-1/2lb each: shrimp and ground pork
-3 eggs
-2 ½ tsp fish sauce
-1 tsp sugar
-pinch of salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-3 green onion
-old baguettes
-oil for frying

What to Do:
Slice bread into thin slices. Peel, devein, crush and mince shrimp. Chop onions and lightly beat eggs. Mix everything together (except bread). Heat oil in a pot (enough to deep fry). Spread meat mixture onto bread slices and fry until golden (when adding the bread into the oil make sure to put the “meat side” down first). Serve with đồ chua (sour stuff) and pepper paste.

Use the oldest bread possible, as new bread will soak up a lot of oil when frying; old bread soaks up less oil.

-1.5kg sugar
-1kg water

*Boil together until sugar dissolves, cool completely before using.

-600-700g koh fun
-6 cups syrup (always measure syrup by volume never by weight)
-2 tsp cafe mali flavor or whatever flavor you want
-1 tbs lime juice
-2 tsp oil or shortening
-100g koh fun for dusting (approx.)

*In a bowl, stir together syrup, lime juice, extract, and oil. Add koh fun and mix well (will be very "syrupy" at this stage, the flour will "expand" as it soaks up the syrup). Let mixture rest for 1/2 hour or until thicken. Grease hands with oil and knead dough until smooth. Divide dough into the appropriate size (depends on mould). Take a portion of dough, flatten it and wrap filling in the center. Dust with koh fun and mould.

Refer to filling for Bánh Bía.

Dough is should be 2/3 the weight of the total pastry and filling should be 1/3 of the total weight. For example if the mould size you have is 150g (weight of pastry the mould will produce), then the dough should be 100g and filling is 50g.

-300g mango puree
-300g cream
-200g warm water
-2 1/2 envelopes of gelatin (approx. 17g)
-sugar, yellowing coloring
-evaporated milk

What to Do:
Mix gelatin with water and let mixture sit for 10 mins. Bring gelatin mixture to a boil and add in mango and cream add sugar to taste (if necessary) and coloring. Bring mixture back to a boil and pour into moulds. Cool until set, serve with evaporated milk.

This rice is traditionally served on a rice cracker, however I find the Korean “pop snack” easier to find and it tastes just the same as the rice crackers. There are two ways to serve this rice; sweet and savory. The picture above is for the sweet version. If would like to try the savory version just use the recipe below and modify according to the notes at the bottom of the recipe.

-300g black glutinous rice
-150g mung beans (peeled and split)
-grated coconut
-sesame seeds
-Korean “pop snack” (optional)
-Pandan leaves

What to Do:
Wash and soak rice overnight. Steam over high heat with pandan leaves while drizzling hot water on rice and fluffing it up every 15-20 mins until rice is tender (can also cook in a rice cooker) Mean while rinse, cook and mash mung beans, add sugar and stir fry over medium heat for about 10 mins (doesn’t have to be thickened). Toast and crush sesame seeds and mix with a little sugar and salt (approx. 3 parts sesame seeds to 3 parts sugar and ½ part salt). Scoop some cooked rice onto Korean pop snack, spread on some mung beans and sprinkle with grated coconut and sesame sugar. Use the Korean pop snack to wrap the rice and serve warm or cool.

To Make Savory Version:
>>Omit Korean pop snack (serve in a bowl or plate)
>>Omit grated coconut
>>Add coconut sauce
>>Add onion oil

Cơm Tấm literally means broken rice. This rice is usually serves with a variety of “sides dishes”. Most popular is Cơm Tấm Bì Sườn Chả. However you can also have it with just bì, just chả, etc…. Besides , Sườn, and Chả, other options include Tôm Kho, and trứng chiên (fried egg). So cook up a pot of broken rice and explore your options. Don’t forget the onion oil, sour stuff, and fish sauce!


What to Do:
Roast rice over medium heat until golden. Cool and process in a food processor or a blender and sift. Can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 months.

You can also purchase this premade at most asian grocery stores. However, sometimes the stores don’t sell enough to “refresh” their supplies in time, thus you might end up buying….you know. If kept to long the smell will turn from a nutty fragrance (fresh) to a oily odor (too old to use).

Đồ Chua is basically just pickled veggies. Literally translated, Đồ Chua means "sour stuff" as đồ basically means stuff and chua is the word or sour. 99% of the time đồ chua is made with either carrots or daikon. Very frequently used as a condiment in many Vietnamese Dishes, this is a must have for any Vietnamese kitchen.

-2 carrots
-1 small daikon
-4 tbs sugar
-3tbs vinegar
-1/2 tsp salt

What to Do:
Peel, wash and shred or julienne carrots and daikon. Add sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved, mix in vinegar and salt.

Carrots and daikon can also be carved into flower, butterflies, etc… and be made into do chua. The fancy version is usually added into fish sauce to spice up the sauce’s appearance and gives the diners something to much on to complement their food.

There are many versions of this dish which is usually served as a part of cơm tấm. Most of the time it is made with pork especially in Vietnamese restaurants. However, you can also make it with crab (Chả Cua), or dried shrimp (Chả Tôm Khô).

-3 eggs
-1/4lb ground pork, or crab meat, or dried shrimp
-1 medium onion
-1/2 small bundle cellophane noodles
-50g woodear mushrooms
-1/2 tsp salt
-a few pinches of sugar
-1/2 tsp pepper

What to Do:
Separate eggs. Soak and chop mushrooms. Chop onions; cut noodles into shorter pieces. Mix together egg whites, pork, onion, noodles, mushrooms, salt, sugar and pepper. Steam on high heat in a cake or pie pan until center juices are clear. Spread egg yolks on surface to glaze and steam or exactly 30 seconds more.

Do not over steam; else the egg yolks will not be clear and shiny. If you’re concerned about eating undercooked eggs, than go ahead and steam it long to completely cook the yolks. If using dried shrimp, soak the shrimp in hot water for ½ hour drain and chop before mixing with the other ingredients.
-1/2 lb pork tenderloin
-1/2 bulb of garlic
-2 tsp fish sauce
-1 package (1lb) cooked shredded pork skin (bì)
-thính (roasted rice powder)
-1/3 tsp salt
-1 tsp cooking oil
-coconut juice or water

What to Do:
Slice meat into chunks and boil in a frying pan in coconut juice or water and salt. The liquid should come up half way to the top of the meat (doesn’t need to completely cover the meat). Turn meat half way through to make sure it’s cooked evenly. Mince garlic. Wash and cut pork skin into shorter strands. Once all of the water in the pan of meat is almost all evaporated, add in 1 tsp mince garlic and oil, continue stir fry until all of the water is evaporated, then fry until meat is golden and fragrant. Cool meat and slice into matchstick size pieces. Mist together cooked shredded pork, with pork skin and the remaining minced garlic (raw) and the pan dripping. Drizzle in fish sauce and roasted rice powder while tossing until the rice powder covers and dusts the pork and pork skin.

Serve with cơm tấm, or noodles with fresh beans sprout and herbs, or use to make bì cuốn spring rolls.

If precooked shredded pork skin is not available, you can make it yourself. Just boil pork skin with some vinegar, drain, cool and slice into thin long strands.

These pastries can be filled with either coconut or mung beans. Ones filled with mung beans are usually marked with a red dot on top of the pastries. The dough should have a crisp and flaky texture similar to puff pastry.

