Braised and caramelized catfish (ca kho) is a common side dish in a Vietnamese home-cooked meal. It’s often eaten with steamed white rice and plenty of fresh and boiled vegetables to dip in the braising liquid. For a complete Vietnamese family meal, this side dish is served with its sister soup dish, Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Catfish Soup (Canh Chua Ca Tre).Read More
Every country has their own curry, but I, a full-fledged Vietnamese, am not biased at all when I say that the Vietnamese curry is the best one there is. It's not too pungent in spices. It's not too aromatic that it's overpowering and it's not too thick. It’s simply a warm and delicious bowl of tender chicken in a rich curry stewed with potatoes. Served over steamed white rice or as a dipping sauce for toasted baguettes, it’s the perfect meal for these cold winter days.Read More
Banh Bao (“wrapping cake”) is a fluffy Vietnamese steamed bun with a savory filling. The most common filling is ground pork, onions, mushroom, Chinese sausage and a hard-boiled egg. Other varieties include vegetables such as peas, carrots and jicama.Read More
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.Read More
It's starting to feel like Summer! The weather is finally warming up. The birds are chirping. The kids are playing outside and the neighbors are walking around half-naked. More importantly, the garden is blooming. The other day, I harvested my first Opo Squash (Bầu). I'm so proud of it because it's the first ever Opo Squash that didn't die as soon as it got started. Opo Squash, also known as Calabash Gourd or White Gourd, grows on vines and can grow up to the size of a baseball bat if you let it. Not only can you use it as a lethal weapon, Opo Squash can be used in a traditional Vietnamese side dish, Opo Squash and Shrimp Soup (Canh Bau Tom).Read More
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had the appetite of a million elephants. I indulged in all my favorite food. You can't finish that? Let me help you out. At the time, I was working close to Oakland Chinatown. That meant plenty of cheap and satisfying Vietnamese Sandwiches (Bánh Mì). Pregnant me didn't order just one sandwich. I usually ordered two and both were easily finished in one seating. After I was done, I would order another one, as a snack, for my grueling 15-minute waddle back to the office.
My favorite Bánh Mì? It was hands-down the roasted chicken sandwich (Bánh Mì Gà Nướng). Oh, how I love thee.Read More
When I feel like torturing the neighbors, I take out the grill and cook up Nem Nướng, Vietnamese grilled pork sausage. I waft the aroma of this tasty Vietnamese sausage into their yard. That is what you get for taking my parking!Read More
Whenever we have a đám giỗ, a death anniversary where family members come together to honor and commemorate the deceased loved one with a celebration, I can always count on dining on an elaborate spread of amazing traditional Vietnamese food.
The dish that I look forward to the most during a đám giỗ is the Vietnamese salad (gỏi). This year's đám giỗ for my husband's grandfather, my husband's cousin did not disappoint. Her Vietnamese young jackfruit and shrimp salad (gỏi mít non tôm) was simply scrumptious. I was instantly motivated to make my own version, after picking up a few pointers from the master chef herself.Read More
Some people like to take long romantic walks along the beach. I like to take long romantic walks through Chinatown. Nothing gets me going more than beautifully roasted meat carcasses hanging in windows at Chinese BBQ shops.
It's truly a magical place for meat lovers. You have roasted pork, roasted duck, roasted chicken, BBQ'd pork, BBQ'd duck, BBQ'd chicken and sometimes even innards of sorts, all covered in a sweet and sticky glaze. Out of all the meaty goodness, the most tantalizing is the roasted pork belly, also known as Thit Heo Quay in Vietnamese or Siu Yuk in Cantonese.Read More