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Vietnamese Food


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Grilled chicken (ga nuong), grilled zucchini, and jasmine rice with salt, pepper, and lime dipping sauce (muoi tieu chanh), from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. We deboned skin-on chicken thighs, marinated the chicken (and the zucchini) in black pepper, fish sauce, lime juice, salt, sugar, and peanut oil, and then grilled the chicken (skin-side down) and the zucchini over medium-high heat. The dipping sauce was white pepper, salt, lime juice, and muddled chilies.

Everyone loved the chicken, and even my zucchini-indifferent spouse loved the zucchini.

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Hmm, am I the only one cooking Vietnamese food?

Anyway, tonight we made chicken, lemongrass, and potato curry from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. Saute a paste of lemongrass, ginger and onion before adding curry powder and chile flakes. When the spices release their flavors, add skinless bone-in chicken thighs, coconut milk, salt, and black pepper.

Simmer for a while before adding cubed potatoes. When the potatoes are tender and the flavors meld, serve with lime wedges. Despite similarities to a Thai or Indian curry, this dish’s flavors were more subtle (and kid-friendly, an important factor at our house). We also had a tossed salad on the side.

Into the Vietnamese Kitchen has clear, concise instructions with just the right amount of detail. As an example, the ingredients list specifies

3 medium or 2 hefty stalks lemongrass, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and coarsely chopped (about 2/3 cup)

Three stalks of lemongrass yielded much less than 2/3 cup chopped, so I knew to add more lemongrass. This probably explains why the lemongrass flavor has been overly subtle in recipes that I have made from other cookbooks. :rolleyes:

Ca-ri ga with jasmine rice and roasted asparagus, bell peppers, and Poblano chiles

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ETA: a little sambal oleek and fish sauce made the leftovers really sing at breakfast. :wub:

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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Bruce, i made Ca Ri Ga from the same book a few weeks ago. Came out very tasty. I used a whole chicken hacked up. The thighs were great, the breasts a little dry since i had to cook it longer than i thought to get the potatoes cooked.

Agree on Into the Viet. Kitchen being a great book.

jason

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Bruce, i made Ca Ri Ga from the same book a few weeks ago. Came out very tasty. I used a whole chicken hacked up. The thighs were great, the breasts a little dry since i had to cook it longer than i thought to get the potatoes cooked.

Funny, I did sort of the opposite - I added the potatoes early to be sure they were done, but the chicken thighs took longer than expected to cook through. I kept the curry on a low simmer, so the chicken stayed juicy and the potatoes remained intact.

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More from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: shrimp in spicy tamarind sauce (tom rang me); and Napa cabbage and shrimp soup (canh cai kim chi nau tom). Side dishes were jasmine rice and cucumbers. The soup is a family favorite, and the shrimp may be a new one. The shrimp was stir-fried with shallots and garlic, and then finished with a sauce of tamarind, fish sauce, Sriracha, and sugar. Simple and delicious.

Napa cabbage and shrimp soup (canh cai kim chi nau tom)

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Shrimp in spicy tamarind sauce (tom rang me)

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More from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: shrimp in spicy tamarind sauce (tom rang me); and Napa cabbage and shrimp soup (canh cai kim chi nau tom). Side dishes were jasmine rice and cucumbers. The soup is a family favorite, and the shrimp may be a new one. The shrimp was stir-fried with shallots and garlic, and then finished with a sauce of tamarind, fish sauce, Sriracha, and sugar. Simple and delicious.

Napa cabbage and shrimp soup (canh cai kim chi nau tom)

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Shrimp in spicy tamarind sauce (tom rang me)

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oh Bruce, your food looks so glossy and fresh I swear I can smell the aromas.....I love tamarind anything.... and the shrimps look stunning. Is there no end to your talent :smile:

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oh Bruce, your food looks so glossy and fresh I swear I can smell the aromas.....I love tamarind anything.... and the shrimps look stunning.

insomniac: Thank you very much. :blush: Actually, in reducing the sauce I over-cooked the shrimp a little. I should have added the sauce earlier or pulled out the shrimp before reducing the sauce. Not all mistakes show up in the picture. :wink:

Eh, that's the tradeoff - I love trying new recipes, but know full well that we can make a dish better the second or third time.

ETA: I agree with you about tamarind, it adds such a complex tart flavor. Andrea Nguyen describes a handy method for making tamarind water – simmer a block of tamarind pulp in water, mash up, press through a strainer once or twice, and freeze in an ice tray. When it freezes, store the tamarind ice cubes in a freezer bag. Each ice cube should be about two tablespoons.

We have a tray in the freezer now, so I see more tamarind in our future. :smile:

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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I made the shrimp in tamarind too and thought it was great.

Last night I made the pork steaks with garlic and chile from Into The Vietnamese Kitchen. I grilled on an in door grill pan since it was -18c. last night here, but nevertheless they were great. Somehow the marinade made the pork taste much richer and we couldn't finish a steak that we would have polished off if it was just plain grilled.

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I've got lemongrass ribs marinating in the fridge for tomorrow. This is from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.

The marinade called for caramel sauce. I made it and it looks beautiful! :cool:

The taste test tomorrow will tell me if the half hour of watching bubbles was worthwhile. Actually, the progression of the colour from white sugar in 1/4 cup of water to champagne - tea - dark amber - molasses made it worthwhile!

