Uyen Luu http://www.uyenluu.com Writer, photographer, food stylist & film maker. Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:26:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 60334034 THE GEOGRAPHY OF VIETNAMESE NOODLES http://www.uyenluu.com/the-geography-of-vietnamese-noodles/ http://www.uyenluu.com/the-geography-of-vietnamese-noodles/#respond Thu, 13 Oct 2016 09:26:43 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7740

(This feature was originally published at Momentum Magazine – John Brown Media. It is re published here with permission)

Across Vietnam, noodles are a staple. But how they’re prepared and what they’re served with varies according to the climate, history and personality of each region

What’s better than the moment when you receive a steaming, aromatic bowl of noodles? Is it when you add the garnishes and that squeeze of lime that somehow always ends up on your face? Or is it that blissful moment when you finally get to eat the noodles, when it’s just you and the noodles and no one else?

In Vietnam, noodles are the thread of daily life. From flat rice noodles (bánh phở) in the ...]]> noodletown2

(This feature was originally published at Momentum Magazine – John Brown Media. It is re published here with permission)

Across Vietnam, noodles are a staple. But how they’re prepared and what they’re served with varies according to the climate, history and personality of each region

What’s better than the moment when you receive a steaming, aromatic bowl of noodles? Is it when you add the garnishes and that squeeze of lime that somehow always ends up on your face? Or is it that blissful moment when you finally get to eat the noodles, when it’s just you and the noodles and no one else?

In Vietnam, noodles are the thread of daily life. From flat rice noodles (bánh phở) in the morning to rice vermicelli (bún) in the afternoon, from rolled noodle sheets (bánh cuốn) as a quick street snack to thick, plump cylindrical noodles (bánh canh) at the end of the night, all kinds of noodles are enjoyed as a staple. But how they’re prepared and what they’re paired with varies greatly, and often depends on what’s available within the various regions of the S-shaped country.

In the cooler north along the Chinese border, people tend to eat simpler meals with purer broths. They’re not as flamboyant with herbs, condiments and garnishes like those of the tropical south where vegetation is in abundance. Northerners prefer their food either salty or plain; southerners prefer it sweet and vivacious; and those from the center love it hot, zesty and peppery.

THE NORTH: HANOI

Beef pho_Uyen Luu
Beef pho was first created during the French colonial period as a Vietnamese interpretation of beef casserole

The world-famous phở bò (beef pho) is actually an interpretation of a French dish. Legend has it that during French colonial times (1887-1954), a street vendor just outside of Hà Nội was one of the first to gather discarded marrow-rich bones, cartilage-rich oxtail and other undesirable cuts of beef. He poached them with a concoction of spices left by the Chinese (cloves, star anise, black cardamom), essentially creating a watered-down beef casserole. But being Vietnamese, not French, he had to have it with noodles.

When the communists ruled the north after the revolution in 1954, many northerners fled south and brought the much-loved phở with them. In the south, where the land was much more fertile and the people loved to be extravagant with flavor, phở changed drastically and developed its own signature depending on where it was prepared. Southerners also like their bánh phở noodles much thinner and with more of a bite—thinner noodles let more air circulate, thus making the slurp of broth or sauce more indulgent and satisfying.

CENTRAL HIGHLANDS: HUẾ

Hue Banh Cang Ca Loc
Bánh canh cá lóc is a comfort food for people of Central Highlands

The Central Highlands city of Huế was once the capital and is still brimming with history from its past dynasties. Here, food is meticulously prepared although the people are generally poorer and tend to make do with whatever ingredients they can get their hands on. Bun bò Huế is a famous and delicious breakfast bowl of lemongrass beef and pork noodle soup that’s served with the fattest rice vermicelli—sometimes measuring more than 1.8mm. Somehow it only tastes right with thicker noodles, which were meant to keep Huế residents fuller for longer.

In the mid-morning, afternoon or after supper, bánh canh cá lóc is a popular local snack. This humble but mouthwatering lemongrass and marrow-rich snakehead fish (similar to catfish) soup comes with hand-rolled noodles and plenty of herbs, heat and zest. Soups in this region are often served with unpeeled, whole quail eggs and chả Huế—a famous and much sought-after paste of cinnamon, pepper and steamed pork wrapped in a banana leaf.

COASTAL TOWNS: PHAN THIẾT

Phan Thiet Banh Canh
Bánh canh Phan Thiết is a great summer dish with a spicy kick

Drive down the coast from Huế to the southerly fish-sauce-making seaside town of Phan Thiết (my mother’s hometown) and the food takes on its own quirky personality. Instead of adding rice vermicelli to summer rolls, locals add shredded pork skin coated in roasted rice powder, which mimics noodles in its appearance and (slightly chewy) texture.