For the Dough
Water Dough:
-300g all purpose flour
-120g water
-120g oil
-1/2 tsp salt

**Mix everything and knead to form a smooth dough. Rest for ½ hour and divide into 26 portions (or as many as you like).

Oil Dough:
-150g tapioca starch
-75g oil

**Add oil slowly to starch and mix to form a stiff dough. Divide into the same number of portions as the water dough.

-300g grated coconut
-100g sugar (adjust to taste)
-50g koh fun (cooked glutinous rice flour)

**Mix everything together and divide into the same number of portions as the water dough.

Mung Beans:
-200g mung beans (peeled and split)
-150g sugar
-2 tbs oil

**Wash, soak, cook, and mash beans. Add sugar and oil. Stir fry over medium heat until thickened. Cool and divide into the same number or portions as the water dough.

What to Do:
Wrap a portions of the oil dough in the water dough. Roll flat, and roll dough into a log (like a jelly roll), roll again and fold dough into thirds. Roll flat, a filling in the middle and fold dough over filling. Use a round biscuit/cookie cutter to trim off the excess dough. Bake at 375’F for 15-20mins. Take care not to over bake; the pastries should be whitish with only a tint of yellow.

For the Chicken:
-4 large skinless and boneless chicken breast
-25g brown rice
-25g long grain or basmati rice
-50g sun dried tomatoes
-fresh basil
-fresh rosemary
-1 tsp each: pepper, salt
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-pepperjack cheese
-1 tbs olive oil

*Cook and cool rice. Cut chop tomatoes, basil and rosemary. Mix together rice, basil rosemary, tomatoes, ½ tsp pepper and salt, olive oil and a few pinches of garlic powder. Cut cheese into 4 long pieces. Use a heavy frying pan or a mallet to flatten chicken breasts. Add rice mixture, a piece of cheese and some more rice on top of the cheese. Roll chicken breasts up so that the cheese is in the middle, surrounded by rice and lastly chicken; tie with kitchen twine. Mix together remainder salt, pepper, garlic power with some rosemary and rub onto chicken breasts. Fry chicken breast until all sides are golden, then roast at 375’F until done and cheese in the center is melted. Let chicken rest for at least 20 mins before cutting.

For the Green Beans:
-1/2 lb fresh green beans
-pinch of salt and pepper

*Boil beans until tender. Mix with salt and pepper.

-1 cup of couscous
-chicken broth
-1 tbs butter
-rosemary (approx. 1 tsp)

*Cook couscous according to package instructions. Use chicken broth instead of water. Stir in butter and rosemary into cooked couscous.

Mushroom Sauce:
-1/4 lb fresh mushroom
-1/2 cup cream
-salt, pepper
-1/4 onion
-1 tsp butter

*Chop onion and mushrooms and sauté in butter until fragrant. Add cream and simmer for 15 mins; blend smooth.
Made this light and delicious with Belachan’s recipe from Little Corner of Mine. The cake is so moist and flavorful. Thanks for the recipe Ching! :)

Recipe Link

Bánh Cam and Bánh Rán are often confused as one which is not hard to understand since the two are extremely similar. The only differences are bánh cam is from the southern region of Vietnam while bánh rán is from the northern region. Bánh Rán requires the pastry to hollow and separated from the mung bean filling inside (when you shake the balls you should be able to hear the filling shake on the inside). Bánh Rán also has the essence if Mali flower. On the other hand, bánh cam does not ask that the filling and the pastry to be separated and does not have the essence of Mali flower. The recipe below is for bánh rán, however you can very easily adjust it to make bánh cam (see notes at the end of the recipe).

For the Outer Pastry:
-1lb glutinous rice flour
-100g rice flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-200g sugar
-400g water
-75g potato
-1 tsp oil
-sesame seeds

*Peel, steam and mash potato. Mix together flours and baking powder. Boil together sugar and water and pour into flour mixture (while still hot, right off the stove). Use a wooden spoon to mix together flour and syrup so that the flour soaks in all of the syrup. Let mixture cool enough to handle before kneading in potato and oil to make a smooth dough (dough will be sticky).

-100g mung beans (peeled and split)
-100g sugar
-50g grated coconut
-2 tbs oil
-1 tsp Mali flavor

*Rinse, soak, cook and mash beans. Mix in sugar and oil. Stir fry over medium heat until thickened add coconut and Mali flavor. Cool and divide into 20 portions.

