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Posts tagged ‘Vietnamese’

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Those of you who know me will know that I love a curry. This vietnamese chicken and sweet potato curry is one of my favourites – once all of the ingredients are prepared, you just chuck them in the pot and leave it to cook. Once the sweet potato is soft, it is ready to serve. It also benefits from the addition of a small amount of caramel – sweetness is very good for relieving hot raw spices, and if I am cooking a curry that tastes too hot, I will generally add a teaspoon of sugar, leave it for a few minutes and then taste again.
Vegans can adapt this curry by using vegan fish sauce and chicken substitute.

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I got this recipe from Ghillie Basan’s Vietnamese cook book, but I have added a few tweaks of my own.

Recipe
One and a half tablespoons curry powder (I use Indian Madras curry powder – if you feel really adventurous you can make your own)
One and a half tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon turmeric
500g chicken skinned – thighs are juicier, but I like to mix thigh and breast meat (If you are vegan you can replace the chicken with Tofurkey chick’n pieces)
One and a half tablespoons brown sugar (any type)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 shallots (or half a red onion) chopped finely
2 garlic cloves chopped or crushed
4cm galangal (if you can’t find it, use ginger), peeled and grated (it will be mushy when grated)
2 lemon grass stalks (remove the outer fibrous leaves, cut the end off to reveal the white middle, keep about 3cm intact, and make 4 long slits in the other part then bash with a mallet or flat heavy knife blade to release the flavour)
2 teaspoons chilli paste (sambal oelek – or use a large dried red chilli)
1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce (use vietnamese nuoc mam if you can find it) If you are vegan use vegan fish sauce
600ml coconut milk
small bunch coriander chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix the curry powder, garam masala and turmeric in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix to coat with the dry spices.
2. Heat the sugar on a low heat with one and a half tablespoons of water, after a while it should dissolve and turn golden. Remove from the heat.
3. Heat a large wok and add the sesame oil. Stir fry the shallots (or onion) with the garlic, galangal and lemon grass until they smell fragrant and lovely. Stir in the chilli paste.
4. Now add the chicken with all of the dry spice mix (don’t leave any behind) – stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the coconut milk, mix well. Then add the caramel, fish sauce and sweet potato. Rinse out the caramel saucepan with 150ml water, and add it to the curry.
6. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the chicken is cooked and the sweet potato is tender.
7. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the coriander. Remove the lemon grass stalks before serving.

Vietnamese beef skewers

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One of my favourite dishes in Perth’s Viet Hoa is the beef skewers with wine and herbs. It took me a while to find a marinade that recreated them perfectly, but here it is:

Recipe
750g beef fillet
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 stalk lemon grass
1 small red chilli finely chopped
1 teaspoon caster sugar (brown is better)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (get vietnamese nuoc mam if you can)
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Put the beef in the freezer while you make the marinade.
You can chop the lemon grass if you like, but I prefer to slice the very end off, so you can see the white middle, and cut long slits down the length of the stalk, but leaving about an inch intact at the top. Then you can bash the bulbous bottom end with a mallet or a flat heavy knife to release the flavour, but the stalk remains in one piece that you can remove it easily at the end of marinading or cooking.
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.
Slice the beef very thinly and marinate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight (cover the bowl with cling film).
Thread the beef onto skewers and cook on a hot barbecue or griddle. If you like you can sprinkle them with sesame seeds before cooking, and serve with coriander leaves.
Enjoy.

Tra Vinh, Northbridge

Tra Vinh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Today we had a craving for Vietnamese and decided to try Tra Vinh in Northbridge. This is one of three Tra Vinh cafes, and is canteen style, no frills. The seating is not overly comfortable, it’s hard for you to move once you are at the table because the tables are crammed in and if you push your chair back you will bump into the person behind you. We had a table that was taped together and quite rocky, but once we worked out how not to tip
the table and its contents over, we were okay.
The first course was prawn rice paper rolls, nice but the rice paper was a little on the stiff side indicating that they had been made much earlier in the day.

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For main course my partner chose a noodle soup with shredded chicken. This had a lovely broth, plenty of veg, a quail egg, and a crispy wonton. The noodles were good and the chicken was a lovely tasty roast chicken.

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I chose combination egg noodles which had a lovely mixture of meats, seafood and veggies. Really good comforting noodles.

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We also shared some peking style spare ribs – again well prepared with a crispy batter and sweet sticky sauce.

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I liked Tra Vinh. The decor could probably do with an update, but it was nice cheap, cheerful food with just the right amount of spice.

