Easy Spicy Delicious Vietnamese Grilled Shimp and Chilli-salt

Marinated Grilled Shrimp RecipeIngredients:
500g shrimps
Fresh chilli 2
Chilli powder 1 teaspoon
bamboo skewers, soak wooden skewers in cold water for 1 hour.Remove skewers from the water, pat dry
Salt 1 tablespoons
MSG 1/4 teaspoon
Charcoal for grilling
Combine salt, chilli, chilli powder, MSG together in a large container. Add shrimp and stir gently to coat.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
Thread 1 shrimp onto each skewer so that the shrimp lie flat.
Grill the shrimp on the grill on both sides until pink and opaque or until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side
Served with chilli sauce or vietnamese lemon-pepper-salt ( muoi tieu chanh vietnam )
* Add some finely mince lemongrass or vietnamese sate sauce to chilli-salt will give the better result.

Vietnamese Steamed fish with green onion recipe ( Ca hap hanh )

This is my family ‘s favourite dish. At weeken, my father usually make this dish when my family seat together. To eat, first take a large mustard leaf ( cai xanh) then place some herbs on, then a piece of fish on, then roll up and dip in ready made fish sauce ( nuoc mam ) below is the recipe.

Steamed fish with green onion

Steamed fish with green onion

1 large white fish ( about 1kg)
1 bundle of green onions
1-2 bunches of oriental mustard leaves ( cai xanh)
vietnamese herbs
vietnamese greens ( green banana, pineapple, star fruits, cucumber…)
1 cup ready made dipping fish sauce ( nuoc mam )
salt and pepper


Fish : scale, clean, rub with lemon juice, wash in water which salt is added .
Cut 1-2 incesion on both sides of the fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Make a bed of green onion on a large dish. Place the fish on. Cover with the remaining green onion
Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes or until cooked through.
Lift the fish out. Served hot with herbs and greens. Each User will pick up and wrap or roll for themself.
Notes: The fish can be served with fresh rice noodles, top with oiled chopped scallion, sprinkle with deep fried oriental onion slightly pound roasted peanuts.

Vietnamese steamed momordica glutinous rice Recipe (Xoi Gac)

Gac is commonly known as trái gấc or quả gấc (trái/quả meaning “fruit”) in Vietnamese. It is known variously as Baby Jackfruit, Spiny Bitter Gourd, Sweet Gourd, Momordica Cochinchinensis or Cochinchin Gourd in English .The yellow flesh is creamy like an avocado but a bit bitter. In Vietnam gac has been traditionally used as both food and medicine .

Cochinchin Gourd

Cochinchin Gourd

“Gac has been shown to be especially high in lycopene content. Relative to mass, it contains up to 70 times the amount of lycopene found in tomatoes. It has also been found to contain up to 10 times the amount of beta-carotene of carrots or sweet potatoes. Additionally, the carotenoids present in gac are bound to long-chain fatty acids, resulting in what is claimed to be a more bioavailable form. There has also been recent research that suggests that gac contains a protein that may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gac

steamed momordica glutinous rice  (Xoi Gac)

steamed momordica glutinous rice (Xoi Gac)

1 kg glutinous rice, wash, soak in water for 4 hours, drain.
100 g castor sugar
500 g Gac meat, mash with a fork or process in a mixer with rice wine and 1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk or cooking oil
2 tablespoons rice wine
5 pandan leaves, tie in a knob
3 teaspoons salt
Combine the glutinous rice and the Gac meat + the remaining salt + 1/2 cup coconut milk. Place the rice mixture in the steamer. Cook for 20 minutes or until cooked
Add the remaining coconut milk and all the sugar.Turn the rice with a pair of chopstick to fold the sugar in the rice evenly. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes.Done. Serve hot or cold.
Xoi Gac is usually served in Tet celebration( Vietnam lunar new year), baby’s full month celebration ( according to vietnamese customs when a baby turns one month old, a ceremony is held to celebrate her/his first month.) and in wedding party. Xoi gac is also eaten as a light breakfast .

