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  1. Sapidus, That's sticky rice with chicken looked awesome, I loved eating that for breakfast growing up. Here is a a some illustrations of steps to make "cha" or Vietnamese pork sausage that is used in "banh mi" Ingredients (for 2 lbs. of ground pork, if you make a lot just mutiply them accordingly) 2 tablespoons fish sauce 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 tablespoons sugar Shallots, peeled and finely chopped (per taste) Garlic, crushed (per taste 2 lbs. ground pork 1 teaspoon potato starch 0.5 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 12 tablespoons water Black pepper (per taste) Banana leaf In a bowl, mix the nuoc mam and oil with the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the shallots and garlic. Add the minced pork and seasoning, and blend well until thoroughly combined using a food processor. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours. Process mixture again, this time in the amount just enough to be wrapped individually. Add the potato starch and baking powder and process until smooth and pasty. Mould the pork mixture into a fat sausage, about 18cm long, and place it on an oiled dish. Lay the banana leaf on a flat surface, brush it with oil, and place the pork sausage across it. Lift up the edge of the leaf nearest to you and fold it over the sausage(you can use a bamboo sushi roller to help with this task), tuck in the sides, and roll it up into a tight bundle. Secure the bundle with a piece of string. Fill a wok one-third full with water and balance a bamboo steamer, with its lid on, just above the level of the water. Bring the water to the boil, lift the bamboo lid and place the banana leaf bundle on the rack, being very careful of any escaping steam. Recover and steam for about 45 minutes. Leave the pate to cool in the leaf, then open it up and cut it into slices. Marinated ground pork You can ask the persons behind the meat counter to run the meat through the grinder a couple times or for best result, use your own food processor Ready to be wrapped A bamboo sushi roller could be used to help shaping the sausage Voilà For fun you can make different size chà Loading them into a steamer More to go Behold "chả" home-made
  2. Nakji, Wow you are lucky to have a co-worker like that, and you are so lucky to have that type of popular food stand across the street from your house. You have to take a picture to post the next time you could land a seat
  3. Wow, those caramelized tamarind shrimps make my mouth watery, I like everything caramelized : shrimp, meat, fish Okie below is the recipe of Bánh Bèo that I followed and cooked, in Hue there are places where you can eat them straight from the little molding dishes, I think it's fun that way because friends can compete and stack the dishes to see who could eat more (just like when you go to Kaiten Sushi). For me growing up in Saigon I got used to eat them prearranged on the plate with all the condiments but once a while I would eat them from those dishes, just for fun Banh Beo is very poplar in the Southern part of Vietnam, but in Hue, the central part Banh Beo is eaten from the tiny small molding ceramic dishes, I think it's more fun if the dish is chipped a little bit too. You can either remove them from the dishes or the other way, it's your choice. 150g rice flour 100g tapioca flour 200g shrimp Light Vietnamese dipping fish sauce Salt, blackpepper, oil 3 Tbs. chopped scallion In a big bowl, fix the rice flour, tapioca flour with 3 cups of water, add a pinch of salt and 1/2 Tbs. of oil, mix well. Bring a two-tier steamer to boil and arrange the ceramic molding dishes onto the steamer. Heat the dishes by leaving them in the steamer for 2 minutes. Carefully pour in the mixed batter into the dishes, up to about 2/3 of the dish volume. Cover and steam for 9 minutes. Remove them and let cool. Peel shrimp and devein. Use a motar and pestle to pound the shrimp (you can also use a food processor for this process, but the shredded shimp's texture won't look as nice as if a mortar and pestle are used ) In a medium sauce pan, heat oil and saute the chopped scallion. Remove saute scallion and pour in the pounded shrimp and cook for 5 minutes, stir constantly, add a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and a couple dashes of fish sauce. On each tiny Banh Beo dish, add 1/4 tsp. of saute chopped scallion and 1 tsp. of shrimp. Serve with light dipping fish sauce. Below is a plate of Bánh bèo served with Bánh Bột Lọc (banana-wrapped tapioca dumpling with shrimp and pork) and home made Chả (Pork sausage)
  4. While I am at this let me throw in another dish that I love to eat, this can be prepared with tools that you should already got at home, no need to buy fancy steamers Steamed Rice Flour Roll (Bánh Cuốn) Purchase a bag of flour (pictured provided) from an Asian market and mix it accordingly to the instructions on the back of the bag My oil and cotton set-up to oil the pan, also cover the cutting board with aluminum foil and coat with oil for folding Prepare stuffing by cooking diced carrot, ground pork, black mushroom, chopped scallion (nam tai meo), season lightly with salt and pepper. Coat oil all over the hot pan by using the cotton then poor enough flour liquid just to cover the pan, do not use to much. Cover and cook for about 1 minute or until cooked Flip the steamed flour over the aluminum foil - covered cutting board and spread some stuffing and fold it Arrange on plate and cut it into pieces and garnish with fried shallot, mints, steamed bean sprout, cucumber, Vietnamese sausage (cha lua) and eat with mixed fish sauce. Bon appetit !!!
