Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Powered by Blogger.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oyster with sweet chilli vinegarette

When it comes to grocery shopping, it's very common for me to go out with the intention of buying two things and come home with a dozen other items. I often stop by the local fish market to check out the fresh seafood that are available. While waiting for my fish to be cleaned, the freshly shucked oysters caught my attention. Straight away half a dozen ways flows to mind on how serve these deliciously amazing oysters. They are simply fantastic just with lemon, salt and pepper. Another way I like to serve it, is with a sweet chilli vinegarette.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sambal sauce

On our visit to Penang, we were fortunate enough to meet up with Reese and Mark of Season with spice. Who generously donated their time to show us around and introduce us to many of their favourite places to eat. We started the day with Asam laksa and topped it off at dinner with Fish head curry and Sambal chilli crab. Both the company and food were amazing. On our 4 day visit, we attempted to eat at as many hawker stores and street vendors as possible. There were just endless things to try and flavours to discover. One flavour for me that stood above all else was sambal, it is unbelievable. Sambal is a fantasic sauce that goes well with everything, fish, vegetable, meat or simply as a condiment. The most basic of sambal is made from a combination of chilli and shrimp paste(belacan). But the varieties of sambal blends are endless, with recipes varying from family to family. This is a recipe we use and adapted to our taste. It's something we always have in the fridge for a quick stir-fry or enjoyed as a condiment with rice.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Goi du du thai (Thai green papaya salad)

There is salad and there is papaya salad. This is without a doubt, my favourite salad of all time. The flavour is unbelievable and the texture amazing. There is nothing like it and once you have it, you'll be addicted. There are many variation of this salad, some are made with snake beans, and some with fermented crabs. They are all absolutely delicious! I have many Loatian friends and learnt how to make this from their mothers and aunties at family gathering. And let me tell you they like it hot, very hot! This is always the most requested salad whenever we have Bbq, I never seem to make it quick enough to keep up with demands.

Papaya with white fungus and goji berries

There are times when we buy fruits and when cut opened to find that they are not quiet ripen to eat yet. This was the case with our papaya, instead of throwing it away. We turn it into a dessert with just a few other ingredients we have in the pantry and fridge. This is a refreshingly delicious dessert that is really simple and quick to whip up. In addition, we toss in some jelly we made earlier. The contrast between the crunchy white fungus and soft jelly was wonderful. Without a doubt, everyone in our house agreed that we should make again.


1 Papaya, cut into bit size pieces
1 handful dried white fungus
1/2 cup goji berries
1 cup sugar
1 slice of ginger, optional
1 ltr water
jelly (optional)


1. Soak the white fungus with goji berries in hot water for 30 mins and tear fungus into bite size pieces.
3. Bring 1 liter of water to boil and reduce to simmer.
4. Combine all the ingredients together and simmer for 5 mins. Remove from heat and let it cool.
5. Refrigerate overnight
6. Serve chilled

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bun rieu cua (tomato and crab noodle soup)

Tomatoes are sensational and in season at the moment. That means not only does it taste better but also cheaper as well. To celebrate this wonderful ingredient and take full advantage of the great value, we made bun rieu cua. This soup is best made when tomatoes are in season and at their best. There are so many different layers of flavours in this soup. The combination of tomatoes and crab meat coupled with the aromatic broth is unbelievable. The accompaniments of herbs and cabbage adds another dimension in flavour and texture. This is definitely great for those cold winter days, but like me you'll probably want to have it all year round. Sandra's mum makes the best bun rieu cua, this is an easier and simple version of her recipe.


4 litres of pork and chicken stock
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 kg tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 packet of fried tofu, cut into half
1 packet of vermicelli noodle, cook according to manufacturer's instructions

Crab meat balls

5 eggs
200g or lump crab meat or can crab meat
200g mince pork belly
1 handful of dried shrimp, optional
1 jar crab roe sauce,
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp cracked white pepper


Mix herbs (mint, perilla, Vietnamese mint)
White cabbage, shredded
Coriander, chopped
Spring onion, chopped
Chilli, sliced
Lemon, cut into wedges
Shrimp paste, optional


To prepare the crab meat balls

1. Soak the dried shrimps in hot water for 10mins and mince it in a food processor.
2. Mix all the ingredients together until combined and set aside in fridge until needed.

To prepare the tomatoes and crab meat broth

1. Bring stock to a gentle simmer
2. Using a tablespoon, scoop and lower the crab meat into the soup.
3. Wait until it's cooked, it will raise to the surface.
4. Then add in the tomatoes with the fried tofu and simmer for half an hour.
5. Season with sugar and fish sauce.

To serve

1. Add a handful of vermicelli noodles to a large bowl.
2. Top up with the soup along with crab meat balls and tofu.
3. Enjoy with accompaniments.

This is my entry to Delicious Vietnam #18, a monthly blogging event celebrating Vietnamese cuisine which was started by Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey and Hong & Kim of Ravenous Couple. Thanks to bonniebella
of bonniebella for hosting this month.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chawanmushi (Savoury steam egg custard)

Sandra and I had this at a Japanese restaurant a while back and it's one of our favourite Japanese dishes. The soft delicate texture of the egg custard coupled with the aromatic flavour of the broth is sensational. It's quiet simple to prepare and with very few ingredients. If you're a fan of chawanmushi, give it a try. It's unbelievably delicious, that I promise you.


4 eggs
500 ml water
1 tbsp chicken powder
1 tsp light soya sauce
4 prawns
4 shaitaki mushroom
1 tsp chive, chopped


Prepare the steamer and set on med heat.

1. Mix chicken powder with 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 sec. Stir until it dissolve and add to the rest of water.
2. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs and incorporate the water and soya sauce. Pour the mixture through a strainer.
3. Add a prawn and a shaitaki mushroom to each ramekins(x4).
4. Divide the egg mixture between the ramekins and cover with foil
5. Place the ramekins in the steamer with lid slightly opened and steam for 10 mins.
6. Use a toothpick and poke it in the centre. It should come out clean when it's cooked.
7. Garnish with chives."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mi Vit Quay (Roast duck noodle soup)

Often when I do the grocery shopping at my local Chinese grocer, I find myself stopping by the Chinese roast duck shop next door. Most of the time I would takeaway half a roast duck to have on it's own or with crusty bread. My craving for Chinese BBQ roast meat comes from my father who used to make it to sell at the market in Vietnam. The maltose lacquered and wafer thin skin of the duck is amazing. The combination of mix spices (cinnamon, ginger and star anise) stuffed into cavity to infuse an unique and irresistible flavour like no other.
Mi vit quay is adapted from another classic noodle soup Mi vit tim. This is a much easier recipe to prepare and with very few ingredients. The broth is amazingly aromatic and fills the whole house with the smell of cinnamon, ginger and star anise. It will have your friends and guest thinking you spent many hours preparing this soup.


1 Chinese roast duck, reserve the sauce from the duck's cavity
2 onion, peeled
1 dozen dried shaitaki mushroom
4 Lt chicken stock or can chicken stock
1 tsp five spice

500g fresh egg noodles
1 bunch of gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
or choy sum (Chinese flowering cabbage)
1/2 cup spring onion, chopped
1/2 cup coriander, chopped
1/2 cup crispy Asian shallots


Duck broth

1. When buying roast duck, ask the seller to reserve the sauce from cavity and cut it into 8 portions.
2. Soak the dried shaitaki mushrooms into in hot water and set aside.
3. In a large stock pot, bring chicken stock to simmer and add the onions, shaitaki mushrooms, five spice and reserve duck sauce. Skim off any impurity that rises to the surface and let it simmer for 1/2 an hour. Check for seasoning, add little more salt if needed.

To serve

1. Add the duck pieces to the duck broth.
2. In a stock pot, bring 3Lt of water to a rolling boil and cook the gai lan and set aside.
3. Using a wired noodle strainer, add a handful of egg noodles into the strainer.
4. Lower it into the boiling water and stir the noodle for about 30 seconds to a minute.
5. Remove and strain the egg noodles into a large soup bowl.
6. Add the duck, mushrooms, gai lan and top up with the soup.
7. Enjoy with some spring onions and coriander.

Note: If using can stock, use 2Lt of can chicken stock to 2Lt of water.

This is my entry to Delicious Vietnam #17, a monthly blogging event celebrating Vietnamese cuisine which was started by Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey and Hong & Kim of Ravenous Couple. Thanks to Phuoc of phuocndelicious for hosting this month.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sup banh canh cua (Crab meat soup with Prawn dumplings)

Clearly, noodles and soups are very popular among Vietnamese people. Growing up in Vietnam, we where very blessed to have various hawker stall vendors just outside our doorsteps. With each vendor specialising in a particular dish and recipes that has being handed down from one generation to the next. As you walk by each vendor, the aroma would entice your senses and induce you to stop by. And perhaps hand over some money for sample of their offering. Without a doubt, banh canh cua is definitely one of my weakness and will have me reaching into my pocket every time I walk by. Banh canh cua is an aromatic crab meat noodle soup, which has been thicken slightly with tapioca starch and it's among one of my favourite noodle soups. I learnt this recipe for Sandra's mum, whom is without a doubt in my opinion, one of the most knowledgeable people in Vietnamese cuisine. I have played around and made a few minor adjustments to the original recipe. As I have said before, I believe recipe should only be used as a guideline. Hope you give a try and perhaps put your own spin on it. This soup is packed with flavour and has a luxuriously silken texture. It's brilliant as a main or can easily be made into a starter or entree size soup. Serve it which ever way you like, it's delicious that I promise you.


3 ltrs of chicken stock
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp annatto seeds
2 cup crab meat, or can crab lump meat.
2 egg
1 bag of fresh banh canh (tapioca udon noodles)

Prawn dumplings

1/2 kg prawns, shell remove and deviened
6 shallot, white stem
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper, grounded


bean sprouts
crispy fried eshallots
white pepper
lemon wedges


To make the prawn dumplings

1. Remove shell, head and devein the prawns. Frozen prawns are also great because the work is already done for you.
2. With the flat side of a clever, smash the prawns a couple at a time and set aside.
3. Chop and add the shallot to a mortar with the salt and white pepper. Pound to a rough paste and add in the prawns. Pound for a couple of minutes to until it becomes a uniform prawn paste.
4. Put into a container and refrigerate until needed.

To make the soup

1. Put the annatto seeds in a large bowl and add a cup of boiling water. Set aside for an hour to let the colour infuse into the water.
2. Bring the chicken stock to a boil.
3. With a tablespoon, scoop the prawn paste into a ball and drop it into the chicken stock. repeat with as many as needed
4. Strain in the annatto water, add to the stock and stir in the crab meat. Season with sugar and fish sauce, adjust seasoning to taste.

To serve

1. Beat the eggs lightly and set aside.
2. Bring soup to a boil and drop in the udon noodles. Stir a couple of time to separate and prevent the udon noodles from sticking to each other. (cut udon noodles into 1 inch long if serving as an entree or starter). The starch coating the udon noodles will thicken the soup slightly.
3. While stirring, drizzling slowly in a thin stream the beaten eggs into the soup to create what is called an egg flower.
4. To serve, add a little bean sprouts to a bowl and top up with the soup.
5. Enjoy with freshly cracked pepper and a touch lemon juice. To finish, sprinkle on some crispy fried eshallots, chopped coriander and spring onions.

Note: I like to use fresh banh canh udon noodle, it has a coating of tapioca flour on it (unlike Vietnamese banh canh udon noodles). It not only thickens the soup but to me has a softer and more silken texture.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chao ca nam bao ngo (Congee with fish and abalone mushroom )

Often when the weather is cold and miserable, there is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of congee. Congee is a delicious rice porridge that is often enjoyed with Yar char kway (Chinese fried cruller). It is also often eaten when one is sick or unwell to nourish back to health. I used to remember without fail, mum would make a big bowl of plain congee often with salted duck eggs when I was sick. Congee is made with the most basic of ingredients, mainly rice and water. The secret to a great congee is to pre-soaking the rice and a long rolling boil until the rice breaks down and disintegrate. Resulting in a deliciously creamy and silky texture. On it's own congee is quiet plain but however, it's a great carrier of flavours. You can pretty much add any flavours you like, chicken, pork, fish or seafood, the combinations are endless. I just love congee to bits, no matter if it's breakfast, lunch or dinner. I used to have to make the journey to superbowl, a very popular destination for congee in Sydney. Not any more, this is a simple and delicious recipe anyone can replicate and enjoy at home.


