Vietnam: the Freshest Flavors from North to South

With over 3,200km of coastline, rolling highlands and endless rice paddies, Vietnam is paradise of natural produce. The country’s unique geography and climate has given rise to some of the world’s most desirable dishes, all crafted using the freshest ingredients from the land and sea. Discover how Vietnam’s vibrant culinary culture is now delighting diners all around the world and stay at one of our hotels in the country.

Ca Kho To (Caramelized and Braised Fish)

Clay pot dishes are popular in many parts of Asia, but few versions are as appealing as “Ca Kho To”, Vietnam’s rich and aromatic fish dish. Whether you’re using local sea bass or grouper, or an international fish like salmon or mackerel, the key to this recipe is to caramelize the seafood with sugar to bring out the rich flavor. 

Recipe (serves 4):

Ingredients:

  • 320 gr fish fillet (washed, rinsed, dried and cut into 4x4cm cubes.
    Suggested fish: grouper, cobia, mackerel or sea bass)
  • 200 gr sugar
  • 40 gr spring onion (thinly sliced)
  • 20 gr ginger (finely chopped)
  • 10 gr horn pepper (finely chopped)
  • 10 gr salt
  • 10 gr black pepper (ground)
  • 10 ml soy sauce
  • 100 gr onion (chopped)
  • 100 gr garlic (finely chopped)
  • 30 ml fish sauce
  • 100 ml water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

 

Method

Heat oil in a clay pot, add the sugar and heat until it caramelizes (turns a golden brown). Add the spring onion, garlic and onion, and sauté for 20 seconds. Add fish cubes, ginger and horn pepper, sauté for a minute, then add the black pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce and water. Simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid is condensed, turning the fish occasionally and carefully. Top with spring onions and black pepper, then serve with rice.

Lemongrass Fried Chicken

What could be more mouth-watering than tender and succulent chicken, infused with the exotic aromas of lemongrass, chili, fish sauce and Vietnamese coriander? Wherever in the world you are, this fragrant and flavor-packed snack will transport your senses to the shores of Southeast Asia. Simply sublime!

Recipe (serves 4):

Ingredients:

  • 400 gr chicken thigh (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 50 gr lemongrass (finely chopped)
  • 30 gr red chili (finely chopped)
  • 100 gr onion (cut into wedges)
  • 20 gr green onion (cut into 3cm pieces)
  • 10 gr fish sauce
  • 10 gr chili sauce
  • 8 gr palm sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 16 gr horn pepper (finely sliced)
  • 20 gr Vietnamese coriander (to garnish)
  • 10 gr fried shredded lemongrass (to garnish)
  • 10 gr salt

Method:

Marinate the chicken in salt for 10 minutes, then blanch it in hot oil for 3 min. Heat the oil in the wok and sauté the chopped lemongrass and chilli until it browns. Add the chicken, fish sauce, chilli sauce, palm sugar, water, and sauté on medium heat until the chicken is cooked.Turn up the heat, add the onion wedges, green onion and chili, and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Remove from the heat and garnish with Vietnamese coriander and chili sauce. Top the plate with crispy shredded lemongrass. Serve with a side dip of Vietnamese fish sauce with chili.

lemongrass-fried-chicken

Bun Quay (Phu Quoc Stirred Noodles)

The tropical island of Phu Quoc is becoming famous as a world-class resort destination, but for Vietnamese people it has long been known for “Bun Quay” – its sensational seafood noodle soup. Visitors can discover this local specialty anywhere on the island, but especially in the fishing ports where the seafood arrives fresh off the boat every day.

Recipe (serves 2)

Ingredients for broth:

  • 500 gr fish bones
  • 100 gr shrimp head
  • 50 gr white onion (Whole, remove skin)
  • 10 gr coriander roots (Chopped)
  • 10 gr spring onion (Chopped)
  • ½ Asian soup spoon premium fish sauce
  • 1 ltr water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Phu Quoc pepper

Method:

In a pot of water, add the fish bones, shrimp heads, spring onion, white onion and coriander roots. Simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat. Taste the broth periodically, you would have achieved a rich broth once you can taste and smell the natural sweetness from the seafood. Season with salt, sugar and lastly, stir in the fish sauce. Remove from heat.

Ingredients for squid, seafood paste and noodles:

  • 500 gr  fresh thin white noodles (Bun Tuoi)
  • 10 gr spring onion (chopped)
  • 100 gr fresh baby squid
  • 10 gr ginger (sliced)
  • 100 gr mackerel (for seafood paste)
  • 100 gr fresh shrimp (for seafood paste)
  • ½ tsp salt (for seafood paste)
  • 1 tsp Phu Quoc pepper (for seafood paste)

Method:

  1. Baby squids: Remove skin, ink sack, soft bones and entrails. Steam whole with ginger slices for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Seafood paste and noodles: Halve the fresh shrimps and de-vein. In a food processor, pulse the shrimps, some salt and pepper into a mousse. Repeat the above process with the mackerel.To create the seafood paste, mix the shrimp and mackerel mousses in a bowl with salt, pepper. Spread the paste evenly against the insides of the bowl. Pour boiling broth over the paste and quickly start stirring up the paste. Cover the bowl with a lid for 1 minute to ensure the seafood paste is well-cooked. Discard the broth. In the bowl of cooked seafood paste, add the fresh thin white noodles and pour fresh boiling broth. Top the bowl with the steamed baby squids and chopped spring onions.

 

Ingredients for dipping sauce:

  • 3-4 pcs Kumquat (Juice only)
  • 3-4 pcs bird’s eye chili (Sliced)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar

 

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a bowl (adjust to taste) and mix well. Serve on the side.

bun-quay

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