I love the amazing flavours of this classic Vietnamese dish. The wonderful aromas of the fried lemongrass, chillies and garlic really awaken the senses. There are many versions of this dish, but I prefer mine as a quick and simple stir fry.
Lemongrass Chilli Chicken (Gà Xào Xả Ớt) Recipe
500g chicken thigh fillet, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 small onion, sliced in chunks
2 chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 glove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoon finely chopped lemon grass (white part only)
oil for frying
2 chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
1.5 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass (white part only)
2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
2.5 tablespoon fish sauce
1.5 tablespoon sugar
In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade with the chicken pieces. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge.
Before cooking, have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go.
Heat a wok or a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add oil. Then add garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Add lemongrass and chillies and saute until fragrant. Add chicken and toss to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes until chicken is caramelised and added the onion. Toss and cook until chicken is cooked and remove from heat. Serve on steamed rice with sliced tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber.
Bún riêu is a crab noodle soup with many colours and flavours. So I may have cheated by using the bún riêu flavouring from a can, but if there ever was a time to use canned flavouring for a dish this would be the one time. The aroma and flavours from this canned bún riêu flavouring is just so intense. This is the only dish my mum never makes from scratch. I haven’t had bún riêu made from scratch to know the true flavouring of this dish. To make bún riêu from scratch would involve removing shells from many crabs and then pounding them and mixing with shrimp paste to create the broth. But my cheat method is so tasty and easier so I’m sticking with it.
Bún riêu has a unique delicate crab meat mixture which floats to the top of the soup once cooked called “riêu”. I use the canned bún riêu flavouring to mix with crab meat and egg to create the crab mixture. I prefer mine to be more formed and care is taken when ladling the mixture into the soup and let the mixture set slightly before I dropping it completely into the soup pot.
Water spinach is the special vegetable that accompanies bún riêu along with fresh herbs, bean sprout, coriander, chopped spring onion. I split the water spinach stems by hand which was a little time consuming but you can get a device which does the job quite easily (available at asian groceries).
Bún Riêu Cua -Vietnamese Tomato and Crab Noodle Soup Recipe
Serves 6 – 8
2kg chicken bones
6 litres of water
1 brown onion, quartered
1 kg ripe tomatoes
1 packet of fried tofu, cut in halves
1 packet of dried vermicelli noodles
Crab meat mixture
150 – 200g crab meat
can of prawn in spices
Spring onion, green part thinly sliced
Lime, cut into wedges
Shrimp paste (optional)
To get clear stock, parboil the chicken bones first. To do this, add bones and cover with water. Boil vigorously for 15 minutes. Pour the water, rinse the chicken bones and was the pot.
In the clean pot, add 6 litres of water and add the chicken bones. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmering. Scoop out the scum that rises on top. Add the onion. Leave to boi for 1.5 – 2 hours.
In a large bowl, add the crab meat, can of crab meat in spices and eggs. Mix well. Set aside and refrigerate.
After 1.5 – 2 hours, drain the stock through a strainer into another pot. Bring to a boil and season with salt, fish sauce and sugar. Add tomatoes and tofu. Cook for about 15 minutes on a simmer.
On a Scoop up one ladle of the crab meat mixture and hold it in the stock until it starts to set, then use another spoon to help gently release the mixture into the stock. Repeat this process with the remaining mixture.
To serve, divide the noodles into bowls. Gently spoon the crab mixture on top of the noodles, and ladle soup, tomatoes and tofu into bowls. Garnish with spring onion and coriander. Serve with lemon, bean sprouts, fresh herbs and water spinach.
This easy pickled carrot and daikon is a popular condiment in Vietnamese cuisine. The sweetness, tanginess and crunchiness adds texture and flavour to almost any dish. It is perfect in bánh mì (Vietnamese baguette), cold vermicelli noodle dishes (bún chả giò, bún thịt nướng, bún bò xào) or served as a side dish with grilled and braised meats.
Like the nuoc mam cham (fish sauce dipping sauce) this is a staple in my fridge. So easy to make with thin strips of carrot and daikon soaked in a mixture of vinegar, water, salt and sugar. I prefer mine to be less sweet and more sour, but you just adjust the pickle mixture according to your taste.