1 cup of Jasmine rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp salt
1 can chicken stock, optional

1/2 kg fish fillets, sliced into 1/2cm thick.
1 can of abalone mushroom, sliced into 1/2cm thick.
1 knob of ginger, julienned


Yau char kway (Chinese fried cruller)
shallots, finely chopped
coriander, finely chopped
roasted peanuts
crispy eshallots
white pepper


1. Wash, rinse and drain the rice a couple of times. Add salt, olive oil plus a cup of water to the rice and set aside for 1/2 an hour.
2. Bring 4 litres of water to the boil and add the soaked rice. Stir occasionally to stop rice from sticking to the bottom.
3. Let it boil for about an hour, until the rice grains starts to breaks down and disintegrate. Top up with more water or chicken stock if congee becomes too thick.
4. Before serving add in the fish, abalone mushroom and ginger. The fish shouldn't take long to cook at all.
5. To serve, top up a large bowl with the congee and enjoy with the accompaniments.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tom sot ca chua (King prawns with tomato sauce)

I often like to try out new ways and techniques on classic recipes. The results haven't always turned out the way I hoped or imagined, while other times, I get pleasantly surprised. Sot ca chua is a classic Vietnamese tomato base sauce for many popular Vietnamese dishes. Ca chien sot ca chau (pan-fried fish with tomato sauce) and dau hu sot ca chua (pan-fried tofu with tomato sauce) are couple of my favourites. In Asian cuisine, most of the time if not all the time, sauces are thicken with cornstarch or tapioca starch. Inspired by an episode on Masterchef, I came up with an idea to use flour to not only thicken the sauce but give it richness and body. I know many of you reading this post right now are probably saying 'that's not how you make sot ca chau'. It's certainly not the way my mother would make it either. But to me cooking is not always about following recipes. Cooking should also be an outlet for your creativity and recipes should be used merely as a guideline. So if you like to try something a little different, give this a try. Although this isn't an authentic way of making sot ca chua, it's definitely tasty.


500g king prawns, shelled and deveined
1 large tomato, finely diced
2 tbsp shallot white stem only, chopped finely
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tbsp of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp olive oil


coriander, finely chopped
shallots, finely chopped
French style baguettes


1. In a large non stick pan on medium heat, add a tbsp of olive oil and saute the onions, shallot and garlic until fragrant.
2. Stir in the flour and cook it for 30 seconds before adding the tomato paste. Quickly stir in tomato paste, then gradually add in the water and stir.
3. Then add in the dice tomatoes, chilli powder and season with sugar and fish sauce.
4. Let the sauce reduce and thickens a little before add in the prawns. Taste and test for seasoning.
5. When prawns a cooked, take off heat and serve.
6. Garnish with coriander and shallots, enjoy with hot crusty Baguettes.

This is my entry to Delicious Vietnam #16, a monthly blogging event celebrating Vietnamese cuisine which was started by Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey and Hong & Kim of Ravenous Couple. Thanks to Door to my kitcken for hosting this month.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sui gao (Prawn wonton dumplings)

When I was little, I used to remember my uncle taking me to yum cha on a weekly basis. Like everyone else and almost without fail, we would order what I call the holy trinity of dim sum. Har gao (steam prawn dumplings), siu mai (steam pork and prawn dumplings) and phung chao (chicken feet). It was a ritual I look forward to every weekend. If ever you're a fan of dim sum, you'll love these dumplings. You can steam or deep fry these and enjoy them with chilli sauce. Otherwise, poach them and serve as wonton soup. Whichever way you choose to serve them, they are simply delicious.


500gr prawns, shelled and deveined
2 shallots (white part only), roughly chopped
1/2 tbsp Ginger, grated
1/2 tsp white pepper, grounded
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cornflour
1 egg white

1 bag of wonton egg pastry.


1. Roughly cut the prawns into quarters and set aside.
2. Add 200g of prawns into a food processor along with all the other ingredients and mince to form a paste.
3. Mix in the prawn paste with the rest of the other prawns and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. To assemble the wontons, place about a teaspoon of the prawn mix onto a wonton pastry, fold the two ends together to form a triangular shape. Squeeze out any air pockets and press hard to seal the pastry together. Repeat the process with the others.
5. Bring water to the boil in a large stock pot and add about a dozen in at a time. The dumplings should be cooked when they rise to the surface, it should only take a couple of minutes. Remove with a strainer and repeat with the others.
6. Enjoy with some hot chilli sauce.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kem cafe (coffee ice cream)

Another favourite dessert flavouring of mine is coffee. It is without a doubt, the most loved and consumed beverage in Vietnam. Even my 5year old niece would take a couple of sips from her grandfather's coffee when he's not looking. Perhaps, it would probably explain why she is always full of energy. It is definitly a great dessert to have around, simply enjoy on it's own or with toasted black sesame seeds or roasted peanuts.


3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup of cream
2 tbsp of strong expresso coffee


1. Whisk the cream to stiff peak and set aside in fridge until needed.
2. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until pale and forms a ribbon.
3. Fold in the coffee a tbsp at a time with the egg mixture.
4. Followed by folding in the cream, 1/3 at a time.
5. Put in a container and in the freezer overnight.
6. Enjoy with toasted black sesame or crush roasted peanuts.

Stir-fry pippies with garlic and chilli

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of shellfish and pippies has to one of my favourites. Due to their high demand in recent times, I have seen the price jumped to over $20 per/kg. As Steven Irwin would say 'Crikey', but they are still worth it. There are so many ways you can cook pippies, you can steam it and dip it in nuoc cham. Stir fry with Xo sauce or my favourite is stir fry with chilli and garlic. So, if you're a big fan of pippies and like it spicy like I do, give this a try. It's delicious, that I promise you.