The recipe said honey was an option, but for once in my life, I followed the recipe exactly! You'd be proud of me, c. sapidus (Bruce)!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I've got lemongrass ribs marinating in the fridge for tomorrow. This is from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.

Oh, we will definitely need pictures and a tasting report.

The recipe said honey was an option, but for once in my life, I followed the recipe exactly! You'd be proud of me, c. sapidus (Bruce)!

Congratulations! By the way, Mrs. Crab followed a recipe once - she has never been quite the same ever since. :wink:

I think honey would be much sweeter than a good dark caramel.

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Here are the results of my first attempts from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.

The caramel sauce: I'm not sure how dark it is supposed to be, but it sure is purty!gallery_13838_4218_14619.jpg

I marinated the ribs for over 24 hours - just couldn't fit the grilling into my schedule until tonight. The ribs were meaty enough to be threaded onto skewers. That made turning them a lot easier on the grill. They were very good, but next time, I will use more lemongrass and caramel sauce for a more robust flavour. These are definitely make again ribs, a nice change from Chinese BBQ ribs or others.

The BBQ in the backyard at -37C!

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The results:

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And the rest of the story...

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Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Dejah: Oh my, that looks incredible! Your caramel sauce looks good to me. I like caramel pretty dark, with only a hint of remaining sweetness. I agree with you about adding more lemongrass – I have started routinely increasing the amount of lemongrass by at least half (garlic too). Perhaps lemongrass has more zing in the tropics.

Speaking of the anti-tropics, the snow-covered lounge chair next to the grill is a nice touch. :smile:

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Tonight we made chicken and ginger in caramel sauce (ga kho gung) from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. Cubed chicken thighs, simmered until tender with thinly-sliced and smashed ginger, caramel sauce, fish sauce, and salt. Garnished with chopped scallions, it was simple and delicious.

Stir-fried baby bok choy, coconut rice, and the usual cukes on the side.

Chicken and ginger in caramel sauce (ga kho gung)

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I did have difficulty with the caramel sauce. For the first batch, I followed the directions in the cookbook. The whole batch crystallized badly, so I threw it out and made caramel my usual way – no water, heat for about 5 minutes until the sugar starts to melt, stir and regulate the heat until the caramel turns the desired color, and then add water slowly and carefully to stop the process. I made this batch of caramel sauce very dark to provide caramel flavor without adding a lot of sweetness.

Caramel sauce (nuoc mau)

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Yet more from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: pan-seared tuna steaks (ca thu chien) with ginger-lime dipping sauce (nuoc mam gung). We briefly coated the tuna steaks in a mixture of lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and oil before searing them in a cast iron skillet. The boys surprised me by preferring the tuna rare, so next time next time I’ll shorten the cooking time. I loved the ginger-lime dipping sauce, a simple mixture of lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and lots of minced ginger.

We also stir-fried trumpet mushrooms and garlic with olive oil, and finished the dish with chicken stock, cornstarch slurry, and a little salt. Simple and very good, served with coconut rice and cukes on the side.

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Michelle: You are one of the people that I hoped would post. Your banh xeo looks beautifully light, with its delicate ring of tiny bubbles around the edge. The pile of herbs is gorgeous, too – I often forget about serving herbs with Vietnamese food in the winter.

Hmm, am I the only one cooking Vietnamese food?

Alright, I'll bite. I made banh xeo last Saturday. I have not been taking pictures of my food lately but here is a previous banh xeo.

banhxeo.jpg

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Hmm, am I the only one cooking Vietnamese food?

Alright, I'll bite. I made banh xeo last Saturday. I have not been taking pictures of my food lately but here is a previous banh xeo.

banhxeo.jpg

I am not farmiliar with this, looks delish though - what is it (description, ingredients, method to prepare, etc...)

Thanks - even though I have no clue what it is or whats in it it looks so yummy!

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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Wok-seared shrimp with garlic and chile (tom rang toi ot) from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. This is a Vietnamese version of Chinese salt and pepper shrimp. Tossing the shrimp in cornstarch, white pepper, salt, and sugar before searing in the wok gives them a nice crust. Next time I’ll sear the shrimp a little longer.

Cooking the shrimp in their shells would be more authentic, but da boyz don’t like them that way. Cukes and a baked potato with melted butter on the side (also not authentic). :wink:

Wok-seared shrimp with garlic and chile (tom rang toi ot)

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Steamed salmon with garlic and ginger (ca hap toi gung), cabbage and egg stir-fry (bap cai xao trung), and fried potatoes with bacon. The first two were from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. Mrs. C improvised with leftover baked potatoes, and the results were delicious.

My part of dinner was less than a complete success. Between catching up on Mrs. C’s day, helping elder son with his science fair project, and trying two new recipes, I goofed up the sauce. I was supposed to saute the garlic and ginger, add the liquid ingredients (soy sauce, oyster sauce, black pepper, and sugar), bring everything to a boil, and spoon the sauce over the salmon before steaming. Instead I, um, struck a bold new path. :rolleyes: It turns out that the sauce pretty goof-proof, but we picked off the ginger because it tasted pretty raw. The salmon was good, though.

The cabbage was super-simple: garlic, cabbage, fish sauce, one egg, and black pepper. The boys like cabbage, so we have been making a lot of it lately.

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Edited to add one egg.

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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