Don’t be alarmed by the pungent aroma from the daikon after being soaked for a few days as the pickle is still good. Also always use clean utensils in the pickle jar.
Đồ Chua – Vietnamese Pickled Carrot and Daikon Recipe
500g daikon (white raddish), julienned
500g carrot, julienned
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2.5 cups water
2.5 cups vinegar
jars to store (equivalent to 1 litre)
In a large bowl, add warm water, sugar and salt, and stir until dissolved. Add vinegar. Taste test and adjust according to your taste. Set aside to cool.
Mix the julienned carrot and daikon well and place in a jars. Pour cooled pickling mixture into the jars, pressing down on the carrot and daikon to ensure that the liquid covers them completely. Seal the jars and refrigerate. Let the vegetables marinade for at least 2 hours before eating. This can keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.No Comments
One of our favourite dish from Chinese restaurants is steamed fish with soy sauce, ginger and spring onion using the live fish from the live fish tanks. But these days we make this Chinese-style steamed fish at home and it is so easy. The fish we get is not live but it is still very fresh and perfect for this dish. Steamed fish is so delicious and healthy with sweet and delicate flavours. Also the scalding of hot oil over the fish and aromatics to add to the beautiful flavours.
Chinese Steamed Fish with Ginger and Shallot
1 kg whole fish (snapper, barramundi or coral trout)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine (shaoxing cooking wine)
1.5 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
4 inch of ginger (peeled and cut into thin strips)
2 spring onion/scallion (cut into 10cm sections to use for stuffing inside fish)
2 spring onion/scallion (cut into 10cm sections and then thin threads for garnishing)
10 sprigs of coriander for garnishing
3 tablespoons cooking oil
ground white pepper
Ensure to really clean the fish again by removing scales, guts and gills (even after your fishmonger have cleaned them). Pat dry the fish.
On a chopping board, make three diagonal cuts on the meaty part of the fish, do this both sides.
On a plate (the one you will use to steam), rub the fish with some salt. Divide the strips of ginger into three parts. First part of ginger, put some in the slits and on top of the fish (do to both sides of the fish). Second part of ginger put inside the fish. Add spring onion and coriander in the inside of the fish.
In a small bowl, add soya sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and sugar and stir until sugar dissolved. Pour the mixture over the fish.
Bring a steamer to a boil. Put the plate of fish in the steamer and with closed lid and steam for about 8 – 10 minutes (depending on thickness of fish). Test the fish is cooked by inserting a chopstick into the thickest part of the flesh. If fish gently flakes apart and not translucent then it is cooked. If not then give it another 2 minutes and check again. Once cooked remove from heat and set aside.
In a small pot, heat up oil until smoking. Sprinkle remaining spring onion, ginger and pepper. Pour hot oil over the fish (be careful as it will spit). Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.
When selecting a fish ensure to pick a fish that fits into your steamer. I had to cut off a bit of the tail of my fish as it did not fit into the steamer.
This weekend is the Australia Day long weekend and in true Aussie tradition; there will be lots of barbecue firing up in backyards, parks and beaches to celebrate this national day. We’re going to give the barbie a miss this year and we’ll be out watching all the festivities on Sydney Harbour foreshore.
This lemongrass and chilli prawns is just the perfect recipe for any barbecues (or chargrill). I’ve combine my favourite ingredients of lemongrass, chillies, coriander for this prawn skewers. Seriously just so simple and delicious.
Lemongrass and Chilli Prawns
About 25 skewers
1 kg raw large prawns (shrimps), remove shells leaving tail intact, remove intestinal tracts
2 lemongrass stalks, very finely chopped the white part of stalk
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons cooking oil
3 red-eye chillies, deseed and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coriander leaves, roughly sliced
lime wedges, to serve
25 bambo skewers
In a shallow bowl, add oil, garlic, lemongrass, chillies, salt and pepper. Add prawns and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
Soak the bambo skewers for at least 20 minutes before skewing the prawns. Thread two prawns on each bambo skewer.
Preheat barbecue or chargrill on high. Cook prawns for 2 – 3 minutes each side. Garnish grilled prawns with more fresh chillies (optional) and coriander leaves and serve with wedges of lime. For that extra kick dip the prawns in Sriracha hot sauce.