Making the Pastries:
Wet hands with water, and grab some dough, flatten it and wrap filling in the middle. Roll in sesame seeds. Deep fry over medium heat until golden and puffy (about 15 mins).

To make Bánh Cam:
>>Omit Mali flavor when making filling
>>Omit potato when making “outer pastry dough”
>>Reduce sugar in “outer pastry dough” to 150g
>>Dough does not need to be made with boiling water, warm water is just fine, add water slowly and knead to form a smooth dough (you’ll need less water).
-1/2lb prawns
-1/2-1lb fresh green beans
-2 cloves garlic
-Thai chilies (optional, adjust to taste)
-1 tsp oyster sauce
-1 tsp oil
-salt and sugar to taste

What to Do:
Wash, trim and split beans in half. Peel and devein prawns, mince garlic and chilies. Heat oil in a wok, add garlic and chilies and stir fry until fragrant, add prawns, beans and oyster sauce. Stir fry over high heat until prawns are cooked, add salt and sugar to taste.

-1lb mustard greens
-1/4lb mince pork or pork belly
-1 1 inch piece of ginger
-2 salted eggs
-salt and sugar to taste
-1/2 tsp oil

What to Do:
Wash and cut mustard greens into bite size pieces. Peel and julienne ginger. Heat oil in a pot, add pork and ginger stir fry until fragrant. Add water and bring to boil. Add mustard greens, and eggs. Wait for soup to reboil, give a taste test; add salt and sugar to taste if necessary.

-1lb fresh mustard greens
-1 2” piece of ginger
-1/3 tsp salt
-pinch of sugar
-1 tsp oil
-1 clove of garlic

What to Do:
Wash and cut greens into small bite size pieces. Mince garlic, peel and julienne ginger. Fry garlic and ginger in oil until fragrant, add greens, salt and sugar. Stir fry over high heat until greens are wilted but still holds a crunchy texture.
Gỏi Cuốn’s sister this dish is pretty much the same as gỏi cuốn except the rice paper is replaced with hot broth from cooking the meat and prawns.

-1/2lb pork belly
-1/2lb prawns
-rice vermicelli
-beans sprouts
-fresh assorted herbs
-Chinese chives
-fresh coconut juice or water

What to Do:
Boil prawns and pork in coconut juice, add salt to taste. Slice pork into thin slices. Peel prawns and slice in half. Cook and drain rice vermicelli. Add noodles in to a bowl, followed by pork and prawns. Ladle on hot broth and garnish with chop chives. Serve with cooked bean sprouts, and fresh herbs.

Ingredients (for 15 rolls):
-1/3lb pork belly
-15 prawns
-fresh assorted herbs
-1/2lb bean sprouts
-1/3lb rice vermicelli
-fresh Chinese chives
-15 sheets bánh tráng (rice paper)
-fresh coconut juice or water

What to Do:
Boil pork and prawns in coconut juice or water; reserve cooking liquid to make dipping sauce. Slice pork into thin pieces. Peel prawns and slice in half. Wash bean sprouts, and herbs. Cook rice vermicelli and drain. Wet a piece of rice paper; add a row of herbs in the center, followed by some noodles, and bean sprouts. Lay prawns and meat in a row above the noodles and veggies towards the edge of the rice paper. Fold sides of rice paper over and add a stalk of chive in the center. Roll up starting at the end with the noodles and veggies, ending at the end with the prawns and meat.

Dipping Sauce:
-3 tbs hoisin sauce
-2 tbs peanut butter
-1/2 cup meat and prawn stock
-3-4 tbs sugar
-2 cloves garlic
-1 tsp oil

*Mince garlic and fry in oil until fragrant. Add hoisin sauce, peanut butter, sugar and stock. Bring the sauce to a boil and give a taste test, all flavors should be equal.

