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Vietnamese Food


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#61 SuzySushi

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 05:22 PM

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

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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.

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Andrea Nguyen is awesome! I'm salivating for her cookbook! :biggrin:
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#62 guppymo

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 08:13 PM

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?

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Oops sorry, I don't know the names of the restaurant there off of my head. But you can try to go to "Asian Garden Mall" (Phuoc Loc Tho), there are many eateries there, in one place.

Don't worry about pork, Vietnamese people eat so many different kind of meat so you can find beef, chicken, duck, fish, shrimp, snail, quail, goose, etc...to pick from.

The Drama series had English subtitle

#63 guppymo

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 03:16 PM

This is just a basic sour bamboo soup with beef and shrimp (optional)

Posted Image

#64 Nathan P.

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 04:58 PM

Your food continues to look great Guppymo.

I made Cha Gio, the fried vietnamese spring rolls, last night (using the recipe from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet) and had a problem. I had air bubbles popping up on the top side of the roll causing them to float and with the bubble on top they refused to flip over making even cooking difficult. I would be curious to hear thoughts on the cause of this. I am guessing that either they were not rolled tight enough or the wrappers needed to be moister to better seal. I did notice that the wrappers I had in the house were made from wheat and not rice flour (they look just like the regular rice ones) so thay may have been an issue as well.

The end result was good though not up to the better restaurant version I have had. While some of this was due to the above fry problems, I also was not blown away by the filling. Anyone have a better filling recipe?

I used:

.5 lb ground pork
2 oz diced shrimp
2 shallots very fine brunoise
1 shallot fine dice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fine dice carrot
1 oz cellophane noodles
2 tbsp fish sauce
pepper

I wonder if the ground pork from my butcher was too lean?

Nathan

#65 touaregsand

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 05:47 PM

Chinese and Japanese pantry items, along with a few dishes have become family favorites. I've ventured into Thai and Indian cookery at home as well. Now Vietnamese is on my list. I'm planning on taking my family for a day in Little Saigon within a few weeks with camera in hand of course.

Thank you for the inspiration guppymo!

#66 SuzySushi

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 06:05 PM

This is just a basic sour bamboo soup with beef and shrimp (optional)

Posted Image

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Oooh, oooh! Recipe, please? :wub:
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#67 guppymo

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 08:39 PM

This is just a basic sour bamboo soup with beef and shrimp (optional)

Posted Image

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Oooh, oooh! Recipe, please? :wub:

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Very easy, and quick to do

In a pot put a little oil, heat it up, sauteed some sliced beef shank and red chilli powder (to taste)

After 1 minute put a can of chicken broth in (just the juice, throw the can away)
Add a can of water
Add sour bamboo

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Add some salt and fish sauce (to taste)

Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add some shrimp in (optional)

Pour onto bowl and add some black pepper and chopped scallion to garnish.

Done :)

#68 guppymo

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 08:41 PM

Your food continues to look great Guppymo. 

I made Cha Gio, the fried vietnamese spring rolls,  last night (using the recipe from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet) and had a problem.  I had air bubbles popping up on the top side of the roll causing them to float and with the bubble on top they refused to flip over making even cooking difficult.  I would be curious to hear thoughts on the cause of this.  I am guessing that either they were not rolled tight enough or the wrappers needed to be moister to better seal.  I did notice that the wrappers I had in the house were made from wheat and not rice flour (they look just like the regular rice ones) so thay may have been an issue as well.

The end result was good though not up to the better restaurant version I have had.  While some of this was due to the above fry problems, I also was not blown away by the filling.  Anyone have a better filling recipe?

I used:

.5 lb ground pork
2 oz diced shrimp
2 shallots very fine brunoise
1 shallot fine dice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fine dice carrot
1 oz cellophane noodles
2 tbsp fish sauce
pepper

I wonder if the ground pork from my butcher was too lean?

Nathan

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Nathan,

I use

Shrimp
Ground pork
Crab meat
Taro
Chinese noodle (bean thread)
Woodear mushroom
Onion
Carrot
Garlic
salt, black pepper, sugar
Yello eg rolls wrapper

#69 Pan

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 09:54 PM

[...]
After 1 minute put a can of chicken broth in (just the juice, throw the can away)[...]

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You're so funny. :biggrin:

But seriously now, are those sour bamboo shoots sort of pickled in vinegar? I can't remember seeing those but have to look next time I'm in the Thai store on Mosco St. in Manhattan's Chinatown or a big Chinese supermarket that stocks Southeast Asian items.

