Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bake Mussels

I love "Bake Mussels". Our family always ordered this dish when we went to "Miyako" to eat. Somehow one day, my sister learned this recipe from her friend. It was so easy and simple to make. I've been making this for my kids birthday parties and I just made this again on Friday night when we were on our mini vacation at the resort in "Piney Shores". Here is the recipe that I learned from my sister.

1 box of mussels on the shell
2 bunch of green onions
Black pepper
Sriracha Hot Sauce

First, defrost the mussels. Then, pull the mussels out of the shells and rinse both separately. Dry the shells. Note: Most sushi restaurants keep the mussels whole. However, my family likes to cut out the black soft part of the mussels. It depends on your preference if you want to keep whole or not. Then, chop the mussels in pieces (Some people like it finely chopped but we like it a little thicker). Put the pieces of mussels in a mixing bowl. Chop the green onions in fine pieces and mix in with the mussels. Sprinkle in some black pepper. Scoop 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise and stir in with the mussels. Then, add in some sriracha sauce in depending on how spicy you like it. After mixing everything, you are ready to add it to your shells. Put a little bit of roe (fish eggs) on top of the mussels. Finally, bake at 375 degrees for 25 min.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Banh Bo Hap (Vietnamese Coconut Steam Rice Cakes)

Here is the link to the website I learned to make the "Banh Bo":

"Banh Bo" has always been one of my favorite dessert. When I was young, my mom use to always make it for us to eat. She use to cook so much and anything you name it, she knows. However, ever since she had her own business, she stopped cooking these different variety of foods and forgot. I had to google myself this recipe. Last year, when I followed a "YouTube" video, I failed. It did not rise at all. Then, my mom thought she remembered so we tried her method and we also failed. I was so disappointed when it didn't come out right. I had to throw it in the trash can and it made my son cried so much. My kids also love to eat this dessert so I told myself I'll one day try again.

Just a month ago, I decided to try again. I found "AnnieVang's website". I love her recipe. It was her recipe that gave me a successful result. This was my 1st batch I made so it was kind of thin but after doing more, I finally did better.
The next day after this first attempt, I did make a 2nd batch and it was thicker.
Yesterday night, I did it for "Valentine's Day". I stayed up till 1:30 A.M. to finish my last batch so I can bring it to work for my co-workers. It turned out great! I even created a heart design to match with my holiday theme. 

Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef)

I learned how to make this the first time from this website:

On my 2nd time making this, my mom marinated it herself. All I had to do was fry the beef and cut the veggies. We didn't have watercress at home so I replaced it with lettuce.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon)

This is a recipe I learned from my husband. I cooked this for the family last night.

2 lb Pork Shoulder
1 lb Shrimp
1 bunch of chives
1 bunch of mint
1 bunch of Vietnamese Balm
Romaine Lettuce
Half Container Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
3 tbspn Hoisin Sauce
Bowl of Hot Water (For rice paper)
Rice Paper
Half a bottle of water
Rinse the pork meat. Slice it in half and boil high heat in a covered lid pot to cook. Skim the scum off when seen. (Note: I learned from my mom a technique to make sure it's cooked. Poke a chopstick through the middle of it and if it goes through and you see no blood leaking out or pinkness, then it's good. Another method is you can take one piece and cut it in half again to see in the middle.) Once it's cooked, rinse the meat again and slice thin.
Boil shrimp. Peel, slice in half, and devine.
Boil vermicelli. To know when it's ready is when you can break it with your nail and is not too chewy. After cooked, pour into a drainer and rinse with cold water.
In a small pot, put in the hoisin sauce. Cook low to medium heat. Then, add in the peanut butter. Stir until peanut butter dissolves. After that, add in the water slowly. Keep stirring until smoothe the way you want it.
Rinse all greens and set aside to dry.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Steam Banana Cake (Banh Chuoi Hap)

Here is a recipe to the "Steam Banana Cake" I made today:

Pork & Ginger Congee (Chao Thit va Gung)

Tonight, my hubbie craved for congee. I didn't have time to go grocery shopping since I had so much errands today so I prep what I had at home first and my sister helped by grocery shopping for the things I needed.

1lb ground pork
4 cans chicken broth
4 cups water
half a lemon
1.5 cup rice
bunch of cilantro (chopped .5 in)
1 tbsp blk pepper
1 ginger (slice in long thin pieces)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1tbspn fish sauce
.5 tspn salt
3 green onions (finely chopped)

First, stir fry the raw rice until golden brown (without oil) in a pan. Then, fill a pot with chicken broth and water. Add in the rice. Leave heat on medium to high. Make sure to every once in a while stir so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Marinate ground pork with garlic, salt, and a little bit of pepper. Add into the pot of rice soup along with ginger. Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice in. Then, put some fish sauce in with black pepper. Adjust according to taste. When rice seems to soften as wanted for congee, add in some green onions and cilantro.

