Vietspices Search

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Xôi Lạp Xưởng (Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage)

My daughter woke up from her afternoon nap and wanted to eat something besides the noodle soup that I made for lunch and dinner. She's probably tired of eating che dau trang (sweet white bean dessert) since she just had it this morning and a few bowls for the last several days.  So, Grandma suggested sticky rice. Bingo! My kids love the aroma, texture, and sweetness of sticky rice as Grandma often makes it for them for breakfast.  It was almost dinner time and I wanted my kids to have some protein beside the carbs from the sticky rice.  So I sauteed lap xuong (chinese sausage) with fresh chopped garlic, shallots,  our homegrown green onions and cilantro and soy sauce. A wonderful aroma indeed! Then I worked these ingredients into the sticky rice.  

The whole process from cooking the rice to preparing the filling took about 20 minutes but it seemed like 2 hours for my daughter who  kept saying,  "Why are you taking so long Mommy?".  Someone must be very hungry.

If you make just a small pot of sticky rice and you want to enjoy it in 20 minutes, skip the soaking and steaming process. You just need to rinse it and it's ready to cook.  As for lap xuong, I prefer to boil it first to keep it moist.  If you chop it off first and then fry it, you will find that it's dry once you bite into it.  One caveat: since I tried to make it quick, I didn't measure the water  and sweet rice.  The amount of rice and water in this recipe is only an estimate and may need adjustment :-)

RECIPE: Xôi Lạp Xưởng
2 cups of sweet rice
3 chinese sausages (also available at Costco) - boiled for 5 minutes and cut it into any size you prefer. 
2 green onion, chopped ( about 1/4 cup)
1 shallot, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce
1/4 cup of cilantro
1 teaspoon of oil
Fried Shallots (optional)

Making Sticky Rice
Rinse the rice and pour it into a pot.  Add about 1/2 inch of water above the rice and boil it.  Reduce the heat to low.  Stir it up and cook it for about 15 minutes.  Add a little bit more water if it looks dry to you. 

Making sausages

Heat the oil in a pan.  Add garlic and shallot.  When they turn golden brown, add sausages, cilantro and green onion.  Stir it evenly for about 30 seconds.  Turn off the heat then add soy sauce.  Mix it up.  Pour the sausage mixture into sticky rice and mix it well. 

Sprinkle some fried shallots on top of sticky rice and enjoy. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa

I love fish. In the summer time, I often prepared Cá Nướng (Grilled Whole Fish) then rolled it up in rice paper with lettuce, herbs, sliced cucumber, daikon and pickled carrot and strings of noodle if you want to fill your tummy up quickly; then,  dipped it in Mam Nem or Mam Ruot (Fermented Anchovy Dip or Salted Fermented Shrimp dip).  I prefer my Mam Ruot dip over Mam Nem.  If you make the Mam Ruot dip right, it actually tastes as good as mam nem or better, but cheaper.  If you prefer a milder, less fishy-flavored dipping sauce, then this would be ideal. That's a preview for a future blog and the recipe for Cá Nướng and Mam Ruot dip will soon be posted, but for now let's talk Mahi Mahi.

Mahi Mahi is a popular eating fish in Australia and a major seller at sushi bars. The fish can be grilled or seared to bring out its wonderful taste.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend gave us a few pieces of Mahi Mahi, so I decided to make a dish to celebrate the arrival of spring and its brilliant colors.  So Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa served with a side of corn on the cob were on the table for dinner. Fruits, veggies, and fish all in one . . . how could you resist. You may also prepare this for lunch as well since it's a light dish and you don't have to worry about packing on the pounds.

RECIPE: Mahi Mahi Mango Salsa
Making Salsa
2 mangos, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional, if you like to spice up your dish)
about 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

In a bowl, combine the mangos, cucumber, bell pepper, green onion, cilantro and jalapeno pepper. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and lime juice. Taste it and adjust the seasoning to your liking.  Stir together then cover and refrigerate until serving to blend the flavors.
Making Fish

3 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons of olive oil
3 mahi mahi fillets without skin on (Costco has frozen fillets)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a bowl, stir together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place fillets into the dish.  Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.

Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Remove fish from the dish, and reserve marinade. Fry fish for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning only once, until fish can be flaked with a fork. Remove fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.
Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish.  Top with Mango Salsa and serve immediately.