Vietnamese-Style Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded if desired, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or mint (used mint)
  • 8 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles, broken in half
  • 1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil (used canola oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cups vegetables, such as sliced sweet pepper, snow pea pods, and/or julienned carrots (used 1 cup each of snow pea pods, julienned carrots, thinly sliced yellow onion, thinly sliced cremini mushrooms, and sliced water chestnuts)
  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil and/or mint leaves (used mint leaves)
  • Salted peanuts and lime wedges

Directions

  1. Take a small mixing bowl out and add the following ingredients to it, stirring to combine: fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, finely chopped ginger, jalapeño, green onion and chopped mint.
  2. Get a pot of water boiling and immediately take it off the heat. Stir the noodles in, letting the stand for 5 minutes or however long the package they came in recommends until the noodles feel softened. Drain the noodles, rinsing them under cold water until they’ve cooled down and drain them one more time.
  3. Take a wok or large heavy skillet and pour the oil into it (I used a large cast-iron skillet), setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss the chopped ginger in, stirring constantly for 10 seconds. Mix the vegetables in now, continuing to stir for another 2 minutes or until the vegetables become crisp-tender.
  4. Divide the noodles, vegetables and romaine between 6 bowls, spreading the dressing over them. Top with the basil and/or mint leaves and serve with the peanuts and lime wedges.

There are a lot of things that go into this dish but they all work together to create a tasty dish ! That sauce really brings the major flavors, the vegetables help bulk up the dish and bring a variety of textures, the mint leaves bring a freshness, the peanuts add a crunchy texture and squeezing that lime wedge over the entire dish just helps brighten the whole thing, making it even tastier !

This recipe came from Better Homes & Gardens.

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote Better Homes & Gardens.

Take care everybody !

Vietnamese Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (I don’t know what counts as “small” for shallots, but I got a little over 4 tablespoons once I finely chopped my shallot)
  • 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pea or nuoc nam) (our bottle just said “fish sauce”)
  • 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1″ thick-cut bone-in pork chops (about 2 1/2 lb. total) (I could only find pork chops that were about 1/2-inch thick)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Lime halves (for serving)

Directions

  1. Take a dish that’s big enough to fit the pork chops in and add the shallot, brown sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, and pepper to it, stirring to combine. Take a fork and pierce your pork chops all over (so the marinade can get absorbed quicker), placing it in the fish sauce marinade. Flip the pork chops over and cover, letting them marinate at room temp. for 20 minutes, flipping them over once in a while during that time.
  2. Take the pork chops out of the marinade, scraping the marinade off the chops as much as possible (don’t throw the marinade away, it becomes the sauce later on). Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Lightly season the pork chops with salt (I forgot to do this thankfully*). Once the oil’s hot, add the pork chops to the skillet, cooking them for about 4 minutes per side or until they look browned and are fully cooked. Take the pork chops out of the skillet and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving them.
  3. While the pork chops are cooking, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let boil for 4 minutes or until the sauce has reduced down to about 1/4 cup.
  4. Serve the pork chops with the reduced sauce and lime halves and enjoy !

*The marinade sauce gets saltier as it reduces so any lacking in seasoning on the pork is more than made up for with the sauce !

The pork chops didn’t have much flavor on their own (probably due to me not adding on any salt) but the sauce definitely made up for that lack of flavor ! The sauce was kind of salty so the lime halves have helped cut down on the saltiness as well as add flavor.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp. minced shallots
  • 1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • Minced zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • Salt to taste (we used kosher salt)
  • 4 croissants, split (or 1 baguette*) (we used a baguette)
  • 3 cups diced rotisserie chicken (we used breast meat)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup shredded carrot
  • Romaine lettuce (we used 1 lettuce leaf per sandwich)

Directions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients, seasoning it with salt.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise mixture onto each cut side of your choice of bread.
  3. Take a large mixing bowl and add to it the chicken, mint, carrot and remaining mayonnaise mixture, stirring to combine (we seasoned this with more salt at this point). Serve the chicken salad on the bread along with the romaine.

