Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Vietnamese Food


  • Please log in to reply
563 replies to this topic

#31 fou de Bassan

fou de Bassan
  • participating member
  • 419 posts
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 04 March 2005 - 09:15 PM

guppymo,
I'm enjoying your posts immensely. Please don't stop taking pictures. They serve as a great guide for those of us who cook Vienamese food occasionally but aren't sure about doneness and presentation. Thank you.
If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

#32 baophac

baophac
  • participating member
  • 29 posts
  • Location:Montreal

Posted 04 March 2005 - 10:16 PM

The pork roll mentionned by SuzySushi is called "Ba'nh Cu^o^'n" and it means rolled up dough. Note that Ba'nh also refers to the noodles served in Pho and Bun Bo Hue.

I don't have the exact ingredient for the dough but you mix some powder with some liquid and you get this opaque white mix that's very thin. Next you pour a ladle of the mix on a hot pan, roll the pan around to make sure it's evenly coated (the more skillful the cook, the thinner the layer). You cook this for less than a minute, I don't know if you have to flip or not. You make a truckload of these crepes.

I know of 2 types of Banh Cuon.

Ba'nh Cu^o^'n Thanh Chi`

Each crepe is layered on top of each other and served with a bit of oil, green onions and fried red onion (Ha`nh Phi). You can also add the boiled pork (Gio`) if you need meat and you can also have steamed bean sprouts. You grab a crepe delicately, without breaking it or pulling 5 at a time, roll it with your chopstick and eat with meat, sprouts and nuoc cham.

Ba'nh Cu^o^'n Thi.t

You roll each crepe with a meat filling, usually ground pork that has been cooked with the black chinese mushroom (google couldn't help me on this one). The ones my mom uses is dry and she soaks it in water a bit before using. You also use bean sprouts and the Gio meat and nuoc cham.


This preparation is very time consuming so whenever we want to eat them we go to a restaurant or find a in-their-appartment-cook. The names and phone numbers of these Banh Cuon specialists are well guarded secrets in each city.

I am unsure of copyright issues with image linking but if you google for "banh cuon" you will find many examples of it. I think if you make the mix too thick it becomes glue :)

Edited by baophac, 04 March 2005 - 10:19 PM.


#33 guppymo

guppymo
  • participating member
  • 139 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 04 March 2005 - 10:48 PM

Baophac is right, it's called "Banh Cuon"

In Boston, you can buy the ready-mix flour labeled as "Bot Lam Banh Cuon" in the flour section of the big Asian Markets. In the back of the package there's instruction for you to make it.

If you can't find this package in Hawaii you can follow the recipe here

It's very time-consuming task to make it, and you have to eat it right away when it's hot/warm. The last time I made this was during Super Bowl 2 years ago and I was tied up in the kithchen until half-time :wacko:

#34 SuzySushi

SuzySushi
  • participating member
  • 2,400 posts
  • Location:Hawaii

Posted 04 March 2005 - 11:30 PM

The pork roll mentionned by SuzySushi is called "Ba'nh Cu^o^'n" and it means rolled up dough. Note that Ba'nh also refers to the noodles served in Pho and Bun Bo Hue.

Ba'nh Cu^o^'n Thi.t

You roll each crepe with a meat filling, usually ground pork that has been cooked with the black chinese mushroom (google couldn't help me on this one). The ones my mom uses is dry and she soaks it in water a bit before using. You also use bean sprouts and the Gio meat and nuoc cham.

View Post


YES! That's it!!! :wub:

I think my friend may have bought the fresh rice noodle sheets ready-made in a Vietnamese store in Chinatown. I'll look for those or the mix guppymo mentions, before trying to make them from scratch. :smile:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Edited by SuzySushi, 04 March 2005 - 11:34 PM.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."
My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

#35 baophac

baophac
  • participating member
  • 29 posts
  • Location:Montreal

Posted 05 March 2005 - 07:58 AM

part deux

In dim sum restaurants in Montreal, I noticed a chinese Banh Cuon. The rolls are thicker because the crepe is not made thin like the vietnamese one. The shrimp version is best but the ground pork version is ok. Like a lot of chinese dishes however :( the chinese Banh Cuon is very greasy. I don't know why.

You can buy premade Banh Cuon in asian markets. The frozen variety would come out sticky after a trip to the microwave but hardens quite fast. Also the quality of the meat is doubtful. The "fresh" variety is never fresh and it's just too gummy for me. Same comment on the meat quality. These are probably chinese style.