Lemon Grass Tofu, Stir Fry Seaweed, and Sweet Taro Dessert

I had a busy day yesterday but was still able to maintain my cooking. I did laundry, picked the kids up from school, dropped the nephew off, took my daughter to the dentist to pull out her teeth, went to a last minute call party, and worked out for 2 hours at Lifetime Fitness. Wheew! Long day!

Here are the three foods I learned to cook yesterday:

Lemongrass Tofu

You can find the recipe on the link above. I did not buy the soft tofu and fry it. Instead, I bought the ones already fried at the Asian supermarket. It shortens my time a bit. Also, the only thing different is that I didn't have bell pepper.

Stir Fry Seaweed

This is my 2nd time buying the wrong bag again. I thought it was the one already prep and you can instantly eat it but not. This is the one with the seaweed marinated with lots of salt. I had to soak it with cold water until all the salt was removed. I couldn't find a recipe online to show me how to do this so I just mixed it with some of the seasonings the bag said to use on the back. I used sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili paste, soy sauce, and garlic and kept adjusting till I had the taste I wanted.

Sweet Taro Dessert

I learned this recipe from my sister-in-law and husband. I bought one big taro, cut off the outside skin, and sliced into small pieces. I rinsed it clean. Then, I added it to a pot of water barely above the taro with medium to high heat and wait for it to boil. After boiling, I removed any scum if there was and lowered the heat down to low to medium. As it softens, I just smash until all solid forms are smoothed out. While smashing and stirring, I added one bag of Vanilla sugar and 12 tablespoons of sugar. My husband likes it very sweet so that's why I put a lot. Depending on your taste, you can adjust it. 

Hope you enjoy! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Vietnamese Jello (Rau Cau)

Yesterday, I had two parties to go to. One was to go to a "1st Birthday" and the other was the "Superbowl Party" at my in laws. Weekends are my rest days since now my hubbie told me I can take breaks those days...However, I woke up kinda early so I thought I'd do something quick and thoughtful. I decided to make "Vietnamese Jello (Rau Cau)" that my mom has taught me before.

Agar Powder (1 bag) 
1 cup sugar
5 cups water  
Food Coloring

Mix the water, sugar, and powder together and stir in a small pot on the oven with high heat. Turn off the stove immediately when it boils. Skim the scum off. Pour your desired amount of liquid into a container with the food coloring you like. For me, I do one at a time since the jello starts to form pretty quickly. I'll leave the rest in the pot and when I get back to it, I might have to reboil a bit to dissolve the solid forms. After your color is mixed in, pour into molds. Leave aside for 3 to 5 min until solid. Use a toothpick to pick from under the edge and flip backwards to take out the jello. Refrigerate the jello after everything is done! It taste better when it's cold!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Braised Pork With Eggs (Thit Kho Va Trung)

Today my hubbie texted me and asked if I can cook "Braised Pork With Eggs". I said, "Sure I'll try". So he taught me on the phone some basic guidelines on how to prepare for this...And I took notes of what measurements I actually used...

6 lbs of pork legs with fat
3 tbsp garlic, minced
3 tbsp white onions, minced
1.5 tspn salt
1.5 tspn black pepper
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 cup fish sauce
4 cans of cocunut juice (ex. Rico brand)
3 cups of water
14 hard boiled eggs
1 tbsp caramel sauce

Heat up high a big pot of water. Rinse the pork meat and put into pot to boil so where it's cooked a little bit. Take it out, rinse it again, and let it drain and cool down. This way, it makes it easier for you to cut it. Cut the pork meat into 1.5 in cubes. Marinate with the minced garlic, minced onions, salt, and pepper and leave it aside for 30 min. Boil eggs while waiting...

In another large pot over medium heat, add cooking oil and sprinkle the sugar in. The sugar will melt and turn into a caramel color. Add the marinated pork with caramel sauce for more coloring, stir around, and then pour the coconut juice and water in. The amount should cover over the pork. Add in the eggs (peeled and without shells). Add in fish sauce and adjust to your taste. Skim off the scum and leave it simmering covered for 3 hours or more if desired for tenderness. The longer the simmer, the sauce will become saltier.

Can you believe I have never boiled eggs before? I remembered hearing from my hubbie that in order to know when your eggs are cooked is when you can hold them up with chopsticks. I tried that today for the first time and it worked! So Cool!

This is a picture of how the pork is cut up and marinated with salt, pepper, garlic, and onions. My mom's technique of boiling it beforehand really is easier for me when it comes to cutting the pieces.

Da Da Da Dahhhh....This is how my "Braised Pork With Eggs" finally looked like....What do you think? FYI - Asian New Year is coming up next week. We normally cook this for every new year as a tradition and serve this with either cucumber, pickled cabbage, cauliflower, or other pickles.

I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing my FIRST post!