VIETNAMESE BLACK SESAME CREPE

Vietnamese Black Sesame Crepe

Ingredients:

2 eggs

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

1 tsp. cinnamon (or vanilla extract)

2 tablespoon black sesame

 

Directions:

Whisking two eggs in a mixing bowl.

 

Adding the rest of ingredients into the bowl and whisking well until the mixture become smooth.

 

Choosing a medium size of non-stick pan and warm up the pan at medium heat. Slowly pour a full spoon of crepe mixture into the non-stick pan, and make sure the layer of crepe is as thin as it can be.

 

When the edge of the crepe in the pan turn golden brown, flip it upside down to make sure both sides getting golden brown before taking  out to roll.

 

Using a wooden chopstick to take the crepe out and placing on a clean surface.

 

Slowly rolling the crepe with that chopstick to make a tube shape.

 

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Repeat the whole process with the rest of crepe mixture. Rest on a cool rack. When the crepe cool down, it will become crispy and tasty.

 

 

Happy cooking! Happy blogging!

 

 

SALMON SPRING ROLLS

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I love spring rolls and there is no words could describe how much of my love for Vietnamese cuisine. My guilty pleasure would be deep-fried pork or seafood spring rolls but recently I try to come up with some different ways to cook with nutritious, low-carb and healthy foods for my family, so I come up with an idea to play around with salmon and rice papers – Baked Salmon Spring Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 12 small salmon slices
  • 12 Rice papers (8 inches banh trang)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dry Parsley flakes
  • Oil
  • Baking tray

Directions:

Placing salmon on a cutting board nicely. Sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper and parsley.

Soaking rice paper under warm tap water (one by one).

Putting the wet rice paper on a clean, smooth and dry surface before working with it. Using chopsticks to place a salmon slice at about one-third diagonal of the square rice paper. Carefully folding all edges together to make all salmon spring rolls look like this:

Wrap salmon in a wet rice paper

Spraying oil on a baking tray and then arranging all salmon spring rolls nicely (make sure to give some space between each roll to avoid rice papers sticking to each other). Lightly spraying another oil coat on top of those salmon spring rolls before baking at  350 degree.

After 20 minutes of baking, use chopsticks to turn all spring rolls over to bake the other side evenly for 20 more minutes.

When salmon spring rolls are done, carefully take them out, place on a nice serving plate and enjoy with family or friends.

          

The spring rolls are crispy outside and tender inside, plus salmon is a great ingredient to provide Omega-3 that means eating salmon makes you smarter and happier. I hope you enjoy this recipe and try it out! If you liked this recipe, please take a moment to share it on Pinterest or Facebook page.

* You can serve Salmon spring rolls with Vietnamese dipping fish sauce too. It adds more aroma and flavour to the salmon.

ARTICHOKE, PANDAN LEAVES AND LUO HAN GUO DRINK

What would you drink for Summer time? Why don't you try Artichoke, Pandan leaves and Luo Han Gua (Monk fruit) drink?

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Artichokes

  • 6 frozen Pandan leaves (can find at any Asian supermarkets)

  • 1 dry Luo Han Guo (can find at any Chinese herbal stores)

  • 3 litres of water

 

Cooked artichokes, panda leaves and monk fruit in a pot.

Photo Credit: Hoang Nhi

Directions:

Pour water to a big pot at high heat.

Break Luo Han Guo open, take out fruit and divide into small parts before putting in the cooking pot.

Add Artichokes and Pandan leaves into the pot as well. Cover lid until water gets boiled, and then lower the heat to medium.

Continue cook at medium heat for 10-15 minutes before turn off the heat.

Let the liquid cool completely. Remove artichokes, panda leaves and Luo Han Guo fruit with a slotted spoon.

Add sugar or syrup at your preferred sweetness (I usually add 3 tablespoons of organic granulated sugar)

Pour the drink into drink containers and store in a fridge to keep cool.

So tasty! A new drink creation for summer time.

 

My grandma always teach me how to eat healthy foods since I was a little girl. Artichoke and Luo Han Qua (monk fruit) drink is a well-known recipe in my family because they believe that it helps refreshing, detoxify, cool the liver, and drinking regularly help diuretic. When this recipe passed down to my generation, I still believe in it and I am now sharing with everyone because ‘sharing is caring’ . From the original recipe I add extra flavour from panda leaves that makes the drink taste sweeter, smell greater and get more benefits such as reduce stomach spasms and strengthen the gum.

I usually make artichokes, Luo Han Quo and pandan drink once a week and my husband even get hooked to this drink too. The only warning is that you may need to go to washroom more often than usual when drinking it, but that is how it helps you to detoxify your liver. It might be hard for you to find dry Luo Han Quo, but you can visit different Chinese herbal stores and make sure have pictures or name of the fruit since you might not enunciate the word right (that happened to me many times). Good luck and hope you like this recipe!