#70 guppymo

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 10:04 PM

Pan, I think you should be able to find that bottle of sour bamboo shoot in New York.

Yeah, I think it's kinda like pickled bamboo, but not reall sour like a pickle :)

#71 guppymo

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 10:06 PM

Oh, check out the green papaya soup I had for dinner tonight. I am not sure which I like more - cooking or taking picture (my wife always gets restless waiting to eat dinner while I am clowning around taking pictures of food)

Posted Image

Edited by guppymo, 08 March 2005 - 10:07 PM.


#72 spaghetttti

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 11:12 PM

Yeah, I agree with Michael, you are very funny! That soup looks splendid! How'd you make it?
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#73 SuzySushi

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 12:54 AM

Add sour bamboo

Posted Image

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Thanks for the recipe! I don't remember seeing sour bamboo shoots either, but I'll bring the picture around to my Asian markets. I've eaten Pork & Sour Bamboo Soup here (at a Vietnamese/Laotian festival), so someone must sell jars of it.

By the way, have you ever heard of Bamboo Fungus? I had some tonight at a Chinese restaurant -- never saw, heard of, or tasted it before. The texture reminded me of "fish maw," but the dish was totally vegetarian. I'll Google it and ask on the Chinese food board, too.
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#74 guppymo

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 07:16 AM

Yeah, I agree with Michael, you are very funny!  That soup looks splendid!  How'd you make it?

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Spaghetttti,

Very easy.

Ingredients:

1/2 lbs. of pork
1 green papaya
12 oz. chicken broth
Salt, black pepper, fish sauce (to taste)
Vietnamese cilantro (rau ram)

Remove papaya's skin, cut open, remove seeds.
Cut into 2 inch-long section with 1/4 inch in thickness, wash.

Parboil pork for 5 minutes, remove wash with cold water to remove impurities, empty the pot, replace with 32 oz of water.

Add chicken broth into water

Put pork and papaya and bring to boil, add salt, fish sauce (to taste)

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Transfer to bowl, before server add some chopped Vietnamese cilantro and a dash of black pepper.

#75 guppymo

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 07:17 AM

Oh, the above recipe - you can omit the pork if you want to

#76 lemoncoke

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:09 PM

guppymo - I love your pictures and your recipes! They look so good and it seems sosimple to prepare. I am going to try the papaya soup and maybe the pork rib (only because the directions were not included....and i am not a good cook)

For the papaya soup - Do I put the whole chunk of pork in or do I have to slice it? I'm not sure? :huh:

thanks for all your post and hope to see more! :biggrin:

Edited by lemoncoke, 09 March 2005 - 02:15 PM.


#77 guppymo

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:30 PM

Lemoncoke,

Thanks. You can add the meat whichever way your heart desires. The best meat to put is chopped pork ribs and pork shoulder.

It's also good without pork but use dry shimps instead.

#78 phaelon56

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 03:30 PM

Oh my gosh - I'm soooo hungry now looking at these gorgeous pictures!

Toliver asked

can you discuss what makes vietnamese food different than the other asian cuisines? How is it different than Chinese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, etc? Are the ingredients drastically different? Are the cooking methods different? I know it has something in common with the others, but I am more interested in what sets it apart.


I know for a fact that my ability to describe the nature of Vietnamese cuisine is woefully limited but I vastly prefer it to any of the other Asian cuisines mentioned.

When people ask why I like it my response is usually along the lines of.... "It's light, not overly seasoned or too salty, does not rely much on fried foods, emphasizes the use of fresh vegetables and herbs and is not typically overly "hot" (as in too spicy). And then there's the iced coffee with condensed milk - that stuff should be nominated to become a major food group!"


I can tolerate Chinese cuisine but often find it too oily and enjoy Thai but get a bit bored with curries and am less enamored of the coconut/galangal/kaffir lime flavors than some folks. I have eaten Korean food on many occasions but apart from kim-chi have never found a dish that I had a strong desire to order again. It was never bad - just not my cup of tea.

I also find Viet food to be intensely flavorful but in a subtle way. It sounds a bit fuzzy as a definition but so be it.

Nearly every dish illustrated in this thread is familiar to me, having been a fan of Vietnamese cuisine for many years. I do admit to being a bit surprised by the black and white rice crackers and have never tried the green papaya soup.

I'm also more familiar with a different style of chicken salad - one that looks like yours but also contains shredded cabbage. It's usually listed as Goi Ga ont he menu.

I'm well aware of how blessed I am to have not one but three Viet restaurnants in my small city, one being exceptional and the other two vacillating between decent and good on various days. It's not a fluke - there was a non-denominational church based resettlement program that brought many Hmong people here in the 1980's who were later followed by other Vietnamese groups.

I still can't quite get the coffee to come out the same way at home as they serve it in the restaurant so I visit them about once a week. The coffee is my excuse for going there to also have a good dinner.

Perhaps someone here knows where I can buy the Trung Ngyuen brand of coffee on-line? I'm not so fond of the Cafe du Monde brand used by most restaurants but my favorite joint here in town uses Trung Ngyuen and it rocks.

#79 guppymo

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 04:12 PM

Phaelon,

Well written. I can never write like that. I am sure everyone has his/her favorite food. Even though I cook Vietnamese food at home but once a while I would treat myself to dining out trips to other ethnic restaurants. We have alot of nice Chinese restaurants in Boston and I do have a lot of favorite Chinese dishs (real Chinese food), but believe it or not I love eating the greasy "Pork Egg Foo Young" at some local Chinese fast food establishments. My wife can't understand what with me crazy about that fried egg, bean sprout, pork and fatty gravy. Even the owner was shocked when seeing me ordering that - he asked, "You like this stuff ? Only Americans order it." ha ha :)

Anyway, about Trung Nguyen Coffee, yeah I drink it at home. The first time I was introduced to this was back in 1999 when I went back to Vietnam. I bought a whole bunch over, now every Asian markets in Boston carries it. I even saw them in Forth Worth, Houston, Texas; and Orange County, San Francisco, California.

Where do you live ? There probably a place that sells this somewhere around your area.

#80 guppymo

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 04:15 PM

Hey Touregsand,

I have just bought a big jar of kim-chi, I think I have to leave it in the refrigerator for a few weeks to make it "ripe", by then I will make the Kim-chi Chigae.

In the mean time I made this bamboo shoot with dried shrimps "stew" last night.

Posted Image

Just heat some oil put it a lot of dried shrimp and red chilli powder and sauteed for a few minutes, then add the bamboo shoots, then add some chicken broth, salt, fish sauce and cook it for around 20 minutes

In Vietnamese we call this "mang kho"

#81 spaghetttti

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 05:05 PM

Anyway, about Trung Nguyen Coffee, yeah I drink it at home. The first time I was introduced to this was back in 1999 when I went back to Vietnam. I bought a whole bunch over, now every Asian markets in Boston carries it. I even saw them in Forth Worth, Houston, Texas; and Orange County, San Francisco, California.

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guppymo, this has easily become one of my favorite threads. I love the photos and engaging conversations developing here. Thanks for the papaya soup recipe upthread and your recommendation to substitute shrimp for pork seems very attractive to me.

I absolutely adore Trung Nguyen Coffee, which I bought in the US recently. I even got some of those cute little filters to make caphe sua nong in the mornings. However, my only regret is that I didn't buy more. :sad:

Thank you for starting this topic. I'm really looking forward to checking in on this thread for more of your wonderful photos & recipes.
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#82 guppymo

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 05:31 PM

Spaghetttti -

I am glad this my tiny effort has made so many people happy including you.

I see that you are in Indonesia, I have a good friend from Indonesia. She recently finished college went back to Indonesia just got married last year in Indonesia. She told me that she's starting a Vietnamese restaurant named "Klay" as a second investment. She love eating Vietnamese food and that girl eats chilli like there's no tomorrow !!! I think her grandmom had a chilli plantation or chilli exporting business.

Just a sidetrack.

#83 touaregsand

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 05:32 PM

Guppymo-

What are the components of a Vietnamese meal? What is the primary starch served? Side dishes, soups, proteins, etc? Is rice or noodles more common?

Note on the kimchi, just put some in a clean jar and leave it out on the counter untill it's "ripe" enough for good chigae.

#84 spaghetttti

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 05:40 PM

I have a good friend from Indonesia. She recently finished college went back to Indonesia just got married last year in Indonesia. She told me that she's starting a Vietnamese restaurant named "Klay" as a second investment. She love eating Vietnamese food and that girl eats chilli like there's no tomorrow !!! I think her grandmom had a chilli plantation or chilli exporting business.

