1-inch knob of ginger, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, use only the bottom half and crush with a knife
4 star anises

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
16 oz. water

2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

Directions:
1. Marinate the beef with the onion, garlic, sugar, curry powder, fish sauce, sea salt, red chili, Chinese 5-spice, ginger, lemongrass, and star anises for thirty minutes.
2. In a stockpot, add oil to cover the pot. Once the oil is hot, add in the marinated beef and cook until there is a nice sear on the beef on all sides.
3. Add in the tomato sauce, water, and bay leaf.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer for one hour and thirty minutes over low heat.
5. Add the carrots and cook for another thirty minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
6. Serve the stew over rice noodles and garnish with cilantro and sliced scallions.

BANH BOT LOC {VIETNAMESE CLEAR SHRIMP DUMPLINGS}

I utterly LOVE banh bot loc. This recipe I’m posting makes enough for one…and by one, just me. Anyway, feel free to double or triple up this recipe if you’re cooking this for more than one. Also, my mom makes this with some fatty pork in the filling but since I don’t really like fatty stuff, I left it out, but you can feel free to add it to your filling if you’d like.

Banh Bot Loc {Vietnamese Clear Shrimp Dumplings}

Source: Lo Huynh (1 servings | 18 pieces)

Ingredients:

Dumpling Dough:
2 cups tapioca starch
½ cup boiling water, approximately

Filling:
2 tablespoons yellow onion, minced
6 each shrimp {16 – 20 count}, cut into thirds
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt
tt ground black pepper

Scallion Oil:
2 stalks scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil

Dipping Sauce:
1 clove garlic, minced
½ each bird’s eye chili, minced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lime juice

Directions:

1. In a pan, heat up 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add the scallions and saute for about a minute, or until the scallions has slightly softened. Set the scallions aside in a small bowl and leave about 1 tablespoon of canola oil in the pan.


2. In the same pan, over high heat, add the 2 tablespoons minced yellow onions, chopped shrimp, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a sprinkling of ground black pepper. Saute for about ten minutes or until the onions have a nice caramelization to them and the shrimp is fully cooked and all the liquid has absorbed.


3. To make the dough, add the 2 cups of tapioca starch in a metal mixing bowl and make a well. Add enough boiling water {I used about 1/2 cup} to the tapioca starch so that a dough forms. Mix with a metal fork and then finish kneading with your hands until the dough comes together.


4. Divide the dough into 18 pieces. Using your fingers, flatten the dough into 3 inch round pieces. Fill with one piece of the cooked shrimp with some of the cooked onions. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges in order to seal the edges. Keep a piece of plastic over the dough so it doesn’t dry out. Repeat and finish making all of the dumplings.


5. To cook the dumplings, add the dumplings to a pot of boiling water. Cook for about ten minutes. Stir the dumplings gently so they don’t stick together. The dumplings should float to the surface. Run the dumplings over cold water. They should turn transparent. Drain well and mix them with the scallion oil.


6. To make the dipping sauce, mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together. Serve with the cooked dumplings.

HAINAN CHICKEN RICE

I LOVE Hainan chicken rice. If I have time, I like to make it old skool style, using a whole chicken which I’ll poach and then use the broth to cook the rice with and make a nice soup to go along with the dish. With the leftover stock, I like to just freeze it and use it for future meals.

If I’m short on time, I’ll forgo the whole chicken and just use chicken breasts with some ready made chicken broth, and by ready made, some Asian stock that I’ve stored in my freezer. By the way, if you don’t have homemade Asian chicken stock and just want to use canned chicken broth, I highly recommend diluting the canned chicken broth with a can of water, unless you like your food more on the salty side. I’ve included the old skool version and the quick version of this recipe for you.

To poach the chicken and make the broth, you just need to throw the ingredients into a stock pot. Bring it to a boil, remove the scum and let this gently simmer for about an hour.

A little over an hour later, you get this beautiful broth and nicely poached chicken.

After letting the chicken rest for about 30 minutes, cut it into pieces. Slice the chicken into bite size pieces right before serving.

If I know I’ll be using a lot of ginger and garlic, I like to get it all chopped up in my food processor. {By the way, I HATE my Cuisinart food processor cause this is seriously my third food processor from them cause it keeps breaking down. I highly recommend getting a Robocoupe if you have the money. That will probably be the next food processor I’ll get once this one breaks down…which will happen MOST likely. uggggghh.}

Nicely minced ginger and garlic will be used to cook the rice and make the sauces with.

To cook the rice, if you are using a package of Jasmine rice that states you don’t need to wash it first, you can forgo washing the rice at least three times and then letting it drain and dry. In a pan, heat up some oil. Add the minced ginger and garlic and saute until it is fragrant. Add the rice and saute until it is lightly golden in color.

