Hi everyone! I apologize for my long absence. It has been a whirlwind since we came back from Chicago. In June, my husband and I decided to expand our family, so we got a puppy. Our maltipoo, Betsy, has been an absolutely joy. Potty training has been difficult and continues to be a challenge but we are getting the hang of it. So is Betsy. For all you pet parents out there, we understand your pain. Then my residency ended in July, and it was time to start a new job! We also moved to a new place. Before we even had a chance to breathe, summer is over. To celebrate the end of summer, I am whipping up a salad highlighting some of my favorite ingredients: scallops, mango, and avocado. So simple, yet absolutely refreshing! If you love scallops, mango, and avocado, you are in for a treat!
Ingredients3 cups mixed green salad 1 mango 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes 9 sea scallops Sea salt and pepper ½ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice ¼ cup of olive oil Green onion for garnish
1. To make the vinaigrette, combine the orange juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Cut the mango and avocado into ½ inch cubes.
3. Heat a grill pan and brush with a little olive oil. Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. When very hot, place the scallops on the grill pan and cook for 2 minutes, then flip them over and cook for another minute until lightly golden.
4. In a bowl, toss the salad greens with the vinaigrette and put them on chilled plates. Scatter the mango and avocado cubes among the greens. Add the scallops to the plates and garnish with green onions and serve.
I have been MIA from the blogging world for a while. It feels good to be back! Today, I am making brown sugar glazed pork spareribs, one of Vu’s favorite dishes. This dish brings me back to my undergraduate days at UC Davis when I was living with two other girls, Kc and L. We would cook together, then gathered around the dinner table and enjoyed our creations while chatting about classes, college drama, and everything in between. Kc, one of my closest friends, showed me how to make this dish. It is definitely one of the simpler Vietnamese dishes but incredibly delicious. The meat falls off the bone with a hint of sweetness while your olfactory bulb picks up the scent of the sesame oil. Every since Kc taught me how to make this dish, I have cooked it on a monthly basis, if not more often. I hope you find these pork spareribs as satisfying as I did.
Ingredients1 lb pork spareribs 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 ½ tbsp fish sauce 3 tbsp of brown sugar Green onions for garnish
In a frying pan, add the sesame oil and turn on medium high heat. Add the strained pork pieces and let them brown for about 5 minutes. Add in the fish sauce and let the meat cook for another 5 minutes.
The French introduced coffee to Vietnam in the 19th century, and it has become an essential morning ritual of many Vietnamese. Since then, you can find a coffee shop at every street corner in Saigon. Early in the morning, men would fill up the coffee shops to get their morning fix before heading to work. Some read their newspaper while other people enjoy coffee over a game of Chinese chess. Today, coffee shops have become more modern, where young people can hang out and listen to the latest musicians. Unlike my husband and mom, who are addicted to coffee, I like to drink mine on the weekend. My favorite brand of coffe is Café Du Monde. Using a metal filter, the coffee is extracted with hot water, slowly dripping until the last drop. The sweetness of the condensed milk when mixed with the black coffee creates an unbelievable flavor. I slowly sip it, savoring every drop. If you are coffee lover, you will fall in love with Vietnamese coffee.
Ingredients2 tbsps of coffee (Café Du Monde) 2 tbsps of condensed milk (Parrot) ½ cup of hot water ½ cup of ice
Pour the condensed milk in a cup. Remove the filter’s top screen and fill with coffee. Put the screen back on and turn until you feel a bit of resistance. Pour the hot water into the filter and put the lid over the top.
My stomach has been feeling funny for the past few days so I made chao vit, or duck porridge, for dinner. Whenever I was not feeling well, my mom would make a huge pot of chao. Chao is made with a duck based broth and rice, so simple yet satisfying. The broth can be made from chicken, pork, or just water. Many people cook the rice directly in the broth, but I strained the broth to remove all the fat, and then added in the rice to make a healthier soup. I probably removed 2 cups of fat. When paired with toasted gio chao quay (Chinese donuts), they soak up the soup and add a wonderful texture to the meal. I added a handful of bean sprouts to my chao, squeezed a few drops of lime juice, and topped it with pepper, a few pieces of red chili, cilantro, and green onions. The crunch of the bean sprouts, the sourness of the lime, and the kick from the chilies brought so many flavors to the chao. It was a comforting and satisfying meal!
IngredientsOne 5-lb duck 10 cups of water 1 tbsp of salt 1 bulb of ginger, sliced 2 cups of cooked rice 2-3 tbsps fish sauce Gio chao quay (Chinese donuts) Pepper to taste Bean sprouts Lime wedges, red chili, cilantro, and onions for garnish Nuoc mam cham (fish sauce) for the duck
Remove the duck from the broth and strain the broth to remove any excess fat. Add the rice to the pot. Use a hand blender, blend the rice until finely ground. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes to let the porridge thicken. Add in the fish sauce and season to your liking.
Fish sauce is an essential staple of Vietnamese cuisine. This flavorful dipping sauce is eaten with countless dishes such as bi cuon (pork rolls), egg rolls, banh xeo (Vietnamese crepes), many noodle dishes and drizzled over fried fish. The chili and garlic add a huge kick to the sauce. Without nuoc mam cham, the flavors of many dishes would fall flat.
Ingredients1 cup warm water ¼ cup sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tsp of finely chopped chilies
In a small bowl, whisk the water, sugar, and fish sauce. Add the garlic, chilies, and vinegar to the fish sauce and stir well. Store in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge up to two weeks.
I am starting off my Sunday morning with dessert. You heard right! I have been thinking about making a jelly roll for a while and adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School. The building block for a jelly roll is genoise, a French sponge cake. Genoise relies solely on eggs beaten with sugar until thick and doubled in volume instead of chemical leaveners. To finish my roll, I spreaded a thin layer of strawberry jam and thick layer of mascarpone whipped cream over the sponge cake before rolling it. I let the jelly roll sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so all the flavors have the chance to meld together. This dessert was absolutely amazing, or shall I say breakfast! The cake was light and fluffy while the sweetness of the jam balances with the richness of the mascarpone cream. Sometimes, you gotta start the day with dessert!
Ingredients2/3 cup sifted cake flour A pinch of salt 3 large whole eggs and 2 egg yolks ½ cup of sugar 4 tbsps butter (1/2 stick) melted, room temp 1/3 cup of strawberry jam 1 cup of heavy cream, whipped 4 oz mascarpone cream ¼ cup of powdered sugar and more for dusting Fresh strawberries for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375F. Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a small sauce pan. Place the mixing bowl over the simmering water making sure the bottom is not touching the water. Whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar until the sugar has melted, about 5 minutes.
Attach the bowl to mixer and beat on high speed until the mixture is pale and doubled in volume, about 5-7 minutes. Sift flour and salt over egg mixture. Use a spatula, fold in the flour. Pour the melted butter down the side of the bowl and gently fold, making sure not to deflate the batter.