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!


The rice vermicelli I used.


Bun Rieu {Vietnamese Crab and Tomato Noodle Soup}

Source: Lo Huynh (6 servings)


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

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

green onions, chopped
cilantro , chopped
shallots, thinly sliced

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.
2. Add red chili powder or paprika and saute for 30 seconds to a minute. You don’t want the chili to burn.
3. Add broth, fish sauce, tamarind soup baste, sugar, tomatoes, fried tofu, and fine shrimp sauce and bring to a boil.
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.
5. Simmer the broth for thirty minutes.
6. Ladle the broth over the cooked vermicelli noodles and garnish with the chopped scallions, cilantro, and shallots.
7. Serve with the shredded romaine, lime wedges, and fine shrimp sauce on the side.


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

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.


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)


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

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

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.


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)

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

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon cilantro , chopped

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.