When I lived with my parents in Orange County , CA , the premade Banh Cuon were 90% of the quality you get in restaurants. The greasier the Banh Cuon, the longer they last on the shelves. There is a chain of restaurants "Banh Cuon Tay Ho" and I've eaten there twice... it was horribly dry.

#36 touaregsand

touaregsand
  • legacy participant
  • 1,457 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 01:47 PM

What are the French influences on Vietnamese cookery?

#37 Ben Hong

Ben Hong
  • participating member
  • 1,383 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 01:56 PM

What are the French influences on Vietnamese cookery?

View Post


The baguette, and other French breads. A number of "charcuterie style meats, eg: sausages, cooked meats, etc. Of these they make the most fantastic sandwiches.

BTW, Vietnamese coffee is some of the best...anywhere.

#38 guppymo

guppymo
  • participating member
  • 139 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 05 March 2005 - 02:35 PM

What is you prefered commercial brand of fish sauce?

View Post


To tell you the true I I don't have any prefered brand of fish sauce. I try to stick with the fish sauce that made from fish (anchovies). I try to stay away the one that carries pictures of crabs or squid or anything else that's not fish. But really, I don't think it's possible to tell the difference among the brands of fish sauce sold in Asian markets.

I think it all relies on the way or technique of making dipping sauce out of fish sauce (just like any red wine can be used to make Sangria)

When cooking food that requires the use of fish sauce I think any fish sauce will do, again, it's impossible to distinguish which brand of fish sauce was use in a certain dish.

I hope this helps answer your question

#39 touaregsand

touaregsand
  • legacy participant
  • 1,457 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 02:46 PM

What are the French influences on Vietnamese cookery?

View Post


The baguette, and other French breads. A number of "charcuterie style meats, eg: sausages, cooked meats, etc. Of these they make the most fantastic sandwiches.

BTW, Vietnamese coffee is some of the best...anywhere.

View Post


I'm familiar with most of that. Vietnamese sandwiches are my favorite and I'm usually not a sandwich eater.

So really the influences are more of French techniques? Rather than say French flavors or French dishes?

#40 Dejah

Dejah
  • participating member
  • 3,341 posts
  • Location:Brandon, Manitoba

Posted 05 March 2005 - 03:05 PM

Thanks for this thread! I had a couple of Vietnamese sisters who cooked for me but they never cooked Vietnamese food. :sad: My knowledge and experience in this cuisine is nil, so I am really enjoying your pictures and posts.

Keep going! I want to try my hand at this cuisine.

The noodle sheets used in Bahn Cuon, would they be like the Chinese Hofun, except they are sold as a rolled up sheet ?
Dejah
www.hillmanweb.com

#41 Ben Hong

Ben Hong
  • participating member
  • 1,383 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 05:26 PM

So really the influences are more of French techniques? Rather than say French flavors or French dishes?

View Post

[/quote]

The Vietnamese did NOT adopt any significant culinary "techniques" from the French, other than what I posted beforehand, ie charcuterie meats and the art of making bread.
If you look at the history of Vietnam, you will see only one major influence in their techniques; cooking, art, ethics, and most everything else. That is the Chinese, who considered Vietnam one of its provinces for many hundreds of years until the 1400s. The French were but rude interlopers who could not last more than a mere 100 years or so, surrendering in Dienbienphu, or "les rues sans joies". The major residue of French imperialism in Vietnam was the imposition of the French language (and the unique Vietnamese alphabet) on the education system and hence, official society. As for cooking techniques, I did not know that the French cooked with woks. :raz:

#42 touaregsand

touaregsand
  • legacy participant
  • 1,457 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 06:29 PM

:unsure: :blink: :huh:

I don't recall mounting a vigorous argument for French influences in Vietnamese cooking. Nothing you've said counters my question that the influences were more in techniques than flavors or dishes. I also don't recall impying much or if ANY depth regarding French influences.

I'm most certainly not asking these questions from a Eurocentric point of view. Mostly my curiousity comes from having seen or heard of a few so called Vietnamese-French restaurants in the States with abhorrent names like "Le Colonial" and yes some of these
joints are owned by Vietnamese folks who like the Chinese or Koreans for that matter know a could business spin when they see one. :biggrin:

So really, the French influences are more talked about and glamourized :rolleyes: then reflected in the cuisine?

