Sunday, June 29, 2014

AFF Vietnam #3 - Caramelized Chicken With Ginger

I wanted to post about a dish that is distinctively Vietnamese. What is more Vietnamese than a caramelized savoury dish. According to Andrea Nguyen (a renowned Vietnamese cookbook author), caramel sauce (nuoc mau, pronounced "nook mao") is one of the cornerstones of Vietnamese cooking. It's primarily used in kho dishes to simmer savory foods such as whole fish, pork, shrimp, chicken, eggs and tofu -- homey foods that are the soul of Vietnamese cooking. The color and flavor of caramel sauce are transformative, making food not only look beautifully amber but also delectable.

I made this dish in early 2012.  I decided to remake it and post the recipe in time for AFF IndoChina.

Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken With Ginger

This recipe is super simple.  4 steps actually;
  1. Make caramel sauce
  2. Brown ginger and chicken
  3. Toss ginger and chicken into caramel sauce and simmer until cooked
  4. Serve and eat (3 steps only if you remove this last step!)
When I was in Hanoi, Vietnam, I ate many caramelized dishes. They had a lot more ingredients in them. But somehow, this simple dish with only ginger to flavour it, tastes just as good!

Friday, June 27, 2014

AFF Vietnam #2 - Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot)

I wanted to make this tofu recipe from my Vietnamese Food and Cooking book; Spicy Tofu with Lemongrass, Basil and Peanuts. I had already bought the tofu and lemongrass. I even dug out the peanuts from the pantry. But when I went to water my plants this morning, I realised that my basil plant has shrivelled in this past few days heat!!! I didn't want to risk killing my basil plant completely by removing “one bunch of fresh basil” as required for this dish.

I quickly asked my best friend; Mr. Google for a suitable Vietnamese Tofu Dish. There were many but I finally settled on this dish; Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot).

Vietnamese Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

AFF Vietnam #1 - Braised Branzino with Tomatoes and Pickled Mustard Greens (Vietnam's version of Teochew Steam Fish?)

Hi everyone! This is my maiden venture into blogosphere.

This simple Vietnamese dish is a very appropriate recipe for my very first blog post! I'll explain more as you read on. *Please do read on!*

This recipe is called Braised Branzino with Tomatoes and Pickled Mustard Greens.

Doesn't the recipe name sound like our Malaysian Teochew Steam Fish? This dish also looks the same with the exception of tofu and dried mushrooms (in Teochew Steam Fish).

Vietnamese Braised Branzino with Tomatoes and Pickled Mustard Greens

That was my exact thoughts when I looked at this recipe. But.... since I managed to buy two pieces of siakap, I decided to try both recipes at the same time to make a comparison.

Trust me when I say that just by changing the cooking method and some ingredients, this dish is completely different from our Teochew Steam Fish.