Put this rice in your rice cooker and add the chicken broth to the 2-cup rice line. Set the rice cooker to cook.

Cut up the cucumber. I forget what this tool is called but I used it to peel some of the skin from the cucumber and I think it gives it a better presentation in addition to removing some of the bitter taste from the skin.

There are the ingredients for the soup. I know, the gizzards do NOT look very pretty.

Make the various sauces and set aside.

Serve the cooked rice with the poached chicken and various sauces.

Hainan Chicken Rice

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
Poached Chicken and Chicken Broth:
4 pounds whole chicken
16 cups water
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 each large yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Hainan Rice:
2 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups jasmine rice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cups chicken broth, from poached chicken

Gingered Fish Sauce:
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
4 tablespoons peanut oil/canola oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 stalks green onion, chopped

Ginger Salt Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 each green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 tsp kosher salt

Chili Lime Sauce:
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons chicken broth
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili garlic sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

Garnishes:
8 sprigs cilantro
¼ each yellow onion, julienned
¼ each English hothouse cucumber, sliced into thin rounds

Soup:
4 cups chicken broth
1 ounce bean thread noodles
gizzards from cooked chicken, chopped up, optional
2 tablespoons cilantro , chopped
1 stalk scallions, chopped

Poaching Chicken and Chicken Broth:
1. Put the whole chicken, 16 cups water, 2-inch piece ginger, large yellow onion, 4 cloves of garlic, kosher salt, and granulated sugar into a large stock pot.
2. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum.
3. Semi-cover the stock pot and simmer for 1 hour, or until your chicken is fully cooked.
4. Remove the chicken from the broth and let rest on a plate for 30 minutes before cutting it up to be served. Remove the gizzards from the chicken and set aside for the soup if you choose to serve it.
5. Strain the broth.
6. Reserve 2 cups of broth for the Hainan rice and 4 cups for the soup to go with this dish. The rest of the broth can be stored in the freezer and used for future meals that require an Asian chicken broth.

Chicken Hainan Rice:
1. Wash the Jasmine rice at least three times, drain, and let dry. If you use a Thai Jasmine rice where the package states you don’t have to wash the rice before cooking, you can omit this step.
2. In a pan, add 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 tablespoon minced ginger. Add rice and saute until slightly golden. This should take about a minute or two.
3. Put rice grains in a rice cooker and add the proper amount of liquid using the liquid used to poach the chicken. I generally adhere to the lines that are found on the rice cooker and generally find that 2 cups of broth works for me.
4. Turn your rice cooker on.

Dipping Sauces:
1. For the fish sauce, mix together the ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, and water.
2. For the ginger soy sauce, heat the oil. Turn off heat and then add the ginger, green onion, and soy sauce.
3. For a plain ginger green onion dipping sauce, heat up 3 T. vegetable oil. Turn off heat and add to 1 green onion chopped, 2 T. minced ginger, and 1 tsp. salt.
4. For the chili lime sauce, process the lime juice, poaching liquid, sugar, Sriracha chili garlic sauce, garlic, and ginger in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can just blend this sauce in a blender.

Soup:
1. In a stock pot, heat 4 cups of the chicken broth and chopped up gizzards if you choose to serve them.
2. If you think your stock is too bland, season with salt and sugar.
3. Bring the broth to a boil, add the bean thread noodles and cook for about a minute.
4. Turn off the heat.
5. Serve with some chopped cilantro and scallions.

Plating the Hainan Chicken Rice:
1. Serve the rice with the poached chicken on a plate with the sliced English hothouse cucumbers.
2. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and serve with the dipping sauces on the side.

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Quick Version: Hainan Chicken Rice

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
4 each chicken breasts
2 cups homemade Asian chicken stock
2 cups jasmine rice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced

Dipping Sauces:
Gingered Fish Sauce:
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
4 tablespoons peanut oil/canola oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 stalks green onion, chopped

Ginger Salt Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 each green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 tsp kosher salt

Chili Lime Sauce:
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons chicken broth
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili garlic sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

Directions:
1. Poach chicken breasts in the chicken broth by bringing the broth to boil, add the chicken, bring the broth to simmer and cook the breasts in the broth until it is fully cooked.
2. Set chicken breasts aside.
3. Wash the jasmine rice at least three times and drain.
4. In a pan, add 2 T. oil. Add 1 T. minced garlic and 1 T. minced ginger. Add drained rice and saute until slightly golden.
5. Put rice grains in a rice cooker and add the proper amount of chicken broth.
6. Make the dipping sauces.
7. For the fish sauce, mix together the ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, and water.
8. For the ginger soy sauce, heat the oil. Turn off heat and then add the ginger, green onion, and soy sauce.
9. For a plain ginger green onion dipping sauce, heat up 3 T. vegetable oil. Turn off heat and add to 1 green onion chopped, 2 T. minced ginger, and 1 tsp. salt.
10. For the chili lime sauce, process the lime juice, poaching liquid, sugar, Sriracha chili garlic sauce, garlic, and ginger in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can just blend this sauce in a blender.
11. Serve the rice with the poached chicken breasts sliced with the dipping sauces.