500g pippies
2 clove garlic
2 chilli
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp shrimp paste, optional
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp oil

1 shallots, cut into 1 inch long
1/4 onion, thinly slice
1/2 cup Vietnamese mints


1. Add a cup of hot water to a pot on high heat and steam pippies open. Drain and set aside.
2. Add garlic, chilli, sugar and shrimp paste into a mortar. Pound the ingredients together and set aside.
3. Add the oil to a non-stick pan on high heat, followed by the chilli and garlic paste.
4. Stir it around, be careful not to burn the garlic and chilli.
5. When it starts to caramelise add in the fish sauce and reduce the sauce until it starts thickens.
6. Add the shallots and onions and toss a couple of time.
7. Add the pippies and toss to coat the pippies evenly with the sauce. Then turn off the heat and mix in the Vietnamese mints.
8. Serve and enjoy with a ice cold beer.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bo luc lac (Wok tossed black pepper beef)

The literal translation of 'Bo luc lac' is shaking beef, referring to the shaking and tossing action when cooking this dish. Without a doubt, it's one of my favourite beef dishes. I like to use lots of freshly crack pepper, I love the burst of pepper flavour when biting into it. Most of the time when I eat out, it's serve with red rice. But when making it at home, I like to serve it with a watercress salad and pickle onions


250g sirloin beef, cut into large chunks
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp White pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 onion, cut into large chunks
1 tbsp oil

Bo luc lac sauce

1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp thick sweet soya sauce
1/2 tbsp freshly crack black pepper
1/4 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tbsp butter


1. Prepare the Bo luc lac sauce by mixing the ingredients together and set aside until needed.
2• Cube the beef and season with salt and pepper.
3• Heat up a wok or non stick pan on high with 1/2 tbsp oil and sear beef for 2 minutes. Push beef to one corner of the wok.
4• Add 1/2 tbsp oil and toss in onion and garlic, followed by the Bo luc lac sauce.
5• Toss all together until sauce reduce and thickens a little. About 30 sec
6• Add in the butter and toss a couple of times and remove from heat.
7. Enjoy with a watercress salad or rice.

Watercress salad and pickled onions

1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tbsp white vinegar


1. Dissolve sugar in vinegar, and toss in the sliced onions. Set aside for 5 mins or until needed.
2. Plate up the watercress, use the pickling juice as the dressing and position the pickled onions on top.

Kem la dua (Pandan ice cream)

In Asian pandan to us, is the like vanilla to the western world. Without contest, it is the most widely used and loved flavouring in desserts. What better way to celebrate this divine ingredient then in an ice cream. This is a quick and easy ice cream recipe that everyone can make at home without an ice cream machine.


3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup of cream
1 tsp pandan paste


1. Whisk the cream to stiff peak and set aside in fridge until needed.
2. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until pale and forms a ribbon.
3. Fold in the pandan paste with the egg mixture.
4. Followed by folding in the cream, 1/3 at a time.
5. Put in a container and in the freezer overnight.
6. Enjoy with crush roasted peanuts.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Goi Oc (Vietnamese sea snail salads)

Let's face it, snails are not every one's cup of tea but I get very excited whenever I can get my hands on them. To me, it represents the flavour of the sea. On my travels to Vietnam, I recall eating it every single day. I had it every way imaginable, in salads, grilled, steamed and in stir-fries. You name it, I had it. There is an enormous variety of edible snails and molluscs found in Vietnam. And it's all delicious, let me assure you.


1 cup sea snail, cooked and thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 large chilli, thinly sliced
1 stalk lemongrass white part only, thinly sliced
1 cup mix herbs (Vietnamese mint, coriander, mint), roughly chopped
1/2 tsp dried ground chilli
1/2 cup Nuoc cham
1/2 tbsp lemon juice


1. Add the all the ingredients except for the mix herbs and toss together well.
2. Add in the herbs mix and toss lightly.
3. Enjoy with a Vietnamese rice cracker and glass of white wine.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Do chua (pickled vegetables)

Do chua to Vietnamese is like Kim chi to the Koreans. Without a doubt, it is our pickle of choice. Every Vietnamese family should have one of these jar in the fridge, along with our other national treasure Nuoc cham. It's great just on it's own or toss into a salad, and I can't image having Banh mi thi (Vietnamese pork roll) without do chua. It's dead easy and simple make but taste absolutely amazing.


2 carrots
1 small daikon
1/2 head of cauliflower (optional)
5 large chilli (optional)

2 cup sugar
2.5 cup white vinegar
1 tsp salt


1. Add sugar, salt and vinegar into a saucepan on medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolve and set aside to cool.
2. Cut carrots and daikon into small strips, and put in a large bowl.
3. Cut cauliflower into small pieces and add to the carrots and daikon with the chilli.
4. Pour the cooled sugar and vinegar solution into the bowl. Let the vegetables pickle for a couple of hours.
5. Then put the pickles in a clean jar or container and close lid and refrigerate for couple days.
6. Enjoy with ham and hot crusty baguette or just on it's own.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bun nuoc leo (Fermented fish soup with vemicelli rice noodle)

Bun nuoc leo or 'Bun mam' as I call it, is a recipe request made by Lyn, a very supportive follower and dear friend. Althought, I have devoured many Bun mam during my life time and seen my mum, aunties and others make it. I have never actually attempted at making it myself. Bun mam is an acquired taste, it's made from fermented fish called 'Man ca sac' which is infuse into the broth. Be warned when making this, 'man ca sac' has a very strong aroma or smell, which ever way you want to call it. I would suggest you make this soup outdoors and preferably the night before when the neighbours are asleep and their doors and windows are shut. Like many Vietnamese, we grow up eating this and welcome it, when ever and where ever we can get it. I love the aroma and flavour of this fish broth, it's a soup like no other. And to test it out, I had some friends over for dinner and to my surprise and joy wanted seconds. And you know it's pretty good when people come back for a second helping.


