Lemongrass Chicken / Mè gà

A Defining Flavor
Texture of Sugar Crystals

 

Using garlic to make Nasi Minyak, Savory Rice

Garlic

Lemongrass is a defining flavor of Vietnamese cuisine.. It’s used to flavor many dishes, including tho signature Chicken dish where, incidentally Continue reading

Roasted Chili Paste / Nướng ớt

A Home Cooking Staple
Annatto and Sichuan Pepper Are Key

Using Sichuan pepper, hua jiao, to cook delicious Sichuan dishes

Sichuan Pepper, Hua Jiao

This spicy version of Chili Paste is a staple of Vietnamese cooking. It is very intense, so a little goes a long way.  Annatto Seeds and Sichuan Peppers are key to the flavor balance here. Continue reading

Clay Pot Fish / Ca Kho

Caramel Sauce is Key
A Fusion Note with Pancetta

Clay Pots

The strong, intense bittersweet Caramel Sauce is the key to this dish.  This version,adapted  from Nguyen Tran of Dallas, uses Pancetta instead of Pork Belly.

Clay Pot cooking is one of the favored techniques of Continue reading

Iced Coffee Vietnamese Style

A True Fusion Bevereage
Perfect on a Hot Day

“I’m Thai, but my husband is Vietnamese, so he has to have his Vetnamese, or French-style Coffee.”–Overheard at an Asian Supermarket in Chicago

Vietnamese-style Iced Coffee has to be a true Fusion dish, incorporating as it does, both Milk and Coffee, neither of which were native to Indo-China before the arrival of the French. Continue reading

Chicken Pho / Phở Gà

Star Anise and Ginger Provide Mystery
Pho without Beef Is Possible

Le’s Pho

Phó bò or Beef Soup, often called the national dish of Vietnam, only has a short history. It’s said to date from Continue reading

Thai Omelet/ ไข่เจียว

A Tast Thai Classic
On Menus Everywhere

Thai Omelet

Thai Omelet

This tasty Thai classic Omelet is a classic in home cooking and appears on menus throughout Thailand.  A standard in Thai cuisine. Here’s a classic simple version: Continue reading

Possibly the Best Eggplant Dish? / 燉茄子

Singapore Braised Eggplant
Good with Curries and Western Meat Dishes

Cooking Asian dishes with Asian eggplants

Asian Eggplants

Eggplant has an image problem with Western cooks.  This results from the fact that they usually cook it the wrong Continue reading

Mango Ice Cream

An Island Favorite

Limes

Limes

Mangos may not be native to the Islands, but then almost nothing else is, including Pineapples and Macadamias.  This dessert gets made frequently in Hawaii, and it pairs well with Macadamia Lace Cookies, for instance.

Mango Ice Cream

Hawaiian

Ingredients:

1 cup ripe Mango pulp, pureed
2 teaspoons Lime or Lemon Juice
1 cup Sugar
4 Eggs
2 cups Milk, scalded
2 cups Whipping Cream

Method:

Mix the Mango Puree, Lime or Lemon Juice, and half a cup of Sugar.  Set aside.

Beat the Eggs to thick.

Beat the remaining half a cup of Sugar into the Eggs.

Slowly add the scalded Milk.

Cook this mixture over hot water in a double boiler until a custard begins to coat the spoon.

Remove from the fire and chill.

Finally mix this custard, the MangoPuree and Whipping Cream together and freeze.

###

Hawaii - Charlie Chang Steeplejack

Broken Glass Torte

Graham Crackers in Paradise?
Triumph of General Foods

Raspberry Jello

Red Jello

There is no real broken glass in Broken Glass Torte, a Hawaiian Kamai’ina favorite.  The name comes from the broken-glass look of the shards of multi-colored Jello.   Continue reading

Mussel Soup / ซุปหอยแมลงภู่

Mussels and Shrimp in Coconut nd Lime Broth

Cooking with Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

This Thai-influenced Mussels Soup would make a light meal for four to six people and can be ready in about half an hour.  The Coconut Milk is key, and the whole recipe is typical Thai hot-sweet-sour-salty, all simultaneously  Continue reading