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.

THAI SPICY EGGPLANT WITH BASIL

I’m a huge fan of eggplant and Thai food so of course, I’d adore this recipe. I hope you enjoy this simple yet flavorful dish. By the way, if you don’t have Thai basil, you can just use regular basil and this dish will still come out tasting pretty amazing!

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Thai Spicy Eggplant with Basil

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
1 lb. Italian eggplants, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 each Thai bird’s eye chili, minced
1 each shallot, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup fresh Thai basil leaves
3 tablespoons canola oil

Sauce:
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ cup chicken broth

Cornstarch Slurry:
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

Directions:
1. Cut the eggplants into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of kosher salt in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let this soak for 30 minutes to diminish the bitterness of the eggplants.
2. After 30 minutes, rinse off the eggplants to remove the salt solution and let drain and dry.
3. In a wok, over high heat, add 3 tablespoons of canola oil.
4. Once the oil is hot, add the minced chilies, garlic, and shallots. Saute until fragrant for about a minute.
5. Add the eggplants and saute for a couple minutes until there is a nice sear on the eggplants.
6. Once the eggplants get soft, add the sauce mixture and cook for about five to seven minutes, or until the eggplants are slightly translucent.
7. Add the cornstarch slurry mixture {make the mixture by mixing the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until the cornstarch is dissolved} and stir until the sauce thickens. This should take about a minute.
8. Add the fresh Thai basil and serve with steamed Jasmine rice.

ROASTED GARLIC MUSHROOMS

This is a great side dish or an amazing appetizer that you can serve with a nice baguette!

roastedmushrooms

Roasted Garlic Mushrooms

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
8 ounces cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and rough chopped

Garnish:
1 tablespoon scallions, chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a baking dish, toss mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, capers, and garlic.
3. Top with butter and roast for about 30 minutes.
4. Garnish with the scallions.

CROCK POT BEEF NOODLE SOUP

Beef Noodle Soup

The husband has been under the weather, so instead of making him chicken noodle soup, I decided to make him this instead. Feel free to use homemade chicken stock if you have some lying around, low sodium canned chicken broth, or if you want a more beef flavor, low sodium beef stock.

Crock Pot Beef Noodle Soup

Source: Lo Huynh (6 servings)

Ingredients:
1 pound stewing beef, cut into 1″ chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 each carrot, peeled and diced into 1″ chunks
6 stalks celery, washed and diced into 1″ pieces
1 each small yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water
4 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 cups dried extra wide egg noodles, cook according to directions on package
2 tablespoons canola oil

Garnish:
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
1. In a pot, over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of canola oil.
2. Once the oil is hot, add the stewing beef, kosher salt, and black pepper. Sear the meat until it has a nice brown color.
3. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Saute for about five minutes or until there is slight caramelization and is fragrant.
4. Place the sauteed meat and vegetables in a crock pot. Add 6 cups of water, 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon, and 1 teaspoon dried parsley.
5. Set the crock pot on low setting and let cook for 6 hours.
6. Skim off any scum, if necessary.
7. After 6 hours, put the crock pot on high setting and add the cooked extra wide egg noodles Let this cook for ten to fifteen minutes.
8. Serve in bowls and garnish with the fresh parsley.

ROASTED TOMATILLO SAUCE

I LOVE tomatillo sauce. This sauce goes great with tacos and muy delicioso with tortilla chips!

The first thing you’ll want to do is season the tomatillos, red onion, garlic cloves, and jalapeno and then drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil.

Then you’ll want to roast these ingredients.

Put the ingredients in a food processor, add the lime juice and salt, and pulverize everything together.

And then you get rewarded with the best roasted tomatillo sauce like ever!

Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Source: Lo Huynh (1 cup)

Ingredients:
¾ pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
3 cloves garlic
¼ each red onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 each jalepeno, stemmed and seeded
tt kosher salt
tt black pepper

1 each lime, juiced
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
1. In a sheet pan, season the tomatillos, garlic, onion, and jalapeno with kosher salt and pepper. Drizzle everything with the olive oil.
2. In a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven, roast for thirty minutes.
3. Put the ingredients into a food processor along with the lime juice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pulse until smooth. Serve with tacos!

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.

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.

HAWAIIAN STYLE RIB EYE STEAKS

For a special occasion, I recommend making this steak. Romance the crap out of your partner with this meal. If not, make it for yourself and fall in love with yourself again. Or just make it and eat it. It’s really good!

The rib eyes!

Cook the marinade in a small sauce pan and marinate the rib eyes for a good 24 hours.