 

The famous street noodle soup bánh canh Phan Thiết is a great top-up after an evening meal, designed to keep hunger at bay and make for a sound sleep. The broth is either made from pork knuckles and trotters or with fish or crab, and is served with pork or dill fish cakes plus an array of seafood and condiments. It is wonderfully sweet and fresh with lime and fierce with chilies too. The dish is usually slurped from a spoon because its short, thick and transparent hand-rolled tapioca noodles fit right into it.

THE SOUTH: SÀI GÒN (HO CHI MINH)

Saigon Bun Thit Nuong Blue
The unmistakable fragrance of bún thịt nướng comes from a mix of perilla, mint and coriander

Download Uyen Luu’s recipe for bún thịt nướng

The Sai-Gonese prefer the non-noodle components of a dish to shine—like a piece of grilled pork, caramelized by sweet sticky sugar and smoked over charcoal with savory, pungent fish sauce. The treacle aroma of bún thịt nướng (rice noodles with chargrilled meat) hovers around Sài Gòn every afternoon as skewer after skewer sizzles then drops onto bowls of fresh fluffy bún. They are then layered with an abundance of herbs such as perilla, mint and coriander, which are used with an assortment of salad leaves and crunchy pickles for color and garnish. Finally, nước chấm: that ultimate dressing of sweet, sour, salty and hot fish sauce that makes this noodle dish the supreme fast food of Sài Gòn.

No matter where you are in the country, noodles are here, there and everywhere. In a rapidly developing world, where fast food is infiltrating from the West, Vietnamese cuisine is still very much cherished by its people: from those in the rice paddies to those in the high-rise cities and seaside resorts. Not only are noodles vital to the diet, the dishes made with them represent place, celebrate culture and preserve tradition.

Download the recipe below and take a stab at making bún thịt nướng at home. Share your food shots with us at #momentumtravel!

Photos: Styled and photographed by Uyen Luu

– See more at: http://momentum.travel/food-drink/geography-vietnamese-noodles/#sthash.Exp6AixQ.dpuf

]]> http://www.uyenluu.com/the-geography-of-vietnamese-noodles/feed/ 0 7740
Chicken Salad with Sugar Snap Peas, Pomelo, Mint and Red Onion Pickle http://www.uyenluu.com/chicken-salad-with-sugar-snap-peas-pomelo-mint-and-red-onion-pickle/ http://www.uyenluu.com/chicken-salad-with-sugar-snap-peas-pomelo-mint-and-red-onion-pickle/#respond Wed, 13 Apr 2016 21:32:06 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7697

Chicken Salad with Sugar Snap Peas, Pomelo, Mint and Red Onion ...]]> Mint is the must have essential ingredient in everyone’s fridge. Throw together a combination of raw vegetables, thinly sliced, with a protein such as chicken, dress with mint and a simple Vietnamese dipping sauce and you will have the most delicious and satisfying meal. What is great is that it makes you feel light and healthy. My raw vegetable salad is a major crowd pleaser and anyone hankering after the pure taste of Vietnamese cuisine does the trick. Its down to the refreshing taste of mint, green and cool to the palette. Its all wonderfully fresh, crunchy, sweet, sour and hot. The dipping sauce is bursting with zing, spiciness, sharp tanginess and syrupy ginger. 

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Chicken Salad with Sugar Snap Peas, Pomelo, Mint and Red Onion Pickle

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Red Onion Pickle
1 red onion
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of salt and pepper

Salad
Whole corn fed free range/ organic chicken
400g sugar snap peas (can also be carrot, kohl rabi, daikon, courgettes, mange tout or a combination of these)

1/4 pomelo (de-skinned, separate segments) (or grapefruit)

10 radish (thinly sliced)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
10 mint sprigs
small handful of coriander
crushed peanuts, cashew or pistachios

Dipping Sauce
3 birds-eye chillies (de-seeded and finely chopped)

1 clove garlic (finely chopped)

1 thumb ginger, (peeled and finely chopped)

3 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs cider vinegar
5 tbs premium quality fish sauce
5 tbs crushed/ blended salted roasted peanuts, cashew or pistachios

Prawn crackers and/ or steamed chicken rice to serve

Method

Poach a whole chicken in a pot with a lid with 3 litres of boiling water, season with salt and cook for about 60 – 70 minutes, until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Meanwhile, slice the red onion as thinly as you can and pickle with vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl, mixing occasionally.

Thinly slice the sugar snap peas lengthways. Slice the radishes into paper thin pieces. Tear pomelo into bite sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl.

Using cooking scissors, cut the mint into 1 cm stops and add to the bowl.

