Since it’s been pretty cold, I decided to cook up some chicken pho. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

* makes 6 servings

1 each yellow onion
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger
1 5 lbs. chicken
1 each cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 tablespoon sea salt
¼ cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar or 2-inch rock sugar
6 quarts water

2 lbs. small flat rice noodles
cooked chicken
1 each yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, and drained
3 each scallions, thinly sliced
⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 cups bean sprouts
12 sprigs Thai basil
2 each limes, cut into wedges
2 to 3 each Thai or serrano chilis, thinly sliced

1. Roast 1 yellow onion with the unpeeled fresh ginger at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Peel the yellow onion and fresh ginger and set aside.
2. Wash the chicken with salt.
3. Bring 6 quarts of water to boil. Add cleaned chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Skim the scum on the surface of the broth as necessary.
4. Add roasted ginger, onions, sea salt, and sugar.
5. Simmer the chicken for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked fully. Remove the chicken from the broth.
6. Separate the meat from the bones. Shred the meat and set aside. Return the chicken bones back to the broth.
7. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise to the broth.
8. Simmer the broth for another 2 hours.
9. Add the fish sauce in the last hour of cooking and adjust seasonings if necessary.
10. Strain broth.
11. Cook pho (rice noodles) per package directions. Ladle broth, add shredded chicken, and cooked noodles in each bowl. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, and thinly sliced onion rounds.
12. Serve with bean sprous, basil, lime, and Thai or serrano chilis on the side.


My cousin Pete requested that I cook up some Bo Luc Lac, also known as “Shaking Beef.” So this one is for you cousin!

* Serves 4

1 lb. filet mignon, cut into 1” cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. sugar
2 T. oyster sauce
1 T. fish sauce
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. fresh cracked black pepper
1 T. butter

¼ c rice vinegar
1 T. sugar
½ T. sea salt
1/2 T. soy sauce
2 T. salad oil

Dipping Sauce:
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

½ red onion, julienned
1 tomato, quartered into 8 pieces
2 cups watercress

1. Marinate the beef with the garlic, sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, cracked black pepper, and soy sauce for at least one hour.
2. In a pan over high heat, add 2 T. cooking oil, add the beef in an even single layer and sear before turning the beef and then searing the other side. Add the butter to this when the meat is almost done cooking. Do this in batches!
3. Serve seared meat with the salad with the dipping sauce and vinaigrette on the side.

Com Do Ca Chua [Vietnamese Red Rice]

2 cups cooked, day-old jasmine rice
2 medium shallots, minced
2 T. tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. Maggi seasoning
1 tsp. sugar
tt salt and pepper

1. In a sauté pan over high heat, add 2 T. oil and the minced garlic and shallots.
2. Stir in the rice.
3. Add in the tomato paste, the Maggi seasoning, and sugar.
4. Mix thoroughly and serve with the bo luc lac.