Happy blogging! Happy cooking!

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!!

VIETNAMESE SWEET CORN PUDDING (Chè bắp)

Corn

Ingredients:

Sweet corn pudding

  • 4 corn cobs
  • 1/3 cup white sticky glutinous rice
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 cups water

Coconut milk

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. fat flour or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pandan extract (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds, to serve

Directions:

For the sweet corn pudding

  1. Remove the husk and silk from the corn cob. Cut the corn kernels with a sharp knife.
  2. Wash the sticky glutinous rice with cold water and strain until the water is clear (about 3-4 times).
  3. Add 4 cups water and sticky glutinous rice in a medium saucepan to cook at medium heat. Make sure to stir constantly every 5-7 minutes.
  4. When the rice expands (after 20 minutes cook), add corn kernels and sugar. Stir pudding constantly every 5 minutes until the rice has puffed and sticked to the corn (there will be a very little liquid remain in the saucepan)

For the sweet coconut milk

  1. While cooking sweet corn pudding at step 4, add coconut milk, water, sugar, salt and pandan extract in another small saucepan  over low heat. Bring boil and stir coconut milk to mix all ingredients well.
  2. Combine the fat flour with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and stir to form a smooth paste. Set aside.
  3. When coconut milk at boil, slowly pour the bowl of fat flour mixture in the saucepan while stirring constantly the coconut milk
  4. Continue stirring until the coconut mixture starts to thicken. Take off the heat.
  5. When both corn and coconut milk are done. Serve warm sweet corn pudding in small bowls and topped with full tablespoons of sweet coconut milk and toasted sesame seeds.

Vietnamese Sweet Corn Pudding

*Store extras in a fridge. Sweet coconut milk is good for two days in the fridge.

Enjoy! Happy Cooking!

CANDIED PINEAPPLES AND GRAPEFRUITS FOR LUNAR NEW YEAR

As I said in last post, Lunar New Year is fast approaching in a couple of weeks, I planned to make a few traditional dishes to celebrate Tết. Mứt, candied fruits are sweet treats cannot be missed out on this big festival. I have decided to make dry candied grapefruits and pineapples for this year; I will show you how to make those yummy snacks today 🙂

Vietnamese Candied Pineapples (Mứt Thơm)

IMG_2375

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pineapple, skin and “eyes” removed, cut into slices, about 0.5 inch each slice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (if your pineapple is too sour, use 1 cup brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Place pineapple slices in a cooking pot and then add brown sugar on top. Cover lid for 5 hours.
    Place pineapple slices in a cooking pot and then add brown sugar on top. Cover lid for 5 hours. 
    After 5 hours, you will see a liquid of sugar and pineapple in the pot. Cook at low heat.
  2. After 15 minutes of cooking, add vanilla and lemon juice in the pot. Use chopsticks or tongs to turns pineapple pieces up side down to make sure they all coat sugar evenly.
  3. Let it simmer until there is no more liquid in the pot.
  4. Take those pineapple slices out and place nicely on  baking trays at 200 degree for 1 hour 
    OR - [Place on dry racks close to windows hot sunny day; but it takes about 4- 6 hours to dry if you don't want to use the oven)
    OR – [Place on dry racks close to windows hot sunny day; but it takes about 4- 6 hours to dry if you don’t want to use the oven)
  5. Put those candied pineapples into a clear jar, cover lid at cool temperature or in a fridge.

Now you have tasty sweet-sour candied pineapples, you can serve to family and guests at any time, or just enjoy them by yourself with a cup of hot beverage; guarantee you will love it!

Vietnamese Candied Grapefruits (Mứt Bưởi)

Candied Grapefruits

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Asian white grapefruits (or 3 small red grapefruits)
  • 1  cup pure honey
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup wine (optional, any kind)

Directions:

  1. Peel grapefruits skins and place in a cooking pot filled with water.Bring to boil
  2. When the water is boiling, leave grapefruit skins cook for 5 minutes then pour water out and fill new water into the pot to cook again.
    When the water is boiling, leave grapefruit skins cook for 5 minutes then pour water out and fill new water into the pot to cook again.
  3. Repeat step 2 three more times
  4. Soak grapefruit skins to salted cold water (3 cups water + 1/2 cup salt). Leave it soak over night.
  5. On the next day, cook again grapefruit skins with water, bring to boil to completely remove the bitter taste. Dump water out and drain the skins
  6. Cut grapefruit skins into thin slices, 4 inches lengthwise
  7. Add into a cooking pot 1 cup of fresh grapefruit juice, fresh orange juice, 1 cup pure honey, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla and grapefruit slices at medium-low heat. Cook until there is no more liquid in the pot.
  8. Take grapefruit slices out and place nicely on  baking trays at 200 degree for 30 minutes
    Take grapefruit slices out and place nicely on baking trays at 200 degree for 30 minutes
  9. Add 1 cup sugar powder into a zip-lock plastic bag, put all grapefruit slices in, zip the bag and shake it up side down to make sure coat evenly sugar on the grapefruits.
  10. Take grapefruit slices out and place nicely in an empty clear jar. Cover tightly with lid and store at a cool place.

