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Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Vietnamese Avocado Shake (Sinh Tố Bơ) Recipe

I rarely drink Starbucks, but when there's Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour that comes once a year, "venti white chocolate mocha frappuccino with extra whip, please!" It's sugary, high-calorie frappuccino literally everyday for the whole week. All self control (and my waistline) goes out the window. Now that the evil (but fabulous) promotion is over, it's time to detox with a healthy alternative and a summer time favorite: Vietnamese Avocado Milk Shake or Sinh Tố Bơ.

sinh to bo recipe Vietnamese summertime drink

Most Americans associate avocados with savory dishes. In Vietnam, we use them in desserts such as avocados shakes and smoothies. Sinh Tố Bơ is a ice-blended drink of ripe avocados, sugar, milk and sweetened condensed milk. It's refreshing summer drink and a great alternative to traditional American milk shakes.

In the below recipe, I use a combination of condensed milk and sugar. Some people stick with only sweetened condensed milk as the sweetener, but I find adding a bit of granulated sugar helps cream the avocado into the smooth velvety texture in the blender. Don't worry, you don't taste the granules at all. It also cuts down the richness from the sweetened condensed milk.

vietnamese avocado shake sinh to bo

Vietnamese Avocado Milk Shake Recipe (Sinh Tố Bơ)

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons tablespoons granulated white sugar

Instructions

  1. Halved the avocado. Carefully chop the knife into the center of the pit and give it a twist to remove. Scoop the avocado flesh into a blender.
  2. Add ice, milk, condensed milk and sugar and blend until smooth.

Vietnamese Papaya Soup with Pork (Canh Đu Đủ Nấu Thịt Nạc)

Vietnamese folk remedy says Papaya Soup, or Canh Du Du, stimulates lactation in new mothers. Whether it's true or not, I surely didn't complain when I was endlessly served Canh Du Du after the birth of my children. Canh Du Du and Vietnamese Sour Catfish Soup (Canh Chua) are two my favorite Vietnamese soups.

Papaya is a fruit that is super sweet when fully ripened. When added to soups, it adds a natural sweetness that is subtle yet flavorful. For this soup, you want to pick a papaya that is ripe (orange flesh) but also one that is firm. If it's too ripe, it will break up in the soup. Also, avoid using green unripened papaya. Although I've seen some Vietnamese use unripened papaya, the soup won't have that natural sweetness and most cases, will require a bit of sugar to balance out the taste.

Vietnamese Papaya Soup with Pork Recipe (Canh Đu Đủ Nấu Thịt Nạc)

Serves 3-5

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork shoulder (cut into small cubes, blanch in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then rinse)
  • 1-1/2 lbs ripened yet firm papaya flesh (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chicken soup powder (or 1 teaspoon salt if none is available)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Add vegetable oil to the bottom of a small pot. Heat on high. Add shallots and garlic. Stir until shallot and garlic are limp and fragrant (about 15 seconds). 
  2. Add pork. Toss until it is evenly coated with the aromatics.
  3. Add water. Be careful as oil may splatter. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes or until pork is chopstick or fork tender. Occasionally skim off the foam at the top.
  4. Add papaya. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and chicken soup powder.
  6. Turn off heat. Garnish with cilantro.
vietnamese papaya soup canh du du