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Oooh, that sounds exciting! I would love to know more about Klay, if you have any more information, I hope you'd pass it on to me. It would be great to have a Vietnamese restaurant nearby -- pho sure! :laugh:
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#85 guppymo

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 08:33 PM

Oh, the place is still being set up. I am not sure if she will have pho there or not, last I heard she was looking for a chef in Vietnam. I will let you know more about this when it's running. In the mean time you can have some "virtual pho" that I made

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#86 phaelon56

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 09:27 AM

Guppymo - I live in Syracuse NY - a relatively small city that does have a few decent sized Asian markets and two small Vietnamese oriented markets but as of six months ago none of them carried Trung Nguyen. It's just killing me here... Spagetttti can come all the way to the US from Indonesia and get Trung Nguyen coffee to take home but I live here and can't seem to find it!!!

I am planning to develop my own blend for making Viet style iced coffee (I'm a home coffee roaster by avocation and also work part time running a commercial coffee roaster). Thus far I'm not confident that I've been able to source the right quality level of Vietnamese arabica beans here in the US. I did try some Laotian beans last week - I could only get them already roasted and the coffee was okay but not all that memorable.

What is intriguing to me about Vietnamese cuisine is the way they manage to so seamlessly incorporate the four fundamental experiences into a meal - salty, sweet, sour and hot (do I have that right - those are the four... correct?).

I also love those crepes - around here they are often called "Saigon Pancakes" and are very, very different from one restaurant to the next.


Touregsand asked

What are the components of a Vietnamese meal? What is the primary starch served? Side dishes, soups, proteins, etc? Is rice or noodles more common?


Again... I am no expert (this is a major understatement!) but one thing I know for certain - pho is served for breakfast lunch or dinner and typically always includes rice noodles. many other dishes are served with rice noodles as well. Sometime they're of the relatively thin variety such as that used in pho, many other dishes are served atop vermicelli and I've had a few that incorporated broader and flatter rice noodles as well.

I generally see a good balance of proteins and starches int hese meals along with a moderate amount of fresh lightly cooked vegetables and plentiful amounts of fresh herbs and greens (lettuce leaves and mint to wrap around certain dishes, lemongrass and Thai style basil etc.

A number of the dishes I order, typically stir fry dishes rather than those with grilled ingredients, are served with steamed rice. My favorite local place, New Century Vietnamese Restaurant, also features the option of having "broken rice" in place of regular steamed rice. I've been able to find limited information about broken rice on-line but it appears that it's more popular in certain regions much less so than others. It's a bit stickier and starchier than regular steamed rice - much less fluffy. It also has a slightly sweet taste and a more distinct flavor, at least to my palate. I've never seen it on the menu elsewhere but it's usually my preference when ordering.

Certain dishes on New Century's menu are listed as being intended to be served with broken rice just as they separate the vermicelli dishes. But they do allow substituting broken rice for steamed on any dish.

Now I'm hungry again. :rolleyes: :laugh:

#87 Toliver

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 09:46 AM

I asked a friend of mine who is from Vietnam if she could tell me the names of some of the leaves/herbs she uses in her cooking and she said she really couldn't tell me. She and her family always refer to the leaves/herbs as "the leaf you eat the duck eggs with" or "that leaf that looks like a rat", and so on. She said "we know it when we see it!"
Makes it kind of hard for the unintiated to shop for Vietnemese ingredients!

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#88 guppymo

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 10:10 AM

I asked a friend of mine who is from Vietnam if she could tell me the names of some of the leaves/herbs she uses in her cooking and she said she really couldn't tell me.  She and her family always refer to the leaves/herbs as "the leaf you eat the duck eggs with" or "that leaf that looks like a rat", and so on.  She said "we know it when we see it!"
Makes it kind of hard for the unintiated to shop for Vietnemese ingredients!

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Toliver,

That herb is called "rau ram" in Vietnamese. In English it is called "Vietnamese Cilantro" or "Hot mint"

Here is a picture of it. I use it all the time

Posted Image

#89 guppymo

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 06:25 PM

Anybody wants to take a guess what vegetable was used in this stir-fried dish ?

I had one hot bowl of Jasmine rice and worked my way through almost the entire dish for dinner tonight :)


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#90 fou de Bassan

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 06:42 PM

cucumber?


fou
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