'vietnamese' on Serious Eats

Charles Phan's Roasted Eggplant and Leek Salad

The name "Roasted Eggplant and Leek Salad" in Charles Phan's Vietnamese Home Cooking is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, this dish has eggplant and leeks, but no, it is not a roasted salad. (Unless, of course, you count grilling as roasting.) If you happen to live in a wondrous state with no real winter (cough, California, cough), grilling in January is a non-issue. In other parts of the country, however, it may be necessary to bring the dish indoors and under a broiler. Either way, this silky smokey salad should go on your to-make list, stat--soft eggplant meets pleasantly squeaky leeks in a vibrant sauce of soy, chiles, and cilantro. What's not to love? More

Charles Phan's Black Bean-Glazed Pork Spareribs

The name "steamed ribs" may not be particularly appealing to many of you. Perhaps this fact is why Charles Phan left out the adjective when naming the Black Bean-Glazed Pork Spareribs in his cookbook, Vietnamese Home Cooking. But consider this: When cooked properly, steamed fish, dumplings, and vegetables take on a silky smooth and supple texture. Why not apply the technique to pork ribs? More

Traditional Beef Pho

There are few things better for the soul or the body than a tangle of slick rice noodles in a rich, crystal clear, intensely beefy broth; the warm aroma of cinnamon, cloves, and star anise rising up in a cloud of steam. The intensely savory-salty hint of fish sauce balanced by a squeeze of lime juice and a handful of fresh herbs and chilies that you add to your bowl as you eat. Here's how to make it at home. More

Dinner Tonight: Chicken, Lemongrass, and Potato Curry (Ca-Ri Ga)

I was sold on this recipe from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen the moment after I read the first step. That's where author Andrea Nguyen describes watching the "whirling blizzard" of lemongrass in the food processor as it transforms from chopped stalks into a "fine, fluffy mass." Sure enough, the lemongrass puffs up sort of like cotton candy, before eventually turning into a paste when you add the onion and ginger. Theatrics aside, it's really just a fragrant base for a dish that is far more comforting than I had expected. More

Dinner Tonight: Tomato Egg Drop Soup

I have a huge soft spot for egg drop soup, specifically the Chinese-American version I first tasted as a kid. You know, the kind that's golden yellow with shards of cooked egg? I assume this fond memory is actually based on a bowl of gloopy, bland, and inauthentic egg drop soup, but that's okay. Luckily, this recipe from Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen is the opposite. It is bright, fresh, and dynamic. More

Dinner Tonight: Steamed Salmon with Garlic and Ginger

Of all the cooking methods I use, steaming is probably close to the bottom of the list. Part of that is my fault; I don't usually get excited when I see "steaming" mentioned in recipes, correlating it unfairly with bland and boring. But bland and boring is about the last thing you'd say about this recipe from Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. The salmon fillets come out of the steamer juicy and coated in a flavorful sauce. More

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