Posts Tagged With: Vietnamese

Lemongrass and Five Spice Tofu

Vietnamese Appetizer

LEMONGRASS AND FIVE SPICE TOFU

INGREDIENTS

2 stalks lemongrass
3 garlic cloves
1¼ pounds firm tofu
1 cup vegetable oil (2 tablespoons more later)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon red chile flakes
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
¼ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
½ tablespoon soy sauce

PREPARATION

Discard all but the tender, inner and lower, green part of the lemongrass stalks. Mince garlic cloves and remaining lemongrass. Slice tofu into 8 long rectangles. Pat dry with paper towel. Add 1 cup vegetable oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until a tiny bit of tofu in the oil will start to dance. Carefully add tofu rectangles to pan. Fry tofu rectangles for 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the bottom. Turn over once. Fry for 4 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the new bottom. (Monitor the tofu carefully as the time between golden brown and crispy can be short.) Remove tofu and drain on paper towels.

Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to 2nd pan. Add garlic, lemongrass, and red chile flakes. Sauté at medium heat for 2 minutes or until lemongrass is tender and fragrant. Stir frequently. Add Chinese five spice, white pepper, and soy sauce. Mix until well blended. Add tofu rectangles. Sauté at low-medium heat for 2 minutes. Turn over once. Place 2 tofu rectangles on each plate. Carefully spoon sautéed lemongrass/garlic from pan over tofu rectangles.

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) It’s startling to hear this now, but for centuries, perhaps even millennia, lemons grew on grass rather than on trees. The reason for this change and other  ensuing culinary changes was war.

2) The British navy had been losing thousands and thousands of sailors to scurvy. In 1753, the British conducted controlled experiments to find a cure for this dread scourge. They strongly concluded that lemon juice would keep scurvy at bay. A scant forty-two years later, the British Admiralty began issuing daily rations of lemon juice. Scurvy disappeared! The navy could indefinitely blockade Napoleon’s ships and keep him from invading England. It was all so neat. Unfortunately, the Admiralty’s lemon mowers cut so much lemon grass that ground lemons were on the brink of extinction. Botanists stepped in and grafted lemons onto trees. This process worked well that the lemons developed seeds that would sprout into full-blown lemon bearing trees. History is such fun.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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How to Say All Over the World, “No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

lutefisktacotruck

“No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

I used GoogleTM Translate to translate the above phrases into the following languages. You might never need to use these words in your global travels, but do you want to take that chance? Read and remember.

Afrikaans – Geen lutefisk, asseblief, dit maak my siek. Waar is die naaste taco vragmotor?
Albanian – No lutefisk, ju lutem, kjo më bën të sëmurë. Ku është më i afërt kamion taco?
Arabic – لا lutefisk، من فضلك، يجعلني سوء. أين هي أقرب شاحنة تاكو؟ (Apparently, this language doesn’t have a word for lutefisk. Who knew?)
Chichewa – palibe lutefisk, chonde, IT kupanga chilichonse choipa. uli yapafupi taco galimoto?
Chinese, traditional – 沒有lutefisk,請,這讓我生病。 最近的taco卡車在哪裡?(What? The Chinese don’t have a word for tacos and they have nuclear weapons. Oh, this doesn’t sound good.)
Dutch – Geen lutefisk, alsjeblieft, het enig ziek. Waar is de dichtstbijzijnde taco truck?
French – Pas lutefisk, s’il vous plaît, IT faire tout mauvais. Où est le camion taco le plus proche?
German – Kein lutefisk, bitte, IT jeder krank machen. Wo ist der nächste LKW Taco?
Greek – Δεν lutefisk, παρακαλώ, αυτό με κάνει να άρρωστος. Πού είναι το πλησιέστερο taco φορτηγό; (What? The Greeks don’t have a word for taco and they call their country the Cradle of Western Thought?)
Hindi – कोई lutefisk, कृपया, यह मुझे बीमार बना देता है। निकटतम टैको ट्रक कहां है? (See? You can order a taco in India. All you have to do is read Hindi and pronounce it correctly.)
Hungarian – Nem lutefisk, kérem, ez teszi beteggé. Hol van a legközelebbi taco teherautó?
Latin – Lutefisk non placet, si male me. Ubi est proxima taco dolor? (If by accident you end up in ancient Rome, you’ll be able to ask for a taco truck?)
Polish – Nie lutefisk, proszę, to sprawia, że chory. Gdzie jest najbliższy ciężarówka taco?
Russian – Нет лютефиск, пожалуйста, это не делает меня больным. Где находится ближайший тако грузовик? (The fact that the country is run by an opportunistic dictator must be balance with the fact that Russians have a word for taco.)
Scots Gaelic – Chan eil lutefisk, feuch, tha mi tinn. Càite bheil a ‘fhaisge taco làraidh?
Spanish – Sin lutefisk, por favor, TI tiene ningún enfermo. ¿dónde está el camión de tacos más cercano?
Swedish – Ingen lutefisk snälla, gör mig sjuk. Var finns närmaste taco lastbil?
Vietnamese – Không LUTEFISK, xin vui lòng, nó làm cho tôi bị bệnh. Trường hợp là xe tải taco gần nhất? (Vietnam has no word for lutefisk. Had France and America known this the Vietnam War might never been fought.)
Yiddish – ניט קיין לוטעפיסק, ביטע, עס מאכט מיר קראַנק. ווו איז די ניראַסט טאַקאָ טראָק?

My spell checker went nuts with this blog.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

 

Categories: cuisine, humor, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chicken Banh Mi

Vietnamese Entree

CHICKEN BANH MI

INGREDIENTSChickenBanhMi-

4 8″ baguettes (not overly cripsy)
3 medium carrots
¼ pound daikon
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup rice vinegar
2 Thai red chiles or jalapeños
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil                                                                           Not a Van Gogh painting
½ cup aioli sauce (see recipe) or mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sriracha
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 cucumber
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

cookie sheet

Makes 4 banh mi sandwiches. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Split baguettes in half along their lengths. Grate, or julienne, carrots and daikon. Add sugar and rice vinegar to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove and let cool. Add carrot and daikon to pot. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While carrots and daikon marinate, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mince Thai red chiles. Cut chicken breasts into 1″-wide strips. Add Thai red chiles, lime juice, garlic salt, pepper, and chicken to large mixing bowl. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes. While chicken marinates, add aioli sauce and sriracha to small mixing bowl. Blend together with whisk. Dice cilantro. Slice cucumber into thin circles.

Coat chicken breasts with vegetable oil. Spray cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Add baguette halves to oven. Turn chicken over. Bake chicken and baguettes for 10 minutes or chicken is no longer pink inside and baguettes are lightly toasted.

Spread aioli/sriracha sauce on baguette half. Add an equal layer of cucumber circles to each baguette. Add an equal of chicken strips to each baguette, followed by a layer of mixed carrot and daikon. Sprinkle each baguette with diced cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) Bright, vibrant colors emanate from chicken banh mi. See above photo.

2) The artist Van Gogh (1856-1893) is famous for his bright, vibrant paintings such as Sunflower and starry night. His character is depicted in the well-loved Doctor Who episode, “Vincent and the Doctor,” where he saves the universe. Well done, Vincent.

3) Food always inspired Vincent. His first famous painting is “The Potato Eaters” (1885), known by everyone who has known of it. It was typical of an artistic style called brown gravy, where the only colors on a painter’s palette were: beige, light brown, ecru (remember that for crossword puzzles), brown, dark brown, and chocolate brown.

4) However, Vincent’s magnificent obsession with food developed earlier, certainly after birth and before death.

5) He wrote, during this period of life, wrote many letters to his brother. Food provided the dominant, recurring theme of these epistles.

6) In his letter of September 17, 1875, Vincent worries his brother, Theo, isn’t eating properly. He admonishes his brother to eat lots of bread. Just twelve day later, Vincent tells Theo to eat more bread. On August 18, 1877, the great artist tells his sibling to eat bread as it deters people from suicide. He cites Dickens as his source for this bit of knowledge.

