It has been a little over two weeks since my hand was severely burned from trying out a recipe involving frying with hot oil. Thanks to my husband and friend who provided all the care, burn cream, lotion, ointment, antiseptic, anesthetic lotion, aloe vera, and vitamin ointment. The skin is starting to peel and heal. I am hoping I can return to action in another week.
During this time, I had to ask my mother-in-law to take charge of the cooking. She has been picking vegetables from our garden and feeding us simple, healthy soups at every meal: watercress soup, gourd soup, sweet and sour soup (canh chua), My older girl asked me when I can cook bún bò Huế (spicy beef noodle), while the little one has been craving for bánh phục linh (coconut tapioca powder cakes).
I was beginning to feel guilty for not being able to cook for the family. So the other night, I prepared a spontaneous meal to make up. We took a family trip to Nugget Market to get all the ingredients. Beef fondue in vinegar chicken broth, pan-fried beef and seafood were perfect to enjoy as the rain was pouring outside. But I must say, the lemongrass shrimp paste sauce stole the show.
Fondue, paired with a griddle for grilling are perfect to be enjoyed with your family or friends gathering on the cold days. With just half an hour, you can still surprise a nice meal for your guests or family when you get home late . This beef, salmon, shrimps, calamari, scallops grilled on a griddle with butter and sweet onion created a nice brown crust with beautiful aroma. Wrap this with noodle, lettuce, herbs, and cucumber in a rice paper and enjoy with my signature shrimp paste sauce; it will satisfy your palate. Beef fondue is just another dish that I craved for so I served both. If shrimp paste sauce is not your cup of tea, the fish sauce or almond/peanut dipping sauce would go well too.
Prepare the meal with your favorite seafood and type of beef.
RECIPE: Lẩu Bò Nhúng Dấm và Hải Sản Chiên Bơ
serve 6 adults
2 pounds rib eye steak
1 pound salmon
1/2 pound (16/20 ct) prawns, peeled, tail-on
3 pieces calamari steaks
1/2 pound Scallops
2 sweet onions
2 (32 oz), chicken stock
16 oz of water
1 head of garlic, peeled
1/2 sweet onion, for broth
rock sugar or regular sugar
2 heads of butter lettuce
2 English cucumbers
assorted herbs (cilantro, mint leaves, etc)
2 packs of rice paper
for dipping sauce
click here for shrimp paste dipping sauce
click here for fish sauce dipping sauce
click here for almond dipping sauce
Preparing Broth for Fondue
I bought a 3 pound Tomahawk bone-in rib eye steak of which the bone itself is about 1 pound. This Tomahawk grass fed beef is very flavorful and juicy. I asked the butcher to thinly slice the beef, and cut bone into 3-4 pieces. However, you can use any type of beef you prefer.
In a stockpot, add beef bone, beef fat from bone-in rib eye, garlic, onion, chicken stock (I used the brand above as they were on sale 2/$5), water, and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add sugar, a tad of fish sauce, ground pepper, and vinegar. The broth should be balanced with a natural sweetness and slight tartness.
When ready to serve, use a strainer to strain the broth into the fondue pot. Add a few slices of sweet onion.
Ask the butcher to slice the beef thinly. You can also purchase pre-sliced beef for shabu available at some Asian markets. I like to get it at my local Japanese Oto's Market.
Arrange beef and sliced sweet onion on a plate or a bowl, garnish it with a red chili pepper and green onion for appeal.
Rinse seafood and use a paper towel to pat dry. Cut salmon into half an inch thick. Cut calamari steaks into half- inch pieces. Arrange seafood on a plate. Adorn it with cilantro or your favorite herbs.
Preparing Vegetables and Noodle
Arrange bean sprouts, cucumbers, and herbs on a plate.
Noodle - I have been using a lot of Japanese brand noodle. Green tea noodle is one of my favorites. However, you can use any type of noodle you like. Follow package cooking instructions.
Butter lettuce - is always a favorite of mine for wrapping. It is velvety soft and tender, sweet with bright green leaves. It's just beautiful to look at. Butter lettuce is packed with roots still attached and in a clear plastic protective shell.
Cut off the root. Rinse by holding the core under the running tap water. Turn the lettuce head over and let the water run out. Place lettuce in a bowl.
Preparing Dipping Sauce
My family and guests love the shrimp paste sauce when I prepare this kind of meal. But if you can't take the aroma of the shrimp paste, fish sauce sauce,or almond or peanut sauce would pair well too.
|fish sauce dipping sauce|
|almond dipping sauce|
Place the fondue pot and griddle in the center of the table and arrange all the dishes around it.
When the broth is boiling, dip a slice of beef in the boiling broth for a couple seconds or until cooked, dip a rice paper in a bowl of water to soften it, then roll beef together with the vegetables and noodle. The broth tastes best towards at the end of the meal so enjoy it straight.
Place butter on the griddle, cook seafood and beef until slightly golden brown. Roll them along with these wondrous herbs, vegetables and noodle. Enjoy!
Eat well. Stay healthy.