Sunday, March 22, 2009



2 whole crabs

50 grams onion, julienne

1 piece chili , julienne

1 tablespoon shallot, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1/4 cup tamarind paste

1 cup hot water


chicken powder



1.  Soak tamarind in a half bowl of hot water for 5 minutes.  Drain and reserve juice.

2. To make the sauce:  Saute the shallots and garlic in oil until fragrant.  Add the onions.  Add the tamarind juice in the pan.  Season with sugar, chicken powder to get the sweet and sour taste.

4.  In a saute pan, add the garlic and chili in oil until fragrant.  

5.  Add the crab and keep stirring until it turns pink.  

6.  Add the sauce into the crab and allow to simmer for 5 minutes more.  add the onion.  Add the tamarind sauce into the pan, season it with sugar, chicken powder allow to simmer. Add coriander right before serving



40 grams ground pork

30  grams crab meat

40 grams prawns, minced

15 grams dried ear mushroom

40 grams taro, grated 

1/2 teaspoon chicken powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon spring onions, chopped

1 teaspoon egg yolk

1 teaspoon shallots, chopped

6-8 pieces rice papers

fresh water

cooking oil, deep frying


1.  Preparation: Dried ear mushroom:  soak in fresh water about 30 minutes.  Drain.  Discard the stem.  Cut julienne.

2.  Taro:  peel of the skin then grate.

3.  In a bowl, place a pork, crab, prawn, taro and ear mushroom.  Then add the shallot, spring onion, sugar, chicken powder, pepper, and egg yolk.  And then mash them until they are well combined and become a smooth paste.

4.  Spread a little coconut juice or water on the surface of the rice paper evenly (don't wet too much). Fold the edge of the rice paper about 2 inches towards the center.  Then place 1 Tbsp of stuffing on the space folded.  Start foldong the left and the right side of the rice paper into  the center.  Then roll up tightly from the bottom edge away to the far end.

5.  Deep fry the spring rolls in a pan on medium heat until lightly browned.

6.  Serve with lettuce, fragrant leaves, fresh rice noodles, and dipping fish sauce.



2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili , chopped


1.  In a bowl, add lemon juice and sugar.  Whisk until sugar is dissolved.

2.  Then add the fish sauce and stir until the sugar is dissolved completely.

3.  Then add the chopped chili and chopped garlic.  Stir again, then taste before serving.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


In my stay in Saigon, I was fortunate enough to be able to schedule a one-on-one cooking class with a great chef at The Saigon Culinary Art Center.
Here's what's on the menu:  1.) Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls, 2.)Grilled Shrimp with Sugar Cane, 3.)Beef Pho, 4.)Crab in Tamarind Sauce, and 5.) Grilled Pork with Lemongrass.
I had such a fun time learning new dishes! I wish I had more time to do one more class. Anyway, this gives me a reason to go back there and visit the place again.  Some recipes with a step by step guide will be posted soon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


We rode a boat along the Mekong river for 45 minutes that took us to a small town and walked for about 15 minutes to get to the restaurant. Our table was waiting for us when we arrived and the food was immediately served as soon as we sat down. Fried whole fish, vietnamese fried spring roll with a plate of greens - cucumber, lettuce, and basil leaves and rice paper sheets. The staff showed us how to eat the fish properly...  she placed it on a rice paper, with some cucumber, and basil leaves, then she rolled it and dipped it in the sauce. 

The same was done with the spring rolls. Then they brought these grilled shrimp on the table. You simply peel them, squeeze some lime juice on it, then sprinkle some salt and pepper mixture before eating it.
 Dinner was at a local restaurant recommended by the concierge, Dzoan.  She said that that was where the locals eat with their families.  We took a cab to get there.  It wasn't so far from our hotel.  The restaurant looked like an old house sectioned into rooms.  It was quite full but they managed to give us a table.  We were so hungry when we got there that everything looked so good in the menu.  We ordered away by starting with the stir fried noodles with shrimp, then we ordered some stir fried kangkong, then this special fried rice in a heart shape that had salted egg in it.
The other items that we ordered that night disappeared quickly on the table. So sad that I didn't get the chance to show it here.