7) Clearly, Vincent did not belong to the gluten-free school of painting.

8) Vincent did take a brief walk on the wild side, when he favored oatmeal over bread. (See his letters of November 9 and November 15, 1875.) Culinary-art historians still debate the reason for this. The dominant view seems to be that his illnesses had been flaring up more than usual. Others maintain that Vincent had simply gone off feed.

9) Then? I don’t know. I cleverly managed to print out only the first nine of Vincent’s twenty-five food-and-drink letters to his brother.

10) Then my friggin’ printer jammed. By the time the cussing had stopped and the printer actually was willing to work again, the mood for research had passed. Hey, don’t judge me.

11) One of Van Gogh’s few non-vegetarian paintings is “Prawns and Mussels” (1886). Everybody loves shrimp and Vincent was no exception. His one true love, however, was potatoes as his many spud painting testify. He did have brief flings with: citrus, cabbage-red and green, onions, grapes, apples, and even quinces!! His one true love, however, was potatoes as his many spud paintings testify.

12) In 2010, the Doctor and Amy Pond visit Vincent with their TARDIS. The Doctor tells Vincent that he shall become the greatest painter of all time. Vincent abandons his bread mania and paints many famous non-culinary paintings. Vincent dies within a year.

13) The great artist would probably have lived long if he had only stayed with still lifes of potatoes. Something to think about for aspiring artists.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Easy Beef Pho

Vietnamese Soup

EASY BEEF PHO

INGREDIENTSEasyBeefPho-

2 cups beef pho broth
12 ounces rice noodles
8 ounces thinly sliced sirloin
4 ounces deli-sliced roast beef

½ cup fresh basil
5 green onion stalks
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers
3 limes
2 cups bean sprouts
½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce or hoisin sauce

Makes 10 bowls. Takes 25 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

sonic obliterator

PREPARATION

Add beef pho broth to pan. Cover and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until all ingredients are ready. Add rice noodle to second pot. Cook according to instructions on package. Drain noodles.

While pho broth boils and rice noodles cook, dice basil and green onion. Thinly slice jalapeno pepper and limes. Add sirloin and roast beef to pot with pho broth. Simmer on low heat until sirloin is no longer pink. Divide rice noodles, basil, green onion, jalapeno pepper, bean sprouts, chili garlic sauce, and fish sauce between bowls. Garnish with lime slices. Ladle equal amounts of pho broth with meat into bowls. Serve to adoring guests.

Some guests might complain that this recipe isn’t authentic, that it skips steps, that it doesn’t use pig knuckles, and so on. You could reason with them, saying you can’t find beef knuckles at your local supermarket, you didn’t even know beeves had knuckles, and that properly prepared pho.takes five days, and that you have a life to live. Or . . . you could simply zap them with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need their negativity in your life.

TIDBITS

1) Pho is an anagram for hop. Hop On Pop is a book by Dr. Seuss. Culinary historians think the author had been planning to write No Mo’ Pho but decided against it when he discovered pho is actually pronounced “fuh.” It’s all for the best as Hop On Pop brought Dr. Seuss enduring fame.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

Vietnamese Entree

SPRING ROLLS
(cha gio)

SpringRoll-

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

1/4 teaspoon Thai chili or red pepper flakes or minced serrano
1/4 cup fish sauce or Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup water

INGREDIENTS – ROLL

1 ½ ounces cellophane noodles or rice vermicelli
½ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound pork
1 carrot
4 green onion stalks
2 garlic cloves
1 egg
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
20 rice wrappers or egg roll wrappers
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
2 cups peanut oil as necessary
2 lettuce leaves

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet

PREPARATION

Combine Thai chili, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and water in mixing bowl. Stir with fork until sugar dissolves. Set aside. This is the dipping sauce.

Put noodles in mixing bowl. Add enough water to cover. Let sit for 10 minutes or until noodles become soft and bendable. While noodles are sitting, cut shrimp into eighths and mince pork. Shred or grate carrot. Mince green onion and garlic cloves. Drain water from noodles. Beat egg in small bowl.