  5. I have been busy goofing around for quite a while and somehow my passion for cooking was gone during that time, but here I am again The following noodle soup recipe can be quickly prepared in less than 30 minutes (unlike other Vietnamese noodle soups when hours are required). I learned this from my mom growing up, it's probably a Hue's origin our family root is from Hue Ingredients: 1/2 lb. beef shank Lemon grass Shallot 1 Tomato Scallion 1 can of chicken broth Shrimp paste (ruoc) Fish sauce, black pepper, ground chili. Vermiceli Cut beef in slices and marinate with minced shallot and lemongrass, just enough for flavor. Add to the mixture fix sauce, black pepper and ground chili In a soup pot heat some oil and cook the beef for 2-3 minutes. Add a can of chicken broth and water, enough for a few dinner bowls. Wait until boiling and add 1/2 teaspoon of shrimp paste, add slices of one tomato Reduce heat and cook for 10 more minutes. Pour soup into a bowl of cooked vermiceli and add chopped scallion and a dash of black pepper. Bon apetit
  6. Fodgycakes, You can try the following simple recipe Those leaves are called wild-betel or wild pepper leaves, if you can't find those you can follow SuzySushi and substitute shiso leaves (tia to). Good luck.
  7. This is a simple way to make salad, tasty enough to be eaten with rice. Da Lat is a city located in the highland area of Vietnam, it's famous for growing fresh veggie and beautiful flowers. Salad dressing recipe: -Fry minced garlic with oi, then turn off heat. - Add some vinegar, sugar, soya sauce, juice of half lime (everything to taste) Wait to the dressing to cool down then add fresh lettuce, red onion (lightly marinate with vinegar + sugar to bring out the texture and to make it firm and crisp) Arrange onto a plate and add some slices of tomato and boiled eggs.
  8. I usually marinate the fish for only a few minutes, you know I cook right after getting out of work and my hunger never can stand waiting for things to be marinanated lengthily Good luck with finding exotic ingridients in the new place.
  9. Fodgycakes, No, please step right in, in fact it's always better to have others contribute to the food topic that we both love. So please share more here To get back to canh chua topic, I use the same ingredients that you listed in your blog, but I like my canh chua to be a little hot to add some zest so I also use red chili powder. Basically I would marninate the fish with chili powder, black pepper, salt, fish sauce, tamarind soup base, a little oil - then I would fry the fish quickly on both side, then add chicken stock, water in to make the broth...the rest is similar to yours. The taro stem is called "bạc hà" in Vietnamese Wild paddy herb is called "ngò ôm" or "rau ôm" One more herb I like to add is the saw-tooth cilantro or culantro, it is called "ngò gai" in Vietnamese, this is optional, I would add if there's some in my refrigerator. The fish I usually cook this with is cat-fish, that's how in Vietnam and in the countryside people would cook, but occasionally I cooke with sting-ray so I guess anybody can use any kind of fish that is suitable to his/her taste. Thanks.
  10. Nathan, That looks like "tôm phết bột" or "Bánh tôm" or shrimp "tempura", you can buy those batter flour in a package in a Vietnamese or big Asian market in any town with good Asian population. Sorry, I never made it before but I think there's recipe imprinted on the back of the flour package.
  11. Mistinguett, Did you have a chance to make "canh chua ca" from Fodgycakes' recipe ? Sorry, I was away and did not get back to you soon. By the way I would love to poke and eat the fish eyes from the picture that Fodgycakes posted.
  12. Thanks soup. Here was my basic dinner last night Canh chua ca (sour and spicy fish soup with wild greens) Fried egg with chopped tomato + crispy fried shallot/dried shrimp/shili mixture, I was bored with the regular fried egg so I just added in whatever I had on hand last night.
  13. The following is a beef salad dish Vietnameses like to enjoy as appetizer (served with fried shrimp cracker) at parties. 1. Cut beef into thin slices and dip it quickly (1/2 second) into boiling pot of water + vinegar/pineapple juice mixture 2. Cut starfruit into thin slices (add green apple and/or green mango - optional) 3. Add those ingredients into a large mixing bowl and toss with salt, lime juice, vinegar, black pepper, and a touch of sugar. Also add red onion + chopped Vietnamese cilantro (rau ram). Toss well to mix. 4. Garnish with cilantro, red pepper, and fried shallot 5. Enjoy the beef salad
  14. A favorite drink that we enjoyed at a beachfront coffee shop, here I gave an attempt to recreate it in the U.S.. Ingredients One overfilled teaspoon of the salted plum & kumquat mixture (the jar says 3 but using one is enough, 3 spoons would give the drink a very strong taste) If you can get your hand on some fresh kumquat then adding a few fresh slices would give it a very nice flavor, if can also substitute with some fresh squeezed lime juice If you can't find a pre-made tac ximuoi jar in local Vietnamese markets you can put 2 salted plum into 3 oz. of hot water and add in some fresh squeezed lime juice or orange juice and that is nice too (add a little sugar to taste) Add crushed ice and fill the glass with club soda Enjoy the refreshing drink with a touch of exoticism with friends and loved one.
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