These cakes are a must have for weddings as their name means husband and wife (phu means husband, the means wife). Traditionally these cakes are steamed in a small individual boxes made from coconut leaves and tied into pairs with red ribbon. However, coconut leaves are extremely hard to obtain in the U.S. especially Seattle. Thus, plastic wrap takes its place.

-200g mung beans (peeled and split)
-150g sugar
-1 tbs oil
-1 tsp mali flavor or banana flavor, vanilla
-50g candied winter melon

*Wash and soak beans before steaming and mashing. Chop candied winter melon into small pieces. Add sugar and oil to mashed beans and stir fry over medium heat until thickened. Add flavor and candied winter melon mix well. Divide into 30-35 small balls.

-454g tapioca starch
-660g/ml water
-300g sugar
-1 medium age coconut (see note)
-1 tsp mali flavor, pandan extract, banana flavor, or vanilla
-yellow or green coloring
-sesame seeds

*Grate coconut into match size pieces. Mix together tapioca starch, water, coconut, coloring and sugar over in a pot over medium heat until thickened and pasty (the dough does not have to be fully cooked). Remove from heat, add flavor and mix well.

What to Do:
Moist hands and large spoon with a little water. Using a spoon scoop out about 1-2 tbs dough, flatten and wrap a filling in the center, add a few sesame seeds on top. Next, wrap each pastry with a piece of plastic wrap. Finally, steam over high heat for 15-20 mins or until transparent.

Coconuts are sold in 3 different “ages”. Young coconut = very little and soft flesh, sweet juice, usually used for drinking. “Old” = the hard dark brown ones, thick and firm flesh, usually. “Middle age” = looks like “old” coconuts except the color is much lighter (with to very light brown). For best results use “middle age” coconuts.

Color wise…..Yellow cakes are should be mali or banana flavored. White ones are favored with vanilla, green ones carry the sent of pandan leaves.
These meatballs can either be served as is or with noodles, or as a meat choice for Phở.

-1lb ground beef (but the leanest kind available)
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 tbs potato starch
-1/3lb beef tendons (optional)

What to Do:
Boil beef tendons until tender, drain and cut into small pieces. Mix together ground beef with salt, sugar, sesame oil, pepper and potato starch. Put mixture in the freezer until nearly frozen (a layer of frost over the surface). Quickly process in a meat processor to a fine paste, refreeze and process again if you have too. The key here is to process the meat into a paste as fast as possible, keeping the meat as cold as possible while processing. Next, mix in beef tendons. Drop teaspoonful of paste into a pot of simmering water. The meatballs will float to the surface when cooked. Remove into a bowl of ice cold water. Reserve cooking water to be used as broth for the noodles, add salt to taste. Boil rice noodles (the type used for pho) and add to a bowl, add beef balls and ladle hot broth over noodles, garnish with chopped cilantro, spring onions, preserved cabbage, and sesame oil.

This recipe is delicious with all meats not just pork ribs.

-1 -1/2lb pork, beef or chicken
-4 cloves garlic
-1 spring onion
-3 tbs sugar
-3-4 tbs fish sauce
-1 stalk lemongrass
-Thai chilies
-1/2 tsp pepper

What to Do:
Finely chop garlic, onion, lemongrass and chilies. Briefly crush spices using a mortar and pestle. Add sugar and fish sauce and give the a taste test. The sauce should be on the “heavy” side (a little too sweet and salty), because when you add the meat it “lighten” the flavors a bit. Add meat and toss well, marinate for at least an hour, before grilling.

-1lb prawns
-1 head of broccoli
-1 carrot
-1 can baby corn
-1 tbs oyster sauce
-1/2 tsp sugar
-pinch salt
-1 tsp sesame oil
-2 cloves garlic
-1 tsp cooking oil

What to Do:
Peel and devein prawns. Cut broccoli and baby corn into bite size pieces. Peel carrot and cut into thin slices. Peel and mince garlic. Steam or boil broccoli for 5-10 mins (can slip this step). Fry garlic in cooking oil until fragrant, add prawns and carrots; give it a quick toss. Next, add corn, broccoli, oyster sauce, sugar, salt and sesame oil. Stir fry over high heat until prawns are cooked.