Fresh herbs in Vietnamese Cuisine

1. Rau răm – Vietnamese coriander :
Usage: eating raw in salad, vietnamese grilled chicken, boiled eggs

vietnamese herbs_Rau răm

Rau răm

2. Rau quế – Vietnamese Basil
Usage: eating raw in wrap and roll dishes, sour soups, beef noodles soup ( pho tai )

asian herbs_Rau que

Rau que

3. Rau diếp cá – Fish Herb
Usage: eating raw

vietnamese cuisine_rau diep ca

rau diep ca

4. Rau kinh giới – Vietnamese Balm, Vietnamese Lemon Mint
Usage: eating raw ( Beef rice noodles soup Hue style,…)

vietnamese greens_kinh giới

kinh giới

5. Rau húng lủi – Spearmint
Usage: mostly eating raw

asian herbs and greens_húng lủi

húng lủi

6. Rau ôm – Rice Patty Herb
Usage: Used raw with pho tai, canh chua soup, and as medicine in cough treatment

herbs as medicine_rau ôm

rau ôm

7. Rau tía tô – Vietnamese Perilla
Usage: eating raw in wrap and roll dishes and soups

asian herbs usage_tía tô

tía tô

8. Rau ngò gai – Sawtooth Herb, Thorny coriander, Culantro
Usage: Widely used in pho bo ( vietnamese beef noodles soup), bun rieu ( vietnamese crab meat rice noodle soup), sour soup and salads

herbs in vietnam cooking_ngò gai

ngò gai

9. Sả – Lemongrass
Usage: Used in soups, grilled and stir-fried dishes

thai herbs_sả


10. Thì là – Dill
Usage: Most used in the north Vietnam in fish dishes .

vietnamese herbs_thì là

thì là

11. Ngò rí – Cilantro, Coriander
Usage: Mostly used for decorating, vietnamese savoury bread, soup…

thai salad recipes_ngò rí

ngò rí

12. Húng cay – Peppermint
Usage: eating fresh in wrap and roll dishes, salads…

role of herbs in vietnam culinary_Húng Cay

Húng Cay

13. Lá lốt – Pepper leaf, wild betel leaf
Usage: used in stir-fry ,wrapping and soups

pepper leaf_Lá lốt

Lá lốt

14. Rieng – galangal
Usage: Used in soup or eating raw with dog meat ( north vietnam)

thai fresh galangal_Cu Riềng

Cu Riềng

Below are greens and herbs plate which are never missed in vietnam meal

Pancake served with over 23 styles of herbs

Pancake served with over 23 styles of herbs

Herbs and Spicy beef noodles soup Hue style

Herbs and Spicy beef noodles soup Hue style

Herbs plate and Crabmeat Rice noodle soup

Herbs plate and Crabmeat Rice noodle soup

Note that many of these herbs begin with the word “rau” to denote the full name. In daily conversation, however, it’s okay to omit “rau” as people will still know what you’re talking about! However, there are a few exceptions, such as rau ram, which you’ve got say both words for people to understand you.

Bun mam – rustic food in modern city

Bun Mam_vietnamese rice noodles soup

Bun Mam

Bun is one of the most popular dishes of Vietnam. Almost every area has a separate domain with its own characteristics. If North Vietnam has bun cha (fried fish paste noodle)and bun oc (shellfish noodle), Hue has bun bo (beef noodle) and bun thang (noodle served with mixture of pork, chicken, and pork paste) then the south has bun ca (fish noodle) and bun mam (fermented fish noodle).
Bun mam or noodle sauce is special for its soup made from fermented fish.

But the flavors do not win people over at first. In fact, most people do not like it the first time they try it. But eventually these same people come back again and again for more. Soups made from noodle sauce are cooked with coconut milk which sweetens the taste.

Noodle sauce is served with vegetables such as water lily together with aromic vegetables and seafood hot pot dishes of fish, shrimp and squid and beef. Eaten with a little lemon and a little pepper, the flavor is sour, sweet and spicy in your tongue. After a nice bowl of noodle sauce, a cup of lotus tea is the perfect chaser.

Noodle sauce is a southern dish and in HCMC there is a little restaurant specializing in noodle sauce and hot pot sauce called Vy Restaurant at 190/19 Su Van Hanh Street, District 5.
Source : The Saigon Times Online

Bun nuoc leo – a rustic dish in Chau Doc

vietnamese noodle soup

vietnamese noodle soup

As food is an important part of culture, discovering new cuisines is a passion for many travelers. Those visiting the border town of Chau Doc for the first time should not miss bun nuoc leo Chau Doc (a kind of rice noodle soup), an indigenous rustic dish.
Bun nuoc leo Chau Doc, gently sweet and fragrant, is made of ca loc dong (a kind of fresh water fish), crocus and tiny white rice noodles that are very soft. The dish is more attractive when it is supplemented by bean sprouts, banana and green vegetables.