Prepare and mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a separate bowl, tasting for the balance of sweet, sour, salty and hotness. Serve in dipping bowls.

When the chicken is cooked, leave to cool. De-bone and tear off the meat along the grain. Season with salt and pepper. Add this to the bowl of salad with the pickled onion (add the vinegar juice too). When ready to serve, toss the salad together.

Garnish with a few sprigs of coriander and mint and a sprinkle of nuts. Serve with the salad dressing as a dipping sauce, prawn crackers or steamed rice.

You can use the chicken stock to make  a delicious chicken rice.
Alternatively, you can also use the dipping sauce to dress the salad.
]]> http://www.uyenluu.com/chicken-salad-with-sugar-snap-peas-pomelo-mint-and-red-onion-pickle/feed/ 0 7697
Oxtail Soup with Butternut Squash and Winter Melon http://www.uyenluu.com/oxtail-soup-with-butternut-squash-and-winter-melon/ http://www.uyenluu.com/oxtail-soup-with-butternut-squash-and-winter-melon/#comments Wed, 27 Jan 2016 16:04:03 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7688

I have just had a baby girl and I am breastfeeding. When my mother comes to visit, she prepares this very quick one pot wonder of magic which she claims what makes good milk and that women all over Vietnam are eating this to promote healthy nutrition for mother and baby. It is delicious whether you are breastfeeding or not! Daddy loves it too.

Serves 2

Ingredients

330g large oxtail chunks, ask butcher to slice into 1 inch thick

1.2 litres water

200g butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1 inch square chunks

200g winter melon, peeled, cut into 1 inch slices (or courgette, marrow, green papaya, lotus)

salt and pepper to season

2tbs premium quality fish sauce coriander to garnish (optional)

 

Method

To gain a clean and clear ...]]> VSCO Cam-1

I have just had a baby girl and I am breastfeeding. When my mother comes to visit, she prepares this very quick one pot wonder of magic which she claims what makes good milk and that women all over Vietnam are eating this to promote healthy nutrition for mother and baby. It is delicious whether you are breastfeeding or not! Daddy loves it too.

Serves 2

Ingredients

330g large oxtail chunks, ask butcher to slice into 1 inch thick

1.2 litres water

200g butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1 inch square chunks

200g winter melon, peeled, cut into 1 inch slices (or courgette, marrow, green papaya, lotus)

salt and pepper to season

2tbs premium quality fish sauce coriander to garnish (optional)

 

Method

To gain a clean and clear broth, clean the oxtail pieces by boiling it for 5 minutes, then drain and clean the oxtail pieces under running water.

Clean the saucepan and fill with 1.2 litres of water and bring to the boil. Add the oxtail and a good pinch of salt and cook on a medium simmer for half an hour with a lid on.

Prepare the vegetables, add the squash and winter melon to the oxtail broth and season with fish sauce and cook for a further 20 – 30 minutes.

Serve with a sprinkling of coriander, black pepper and enjoy with a crusty baguette – with or without plenty of butter.

TIP: you can make much more by doubling up. It’s great to have over a couple of days. I’ve suggested a combination of butternut squash and winter melon but it could be a combination of this with marrow, parsnips, carrots, courgettes, lotus. You can see what you have going in the fridge. Cook softer vegetables for less time towards the end.

Use any herb you fancy.

]]> http://www.uyenluu.com/oxtail-soup-with-butternut-squash-and-winter-melon/feed/ 1 7688
Slow Poached Chicken with Ginger, Lemongrass and Chillies http://www.uyenluu.com/slow-poached-chicken-with-ginger-lemongrass-and-chillies/ http://www.uyenluu.com/slow-poached-chicken-with-ginger-lemongrass-and-chillies/#respond Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:32:53 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7683 At home in the fridge, there are always some carrots, peas in the freezer, potatoes and onions in a cupboard. My staple ingredient is fish sauce, ginger, dried chillies (that I dry myself from fresh chillies, finely chopped and left on a plate for a few days), lemongrass and a bag of coriander or mint.

There are so many ways you can turn these ingredients into a quick one-pot, tasty, delicious and frugal meal as well as being healthy and nutritious.

This should take about 15 minutes to prepare, which can be done earlier in the day to be set aside for dinner. (Especially great to do when your little baby is asleep)

If you don’t finish the pot in one ...]]> At home in the fridge, there are always some carrots, peas in the freezer, potatoes and onions in a cupboard. My staple ingredient is fish sauce, ginger, dried chillies (that I dry myself from fresh chillies, finely chopped and left on a plate for a few days), lemongrass and a bag of coriander or mint.

