Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Vietnamese Food


Recommended Posts

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 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Untitled-1.jpg

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"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

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.

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

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:

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

IMG_1289.jpg

IMG_1308.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!

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

coprauramrauram.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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 :)

IMG_3516.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll go the multiple guess route.

Cucumber, chayote squash (although it looks too green to be that), watermelon rind or green papaya (I know the last two aren't vegetables). :raz:

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll go the multiple guess route.

Cucumber, chayote squash (although it looks too green to be that), watermelon rind or green papaya (I know the last two aren't vegetables).  :raz:

Now you have given a new ingredient to cook - chayote squash.

I love eating chayote squash, but I can't believe I haven't cooked it for a long time. I definitely will cook something with this squash sometime this week.

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll go the multiple guess route.

Cucumber, chayote squash (although it looks too green to be that), watermelon rind or green papaya (I know the last two aren't vegetables).  :raz:

Now you have given a new ingredient to cook - chayote squash.

I love eating chayote squash, but I can't believe I haven't cooked it for a long time. I definitely will cook something with this squash sometime this week.

Thanks

A simple Korean saute is sliced chayote squash (sometimes called Korean zucchini around here), salted shrimp and garlic. From what I've seen in this thread it can be Vietnamese as well. Yes? Or non? :unsure:

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

guppymo:

This thread is I love Vietnamese Food! The balance of flavors, chilis o boy! Thanks for the photos and the recipes.

Does the Thai Okra get slimy like the orkra we cook get over here?

Keep posting.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...