Literally translated Canh Chua means sour soup. However the flavors carried by this soup are far more than just sour. There are many versions of Canh Chua the recipe below is the basic recipe. Adjust the ingredients to create what ever version you’re in the mood for.

-1lb “meat” (see below)
-1 stalk Bạc Hà (taro stem)
-1/2lb bean sprouts
-1 stalk celery
-1/2 pineapple
-1 medium tomato
-1/3 lb okra
-tamarind soup base or sour tamarind
-fish sauce
-jalapeño peppers (optional)
-ngò gai (saw tooth herb)
-ngò om (rice patty herb)
-fried shallots
-3 cloves garlic

What to Do:
If using fresh sour tamarind; soak tamarind in hot water (about 100g tamarind in 1 cup of water) for 1 hour and strain, use the “tamarind juice” to flavor the soup. Peel taro stem and slice into thin pieces. Slice tomato and pineapple into bite size pieces. Cut okra into half or into slices. Slice celery into thin pieces. Peel and mince garlic. Chop cilantro, basil, saw tooth herb, and rice patty herb.

Heat1 tbs oil in a pot and fry garlic until fragrant, add stir “meat”, and fish sauce stir fry for a few more minutes. Add water sugar, salt, and tamarind juice or tamarind soup base. Bring the soup to a boil and give it a taste test, all flavors (sweet, sour, and salty) should be the same. Add in veggies and bring the soup back to a boil before serving. Garnish with chopped herbs, jalapeno slices and fried shallots.

Meat Choices/Versions:
Canh Chua Cá Bông Lau (Cat Fish):
>>Use Catfish Slices

Canh Chua Tôm (Prawns):
>>Use prawns, with head if possible.

Canh Chua Gà (Chicken):
>>Use chicken breast or thighs.

Canh Chua Chay (Vegan):
>>Omit garlic, use tofu (fresh and fried), and straw mushrooms.

-250g white chocolate
-150g cream or milk
-dry grated coconut
-100g fresh strawberries (approximate)
-1/2 tsp rum
-30g white chocolate (for decorating)
-2 tsp cream
-pink food coloring
What to Do:
Wash and dry strawberries before cutting into small pieces. Mix strawberries with sugar (if necessary), pepper, rum and vinegar. Melt chocolate in a double boiler adding cream slowly to get a smooth silky mixture. Cool until set (a few hours). Quickly wrap strawberries with 1 tsp set chocolate and roll in grated coconut. Melt together 30g chocolate and 2 tsp cream, mix in food coloring; fill this mixture into a pastry bag. Pipe designs onto truffles.

-150g dark chocolate
-50g white chocolate
-150g cream or milk
-cocoa powder

What to Do:
Melt chocolates and in a double boiler adding cream slowly to get a smooth silky mixture. Cool until set (at least 2 hours). Dust hands with cocoa powder, flatten 1 tsp of chocolate in you hands add a hazelnut in the center. Dust with more cocoa powder and place in paper cups.

Because the ratio of chocolate to liquid (cream) is high, the mixture will take a while to set don’t be surprised if it takes too long. Use high quality chocolate for better texture and flavor.

Sweet and chocolaty.... perfect for Valentine’s Day!

-2 egg whites (approx. 60g)
-200g shredded sweetened coconut
-30g sugar
-75g sliced almonds (more for decorations)
-pinch of cream of tartar
-1 tsp vanilla
-50g bittersweet chocolate
-2 tsp cream or milk

What to Do:
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy add sugar and beat until stiff. Fold in coconut, vanilla, and almonds. Shape into small balls and bake at 350’F until golden. Melt chocolate and cream in a double broiler. Dip the bottom of the baked macaroons into chocolate and then into some sliced almonds. Afterwards fill a pastry bag with the leftover melted chocolate and pipe designs on the surface of the macaroons. Top off with some more slice almonds.

