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Sunday, August 12, 2012

South East Asian Goodies - Vietnam Edition

I had a hankering for fresh spring rolls last week and I wondered what to make as the mail meal. I wanted to make another Vietnamese dish, so I trolled the net and found Luke Nyugen's recipes on the SBS website. (SBS is a TV station back home in Australia that shows a lot of multicultural stuff.) Luke is a Vietnamese Australian chef and he did a series of shows in Vietnam cooking his way around and exploring the culture. Here's a link to the website:

So, I found a chicken dish that I liked the look of and I knew I had everything I needed to make, it filled my Asian affinity I have.

First off, I started prepping the spring rolls because they were the most labour intensive...but so worth it. 

 Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls


56g/2oz rice vermicelli
8 rice wrappers
8 large cooked prawns/shrimp, peeled
bean sprouts
fresh Thai basil
fresh mint
fresh cilantro
boston/bib lettuce

Vietnamese dipping sauce:

4 tsp fish sauce
¼ cup water
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2tbsp sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp sriracha sauce


Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Boil vermicelli for 4 minutes and drain.

Fill a large bowl with hot water. Dip one wrapper at a time into the hot water for 1 second to soften. Lay wrapper flat on a tea towel.

These are the wrappers you need to get:

In a row across the centre, place 2 prawn halves, a handfull of vermicelli, bean sprouts, basil, mint, cilantro and lettuce, leaving about 2” uncovered on each side. Fold sides inwards, then tightly wrap the rolls, beginning at the end with the lettuce.

In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and sriracha.

I actually bought the prepared fish's the bomb!

Serve the rolls with the sauce mixture.

Next is the chicken, which is actually quite simple, but the flavour is absolutely fantastic.


Chicken cooked in ginger (ga ban kho gung)


3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sugar
500g/ 1lb chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 tbsp finely sliced ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp finely diced garlic
1/4 chicken stock
4 spring onions (scallions), sliced into 4cm lengths
Pinch of cracked black pepper
1 long chilli, julienned, to garnish
Jasmine rice, to serve


Cut up the chicken, minced/grate the ginger and dice the garlic.

In a mixing bowl, combine fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar. Mix well, then add the chicken and ginger, massaging the marinade into the flesh.

Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 20 minutes.

Bring a wok or saucepan to medium heat, then add oil and garlic, and cook until fragrant.

Turn the heat to high, then add the chicken, sealing all sides. Cover the chicken with the stock, pour in the remaining marinade and bring to the boil.

Skim off all impurities until clear (I didn't really have any because I used store bought stock, not home made.) and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add spring onions and cracked black pepper, stir and cook for a further minute.

Serve with jasmine rice preferably or white rice if you don't have jasmine.

To cook the rice, put the amount of rice you want to cook into a saucepan and rinse with water until the water is relatively clear. You will have to do this a few times to get the starch off the rice. 

Once you've got the water relatively clear, put enough water in the saucepan so that it covers the rice up to the first joint of your finger.

Next, bring the rice and water to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.

Cook until the water has disappeared and there are "craters" in the rice.

Once you see the craters, cover the saucepan, turn the heat to low and steam the rice for 20 minutes. Take off the heat and leave covered to at least 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and serve with whatever dish you have. 

The rolls would be a hit at a picnic because if you keep them cold, the insides should stay crisp for a while...just don't let the rolls touch each other as they have a tendency to stick together. 



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