Beef Noodle Soup
3 large onions
1 tbs peanut oil
5 lb beef & chicken bones (choose ones with meat as well)
4 ginger slices - julienned
2 carrots -julienned
1 small cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 tbs whole black peppercorn
2 garlic clove - crushed
1/2 lb bean sprouts
1/2 lb beef sirloin - finely sliced
1 scallion - finely sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 chillies - sliced
2 limes (cut into wedges)
8 oz rice sticks - soaked in hot and drained
3 tbs Nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
Black pepper to taste
Slice 2 of the onions into 1/4 inch slices. Heat 1 tbs oil in a frying pan and add the sliced onions Cook, stirring, until the outside has browned. Remove and drain . Slice the remaining onion into paper-thin slices and set aside. Rinse the bones and place in a stockpot. Cover with cold water and bring slowly to a boil Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered (For a clear broth skim off foam).
After 10 - 15 minutes, add browned onion and ginger, carrots, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to a boil . Simmer the stock, partially covered for 6 to 12 hours, skimming regularly. If necessary add more water to keep the bones covered. Strain the stock, skim off, and discard any fat.
To serve: Arrange the sliced beef on a platter. Garnish with reserved white and green onion. On another platter, arrange the bean sprouts, coriander, chiles and limes.
Meanwhile, plunge the rice sticks in boiling water to heat and drain. Place equal portions in each soup bowl and cover to keep warm . Heat beef stock to boiling and season with fish sauce and pepper. Pour into a soup tureen or chafing dish.
At the table, place the soup on a portable warmer to keep hot. Offer each guest a bowl of warm rice noodles. Each diner adds some beef and onion to a bowl and Ladle the hot stock over the meat, stirring to cook the meat. Add the bean sprouts, coriander, chiles, and lime to taste. Enjoy with chopsticks and a soup spoon.
Vietnamese Egg Rolls
2 oz Cellophane noodles, -soaked in warm water for -20 minutes, then drained -and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 lb Ground pork
1 lg Onion, finely chopped
2 tb Tree ears, soaked in warm -water for 30 minutes, then -drained and finely chopped
3 Cloves garlic, finely -chopped
3 Shallots or white part of 3 -scallions, finely chopped
1 cn (7 ounces) crabmeat, -cartilage removed and meat -flaked with fingers
1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper.
PREPARATIONS FOR ASSEMBLING
20 Sheets dried rice papers -(banh trang)
4 Eggs, well beaten
2 c Peanut oil
ACCOMPANIMENTS FOR SERVING
Basic Vegetable Platter
Double recipe of Nuoc Cham
Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cut a round rice paper sheet into quarters. Place the cut rice paper on a flat surface. With a pastry brush, paint the beaten egg over the entire surface of each of the pieces. Before filling, wait for the egg mixture to take effect, softening the wrappers; this takes about 2 minutes. When you become adept at this, you can work on several wrappers at a time.
When the wrapper looks soft and transparent, place about 1 teaspoon of filling near the curved side, in the shape of a rectangle. Fold the sides over to enclose the filling and continue to roll. After filling all the wrappers, pour the oil into a large frying pan, put the egg rolls into the cold oil, turn the heat to moderate, and fry for 20 to 30 minutes, until a lovely golden brown. (This is Bach's special method of keeping egg rolls crisp).
To serve the egg rolls, proceed as follows:
Arrange the ingredients for the vegetable platter (lettuce, mint leaves, coriander, and the cucumber slices) according to the directions preceding. Have ready the carrot salad and a bowl of nuoc cham. Each person has a bowl into which he places a bit of lettuce, 2 or 3 mint leaves, some coriander, and 2 cucumber slices. Each person then adds 1 or 2 egg rolls to his bowl, sprinkles with the nuoc cham, and eats the egg rolls and vegetables together, using chopsticks or a fork. Additional carrot salad may be added to taste.
Another very popular serving method calls for placing the vegetables on a lettuce leaf, adding the egg roll, and rolling it into a cylinder. Holding the cylinder with his fingers, each diner then dips it into his own small bowl of nuoc cham.
Barbecued Shrimp Paste on Sugar
1 tb Roasted rice powder
1 tb Roasted peanuts, ground
1 lb Raw shrimp in the shell
1 tb Salt
6 Garlic cloves, crushed
6 Shallots, crushed
2 Ounces rock sugar, crushed -to a powder, or
1 tb Granulated sugar
4 Ounces pork fat
4 ts Nuoc mam
Freshly ground black pepper
8 Ounces 6 1/2-inch rice -paper rounds (banh trang)
12 Piece fresh sugar cane, or
12 oz Sugar cane packed in light -syrup, drained
12 8-1/2 ea inch bamboo skewers -soaked in water for 30 -minutes
Vegetable oil, for shaping -shrimp paste
8 Ounces extra-thin rice -vermicelli
Although this dish can be baked in an oven, I strongly suggest you grill it over charcoal, for the result is far superior. The dish may be prepared over 2 consecutive days. On day one, prepare the dipping sauce and condiments.
