Vietnamese Recipes

Pork in caramel sauce

pork-caramel

Most of Asia was colonized by a European power at one time or another and some influences remained long after the colonial powers had gone. Perhaps, among the strongest and more long-lasting of those influences are reflected in Asian cuisines.Take Vietnamese food, for instance. What is it about Vietnamese cooking that … [Read more...]

Vietnamese chicken noodle soup (Phở Gà)

chicken-pho-ga2

When I watch food shows on TV, I pay close attention to what street cooks do. Not celebrity chefs cooking on a street corner pretending to cook street food. I mean, the real street food cooks because they are the ones who truly have a feel of the food culture of a place.In an episode of a Bobby Chinn show, for instance, … [Read more...]

How to make: Vietnamese chicken salad

vietnamese-chicken-salad2

Think cole slaw but with chicken, nuts and fresh herbs. And with no mayo. Doesn't sound like cole slaw anymore? That's okay. This Vietnamese chicken salad is better than cole slaw.Bias of an Asian? Maybe. Maybe not. With the chicken, this salad is more filling and a large portion can be a complete meal. Then, there's … [Read more...]

How to cook: Lemongrass and chili stuffed tofu

lemongrass-tofu

And so we take a break from the sweets and the meats and all those rich dishes that seem to be the benchmark of the holiday season. The girls are back in the condo, and Speedy and I thought we'd live on scraps and leftovers for the next couple of days.Well, we tried for about half a day. By nightfall, Speedy was in the … [Read more...]

How to cook: Crisp tofu in tomato chili sauce

tofu-tomato-chili2

When Speedy tried to cook a Luke Nguyen tofu dish several weeks ago, he tried to fry silken tofu since that was what the recipe called for. But he got the same result that I did every time I tried to fry silken tofu -- a terrible mess. So, he substituted firm tofu and came up with a delicious meatless dish. Salty, sweet and … [Read more...]

How to cook: Pork ribs and rice noodle soup

pork-ribs-noodle-soup

What makes Vietnamese food special? Is it, as Vietnamese cooks claim, the perfect balance of flavors? Is it the use of copious amounts of fresh herbs? Is it the bright and fresh appearance of the cooked dishes?For Vietnamese food lovers, I'm sure we all have different reasons for being smitten. For me, it is a blend of … [Read more...]

How to cook: Vietnamese chicken and pineapple stir fry

chicken-pineapple-stir-fry

Four years ago, I found a chicken and pineapple recipe from an American-published Vietnamese cookbook. A couple of weeks ago, in an episode of Luke Nguyen's Vietnam, I watched chef Luke Nguyen cook a very similar dish using thinly sliced pork neck. The difference: Luke Nguyen's recipe uses more herbs and spices … [Read more...]

How to cook: Stir fried beef and chayote

beef-chayote

Inspired by a dish that chef Luke Nguyen cooked in his TV show, this stir fried beef and chayote combo is another example of the yin-yang concept that is found across various Asian cuisines. The ingredients are simple, few and inexpensive, the seasonings are minimal, and yet, the aroma and flavors are so complex, one would … [Read more...]