Light and sweet with a hint of almond and crunch of hazelnut. Such a delight to gobble down.

-2 egg whites (approx. 60g)
-100g sugar
-1 tsp almond extract
-sliced almonds
-pinch of cream of tartar

What to Do:
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until stiff, fold in almond extract. Sprinkle sliced almonds onto a baking sheet. With a pastry fitted with a star tip, pipe egg whites directly on the almonds. Top each off with a hazelnut. Bake at 325’f for 20 mins, then reduce heat to 250’F and bake for another 30 mins or until light and dry.

This dish is traditionally made with duck eggs as they are cheaper than chicken eggs. However, in the US chicken eggs are much cheaper and easier to find than duck eggs, thus they are used in place of duck eggs.

-1 bittermelon
-1/2 medium onion
-4 eggs
-1 tbs fish sauce
-1 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp pepper
-pinch of salt
-cooking oil

What to Do:
Wash and slice bittermelon in half lengthwise then remove seeds and slice diagonally into thin pieces. Peel onion and slice thinly like bittermelon. Mix together bittermelon and onions. Beat together eggs, fish sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Add a little oil into a non stick pan, stir fry some bittermelon and onion until fragrant, add some egg and rotate the pan so that the eggs glace the pan’s surface. Cover and cook on medium heat for a few mins. Remove with a spatula and repeat until done.
An easy to make refreshing vegan noodle bowl.

-1 large Chinese eggplant
-2 heaped tbs each: all purpose flour, rice flour, tapioca starch
-1 tsp baking powder
-10 tbs water
-pinch of 5 spice powder
-pinch of salt and sugar
-oil for frying eggplants
-Rice vermicelli
-bean sprouts, assorted fresh herbs
-roasted peanuts (crushed)

What to Do:
Boil vermicelli and drain. Wash eggplant and cut into long pieces. Mix together flours, baking powder, water, 5 spice powder with salt and sugar to form a smooth batter. Dip egg plants in batter and deep fry until golden. Serve with noodles, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, crushed peanuts and vegan fish sauce.

***Because my vegetarian dishes are prepared with “Buddhist Laws” in mind; besides not using meats and animal products, I do not use garlic, onions, leeks, chives, or any type of alcohol. However, if your main goal in being vegan cooking is to just avoid meats, feel free to add the any of the mentioned above to spice up you dishes.***

This is the Vegan version for the fish sauce commonly used for noodles and spring rolls.


-1/2 cup sugar
-3/4 cup water or coconut juice
-1 ½ tsp salt
-Thai chilies, white cabbage
-soy sauce
-lime juice

What to Do:
Chop chilies and cabbage (cabbage to imitate the looks of garlic). Mix everything together and give a taste test all flavors should be even. Finally add a few drops of soy sauce for color. The final results should look and taste somewhat like the ‘real’ fish sauce.

***Because my vegetarian dishes are prepared with “Buddhist Laws” in mind; besides not using meats and animal products, I do not use garlic, onions, leeks, chives, or any type of alcohol. However, if your main goal in being vegan cooking is to just avoid meats, feel free to add the any of the mentioned above to spice up you dishes.***

Literally translated Bánh Hạnh Nhân means almond cookies as "Hạnh Nhân" is Vietnamese for almonds. However, these cookies do not contain a trace of almonds. Instead, they are usually decorated with a peanut or cashew. So why are the called almond cookies then? I honestly don’t know.

