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Allied Recipes for Chao Tom


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Directions:

ROASTED RICE POWDER (THINH) Roasted rice powder is used as a flavoring and binding agent in various recipes throughout this book. It is necessary to soak the rice first in order to obtain a deep golden color after roasting. Soaking also makes the rice easier to grind. 1/2 cup raw glutinous rice Soak the glutinous rice in warm water for 1 hour. Drain. Place the rice in a small skillet over moderate heat. Toast the rice, stirring constantly with chopsticks or a wooden spoon, until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted rice to a spice grinder or blender and process to a fine powder (the powder should resemble saw dust). Sift the ground rice through a very fine sieve into a bowl. Discard the grainy bits. Store the rice powder in a tightly covered jar in your refrigerator and use as needed. It will keep for up to 3 months. Yield: 1 cup. SCALLION OIL (HANH LA PHI): Many Vietnamese dishes require this delicate scallionflavored oil. Brushed over noodles, barbecued meats, vegetables or breads, it complements each item. 1/4 cup peanut oil, 2 scallions, finely sliced Heat the oil in a small saucepan until hot but not smoking, about 300F. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sliced scallions. Let the mixture steep at room temperature until completely cooled. This oil mixture will keep stored in a tightly covered jar at room temperature for 1 week. Yield: 1/4 cup CRISP FRIED SHALLOTS (HANH KHO PHI): This is an important ingredient in his many dishes throughout this book. Use as specified in recipes. 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots Heat the oil in a small saucepan until hot but not smoking, about 300F. Add the shallots and fry over moderate heat until crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Immediately remove the shallots with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve the oil for another use. Cooked this way, shallots can be stored in a tightly covered jar on the kitchen shelf for up to 1 month. Yield: about 1/3 cup. ROASTED PEANUTS (DAU PHONG RANG): Use shelled and skinned unsalted peanuts for this purpose. Cook a small amount at a time and use shortly after they are roasted to preserve their flavor. Amounts are specified in recipes using roasted peanuts. Place the peanuts in a skillet over moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the nuts turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Pound in a mortar with a pestle or process in a spice grinder until the peanuts are a bit chunky. Store-bought dry-roasted-roasted unsalted peanuts may be substituted in recipes calling for roasted peanuts. PEANUT SAUCE (NUOC LEO): This delicious sauce originated in the central region and is used as a dip for many dishes in this book. Usually, tuong, a fermented soybean sauce, and glutinous rice are used to produce this sauce. After several experiments, I ended up with this variation where tuong and glutinous rice are replaced by hoisin sauce and peanut butter, ingredients that are more readily available. 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, ground, 1 tablespoon peanut oil, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1 teaspoon chili paste (tuong ot tuoi), 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/2 cup chicken broth or water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, 1 fresh red chile pepper, seeded and thinly sliced Prepare the roasted peanuts. Set aside. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, chili paste and tomato paste, Fry until the garlic is golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, sugar, peanut butter and hoisin sauce and whisk to dissolve the peanut butter. Bring to a boil, Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Divide the sauce among individual dipping bowls and garnish with the ground peanuts and sliced chile. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: About 1 cup. VEGETABLE PLATTER (DIA RAU SONG): Vietnamese meals include an abundance of fresh lettuce, herbs, unripe fruits and raw vegetables. These are arranged attractively on a platter and are used for wrapping cooked foods at the table, usually dipped in Nuoc Cham and eaten out of hand. The following herbs, both very important to the Vietnamese, would be authentic additions to the Vegetable Platter: One is the "saw leaf herb" (Eryngium foetidum, or ngo gai in Vietnamese), a coriander relative. The other is polygonum (P. pulchrum or rau ram in Vietnamese), with pinkish stems, pointed green leaves and purplish markings. They can be found occasionally at Southeast Asian markets. If you have access to unripe mango, banana, papaya or apple and star fruit (carambola), add them to the platter. You may select or substitute the ingredients according to availability and personal taste. 1 large head of Boston or other soft lettuce, separated into individual leaves, 1 bunch of scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths, 1 cup coriander leaves, 1 cup mint leaves, 1 cup fresh Asian or regular basil leaves, 1 cucumber, peeled in alternating strips, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly crosswise, 4 ounces fresh bean sprouts On a large platter, decoratively arrange all of the ingredients in separate groups. Use in recipes where required. Yield: 4 to 6 servings
 
From "The Foods of Vietnam" by Nicole Rauthier. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 1989.
 
Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; May 24 1993.
 
File ftp://ftp.idiscover.co.uk/pub/food/mealmaster/recipes/cberg2.zip