BEN!!! :raz: :raz: :raz:

#43 touaregsand

touaregsand
  • legacy participant
  • 1,457 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 06:39 PM

Off topic, but I can't resist. Ben mentioned that China thought of Vietnam as a province a while back. Beware of the sleeping bear? :unsure: Given China's stance on Taiwan and the sizeable Chinese diaspora throughout Asia... should we all be a little worried? :laugh:

Back on topic. Vietnamese food bears no resemblance to Chinese food. I mean I go to Panda Express all the time and I don't see any similarities. :hmmm:

Guppymo- Can you tell us what the staple ingredients of Vietnamese cooking are?

#44 guppymo

guppymo
  • participating member
  • 139 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 05 March 2005 - 06:52 PM

I am in the middle of cooking some dishes for tonight. I will have pictures to post soon. I am not a good writeer and also don't like to opinionate too much about various topics. I will let the pictures of the food I cook speak for themselves.

But for Touregsand, I think you already knew among all Asians, Vietnamese people eat the most fresh/raw herbs in their daily diet. We do eat alot of cooked, stir-fried, sauteed vegie but we also love dipping various mixture of herbs + lettuce in dipping sauce, also most of our soups, noodles soups require fresh herb/greens to accompany them.

Okie, back to cooking dinner. Hopefully I will have some pictures to post soon.

#45 Ben Hong

Ben Hong
  • participating member
  • 1,383 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 07:11 PM

Sorry all, for my unintentional rant. I guess in attempting to defend the fact that Vietnamese cuisine is superb and can stand alone without outside influence, my ire at the "perceived" Eurocentric view showed through. Mea culpa. (En tout cas, la cuisine Francaise n'est pas le seul du monde) :blink:

Edited by Ben Hong, 05 March 2005 - 07:11 PM.


#46 touaregsand

touaregsand
  • legacy participant
  • 1,457 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 07:33 PM

Sorry all, for my unintentional rant. I guess in attempting to defend the fact that Vietnamese cuisine is superb  and can stand alone without outside influence, my ire at the "perceived" Eurocentric view showed through. Mea culpa. (En tout cas, la cuisine Francaise n'est pas le seul du monde)  :blink:

View Post


I love your rants! Don't stop papa Ben! No apologies from you are neccessary. :smile:

#47 touaregsand

touaregsand
  • legacy participant
  • 1,457 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 07:53 PM

I am in the middle of cooking some dishes for tonight. I will have pictures to post soon. I am not a good writeer and also don't like to opinionate too much about various topics. I will let the pictures of the food I cook speak for themselves.

But for Touregsand, I think you already knew among all Asians, Vietnamese people eat the most fresh/raw herbs in their daily diet. We do eat alot of cooked, stir-fried, sauteed vegie but we also love dipping various mixture of herbs + lettuce in dipping sauce, also most of our soups, noodles soups require fresh herb/greens to accompany them.

Okie, back to cooking dinner. Hopefully I will have some pictures to post soon.

View Post


Koreans eat alot of fresh/raw herbs as well. Which is why I think that when I buy Vietnamese summer rolls for my parents, they just love them! And the fish sauce laden dipping sauce, yum! And of course the herbs and vegetables lightly cooked in Pho. :wub:

An Aunt of mine owns a restaurant in Korea, that serves a particular type of vegetarian Korean food that the old "yangbans" (landed gentry) consumed way back when . It's all about greens, herbs, rice and sauces. My husband initially compared it to rabbit food! :laugh:

Looking forward to seeing photos of your dinner. Big kisses to you and your wife who loves kimchi chigae, :wink: :smile:

#48 guppymo

guppymo
  • participating member
  • 139 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 05 March 2005 - 08:23 PM

Today for dinner I made "Com Suong Bi Cha" (grilled lemongrass pork on rice with pork rind, and egg & meat cake) served with scallion oil pickled carrot & daikon and dipping fish sauce

Posted Image

For appetizer I made "Ga Xe Phay" (chicken salad with Vietnamese cilantro & red onion)

Posted Image

This is the spread for dinner on my stove-top (ready for "assembly" process).

Posted Image

Sorry, I am still in the process of arranging pictures, and writing instructions, once they are done, I will put the link here. Has anyone had those food before ?

#49 touaregsand

touaregsand
  • legacy participant
  • 1,457 posts

Posted 05 March 2005 - 08:44 PM

Stop teasing and taunting us! You must open a restaurant, near me of course. :biggrin:

#50 guppymo

guppymo
  • participating member
  • 139 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 05 March 2005 - 09:52 PM

Stop teasing and taunting us! You must open a restaurant, near me of course.  :biggrin:

View Post


Touregsand, thanks thanks. By the way where do you live ?

Here is how I fixed the Grille lemongrass pork chop over rice

Posted Image

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. Minced lemongrass
2 Tbsp. White sesame seeds, lightly toasted, coarsely ground
½ tsp. Vietnamese shrimp sauce (or 1 tablespoon oyster sauce)

Fish sauce 1 Tbsp.
Caramel sauce 1 ½ tsp.
Shallots, minced 2 ea.
Garlic clove, minced 1 ea.
Vegetable oil 2 Tbsp.
4 pork chops

Combine the lemongrass, sesame seeds, shrimp sauce, fish sauce, caramel sauce, shallots, garlic and oil in a bowl and stir well to blend. Add the pork and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Grill the next day.

Assembling:

Rice - around 1.5 bowls on a large plate

1 teaspoon of scallion oil
1 slice of egg pie
Some pickled daikon and carrots
Some Bi
1 large green lettuce leaf and a few slice of tomatoes (shredded cucumber optional)
Posted Image
Put the pork chop over rice
Pour a couple tablespoons of nuoc cham

Bon appetit

#51 guppymo

guppymo
  • participating member
  • 139 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 05 March 2005 - 10:09 PM

And here is the recipe for that chicken salad

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken
2 red onions
Vietnamese cilantro (rau ram)
1.5 tablespoons dipping fish sauce
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt

Bring a pot of water to boil, add the whole chicken and boil for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven, leave the chicken in the pot for another 45 minutes, remove chicken, let cool down, then peel of the meat.

Wash and mince the Vietnamese cilantro (rau ram)
Posted Image

Cut the red onions in halves vertically, then slices

In a mixing bowl add the chicken meat, red onions, Vietnamese cilantro, dipping fish sauce, salt, black pepper.
Posted Image
Stir and toss everything well.

Arrange on a plate and decorate with a som fried shallots and a red chilly pepper garnish
Posted Image

You can eat this chicken salad add is or you can roast some rice cracker with black sesame, then break the cracker into spoon-size pieces to scoop up the salad (fun eh ?)

Posted Image

Posted Image

This is how we eat and play at the same time :roll:
Posted Image

#52 mizducky

mizducky
  • participating member
  • 2,407 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 05 March 2005 - 11:36 PM

I'm far from an expert on either Chinese or Vietnamese food, but an additional difference I've noticed is the apparent absense of cornstarch in Vietnamese cuisine. (Or am I totally off-base here?)

#53 SuzySushi

SuzySushi
  • participating member
  • 2,400 posts
  • Location:Hawaii

Posted 06 March 2005 - 01:07 AM

What are the French influences on Vietnamese cookery?

View Post


The baguette, and other French breads. A number of "charcuterie style meats, eg: sausages, cooked meats, etc. Of these they make the most fantastic sandwiches.

BTW, Vietnamese coffee is some of the best...anywhere.

View Post

I've also read some good arguments that pho was actually descended from the French pot au feu. Here's one article about it. The writer, Andrea Nguyen, is pretty erudite when it comes to Vietnamese food.
SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."
My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

#54 SuzySushi

SuzySushi
  • participating member
  • 2,400 posts
  • Location:Hawaii

Posted 06 March 2005 - 01:17 AM

Today for dinner I made "Com Suong Bi Cha" (grilled lemongrass pork on rice with pork rind, and egg & meat cake) served with scallion oil pickled carrot & daikon and dipping fish sauce

For appetizer I made "Ga Xe Phay" (chicken salad with Vietnamese cilantro & red onion)

Sorry, I am still in the process of arranging pictures, and writing instructions, once they are done, I will put the link here. Has anyone had those food before ?

