Archive for the ‘Vietnamese’ Category

Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)

January 12, 2016 3 comments

Bo kho

After an unusually warm and dry year, the cold and rain have finally arrived…which means it is perfect weather for bo kho, Vietnamese beef stew. When I was a kid, I hated cooked carrots, so I would always pick them out and only eat the beef and potatoes. I LOVED dipping the french bread into the broth. Luckily, my very hungry almost 1-year-old LOVES to eat, especially cooked carrots, so I figured this would be a good way to introduce her to more Vietnamese flavors.

My mom used to make this with a combination of stew beef and oxtails, which the butchers at the grocery would give to us for free because nobody ate that stuff back then.  I set out to do the same, but I guess people have finally realized oxtails are delicious and the one store I went to wanted $10.99/lb. I opted for 2 lbs short ribs instead for less than half the price. The end result was delicious but lacked some of the gelatinous variance in texture that oxtail would have added. I highly recommend doing half ox tails and half stew beef or short ribs. Read more…

Categories: Asian, food, soup, Vietnamese Tags: , ,

Mien Xao Cua (Glass noodles w/crab & mushrooms)

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Mien xao cua

I have been craving this dish for months…impatiently waiting for crab season to start. Since my brother and I wouldn’t be together for Thanksgiving, we celebrated early with Crabsgiving! (exclamation points required).  I purposefully bought a few extra crabs so that I’d have enough left over to make mien xao cua, a dish my mom used to make for special occasions.

Growing up, my mom’s version was loaded with chewy noodles, crunchy wood ear mushrooms, sweet sauteed onions, cilantro and tons of pepper. She probably used white pepper but my black pepper grinder works a lot better so I used black. I don’t have her recipe but a Google search gave me a rough idea of what to do. Read more…

Banh Xeo (Savory Vietnamese Crepe)

June 8, 2012 1 comment

Banh Xeo

I’ve finally started cooking the foods I grew up with. For the longest time, I never bothered to learn because my mom took such joy in feeding us. After she passed away, I didn’t have her to advise me. Everyone has a slightly different way of making things (and also a different way they adapted to the products available in a new country) and really, I just wanted to make mom’s version of things. Even my mom’s five sisters had different spins on the same dishes.

Luckily, I have my mom’s recipe notebook. It was always in our kitchen growing up. She loved recording recipes from friends and neighbors and somehow she never ran out of pages: Read more…

Categories: Asian, food, Vietnamese Tags: , ,

Bun Rieu (with recipe this time)

April 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Bun Rieu

I’ve already told you about my fondness for bun rieu in a previous entry. I made it once with my mom but never wrote down her recipe. At the time, learning the recipe wasn’t my goal–I just wanted to spend time together. This time, I made the bun rieu myself. Now that she’s not around, I always think about her when I cook.

Bun rieu is very flexible and everyone makes it a little differently. I’ve had it with or without shrimp, pork blood cubes, pork…one time I even had a bowl with a ketchup-based soup base (not recommended! I never ate there again). When I cooked with my mom, we didn’t use any ground pork or crab–just dried shrimp–and we started off by sauteeing the tomatoes and green onions. I cut my onions large because I like the color but don’t prefer to eat them. Years ago, my cousin put quail eggs in which I love but have never seen done anywhere else. I based my personal recipe on what I like and what I grew up with. This recipe is easily adjustable to what you have around and your own personal preferences.

Bun Rieu

I added an extra egg to the recipe below because I want my rieu to hold together a little better than in the picture above. In my sleep, I must have been subconsciously thinking about the loose state of my rieu because I woke up with the memory of my mom instructing me not to stir the rieu so much that it becomes crumbly but to stir it a little so that it doesn’t become a huge raft. Read more…

Categories: Asian, noodles, soup, Vietnamese Tags: , ,

Sup Mang Cua (Vietnamese Crab and Asparagus Soup)

January 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Sup Mang Cua (Crab & Asparagus Soup)

When I was a kid, this very simple crab and asparagus soup indicated a special occasion: it was either someone’s birthday, we were having guests or both. On more common occasions, my mom and aunts substituted shredded chicken (dark meat, of course) for the more expensive crab.

Last week, I hosted a crabfest for some family and intentionally bought 12 dungeness crabs for 7 people. Hey, I’m feeding them, they can help me pick the leftovers! Heehee! Read more…

Categories: Asian, seafood, soup, Vietnamese Tags: , ,

Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese grilled pork over rice noodles)

September 23, 2011 1 comment

Bun Thit Nuong

Growing up, my mom often made this for us, especially on hot days. Summer generally doesn’t arrive in San Francisco until September, when I get home from work and don’t want to turn on the oven.

I often order these bowls when eating at Vietnamese restaurants and thought it would be a pain to put together at home. Turns out it really isn’t that hard, especially when you already have the marinated meat in the freezer (left over from an undocumented dinner party several months ago), the peanuts and noodles in the pantry, and pickled veggies in the fridge. You can easily put together the nuoc mam pha earlier in the week so that when you get home, all you have to do is boil the noodles, grill the meat and put everything together. Read more…

Categories: Asian, meat, noodles, salad, Vietnamese Tags: ,

Bo Ssam sliders & Paso Robles

August 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Bo Ssam Sliders

In addition to the fried rice previously described, we used the bo ssam leftovers to make pulled pork sliders. I bought brioche mini buns from Draeger’s, warmed up the bo ssam, squirted some gochujang on the meat, and topped it with Vietnamese do chua (pickled carrots & daikon). On the side were some sliced dill pickles, a recipe I am still perfecting. Last night, I tried Andrew Zimmern’s recipe…I’ll know the results in a few days! Read more…