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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cá Hồi Và Tôm Chiên Bơ (Butter Fried Salmon and Shrimp Rolls)

If you've noticed, Eat Well. Stay Hungry! is my new motto. As I am approaching the BIG 4-0, my body is changing and I'm starting to notice the physical effects from the lack of exercise and periodic poor eating habits.

Since my girls have gone back to school this August, I have committed to eating breakfast and running with them almost every morning on the field at their school. In the past, the first thing I did when I wake up in the morning was picking up around the house, arranging the pillows on the sofa, sweeping the floor, then taking the kids to school. As soon as I came home, I made a bee line for the kitchen and prepared food to bring to school so my girls can enjoy their fresh and warm lunch. By the time I looked at the clock, it was past lunch time, and that was when I had my first meal of the day. I still continue my daily routine but now I make sure to eat breakfast, drink more water and hot tea and get some exercise in between.

Eat Well. Stay Hungry!, this motto reminds me to eat quality food - a variety of food - but more importantly eat healthy food. At the same time I can never be quite satisfied. To me, it's about striking a balance between fresh, quality food, incorporating creativity in the kitchen and enjoying it with family and friends. When I prepare food for my family, I pay more attention to what I put in it. It's true that when my body feels good, I do feel happier inside and out. I know change is hard but it's not impossible. After all, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” - that's both a mental and physical step; okay, so maybe two steps.

Let's start out with this I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter fried salmon-and-shrimp roll. Doesn't that sound good? It's fried, but at least it's not with butter and the salmon and shrimps combo along with all your herbs and greens can be quite healthy. Now, if you want to step it up a notch, I recommend using extra virgin olive oil to fry or grill as it has a higher smoke point - about 405 degrees. Virgin olive oil or extra light olive oil are even better, but pricier as expected.

I usually like to serve this type of meal when I don't have enough time to cook the food. The food and an electric grill pan are placed in the center of the table while everyone helps herself to cooking with chopsticks. It is a delicious and tasty meal that you can prepare within just half an hour. The fried salmon and shrimp, along with sweet onion, rolled with noodle, baby spring mix salad, herbs, and cucumber in rice paper then dipped into my signature shrimp paste sauce or tamarind fish sauce will appease your palate. The grilled sweet onion will make you drool for more.
RECIPE: Cá Hồi Và Tôm Chiên Bơ


for Frying
1-2 pounds Salmon Fillet, skinless
1-2 pounds Shrimp, deveined and peeled 
1 Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
stick of margarine or extra virgin olive oil

for Shrimp Sauce Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons Shrimp Sauce 
1 piece Pineapple, finely minced or pureed
1 tablespoon, finely chopped Lemongrass
1 tablespoon, finely chopped Garlic
1 tablespoon Shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Ginger, finely chopped
1/2 cup Coco Rico Soda, or Coconut water
1/2 small Lime, juiced
1 tablespoon Sugar

Healthy Condiments

1 package of  fine Rice Vermicelli
Baby Spring Mix Salad, or Romain Lettuce
assorted Vietnamese Herbs 
1 English Cucumber or Baby Cucumbers
1 package of Rice Paper, I prefer Three Ladies brand

Cooking Noodle

While bringing a pot of water to a boil, soak rice vermicelli in hot sink water. Once the water is boiling, add  rice vermicelli to the pot. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or when softens and thickens. Rinse with cold water and drain. Set aside.
Cooking Shrimp Sauce Dipping Sauce

In a sauce pan, bring a tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Once it's hot, add lemongrass, ginger, shallot, and garlic.

Saute until they start to turn slightly brown. Add pineapple, shrimp sauce, Coco Rico soda or coconut water and sugar. Mix it well.

Once the sauce is blended well and start to boil, remove from heat. Add lime juice. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl. Add garlic chili sauce for spicy flavor. Set aside.

If you like the taste of  raw shrimp sauce in the dipping sauce, you can eliminate a few ingredients, and the cooking process.   It can be simply prepared by adding sugar to Coco Rico soda or coconut water to dissolve. Mix in shrimp sauce , pineapple pureed, red chili pepper and garlic. Set aside until ready to use.
Preparing Sweet Onion

Cut onion into rings.  Set aside.
Preparing Salmon and Shrimps

Cut salmon into 2x1 thick pieces.  In a serving plate, place salmon, shrimps, and garnish with sweet onions on top.  Set aside. 
Preparing I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter

Use olive oil or cut margarine into small sticks. Set aside.
Preparing Vegetables

Place salad and herbs into a serving bowl.  Set aside.

Cut cucumber into pieces about 4-in long.  Set aside.

Place all the dishes and an electric grill pan or a griddle in the center of the table. 

In a frying pan, add margarine and onion. Once onion has caramelized, add in salmon and shrimp. 

Once salmon and shrimps are golden brown and crisp, moisten the rice paper in warm water and lay it on a plate. 

Place the vegetables, noodle, and cooked salmon and shrimp on the rice paper. Fold at ends and roll into a cylinder. 

Dip the roll into your favorite sauce, taste every morsel and wash it down with a nice glass of Riesling.
Eat well.  Stay hungry!

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