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.

THAI FISH CAKES

This has to be one of my favorite appetizers to get at a Thai restaurant. It’s a pain to make at home cause hand mixing the fish paste is a major pain but I think it comes out tasting better than mixing it with a Kitchen-Aid Mixer.

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Thai Fish Cakes

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:

Fish Cakes:
11 ounces prepared fish paste
1 large egg whites
1 teaspoon red curry paste
½ cup Chinese long beans, thinly sliced crosswise
2 each fresh kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cucumber Relish Sauce:
2 each Persian cucumber, peeled and cut into crescents
1 each shallot, thinly sliced
½ cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, rough choppd
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped

Directions:

Fish Cakes:
1. In a mixing bowl, add the fish paste, egg white, and red curry paste and stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
2. Add the kaffir lime leaves and Chinese green beans.
3. Let the fish paste mixture rest for 30 minutes before frying.
4. Over medium high heat, heat a saute pan with the vegetable oil. Form the fish paste into 1/4 inch-thick rounds about 4 inches in diameter using your hand and slide the fish paste patties into the hot oil. It helps to form these patties when your hands are wet so the fish paste doesn’t stick to your hands.
5. Once one side of the fish patty is golden {this should take about a minute or two}, flip the patty and cook the other side. The fish cakes are fully cooked when you can feel a bouncy resistance from them.
6. Transfer the fish cake patties to a paper towel-lined plate.
7. Serve the fish cake patties with the cucumber relish sauce.

Cucumber Relish Sauce:
1. In a bowl, mix the Thai sweet chili sauce, shallots, fish sauce, and cilantro together.
2. Add the cucumbers.
3. Garnish with the roasted peanuts.

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.

CARI GA {VIETNAMESE CHICKEN CURRY}

Potato, some leftover coconut milk, and carrot in the fridge. I looked at those items and thought to myself…craps..I really need to use up that leftover coconut milk before it goes bad. So the only thing i could think of was…cari ga…which translates to “curry chicken”…or i hope that is what it means. i bring upon shame to my mother in my lack of mastery over the Vietnamese language amongst other things. I hope she can find some consolation in the fact that my English ain’t any better.

Okay…enough mumbo jumbo talk…Here’s my recipe or my version of this most delectable dish.

Cari Ga {Vietnamese Chicken Curry}

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
3 lbs. chicken thighs {i used the thighs with the bones attached}
2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass {tender part}, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 shallot, finely minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon chili flakes {i used korean chili powder}
tt fresh cracked black pepper

2 cups coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 bay leaves

2 carrots, peeled and cut on diagonal
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Vidalia sweet onion, cut into wedges

cilantro, chopped

Directions:
1. Marinate the chicken with Madras curry powder, lemongrass, garlic, sugar, shallot, sea salt, fish sauce, chili flakes, and freshly cracked black pepper for about an hour.
2. In a stock pot, add canola oil to coat the pot and sear the chicken thighs.
3. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, and bay leaves.
4. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum.
5. Reduce the heat and let the chicken cook at a simmer for about 15 minutes.
6. Add the carrots, potatoes, and onions. Cook until the carrots and potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
7. Garnish with the cilantro and serve with some fresh french bread.