Fish broth

1 jar mam ca sac (Vietnamese fermented gourami fish sauce)
3 lemongrass stalks, cut into 5cm long and bruised
1 large chunk of galangal, cut into 1/2 cm slice
10 kaffar lime leaves
4 lt chicken stock
1 cup of sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp man ruoc (optional)

2 tbsp veg oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup lemongrass, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced

1 kg egg plant
1/2 kg ling fish, cut into 1 cm thick slices
1/2 kg prawns, peeled and deveined
1/2 lkg roast pork, cut into 1 cm thick slices
1 bag Vietnamese rice vermicelli noodles


Vietnamese herbs
Bean sprouts
Flat-leaf chives, cut into 2-inch sections
water spinach
Ground chilli
Lemon wedges


1. Empty one jar of mam ca sac into a small saucepan with 1 litre of water and bring to the boil. Then lower heat to a simmer and let it simmer for 30 mins.
2. Pour the chicken stock into a large stock pot and strain the man ca sac stock into it as well.
3. Add the lemongrass, galangal and kaffar lime leave and simmer for an hour. Strain any impurities than rises to the surface.
4. Season with sugar, fish sauce and mam ruoc.
5. Add the oil to a frying pan on medium heat, saute the lemongrass and garlic with the turmeric powder until fragrant. Then add it to the fish stock.
6. Cut the eggplant into large chunks and add to fish broth 30 mins prior to serving.
7. Bring fish broth to the boil, using a noodle strainer cook the fish in the broth and set aside. Followed by the prawns and set aside.
8. Taste and test for seasoning, add little more sugar or fish sauce to your liking.
8.Cook the vermicelli noodles according to the manufacturer's instructions.

To serve

1. Add couple of prawns, fish and roast pork into a noodle strainer, followed by the vermicelli noodles.
2. Bring the fish broth to boil and lower the meats and noodles into the fish broth for 30 seconds or just enough to reheat the noodles.
3. Strain and put into a large soup bowl, top up with the fish broth and some eggplants.
4. Enjoy with a squeeze of lemon and accompaniments.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ca kho to (Caramelised silver perch in claypot)

This is a very home style dish and one that mum used to make alot. I recall having thi kho(caramelised pork) and ca kho(caramelised fish) often as a child, almost on a weekly basis. Perhaps, it's the fact that you can feed the whole family with just one dish. I love the balance of saltiness and sweetness of the sauce, nothing goes better with hot steaming rice than this. Without fail, I always start by slathering a spoonful of the thick caramelised sauce and message it into my rice. I can eat it just like that, to me the sauce is the hero of the dish.


1 silver perch
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
3 shallots white part only (cut 1 inch long and bruised)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp white pepper (roughly cracked)
1 thai chilli (thinly sliced, optional)

Caramel sauce

2 tbsp cooking oil
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce

chopped shallots


1. Cut the fish into 1 inch pieces and place in a large bowl with the fish sauce, sugar, shallots, garlic, chilli and white pepper. Mix and let marinate for about 30 minutes.
2. Heat the oil over low-medium heat in a medium-sized clay pot or non stick pan. Add the sugar and wait until it start to caramelise.
3. When the sugar is caramelised, add 2 tbsp fish sauce to stop it cooking further.
4. Let the sauce thicken a little, then add the fish in. Coat both side of the fish with the caramel sauce.
5. Stir in the remaining marinade and cover with the lid slightly open. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to a fairly thick syrup. Turn the fish occasionally to coat both sides with the caramel sauce.
6. Adjust seasoning to taste with fish sauce and sugar.
7. Garnish with shallots and enjoy with steamed rice.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ga xao xa ot (stir fry chicken with lemongrass and chilli)

Without a doubt, Ga xao xa ot is one my favourites. The combination of lemongrass, garlic and chilli is just amazing. The alluring aroma that waffles through the house when cooking this dish is irresistible. Not only does it taste amazing, but also quick and simple to prepare.


1 cup chicken thigh fillet
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp pepper

2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 tbsp Lemongrass (finely minced)
1/2 Onion (roughly sliced)
1 large chilli (sliced)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tbsp fish sauce


1. Cut chicken thigh fillet into bit size pieces and season with fish sauce and pepper. Set aside
2. Have all the other ingredients prepared and ready to go.
3. Have a non stick pan on medium-high heat and wait until it's hot. Add a tbsp of oil to pan and sear the chicken on both sides.
4. Add the lemongrass, garlic and saute until fragrant. Then the chilli powder, turmeric powder and toss quickly all together.
5. Followed by the onion, chilli, and quickly toss all ingredients together.
6. Then add the sugar and fish sauce, toss quickly to coat the chicken evenly. Reduce the sauce until it becomes a sticky glaze, remove from heat.
7. Enjoy with some Vietnamese herbs, lettuce and steaming hot rice

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Canh cu sen duoi bo (Lotus root and oxtail soup)

It has been really cold and miserable these last couple of days. Most of the time, I would whip up a stir-fry or salad for dinner. But tonight, I wanted something else. I wanted something mum used to make, so I cooked a simple soup of lotus root and oxtail. I often recall my mother making this soup, it would not only warm up and nourish the body but heart and soul as well. It's something that I always love having and it's something that always bring back fond memories.


1 oxtail (cut into large chunk)
1 kg lotus roots
2 onions
2 carrots
1 knob Ginger
2 tsp salt


1. Wash an drain oxtail and add to stock pot with 3 Lt of water.
2. Bring water to a boil and skim off any impurities. Lower heat to a simmer and Keep skimming any impurities that rises to surface.
3. Peel onions and roughly slice ginger and add to stock. Simmer for 2 hours and season with salt.
4. Peel carrots and lotus roots. Cut carrots into large chunks and lotus roots into 1cm slices.
5. Add to stock and cook for another 30 minute or until carrots and lotus roots are cooked to your liking.
6. Taste and test for seasoning.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bo Kho (Vietnamese beef stew)

This weekend, I have some dear friends over for dinner. Being winter, I wanted to make something that is warm and hearty. Something we can share and that we all enjoy eating. Most of all something I can make ahead of time so I can entertain when the guess arrives, instead of being in the kitchen. Bo kho was the first thing that comes in my head. What can be better for those cold winter nights than a rich, hot bowl of Bo kho with hot crusty bread. With fall of the bone tender ox tail, coupled with it's rich and spicy gravy sauce. I could happily eat it again the next morning, if there where any leftovers.  