-225g all purpose flour
-3 hard boiled egg yolks (approx. 60g)
-175g powdered sugar
-180-190g lard
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-2 tsp vanilla powder/sugar
-peanuts or cashews

What to Do:
Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, and vanilla. Mash egg yolks and rub into flour mixture. Add lard and mix to form a smooth dough. Divide dough into small thumb size balls, slightly fatten balls (until the sides begin to crack) with your thumb and add a peanut or cashew in the center. Bake at 350’F for 8-10 mins.

These cookies are traditionally made lard. The lard can be replaced with shortening, oil or butter. However cookies made with lard have a better texture and more authentic flavor. Place the cookies at least 1 inch a part when baking to give them room to spread.

-1lb top sirloin steak or any other tender cuts of beef
-1/3 tsp 5 spice powder
-2 tsp ketchup
-1/2 tsp each: pepper, salt, soy sauce
-1 tsp sugar
-chili paste (optional)
-2 tbs butter
-3 cloves garlic
-1/2 large onion
-lettuce, tomatoes

What to Do:
Cut beef into dice size cubes. Marinate with 5 spice powder, ketchup, salt, sugar, chili paste, pepper and soy sauce for at least an hour preferably overnight. Peel onion and cut into wedges. Wash lettuce and tomatoes toss with a basic vinaigrette (vinegar, sugar, oil, pepper) and arrange on a plate. Mince garlic and fry until fragrant in butter, add beef and onions. Stir fry on high heat until onions begin to turn transparent. Pour beef over salad.

Beef and onions should both be “medium rare”.

Look what I got! I was buying tofu at Northwest Tofu to prepare the vegan dishes to celebrate New Years and they gave me these Fatt Kohs. The cakes are slightly sweet, light and very fluffy. The interesting this is they used mini pie pans as moulds (wide and shallow). I used to think the moulds have to be tall and narrow to have smiling fatt kohs but I guess I was wrong. The best part is there is no “strange” taste leftover from the high amounts of leveners often used to encourage smiling. Absolutely delicious!

A type of Chinese doughnut, Bánh Tiêu is stands out from the rest due to its unique characteristics. They should be light, round, slightly sweet and crunchy center with a hollow center. I got this recipe from a Vietnamese cookbook authored by the well known Madam Quốc Việt aka Gia Chánh Quốc Việt. The original recipe instructs to prove a starter dough for 12 hours before making the main dough which then has to prove for an additional hour before frying. However, I after a few times of following the recipe exactly I came to ponder why not just mix everything at once and fry the dough immediately afterwards? After all the leavener in this recipe is baking ammonia; unlike yeast, baking ammonia doesn’t “grow” if you prove it, so what’s the point of proving the starter? So into the kitchen I went to test my new theory. Happy to say, I was a success!

Original Recipe:
-40g bread flour
-50g water
-1/4tsp baking ammonia

*Mix everything together and prove overnight (12 hours).

Main Dough:

-250g bread flour
-100g water
-80g sugar
-3/4tsp salt
-sesame seeds

*Mix together starter, sugar, water, and salt. Add this mixture to the flour and knead to form a smooth dough. Prove for ½ hour, divide into 10-12 portions, roll into balls and sprinkle sesame seeds on both sides of the dough balls, prove for another ½ hour. Finally, heat a frying pan with enough oil deep fry. Roll balls into flat circles and drop into the hot oil. Within seconds the dough pieces should float to the surface and puff up. Remove when golden.

½ hour version (based on the original version above):
-290g bread flour
-150g water
-1/4 tsp baking ammonia
-80g sugar
-3/4 tsp salt
-sesame seeds

*Mix together flour and sugar. In a in a different bowl mix together ammonia, salt and water. Add this mixture to the flour and sugar. Knead to form a smooth dough. Rest dough for 5 mins, before dividing into 10-12 portions. Roll each portion into round balls and sprinkle sesame seeds on both sides. Heat a frying pan with enough oil to deep fry. Roll dough balls into flat circles and deep fry until puffy and golden.


Can add ¼ tsp 5 spice powder for a more interesting flavor. All purpose flour can be substituted if bread flour is not on hand.