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Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs (Suon Xao Chua Ngot)
Jan05

Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs (Suon Xao Chua Ngot)

Vietnamese sweet and sour pork spareribs (suon xao chua ngot) is dish I always looked forward to eating because it’s so finger licking good with the tartness of the tomatoes and just the right amount of sweetness contrasting the succulent pork ribs.  Another reason was that extra pork ribs would also wind up in some sort of soup to complement the meal. While not evident in all of our posts since we feature one item at a time,  most Vietnamese family meals consists of a protein dish, a vegetable dish which could be pickled, along with jasmine rice and eaten family style–everyone had to sit at the table to enjoy the meal.   Ingredients Pork spare ribs bone : 1 lbs, cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces Shallot : 1 medium, diced Garlic : 2 cloves, minced Fish sauce : 2 teaspoon Sugar : 2 teaspoon Ripe tomatoes : 3 medium, diced into small cubes Cornstarch mix: 1 teaspoon cornstarch 2 tablespoon water, stir into a slurry White vinegar : 1 teaspoon Sugar : 1 teaspoon Green onions, chopped Thai chili, chopped (optional) Cooking oil Water   Procedure Briefly marinade the spareribs with fish sauce, sugar, and garlic–a few minutes will do. In a large saute pan or wok on medium high, heat about 2 tablespoon of cooking oil and add the shallots. When fragrant, add the spare ribs and sear until edges are golden brown. Then add enough water to just cover the spareribs and cover lid and reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer for about 25-30 minutes.  This will tenderize the ribs–the longer you simmer, the more tender. We like a bit of chewiness so we can gnaw it off the bone..  The water should now be slightly reduced. Add the diced tomatoes and continue to simmer until tomatoes breakdown and thicken. Now add the cornstarch slurry and mix well to thicken the sauce even more. Finally, season the sauce with a pinch of salt or fish sauce and by adding equal parts 1 teaspoon vinegar and sugar, add more if necessary, adjusting to taste–should be, well sweet and sour. Add chop green onions and optional thai chili. Remove and serve with jasmine rice.     This Vietnamese pork spare ribs dish combines the sour, sweet, spicy and savoury flavour we love. We enjoyed this with home made pickled mustard greens along with the pickled mustard green and dill soup–both recipes. A truly finger licking and satisfying Vietnamese...

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Chinese Beef Broccoli Recipe
Jan04

Chinese Beef Broccoli Recipe

  The secret ingredient in this dish is Chinese black vinegar. If you don’t have this, substitute with young, unaged balsamic vinegar. The aged, good quality balsamic vinegar is too sweet – so make sure you get the cheaper, young balsamic. To keep this dish vegetarian, replace the beef with fresh, thick, meaty shitake mushrooms (cut in half) or even sliced portobello mushrooms.     People to feed: Family 4 Preparation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 10 mins   Ingredients Flank or Sirloin steak : 1/2 pound Soy sauce : 1 1/2 teaspoons Cornstarch : 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper Broccoli : 1 pound, cut into bite-size florets High-heat cooking oil (canola, vegetable, rice) : 1 tablespoon Garlic : 1 clove, finely minced Grated fresh ginger : 1 teaspoon FOR THE STIR FRY SAUCE Oyster sauce : 3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine  (or dry sherry) : 2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or young balsamic vinegar) : 2 teaspoons   Procedure Slice the flank steak ACROSS the grain. In a bowl, combine the beef with the soy sauce, cornstarch and black pepper. Marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Stir-Fry Sauce. In a wok or large saute pan, add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain. Discard the water in the wok and dry the pan well. Set the pan over high heat, swirl in the cooking oil. When the wok is hot, add the marinated beef, use your tongs to spread the beef out all over the surface of the wok in one layer. Let beef cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, until nicely browned. Flip the beef, again spread the beef out over the wok and brown the other side.Push the beef aside and add in the garlic and ginger. Stir fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Then mix together with the beef. Pour in the Stir-fry Sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the wok and toss to coat well.  ...

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Pininyahang Manok (Chicken with Pineapple)
Jan03

Pininyahang Manok (Chicken with Pineapple)

Pininyahang Manok (Tagalog), Gang Ped Gai Sapparot (Thai), or Chicken with Pineapple is a dish made out of chicken that is marinated in pineapple juice then cooked together with pineapple and other vegetables such as capsicum, carrots and onions. In Philippines there are 3 main variations of this dish and they vary on the sauce used, one is using chicken stock as a base, another variation is using coconut milk and the last one is using evaporated milk. Regardless of the version this dish one of Philippines and Thailand’s wonderful casserole dishes (can be cooked also sans casserole) and it is best enjoyed with steaming hot rice. Try it now!     People to feed: Family 5-6 Preparation Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins   Ingredients Chicken : 1 kilogram  legs and/or thighs Red capsicum : 2 pieces, sliced Pineapple chunks : 1 1/2 cups Pineapple juice : 1 cup Chicken stock : 1 cup Coconut milk : 2 cups Ginger : 1/2 thumb sized, minced Onion : 1 chopped Garlic : 4 cloves, minced Cornstarch  : 2 teaspoon dissolved in 1/4 cup water Oil Fish sauce Freshly ground black pepper   Marinate chicken pieces in 1/2 cup pineapple juice, salt and black pepper for at least 12 hours. Remove chicken from marinate then pat each chicken pieces dry. In a wok add oil and evenly brown chicken pieces, remove from wok then set aside Sauté ginger, garlic and onions, then add the chicken pieces. Stir fry for a minute then pour in the chicken stock, coconut milk and remaining pineapple. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture, pineapples and capsicum then simmer for 5 more minutes. Season with fish sauce and pepper....

