Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Vietnamese Beef Ragu (Ragu Bo)


Vietnamese Beef Ragu (Ragu Bo)
Ingredients
Marinate Beef:
1 lbs. Beef Chucks
2 Tbsp. chopped Shallots
1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp. minced Garlic
1/2 tsp. Mushroom Seasoning (optional)
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Sugar
Ragu Soup:
Marinated Beef
1 Tbsp. Oil
3 Carrots
2 Potatoes
1/3 cup chopped Onion
1 tsp. minced Garlic
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 cup Tomato Paste
1 cup Ragu Tomato Sauce
5 cups Chicken Broth
1/3 cup Lima Beans
1 cup Green Beans

Cut 1 lbs. Beef into chucks, about 1 inch wide and 1 1/2 inches long. Put in a bowl to marinate. Add 2 Tbsp. chopped Shallots.
Add 1 Tbsp. minced Garlic. Add 1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce. This is optional, add 1/2 tsp. Mushroom Seasoning.
Add 1 tsp. Salt. Add 2 tsp. Sugar. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate for 30 minutes.
Peel, wash and cut 2 Potatoes.  You can use a wavy knife or a regular knife.  Put the potatoes in cold water and set aside.
Peel, wash and cut 3 large Carrots.  To make it look like a flower you can cut in the carrots on the side like this.
Put into a bowl and set aside.
In a large pot add 1 Tbsp. Oil.  Add 1/3 cup chopped Onion, saute for a few seconds. Add 1 tsp. minced Garlic.
Continue to saute. Add 2 Tbsp. Butter. Saute for another few seconds or until the Butter melts. Add in the marinated Beef.
Stir for about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup Tomato Paste. Mix well on medium heat. Add 1 cup Ragu Tomato Sauce. Mix well.
Add in 5 cups Chicken Broth. Bring to a boil and down to a simmer.  Once the Beef is tender add in the Carrots.
After 10 minutes, add the Potatoes. Add 1/3 cup Lima Beans.  Continue to let it simmer. Add 1 cup Green Beans. Mix well. Let it simmer for about 7 minutes.
Pour into a bowl and enjoy with some bread.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Muc Nhoi Thit Sot Ca (Vietnamese Stuffed Squid with Tomato Sauce)



Muc Nhoi Thit Sot Ca (Vietnamese Stuffed Squid with Tomato Sauce)
Ingredients
Squid
12 small Squid or 2 large Squid
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. chopped Garlic
Frying Oil
Meat Stuffing Ingredients:
1 lb. Pork
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Mushroom Seasoning (optional)
1 tsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. chopped Shallots
1 Tbsp. minced Garlic
1/2 cup chopped Bean Thread
1/2 cup chopped Wood Ear Mushroom
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
Sauce
3 Tomatoes
2 tsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Annatto Seed Oil
1 tsp. minced Garlic
chopped Green Onions
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Water
Black Pepper
Cilantro
Mince 1 lb. Pork or you can skip this part by purchasing 1 lb. Ground Pork. Put in a bowl and set aside.
Chop some Shallots, you need about 2 Tbsp. Chop some Wood Ear Mushroom.  Remember to soak it water until soften.  Then rinse before chopping. You need about 1/2 cup.
Chop some Bean Thread.  Soak in water to soften before chopping.  You need about 1/2 cup.
When you are ready to marinate the meat, have your bowl of Pork ready. Add 1/2 tsp. Salt.  This is optional, add 1/8 tsp. Mushroom Seasoning.
Add 1 tsp. Sugar. Add 2 Tbsp. chopped Shallots.  Add 1 Tbsp. minced Garlic. Add 1/2 cup chopped Bean Thread.
Add 1/2 cup chopped Wood Ear Mushroom. Add 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper. Add 1/2 Tbsp. Fish Sauce. Mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap
marinate for 30 minutes.
Clean and remove the center of 12 small Squid or 2 large Squid. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt, mix and set aside.
After marinating the meat for 30 minutes, stuff the Squid.  Use a toothpick to pin the top together. Cut a slit at the very tip of the squid. 
By doing so, it will help the meat cook evenly. Add some oil into a pan.  Using medium heat, add 1 tsp. chopped Garlic.  Add in the squid, pan fry the squid until cooked.
Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the Tomato Sauce. Cut 3 Tomatoes into small chucks, put in a bowl and set aside. In a large pan, add 2 tsp. Olive Oil. Add 2 tsp. Annatto Seed Oil. This will give the sauce a nice orangy red color.
Add 1 tsp. minced Garlic. Saute for a few seconds.  Add the white part of the chopped Green Onions. Add in the chopped Tomatoes. Mix well.
Add 1 tsp. Kosher Salt. Add 1 tsp. Sugar. Add 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce. Continue to stir. Add in 2 Tbsp. Water. Cook for a few minutes. Add in the cooked Squid.
Let the squid simmer in the sauce for about 3-5 minutes. Add in the chopped Green Onions. Add some Black Pepper. Add some Cilantro when you're ready to serve.
Cut the squid and serve.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sesame Balls with Mung Bean (Banh Cam Nhan Dau Xanh)


Sesame Balls with Mung Bean (Banh Cam Nhan Dau Xanh)


Ingredients
Dough
2 1/3 cups Glutinous Flour
1 Tbsp. Wheat Starch
1/2 cup Rice Flour
1/3 cup Potato Starch
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 cup Water (add more as needed)
Filling
1 cup Mung Bean
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla Sugar
Other
sesame seeds
frying oil


In a bowl add 2 1/3 cup Glutinous Flour. Add 1/2 cup Rice Flour. Add 1/3 cup Potato Starch. Add 1 Tbsp. Wheat Starch. Add 1 tsp. Baking Powder.
Add 1/4 tsp. Salt. Mix together.
In a different bowl mix 1/2 cup Sugar and 1 cup Water together.
Pour the sugar water into the flour mixture.  Mix until it forms a dough. Knead with your hands until it has a play dough texture. Add more water if needed.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 1 hour.
To make the fillings, you will need.
In a sauce pan add enough water to cover the Mung Bean, add 1/4 tsp. Salt. Let it cook until soften, mix until it turns into a paste. Add 1/2 cup Sugar.
Add 1 tsp. Vanilla Sugar. Mix well for another 2-3 minutes. remove from heat and let it cool.
Roll into balls and set aside.
After 1 hour, take a piece of the dough and flatten it.  Place the fillings in the center.  Wrap the dough around the fillings then roll it into a ball.
Coat it with sesame seeds.
Repeat until you use up all the fillings and dough. 
Have your frying oil ready.  Once it's hot put in the Sesame Balls, fry until golden.  Place on paper towel, let it cool for a few minutes and serve.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Grilled Beef Wrapped in Creek Premna Leaves (Thit Bo Cuon La Cach)





Grilled Beef Wrapped in Creek Premna Leaves (Thit Bo Cuon La Cach)




Ingredients:
1 lb. Ground Beef
Creek Premna Leaves
2 Tbsp. chopped Shallots
1/4 cup chopped Onion
1 tsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce
1/2 cup minced Lemongrass
1 Tbsp. minced Garlic
1/3 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Scallion Oil
Crushed Roast Peanuts

Chop some Shallots, you need about 2 Tablespoons. Chop some Onion, you need about 1/4 cup. put into a bowl and set aside.
To marinate the Beef, put 1 lb. Ground Beef into a bowl.
Add 2 Tbsp. chopped Shallots. Add 1 Tbsp. minced Garlic. Add 1/4 cup chopped Onion. Add 1/2 cup minced Lemongrass.
Add 1 tsp. Soy Sauce.  Add 1 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce. Add 1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil. Add 1/3 tsp. Salt.  Add 1 tsp. Sugar.
Add 1 tsp. Olive Oil. Mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate for 1 hour.
We will be wrapping it in Creek Premna Leaves, which is La Cach in Vietnamese.  These leaves came from our garden, but you can purchase them at some Asian Market. 
If you can't find them you can also use Betel Leaf or Grape Leaf. Remember to wash and rinse them before using. 
Have your leaves and marinated Beef ready. To start wrapping, place one leaf facing down. Put some beef on the leaf and roll.  Use a toothpick hold it together.
When you're done wrapping them.  Have your grill ready.  Grill until cooked.  This process should take only a few minutes. 
To serve, spread some Scallion Oil and sprinkle some Crushed Roast Peanuts.   Have a small bowl of Dipping Fish Sauce to dip it in and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Xoi Vi (Sticky Rice Cake with Anise)



Xoi Vi (Sticky Rice Cake with Anise)
Ingredients
2 cups Sweet Rice
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
Star Anise
1/2 cup Mung Bean (Optional)
Salt
Banana Leaves
Rinse 2 cups of Sweet Rice.  Then soak it in water overnight. The next day add a pinch of Salt and mix.
Soak it in water for another 15 minutes. Drain out the water and let the Sweet Rice air day for a few minutes.
Soak 1/2 cup Mung Bean for at least four hours.  Rinse it a few times, add in enough water that it covers the Mung Bean.
Add in a pinch of Salt.  Let it cook until it absorbed all the water. Remove from heat and set aside.
Have your Sesame Seeds and Anise Cloves ready.  Roast the Sesame Seeds until slightly brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Then roast the Star Anise, remove from heat.  Put in a mortar and pound until it becomes a powder.  Then set aside. You need about 1/2 tsp. of Anise Powder.
Place some Banana Leaves in your steamer. Pour in the Sweet Rice and Mung Bean.  Mix together and steam until cooked.
Remove from steamer and set aside.  Have all your ingredients ready.  Pour the cooked Sticky Rice into a large pan. Using medium-low heat, add 1 cup Sugar.
Add 1 cup Coconut Milk. Mix well. Then add in 1/2 tsp. Anise Powder. Mix for a few minutes and remove from heat.
Let it cool for about 10 minutes. While you let it cool, spread some oil onto a baking pan.  You can put some plastic wrap inside your baking pan.  It'll make it easier to remove the cake out of the pan later on.
Put in the Sticky Rice. Flatten it and sprinkle some Sesame Seed on top.  Let cool completely.  Cut it into pieces to serve.