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Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Wonton Recipe (Hoành Thánh Tôm Thịt)

Wontons are a type of Chinese dumpling. Hoành Thánh is the Vietnamese equivalent and they are made primarily out of ground pork.

There are many ways to cook wontons. They can be steamed, boiled, pan-fried, deep-fried or a combination of these techniques (pan-fried first then add a little bit of water to steam with a covered lid), much like pot stickers.

Wontons can also be served in variety of ways. In Vietnamese cuisine, they are usually a component in soups as in Vietnamese Egg Noodle Wonton Soup (Mì Hoành Thánh). In American-Chinese cuisine, they are fried and served as appetizers with an accompanying sweet duck sauce, or a tangy vinegar soy sauce.

Below is my version of Vietnamese wontons. I like to add ground shrimp for better flavor and chopped jicama. The jicama not only provides sweetness, but it also gives a subtle crunch to the wontons. The unexpected crunch makes people ask what’s in it, and that, my friends, is where I have a little fun with my answers. Fried crickets? Human fetuses? The list of possibilities is endless.

 Shrimp & Pork Wonton (Hoành Thánh Tôm Thịt)

Shrimp & Pork Wonton (Hoành Thánh Tôm Thịt)

 Shrimp & Pork Wonton Recipe (Hoành Thánh Tôm Thịt)

Shrimp & Pork Wonton Recipe (Hoành Thánh Tôm Thịt)

 Shrimp & Pork Wonton Recipe (Hoành Thánh Tôm Thịt)

Shrimp & Pork Wonton Recipe (Hoành Thánh Tôm Thịt)

Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Wonton Recipe (Hoanh Thanh Tom Thit)

Makes about 50 small wontons

Ingredients

  • 8 oz shrimp (peeled, deveined and finely chopped)
  • 8 oz ground pork
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped jicama
  • 1 green onion (thinly slice)
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon (pinch) pepper
  • 2 teaspooons sesame oil
  • 16 oz (1 lb) package square wonton wrapper
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch

Instructions

  1. Combine shrimp, ground pork, jicama, onion, oyster sauce, sugar, pepper and sesame oil in a bowl and mix well.
  2. To form the wontons into simple triangles, place about 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of shrimp and pork mixture a bit off center on the wrapper. Brush the edges with beaten egg and fold the wonton wrapper over into triangles, while pushing the air out of the filling. Pinch the edges together to form a seal. You may also make them into fancy pleated pouches if you want to get your pleating skill on. Lightly dust each wonton with corn starch to prevent sticking and ripping.
  3. The wontons are ready for cooking. You can either boil, steam, pan-fry or deep-fry, and enjoy them as an appetizer with a vinegar soy sauce. You can also store some in freezer for a topping in Vietnamese Egg Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh). To freeze them properly, place them in a single layer with Saran-wrap between layers to prevent sticking.

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo)

Hi. My name is Vicky and I’m a pho-coholic.

If you love Vietnamese food, no doubt you have tried Vietnamese rice noodle soup, Pho. Pho is served in practically every Vietnamese restaurant here in the States, so much so that people think Vietnamese food is mainly pho. It is just the tip of the iceberg in Vietnamese cuisine but it’s the most iconic of them all.

 Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

 Beef Bones for Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo)

Beef Bones for Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo)

There are two major types of pho: pho bo (beef) and pho ga (chicken). The beef version is fancier than the chicken version. Therefore, taking longer to cook. The beef version is made and eaten with assorted cuts and parts of beef. The stock is made from beef shank, neck and ox tail. The meaty toppings include thinly sliced eye-round beef steak, flank, brisket, beef balls, tendon and tripe. It's also spiced with more aromatics than the chicken version: cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, coriander, and cloves.

 Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

 Dried Spices for Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo)

Dried Spices for Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo)

Both versions are served in a piping hot bowl, topped with chopped green onions, white onions and cilantro. A platter of Thai Basil, lime wedges, bean sprouts and sliced jalapenos also accompany the bowl. If you’re lucky, you may also get the hard-to-find culantro (ngo gai) herb in your vegetable platter.

 Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

 Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

In Vietnam, Pho is very popular for breakfast. Vendors shop for the freshest ingredients in the wee hours of the morning to make the deep and flavorful stock in time for the morning rush hour. Locals would stop by for a hearty and delicious breakfast-in-a-bowl before heading to work.

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup is labor intensive and all the components take up a lot of space in the fridge. So when I crave for pho at home, I make a large pot and pretty much have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because the taste is simply un-pho-gettable, I don’t mind having it several times a day.

 Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Phở Bò)

 Vietnamese meat balls and rare slices of eye-of-round beef

Vietnamese meat balls and rare slices of eye-of-round beef

 Thai basil, onion, limes, green onions, cilantro, Hoisin sauce, and Sriracha sauce

Thai basil, onion, limes, green onions, cilantro, Hoisin sauce, and Sriracha sauce

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo)

Serves 7-10

Ingredients

    Stock

  • 3 lbs beef bones (I like to use an equal amount of ox tail, neck bones and shank bones with marrow
  • 5 liters water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 large shallots (about 10 oz; roast whole in oven at 350°F for 40 minutes, allow to cool then peel)
  • 3 oz ginger (roast in oven at 350°F for 40 minutes; allow to cool then slice into thick slices with peel-on)

  • Dried Spices

  • 1 stick Asian cinnamon (about 15 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons dried cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dried coriander seeds
  • 3 dried cardamom pods
  • 3 dried star anise

  • Stock Seasoning

  • 150 grams rock sugar
  • 1 tablespoon MSG
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons salt

  • Pho Meaty Toppings

  • Any meat from beef bones after making stock (particularly ox tail)
  • 2 lbs thinly sliced eye-round beef steak
  • 2 11-oz bags cooked beef balls (Bo Vien)

  • Noodles & Vegetable Toppings

  • 3 lbs fresh rice noodles (soak in cold water for 30 minutes to remove excess starch)
  • 1 small medium white/yellow onion (slice thinly)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro (roughly chop)
  • 5 green onions/scallions (slice thilny)
  • 3 jalapenos (slice thilny)
  • 3 limes (cut into wedges)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha sauce

Instructions

  1. Clean the beef bones. Cleaning the bones will rid of all the impurities and ensure a clear broth. To clean the bones, bring a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon salt to a rolling boil. Add beef bones (except shank with bone marrow) and boil for 2-3 minutes. For shanks with bone marrow, quickly dunk them in the boiling salted water. This way the shanks are cleaned but the marrow do not melt away. Remove the bones and give them a quick scrub and rinse.
  2. In another large pot, add 5 liters water and bring to a boil. Add cleaned bones, roasted shallots and ginger to the pot. Cook for 3 hours, semi-covered on medium low heat. Occasionally, use a ladle to scum off the impurities that float to the top. After 3 hours, remove bones, ginger and shallot from stock and discard. There may be good amount of tender meat on the bones (particularly ox tail) so remove the meat from the bones and set aside as a meaty topping before discarding.
  3. In a small frying pan, quickly toast the dried spices until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute). Shake them around to prevent burning. Wrap the toasted spices in a cheese cloth or use a spice ball and add to pot. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove cheese cloth/spice ball.
  4. Season stock with rock sugar, MSG, fish sauce, and salt to taste
  5. When ready to serve, bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch a large handful of rice noodles for a few seconds. Add cooked noodles to a serving bowl. Add your choices of meat with the raw slices of eye-round beef steak on top. Ladle in hot broth and over the raw beef slices. Top with a bit of white/yellow onions, green onions, and chopped cilantro. Serve bowl with a side of bean sprouts, Thai basil, jalapeno slices, lime wedges and of course, Hoisin and Sriracha sauce.