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.


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)

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

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

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.


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)


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}

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
2 tablespoons pre-made fried red onion

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
1 cup rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
2 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon canola oil

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.


One of my favorite Vietnamese dishes to eat is ga roti…which is basically a roasted chicken.  This is prolly my 3rd attempt at making this and I think I was able to finally tweak the recipe to my liking…and by liking, hearing the husband tell me he loved it.  I think the biggest secret in making this dish taste specular is that I used a meat tenderizer on the chicken first, so that helped break down the connective tissues and the marinade was able to seep into the meat better, thus producing a very tender and very flavorful chicken.  I hope you love this recipe as much as my husband loved eating it tonite!  xoxo.

Ga Roti {Vietnamese Roasted Chicken}

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

2 each chicken drumsticks
2 each chicken thighs

1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon cilantro , roughly chopped

1. Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry. Tenderize the chicken using a meat tenderizer.
2. Mix the marinade ingredients together and toss the chicken with the marinade.
3. Marinate the chicken for at least one hour to overnight.
4.  Set your oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
5. In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Once oil is hot, sear the skin side down first until a nice golden brown color and then sear the other side of the chicken pieces.
6. Put the pan in your oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear and your chicken is fully cooked.
7. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and garnish with the chopped cilantro.


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)

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

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.


I’ve been wanting to create the most perfect Vietnamese style pan-roasted chicken in a while…I think I finally made it last nite. It’s kind of like a ga roti but with an American flare to it’s cooking techniques. I hope you make and enjoy this dish. xoxo.

Pan-Roasted 5-Spice Honey Glazed Chicken

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

2 chicken breasts, bone-in

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
3 tablespoon oil

1. In a bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients together.
2. In a plastic bag, throw in your chicken breasts with the marinade.
3. Marinade the chicken for at least one hour and up to overnight.
4. In a pan, add oil to coat the pan.
5. Over high heat, sear the chicken. Cook the skin side down first. Once it develops a nice sear, flip and sear the other side.
6. Place your pan with the chickens in the oven and roast at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes. Raise the temp to 400 degrees F and cook for another ten to fifteen minutes, basically until the skin is crispy and your chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear.
7. Serve the pan juices on the side to either pour over the chicken or dip the chicken in.
8. Serve with jasmine rice or a nice salad consisting of romaine {cut into bite sized pieces}, cucumbers {sliced}, and tomatoes {cut into wedges} with a Vidalia sweet onion Vetnamese inspired vinaigrette.

Vidalia sweet onion Vietnamese Vinaigrette
* serves 2

3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons grape seed oil
tt sea salt and fresh crushed black pepper
1/4 each Vidalia sweet onion, julienned

1. Whisk rice vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and grape seed oil until emulsified.
2. Add in the julienned Vidalia sweet onions.
3. Let the vinaigrette marinate for about an hour before serving.
4. Toss with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.


My husband is out of town on business, thus the crappy photo you see before you. Anyway, I had some celery and carrots in the fridge so i decided to whip up some ginger chicken stir fry and it was yums. And yes, yums is NOT a real word. Sorry.

* serves 4

1 bird’s eye chili, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch knob fresh ginger, julienned
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon

1/2 each of a sweet Vidalia onion, julienned
1 carrot, sliced at an angle
3 stalks celery, sliced at an angle
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 each of a red bell pepper, julienned

1. In a wok, add some oil to coat the wok.
2. Once the wok is hot over high heat, add the chicken, ginger, garlic, and chili. Stir fry until chicken is nicely seared, about 5 minutes.
3. Add sauce mixture and let it cook with the chicken for about one minute.
4. Add the onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms, and red bell pepper. Saute for about 3 to 5 minutes, basically until chicken is fully cooked and vegetables have a bite to them.
5. Serve with jasmine rice.


Everyday I cook, it’s like an iron chef kind of thing…except that I’m competing against myself and the mystery ingredient is whatever I’ll find lurking in my fridge. Last night, i found a couple of mushrooms, some mint, and one thai chili…and then I have to figure out how I’m going to use it up….so since i still had some celery and carrots from last night’s dinner, I opted to cook up a simple stir fry.

* serves 2

8 ounces beef, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 thai red chili, minced

2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
tt ground black pepper

3 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 of an onion, julienned
1/2 bunch of fresh mint, picked through and washed

2 tablespoons oil

1. Marinate the beef with the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice cooking wine, cornstarch, garlic, and thai chili for 15 minutes.
2. In a bowl, combine the oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper and set aside.
3. In a hot wok, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the beef and stir fry until a nice sear develops.
4. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and stir fry for about a minute.
5. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for another minute or two.
6. Add the oyster sauce mixture and coat the sauce with the beef and veggies.
7. Add the fresh mint and stir fry for about a minute.
8. Serve with jasmine rice.