had a wonderful family homecooked Vietnamese dinner on 31.12.2015 to round out 2015 & welcome the new year 2016! ^^
we were in hoi an, hanoi & halong bay last week 21-27dec2015, having lots of tasty Vietnamese bites in local restaurants, in the streets & also jolly good fare on board indochina junk luxury cruise dragon legends 1.
so i did a 10-course dinner with 9 vietnamese dishes + tiramisu to relish the vietnamese fare & family moments we enjoyed together. we had 9pax including our helper, 3 children & their friends. 🙂
everyone enjoyed the food very much….we had a great evening…after dinner we watched star wars episodes 1 & 3, in my view both episodes were much better than episode 7 – the force awakens. 🙂
one defining vietnamese cuisine to be found anywhere is the streets, local eats & restaurants is bun cha, or vietnamese chargrilled pork (or meatballs) served with beehoon.
i did this very well this evening.
my daughter don’t like porky taste, so i did a grilled prawns for her. 🙂
a very important ingredient for bun cha & many vietnamese dishes (like pho) is aromatics. for this evening i had basil, mint, coriander & lime leaves. 🙂
everyone loved the bun cha! 🙂
& i made a nice salad, using julienned carrots, daikon (radish), japanese cucumber.
for both bun cha & the sotong salad, a key ingredient is the mixing sauce, which i made with chicken stock, fish sauce, vinegar, a little sugar.
other than commonplace bun cha which is outright vietnamese, many of the “vietnamese” dishes we had were on the luxury cruise.
quite a few were actually chinese dishes & not particularly impressive.
several though had nice lemongrass & herb seasoning & aroma, plus the refreshing salads & very good egg spinach soup. don’t know how vietnamese they were, but i was aiming to reproduce these to relish our vietnam moments. ^^
my lemongrass BBQ snapper turned out beautifully, lightly yet distinctly lemongrass scented. quite exquisite. 🙂
the lemongrass BBQ chicken wing likewise was very tasty & different because of the lemongrass. & very tender inside the charred skin. 🙂
same with the squid. i only do slow braising for 1 hr in a 70degC oven & flamed it afterwards, and the taste & texture were both perfect. my children love this dish. 🙂
especially when served with the thai yellow curry, a variation of my grilled chicken thighs with thai yellow curry dip.
i created that after having a very nice grilled chicken green curry fried rice at busaba shoreditch london.
my dry wok prawns has been consistently excellent. this time though it was not so successful.
reason is that lemongrass marinate in the chiller does not work. prawns needed to be ultra fresh so i should have just fried in lemongrass & ginger instead of marinating in the chiller.
grilled pork ribs was perfect in texture but seasoning a bit off today.
my egg spinach soup was pure perfection. i used mixed chicken stock & fish stock becos they were there & need to be used. it was better than the very good soup we had on the dragon legend cruise.
my com chien – vietnamese fried rice was passable. still tasty & rice not mushy & separate grains but somehow it was quite different from the excellent com chien we had on dragon legend cruise.
not sure why? their rice felt like baked rice & very tasty.
we had a marvellous dinner. great family time.
for bun cha, i cooked beehoon al dente.
chargrilled pork collar was marinated in chiller for 2 days, then fried in butter on high heat.
i had grilled prawns in place of pork for eldest daughter. 🙂
& lots of aromatics – basil, mint, coriander & lime leaves. 🙂
& browned shallots which was also good for the soup. 🙂
sotong was steamed & cut in rings & carrots, daikon (radish) & japanese cucumbers were julienned. plus sliced yellow onions.
i tried the lemongrass dry marinade on snapper as i wanted a fish with firmer meat. came out beautifully! 🙂
i used a flat squid which is thicker as i wanted that feel.
i “sous vide” it at 70degC for 1 hr in oven in lemongrass marinade in a sealed oven dish so it won’t dry out.
then i flamed with a kitchen torche & the result was simply perfect! excellent taste & texture! 🙂
i did my slow oven braising 90degC for 6hrs. texture was perfect but today the marinade was not that great!
chicken wings were great!
com chien much to be improved la. 🙂
the simplest dish is the hardest to make, as always an universal truth! 🙂
it’s a memorable evening with family, with the excitement of replicating some dishes we enjoyed in vietnam.