There are so many ways you can turn these ingredients into a quick one-pot, tasty, delicious and frugal meal as well as being healthy and nutritious.

This should take about 15 minutes to prepare, which can be done earlier in the day to be set aside for dinner. (Especially great to do when your little baby is asleep)

If you don’t finish the pot in one go, its great for breakfast or lunch the next day, adding more peas or courgettes and herbs to fill it up.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Slow Poached Chicken with Ginger, Lemongrass and Chillies 
Serves 3- 4

Ingredients

6 chicken thighs (skinned, chopped or left whole)
2 tbs rapeseed or olive oil
1 thumb ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
I onion, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, peeled, cut into 2cm chunks
200g baby/ new potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, cut into bite-size if necessary
1 tsp dried chillies
1 lemongrass stalk, cut into 3 pieces
300ml homemade or good quality chicken stock
3tbs premium fish sauce
150g fresh or frozen peas
1 courgette, slice into 1 cm pieces (optional)
Some coriander or mint (optional)
black pepper to season

Method

In a medium hot sauce pan, add oil and brown the chicken thighs for approximately 2 mins on each side for approximately 2 mins. Set aside on a plate.

Using the same pan, add the onions, dried chillies, ginger and lemongrass to slightly brown. Return the chicken to the pot, add the carrots and potatoes. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and season with fish sauce and black pepper. Place the lid on the pot and on the lowest heat setting and cook on a low simmer for 30 – 40 mins.

When ready to serve, add peas and/ or courgettes and cook for a further 5 mins. If available add chopped coriander or mint.

Serve with steamed rice, rice vermicelli, baguette or buttered toast.

]]> http://www.uyenluu.com/slow-poached-chicken-with-ginger-lemongrass-and-chillies/feed/ 0 7683
My Vietnamese Cooking Classes http://www.uyenluu.com/my-vietnamese-cooking-classes/ http://www.uyenluu.com/my-vietnamese-cooking-classes/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2015 11:41:52 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7659

Learn how to cook and eat Vietnamese in my kitchen at home with me and my mum. We would make and eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between in an afternoon. From salads, fresh rolls to broth and family style dinners.

I have grown up in London in the 80s and my mother brought us up on a strict Vietnamese diet because she believed that not only it was a connection to our home, our culture and who we are but also that she thought it was much healthier and very delicious.

I will share stories, simple techniques and eating philosophies over lots of food.

Book here

Christmas Gift Vouchers are valid for one year. You can arrange a date with me ...]]> uyen_1-690x400

Learn how to cook and eat Vietnamese in my kitchen at home with me and my mum. We would make and eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between in an afternoon. From salads, fresh rolls to broth and family style dinners.

I have grown up in London in the 80s and my mother brought us up on a strict Vietnamese diet because she believed that not only it was a connection to our home, our culture and who we are but also that she thought it was much healthier and very delicious.

I will share stories, simple techniques and eating philosophies over lots of food.

Book here

Christmas Gift Vouchers are valid for one year. You can arrange a date with me after Christmas.

 

*Photo by Issy Croker

]]> http://www.uyenluu.com/my-vietnamese-cooking-classes/feed/ 0 7659
4 Ways To Use Coconut Oil In The Kitchen http://www.uyenluu.com/4-ways-to-use-coconut-oil-in-the-kitchen/ http://www.uyenluu.com/4-ways-to-use-coconut-oil-in-the-kitchen/#respond Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:10:25 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7601

Food Photography by Uyen Luu.

With all the rage of goodness and health benefits, coconut oil is the new black. Once deemed evil because it is one of the richest sources of saturated fat, it is now far from that with a long list of health benefits because it is high in essential fatty acids. As well as being brilliant for your body on the inside, it helps to protect and moisturise hair and skin too. Its brilliant as a make up remover and mouth wash also.

I use coconut oil all the time in my cooking as it lends itself so well to South East Asian cuisines such as Vietnamese and Thai. It has a high melting point which means ...]]> VITA COCO Egg

Food Photography by Uyen Luu.

With all the rage of goodness and health benefits, coconut oil is the new black. Once deemed evil because it is one of the richest sources of saturated fat, it is now far from that with a long list of health benefits because it is high in essential fatty acids. As well as being brilliant for your body on the inside, it helps to protect and moisturise hair and skin too. Its brilliant as a make up remover and mouth wash also.

I use coconut oil all the time in my cooking as it lends itself so well to South East Asian cuisines such as Vietnamese and Thai. It has a high melting point which means it doesn’t turn itself into something harmful like vegetable oils do. I do use a variety of other oils like extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, butter and animal fats as I don’t want to cut them out of my food chain and virgin coconut oil is one of my must-have kitchen staples.