Related post: Kumquat Jam & Recipes For Lunar New Year – Pickles Week

Happy Lunar New Year!

Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

VIETNAMESE BANANA FLOWER SALAD ( Gỏi Hoa Chuối)

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

Ingredients:

1 ounces Banana Flower

1 ounces Purple Cabbage

Culantro & Coriander leaves

Vietnamese dipping fish sauce

Banana Flower Salad Ingredients

Directions:

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)

Enjoy!!

RECIPES FOR LUNAR NEW YEAR 2014 – PICKLES WEEK

It’s getting close to Lunar New Year (January 31, 2014), I am extremely over-excited at preparing foods, cleaning up and decorating the house. Lunar New Year festival is the biggest holiday in Vietnam; in fact, it is as big as Chinese New Year and many Southeast Asia countries celebrate their New Year on the same day such as China, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea and Japan.
 
Vietnamese people call Lunar New Year is Tet Nguyen Dan, and we celebrate this festival at least three days up to two weeks (depend on family’s financial). Plenty of foods will be cooked and served for families and guests within fun atmosphere and respectful attitude. People bring gifts to visit each other’s house; adults never forget to bless and give out red pocket stuffed with cash to children.
 
Popular Tet dishes include banh chung, a square-shape, sweet rice cake stuffed with mung beans and pork & banh day, a white round shaped, sticky rice with pork. It’s usually eaten with dua mon, a mixture of pickled radishes, peppers, carrots and other vegetables. Favoured snacks are dried watermelon seeds and candied ginger, coconut, pineapple, kumquat, orange and tamarind… I usually prepare different types of pickles firsts since they take longer time to fermented. Pickles are important side dishes to eat along with other Vietnamese dishes, just like burger cannot be without pickles. So let’s make it together!

Vietnamese Pickled Bean Sprout (Dua Gia)

Vietnamese Pickled Bean Sprout (Dua Gia)

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces fresh Asian bean sprouts
  • 2 ounces sliced thin carrots, 3 inches lengthwise
  • 3 ounces sliced chives, trimmed and cut into 3 inches lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Wash and prepare all vegetable ingredients (carrot, chives and Asian bean sprouts)
  2. In a separate large bowl, pour water then add salt, sugar and vinegar. Mix well
  3. Add all vegetables into the bowl. Leave it for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, the part that soak in liquid mixture will get softer. Now, you need to use chopsticks or hands to mix the vegetables up side down, leave it for 20 more minutes.
  5. Transfer everything into a clear jar or container. For fermented vegetable, cover tightly and let stand at room temperature for about 24 hours before put in a fridge.

Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens (Dua Chua)

Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens (Dua Chua)

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb large head of Asian mustard greens
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. sugar

*Do not add vinegar, let it has natural sweet and sour taste.

Directions:

  1. Break the mustard greens leaves apart and clean thoroughly under running water.
  2. Cut the leaves to desired size, about 1-2 inches pieces. Make sure wash carefully before drain them.
  3. Combine water, salt, and sugar in a pot and bring almost to a boil. Turn off heat and wait until water completely cools. 
  4. Add all the vegetables into an empty jar or container, making sure everything is submerged. Leave your container at room temperature so it can pickle. Taste a piece every 24 hours until it gets sour enough for your taste, then transfer to the fridge.

Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi

Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi

Ingredients:

  • 3 large cucumbers (or 6 in small size)
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 6 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp. Korean red chilies flakes
  • 2 ounces sliced chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 ounces thin slices carrot, use mandolin to slice carrot evenly
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Wash and cut cucumber into 3 inches long, then cut quarter it lengthwise (not all the way of cucumber, leave about 1 inch at the bottom)
  2. Soak cucumber with 3 cup hot water and 1 cup of sea salt. Leave it in hot water for 45 minutes. After that, take cucumbers out and soak in cold water to help keeping the crispness (20 minutes) then drain them.
  3. In separate bowl mix minced garlic, minced ginger, salt, sugar, sesame oil, red chillies flakes, fish sauce, carrot sliced and chives all together.Stuff carefully each cucumber with the filling, and try not to break them.
  4. Put all cucumbers in a jar, cover lid and leave in room temperature for at least one day before store in a fridge.

I really hope you enjoy those pickles recipes. Next time I will post banana flower salad recipe, please keep checking my blog for new easy-to-make recipes every week.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

GREEN PAPAYA SALAD

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!

Ingredients:

1 Small green papaya

Brown tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)

Mint/ basil & coriander leaves

Vietnamese dipping fish sauce

Green Papaya Salad_ cut into thin slices

Directions:

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)

Enjoy!!

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