This rustic dish, by itself, draws tourists to this delta lowland everyday. Source: the saigon times online

Vietnamese braised pork with hard-boiled eggs in coconut water

Braised pork with hard-boiled eggs

Braised pork with hard-boiled eggs

Braised pork with hard-boiled eggs also known as : thit kho nuoc dua or thit kho tau, thit ko riu, thit kho trung. This dish usually cooked in the Tet holiday (Vietnamese Lunar New Year ) and served with fresh cabbage, bean-sprouts pickles, pickled spring onions and steam rice or sometimes rice-paper.
1kg boneless pork shoulder (or pork belly 1:1: fat : meat)
5 hard-boiled duck or chicken eggs, shelled.
4-5 cup coconut water
1/2 cup fish sauce
4 cloves of garlic, mashed


Cut pork into 4-5 cm pieces. Marinate the pork with mashed garlic + sugar + salt + fish sauce. Let stand to marinate for 1 hour.
In a saucepan, cook the marinated pork to sear and browned all sides .Add the coconut water. Bring to the boil and reduce to very low heat.Skim any scum floating on the surface.Keep simmer until the meat is tender .Add the boiled eggs . Cook for another 30 minutes.Season to taste. Serve hot with rice.
-The hard-boiled eggs maybe pre-fried before adding to the simmered pork
-Scrub the pork with lemon juice before marinating .
-For some people pork belly is favourite for the dish.

Vietnamese Mangosteen Salad Recipe 2 ( Goi Mang Cut )

Tropical Fruit Salad Recipe

MangosteenTropical Fruit

4 mangosteens
4 shrimps ( 200 g), boiled, shelled.
100g shredded dried squid
80 g lean pork, boiled, cut into threads
shredded coconut
onion, thinly sliced, vietnamese herbs, finly chopped
sesame, shrimp crackers
Salad dressing:
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 dash of salt

Dipping sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic and chilli.
Using a sharp fruit knife, cut through the skin of the mangosteen in a circle around the centre of the fruit. Only insert the knife deep enough to get through the skin. Once you feel that the knife has reached the cavity containing the flesh, don’t cut any deeper as you will be cutting into the flesh.With a fork, pick out the white flesh.Soak the mangosteen flesh into the mixture of iced water and sugar for 1 minute to prevent from turning dark color.
In a salad bowl, Marinate all the remaining ingredients with the salad dressing.Transfer to serving dish. Top with herbs and sesame, shredded coconut. Served with dipping sauce and shrimp crackers.

Vietnamese Mangosteen Salad Recipe ( Goi Mang Cut )

Mangosteen is a small fruit grown on evergreen trees. They are grown mainly in southeast Asia ( Thailand, Vietnam…). They are purple when ripe and about two inches in diameter.A mangosteen consists of a sweet white flesh resembling garlic cloves, surrounded by a hard, inedible skin . The number of petals on the bottom of the mangosteen indicate how many cloves of flesh it will contain.

vietnamese mangosteen salad

mangosteen salad

Serves : 4
4 mangosteens
200g shrimps, boiled, shelled .
200g pork belly, boiled, cut into threads ( lean pork maybe used).
50g shredded dried squid
lettuce, vietnamese herbs
2 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
For the sauce:
4 tablespoons mayonnaise sauce
1 tablespoon chilli sauce
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon cooking oil


Comebine : mayonnaise + chilli sauce + tomato sauce + cooking oil. Set aside.
Using a sharp fruit knife, cut through the skin of the mangosteen in a circle around the centre of the fruit. Only insert the knife deep enough to get through the skin. Once you feel that the knife has reached the cavity containing the flesh, don’t cut any deeper as you will be cutting into the flesh.With a fork, pick out the white flesh.
In a salad bowl, Marinate all the remaining ingredients with sugar and lemon juice.Transfer to serving dish. Top with the sauce.Served with shrimp crackers.

Vietnamese Eel Rolled in Pork Paste Recipe ( Luon Cuon Thit Ran )

Vietnamese specialties

Eel Rolls

500 g eel
100 g wheat flour
20 g dried spring onion stalks
300g salad, coriander
20g woodears
100g cooking oil
20g dried garlic
200g shoulder lean pork
1fresh lime
1tsp sugar
1 fresh chilli
fish sauce
fresh spring onion leaves


Wash the eel. Place in a pot with 3tsp of the lime juice. Leave for 10 – 15 minutes, then dry.
Cut off the head and gut the eel, separating the bones from the flesh. Cut the meat into 5cm long.
Marinate the eel with: pepper, crushed onion and fish sauce.
Chop the lean pork and marinate with the pepper, crushed onions and fish sauce.
Soak woodear in warm water for 10 minutes then wash and thinly cut into threads. Mix with prepared lean pork.
Roll the mixture to 2cm balls ( same length as the width of the eel.)
Spread the eel flesh and put the pork balls on and roll, tie the two ends with fresh spring onion leaves, which have been softened by soaking in boiling water for a few seconds.
Mix wheat flour with water to make the batter.
Preheat the cooking oil, dip the eel rolls in the wheat batter until they are thinly covered, then fry until the rolls get brown.
To make serving sauce: mix fish sauce with sugar, slices of chilli and ginger and add lime juice to taste. Serve with salad and coriander.