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Prime Rib Roast with Miso Jus
Dec31

Prime Rib Roast with Miso Jus

Prime Rib seems so intimidating to cook, but in all honesty, it’s easier than roasting a turkey. There’s no brining, stuffing a cavity, flipping halfway or injecting with marinade. Cooking the most tender Prime Rib only uses one cooking rule – slow ‘n low. All you need is time.     This is by far the most simple way to cook a Prime Rib Roast – my trick is to start with a savory-sweet-umami-rich ingredient, Miso Paste. Rubbing the Prime Rib Roast with miso, salt and pepper will season the roast nicely. If you’re concerned that the Prime Rib Roast will taste like miso soup – let me give you a guarantee that it certainly won’t. When miso is combined with meat and heat, the flavor profile helps deepen the flavor of the meat itself, much better than just plain salt. It’s like the difference between sprinkling salt on your bread vs. spreading a rich butter. In my recipe, you can either use low-sodium miso paste (my favorite is shiro miso, which is white miso) or Miso & Easy, a super easy to use miso product, from the makers of one of Japan’s #1 brand of miso, Marukome.     People to feed: Family 6-10 Preparation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 20 mins/lbs   Ingredients Standing Rib Roast : 1 (6-10 pound) Miso Paste : 1/3 cup (or 1/2 cup Miso & Easy), divided Large Carrots : 5, halved Celery : 8 stalks, halved Onions : 2, halved Red Wine : 1 cup Beef Stock : 2 cups Salt and freshly ground black pepper   Procedure Heat the oven to 250F. Season the rib roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Rub just 2-3 tablespoons of the miso (keep the rest of the miso for the Au Jus) on all sides of the rib roast. Place rib roast in a large roasting pan. Scatter the vegetables all around the roast. Roast for 17-20 minutes PER POUND or until temperature of the middle of the roast is 130F (medium-rare to medium). Turn the broiler to high and let the roast brown a bit on the outside, for about 5 minutes. Transfer roast to cutting board, carefully untie the bones from roast. Cover loosely with tin foil. Rest for 20 minutes. While roast is resting, make the Miso Jus. Keep the vegetables in the roasting pan but discard all but 1 teaspoon of the fat. Place the roasting pan 2 burners set on high heat. Pour in the red wine and cook until wine is reduced by half. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits. Whisk in the beef broth and 2 tablespoons of miso paste...

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Banh Cam – Banh Ran Recipe
Dec29

Banh Cam – Banh Ran Recipe

  Bánh cam or bánh rán is one of the most famous and beloved Vietnamese desserts. A golden brown shell of sesame studded rice flour that is crispy on the outside yet chewy on the inside, yielding to a sweet and moist mung bean coconut filling.  Growing up, my mom would make hundreds of bánh cam to sell and raise money for various charitable organizations and the entire family would sit around the table to help.  Ever since we all moved away for college and our separate careers, it’s just been my dad helping her roll the bánh cam. It’s been years since I’ve laid my hands on this sweet ball of love, but recently, my parents came for a visit and we had the pleasure of convening around the table again as a family to make some bánh cam. We’re not going to spend too much time belaboring the differences between bánh cam and bánh rán (as northerners would say) as they are nearly identical. Banh cam can sometimes be served with simple syrup and sometimes may not have sesame. Most of our friends and westerners affectionately call them sesame balls, which works perfectly fine with us.     Steamed mung beans, shredded coconuts, and sugar comprises the filling. The mung bean filling should be moist and not dry, and like most Asian desserts, not too sweet. You can make the mung bean filling days in advance and even store them in the freezer to keep handy.     The best way to enjoy bánh cam is hot out of the fryer when it’s most crispy. Flatten it back into a disk to evenly spread out the mung bean filling and enjoy with friends and family over tea.     Ingredients Mung bean filling MungBeans : 8 oz split peeled Sugar : 1/2 cup Warm Water : 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut : 1/2 cup unsweetened   Dough Water : 2 1/2 cup  plus extra 1/4 cup Sugar : 1 cup Glutinous rice flour : 16 oz bag Rice flour : 1 cup Baking powder : 2 tablespoon Mash potato flakes : 2/3 cup Procedure: Soak mung beans overnight or at least 1 hr in warm water. Steam until soften and easily smashed with your finger tips, roughly 20 minutes (or longer if not soaked overnight). In meantime, dissolve sugar in warm water. When mung bean has cooled, transfer to mixing bowl and coarsely mash. Add the sugar water mixture and coconut and mix well. The texture should be like mashed potatoes. Allow to cool and form small quarter size balls of mung bean. Refrigerate covered. Dissolve the sugar in 2 1/2 cup of warm water. In large mixing bowl, add...

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Cha Gio Vietnamese Egg Rolls

What recipe would you like to learn if you get one afternoon to learn from a Vietnamese grandmother? For us, and some friends, it was crispy banh xeo and Vietnamese egg rolls, called chả giò in the south and nem rán in the north. Since we blogged about banh xeo already, we’ll concentrate on the venerable egg roll. How are Vietnamese egg rolls different, than say, Chinese egg rolls? Vietnamese egg rolls are typically wrapped with a rice paper whereas Chinese egg rolls are wrapped a wheat base wrapper. They both contain a variety of chopped vegetables and can be made with pork, shrimp, or leaner meats such as chicken or turkey. The textural differences between rice paper and wheat paper is stunning. The rice paper roll is both crispy, bubbly and pleasantly chewy, a great alternative to the wheat based wrapper. Hong’s parents have been making Vietnamese egg rolls for over 20 years in addition to banh cam at their church, raising money for parish activities....

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