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:


  • 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



  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.



Banana flower is an ingredient commonly used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking and, yes, it comes from growing bananas . It can be eaten raw or steamed, and a great source of vitamins A and C. Raw banana flower has a dry crunchy tacky taste, but when you mix with fish sauce, herbs and cabbage, they all help banana flower taste fresh, juicy and smell great. The banana flower salad recipe can be done in 15-20 minutes; follow me to know how to make it.

Vietnamese Banana Flower Salad


1 ounces Banana Flower

1 ounces Purple Cabbage

Culantro & Coriander leaves

Vietnamese dipping fish sauce

Banana Flower Salad Ingredients


Use mandolin to make banana flower and purple cabbage slices. It will come out about 3-4 inches lengthwise thin strips, looks very nice. If you don’t have mandolin, you can just cut it with knife.

Wash and soak banana flower and cabbage in salted lemon cold water separately for 10 minutes before drain.

Place banana flower and purple cabbage on a serving plate. Garnish with coriander and culantro leaves.

Pour  Vietnamese dipping fish sauce on top and serve as a side dish with fried shrimp chips (optional)



Green Papaya

Happy New Year to everyone!
In year 2014 #chopstickspoon promise to share more easy-to-make recipes from my kitchen to your kitchen including main dishes, side dishes, sweets and drinks. The first recipe of the year is “Green Papaya Salad”. Hope you enjoy it!


1 Small green papaya

Brown tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)

Mint/ basil & coriander leaves

Vietnamese dipping fish sauce

Green Papaya Salad_ cut into thin slices


Prepare a bowl of cold water, 1 tbsp lemon and 1 tbsp white sugar. Leave it to aside

Peel the papaya skin completely. Cut the papaya in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using a spoon. Shred the papaya into thin strands using a shredding tool or mandolin, make sure to get rid of the papaya core.

This is a very important step – Wash and Soak shredded papaya in the cold water bowl you prepare ealier (leave about 5-7 minutes). Repeat this process couple times to keep papaya not turn brown and get rid of the sticky residue. Then use a salad dryer to remove water.

Place papaya and tomatoes wedges into a serving bowl, add coriander and basil/ mint leaves

Pour  dipping fish sauce on top and serve as a side dish with fried shrimp chips (optional)



“I was born and grew up in Vietnam, a tropical country with hot weather and source of different delicious fruits including Ambarella. This salad recipe has been passed on to many generations in my family because it is a great side dish for men to eat while drinking beer, a natural medicine for women to lose some weights, and a cheap but nutritious childhood snack for all children. I remember I used to gather with my friends everyday, put all money together to buy bags of variety of fruits such as guava, papaya, pineapple, tamarind, green mango and of course couldn’t miss ambarella, then we brought to school and shared with others. It was nothing fancy, just some simple snacks, but I have never forgotten those sweet memories…  “


  • 3 Ambarella fruit
  • Dry shrimps
  • Fried onion
  • Mint & Basil
  • Vietnamese dipping fish sauce

 Ambarella salad


  • Wash and peel Ambarella’s skin, cut in thin slices
  • Add dry shrimps, fried onion, mints and basil
  • Pour 1/2 cup of Dipping fish sauce and mix well
  • Keep cool in the fridge, serve as side dish

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

“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




  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



Vietnamese dipping fish sauce


1 cup hot water

4 tsp. fish sauce

3tsp. sugar

3 minced garlic cloves

2 minced hot chilies

1 fresh lime 


– Combine fish sauce and sugar into 1 cup of hot water. Stir well.

– In a food processor, mix the garlic and chilies together. Take the mixture out and stir in the lime juice in a separate bowl.

*Hint: the lime juice will help garlic and chilies float beautifully on the dipping fish sauce.

– Finally, combine everything together and…dip