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guppymo

Vietnamese Food

564 posts in this topic

SuzySushi,

Do you happen to live on Oahu, Hawaii ? If yes you might want to try "Pho To Chau" restaurant in Chinatown, I think they have the best Pho in the entire U.S. This restaurant only open from early morning 'til 11 am and there's always a long line to around the corner everytime, everyday, pretty amazing !

I am trying to picture what rolls that your Vietnamese friend served you. Could you tell me a little more about it ?

Is it a roll wrapped in noodle or the dough of the noodle ?

Beside fill with ground pork did you eat it with other condiments ?

Just give me a few more descriptions

I agree about Pho To Chau! Their secret broth recipe must take days to cook! :wub:

The rolls were ground pork wrapped in the soft noodle dough. The ground pork was a "loose" filling, not made into patties. They were served warm with nuoc cham as a dipping sauce. They looked somewhat like Chinese look fun, but were firmer (not as slippery) and the sauce was on the side, not poured over them. The flavor was entirely different, though, because of the Vietnamese ingredients (e.g., fish sauce instead of soy).


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Your pictures and descriptions are wonderful. First Bun Bo Hue, now Banh Xeo. I hope you have time for the extra work but you clearly have a following here. Keep posting!

A couple of things I would find useful:

-- some discussion of ingredients that are important to Vietnamese cuisine. I'm thinking especially of fish sauce, which I never use aside from making nouc cham--because I don't understand it as a flavoring agent, condiment, etc. How do you use it? how does a neophite learn to incorporate it in their cooking?

-- in the totally selfish category, you're from Boston, so am I and probably others reading this. Would you be willing to post a "ISO dining partners" thread in the New England forum to organize an outing at one of your favorite Vietnamese restaurants? I'll help...it would be great to have someone who knows the cuisine lead us through a menu.



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-- some discussion of ingredients that are important to Vietnamese cuisine.  I'm thinking especially of fish sauce, which I never use aside from making nouc cham--because I don't understand it as a flavoring agent, condiment, etc.  How do you use it? how does a neophite learn to incorporate it in their cooking?

-- in the totally selfish category, you're from Boston, so am I and probably others reading this.  Would you be willing to post a "ISO dining partners" thread in the New England forum to organize an outing at one of your favorite Vietnamese restaurants? I'll help...it would be great to have someone who knows the cuisine lead us through a menu.

Well in my opinion the only ingredient that Vietnamese cooks use everyday is fish sauce. We eat a lot of stuffs with "nuoc cham" made of fish sauce. Beside using fish sauce as "nuoc cham" we frequently use it to substitute salt (like in my posting of pork rib above). We also braise fish in fish sauce (claypot fish), we even fry rice with fish sauce, and when cooking soup sometimes we even dash a few dashes of fish sauce into the soup. Fish sauce, fish sauce, fish sauce, I can't live without fish sauce. Don't be intimidated by fish sauce, it's a "low-maintainance" ingredient that is as versatile as your imagination.

What is "ISO dining partners" ?

I did not know we have a New England Forum so let me check around to see what's there. Um the Vietnamese restaurants in Boston are not as good as the one in California, Houston, or Virginia. But a trip to a Viet. rest. sounds fun. Maybe we can organize one later in the year (when it's warmer).

what did I get myself into ? :wacko:

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What is you prefered commercial brand of fish sauce?


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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ISO? In search of? I have to ask my wife. :biggrin:


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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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.

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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 (log)

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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:

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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.

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 (log)

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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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.

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What are the French influences on Vietnamese cookery?

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What are the French influences on Vietnamese cookery?

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.

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What is you prefered commercial brand of fish sauce?

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

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What are the French influences on Vietnamese cookery?

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.

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?

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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

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

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: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:

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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?

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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.

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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 (log)

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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:

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

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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.

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:

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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

diacom.jpg

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

diaga.jpg

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

dayban.jpg

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 ?

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

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

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

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

copdiacom.jpg

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)

copcondiments.jpg

Put the pork chop over rice

Pour a couple tablespoons of nuoc cham

Bon appetit

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