View Post

Oh, yum!!!! Yes, I've eaten the Grilled Pork quite often in Vietnamese restaurants here (and now I know their "secret marinade!!!). My Vietnamese friend taught me to make a different chicken salad, Goi Ga, with shredded cabbage and a sweet-and-sour dressing. Now I'll have to try yours. :smile:
SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."
My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

#55 MicBacchus

MicBacchus
  • participating member
  • 163 posts

Posted 06 March 2005 - 04:02 AM

These awesome pictures have piqued my interest in learning even more. Can anyone recommend their favorite Vietnamese cookbooks? Thanks.
Burgundy makes you think silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them ---
Brillat-Savarin

#56 touaregsand

touaregsand
  • legacy participant
  • 1,457 posts

Posted 06 March 2005 - 08:28 AM

guppymo-

I'm in Los Angeles far from SFG and Orange County or even the SFV where there seem to more Vietnamese restaurants. The closest Vietnamese food near me is a French/Vietnamese place in Silverlake, some sandwich and snack shops in Chinatown, and Koreanized Pho noodle shops in Korea town.

I've been going to this one Vietnamese sandwich shop in Chinatown for about 8 years, about 2 years ago they put up an English languge menu. Up untill till then I thought I had two choices for sandwiches, pork or chicken.

#57 guppymo

guppymo
  • participating member
  • 139 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 06 March 2005 - 09:23 AM

Today for dinner I made "Com Suong Bi Cha" (grilled lemongrass pork on rice with pork rind, and egg & meat cake) served with scallion oil pickled carrot & daikon and dipping fish sauce

For appetizer I made "Ga Xe Phay" (chicken salad with Vietnamese cilantro & red onion)

Sorry, I am still in the process of arranging pictures, and writing instructions, once they are done, I will put the link here. Has anyone had those food before ?

View Post

Oh, yum!!!! Yes, I've eaten the Grilled Pork quite often in Vietnamese restaurants here (and now I know their "secret marinade!!!). My Vietnamese friend taught me to make a different chicken salad, Goi Ga, with shredded cabbage and a sweet-and-sour dressing. Now I'll have to try yours. :smile:

View Post


Oh yeah, there's chicken/duck salad with shredded cabbage too but my wife does not like eating "raw cabbage" (maybe because she's not from Vietnam - she's halfe Chinese half Japanese), heheh but sometimes I did made one with cabbage and she picked all the meat and left me the cabbage :sad:

#58 guppymo

guppymo
  • participating member
  • 139 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 06 March 2005 - 09:26 AM

guppymo-

I'm in Los Angeles far from SFG and Orange County or even the SFV where there seem to more Vietnamese restaurants. The closest Vietnamese food near me is a French/Vietnamese place in Silverlake, some sandwich and snack shops in Chinatown, and Koreanized Pho noodle shops in Korea town.

I've been going to this one Vietnamese sandwich shop in Chinatown for about 8 years, about 2 years ago they put up an English languge menu. Up untill till then I thought I had two choices for sandwiches, pork or chicken.

View Post


Oh yeah, last year my wife and my parents and I were in downtown LA and we did not see a lot of Vietnamese restaurants there. So we basically ate Korean food most of the time. We visited Korean Town and got some spicy kimchi, some Korean tea-mug, and my parents bought a Korean Drama Series (All-in) DVD for my wife, ouch, that DVD series costed $100

Touregsand have you ventured to Little Saigon in Orange County ?

#59 touaregsand

touaregsand
  • legacy participant
  • 1,457 posts

Posted 06 March 2005 - 09:58 AM

Years and years ago when I was taking courses at UCI (Post-structural theory and criticism, don't ask :blink: :biggrin: ) I ventured into Little Saigon. I'm sure it's changed alot since. We'll have to make it a weekend family outing.

Any suggestions? We'll be taking the kids, is there a walking and eating area in Little Saigon? Another obstacle is that we don't eat pork.

P.S. Oh no on the Korean Drama series! Was it dubbed into Vietnamese?

Edited by touaregsand, 06 March 2005 - 09:59 AM.


#60 tanabutler

tanabutler
  • legacy participant
  • 2,798 posts

Posted 06 March 2005 - 11:04 AM

These awesome pictures have piqued my interest in learning even more.  Can anyone recommend their favorite Vietnamese cookbooks? Thanks.

View Post

One of the best websites for all things Vietnamese is one that Guppymo linked to: Andrea Q. Nguyen's VietWorldKitchen.com. Andrea, a Santa Cruz resident (and friend of mine) is presently hard at work on her own Vietnamese cookbook, to be published by Ten Speed Press in 2006. (Put it on your list!)

She has a list of Viet cookbooks in English here.

Hope that helps.