Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cooking Party

On Sunday my friends and I finally gathered together for our first cooking party! It was great, we got a chance to catch up on old times, eat yummie food, and pick up a bunch of cooking tips to improve our culinary skills. *Sigh* and as usually there was ALOT of wedding talk (afterall 4 out of 9 of the girls there are getting married within a year). So anyway, I hosted the event this first time around and prepared a couple of appetizers: cheesy shrimp toast, Vietnamese style Fish Sauce Wings (yep you read it right!), and some shrimp rolls. I was so busy running around and the food was gone so fast that I didn't get to take any pictures. I'm going to delegate this task the next time around!

Here are a couple of shots of my nieces eating the Fish Sauce Wings from a family BBQ a couple of weeks ago.

Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings

The wings dont take long to prep and should be marinated overnight to bring out the best flavor.
Here's what you'll need:

  • 12 wings
  • 1 tablespoons of Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Sugar
A package of wings and frog legs seasoning from the Asian Market (Spices for Chicken Wings Butter Fry)


  • Wash wings and season with the TOP portion of this package of seasoning, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar. Mix well and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
  • Prior to frying give the wings a good mix and then empty the contents of the 2nd portion of the seasoning on to the chicken and mix again.
  • I used large wings and fried them at 340 degrees in a deep fryer for about 15 minutes

So if you're wondering what's in the top portion of the says that it contains garlic powder, pepper, salt, pepper, MSG (i know i know...its not good for you) and butter cheese (not sure what this is...). Now that i've taken the time to actually read the contents, I don't think it'll be difficult to replicate and replace the MSG with regular sugar. The bottom portion of the seasoning is cornstarch.

So after everyone was fat and happy, it was time to put them to work :) We decided to make a new dish (Shrimp Rolls) together! I my aunt made this last month and it was delicious. I was convinced I'd be able to successfully recreate. I'd like to say we made a good attempt, it tasted very good but it just didn't look as pretty :) The next day, 2 of my friends tried the dish on the own and generously provided me with a picture to post (Thanks A!)

Crispy Shrimp Rolls
We did this on the fly so I didn't use precise measurements, but here is what you'll need:

1 1/2 pounds of shrimp (peeled, washed, and dried)
2 tablespoons of tapioca starch
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 onion (chopped in to about 1 inch pieces)
2 packages of special rice paper called "Banh Trang Re" (It looks like really thin vermicelli rice paper, I'll post a picture up soon!)

In the food processor, combine the shrimp, tapioca starch, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, garlic powder, and onion and process until you get a good paste. If you don't plan on dipping the final product in fish sauce you may want to add more salt and vice versa. (Tip: After processing, I spooned some mixture into a small bowl and put it in the microwave for 45 seconds to make sure the mixtured tasted how I wanted it to.)

Spoon 1 teaspoon of shrimp mixture onto the vermicelli rice paper, roll up, and fry. I fried on 320 degrees in the deep fryer for about 4-5 minutes.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Green Papaya

School started up again and i've been inundated with homework and books to read so its hard to find time to experiement in the kitchen. Instead, i've taken that semi homemade route with a popular Vietnamese dish, Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky.


1 papaya, shredded (some stores sell them shredded)
1 bag of beef jerky (Hong Ha brand is ok)
Basil (rau que)
Vietnamese Coriander (rau ram)
Soy Sauce
Red Vinegar
Red Chili Sauce (Sriracha)


  1. Mix shredded papaya with chopped basil and Vietnamese Coriander.
  2. Cut beef jerky into small strips and put on top of the papaya mix in a nice plate.
  3. For the sauce mix 1 portion of soy sauce, 1 portion of water, 1/2 portion of sugar, and 1/2 portion of red vinegar then add a couple slices of garlics and chili sauce to taste. If you like the sauce extra spice, cut a couple of red chilis and add to the sauce.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cheesy Shrimp Toast

For those of you who didn't catch Top Chef last night, Hung Huynh won and i knew he would! Technically he was the best chef on the show this season. I think Bravo has reruns on Thursday nights in case you wanna catch it again. (For a Vietnamese Immigrant's view on Hung's win, check out my friend Monkee's blog.)

If you're looking for something to eat while watching the rerun or any other show tonight, I've got a dish for you! Everyone always requests this dish at gatherings.

Here's what you'll need:

2 loaves of sliced french baguettes about a centimeter thick
1 pound peeled shrimp, cut into small pieces
2 cups of thinly shredded monterey jack and cheddar cheese (they come shredded together at the grocery store)
3 tablespoons of mayo
1 finely chopped scallion
1/2 teaspoon of salt Some pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel and wash shrimp, then dry with a paper towel before chopping into small pieces
  3. Mix Shrimp with, cheese, mayo, salt, and scallions
  4. Spoon the shrimp mixture onto the bread Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes Prior to serving, you can sprinkle some ground pepper on the toast If you're making these for a party, they can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge.