Vietnamese Sticky Rice and Southern street food

Sticky Rice

Served year round, sticky rice is especially popular during cold weather. We present some favorite varieties

Xôi xéo (Green bean sticky rice)

xoi_xeo

As well as being delicious, this treat is attractive, mixing various shades of yellow. To make perfect xôi xéo, the cook selects quality glutinous rice, soaks it and filters it. The topping is comprised of fried onions, scrubbed green beans and chicken fat. The onions are fried in chicken fat until golden and crispy. The green beans are nutritious, filling and buttery. Before serving, the cook adds another dollop of chicken fat to make the rice softer and chewier. This dish is especially popular at breakfast.

Xoi gac (Sticky rice with gac fruit)

A symbol of good luck, sticky rice with gac fruit has a wonderful bright orange-red colour thanks to the minced flesh of the gac fruit, a type of gourd. This dish is typically served during the Tet holidays and prepared for rituals. No party to mark the end of the Lunar New Year is complete without a plate of red xoi gac. As well as being eye-catching, this dish is packed with Vitamin A. Gac seeds are soaked in white wine and mixed with glutinous rice to add colour and fragrance to the glutinous rice. Sugar is added to give the rice a mildly sweet flavor. Many families also add copra and coconut juice to make the sticky rice richer. Some cooks scatter on green beans to make this dish even more colorful.

Xôi săn (Cassava sticky rice)

xoi_san

On chilly days in northern Vietnam, one still can hear the echoing cries of xoi san vendors. A typical food of the rural north, this dish is made of fine glutinous rice mixed with fresh cassava chopped into wedges. It can be served with sesame seeds or with Chinese sausages. In many regions, cassava sticky rice is mixed with deep fried onions and a little bit of grease.

Southern Street Food

Apart from Hanoi cuisine that you may enjoy its taste, the owner of Hen restaurant wants to introduce typical southern Vietnamese street food to Hanoians. Here, Diners will find simple but delicious fare like oysters, shellfish, burnt rice and hot pots that bring the breezy, sunny atmosphere of the South to Hanoi. Dishes to try include Continue reading “Vietnamese Sticky Rice and Southern street food” »

Enjoy Hanoi cuisine follow each season

Summer is the season for beach holidays. To celebrate summertime, we present some of Vietnam’s favorite seafood dishes

Prawns steamed in beer or coconut juice

prawns_steamed_coconut_juice

Salted prawns are set aside for 10 minutes, then washed and steamed. Add lemongrasses to enhance the fragrance. Boiling the prawns in beer or coconut juice adds flavor. This is a wonderful dish to share with friends on a hot summer evening.

Roasted crabs with tamarind

This dish makes a divine afternoon snack on the beach. Beautiful, fragrant steamed red crabs are coated in tamarind sauce. The sauce is thick, and has a mouth-watering sweet and sour flavor.

Squid soup with pineapple

This freshly tangy soup contains boiled squid, tomatoes, pineapple, and dried onions. For flavor, the chef adds tamarind sauce, soy sauce, dried chilies, seasoning, spring onions and laksa leaves. This tasty and healthy soup is served with rice vermicelli or rice.

Grilled fish

Easy to prepare, grilled fish is a crowd-pleaser. Choose fresh fish and don’t over-cook it. This dish would not be the same without soy sauce with sliced chili. The fish has a naturally sweet flavor that is offset by the salty and spicy sauce. In addition, you can enjoy another specialty called Cha ca La Vong, such a yummy dish.

Squid meatballs

Peel, wash and slice some fresh squid. Add pepper, spices, spring onions, fennel and laksa leaves and grind the mix together. When the squid meat is dense and sticky, it’s kneaded into small meatballs. Squid meatballs can be served with chili sauce or with soy sauce with lemon, garlic and fresh chili. The sticky and buttery taste of this dish is addictive.

Grilled clams with fried onions

grilled_clams_fried_onions

This simple dish is a favorite. Clams are marinated with spices, sugar and chili powder along with some ground peanuts and spring onions. The clams are grilled until soft and buttery, then served with fried onions and peanuts. This dish tickles your nostrils and awakens all your senses. Continue reading “Enjoy Hanoi cuisine follow each season” »

Taste of the capital Hanoi

Cha Ca La Vong

One of Hanoi’s most popular and refined dishes is cha ca lang, fish with turmeric and dill that is pan-fried at the table and served with condiments, peanuts and vermicelli. The best-known version comes from the restaurant Cha Ca La Vong, a Hanoi institution which has been listed in the book 1000 places to see before you die by Patricia Schultz

cha-ca-la-vong

This Hanoi classic can also be made in your own kitchen. Heritage Fashion joins Home, a sophisticated restaurant which pairs traditional Vietnamese food with inspired contemporary cuisine, for a recipe to make cha ca lang.

Ingredients:

-600g Fresh ca lang (catfish)
-300g Spring onions
-200g Dill
-100g Peanuts
-500g Vermicelli
-1l Cooking oil
-300g Ground lesser galangal
-100g Shrimp paste
-1 Lemon
-50g Sugar
-1tsp Hat nem seasoning powder
-2 Spicy chilies
-1 root Turmeric
-2tsp Fermented rice
-Coriander for garnish

Directions:

Clean ca lang, dry and chop it into bite-sized square pieces.
Grind fermented rice, lesser galangal and turmeric to extract their liquid and mix with one teaspoon ot shrimp paste, one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of seasoning, then marinate the fish with this mixture for around 60 minutes.
Fry catfish in cooking oil until it is aromatic and turns yellow, then stir-fry with spring onions and fennels. Arrange the fish and serve it with vermicelli and ground roasted peanuts.

Sauce:

Mix three teaspoons of shrimp paste and half a teaspoon of sugar, extract lemon juice and add chopped spicy chili and mix. Proportions can be changed to suit different tastes.

Hainanese Chicken rice in Hanoi

Hanoi is a city that boasts one of the richest culinary scenes in Vietnam, with a wide variety of choices to suit every palate. A recent addition is Kampong Chicken House, a restaurant chain that has been winning warm reviews from guests, particularly for its signature Hainanese chicken rice. Continue reading “Taste of the capital Hanoi” »

Vietnamese cuisine in the heart of London

Tran Thanh Van and Vu Thuy Anh are two friends from Hanoi who both graduated in Mathematics from Oxford University. After working in the US for several years, they returned to the UK and launched Bep Collective, a popular restaurant that specializes in Vietnamese bread rolls. Heritage catches up with the pair to learn the secrets of their success

In recent years, Vietnamese bread rolls have become popular in London. Did you expect Vietnamese bread rolls to become part of daily life for Londoners ?

In the UK, there are many shops that offer bread rolls for breakfast and dinner. People can get a very nutritious and portable breakfast with just one Vietnamese roll. We think Vietnamese bread rolls have become part of Britain’s diverse contemporary cuisine.

Why did you choose to focus on bread rolls rather than other types of Vietnamese food?

Compared to other Vietnamese dishes that are famous overseas, such as Phở or nem (spring rolls), Vietnamese bread rolls have many advantages. Many Western customers like Vietnamese rolls for their diversity and harmony of ingredients, colors and particularly convenience. Our Vietnamese bread rolls contain a wide range of ingredients inspired by traditional Vietnamese foods such as roasted pork, meatball vermicelli or La Vong fish balls, not to mention quintessential ingredients like shredded carrots, cilantro and chilli sauce. For most foreign customers, food quality is their top concern. Consistent quality, taste and colors cements the success of our Vietnamese bread roll brand in the UK.

Did you expect your bread shop, Bep Collective, to become so successful?

To be frank, success came naturally. Food is the shortest way to connect human hearts. Vietnamese bread rolls have many advantages and are helping to popularize Vietnamese food overseas.

vietnamese_bread

Your shop seems very Vietnamese. Is spreading Vietnamese culture a key goal?

Having been born and raised in Hanoi, we hold a special place in our hearts for old Hanoi people’s noble and elegant values. We’ve tried to show this through our paint colours, floral tiles, water puppets and old propaganda posters devoted to the hard jobs of Vietnamese peasants. We often use Vietnamese words when naming things, such as “bếp” (kitchen), “bánh mỳ” (bread) and “gỏi cuốn” (salad roll). We want customers to grow used to these words and food choices. Relations between staff and customers are key to the shop’s success. I always remind staff to display joy and zeal because these are typically Vietnamese traits. This is a message of Vietnamese culture that we hope our customers can experience right here not only in Hanoi

What are your future plans?

We hope to add more Vietnamese restaurants to the Bep collective, and to add new and creative types of bread rolls. If possible, we hope to trigger a new trend of Vietnamese cuisine in London.

One of the best things about travelling is discovering new flavors. We present some tasty Vietnamese dishes made with rice paper wraps

“Bánh xèo” (Vietnamese crepes)

In Danang, “bánh xèo” is made with ground rice flour mixed with egg yolk and saffron flour fried in a hot pan. The stuffing consists of fresh shrimp, and lean and fat pork mixed with bean sprouts. Fresh herbs like lettuce, basil, mustard leaves and green bananas are laid out on a plate. Diners roll morsels of hot “bánh xèo” into a mustard leaf or a thin rice paper wrapper, along with a mix of herbs. This roll is dipped into a rich sauce made of pork liver and ground peanuts. Another sauce consisting of fish sauce, garlic and chilli is also provided.

“Mỳ Quảng” (Quang noodles)

Quang noodles have a unique flavour. Served in a light broth of stewed bones, the noodles are typically eaten with meat and shrimp, and fresh herbs like mustard greens, lettuce, basil, white bean sprouts, knotgrass, coriander, sliced green onions and thinly sliced unripe bananas. Toasted peanuts and crispy rice paper add crunchiness to this tasty dish.

Pork rice paper rolls

“Bánh tráng cuốn thịt heo” offers an amazing mix of different tastes, textures, colours and flavours. Diners place pork and fresh herbs on a sheet of rice paper and roll it up, then dip it into shrimp sauce. The fresh herbs, soft noodles, sweet meat, chewy rice paper and hot shrimp sauce add up to a memorable dining experience.