You are Here: More Info | How can I make my payment | Vietnam Travel Handbook | Last Minute Promotions | TripAdvisor Reviews | Terms & Conditions | Visa Requirements | Travel Insurance | Exchange Rates | Travel Styles | Check your Flights | Recipes
Recipes for our Vietnamese cuisine lovers
Let's Rock and Roll Roll's
Let's roll the Fresh one's first..........
This is always a crowd pleaser - even picky eaters love these salad-like rolls and the wonderful fish sauce that goes with them. You can leave out the shrimp for a nice vegetarian option.
These rolls can be prepared a few hours in advance, covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap and kept at room temperature until needed.
Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 1 small chili pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
- ¼ cup water
Prepare Nuoc Cham
Combine garlic, sugar, lime juice, water, vinegar, and fish sauce. Stir to blend. Add chili rounds (to taste). Keep at room temperature for ½ hour before serving.
Ingredients Fresh Spring Rolls
- 4 ounces thin rice vermicelli
- 16 raw medium shrimp, shelled
- 2 large carrots, shredded or thinly cut
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 16 rice paper (banh trang),
- 8 large red leaf or Boston lettuce leaves, thick stem ends removed and cut in half
- 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 1 cup mint leaves, washed and drained
- 2 eggs omelet cut thinly
- 1 ounces cold cut ham
Use your fantasia and you can cut everything what's eatable for the filling.
How to Prepare Fresh Spring Rolls
In a medium saucepan, bring several cups of water to boil. Add vermicelli and cook until just softened, 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Boil the shrimp for 3 minutes, then refresh in cold water. Cut lengthwise in half, then set aside.
How to Assembly
Lay out the spring roll ingredients before beginning to assemble the rolls.
Lay one piece of lettuce over the bottom of the rice paper. Add 1 tablespoon of noodles, 1 tablespoon carrot, bean sprouts and several mint leaves. Roll the paper halfway. Fold both sides of the paper over the filling. Lay 2 shrimp halves, cut side down, along the crease. Place several cilantro leaves above the shrimp. Keep rolling the paper into a cylinder to seal. Place the rolls, seam side down, on a plate and cover with a damp towel so they will stay moist. Slice each roll in half on a bias.
Serve rolls with the Nouc Cham sauce, preferably in individual dipping bowls. The rolls are dipped into the sauce and eaten out of hand.
Let's roll the Fried one's now..........
The rice paper in Vietnam is elastic, making the roll-up very easy. Second, the fillings vary with inclusion of pork mice, prawn meat, crab meat, spring onions, eggs, glass noodles, wooden ear mushroom and different vegetables. I learned the Northern style from my grandmother and we use julienne carrot and kohlrabi or bean sprout, which give the spring roll the sweetness and freshness of vegies. These lovely rolls are served with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham) and lots of fresh herbs on the side . for example lettuce, mint, bean sprouts etc. I have included below the recipe for Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls. I admit I never measure the exact quantity when making these rolls and the dipping sauce everything is done by the eye and it a bit different than we showed in our cooking demonstration .But it is really not hard to get it right...There is a trick to make the skin crispy longer after frying add a few drops lemon/lime juice or vinegar to the water used to soften the rice wrapper. For the filling, feel free to try different things for example using shredded Chinese cabbage instead of kohlrabi.
Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
There is a general rule of thumb, use one part of fish sauce (Vietnamese style preferred) and three parts of mineral water.
- Slowly add sugar, whisk to dissolve.
- The sugar needed to sweeten the sauce depends on the fish sauce that you use.
- Then, slowly add vinegar or lemon/lime juice (teaspoon by teaspoon) until you have a balanced sauce - not too salty or too sweet not too sour.
- Adjust with more sugar and water if needed.
- All the tastes should be in balance.
- Add some minced garlic, carrot and a few slice of red chili to finish up
Ingredients Fried Spring Rolls
- 500g mince (pork or chicken)
- 100g prawn meat, minced
- 100g crab meat, minced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and julienne
- ½ - large kohlrabi, peeled and julienne one or two handful of bean sprouts or shredded Chinese cabbage)
- 1-2 spring onion, shopped thinly
- 1 s mall bundle of glass noodles - soaked in warm water for1 min, then cut into 1,5 cm length
- 1-2 big wooden ear funguses - soaked in hot water until soft. Slice into thin strips
- 1 egg
- Fish sauce, salt and some sugar and ground white pepper to taste
- fried spring roll
How to Prepare Fresh Spring Rolls
In a medium saucepan, bring several cups of water to boil. Add vermicelli and cook until just softened, 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Mix everything (except the rice paper wrapper, of course!) together; let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes.
To roll: prepare some warm water with a few drops of lemon/lime/vinegar. Dip each wrapper into the warm water until soft but not soggy, or wet a towel and lay the rice paper on it Put the filling at the center of the wrapper, fold two sides. Starting at the bottom, roll up tightly. Be careful not to break the wrapper. Moisten the end edge with a little beaten egg or water if necessary to secure the roll.
Heat oil in a large wok or deep-fryer, fry the rolls until golden and cooked. Take care not to burn or under-cook.
When deep-frying, do not overheat the oil otherwise the rolls will be burned outside.
Serve with Dipping Sauce and fresh herbs like lettuce, bean sprouts, mint etc.