Sear the rib eyes in a nice cast iron and then finish in the oven.

Hawaiian Style Rib Eye Steaks

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
2 8 oz. Ribeye steaks, about 1″ thck
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sweet cream butter

Marinade:
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch fresh ginger, sliced into 1/4″ medallions
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. In a saucepan, heat the pineapple juice, brown sugar, apple cider, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
2. Bring to a boil and let cool.
3. Once cool, add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the marinade.
4. Place your rib eyes in a ziploc bag and add your marinade to the bag. Marinade for 24 hours.
5. Take your rib eyes and bring to room temperature by leaving it out on the counter for about 15 minutes.
6. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a cast iron pan and let it get hot over high heat.
7. Sear your rib eyes for about 2 minutes each side, or until your rib eyes have a nice sear to it.
8. Top the rib eyes with the sweet cream butter and if you want it more well done, finish it in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple minutes or until desired doneness.
9. Let the rib eyes rest for five minutes before serving.
10. Serve with a nice twice baked potato.

LEMONGRASS BRAISED SHORT RIBS

I had some leftover ale from a dinner party I had a couple nights ago. The husband wanted to drink it but I was like, “No…you do NOT. It’s going to go into my short ribs.” The husband was like… “Uh. Okay.” I seriously hope he doesn’t eat these short ribs and wish I had just let him drink the rest of the ale instead. Ugggghhh. xoxo.

The Beef Short Ribs.

Seasoned the short ribs with some sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and dusted them with some A/P flour.

The leftover ale I had lying in my fridge.

The aromatics.

Searing the short ribs in a dutch oven.

Setting the seared short ribs aside on a plate.

Sauteing the aromatics so it’ll be fragrant.

Added the tomato sauce and ale.

After braising in the oven for about three hours, the meat should be tender and basically falling off the bones.

I served the short ribs with some simple smashed potatoes and roasted asparagus and baby oyster mushrooms.

Lemongrass Braised Short Ribs

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
3 pounds beef short ribs, bone-in
1 tablespoon all purpose white flour
tt sea salt
tt fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 5-inch stalk lemongrass
1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 each carrot, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 2″ pieces
1 each red onion, quartered
2 cups good ale or red wine such as a merlot or cabernet
4 ounces tomato sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 cup chicken broth

Directions:
1. Wash and dry your short ribs.
2. Season the short ribs with the sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and then dust them with the all purpose white flour.
3. In a dutch oven, coat the pot with canola oil and turn the heat to high.
4. Once the heat is high, begin searing the short ribs until you get a nice brown color on them. Cook small batches of short ribs at a time so you can get a nice sear. Set the short ribs on a plate after you’ve seared them.
5. In the same dutch oven, add the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, carrots, celery, and onions and saute for a couple minutes until it is fragrant.
6. Add the tomato sauce and cook it for about a minute.
7. Add the ale or wine and scrape the bottom of the pot to get flavors into the sauce.
8. Add the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, golden brown sugar, and hoisin sauce.
9. Add the short ribs back into the pot.
10. Add the chicken stock to cover the short ribs and bring to boil.
11. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones.
12. Serve the short ribs with some smashed potatoes and roasted asparagus and baby oyster mushrooms and spoon the cooking liquid over the short ribs. Garnish with some chopped parsley.

SINGAPORE STYLE CHILI CRABS

I love eating crab, especially when it’s drenched in a spicy Asian infused sauce. This recipe is totally easy to make…I’d make it everyday if crab wasn’t sooo darn expensive!

Singapore Style Chili Crabs

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
2 each whole cooked Dungeness crabs

Sauce:
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce {Rooster/sriracha brand}
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup water

Aromatics:
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 each sweet onion, finely minced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the bias, separate light parts from the green parts

Slurry:
1 tablespoon corn starch
3 tablespoons water

Garnish:
½ bunch cilantro , chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:
1. Pull the main shell of the crab and discard it. Remove the gray gills and soft insides. Cut the body in half and remove each leg. Crack the legs and claws. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together {chili garlic sauce, oyster sauce, tamarind paste, ketchup, and water}. Set aside.
3. In a wok, add the oil and heat the wok over high heat. Once heated, add the white parts of the scallion, ginger, garlic, and onion. Cook for about a minute, or until fragrant.
4. Add the crab and stir fry for another minute or two.
5. Add the sauce and stir to coat. Cook for about two minutes or until the crab has absorbed the sauce.
6. Thicken with the slurry {cornstarch and water mixture}. Cook for another minute.
7. Add the rest of the scallions {green parts} and cilantro.
8. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.