Add sesame oil, carrot, garlic, pork, shrimp, fish sauce, and Hoisin sauce to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until shrimp turns orangish-pink and is no longer translucent. Stir frequently. Add noodles, green onion, and ginger. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Let cool.

If rice wrapper is hard, quickly run warm water over until it is pliable. (IMPORTANT! Run water over only ONE WRAPPER at a time. If you run water over multiple wrappers at a time or leave the wrappers for any length over time you will get a gelatinous mass that can’t be separated for love or money.) Place rice wrapper on board. Brush edges of rice wrapper with egg. Add 1/4 cup of pork/shrimp/veggie/noodle mix to center, bottom third of rice wrapper. Fold in sides to form 3″ long roll. Roll up rice wrapper from bottom. Brush remaining corner with egg. Repeat until you run out of rice wrappers or pork/shrimp/veggie/noodle mix.

Set electric skillet to 375 degrees. Put a drop of water in skillet. When drop starts to bubble or move around, add up to 2 cups of peanut oil as necessary. Carefully add 8 egg rolls to skillet at a time using tongs. Fry egg rolls for 2-to-3 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Turn egg rolls. Once. Remove and place on paper towels to drain grease. Repeat until all egg rolls are fried.

TIDBITS

1) Vietnam is an anagram for Mite Van.

2) Most mites are way too small to drive a van safely.

3) Or even pedal a bicycle.

4) Vietnamese policemen are banned from wearing dark sunglasses while on duty. This is because you really need to see well to see a mite driving a van illegally. A drunken mite would make for a particularly poor driver.

5) If you are a mite and you want to hit the hard stuff, consider drinking ruou ran (snake wine.) This wine comes with a pickled snake inside the bottle. It is supposed to be able to cure any illness.

6) Giving snake wine to all the sick people of the nation would be a unique national health program. The National Health Care Dispensaries, formerly known as bars and liquor stores, would sell the wine direct to the public.

7) This plan would require no tax dollars from the government. Households would be freed from spending 14% of their income on health care.

8) The Federal Government could use all the money it saves to pay down the debt, invest in infrastructure, and conduct energy research. People would spend their windfall on college education for their kids, provide for their retirement, and buy bacon.

9) With people’s retirement completely assured, we wouldn’t need to contribute to social security. Indeed, the government could then distribute all the money we having coming to us. We’d buy cars, homes, and doughnuts. The surging demand would force businesses to hire every worker they could find and at a high wage. Higher take home pay would mean more spending. To meet this spiraling demand, businesses would want to investment massively for the future. Massive future investment means full employment forever. I see a Nobel Prize in Economics coming for me very soon.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shorba Baida – Algerian Chicken Soup Recipe

Algerian Soup

SHORBA BAIDA
(Chicken Soup)

INGREDIENTSShorbaS-

2 chicken breasts
1 medium onion
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 large tomatoes
10 ounce can chick peas
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon basmati rice
1 tablespoon barley
2 large tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder
Dutch oven

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breasts into 1/2″ cubes. Mince the onion. Grind the cinnamon stick until you get powder. Dice the tomatoes. Drain the chick peas.

Use medium-high heat to sauté the chicken, onion, and cinnamon with olive oil in Dutch oven. Cook for 5-to-10 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently.

Add chick peas, chicken broth, lemon juice, rice, barley, tomatoes, chili powder, parsley, pepper, sat, and tumeric. Cover the Dutch oven and simmer on warm heat for about 1 hour or until rice and barley are soft.

This is great. People love it. Eat your share while you can.

TIDBITS

1) This heavenly soup is the reason the French conquered Algeria in 1830.

2) This heavenly soup is the reason Algeria threw out France in 1962. The Algerians didn’t want to share.

3) Did the Algerians get any culinary benefits from 132 years of Gallic occupation?

4) I hope so. A Vietnamese man once said the only benefit his countrymen derived from French colonial rule was the baguette.

5) Vietnamese culinary artists combined the baguettes with their way of preparing meat to produce the tasty and world-famous banh mi sandwiches.

6) America fought in Vietnam for the banh mi sandwiches. And so it goes.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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