BANH CANH TOM CUA {VIETNAMESE SHRIMP AND CRAB UDON}

This is my ultimate comfort food on a cold dreary day or honestly, any day. I know you can buy the pre-packaged banh canh noodles but I prefer making them from scratch. That way, I know exactly what’s going into these noodles. On top of that, the prepackaged noodles either taste WAY too greasy for me or the texture doesn’t have the chewiness or consistency that I like. Anyway, I hope you ADORE this dish as much as I ADORE it.

This is the crab meat and crab paste I used. You can use jumbo lump crab meat if you’re fancy. I just use the stuff in the jar or can cause I have to cook on a budget. Uggggghh.

Mix the shrimp, crab meat, and seasonings in a bowl and set aside.

Prep the garnishes.

I like using chicken stock that I’ve made. I just take it out of my freezer, quickly run it under hot water.  I’ll add this chicken broth into my pot later.

You will also need two eggs for this dish.

Okay. Lets start cooking! The first thing we’ll want to do is get a stock pot, add some oil to it. Once it gets hot, add the shrimp and crabmeat mixture and cook until your shrimp is fully cooked.

Add the broth to this and since I used frozen chicken broth, I’ll just cover this up with a lid so it’ll defrost faster. Bring the broth to a boil.

Add the fresh banh canh noodles to the boiling broth and cook for about ten minutes or until the noodles no longer have a starchy taste and are translucent.

Add the eggs and gently whisk into the soup.

The soup should look something like this. If you want the soup to be thinner, there are two things you can do. You can blanch the noodles first before putting it into the broth to remove excess flour or you can add more water and readjust the seasonings. I personally like my soup thick so I kept it as is.

 

Banh Canh Tom Cua {Vietnamese Shrimp and Crab Udon}

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon yellow onion or shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and roughly chopped up
6.5 ounces crab meat, drained
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon crab paste

8 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
2 each large eggs

Noodles:
1 ½ cups tapioca starch
1 ½ cups rice flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup boiling water
rice flour, additional for dusting

Garnishes:
¼ each yellow onion, julienned
2 stalks scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons fried red onions

Directions:
1. Mix the shrimp, crabmeat, garlic, onion, red chili flakes, crab paste, sugar, salt, fish sauce, and black pepper together in a bowl.
2. In a hot stock pot, add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Once the oil is heated, add the shrimp crabmeat mixture and cook until the shrimp is fully cooked. This should take about five minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add the banh canh noodles and cook until the noodles are transparen and there is no longer a starchy taste to the noodles. This should take about ten minutes.
5. Whisk in two eggs.
6. Serve your banh canh in a bowl and garnish with the yellow onions, green onions, cilantro, and the fried red onions.

* If you want the soup to be thinner, there are two things you can do. You can blanch the noodles first before putting it into the broth to remove excess flour or you can add more water and readjust the seasonings.

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For banh canh noodles, use tapioca starch and rice flour.

Mix the tapioca starch, rice flour, and kosher salt together in a bowl.

Add BOILING water, mix with a fork, and then knead until a nice dough forms.

Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half to make rolling out easier.

Roll out and cut into strips.

Dust with more rice flour so the noodles don’t clump and stick together.

The finished noodles!

 

Banh Canh Noodles:
Directions:
1. Make the noodles by combining the tapioca starch, rice flour, and kosher salt together. Mix well.
2. Add boiling water and mix with a fork until combined.
3. Knead the mixture for about ten minutes until it forms into a nice dough.
4. Wrap the dough and let the dough rest for 30 minutes before rolling it out.
5. Cut the dough in half so it’ll be easier to roll.
6. Sprinkle some rice flour on a cutting board and roll out with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4″ thick. Cut into long strips about 1/4″ wide and coat with more rice flour so it doesn’t clump together. It is now ready to be used for your banh canh.

SCALLION OIL

This is a great condiment to put on a bunch of Vietnamese dishes like thit nuong or banh bot loc or com tam dishes.

Chop up the scallions.

Cook the scallions in some oil.

Scallion Oil

Source: Lo Huynh (3 tablespoons)

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 stalks scallions, chopped

Directions:
1. In a small sauce pan, heat up the canola oil over medium heat.
2. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat to low medium heat and add the scallions.
3. Cook the scallions for about a minute and take off heat.

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.

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.

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.