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Vietnamese Food


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Dinner tonight - BO KHO (Beef carrots stew with star anise and lemongrass)

Wow, that Bo Kho is now on my list of "things I have to make very soon". It looks delicious.

You say in your recipe to use coconut juice. Could I use a can of coconut milk? Or should I dilute that with water?

What's the pretty orange drink that you're serving with it?

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Chufi,

Coconut juice is the clear juice from the husk of the coconut. You can find it's easily at any Asian market.

Oh the "orange drink" is orange juice mixed with cranberry juice :)

Gup

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Dinner tonight - BO KHO (Beef carrots stew with star anise and lemongrass)

Wow, that Bo Kho is now on my list of "things I have to make very soon". It looks delicious.

You say in your recipe to use coconut juice. Could I use a can of coconut milk? Or should I dilute that with water?

What's the pretty orange drink that you're serving with it?

"Coconut juice" is the almost-clear liquid that's inside a fresh coconut when you open it. Coconut milk is pressed from the meat of the coconut (with water). Asian stores carry "young coconut juice" in cans in their soft-drinks aisle. It can be used for cooking but is most often drunk straight out of the can (delicious!!!). :smile:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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In between all the college basketball games this past weekend, I found time for only one of your recipes, the one that was probably the easiest--Ga Xe Phay (chicken salad). It was delicious and very simple. The rice crackers for scooping were tasty and fun! I think I will use this recipe often when the weather gets warm, it would be perfect on a picnic or outside with drinks waiting for the grill to get hot.

Also thank you for posting pictures of some of your ingredients--for those of us with language barriers at the local chinatown grocery store, it was helpful to be able to recognize some ingredients when I couldn't read the signs.

A question about the dried shrimp paste you call for in some of your soup recipes. I saw many shrimp pastes at the Super 88 (local market) but most were already mixed with oil or other ingredients. The only one I could find without was from Thailand. Will that work?


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In between all the college basketball games this past weekend, I found time for only one of your recipes, the one that was probably the easiest--Ga Xe Phay (chicken salad).  It was delicious and very simple.  The rice crackers for scooping were tasty and fun!  I think I will use this recipe often when the weather gets warm, it would be perfect on a picnic or outside with drinks waiting for the grill to get hot.

Also thank you for posting pictures of some of your ingredients--for those of us with language barriers at the local chinatown grocery store, it was helpful to be able to recognize some ingredients when I couldn't read the signs.

A question about the dried shrimp paste you call for in some of your soup recipes.  I saw many shrimp pastes at the Super 88 (local market) but most were already mixed with oil or other ingredients.  The only one I could find without was from Thailand.  Will that work?

Lindak,

I am glad you enjoyed the chicken salad.

The shrimp paste that I used is store in a glass jar, around 8 oz and with the brand Lee Kum Kee, it has purle color. I have run out of it if not I could have taken a picture of this jar for you. Maybe later in the weekend when I get another one.

What are you trying to make with the shrimp paste ?

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I just tried a new dish (new to me) at my favorite local Vietnamese place. It was described as "Shrimp Rolls". Ther was some sort of ground or finely chopped shrimp in it (but perhaps ground pork as well) The seasoning was done with a deft hand and there was not a trace of oiliness despite the fact that they were fried.

What really intrigued me was the "wrapper". They use a some sort of rice flour that is tossed on a griddle and briefly cooked. It spreads ut with holes or openigns in it and takes on a lacy appearance. Small sections of this are then wrapped around the filling and fried. It offers a fascinating crunchy texture quite unlike any other "rolls" that I've tried.

Guppy - have you seen or do you ever make the little "bird's nests" that are composed of matchstick julienned sweet potato which is fired into a small semi-spherical shape and has a grileld shrimp parked inside of each nest? Served with lettuce leaves and mint for wrapping and eating. I love those and have seen them in only one place (in NJ when I lived there).

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Phaleon56,

The shrimp roll that you described was most likely "Cha Re"

I think Cha Re is from the Hue region of Vietnam. In Vietnam to make that wrapper the cook has to mix up a bowl of rice flour mixture, then dip the 5 fingers of the hand into the bowl, next and deftly the cook has to let the rice flour liquid drip from the 5 fingers onto the hot grill (frying pan), he/she has to move the hand slowly up and down, left and right, and even diagonally to create a random pattern of net-like wrapper. After about a minute that wrapper is removed from the pan and then the shrimp stuffing can be added and wrapped.

Yeah, I ate the bird-next stuff that you described too, but I think the "nest" that I ate was made from julliene taro.

Thanks for sharing the experience.

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Sauteed green bean and garlic

IMG_3691.jpg

Clay pot catfish (made by a friend)

cakho2.jpg

Stir-fried Asian celery and calamari

IMG_3622.jpg

Bamboo shoot and duck noodle soup

IMG_3282.jpg

This is a non-Vietnamese dish with a Vietnamese twist - Flaming Bananas

IMG_3287.jpg

IMG_3299.jpg

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The shrimp roll that you described was most likely "Cha Re"

I think Cha Re is from the Hue region of Vietnam.

Thanks for the fascinating explanation. This particular place serves an excellent Hue beef noodle soup as well. Perhaps the family is from that region? Are "broken rice" dishes specific to that region?

I also had fried butterfish there last week but it wasn't awe-inspiring - just very tasty whole fried fish. I think I've been accepted as a regular - they no longer bother to bring me cutlery - only chopsticks. And they start making my cafe sua da when they see me walk in the door :biggrin:

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Phaelon56,

They probably are from Hue. Wow, which restarant is this and which city do you live in ?

Broken rice (Com Tam) is a specialty of the Southern region.

Talk about Cafe sua da. I think to night I will go home and make cafe sua da with Trung Nguyen Coffee, I will post a picture of this tomorrow.

Edited by guppymo (log)
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mo, in your recipe for the chargrilled pork you mentioned caramel sauce. is that something you buy at an asian grocery, or make, or what? i googled and found a recipe here:

caramel sauce recipe

is that basically it?

edited to say that with further googling, i found people using just regular caramel sauce--just sugar and water, without the fish sauce and shallots and whatnot. maybe that's right? any tips would be great.

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
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mrbigjas,

caramel sauce i got was bought from an Asian market. You can make your own using just sugar and water, basically you want to give the food the color so avoid using fish sauce when making the sauce.

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Guppy - it's called New Century Vietnamese Restaurant and it's located in Syracuse NY (central part of NY state).

Mrbigjas - On occasion I have ordered quail with caramel sauce and it tasted as though it was probably the same as the one in the linked recipe. I would consider the fish sauce to be essential.

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Oh, I meant that if the food is marinaded with other ingredients to give it flavor and saltiness then you don't need to have the fish sauce in the caramel sauce. But if the food is only marinaded in that caramel sauce then of course you need something to give it the saltiness

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thanks mo, phaelon.

for years it was a mystery to me how vietnamese restaurants could get that nice chargrilled flavor on such a thin piece of pork, because it would seem that it would cook through before it charred nicely. it was only relatively recently that i realized there must be sugar involved in the process somewhere, but i hadn't really done the research to find out for sure. thanks!

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This looks delicious!  How was this prepared?  I'm a novice when it comes to this cuisine and am trying to learn more.

Bisou -

Here is the recipe

Thank you for the recipe! Where does one find Thai orka? I've never seen it and probably woulnd't recognize one even if it hit me on the head. :)

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