Here are 4 ways to use coconut oil and to include it daily at home in the kitchen.

1. Breakfast

Fry a beautiful fresh egg with coconut oil or make an omelette with it instead of using vegetable oils. Just a teaspoon to cover the frying pan with fat. There is a nutty flavour, nothing too dominating that would subtract from the lovely flavours of egg. Its also lovely in smoothies and coffee.

VITA COCO Spreads

2. Use As A Spread

There are so many things you can do with coconut oil. First and foremost it is simply delicious on toast just on its own. Add jam if you wish. During the colder months, the oil will be more solid like butter whereas in the summer its more like an oil. You can use coconut oil to make your own almond, cashew or peanut butter – simply blend the raw nuts with the coconut oil, add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavours. You can also use cocoa powder and hazel nuts, just add them to the blender with a big dollop of coconut oil. Its a great way of intaking the goodness of nuts and coconut oil in a healthy snack/ meal which is home made and non processed without comprising on flavour.

Try making lemon or lime curd with coconut oil instead of butter too. It is so delicious! Add some lime or lemon zest at the end of cooking after the mixture has cooled down or grate some fresh zest on top of your spread. Use unrefined sugars or maple syrup instead of caster sugar if you’re avoiding it.

Its as simple as! Sterilise some jars and keep in a cool place or refrigerated (*if you keep it refrigerated, bring to room temperature before serving as the coconut oil turns it into a very hard solid)

VITA COCO Roast Veg2

3. Roast Vegetables

Either melt some coconut oil in an oven tray in the oven for 15 mins first or just coat coconut oil all over your lovely cleaned and cut vegetables. Season well with salt & pepper before roasting it for half an hour – forty five mins at 180c with your other trimmings and bits like a roast chicken. I always add some hardy herbs such as rosemary or thyme just 15 mins towards the end of the roast for the extra zing of flavour.

VITA COCO Cake1

4. Baking

In recipes where butter or oil is used, replace it with coconut oil. Its so good. This is a Victoria sponge sandwiched with fresh fruit. I also use coconut oil in Asian cakes like chiffon cakes with pandan and coconut flavour – its excellent with blueberries too and makes the cake rise perfectly with the softest and lightest of textures.

VITA COCO Cake3

I have been using coconut oil long before for flavour and goodness but with this post, I have partnered with Vita Coco.

Follow @VitaCocoOilUK on Twitter and Instagram

You can head over to their website  swearbyit.com for more coconut oil and tricks.

Food Styling by Jenny Brown

]]> http://www.uyenluu.com/4-ways-to-use-coconut-oil-in-the-kitchen/feed/ 0 7601
Love Your Greens, Oranges, Yellows, Reds… http://www.uyenluu.com/love-your-greens-oranges-yellows-reds/ http://www.uyenluu.com/love-your-greens-oranges-yellows-reds/#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 15:19:31 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7528

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”*

There isn’t much need for me to drone on about how vegetables are so good for us – everyone else has already said it! My mum has bought me up with 70% vegetables on the table and 30% meat or fish because that is the way its traditionally done in Vietnam. Perhaps not because its just good for you but mainly because its also cheaper and also good for you. But loving my veg has never been an easy feat in Western cooking because it is done so differently to the Vietnamese way – which is high heat, cook fast and eat.

Vegetables are flash fried quickly so that it retains texture, shape and taste ...]]> Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”*

There isn’t much need for me to drone on about how vegetables are so good for us – everyone else has already said it! My mum has bought me up with 70% vegetables on the table and 30% meat or fish because that is the way its traditionally done in Vietnam. Perhaps not because its just good for you but mainly because its also cheaper and also good for you. But loving my veg has never been an easy feat in Western cooking because it is done so differently to the Vietnamese way – which is high heat, cook fast and eat.

Vegetables are flash fried quickly so that it retains texture, shape and taste or blanched right before serving to flavour broth, keeping all the essential flavours and nutrients within the dish, then eaten. Broth from most vegetables that has been boiled is kept as a drink. Nothing is wasted.

My favourite ways of cooking vegetables, using my Leisure stove and oven:

1. Roast or Grill

Tips:

Wash and cut vegetables to bite sized pieces and place on a baking tray. Using a pastry brush, paint the surfaces of the vegetables with coconut oil, left over fat from a roast or duck/ goose fat. Season with salt and pepper or any spices you fancy then roast in the conventional oven or grill. Times will vary according to what you are cooking and how much of it so keep an eye out.

Soft vegetables like aubergines, tomatoes, beans, broccoli, tenderstem will take less time and root vegetables like carrots, parsnip, beetroot will take a little longer.

You can always make a dressing for them, from your favourite pesto to a simple soy sauce dressing.