Beef Pho Noodle Soup
Who doesn't love noodles soup? In the Vietnamese repertoire, beef pho noodle soup is a classic. In fact, it's practically the national dish of Vietnam. Below is my family's recipe for the quintessential Vietnamese food -- pho noodle soup. You may have had bowls of pho in Vietnamese noodle shops, in Vietnam and abroad. but have you made some yourself? Making pho noodle soup takes time but most of it is passive cooking. And remember, you can freeze pho broth for future bowls of steamy hot pho noodle soup!
Makes 8 satisfying big sized bowls
For the broth:
2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound total)
4-inch piece ginger (about 4 ounces)
5-6 pounds beef soup bones (marrow and knuckle bones)
5 star anise (40 star points total)
6 whole cloves
3-inch cinnamon stick
1 pound piece of beef chuck, rump, brisket or cross rib roast, cut into 2-by-4-inch pieces (weight after trimming)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 ounce (1-inch chunk) yellow rock sugar (duong phen)
For the bowls:
1 1/2-2 pounds small (1/8-inch wide) dried or fresh banh pho noodles
1/2 pound raw eye of round, sirloin, London broil or tri-tip steak, thinly sliced across the grain (1/16 inch thick; freeze for 15 minutes to make it easier to slice)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, left to soak for 30 minutes in a bowl of cold water
3 or 4 scallions, green part only, cut into thin rings
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (ngo)
Ground black pepper
Optional garnishes arranged on a plate and placed at the table:
Sprigs of spearmint (hung lui) and Asian/Thai basil (hung que)
Leaves of thorny cilantro (ngo gai)
Bean sprouts (about 1/2 pound)
Red hot chiles (such as Thai bird or dragon), thinly sliced
Prepare the pho broth:
Char onion and ginger. Use an open flame on grill or gas stove. Place onions and ginger on cooking grate and let skin burn. (If using stove, turn on exhaust fan and open a window.) After about 15 minutes, they will soften and become sweetly fragrant. Use tongs to occasionally rotate them and to grab and discard any flyaway onion skin. You do not have to blacken entire surface, just enough to slightly cook onion and ginger.
Let cool. Under warm water, remove charred onion skin; trim and discard blackened parts of root or stem ends. If ginger skin is puckered and blistered, smash ginger with flat side of knife to loosen flesh from skin. Otherwise, use sharp paring knife to remove skin, running ginger under warm water to wash off blackened bits. Set aside.
Parboil bones. Place bones in stockpot (minimum 12-quart capacity) and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring to boil. Boil vigorously 2 to 3 minutes to allow impurities to be released. Dump bones and water into sink and rinse bones with warm water. Quickly scrub stockpot to remove any residue. Return bones to pot.
Simmer broth. Add 6 quarts water to pot, bring to boil over high heat, then lower flame to gently simmer. Use ladle to skim any scum that rises to surface. Add remaining broth ingredients and cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. Boneless meat should be slightly chewy but not tough. When it is cooked to your liking, remove it and place in bowl of cold water for 10 minutes; this prevents the meat from drying up and turning dark as it cools. Drain the meat; cool, then refrigerate. Allow broth to continue cooking; in total, the broth should simmer 3 hours.
Strain the pho broth through fine strainer. If desired, remove any bits of gelatinous tendon from bones to add to your pho bowl. Store tendon with cooked beef. Discard solids.
Use ladle to skim as much fat from top of the pho broth as you like. (Cool it and refrigerate it overnight to make this task easier; reheat befofe continuing.) Taste and adjust flavor with additional salt, fish sauce and yellow rock sugar. The pho broth should taste slightly too strong because the noodles and other ingredients are not salted. (If you've gone too far, add water to dilute.) Makes about 4 quarts.
Assemble pho bowls:
The key is to be organized and have everything ready to go. Thinly slice cooked meat. For best results, make sure it's cold.
Heat the pho broth and ready the noodles. To ensure good timing, reheat broth over medium flame as you're assembling bowls. If you're using dried noodles, cover with hot tap water and soak 15-20 minutes, until softened and opaque white. Drain in colander. For fresh rice noodles, just untangle and briefly rinse in a colander with cold water.
Blanch noodles. Fill 3- or 4-quart saucepan with water and bring to boil. For each bowl, use long-handle strainer to blanch a portion of noodles. As soon as noodles have collapsed and lost their stiffness (10-20 seconds), pull strainer from water, letting water drain back into saucepan. Empty noodles into bowls. Noodles should occupy 1/4 to 1/3 of bowl; the latter is for noodle lovers, while the former is for those who prize broth.
If desired, after blanching noodles, blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds in same saucepan. They should slightly wilt but retain some crunch. Drain and add to the garnish plate.
Add other ingredients. Place slices of cooked meat, raw meat and tendon (if using) atop noodles. (If your cooked meat is not at room temperature, blanch slices for few seconds in hot water from above.) Garnish with onion, scallion and chopped cilantro. Finish with black pepper.
Ladle in broth and serve. Bring broth to rolling boil. Check seasoning. Ladle broth into each bowl, distributing hot liquid evenly so as to cook raw beef and warm other ingredients. Serve your pho with the garnish plate.
Note: Yellow rock sugar (a.k.a. lump sugar) is sold in one-pound boxes at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. Break up large chunks with hammer.
Variations: If you want to replicate the splendorous options available at pho shops, head to the butcher counter at a Vietnamese or Chinese market. There you'll find white cords of gan(beef tendon) and thin pieces of nam (outside flank, not flank steak). While tendon requires no preparation prior to cooking, nam should be rolled and tied with string for easy handling. Simmer it and the beef tendon in the cooking broth for two hours, or until chewy-tender.