BRAISED SALMON IN CLAYPOT – ANOTHER WAY TO EAT SALMON

Vietnamese braised clay-pot fish. Eating with hot steaming rice is the best.

This is a Vietnamese dish that people make with pork, cat-fish or shrimps, but I replace the main ingredient with salmon fish which is healthier and brings out more excellent results.  The thickness of the claypots retain heat and moisture, helping to soften meats when braised. You can find a clay pot at any Asian stores; it comes with different sizes, designs and colours. I bought mine at a Vietnamese-Chinese shop in China Town of Toronro, Canada at a cost of $5.99 for each.

Usually this dish don’t need wine but I still decide to add a little of Pink Moscato and Vintage Merlot Salt during cooking time for extra flavours; here is how you make it:

Ingredients:

  • 400 gram Salmon (still have skin, cut into medium-small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 purple onions, minced
  • green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. five spice
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce (My husband doesn’t like fish sauce’s smell so I replace with 1 tbsp. Vintage Merlot salt)
  • 1 tbsp. Pink Moscato wine
  • 1/2 tbsp. coconut thin sauce
  •  chopped coriander leaves and hot pepper slices for decorating

…..

Directions:

  1. Turn heat on medium-high. Add purple onions and garlic in 1 teaspoon hot oil until they turns golden brown. Pour in a small bowl.
  2. On the same non-stick saucepan, pour 1/2 cup of oil. Place salmon slices on hot oil (make sure fry skin side first. It will keep salmon not falling apart) and cook until they are golden brown on both sides (it takes about 5 minutes each side). 
  3. Transfer the fish to a clay-pot. 
  4. Keep the heat at medium-low. Stir the brown sugar, coconut thin sauce and 2 cup of the water in a small saucepan until the sugar and coconut sauce dissolve. Add garlic & purple onion mixture, green onions to cook for 3-5 minutes; and then add the remaining ingredients (black pepper, cayenne pepper, five spice, Vintage Merlot salt and Pink Moscato wine). Bring to boil before pouring the liquid mixture over the fish in the clay-pot. 
  5. Put the pot over very low heat. Let it simmer, uncovered, until reduced by about half.
  6. Decorating with chopped coriander leaves and chilies. Serve with hot steaming rice.

Enjoy!!

HOW TO MAKE $1 INSTANT NOODLES TASTY

Instant noodle is well-known as a quick meal but you can make it tastier with some simple ingredients (It is also a great way to clean up leftover foods in your fridge)

  1. Add chicken/ pork/ beef broth (Or even creamy curry broth would be fine too)
  2. Add left-over meat (pull pork, shredded beef, butter chicken, etc.) 
  3. Add cheese (make sure let it melt by pouring extra broth on top of cheese) 
  4. Add sea weed and roast sesame seeds (If you are not a fan of sea-weed, you can skip this)
  5. Add vegetables and herbs (water cress, spinach, bean sprouts, basils, green onions, fried shallots, etc.) 
  6. Add a sunny-side-up fried egg
  7. Add Siracha for hot-spicy taste

… And now you have your own version of an epical tasty-yummy noodle bowl soup, enjoy!!

FRIED PORK WITH RICE FLAKES

Today I would like to introduce another easy-to-make recipe I have adapted from my home country, Vietnam. Have you ever heard or tried rice flakes (also called flattened rice)? I know there are plenty of ingredients you could use to fry, but rice flakes could be another extra ingredient to join the fried category. It tastes crispy like corn chips after frying, or soft like oatmeal when mixing with milk. It is a secret ingredient that I always want to share with everybody, who enjoy cooking and eating foods. You can try to fry rice flakes with shrimp, egg, chicken and even vegetables; it will bring a new flavour that you may look for…

Fried pork with rice flakes

Ingredients:

500 gram leaned pork (5-6 pieces)

1 tsp. seasoning salt

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. minced shallot

1 tsp. minced dill

fried powder

1 egg

oil to fry

 green rice flakes (You can find rice flakes at any Asian supermarket. It comes with white and green colours)

Fried pork with rice flakes

Directions:

– Cut pork into thin slices. Marinate with seasoning salt, sugar, pepper, dill and shallot. Put all meat into a container, cover lid and leave it in a fridge for about 20 minutes.

– Crack the egg in a small bowl, whisk with chopsticks (or other kitchen tools) until smooth

– After 20 minutes to chill in the fridge, take meat out to coat with a layer of fried powder, egg, and then green rice flakes.

– Turn oven on medium-high, pour oil into a non-stick pan.

– Slowly drop each pork slice into the hot oil, fry until both sides turn golden brown. (Make sure to place on paper towers or dry rack to get rid of extra oil, by doing this, your meat will stay moist and crispy)

*Taste best with steaming rice, noodle or creamy potatoes soup. Enjoy!

STIR-FRIED LEMONGRASS FROG LEGS

Lemongrass Frog Legs @chopstickspoon.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

Frog legs (about 10 legs)

2 tablespoon oil (I use avocado oil)

2 tablespoon minced lemongrass

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 tsp. minced chili

2 tsp. seasoning salt

2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. pepper

Lemongrass frog legs @chopstickspoon.wordpress.com

Directions:

  1. Wash and let frog legs dry.
  2. Marinate frog legs with curry powder and pepper.
  3. Turn oven to high heat, add oil
  4. Stir fried minced garlic, lemongrass and chilli in hot oil first, until you see them slightly turn to brown
  5. Add frog legs next, use chopsticks or spatula to mix all ingredients well together. Cover lid and leave it cook for about 7- 10 minutes.
  6. Add seasoning salt, and stir frog legs couples more times before turn oven off
  7. Serve with coriander and eat with rice.

lemon-grass frog legs

Vietnam used to be French colony, so the frog leg dish was brought to Vietnam since then. The taste and texture of frog meat is about between chicken and fish, and it can be eaten as main dish in a meal. It is a very popular dish on all restaurant menus in Vietnam because frog meat taste best when eating with hot cooked rice or in hot-pot with all variety of herbs. Fortunately for me that I don’t have to catch alive frogs and prepare the dish from scratch, I just have to buy the frozen one in plastic packages at all Asian supermarkets. If you ever have chance to travel to Saigon, Vietnam – make sure to drop by Ben Thanh market where people sell the alive ones.

Have you ever tried frogs legs?  What do you think? Drop me your comments @chopstickspoon.wordpress.com

SHRIMP ON SWEET POTATO NEST

Around 80’s people were still poor in Vietnam, my parents got married and had no choice but to lived in a very small house that they shared with others. They tried to save every single Dong (VND Vietnamese currency) to born me. Even though my parents didn’t have a lot of money at that time but they always tried to raise and support me in the best ways they could. I remember I didn’t have many toys, besides one big doll with blue hair and couple sets of cooking toys to play with other neighbour kids. The interesting thing was that my mom let me played with real foods, so we children always had tasty snacks every time gathering to play together. She made all various foods such as deep-fried banana patties, rainbow jelly, sweet and sour bon-bons, caramel sugar candies, hot sugar syrup tofu, coconut sticky rice cakes wrap in banana leaves, and much more including deep-fried shrimp on sweet potatoes nest. I am even still drooling every time think or talk about my yummy childhood foods…hmm, so why not travelling back in time with me to see how they were made!

Ingredients for batter:

1 cup rice flour

2 cups all purposed flour

3 cups water, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. sugar

2 beaten eggs

 

Ingredients for other things:

Shrimps, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. minced garlic

2 large sweet potatoes, vegetable oil to deep-fried

Vietnamese dipping fish sauce

 Fried shrimp and sweet potato cakes

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients for the batter, mix well until smooth.
  2. Clean shrimps and season with pepper, salt, sugar and minced garlic
  3. Peel sweet potatoes skin, and then shred thinly. Rinse slightly under water. Put all shredded sweet potatoes into the batter mixture
  4. Pour oil into a saucepan, at high heat.
  5. Use a small size of bouillon spoon to scoop the batter, then pour gently into the hot oil. Use Chopsticks/ spoon/ tong to take a shrimp, press slightly on the top of the sweet potato mixture
  6. Deep friend for about 2-3 minutes then flip to the other side, continue frying until golden brown
  7. Serving with lettuce, herbs and dipping fish sauce
Fried Shrimp & Sweet Potatoes
Photo credit to: family.vn

Clams with Lotus Roots + Alocasia Odora, Bean Sprout, Pineapple, Tomatoes, Okra, and Basil in Vietnamese Tamarind-flavoured Broth

2 pounds of clam

4 cups water

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon pepper

1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce (optional)