The Vegetable Platter and shrimp paste can be assembled the following day. Fresh sugar cane may be obtained at
Caribbean markets; canned sugar cane is available at Asian grocery stores. Prepare the roasted rice powder, scallion oil, crisp-fried shallots and roasted peanuts. Set aside. Shell and devein the shrimp. Sprinkle the salt over the shrimp and let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse the shrimp thoroughly with cold water. Drain and squeeze between your hands to remove excess water. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Coarsely chop the shrimp.
Boil the pork fat for 10 minutes. Drain and finely dice. In a food processor, combine the shrimp, garlic, shallots and sugar. Process until the shrimp paste pulls away from the sides of the container, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides. The paste should be very fine and sticky. Add the pork fat, roasted rice powder, fish sauce and black pepper to taste to the processor. Pulse briefly, only enough to blend all of the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.
Meanwhile, prepare the Peanut Sauce and Vegetable Platter. Cover the rice papers with a damp towel and a sheet of plastic wrap; keep at room temperature until needed. Peel the fresh sugar cane; cut crosswise into 4-inch sections. Split each section lengthwise into quarters. (if using canned sugar cane, split each section lengthwise in half only, then thread 2 pieces lengthwise onto a skewer.) Pour about 1/4 cup of oil into a small bowl. Oil your fingers. Pick up and mold about 2 tablespoons of the shrimp paste around and halfway down a piece of fresh sugar cane. Leave about 1 1/2 inches of the sugar cane exposed to serve as a handle. (If using canned sugar cane, there is no need to leave a handle. The skewers will serve as handles.) Press firmly so that the paste adheres to the cane. Proceed until you have used all the shrimp paste.
Prepare a charcoal grill or preheat the oven to broil. Meanwhile, steam the noodles, then garnish with the scallion oil, crisp-fried shallots and ground roasted peanuts. Keep warm. Pour the peanut sauce into individual bowls and place the Vegetable Platter and rice papers on the table. Grill the shrimp paste on the sugar cane over medium coals, turning frequently. Or Broil, on a baking sheet lined with foil, under the broiler, about 6 inches from the heat, for 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer to a warm platter. To serve, each diner dips a rice paper round in a bowl of warm water to make it pliable, then places the paper on a dinner plate. Different ingredients from the Vegetable Platter, some noodles and a piece of the shrimp paste, which has been removed from the sugar cane, are added. The rice paper is then roiled up to form a neat package. The roll is dipped in the Peanut Sauce and eaten out of hand. The remaining sugar cane may be chewed.
Note: If both types of sugar cane are unavailable, use skewers. Shape the shrimp paste into meatballs and thread 3 or 4 on each skewer.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
8 oz of peeled shrimp
4 oz of crab meat
1 lb of ground lean pork
5 shallots, finely chopped
1 medium carrots, cut in julienne shreds
5 wood ear mushrooms, soaked in warm water
8 oz of water chestnut or taro or hickama
2 oz of cellophane noodles, soaked in warm water 1 egg white (optional)
1 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 teaspoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoons of sesame oil
30 pieces dried rice paper
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. The secret is to pat dry all the ingredients when you mix it. Avoid having water mix in with the ingredients.
Dip rice paper into a large bowl of warm water, place it on a rack or on a kitchen towel for 1 minute until it is soft and flexible. Put stuffing on the rice paper. Start folding the left and right side of the rice paper into the center, then roll up from the bottom edge away to the far end. Do not roll too tight, as this will cause the rolls to split. Deep-fry over medium heat until golden brown.
Red leaves lettuce or Boston lettuce
Vietnamese Crepes - Vietnamese
1 ea (12 oz) package Bot Banh Xeo mix (rice flour with tumeric)
3 c Water (divided use)
1 t Sugar
1 ea (116 oz) package Orients -Delight coconut milk -(heavy cream can be Substituted) frozen, not -canned coconut milk
4 ea Green onions
1 lb medium shrimp (36 - 48 size)
1/2 lb Lean pork, thinly sliced
2 ea Yellow onions
16 ea Handfuls fresh bean sprouts -(put in microwave for a -little while to Soften)
1 ea Head red leaf lettuce
1 bn Cilantro, basil or mint
Fish Garlic Sauce
Prepare crepe batter the night before serving. Thinly slice green onions. Place one cup water in small pan on high heat. Thoroughly blend the 12 ounce package of bot Banh Xeo mix with the two remaining cups water until completely moistened. Bissolve sugar in boiling cup of water and add to batter. Add coconut milk and green onions and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, peel and devein shrimp. Cut in half lenghtwise. Cut pork in 2" slivers. Cut yellow onion into quarters, then in thin slices. Heat a few drops of oil on medium-high heat in a 10" heavy frying pan. Add 3 slices yellow onion and two slices pork. Cook for a few seconds until onion is slightly translucent and pork is white. Add 5 shrimp halves and cook for 10 seconds.
Pour in 1/2 cup batter and quickly tilt pan to form a 10" circle. Cover one half crepe with one cup bean sprouts. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until batter looks solid. Cover partially (if you cover completely, water will condense on crepe) and cook one minute. Uncover and flip crepe using a spatula. Cook until slightly crisp (approximately 1 minute). Serve immediately to keep warm.
Serve with fresh cilantro, mint or basil leaves (optional) and large leaves of red lettuce. To eat, tear off a piece of crepe, fill with cilantro and wrap in lettuce leaf. Dip in sauce and eat. Serves 4.