Visit Date – March 2019

Trangs, Girrawheen

Trang's Vietnamese Cafe & Noodle House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

There’s a whole Vietnamese community shopping centre on Marangaroo Drive, dominated by Vietnamese cafes and my nail technician swears they are the best in Perth. We visited Trang’s on a Friday night, and it was really busy with a constant stream of visitors waiting for a table.
Once seated, Vietnamese tea is complementary, which had a nice toasted coconut fragrance to it.

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We chose some spring rolls to share, nice succulent veggie rolls, thin and crispy too.

I chose the Bun Rieu – crab and pork special, a rich soup with fried tofu puffs, minced crab and pork balls, pork blood cubes and sliced pork. Full of nutritious veggies and herbs, it had a lovely depth of flavour. The broth has a tomato base, and we were given a mountain of cabbage, beansprouts, mint, and chilli to add to our taste. I tried the blood cubes, but I wasn’t overkeen – they are authentic, but also an acquired taste. The minced crab and pork balls were delicious and the noodles a nice bland backdrop to the flavours of the soup.

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My partner chose the spicy pork and beef bun. It was well spiced but had quite a lot of fat included, which he put to one side. He did enjoy it and ate it hungrily.

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We also had some fresh lemon soda.

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It was a great authentic meal. Trang’s is cash only though, so make sure you have enough cash before you visit.

Visit Date – August 2018

Viet Hoa, Northbridge

Viet Hoa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Viet Hoa is a bit of a Perth institution and we have visited several times. It does Vietnamese food, cafe style, and it does this very well.
The menu is enormous, really enormous, and you will dither over the array of goodies. They also have specials which are on the board above the kitchen hatch.
Some of my favourite entrees are the rice paper rolls, and the vietnamese grilled beef skewers with wine. The omelettes are also pretty good. The choice of soups is amazing, pho and bun, rice noodles, vermicelli noodles, then there’s chow mein, duck and rice, chicken curry, laksa, sweet and sour, satays, stir fries. There really is something for everybody.
Today we were there for lunch and fancied a traditional soup. I had the Hu tieu tom thit – pork meat and prawn hofan soup. This comes with a beautiful crispy prawn wanton, and a plentiful supply of pork, prawn and veggies. I added shredded mint and beansprouts and some chilli. The soup broth was really flavoursome and I enjoyed it right up until the last spoonful.

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My partner chose the mi bo kho – stewed beef and egg noodle soup. This was thick and luscious with a warm spicy rich broth (with a star anise background flavour), carrot, and tender well cooked meat. He really loved it.

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Viet Hoa is definitely a favourite Northbridge cafe – it always delivers.

Last Visit Date – September 2017

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Pho 4 U, Malaga

Pho 4 U Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pho 4 U is a casual cafe in amongst the parade of shops between Illawara Crescent and Beach Road facing Alexander Avenue. It is clean and modern, with a stereo that plays Asian pop and emits coloured lights while you eat. The staff are lovely and helpful, and the food is good. The menu is quite extensive, with the usual Vietnamese favourites as well as Chinese style sharing dishes.
While we perused the menu, the waitress brought us some peanuts – nice slightly spicy peanuts.

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We chose some crab claws and stuffed chicken wings to start.

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These were really tasty and cooked to order. The wings stuffed full of filling and the crab claws nice and generous.
For mains we chose fried prawns with salt and chilli. Beautifully cooked, crispy, spicy, and with those lovely fried onion and chilli bits, we ate them hungrily. We also ordered some boiled rice.

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We also chose stir fried chicken with vegetables and sambal sauce. The sauce wasn’t as spicy as I hoped but the vegetables were fresh, colourful and tasty, and the chicken was very nicely cooked.

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All in all it was a very nice and generous meal, and I will definitely go back to try some more traditional dishes.

Visit Date – June 2018

Fee Fi Pho Fum, Subiaco

Fee Fi Pho Fum Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I found myself in Subiaco one lunchtime with an hour to kill and chanced upon Fee Fi Pho Fum, a Vietnamese cafe on the main Rokeby Road strip.

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The lady at the till greeted me warmly and gave me a menu which contained all of the vietnamese favourites – rice paper rolls, stuffed chicken wings, pho, bun, stir fries, fried rice, noodles and salads. There’s also jelly tea, coffee, and complimentary vietnamese highland tea at lunchtime.
I chose the vietnamese chicken salad, and I wasn’t disappointed. Lovely fresh tender chicken strips, coriander, mint, cabbage, carrot, and nuts along with a home made dressing. It was bright, zingy and thoroughly delicious. 