Serve with a roast, with steamed or fried rice, in a noodle soup with broth, mixed in a stir-fry.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

In this picture, grilled and stir-fried vegetables with vermicelli.

2. Stir-Fry

f263109d-6347-421a-91cd-7fe95561e178-460x307

Picture above: Stir- Fried Flat Rice Noodles With Omlette, Leeksm Peas, Carrot & Chilli as featured in The Observer Food Monthly

Stir-Fry Tips:

Prep vegetables to bite sized pieces.

Make a sauce, for example, soy, mirin, sake and maple. Or just just soy sauce, oyster sauce or fish sauce.

Make sure your wok or frying pan is hot, add coconut oil, butter or cooking oil then fry the hard vegetables first, moving the pan vigourously with the sauce for about a minute before adding soft vegetables and continue to fry until the vegetables are tender, still with a little bite.

Here is a fast and ultra delicious quick recipe for a stir fry, using a premium quality fish sauce. It is great with home made pasta – click here for my recipe

Stir Fried Kale & Leek Pasta/ Noodles Recipe

120g leek (which is equal to about 1 small leek or half a large leek)
250g kale (half a bunch)
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 tsp dried chilli
11/3 tbsp butter
11/2 tbsp fish sauce
150g dried noodles/homemade pasta

Method

Finely slice the leek into 5mm rings and wash under running water to remove any grit.

Destem the kale, and cut into 1cm strips.

Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add the oil.

Sweat the leeks with the dried chilli for 3 1/2 minutes.

Add half the kale and 1 tbsp of fish sauce and fry for a minute stirring regularly.

Add in the rest of the kale and continue to move it around the pan to stop it from sticking and burning, for another 3 1/2 minutes.

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, and drain.

Tip the noodles into the pan of kale and leeks, add 1/2 tbsp of butter and mix until the noodles are well coated.

3. Raw Salad

Bel Air 19th August 20140534

 Raw Salad Tips

Wash and dry hard fruit and vegetables such as carrot, kohl rabi, beans, cabbage, apples and pears and finely slice or julienne with a knife or julienner to retain freshness, crunch, texture. Vegetables can be prepped way a head and dressed when ready to serve.

Avoid using a food processor because the vegetables will become limp and wet.

Always soak apples and pears in lemon water to keep them from oxidising.

Serve with or without chicken or seafood.

Use a pair of kitchen scissors to coarsely cut herbs before serving to prevent them from bruising.

Vietnamese Dressing Recipe

Mix together in a jar (keeps for about a week in the fridge), mug or bowl and then massage into the salad. Avoid making too much which will drench the salad. Pour a little at a time.

Serves 4
2 birds-eye chillies (de-seeded and finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
1.5 tbs sugar
2 tbs cider vinegar
2 tbs premium quality fish sauce (Three Crabs)
3 tbs crushed/ blended salted roasted peanuts

Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe here

4. Poach With Broth

Food Styling & Photography By Uyen Luu www.uyenluu.com

Poaching Tips:

For a delicious and healthy soup, it is important to master poaching them by making a good broth to start with. Use seasoned vegetable, chicken, pork or fish stock (sometimes combining stocks is very tasty).

If you don’t have time, it is ok to use a stock cube too. Most vegetables will flavour the broth in addition to being cooked in it.

Add premium fish sauce or soy sauce to season. Add ginger or lemongrass to build depth, heat and zest.

Add hard vegetables to the broth first, then softer leafy vegetables and finally when the heat is turned off and you’re ready to serve, mix in chopped spring onions and/or desired herbs.

Serve with ramen, rice noodles or steamed rice. Usually vegetables soups are palate cleansers and a major part of family meals with lots of other sharing plates.

You can also create a hot pot in the middle and add vegetables as you go, drinking up the broth that is ladled into your bowl whenever it is desired.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Vegetarian Pho Recipe as featured in The Saturday Telegraph, April 2015

5. Steam

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Steaming Tips:

Its always good to have a steamer in the kitchen, one of my essentials. I have a metal one but bamboo ones in different sizes are also great!

It is probably faster and easier to steam something rather than boiling it. Add the vegetables (at different stages if you have a selection) when the water has come to the boil. It takes minutes and you don’t have to drain it.

Serve with a dressing, extra virgin olive oil, butter or serve plain because sometimes you just fancy plain!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

*Michael Pollan. “In Defence Of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto”

All photography and styling by Uyen Luu apart from The Observer photograph.

uyen_1-690x400

This photograph by Issy Croker for Suitcase Magazine

]]> http://www.uyenluu.com/love-your-greens-oranges-yellows-reds/feed/ 0 7528
The Best Treat To Yourself: Homemade Fresh Pasta http://www.uyenluu.com/the-best-treat-to-yourself-homemade-fresh-pasta/ http://www.uyenluu.com/the-best-treat-to-yourself-homemade-fresh-pasta/#respond Mon, 11 May 2015 12:46:52 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7515 Food Styling & Photography By Uyen Luuwww.uyenluu.com

There is nothing like making your own fresh pasta and until I had the Kitchen Aid Pasta Maker I thought it was quite fine to eat my favourite brand of dried commercial pasta. But this has revolutionalised my love of pasta (and I already really love it). Honestly, there is nothing simplier and more delightful than eating fresh pasta. With the kitchen aid kneading the dough and the pasta maker spinning all by itself without you having to use any elbow grease, the only thing you have to do is pull together the dough ingredients and feed it though the pasta maker. I use the basic Italian ingredients and portions for pasta ...]]>
Food Styling & Photography By Uyen Luu www.uyenluu.com

Food Styling & Photography By Uyen Luu
www.uyenluu.com

There is nothing like making your own fresh pasta and until I had the Kitchen Aid Pasta Maker I thought it was quite fine to eat my favourite brand of dried commercial pasta. But this has revolutionalised my love of pasta (and I already really love it). Honestly, there is nothing simplier and more delightful than eating fresh pasta. With the kitchen aid kneading the dough and the pasta maker spinning all by itself without you having to use any elbow grease, the only thing you have to do is pull together the dough ingredients and feed it though the pasta maker.
1511042_751586391577313_5435918026856680663_n
I use the basic Italian ingredients and portions for pasta which is a lovely free range egg to every 100g of “00” flour and a seasoning of salt into the Kitchen Aid bowl.
Using the dough hook, spin this on the lowest setting for about 10 minutes or until the mix is combined.  Then rest it for about 30 minutes in the bowl and knead again for a further 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, clear a clean work surface to place your pasta on, you will need lots of space.
After this time, divide the dough into one inch pieces and feed each one several times (about 6 – 8) into the pasta maker at setting number 1, folding in half each time. Set aside on a floured surface, sprinkling every piece with flour so that it doesn’t stick.
When each piece has been through setting 1, feed it through setting 2, 3, 4 and if required 5 once and set aside again making sure it is all evenly floured. Repeat with the others.
Then change to the required pasta cutter, spaghetti or fettucine and feed through and hang on clothes hangers or roll loosely onto a chopping board or surface.
The pasta will dry out and I can save it for the entire weeks meals. I cook the pasta for about 5 mins from boiling salted water.
You can make a variety of pastas using spinach or herbs like basil and experiment to your hearts content. Here is my version of wild garlic pasta – it is so delicious with butter and some more wild garlic pesto.
11102852_787469967988955_4211948711574016730_n
 Wild Garlic Pasta
serves 4
400g Tipo ’00’ Flour
4 large eggs
a generous pinch of salt
60g wild garlic, washed and very finely chopped
In a small bowl beat the eggs and chopped wild garlic together.
Sift the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer, then add the eggs and salt. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for about 10 minutes on a low speed until the mix is combined and smooth.
Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Return the dough to the mixer and knead for a further 20 minutes.
Split the dough into four pieces and using the KitchenAid pasta attachment set at the widest setting and run the pasta through. Repeat as above.
10346320_786432721426013_4760498361653465695_n 11110455_786432794759339_7491521053315026631_n
10730943_708003962602223_7444859543816430587_n
1958070_699263966809556_2360943527462702464_n 1977386_717925968276689_6555027346154867556_n 10731031_718237468245539_4344068714535721363_n
You can find my recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese/ Ragu in my book My Vietnamese Kitchen which is a favourite amongst the Vietnamese in Saigon today.
]]>
http://www.uyenluu.com/the-best-treat-to-yourself-homemade-fresh-pasta/feed/ 0 7515
Recipe: Bún Xào Singapore http://www.uyenluu.com/recipe-bun-xao-singapore/ http://www.uyenluu.com/recipe-bun-xao-singapore/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:01:09 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7509

As published in The Saturday Telegraph Magazine April 11th 2015

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS For the cavolo nero chips: 100g cavolo nero 1 tbsp melted coconut oil a pinch of pink Himalayan or rock salt

For the noodles: 175g dried rice vermicelli (1.2mm thick) oil for frying ½ a bird’s eye chilli, roughly chopped 2 shallots, roughly chopped 70g purple sprouting broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces 1½ tsp curry powder 2 tbsp fish sauce 100g cooked prawns a pinch of sugar 20g garlic chives, chopped 10g mint, roughly chopped for the omelette 3 free-range eggs ½ tsp sugar 1 tsp soy sauce 2 shallots, chopped

METHOD Preheat the oven to 250C/gas mark 9. De-stem the cavolo nero and cut into 6-7cm slices. Pour over the melted coconut oil and massage through the leaves until they are completely covered. Sprinkle with salt. Spread in a single layer ...]]>

singaorenoodles

As published in The Saturday Telegraph Magazine April 11th 2015

SERVES
2

INGREDIENTS
For the cavolo nero chips:
100g cavolo nero
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
a pinch of pink Himalayan or rock salt

For the noodles:
175g dried rice vermicelli (1.2mm thick)
oil for frying
½ a bird’s eye chilli, roughly chopped
2 shallots, roughly chopped
70g purple sprouting broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1½ tsp curry powder
2 tbsp fish sauce
100g cooked prawns
a pinch of sugar
20g garlic chives, chopped
10g mint, roughly chopped for the omelette
3 free-range eggs
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
2 shallots, chopped

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 250C/gas mark 9. De-stem the cavolo nero and cut into 6-7cm slices. Pour over the melted coconut oil and massage through the leaves until they are completely covered. Sprinkle with salt. Spread in a single layer over a baking tray and cook for 5-7 minutes, until crisp and a little brown around the edges.

Prep all the ingredients in advance of the stir-fry so that nothing gets overcooked. Soak the vermicelli noodles in hot water for four minutes, until partially softened, drain and rinse well under warm tap water.

For the omelette, in a small bowl beat together the eggs, sugar and soy sauce with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large frying pan gently fry the shallots with a dash of oil over a medium heat for about one minute, until lightly browned, then pour the egg mixture over the shallots, and fry until set. Remove from the pan and set aside.

For the noodles, wipe out the frying pan, place it back on a medium heat, pour in a tablespoon of oil and fry the chopped chilli and shallots together for a minute, until soft. Add the broccoli and continue to fry gently for a further four minutes. Then add the noodles and curry powder, mixing well. Break the omelette into chunks and add to the pan with the fish sauce, prawns and sugar, and continue stir-frying for a further 3-4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and serve sprinkled with the garlic chives and mint, with the cavolo nero chips.

 

thanks to Wholegood for supplying the gorgeous veggies. Aria London & Kana London for the plates

]]> http://www.uyenluu.com/recipe-bun-xao-singapore/feed/ 0 7509
Pork belly, pomelo and pomegranate salad recipe http://www.uyenluu.com/pork-belly-pomelo-and-pomegranate-salad-recipe/ http://www.uyenluu.com/pork-belly-pomelo-and-pomegranate-salad-recipe/#respond Fri, 10 Apr 2015 18:03:55 +0000 http://www.uyenluu.com/?p=7506

As published in The Saturday Telegraph Magazine April 11th 2015

SERVES 2-4

INGREDIENTS 400g pork belly, skin on 1 green eating apple, cored and cut into 5mm slices, soaked in water with lemon juice, and drained after five minutes ¼ pomelo, peeled and the segments deskinned 2 rainbow carrots, very finely julienned 6 stems of mint, leaves only, finely sliced the seeds of ½ a pomegranate

For the dressing: 2 tbsp maple syrup 3 tbsp fish sauce the juice of ½ a lemon or lime 1 whole bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped

METHOD Bring a pan of water with a heaped teaspoon of salt to the boil. Carefully place the pork in the water and poach with a lid on for 35 minutes, or until the juices run clear – if the juices are ...]]>

porkbellycarrotpomelosalad2

As published in The Saturday Telegraph Magazine April 11th 2015

SERVES
2-4

INGREDIENTS
400g pork belly, skin on
1 green eating apple, cored and cut into 5mm slices, soaked in water with lemon juice, and drained after five minutes
¼ pomelo, peeled and the segments deskinned
2 rainbow carrots, very finely julienned
6 stems of mint, leaves only, finely sliced
the seeds of ½ a pomegranate

For the dressing:
2 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp fish sauce
the juice of ½ a lemon or lime
1 whole bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped

METHOD
Bring a pan of water with a heaped teaspoon of salt to the boil. Carefully place the pork in the water and poach with a lid on for 35 minutes, or until the juices run clear – if the juices are pink, return to the hot water for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the water and leave to stand. When the pork is cool enough to handle slice thinly.

Mix together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set to one side.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the apple and pomelo with the carrot, and scatter with the sliced mint leaves and pomegranate seeds. Layer over some of the pork slices and the dressing. Serve immediately.

]]> http://www.uyenluu.com/pork-belly-pomelo-and-pomegranate-salad-recipe/feed/ 0 7506