Pho, Again

Ultimate Fusion Food
High Marks for Flavor, Nutrition

Instant Beef Pho

Beef Pho

Pho is the ultimate Fusion food.  It got started when the Vietnamese were trying to  find a use for the leftover Beef after the cattle were slaughtered to make steaks for the French colonial rulers.  Pho became a national dish, all in less than a century, and eventually came to be served in more than a hundred varieties. Continue reading

Beef Stew Vietnamese Style

Once Again French Influence
Lemongrass, Star Anise, Cayenne  are Key Elements

Lemongrass, spice from Southeast Asia

Lemongrass

The Vietnamese were not great Beef eaters before the arrival of the French colonists.  Later they developed a number of distinctive ways of using Beef, including Continue reading

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 Vietnamese, 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