Recipes for Chao Tom|
Allied Recipes for Chao Tom
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ROASTED RICE POWDER (THINH) Roasted rice powder is used as a
flavoring and binding agent in various recipes throughout this book.
It is necessary to soak the rice first in order to obtain a deep
golden color after roasting. Soaking also makes the rice easier to
grind. 1/2 cup raw glutinous rice Soak the glutinous rice in warm
water for 1 hour. Drain. Place the rice in a small skillet over
moderate heat. Toast the rice, stirring constantly with chopsticks
or a wooden spoon, until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the roasted rice to a spice grinder or blender and process
to a fine powder (the powder should resemble saw dust). Sift the
ground rice through a very fine sieve into a bowl. Discard the grainy
bits. Store the rice powder in a tightly covered jar in your
refrigerator and use as needed. It will keep for up to 3 months.
Yield: 1 cup. SCALLION OIL (HANH LA PHI): Many Vietnamese dishes
require this delicate scallionflavored oil. Brushed over noodles,
barbecued meats, vegetables or breads, it complements each item. 1/4
cup peanut oil, 2 scallions, finely sliced Heat the oil in a small
saucepan until hot but not smoking, about 300F. Remove the pan from
the heat and add the sliced scallions. Let the mixture steep at room
temperature until completely cooled. This oil mixture will keep
stored in a tightly covered jar at room temperature for 1 week.
Yield: 1/4 cup CRISP FRIED SHALLOTS (HANH KHO PHI): This is an
important ingredient in his many dishes throughout this book. Use as
specified in recipes. 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup thinly sliced
shallots Heat the oil in a small saucepan until hot but not smoking,
about 300F. Add the shallots and fry over moderate heat until crispy
and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Immediately
remove the shallots with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Reserve the oil for another use. Cooked this way, shallots can be
stored in a tightly covered jar on the kitchen shelf for up to 1
month. Yield: about 1/3 cup. ROASTED PEANUTS (DAU PHONG RANG): Use
shelled and skinned unsalted peanuts for this purpose. Cook a small
amount at a time and use shortly after they are roasted to preserve
their flavor. Amounts are specified in recipes using roasted peanuts.
Place the peanuts in a skillet over moderate heat and cook, stirring
constantly, until the nuts turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Allow
to cool. Pound in a mortar with a pestle or process in a spice
grinder until the peanuts are a bit chunky. Store-bought
dry-roasted-roasted unsalted peanuts may be substituted in recipes
calling for roasted peanuts. PEANUT SAUCE (NUOC LEO): This delicious
sauce originated in the central region and is used as a dip for many
dishes in this book. Usually, tuong, a fermented soybean sauce, and
glutinous rice are used to produce this sauce. After several
experiments, I ended up with this variation where tuong and glutinous
rice are replaced by hoisin sauce and peanut butter, ingredients that
are more readily available. 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, ground, 1
tablespoon peanut oil, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1 teaspoon chili
paste (tuong ot tuoi), 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/2 cup chicken
broth or water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1/4
cup hoisin sauce, 1 fresh red chile pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
Prepare the roasted peanuts. Set aside. Heat the oil in a small
saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, chili paste and
tomato paste, Fry until the garlic is golden brown, about 30 seconds.
Add the broth, sugar, peanut butter and hoisin sauce and whisk to
dissolve the peanut butter. Bring to a boil, Reduce the heat and
simmer for 3 minutes. Divide the sauce among individual dipping bowls
and garnish with the ground peanuts and sliced chile. Serve warm or
at room temperature. Yield: About 1 cup. VEGETABLE PLATTER (DIA RAU
SONG): Vietnamese meals include an abundance of fresh lettuce, herbs,
unripe fruits and raw vegetables. These are arranged attractively on
a platter and are used for wrapping cooked foods at the table,
usually dipped in Nuoc Cham and eaten out of hand. The following
herbs, both very important to the Vietnamese, would be authentic
additions to the Vegetable Platter: One is the "saw leaf herb"
(Eryngium foetidum, or ngo gai in Vietnamese), a coriander relative.
The other is polygonum (P. pulchrum or rau ram in Vietnamese), with
pinkish stems, pointed green leaves and purplish markings. They can
be found occasionally at Southeast Asian markets. If you have access
to unripe mango, banana, papaya or apple and star fruit (carambola),
add them to the platter. You may select or substitute the ingredients
according to availability and personal taste. 1 large head of Boston
or other soft lettuce, separated into individual leaves, 1 bunch of
scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths, 1 cup coriander leaves, 1 cup
mint leaves, 1 cup fresh Asian or regular basil leaves, 1 cucumber,
peeled in alternating strips, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
crosswise, 4 ounces fresh bean sprouts On a large platter,
decoratively arrange all of the ingredients in separate groups. Use
in recipes where required. Yield: 4 to 6 servings
From "The Foods of Vietnam" by Nicole Rauthier. Stewart, Tabori &
Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; May 24 1993.