*If you’re using a baguette, cut it into 4 pieces, cutting each piece in half. Scoop out some of the center soft bread where you’ll be placing the chicken salad (we forgot to scoop out the bread but the sandwich still turned out just fine).

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The flavors of this are more on the subtle side but you can still taste the fish sauce and mint. The crunch from the lettuce is a nice contrast against the tender chicken. This would be a great picnic sandwich !

We got this recipe from Cuisine at Home.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cuisine at Home.

Take care everybody !

Vegetable Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (12 oz.) whole wheat fettuccine
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce or additional reduced-sodium soy sauce (we used fish sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • Dash Louisiana-style hot sauce (we used Tabasco)
  • 1 pkg. (12 oz.) extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into ½-in. cubes
  • 3 tsp. canola oil, divided
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 cups fresh snow peas, halved (we accidentally measured out 2 cups of halved snow peas)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups bean sprouts (we used an 8 oz. package of bean sprouts)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped (we used roasted peanuts)

Directions

  1. Cook the fettuccine based on the directions you find on the box they’re in. Drain the pasta and keep it in a sealed container until it’s needed. While the pasta’s cooking, take a small mixing bowl out and stir together in it the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and hot sauce until smooth. Leave the vinegar mixture off to the side for now.
  2. Pour two teaspoons of the oil into a large skillet or wok (we used a large skillet). Once the oil’s hot, add in the tofu, stirring it around occasionally until it turns golden brown. Take the tofu out of the skillet and leave it off to the side, keeping it warm (we lined our plate with a few paper towels to absorb any potential grease from the tofu). Pour the remaining oil into the skillet and once it’s hot, add in the carrots and snow peas, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the garlic, stirring constantly  for another minute or until the vegetables have a crisp-tender texture. Pour in the eggs, stirring until they’re fully cooked. Add in the pasta followed by the vinegar mixture (the directions didn’t say to but we tossed everything together). Wait for the sauce to come to a boil. Once boiling, add in the tofu, bean sprouts and green onions, tossing to combine. Once everything’s heated through, take it off the heat and sprinkle with the cilantro and chopped peanuts.
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While this may not be an authentic pad Thai, it is delicious ! There’s a variety of textures from the different vegetables and a little bit of crunch from the peanuts as well. The flavor of the fish sauce and lime juice also comes through.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Tabasco.

Take care everybody !

Tom Ka Gai

We don’t know how authentic this recipe is or not but we do know that it tastes delicious !

Ingredients

  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • ¼ cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, halved and bruised (or 2 tsp. minced lemon zest) (We used 3 or 4 small pieces that you find in plastic packages. We cut off the ends and peeled the outermost layer off before halving and bruising the lemongrass.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14-oz.) can coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Serrano chile, sliced (we used 2 with the seeds left in)
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) cubed or sliced cooked chicken (we shredded a rotisserie chicken breast)
  • Chopped fresh basil, cilantro and mint (We just used mint that we sliced. We tried all three before and thought that the basil and cilantro didn’t really add that much flavor to the soup.)

Directions

  1. Take a large saucepan out (we used our big glass pot) and pour the oil in, setting the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, toss the shallots, ginger, lemongrass and garlic in, stirring continuously so they don’t get browned (the original recipe never says how long to cook the ingredients so we just moved onto the next step when we saw some of the ingredients were just starting to get golden).
  2. Add the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, heavy cream, and sugar to the saucepan, stirring to combine. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the Serrano slices, sliced mushrooms, and chicken to the soup, stirring everything together. Let the soup simmer for 3 minutes or until the chicken is heated through. Take out the lemongrass stalk and throw it away (you have to be thorough when you search for the lemongrass, we had some layers separate from the stalk and you definitely don’t want to bite into lemongrass stalk).
  4. Get your individual servings and garnish each portion with however much basil, cilantro and mint as you like.
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We love this soup ! You have multiple textures from the different components and you taste that funky, umami flavor from the fish sauce, get heat from the Serrano slices, taste the lemongrass and lime and the mint adds this great fresh, flavorful component that complements the flavors in the soup. The shiitake mushroom slices and chicken also help bulk up the soup and make it filling.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !