|← Vietnamese Dessert: Chè Cốm||Baking Lesson 1: Cream Puffs & Madeleines →|
|Delicious Vietnam #16 Round Up||Posted by: Chi Anh | August 19, 2011|
For those who don’t know yet, Delicious Vietnam is a monthly blogging event started by Anh from A Food Lover’s Journey and Kim & Hong from The Ravenous Couple. Every month, one of us food bloggers will recap Vietnamese food entries submitted from all over the world, and have people from all over the world drooling over their keyboards for Vietnamese food. Even as a Vietnamese, I have learnt so much from fellow Delicious Vietnam bloggers who have shown amazing effort at recreating traditional dishes as well as creating their very own versions of Vietnamese food based on their taste and background.
This month’s round-up has been a wonderful feast to the eye, ranging from Savory to Sweets, each with a story that connects the Author with the Vietnamese culture, cuisine and heritage. Some of them have already become good friends of mine, while others, I can’t wait to get to know better through more Delicious Vietnam entries. This community is growing and helping to raise the Vietnamese food popularity around the world. Keep it up guys!
Before I forget, if you want to take part in the next Delicious Vietnam edition, don’t forget to send your September Delicious Vietnam entries to Phuoc from Phuoc’nDelicious by 11 September!
What a mouthwatering dish by Anthony (Sydney, Australia) from Food Affair Vietnam, who added his own spin to this classic Vietnamese home dish that surely most of Vietnamese enjoy from time to time.
“Inspired by an episode on Masterchef, I came up with an idea to use flour to not only thicken the sauce but give it richness and body. I know many of you reading this post right now are probably saying ‘that’s not how you make sot ca chua’. It’s certainly not the way my mother would make it either…”
I can’t stop staring at this beautiful yet simple dessert. Though this dessert has influence from the French dessert Creme Brulee, it has become so common among Vietnamese that people here eat it like yogurt. In plastic cups. So it’s definitely refreshing to see Vietnamese Creme Caramel being made and displayed so beautifully again. Thanks to Lan (Baltimore, MD, USA) from Angry Asian Creations.
“I present this coconut crème caramel, perfect soft food, smooth & silky, sweet with a slight bitter after taste of the burnt sugar. i grew up with my grandfather’s flan. this particular recipe uses coconut milk which is much friendlier to this lactose-intolerant girl…”
Mai (Berkeley, CA, USA) from Flavor Boulevard has found the perfect Pho in her neighborhood… made by Koreans at “Kang Nam Pho”. I love the irony here. It’s like eating the best Bibimbap made by Vietnamese people who call it the “Thang Long Bibimbap”. Right?? They make supposedly good authentic Pho but are still proud to put their Korean name on it. Now that’s true racial harmony and globalization.
“This is one of the best pho I’ve ever had (mom-made pho not included). Deep and subtly sweet broth, chewy noodles, lots of tripe and tendon. A clean aftertaste and a warm broth until the last morsel.”
Avocado is called “Butter Fruit” in Vietnamese due it’s smoothness and richness. It’s also Ha Nguyen‘s favorite fruit ever. Check out this latest Melbourne based Vietnamese food blogger (www.nobutter.com), and read about her obsession with Avocado since childhood days in Vietnam.
“I love avocado. If I have to pick a fruit to create a meal base on it, I will pick avocado straight away. From appertizer to dessert, all with avocados and keep the cooking to the minimum, I will go avocado, yes!…”
The Quest for this classic Hue snack, Banh Bot Loc, is also Pauline’s quest to her culinary roots and heritage all the way from San Jose, CA, USA. Thanks to her Aunt and Grandmother, the Banh Bot Loc family recipe is now a masterpiece on Pauline’s lovely blog, The Lipstick Cafe. It’s amazing how they are able to recreate such a delicate dish.
“Once Aunt Tam finished mixing the dough, she put me to work with assembling the Banh Bot Loc pieces. It reminded me of spreading masa on tamales, except it was a lot stickier…”
This is undoubtedly my favorite Vietnamese dessert (called “Tao Pho” in Vietnamese). My Dad used to buy it for me for breakfast. I have always thought it’s impossible to make at home, and can only be made in huge Tofu containers. Apparently not. Thanks to Nam Nguyen (San Diego, CA, USA) from The Culinary Chronicles, I now know it’s just Soya Milk and Gelatine. Wow. Talk about ignorance. I’m so ashamed of myself.
“Đậu Hũ Nước Đường Gừng (also spelled as “đậu phụ” or “tàu hũ”) is surprisingly easy to make, tasty, and only uses 5 ingredients! Unsweetened soy milk is combined with agar-agar and is topped with a generous helping of syrup that has been flavored with slightly spicy & aromatic ginger…”
Dang & Oanh from Michigan and California added a modernist twist to the age-old Canh Rau Răm (Vietnamese Coriander Soup) by creating a clear concoction that has all the flavors of a typical Canh Rau Răm. If there was El Bulli in Vietnam, this would definitely make it on the Soup menu. I’m impressed.
“After experimentation and taste tests, we found Canh Trà Rau Răm was best served cold. All the flavors of the original canh rau răm were there, in a presentation that accentuated the light refreshing quality of the soup…”
I totally had a heart attack just from staring at this dish made by Hong & Kim (Los Angeles, CA) from The Ravenous Couple, our dear co-founder of Delicious Vietnam. I never knew we had such sinful dishes in Vietnam! This really makes my breakfast this morning look like a joke (I had cereal and a chunk of baguette with meat floss). Hong & Kim, if you read this, please tell me where I can find this in Hanoi! I can’t stop salivating!
“Spread the pate goodness around, dip the beef in a lime, salt, and pepper sauce and wipe the mixture of butter and runny yolk with crusty french bread and you’re assured of starting the day right…”
Ah… remember this? This was the same Che Hoa Cau that we saw in the Che Cook-Off in my previous post. Anh Nguyen (Melbourne, Australia) from A Food Lover’s Journey never fails to bring even more elegant beauty to classic Vietnamese food. This simple Che (Vietnamese Sweet Soup dessert) is always such a comfort.
“The name of this dessert is utterly poetic – hoa cau means the flowers of betel nut tree. The flowers are tiny and yellow. The appearance of the cooked mung bean in sweetened tapioca texture resembles such flowers, hence the name…”
You probably would find this oddly similar to a Chinese dessert, but we Vietnamese eat it too. Most of the time with mung bean filling and coconut strips inside. Phuoc from Phuoc’n Delicious (Sydney, Australia) adapted this recipe from Alvin Quah on the Masterchef show. Yay to more Asian features on Masterchef!
“Served with a ginger syrup, these dumplings are soft and on the chewy side and filled with a sweet black sesame paste. As you eat it, you have to try get a bit of everything in each mouthful…”
Last but not least, it’s my own contribution to this month’s Delicious Vietnam. It’s probably the easiest to make among all the above dishes. But it’s such rarity, that you learn to treasure and savor it like a royal delicacy (at least to me).
“We enjoyed our Chè Cốm on this rainy Sunday afternoon, after chilling it in the fridge for at least an hour. It was a velvety smooth, fragrant syrup that tastes cooling & light. The Cốm is soft and chewy, absorbing all the sweetness from the Arrowroot Starch syrup…”
Alright that’s all for this edition of Delicious Vietnam #16. I hope you enjoyed it. And remember to drop by Phuoc’n Delicious next month for the next Delicious Vietnam! To fellow food bloggers, keep sending your entries and keep cooking Vietnamese Food
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