Archive for the 'Recipe' Category

Chao Cha


This simple porridge with braised sausage is commonly eaten for breakfast in Vietnamese households.

For chao (porridge)

  • 1 cup Jasmine rice
  • 3 ½ cups water

For cha kho (braised pork sausage)

  • ½ dong cha lua
  • 1 shallot or ¼ onion
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons nouc mam
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ tablespoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • Water

Make chao

Bring rice and water to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook until the porridge is of the desired consistency. Cook longer for a thicker porridge.

Make cha kho

Dice cha into bite sized pieces and set aside. Slice shallots thinly and sauté until golden brown in a bit of vegetable oil. Add cha, nouc mam, sugar, salt, pepper, and a dash of water to the shallots over medium heat. Cook until all liquid has been absorbed. Serve with hot chao.


Banh Gio


Banh Gio is a savory breakfast food traditionally wrapped in leaves or aluminum foil, steamed, and eaten with nouc mam. My grandmother updated her banh gio recipe to exclude steaming and include microwaving after listening to a Vietnamese radio program where this shortcut was introduced.

For the full recipe click here:

Banh Mi Tom Chien


These shrimp toasts are my Aunt Phuong’s signature appetizer and are served at large family gatherings. This recipe yields enough to feed a small army.

  • 4 pounds shrimp (size 36-40)
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 2/3 bulb garlic (5-7 cloves)
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 ½ tablespoons black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons nouc mam
  • 2 ½ loaves white bread
  • Vegetable oil

Prepare shrimp

Thoroughly wash shrimp in salted water 3-4 times, changing the water after each washing. Devein and peel shrimp and let drain. Pat shrimps dry with a paper towel before marinating.

Prepare marinade

Finely mince green onions and garlic cloves and place in a large mixing bowl or container with a lid. Add sugar, egg white, pepper, and nouc mam to the onions and garlic. Mix well with shrimp, cover with plastic wrap or lid, refridgerate, and let marinade for 30 minutes minimum—overnight is best.

Assembling shrimp toasts

Cut each slice of bread into six rectangular pieces and lightly toast in the oven at 200 degrees for approximately 10 minutes.

Chop marinated shrimp in a food processor until a thick paste is formed.

Spread a thick layer of the shrimp paste atop the toasted bread and lightly brush with vegetable oil (see below). Repeat with remainder of bread and shrimp paste.

Deep fry shrimp toasts with the shrimp side down first. When both sides are golden, remove from oil, drain, and serve.


Mom’s Lollipop Fried Chicken


For marinade

  • 15 chicken wings and drummettes (30 pieces total)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon black pepper

For coating and frying

  • ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs or Panko
  • ½ cup white or whole wheat flour
  • Vegetable oil

Prepare chicken

Separate wings and drummettes and set wings aside. For the drummettes, using a paring knife, cut around the thin tip of each piece to loosen the meat around the joint. While holding the base, push the meat down gently to expose the bone and form a “chicken lollipop.”

Make marinade

Mince shallots and garlic and place in a bowl large enough to fit 30 pieces of chicken. Pour fish sauce, salt, sugar, and pepper into the bowl as well, then add the chicken. Make sure the chicken is well coated in the mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit overnight to marinade.

Coating and frying

Heat vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Coat chicken first in flour and then in the bread crumbs; it may be necessary to push the meat up on the drummettes once more. Once oil is ready, fry chicken until golden, drain, and serve.  

Banh Bot Loc


Translucent, almost gelatinous cakes of sticky tapioca flour filled with sauteed whole shrimps and sliced fatty pork. Topped with scallions and crispy rendered pork fat and served with fish sauce.

For filling

  • 1/2 pound shrimp
  • 10 large shrimps (with heads)
  • 1/2 pound pork belly or pork back
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon nouc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pepper

For the full recipe click here: