Bún bò Nam Bộ – Vietnamese vermicelli with grilled beef (Southern style)

This dish is a vermicelli noodle dish served with grilled marinated beef, fresh vegetables, some pickled carrot  and the Vietnamese ‘nuoc cham’. The name that I write is a name that the people from the north call it, literally means ‘Southern beef noodle’. However, if you go to find this dish in the south of Vietnam, just ask for grilled beef noodle. It’s just like there is New York pizza everywhere in Amsterdam but there’s no New York pizza in New York. :)

What I like about this dish is that there is no oil, fat involved, not at all, especially it’s beef filet, it’s just lean meat.  It feels so healthy, green and fresh. And don’t put the temperature in the oven to high, don’t put it long so that you will have the juice of the grilled beef. Two table spoon of ‘nuoc cham’, a blend of fish sauce, lime juice, chili and very little little sweet of flavor makes the noodle taste Vietnamese, not pungent, but tasty and fresh.

The most important step of making Bun bo Nam Bo is marinating the beef, then comes making ‘nuoc cham’ and the pickled vegetables (shredded carrot and papaya). The pickled vegies is crispy, a little sour and a little sweet, which even makes me eat two bowls of the noodle at once. Remember to pickle the carrot (and papaya first, before marinating the beef) since it takes at least 1 hour to get a good flavor on the carrot. Continue reading

Introduction to Vietnamese water fern cake – Bánh bèo

banh beo nhan kho (kieu Hue) va nhan uot (kieu Da Nang)

I wanted to name this post ‘The art of water fern cakes’ but I left it out. It can be more specific as the art of making, yet to me it is actually the art of enjoying water fern cakes.

The secret of making the cakes is the right proportion of rice flour and tapioca flour, in which rice flour should always be more than tapioca flour; then the right time of steaming. I indeed failed to make these water fern cakes for two times, but the third time, I was successful. There is no actual recipes according to me since the flour bought can be different everywhere, less alone you can buy the ‘banh beo flour’ which mix everything for you (*).

This water fern cake requires the softness, but still a bit of chewiness (hence, tapioca flour is added). Hue style requires more chewiness than Quang Nam style. The steaming time can vary from 1 minute to 4 minutes. The fish sauce is a proportion of 1 tbsp of fish sauce, 3 tbsp of water and about 1 tbsp of sugar with Thai chili, a slightly hot and slightly tasty fish sauce.

My preference for ‘banh beo’ probably comes from the fact that I have a Hue blood in my body, and lived in Da Nang for more than 17 years. Continue reading

Gỏi tôm (cucumber and prawns salad)

Món gỏi này mình học của một chị đầu bếp người Thái. Lúc vừa ăn vài miếng đã thấy sao mà chỉ có hành phi và rau mùi mà làm cho món ăn có vị châu Á đầm ấm đến thế. :D Nhưng nhờ tôm là tôm tươi, rồi phần chính là dưa chuột và nước chấm thì có chanh, dấm (gạo) nên món ăn vẫn mát lành.

Món gỏi (salad) tôm này làm rất nhanh. Tôm và trứng làm cho món gỏi có đủ dinh dưỡng :D Món này ăn lạnh cùng với những món thịt khác hoặc có thể để ăn thành một bữa chính cho bạn nữ nào muốn ăn kiêng. ;)

Scroll down for English.

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