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 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.

fishcakes

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.

THAI SPICY BASIL SHRIMP AND CALAMARI

The aromatics.

The mise en place.

The sauce.

Cook this dish in a very hot wok!

Add the basil last and turn off heat.

Thai Spicy Basil Shrimp and Calamari

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon cilantro stems, minced
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ each Thai bird’s eye chili, minced

½ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound calamari rings
½ pound green beans, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1/3 {about 2″ segments}
½ cup baby corn

½ cup fresh Thai basil leaves

2 tablespoons canola oil

Sauce:
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
1 tablespoon chicken broth
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Directions:
1. Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside.
2. Over high heat, add the canola oil to a hot wok.
3. Add the cilantro stems, shallots, garlic, and Thai bird’s eye chili. Saute for about a minute.
4. Add the shrimp and calamari. Saute for about three minutes or until halfway cooked.
5. Add the green beans and baby corn. Saute for about five minutes or until the green beans are tender but still crunchy, or until your desired doneness, and shrimp and calamari is fully cooked.
6. Add the sauce ingredients to coat everything and cook for another minute or two.
7. Add the fresh Thai basil, mix for about a minute, and turn off the heat. Serve with Jasmine rice.

BANH CUON {STEAMED RICE ROLLS}

I will admit that this is a bit time consuming to make but the results are definitely worth it for me. Then again, I think cooking is a labor of love and I can’t imagine doing it any other way. Also, make sure you use a good non-stick pan. The first time I made this, I used a cheap non-stick pan and the batter just stuck to the pan. I HIGHLY recommend Calphalon’s Unison SLIDE non-stick pans. I’m pretty anti non-stick pans cause the thought of the teflon scratching off freaks me out but I’m glad I just bit the bullet and purchased these Calphalon pans. It definitely made making the banh cuon a piece of cake!

Prep the garnishes.

Cook the filling.

Cook the banh cuon in a good NON-STICK pan.

Flip the banh cuon onto a cutting board and wrap it up.

Roll it up like a burrito and serve with the garnishes.

Banh Cuon {Steamed Rice Rolls}

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:

Nuoc Mam Cham:
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lime juice or white distilled vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce {Rooster/sriracha brand}

Garnishes:
½ bunch cilantro , chopped
¼ pound Vietnamese ham, cha lua, thinly sliced into half moons
1 cup bean sprouts, blanched
1 each Persian cucumber, julienned

Hanh Phi {Fried Shallots}:
2 each shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
or
2 tablespoons pre-made fried red onion

Filling:
½ pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
⅓ cup wood ear fungus, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drained, and chopped
¼ each yellow onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Rice Crepes:
1 package Banh cuon flour, follow directions on package
or
1 cup rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
2 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon canola oil

Directions:
1. Make the nuoc mam cham by mixing all the nuoc mam cham ingredients together. Set aside in the refrigerator.
2. Prep the garnishes and set aside. Blanch the bean sprouts by bringing a pot of water to boil, add the bean sprouts, and then quickly remove and drain.
3. For the hanh phi {fried shallots}, thinly slice the shallots. Over medium high heat, in a small sauce pan, add the 2 tablespoons canola oil and add the sliced shallots. Cook the shallots until it is golden brown and crispy. Remove the shallots but leave about 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in the pan. Set the shallots aside.
4. In a bowl, mix all the pork filling ingredients together.
5. In the sauce pan that the shallots were fried in, over high heat, add the ground pork filling mixture and saute until the pork is brown and fully cooked. Set aside.
6. For the crepes, follow the directions on the banh cuon package. Also, use only half the package if you’re only cooking for 2 servings.
7. If you want to make the banh cuon batter from scratch, whisk the 1 cup rice flour, 1 cup tapioca starch, 2 1/2 cups water, and 1 tablespoon canola oil in a bowl until throughly mixed.
8. Over medium high heat, in a nonstick pan, lightly oil the pan. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup batter and swirl to coat the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about one minute. Once the crepe is cooked, flip it onto a cutting board. Start on your next crepe.
9. While the new crepe is cooking, add the filling to your cooked crepe and roll it up like a burrito. The rolls should be somewhat translucent.
10. Continue cooking the crepes this way until you finish the batter.
11. Serve the banh cuon by topping it with the hanh phi {fried shallots}. Garnish with cilantro, blanched bean sprouts, julienned cucumbers, and Vietnamese ham {cha lua}. Serve with the nuoc mam cham on the side.