My husband always laugh every time I refer to this dish as “shaking beef”. But that is the direct translation of bò lúc lắc to English; it refers to the action of shaking the wok when searing the beef cubes to keep the meat rare and moist.
Funny name aside, this dish is very popular and is on the menu of every Vietnamese restaurant. It is simply delicious and very easy to make. I don’t like chewy meat so went for a more expensive cut of beef eye fillet. I love the asian peppery marinade of this dish. Serve the juicy and tender beef cubes on a bed of watercrest or lettuce and tomatoes. We also like to serve this with a side of lemon and pepper dipping sauce. Complete the dish with a bowl of plain white rice or red tomato rice.
Bò Lúc Lắc – Vietnamese Shaking Beef Recipe
500g beef eye fillet, cut into 2 cm cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1.5 teaspoons sugar
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
lettuce, to serve
2 tomatoes, sliced, to serve
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced, to serve
In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, fish sauce, dark soy, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar and black pepper and mix well. Add the beef cubes ensure that all the beef is coated the with marinade. Set aside to marinade 30 minutes or more.
Before cooking the meat, prepare the lettuce and tomato on a large serving plate.
Prepare the lemon dressing by combining the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir unti salt dissolved.
Heat oil in a wok or skillet over high heat until nearly smoking, add a layer of beef (do in batches if necessary) to sear for about 1 – 2 minutes. Then turn the beef to the opposite side and sear for another 1 – 2 minutes. Then shake the beef to sear the other sides. The meat is best served medium rare, to test the meat by pressing and it should have a bounce (or try one because it will be hard to resist).
Place cooked beef on top of the plate of lettuce and tomatoes. Garnish with red onion slices and spoon some lemon and pepper sauce. Serve with white rice or red tomato rice.
We love our noodle soup and each week I would boil a huge pot of stock to make our favourite noodle soup to eat for at least two meals. We have a couple of favourite noodle soup dishes that are on our rotation list and bún thang is one them. Bún thang is a dish from Hanoi and Mum being from the South has simplified this dish with her own version. Her version is slightly more delicate in flavours with just the sweetness of the broth from the chicken, pork bones and dried squid. This is served with vermicelli noodles, shredded chicken, cha lua (Vietnamese ham), thin strips of egg omelette, dried shrimp floss and garnished with coriander and rau răm.
Bún Thang – Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Chicken, Pork and Egg Recipe
Serves 6 – 8
2 kg pork bones
1 whole chicken (1.5kg)
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2 dried squid, washed
1 table salt
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1.5 packet dried vermicelli noodles
70g dried shrimp, dehydrated in boiling water
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
3 spring onion, thinly sliced
4 eggs, make thin egg omelette
Vietnamese ham (chả lụa), cut into batons
Vietnamese mint (rau răm)
For clear broth it is essential to first parboil the pork bones. In a large stockpot, cover the bones with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and leave on boil for about 5 minutes. Discard the water, rinse the bones and wash the pot.
In the clean stockpot, add bones, dried squid and pour 6 litres of water. Add the chicken on top ensuring that the water covers it. Bring to a boil and then leave on simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. Leave the stock on a simmer for about 1.5 hours, uncovered. Skim off any scum.
When chicken has cooled, cut out the flesh from the bones. Wrap chicken and re-fridgerate. Put the chicken bones back into the stockpot.
Meanwhile, prepare the egg omelette strips. In a bowl, add the eggs and whisk. Add a couple pinches of salt and ground white pepper. Heat some oil in a frypan and fry thin egg sheets. Do two separate omelettes if your pan is not big enough. Once cool, cut the egg in halve, roll the egg sheets together and thinly sliced.
Drain the dried shrimp and blitz it in the mini-processor until a fine texture.
After 1.5 hours, strain the broth through a sieve over another pot. Discard the bones. Season with salt, fish sauce and sugar. Taste test the broth and adjust the flavour with additional fish sauce,salt and sugar. Put on low simmer for another 15 minutes.
Before you are ready to serve, have a plate filled with the toppings: cha lua (cut in batons), egg omelette strips, shredded chicken and dried shrimp floss.
When you are ready to serve, bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat while you are assembling the bowls with noodles. Ladle the broth over the noodles, then add cha lua, egg strips, chicken pieces, shrimp floss and garnish with coriander, spring onion, rau răm and sprinkle with pepper.