We are excited to host the June 2011 edition of Delicious Vietnam. It was fun to read through the amazing array of posts on different aspects of Vietnamese cuisine. Without further ado, let’s start the multi-course feast.
Breakfast fares: Bánh mì & Xôi (sticky rice)
“To me, nostalgia is the language of inspiration for the different types of bánh mì I’m making and writing about here. The Damn Bien (aspiring to be ‘damn good’) bánh mì contains the specially dressed fresh carrots, jicama, cucumber and cilantro surrounding the French comfort food of sumptuous and crispy duck confit hash I fried.”
From Montréal, Québec, Canada, Mike at The Things I Eat undertook a project to make Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng Chả Lụa as a Father’s Day breakfast for his Dad. What a sweet and serious endeavor: making his own bánh mì from scratch and deciphering his grandma’s recipe for thịt nướng (grilled pork) from her notebook.
“The crunch of the bread mixed with the sweet and sour of the pickled veggies, the aromatic flavour of the cilantro, the fatty, juicy meat and the smoothness that is brought by the butter and paté. A great sandwich for a great Ba to start off a hopefully great Father’s day.”
From Melbourne, Australia, Anh at A Food Lover’s Journey satisfied her craving for a hearty breakfast with the unusual, hard-to-find sticky rice with cassava and onion oil dish paired with a Malaysian-inspired anchovy sambal.
“Sometimes, the “Vietnamese in me” wants a heavy breakfast though. Noodle soup (bún, mì, phở), congee (cháo) or sticky rice (xôi). It’s a rather substantial meal but oh-so-satisfying and can set you right up for the rest of the day.”
From Winnipeg, MB, Canada, Pepy at Indonesia Eats made Gỏi Đu Đủ (Vietnamese Papaya Salad) in the 2nd installment of her 3-part series exploring green papaya salads from 3 different Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Viet Nam and Thailand. We love her inclusion of húng quế (basil), rau răm (Vietnamese coriander) and tía tô (Vietnamese perilla) in the salad.
“But, you do know that Vietnamese loves fragrant herbs in their cooking. In this recipe, I only used 3 herbs that often add in Vietnamese cooking.”
From San Diego, CA, USA, Nam at The Culinary Chronicles discussed the challenge of learning to cook Vietnamese dishes where exact measurements were non-existent and everything was “to taste” in her mouth-watering case study of Thịt Gà Bóp Rau Răm (Huế Style Chicken Salad with Vietnamese Cilantro).
“Popularized from the Huế region of Viet Nam, shredded poached chicken is tossed in a light vinaigrette and packed FULL of fresh herbs and thinly sliced onions…It really depends on your flavor palette to add as much or as little lemon juice and sugar or salt and pepper.”
From San Francisco, CA, USA, Bonnibella at Chrysanthemum shared her family secrets of making “Get a Date” meatballs (meatballs that are so good, people might just start asking you out after trying them)
“The smell of cooking meatballs from the kitchen is an indication of a fantastic meal. Whenever I make Vietnamese meatballs I reminisce about the nights when I helped my mother in the kitchen slapping the uncooked pork”
“The chicken is so light and tender, the flavour is well balanced. The key point to make this dish is the caramelisation process – be patient, the good flavour of the chicken really depends on it.”
“The original Canard à l’Orange (roasted duck is served with orange sauce) may be tasty, but the addition of various aromatics and chili brought this dish to a whole new level. A combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours, this dish is T.A.S.T.Y.”
From Mountain View, CA & Ann Arbor, MI, USA, yours truly of Rau Om test kitchen are proud to introduce Phở khô nấu chân không (dry-style Pho cooked sous-vide), the first killer application for our DIY sous vide and low temperature cooking equipment:
“Beef cooked sous vide (under vacuum) for 24 hours with phở spices was so dramatically tender and flavorful and deserving of extra attention, serving phở dry-style was our way to highlight our favorite new star. Sous vide beef shank was tender and moist, and tasting both of unadulterated rare beef and well seasoned phở with its aromatic array of spices.”
From San Jose, CA, USA, Pauline at The Lipstick Cafe wrote about her long standing craving for her Grandma’s “home-run specialty”: Bánh Bột Lọc. She invited us to join her as she embarked on her quest to learn how to make authentic bánh bột lọc from her Grandma and Auntie. We wish her the best of luck on her endeavor and look forward to more stories on her quest.
“…I knew what a treat lunch was going to be when Ba Noi pulled out the large steaming tins to hold the banh bot loc, which were wrapped tightly in banana leaves…At seven years old and even now at twenty-seven, it was the best thing I ever ate.”
From Los Angeles, CA, USA, Kim & Hong, the Ravenous Couple, spoke with Cuong Pham, founder of Red Boat Fish Sauce, to learn about the high quality and pure first extraction fish sauce (nước mắm nhĩ) that his company made available in the States.
“We ferment [anchovies] for at least 1 year and average about 14 months in the barrels…There are 5 pounds of anchovies in each bottle of 40N fish sauce. 5 POUNDS!”
That’s it for Delicious #14. Hope you enjoy the banquet!
Delicious Vietnam #15 will be hosted by Lan of Angry Asian Creations. Please send your delicious entries to her before July 10, 2011 to angryasiancreations[at]gmail.com