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Shortly after I arrived, the cafe filled up with local workers and is obviously a popular spot. They also serve dinner.
I was quite impressed with the serve yourself counter where you can get beansprouts, mint, chilli, and all of the other accompaniments for the soups. It’s nice to be able to take just what you need.

I’d like to go back to Fee Fi Pho Fum and try some of the other dishes. It was authentic and yummy – definitely worth a try.

Visit Date – September 2018

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Saigon Shack, New York, USA

Saigon Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saigon Shack is a small bustling cafe in Greenwich Village just off Bleecker Street. It is a cash only establishment and regularly has a queue outside.
We popped in for lunch and were lucky enough to be seated pretty quickly.
Our starter was summer rice paper rolls with prawns – they were very nicely filled with veggies, noodles and prawns and served with a tasty sauce.

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I chose rice with shrimp. The shrimp were a little on the sweet side but nicely char grilled and came with a sweet chilli dipping sauce and plenty of salad.

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My companion chose the Saigon spicy beef brisket pho. This was full of flavour and nicely spiced with herbs, vegetables and noodles making for a heartwarming meal. Very welcome in the sub zero temperatures of winter.

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Saigon Shack is definitely a neighbourhood gem with a nicely varied menu and good service. The food is good quality authentic vietnamese, just remember to take cash because they do not accept cards.

Visit Date – February 2015

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Hello Please, South Brisbane, QLD

Hello Please Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

In a little back street called Fish Lane, hides a gem of a cafe called Hello Please. Specialising in Vietnamese street food, dishes like spring rolls, dumplings, chicken ribs, banh mi, salads, curry, rice paper rolls, pho and bun grace the menu, all ingredients fresh and nourishing, and making for a difficult choice because every dish sounded tempting.
We arrived on a sunny Sunday lunchtime and the friendly waitress gave advice on the menu wile she seated us. We sat on the tables in the courtyard where an impressive mural of Ali fills the opposite wall of the gym/boxing club.

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We chose to drink the house soda which was a lovely refreshing mix of lychee and lemongrass. For our food choices we picked a soup dish each and two plates to share – the chicken ribs and the dumplings.

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The dumplings were a bit quirky – not wrapped in a traditional rice flour dough, but wrapped in betel leaves and filled with full flavoured beef. Very nice both in flavour and texturally and a lot more filling than originally expected.

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The chicken ribs were an absolute standout dish, with such a beautifully spicy and very addictive crispy coating, succulent meat and a soy dip. Yum – I could have eaten a whole bucket of the ribs alone.

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My Bun Bo Hue was spicy with a lemongrass broth, pork belly, beef brisket and fine vermicelli noodles. The broth was intense and satisfying with a liberal sprinkling of herbs, mint, basil and beansprouts.

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My partner chose the Pho Ga which had thicker noodles, succulent chicken and an equally suitable range of aromats and beansprouts.

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He also chose kimchi – I am not a great fan of kimchi myself, but I did try this house made version which was a little salty but much more palatable to me than the regular versions, which can be quite intensely flavoured.

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All in all it was a lovely lunch and gave us a nice Vietnamese food fix. I always find Vietnamese broths very nourishing, especially when I have previously overindulged or am feeling tired – they seem to have magical properties which give me a lift.
Hello Please is friendly and satisfying and puts an emphasis on fresh and bright flavours, expertly put together to make a feast for the eyes and the soul. Give it a try – those chicken ribs are to die for.

Visit Date – September 2016

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Viet Lotus, Grange, QLD

Viet Lotus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We came to this restaurant on a whim for lunch as we had a craving for vietnamese food.
When we arrived it was empty, but soon filled up with diners, and the host was very welcoming. They offer a special midweek lunch deal for $10 – very reasonable. We chose to share starters of bbq pork on lemongrass.These were delicious, nicely seasoned with herbs and the flavour of the lemongrass came through too. Served with a sweet chilli dip.

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We both chose from the lunch special menu. I had the savoury prawn and pork pancake. This was tasty but didn’t have much pork or prawn in it, mainly beansprouts and vegetables and it was slightly greasy, but I did enjoy it.

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My companion chose the Sliced Beef Noodle Soup which was flavoursome and arrived in a huge bowl. The beef was tender, and the onion, mint and beansprouts gave a nice fresh and bright contrast. However, the broth could have been more intensely flavoured and some fresh cut chilli or chilli in oil would have made a nice accompaniment.

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I would like to try this restaurant for an evening meal. It is certainly a neighbourhood gem and full of potential.

Visit Date – May 2016

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