1 kg gravy beef
1 ox tail
2 stalk of lemongrass(cut into battons)
1 large knob ginger(roughly sliced)
3 star anise
1 cassia bark
1/2 tbsp white pepper
2 tbsp fish sauce

3 tbsp oil
1 onion, dice
3 clove of garlic, crushed


2 tbsp hoisine sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 packet Bo kho seasoning
2 tbsp cooking wine
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce

3 Ltr water
1 tbsp cornflour
1 kg carrots


1/2 onion thinly slice
1 cup shallots chopped
1 cup coriander chopped
Bunch of basil leaves
Hot crusty French baguettes

dipping sauce

lemon juice


1. In large mixing bowl, combine the ginger, lemongrass, gravy beef, ox tail with the spice and marinate for at least 2 hours.
2. In a large casserole pot on high heat, sear the ox tail and gravy beef in small batches with a little oil and set aside.
3. Turn down heat to medium and saute the onion and garlic, add little more oil if needed.
4. Add the meat back into the casserole with the seasoning and mix well and top up with water enough to cover meat.
5. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer for at least 3 hours until meat is tender and fall of the bone.
6. Add the carrots in and cook for half an hour prior to serving. Taste and test for seasoning.
7. Thicken sauce with cornflour slurry (1 tbsp of cold water and 1 tbsp of cornflour).
8. Enjoy with hot crusty baguettes.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Basic stock

Chicken stock

1 kg chicken bones or 1 boiler chicken
2 onions
3 litres water
1/2 tbsp salt


1. Wash and remove skin from chicken
2. Add chicken to stock pot with 3 ltrs of cold water.
3. Bring to boil and skim of any impurities that rises to surface.
4. Reduce to gentle simmer and add the onions in.
5. Let it simmer for 2 hours and occasionally skim of any impurities the rise to surface.
6. Season with salt.

Pork and chicken stock

1 kg chicken bones or 1 boiler chicken
1 kg pork bones or pig's hock
2 onions
4 litres water
1/2 tbsp salt


1. Wash pork bones and remove skin from chicken
2. Add both to stock pot with 4 ltrs of cold water.
3. Bring to boil and skim of any impurities that rises to surface.
4. Reduce to gentle simmer and add the onions in.
5. Let it simmer for 2 hours and occasionally skim of any impurities the rise to surface.
6. Season with salt.

Gio ga (Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad)

This is an amazingly delicious salad that can be whipped up in no time. Like most Vietnamese dishes, it relies on the freshness of produce, texture and balance. I only use free range chicken for this salad, not only because it taste better but it also has a slightly firmer texture that I like. This beautiful crunchy salad can be eaten on it's own or the way I like it, is with congee made from the poaching liquid. The contrast between hot and cold, soft and crunchy, sweet and sour is just amazing. This is everything I love about Vietnamese food, it's simple, dead easy and delicious.


1 kg chicken (free range), poached and shredded
1/4 cabbage, finely sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 cup herbs (Vietnamese mint, mint and coriander), roughly chopped

2 tbsp sugar
2.5 tbsp white vinegar
pinch of salt

1 cup Nuoc cham
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup crispy eshallots
2 chilli chopped


1. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir until sugar and salt dissolves, add the red onion to the vinegar.
2. In a large bowl, add cabbage, herbs, chicken and vinegar mixture. Gently toss to well combined.
3. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle roasted peanuts, crispy eshallots, chilli and serve with Nuoc cham.

Goi cuon (Vietnamese rice paper spring rolls)

This is one of my favourite dishes and one of the most popular with the Vietnamese, Because it's so simple to prepare but so delicious. The combination of pork belly and prawns, coupled with fresh herbs and hoisine sauce is just amazing. It's also a fun dish to eat and it gets everyone involved in the process, this is very typical of many Vietnamese dishes. I Hope you give this a try, it's dead simple and amazingly delicious.



200g cooked prawns
200g cooked pork belly
1 bunch mix herbs
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1 cup of bean sprouts
2 cups cooked vermicelli noodles

Dipping sauce

1 cup of hoisine sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup hot water
1 tsp vinegar

Crushed roasted peanuts
Ground chilli


1. In bowl of warm water, dip each rice paper and take it out straight away so it's just enough to wet the surface, set aside on plate and repeat the process with a couple more. This allow the rice paper to become gelatinous and pliable (about 30 seconds). Do not soak your rice paper! I repeat, do not soak your rice paper ok.
2. On top 1/3 side closest to you, place little bit of the herbs and lettuce on the bottom. followed by pork, bean sprout and vermicelli noodles. Roll up spring roll about 1/3 way through, then fold in the sides. Finally, add the prawns in and roll up tight.
3. To eat, dip in hoisine sauce with crushed roasted peanuts and chilli.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Banh uot cha lua ( Vietnamese steam rice flour rolls with Vietnamese ham )

Banh uot is made from a mixture of rice flour, tapioca starch and water. You can easily make your own but I usually opt for the convenience of store brought ones. This is a delicious and very quick dish to prepare, no cooking at all. All you need is some fresh herb mix (mint, basil and perilla), cucumber, bean sprouts and Cha lau ( Vietnamese ham ). In addition I like to have mine with 'Nem chua' (Vietnamese cured pork). Plus a generous splash Nuoc Cham and finish of with some beautiful and crispy fried eshallot. Btw, you should always have this in your pantry. It's not an option, it's a must. That is it, dead simple and super delicious.



