VIETNAMESE - Cuisine of the Quarter, Summer 2017 (Jul-Sept)

I’m thrilled to announce that VIETNAMESE was the clear winner for Summer 2017’s Cuisine of the Quarter! Thank you very much to everyone who voted.

I’m fairly certain I only own one Vietnamese cookbook, so I’d love book/author recommendations from you HOs with larger collections and more experience with this cuisine. Good online recipe sources are more than welcome as well. Tips on where to buy specialty Vietnamese ingredients, favorite brands, cookware, etc. - bring it on! Post away. I look forward to learning a lot from you HOs over the next couple of months!

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I’m a fan of Andrea Nguyen’s blog and have her pho and dumpling cookbooks. Her blog has many recipes if you’re looking for some inspiration. She also does a good job guiding people to ingredients/brands.


Can’t make anything till next weekend as I’m going away for a few days and there’s food in the fridge to finish.

Looking forward to learning something (new) with this challenge. Btw, there are Vietnamese recipes which call for tomatoes.

One of my favourite dishes is Hanoi-style pork mince patties. I ate it in Hanoi no less. Place was packed at lunch time.

And here’s my own Bun Cha:

The lemongrass does it for me.


I have just returned from my Cambodia-Vietnam-Hong Kong trip. Both of us has got the deadly flu from Hong Kong, and we haven’t been really eating since our return: we are still feverish, extremely tired and lack of appetite. (We were grateful that we got our last energy to get on the plane with the flu.) I will try to upload my few meals I had in Vietnam for inspirations during these days of inactivity and recovery.

I have 3 Vietnamese cooking book, 2 French ones - both good, but I used a lot more Paris Hanoi as I find it closer to what we have tasted in local noodles soups, especially pho.

Vrai goût is good too, more emphasis on cooking dishes.

I also have Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen - the ebook version. I didn’t look in detail as I bought it not too long time ago, but find it useful as a complimentary to the French books, which didn’t have a lot of pork recipes.

I made grilled lemongrass chicken tonight.

Pounded out some boneless chicken thighs and marinated them for 3 hours in a paste consisting of:

3 cloves of garlic
Lime juice 1 lime fresh squeezed
Sambal oelek
Brown cane sugar
A whole green onion with bulb
A little canola oil
6 stalks of crushed lemongrass

The lemongrass was fresh from the garden, it’s a new Herb I added this year.

Ground everything to a paste in a blender, paste went into a zip lock with the pounded chicken thighs for 3 hours in the fridge, then grilled on a really hot grill.

Served on a rocket salad with leeks, grated cucumber and carrot in a ginger sesame dressing:

Chicken is on the left. It was delishus and it would be easy to prepare in advance and grill when the guests arrive. It also went really well on top of the salad.

Gotta say nampla is something that tastes better than it smells.


I’ll be visiting all those places in the next few months , so I’m looking forward to your reports when you’re able. Hope you feel better soon.:blush:

Thanks. When will you be in those places? (I will try to post them in a timely manner).

I do hope you won’t have the stomach bug problem in Cambodia. Every tourists we crossed, did get sick there, including those from Asia.

Not where I would have gone for Vietnamese recipes, but I was on his blog today and David Liebovitz had a recipe for Vietnamese caramel chicken . . . . sounded interesting so figured I’d share if anyone is in the mood.

(I’d like to make it but I’m dealing with all the vegetables from my CSA this week before heading out of town for the weekend - so can’t make anything that doesn’t use a large amount of the CSA vegetables - so this recipe will have to wait for me)

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I drink all the fish-sauce sauce. Not sure if you’re supposed to do that but I do it every time. Vietnamese version is a lot less intense as there’s more water in it. I always add more lemon/lime juice as well.

Made the sauce tonight for dinner (photo on WFD later).

That’s the smallest kimchi jar I’ve ever seen.

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Usually I make my own, but they had some at Trader Joe’s so I gave it a try.

I have “beer” refrigerator in the basement that I use for over flow, fermentation experiments, and dry aging meats.

I’ve kept some larger Stiltons down there so it’s kind of interesting, I get sort of a blue cheese flavor on the dry aged beef. I’m sure there are plenty of aspergillus and penicillum spores lying dormant looking for stuff to attack.

I only had Thai at home so I used that.

I meant the fish sauce with other ingredients added for dipping.

Pure fish sauce I prefer Vietnamese. It’s less salty and more refined.

At home, I did that all the time after eating the dipping sauce for the spring roll. In fact, in Vietnam, I never saw them using lemon, but a tiny version of lime. I think the sauce is called Nước chấm.

Depends, the higher degree version is like wine and vinegar, with more time for fermentation, it develops a more refined and complex taste. The younger version (lower in degree) is much more salty and “fishy” in taste.

Here too. The best Vietnamese ones use anchovy fish, the inferior grades ones use less percentage of mixed fish and with more salty water. I recently discovered that Chinese especially Teochew make their own version. I never tasted that one. Also the European had their own version in Roman times (it is known as garum or liquamen).

Worcestershire sauce is also based on fermented anchovies with tamarind, malt vineger and other spices added.

Think I’m going to make spring rolls next. I have some jumbo pink shrimp home that would be perfect. Gotta find the rice paper wrappers first.

Hangar steak, marinated with nuoc cham, Thai chilis, and scallions. I also made and basted with a Korean saam sauce, so the final product was not purely Vietnamese.


Thanks. Hopefully my 10 months in India will have given my stomach some preparation for Cambodia. Touch wood I’ll be okay. In 18 months in Asia only one serious bout; in India, it was not pretty.

No rush on the write ups. Won’t be in Cambodia and Vietnam until November and Hong Kong not till December.

Hey anybody ever made the steamed meatloaf with omelette on top?

This looks pretty easy and pretty delicious.

Also any ideas on what you could use other than the mung bean noodle?

Steamed Egg Meatloaf (Chả Trứng Hấp)

Servings 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

1 lb ground pork
6 egg
1/2 yellow onion
3 green onion
1.6 oz mung bean noodle
0.65 oz dried black fungus
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp fish sauce
Grated Carrot (optional)

Soak dried black fungus in hot water and noodle in warm water for 10 minutes. Rinse and drain well.
Cut green onions into thin slices. Dice yellow onion well. Cut noodle into 1 inch. Cut fungus thinly. Set aside.
Take 2 of 6 eggs and separate egg yolk from egg white. Add annatto oil into the egg yolk bowl. Stir well. (this will make the egg yolk more beautiful in color.)

In a mixing bowl, combine ground pork, yellow onion, green onion, grated carrot, noodle, and fungus. Pour in the egg white. Crack the remaining eggs into the mixture. Add sugar, salt, and fish sauce. Mix well.
Brush oil over a pan bottom and sides. Pour the mixture into the pan. Spread evenly over the surface.
Place the pan into a hot steamer and steam for 20 minutes on medium heat. (Wipe off the lid every 10 minutes so that the water doesn’t drip into the meatloaf.)
Then pour in the egg york. Cover and steam for another 5 minutes. Then wait until it cool down. Remove meatloaf from the pan. Cut into slices and serve alone or with white rice.


There are many variations and they are all delicious. The one you post is no exception.

I make it sometimes, with whatever I have. I’m particularly fond of salted/preserved turnips in it, which is very Chinese.

3 different steamed dishes with mince and eggs as a base.

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Has anyone tried ‘fancy’ fish sauce such as this one?

Its pricey, though I am curious the differences between that and the regular Red Boat or other fish sauce.

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