Easy Crispy Fried Calamari (Muc Chien Gion)

Who doesn’t love fried calamari? Fried calamari are rings of squid and tentacles deep-fried to a crispy golden perfection. Served alongside lemon wedges, marinara sauce or aioli, this is the perfect recipe to one up grandma at her dinner party.

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Vietnamese Kabocha Squash Soup with Pork Meatballs (Canh Bi Do Nau Moc)

A traditional soup side dish of kabocha squash and tender pork meatballs. These Vietnamese pork meatballs are soft with a springy texture. When paired with kabocha in a side soup, it’s simple good eating with no fuss. Eat with steamed rice for a complete meal.

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Vietnamese Chayote and Dried Shrimp Omelette (Trung Chien Su Su Tom Kho)

When the fridge is running empty or I just don’t feel like cooking, it’s an omelette with all the fixings to the rescue. This is a quick recipe of a Vietnamese-style omelette with dried salted shrimp and chayote squash. Protein and vegetables … all in one pan.

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Vietnamese Five Spice Baked Chicken Wings (Canh Ga Nuong)

This recipe is an update of my popular deli-style Vietnamese roast chicken. I simplified the recipe to use less ingredients yet still maintained that same great flavor. This modified recipe only utilizes pantry items so it’s quick to toss together. All the ingredients for the marinade can be found in your typical Asian pantry.

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Simple Choy Sum & Garlic Stir-Fry (Cai Lan Xao Toi)

No meal is complete without a vegetable side dish. One vegetable that I always pick up at the Asian supermarket that I know is tasty, versatile and will last in the fridge for a couple of days is choy sum. For a quick vegetable side dish on a busy weeknight, I make a simple choy sum and garlic stir-fry (Cai Lan Xao Toi).

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Hanoi-Style Beef Noodle Soup with Wok-Seared Steak and Fried Garlic (Pho Tai Lan)

Pho Tai Lan is a type of Northern-style beef noodle soup where instead of raw slices of beef topping the bowl, it is thin slices of beef and lots of garlic wok-fried in beef fat (tallow). As you can imagine, this extra step adds a whole new level of of flavor to an already very flavorful noodle soup.

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Thai Iced Tea (Tra Sua Thai)

Authentic Thai tea is made of orange-dyed black tea mixed with a bit of sugar, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. It can be served either hot or cold. When served cold, you have the people’s favorite, Thai iced tea.

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Vietnamese Grilled Scallops with Cheese (So Diep Nuong Pho Mai)

Cheese on grilled scallops? Gross, right? However, it was surprisingly delicious! I loved the savory and richness of the cheese on the the scallops. Plus, you have the amazing aroma from the scallion oil (Mo Hanh), light crunch from toasted peanuts and/or fried pork fat (Tep Mo), and the incredible flavor of the holy mother sauce, Vietnamese sweet chili dipping sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham).

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Vietnamese Scallion Oil (Mo Hanh)

Scallion oil (mo hanh) is a delicious Vietnamese condiment to brush over grilled anything, particularly grilled corn and grilled pork chops. This oil is also delicious lightly brushed over grilled seafood and rice noodles to prevent them from drying out and provide amazing aroma. Lastly, the vibrant green color makes for a beautiful garnish. Just don’t mind the extra calories!

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