1 tray of banh uot
1 cup bean sprout
1 cup of mix herbs (mint, perilla and basil)
1/2 cucumber
1 roll of cha lau
1 nem chua

Nuoc cham
Crispy eshallots


1. Place a cup bean sprout on a serving plate, then cut about 1 cup of rice flour rolls into bite size and place on top. Microwave for 1 minute to soften bean sprout and warm up rice flour rolls, then set aside.
2. Roughly chop up the herbs and Julianne the cucumber and scatter around the rice flour rolls.
3. Cut the cha lau and nem chua and place on top.
4. Serve with crispy eshallots and nuoc cham.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Banh Xeo ( Vietnamese crispy crepe with shrimp and pork )

Banh xeo is a popular Vietnamese street side snack and one of my favourite dish. It has two of my favourite things, fresh herbs and nouc Cham. These two elements are a prominent and very popular part of Vietnamese cuisine. Banh xeo literally translates "sizzling cake", made by the sound of the batter hitting the hot oil. It is a delicate savoury crepe made from a combination of rice flour, turmeric and coconut milk. Stuffed with finely sliced slivers of pork, shrimps and bean sprouts. It's usually served with mustard greens, assortments of fresh herbs (perilla, mint, basil and Vietnamese mint)and wrapped in lettuce or rice paper. Dipped in of course, nouc Cham. This dish typifies Vietnamese obsession with fresh herbs, fresh produce and texture. Each region in Vietnam has slight variations, in the southern region it is usually larger and yellow in colour with the addition of turmeric powder. In the central region it is slightly smaller and pale in colour, without the turmeric powder. The difference between a good and great banh xeo is the thinness and crispiness of the crepes. Banh xeo is at it's best and should be eaten as soon as it slide off the wok. If you haven't had banh xeo before, do yourself a favour, go out and try it soon. I promise you, you'll be back for more.



1 bag of premixed banh xeo flour
1/2 cup tempura flour
1 eggs
1 can coconut milk
2 cup water
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp white pepper
1 cup chopped shallots

1• Whisk all together and let rest in fridge for an hour or until needed.


500g shrimp
500 mince pork
2 onion
1 bag bean sprout
2 tbsp oil

1• Saute shrimp with 1tbsp of oil and set aside.
2• Saute mince pork with rest of oil and set aside.

Salads and condiments

Herb mix (mints, basil, Vietnamese mint and perilla)
Ice berg lettuce
Mustard leaves
Nuoc cham


1• Add a tbsp of oil to wok and heat up on med high.
2• Add small handful of onion to wok, followed by a ladle of batter. Pour batter around from top of wok and swirl batter around and fill up any gaps.
3• Add a spoonful shrimp, pork and handful of bean sprouts.
4• Turn wok on it's side and add little oil and cook until it peels of the side and turn wok 90 degrees and cook until all sides are crispy.
5• Fold it in half and serve with herbs, salad and nouc Cham.
6.To eat, just wrap it with a lettuce leaf or mustard leaf, add cucumber and herbs. Then dip in nuoc cham.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nuoc cham

Nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce)

'Nuoc Cham' is a common name for a variety of Vietnamese sweeten 'dipping sauces' that are served quite frequently as condiments.


4 tbsp hot water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 chilli finely chopped


1. Dissolve sugar in hot water, followed by the fish sauce and white vinegar. Taste for balance, add a little more fish sauce or vinegar to your liking.
2. Add the garlic and chilli and stir and set aside until needed.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Key ingredients

Pantry essentials

Fish Sauce

Fish Sauce (Nouc mam) is the essence of Vietnamese food. 'Nuoc mam nhi' is the first press, the equivalent of extra virgin olive oil. Use this clear clean sauce which costs more than the others on the shelves, for dipping sauces. The second pressing is less expensive and is used for cooking. The famous sauce made with nuoc mam is called nuoc cham - a mix of fish sauce, sugar,vinegar, water, garlic and chilli.

Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce or Chinese barbecue sauce is a sweet salty bean sauce, popular condiment for pho or can be used as a side dip for gio cuon.

Rice Vermicelli noodles

Rice Vermicelli noodles (bun) is available in various widths. Rice Vermicelli noodles is commonly used for soup and with salads.

Rice Paper

Rice Paper (Banh trang). Before using quickly dip each sheet in a bowl of warm water to rehydrate. The rougher patterned side is the inside of the roll as it helps to hold the filling ingredients. Commonly for wrapping fresh spring rolls (Gio cuon) or can be fried for fried spring rolls.


Jasmine Rice is the most widely used.

Bean Curd

Bean curd (tofu). It is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds through a muslin cloth into blocks. Tofu can be made into silken or firm tofu. To get the maximum life out of your tofu, refresh the water it is stored in daily and keep refrigerated.

Chilli sauce

Chilli sauce (Tuong ot) is made of fresh pimentos, ground garlic, salt, sugar and vinegar. It is used as a table condiment and for seasoning in soups, green papaya salad or anything else you may fancy.

Dried shrimp

Dried shrimp (Tom kho) are used quite frequently for their sweet and unique flavor that is very different from fresh shrimp. They are used in many Asian cuisines, imparting a unique umami taste. Commonly used soups, salads and to make condiments.

Shrimp sauce

Shrimp sauce (mam ruoc) is widely used as a dipping sauce in Northern Cuisine. It is a mash of marinated shrimps. It can be conserved for a long time in bottles. The smell is very strong. This mash is an excellent marinade for fish and meat. Many people like to use it as a separate sauce.

Dried shrimp paste

It is made from fermented ground shrimp, sun dried and then cut into fist-sized rectangular blocks. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Shrimp paste can be found in most Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. It is often an ingredient in dipping sauce for fish or vegetables

Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds (me) are a day to day ingredient in Vietnam. Toasted and crushed sesame seeds are used to flavour dipping sauces and marinades or to coat sweets and other foods. After toasting they lose flavour rapidly, so be sure to toast them as close to serving time as possible.

Star Anise

Star Anise (hoi) is as beautiful as it is fragrant. This six to eight pointed star spice imparts a flavour resembling cinnamon and cloves. Used to flavour soups and stews, as well as marinades. One of the vital ingredients in the famous Vietnamese noodle soup, Pho.


Cassia (Que thanh) comes in a powdered form or as bark. It is used as an aromatic spice and can be used in some marinades for roasted chicken, roasted duck or beef braises.

Herbs and Vegetable


Basil (Rau Que). Basil is commonly used fresh, popular in Pho. It is generally added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavour.


Coriander (Ngo) is a very popular and widely known herb used in many Asian countries. The leaves, stems and roots of the plant are all used. The dried seed has quite a different flavour. Increases the flavour of sour fish soup and crab soup. Fabulous for salads and garnishing.