Pineapple, lotus roots, dry tamarind, chili, tomatoes, okra, Asian bean sprout, and
stem of Alocasia Odora

culantro & basil

chopstickspoon.wordpress.com

“Today I am making another Vietnamese comfort food recipe. I still follow my grandma’s recipe but add a little twist with clam and lotus roots. I find the broth taste better and sweetener.  You can eat this Vietnamese Southern-style tamarind soup with any kinds of sea foods; usually taste best with king shrimp or red Tilapia fish “

Tamarind-flavoured broth (main ingredients)

  • Soak clam, put 1/2 tsp. hot chili to get rid of smell and dirt.
  • Wash and cut all vegetables and herbs in smaller sizes that you want

 

Directions:

 

  1. Bring the water to a boil
  2. Take half cup of hot water from the pot, pour in a bowl and squeezed tamarind to get a sour brown liquid, and then pour the tamarind liquid back to the pot.
  3. Put Clams, pineapple and lotus root to make the broth sweetener and aromatic. Cook for 10 minutes
  4. Add Okra and stem of Alocasia Odora, let it cook for another 2-3 minutes before putting bean sprout in
  5. Add pepper, salt, sugar and fish sauce (optional) to your preference taste. Letstand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving. This soup is eaten with culantro and basil

 

OVEN BAKING POTATOES AND EGGS

oVEN BAKING POTATOES AND EGGS

Do you know that Potatoes are filling, low in calories, non-fattening, and are an excellent way to ensure your continued success in eating healthy? Eggs is one of main ingredients to improve weight management, brain development, eyesight protection, concentration, protein, Omega-3, and much more.

To start a new week with full energy for work and school, here is another easy making potatoes recipe. Happy Monday!

  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • parsley
Directions:

      1. Peel potatoes and cook them until just soft enough to be cut
      2.  Take cooked potatoes out and let them cool down completely. Cut into small pieces, then put in a food processor, just couple blend are good enough (or you can grate it)
      3. Preheat the oven at 450 degrees.
      4. Mix the grated potato with a little of parsley, salt and pepper.
      5. To make sure the potatoes do not burn when grilled, spray cooking oil over a cookware bowl.
        Then put the potatoes around a thin layer. Using clean fingers slightly press potatoes down the middle to create the recess for the eggs.
      6. Bake the potatoes for about 20-25 minutes until golden. Take the cookware bowl out of oven, let it cool down.
      7. Add egg. Put the bowl back in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the eggs are fully cooked. Sprinkle pepper and salt, then it ready to serve.

VIETNAMESE BEEF PHO

Image
chopstickspoon.wordpress.com

Ingredients:
2 pounds beef bone
2 beef shanks
2 pounds beef sirloin
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
3 nutmegs
3 slices of ginger (about 3 inch each slice)
1 shallot
and 1 empty tea bag

Let’s cook!

1. The beef broth

– Put beef bones into a large pot filled with water. Boil it 5 minutes, then pour all water out, and rinse all beef bones under a tap water

– Put the beef bones back in a pot. Add beef shanks. Fill the pot with 4 lite of water

– Put all cinnamon sticks, star arise, nutmegs and ginger in an empty tea bag. Tie it then place inside the pot.

– Peel shallot skins, cut it in half, then put in the pot as well

-Turn heat on to medium and leave it cook for 3 hours. Make sure to watch the broth every 45 minutes, take a thick “raft” that floats on the top of the stock in order to keep the broth clear

– After 3 hours cooking, Throw away shallot and the bag of spice. Add salt, sugar and fish sauce (optional) to suit your taste.

Whoala!

2. Cook noodle

– Make sure soak noodle in water for about half an hour before cooking.

– Boil water in high heat. Add noodle, stir well (about 5-7 minutes), then pour noodle out. Set noodle to the side to let it dry

3. Serve

– Put noodle, beef slices in a bowl

– Pour the broth on top of the beef (you will see the raw beef slightly change its color to cook)

– Squeeze a bit of lime juice. Serve with basil, bean spout, culantro and some red hot chili slices to add more flavors

“Vietnamese Pho is not just a simple soup –  Beef pho noodle soup is a classic one; in fact I used to  eat Pho for my breakfast, lunch and dinner when i was in fifth grade. I really don’t know why, maybe I was bored of rice and other dishes? Pho can be eaten with different toppings; but my favourite are with rare beef, beef brisket, tripe and an egg with a lot of Sriracha.  Hope you enjoy Pho and let me know how it is :)”