Shallots (Hanh) or spring onions is very common and versatile herb. I upper green stem can be use for salad and garnishing. The lower white stem have a more interest flavour which can use for stir-fries and marinades.

Jigsaw or Saw Leaf

Jigsaw or Saw Leaf (rau ngo gai) is a long dark green leaf with serrated edges with a fragrance similar to coriander, but stronger. Commonly used in soups and salads.


Mint (hung lui), commonly eaten fresh in salads, and in fresh rice paper rolls (gio cuon).

Vietnamese Mint

Vietnamese mint (rau ram) is long and narrow with pointed leaves that are green and crimsony brown in colour. It has a hot and spicy flavour, which combines well in salads and some shellfish dishes.

Perilla leaves

Perilla leaves (Rau Tia To) are large leaves, purple on one side and dark green on the other. The leaves are shredded and used in eggplant dishes and in rice paper rolls. Also called shiso leaf in Japanese cookery.

Fresh Chilli

Fresh Chilli (ot) comes in three colours; red, green and yellow. The strongest is the yellow. The Vietnamese don't use a lot of chillies for cooking, but it is often served ground in sauces.


Dill (thi la) is used mostly in Northern Vietnamese cuisine due to the French influences, these very fine leaves are often used in fish soups or with shellfish. Dill can also be mixed with shrimp paste or fried fish.

Fish herb

Fish herb (Diep Ca) is considered by some as an acquired taste as it has a definite fishy smell and flavour. Often used in soups and salads.

Betel leaf

Betel leaf (La Lot) are glossy, dark green heart shaped leaves have a slightly bitter taste and are mostly used as a wrapper for a filling of cooked meats.

Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives (He) are dark green flat chives with a garlic flavour and aroma. Can be used fresh in salads or cooked in soup or stir-fried.

Water Spinach/Morning Glory

Water Spinach/Morning Glory (Rau Muong). It is frequently stir-fried with oyster sauce or yellow soybean paste, and garlic and chillies

Bean sprouts

Bean sprouts (Gia) are the fresh sprouts of the mung bean. They are used in stir-fries, noodle soup dishes and spring rolls. They are added at the end to keep them crunchy. They must be stored in iced water and kept in the refrigerator where they will last for a few days. Changed the water daily.

Mustard Leaves

Mustard Leaves (cai xanh). Eaten raw as a salad or cooked in soup or stir-fried.

Elephant Ear Stem / Stalk

Elephant Ear Stem (Bac Ha). Stems add texture and absorb the flavours of soups and stir-fries. Popular in Vietnamese tamarind soup (canh chua).

Bitter Melon

Bitter melon (kho qua) is a hard gourd thought to have health benefits. It looks like a fat, knotty cucumber. Green and firm, it has a very crisp texture and strong bitter taste. It is often pickled. Before cooking, the seeds and inner membrane are removed and the external shell is sliced into small, crescent shaped pieces and braised or added to soups. It can also be hollowed out, stuffed with minced pork and steamed


Green Papaya

Green papaya (Du Du Song) is simply the un-ripened papaya fruit. When choosing green papaya, make sure it is green, firm and the flesh white with no traces of orange. Peel then shred the papaya finely to make fresh, light and textural salads - combine with prawns, crab, pork or beef and lots of fresh mint with a fish sauce and lime dressing

Green mango

Green mango (Xoai Song). Tart, crisp and refreshing with underlying mango flavour . Used in salads and eaten with salt & pounded chilli as a snack.

Dragon fruit

There are 2 varieties of Dragon fruit (Thanh long tuoi). One with bright red flesh and the other white, both have tiny black seeds. Although it can be bland in flavour it makes a striking addition to a fruit platter.


Durian (Sau rieng) has a very strong odour but the taste is lush and tropical. Thought by many to have aphrodisiac qualities.


Jackfruit (Mit) is a large green fruit with a tough, knobbly skin which reveals a yellow segmented flesh when opened. It has a taste that is naturally sweet. In Vietnam, the young jackfruit is used like a vegetable in cooking or in salad.


Longan (Nhan) are small brown skinned fruits that grow in the Mekong Delta and in the North. The inside is a juicy cream coloured fruit with seed.


Lychee (Vai) is cultivated in the humid tropical regions for its fruit and wood. Lychees are exquisite fruits encased in brown skin which is peeled to reveal white tropical, juicy fruit.


Mangosteen (Mang) have a thick purple skin and creamy white segments on the inside. Discard the skin and enjoy the delicious unique flavour of the flesh.


The fiery red spiky skins give the Rambutan (chom chom) a look of tiny suns. They have tender white flesh with a cool sweet flavour.


Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nuoc cham)

Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nuoc Cham) is a common name for a variety of Vietnamese sweeten "dipping sauces" that are served quite frequently as condiments.


2 tbsp sugar
2.5 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 chilli finely chopped


1. Dissolve sugar in hot water, followed by the fish sauce and white vinegar. Taste for balance, add a little more fish sauce or vinegar to you liking.
2. Add the garlic and chilli and stir and set aside until needed.

Pickled carrots and diakon

Pickled carrots and daikon (Do Chua). Made with carrots and daikon and pickled in a vinegar solution made from combination of sugar, salt and vinegar. Used in many 'Bun' dishes, salads and as condiments.


500g carrots
500g daikons
2 cup sugar
2.5 cup of white vinegar
1 tsp salt


1. Add sugar, salt and vinegar into a saucepan on medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolve and set aside to cool.
2. Cut carrots and daikons into small strips, and put in a large sterilised jar.
3. Pour the cooled sugar and vinegar solution into the jar. close lid and refridgerate for couple days.

Crispy eshallots

Crispy eshallots (Hanh Phi). Commonly used as a condiment like cruotons, can be served with so many of the dishes. Stir-fries, congee, soups, and salads. It adds texture and a certain depth to the dishes. Can be purchased in any Asian grocery, it's a must have in every pantry.

Roasted peanuts

Roasted peanuts (Dau Phong Phi). Made by simply pan roasting peanuts until it browns lightly, set aside to cool and remove outer membrane. Usually crushed and add to salads and 'Bun' for another dimension of flavour and texture.


  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP