About

About

Welcome to my blog! I am a writer, photographer, food/ prop stylist and film maker. You can find recipes, photos, blog posts, films and videos here.

Please follow me on instagram @loveleluu & subscribe here for blog posts. Thank you so much for visiting this page x

Food Styling & Photograhy

My Photography Work

Supper Club

Supper Club

The supper club is held in my home in London Fields, Hackney. It is like a dinner party in the tradition of a Vietnamese feast with homemade Vietnamese food.

Classes

Classes

Vietnamese food is about the balance of flavours, of sweet, salty and sour – there is no measuring device that can ever match your own taste buds.

Subscribe to Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

My Recipe: Phở Bò

10274270_633065530096067_6966077650950515052_n

Adapted from My Vietnamese Kitchen

How to eat Pho like a Vietnamese:
Breathe in the beautiful scented broth then taste, unadulterated by any condiments. Next squeeze on some lemon or lime and add your favoured condiments and garnishes and mix with chopsticks and a spoon. Pile all the ingredients onto your spoon and slurp away, bringing the bowl to your mouth and drinking every last sip of broth.

You can go without most of the garnishes but using the right type of noodle is very important. It is essential to use flat rice noodles. In Vietnam, you can order extra noodles. Don’t forget, this is a breakfast dish and therefore lots of carbohydrates are required to keep you going for the day.

A choice of garnishes should be on the side with lemon/lime wedges. You should never serve the soup with the lime wedges inside the bowl or put your squeezed pieces into it.

Tear herbs such as sawtooth and basil into the bowl of soup, adding pre blanced or raw beansprouts if desired and fresh chillies to your level of hotness.

Phở Bò – Beef Noodle Soup

pho ingredients

Read More

Pleasure In Every Sense: My Mum’s Bánh Mì

Banh Mi Three Types

I will never forget my grandmother cooking every morning and serving steaming hot noodle soup to passers by and regulars at her open house street food stall. I often get glimpses into her children’s memories (my aunts and uncles) of war, poverty, escapism, love and resilience but most of all, the surrender to good food. She loved my mother, her daughter in law because they had in common the desire and hankering for deliciousness.

In times of need, my mother then opened a little bánh mì stall outside our Saigon house in the early 80s, just before we refuged in England. Today, when she can get hold of these amazing soft, yet crispy and crunchy baguettes, we have them filled with barbecued pork, or Vietnamese sausages or shallot omelette stuffed with coriander, cucumber and pickled carrots and mooli; sprinkled with those dangerously fiery bird eye chillies. Heaven in a bite. Heaven in a length of a baguette. Pleasure in every sense.

You can buy these baguettes and fill them up yourself from The Spence Bakery

161 Stoke Newington Church St, London N16 0UH 020 7249 4927

If you need recipes, they are in my book – My Vietnamese Kitchen

If you wish to order a whole bunch of these, you can email me uyenATuyenluuDOTcom, my mum would love to make them!

Filming With Loyd Grossman For Grokker

grokker2I loved watching food TV from a very young age and what I remember most as a child is watching Masterchef with Loyd Grossman. He spoke funny but I still loved him and I got to meet him one day in September to show him Canh Chua which is a sweet and sour soup with sea bass (it can be any fish). The irony was that I mother used to make this for us after school for dinner and as we ate it, we watched Loyd on the television.grokker

grokker1

The soup is the perfect example of what Vietnamese food is all about! Sweet, sour and salty with beautiful combinations of silky texture from fish and crunchy vegetables. This soup has two dishes in one, completing a typical Vietnamese lunch or dinner – to be shared with friends, family and loved ones. You can eat the vegetables from the soup at any time, taking only a few pieces of fish as and when you require it and take the broth into your rice bowl towards the end of grains and drink it all up.  It also only takes a few minutes to cook. Everything else is in the prep. It is excellent with fish like hake, cod, haddock, sea bass, sea bream, carp and salmon. It is also great with fish cakes or chicken and you can use whatever herbs you have like sawtooth, dill, basil, mint or coriander. The taro stems are the sponge-like looking vegetables. They are not cooked but added when the heat is turned off so they retain bite and the broth keeps in between the holes which makes for a crunchy and brothy mouthful!

IMG_4350

The fish is poached within the soup for stock and flavour to the broth, then removed from the pot onto a dish of fine premium fish sauce and crushed chillies. It is then shared with steamed rice.

You can see the video here, where I cook and explain everything to Loyd.

http://grokker.com/cooking/video/hot-and-sour-soup-with-sea-bass-by-uyen-/529aa08506ed8bc60e0295e2

please “love it” where the heart is so I can go back and film some more with Loyd Grossman. 🙂

I loved meeting Loyd, a kind and approachable gentleman who is ever so professional and encouraging. What a hero he is to me.

The recipe for this soup is in my book, My Vietnamese Kitchen on Page 38.

Here is the trailer for the clip, to view the actual footage follow the link above.

Introduction To Vietnamese Cooking

As published on The Good Food Channel
pho bo

In the first of her series of blog posts on how to cook Vietnamese food, guest blogger Uyen Luu shares the basic principles behind Vietnamese cooking.

There is a certain solitary quietness when bent over a steaming hot bowl of phó, slurping away and sucking at noodles. The broth is laced with the fragrant spices of star anise, coriander seeds, cinnamon and cloves, with top notes of fresh spring onions, coriander, basil, saw tooth herbs and lemon.

Vietnamese cuisine is one of the most flavoursome in the world, with many of its basic principles based on satisfying every taste bud. Preparing and cooking Vietnamese food is about fine tuning tasting skills to balance and master sweet, sour, salty, umani, bitter and hot flavours. It is about combining perfect textures, such as silky meat or fish with crunchy vegetables or herbs to satisfy the bite.

Vietnamese pho

Find a balance

Vietnamese food is about accomplishing a perfect balance in taste, in texture and the lightness of being. Many people naturally follow the yin and yang principles in combining ingredients, for example, a soup with hearty ginger to warm up the body is contrasted with refreshing, cool leaves like pak choi to harmonise the feeling in your body. Eating in balance is a major factor in keeping healthy and many believe that food is medicine.

To maintain an equilibrium, plenty of refreshing shakes, like avocado, papaya, pennyswort and watermelon, are drank as snacks, especially in the evenings to freshen the body before bedtime.

Vietnamese salad

Eat your influences

Vietnam has taken much inspiration from its occupiers, especially the French. The streets are buzzing with food and its aromas, from barbecued meat-filled baguettes (bánh mì), hot pork pastries, crunchy carrot salads and beef steaks with French fries.

The famous noodle soup, phó, was influenced by French casserole pot-au-feu (pot of fire) – and you find many Vietnamese words reflect French, like pâté, pho –(feu), Bò bít têt (beef steak), pâté so (pâté chaud) or cà rôt (carrot).

Saigon summer rolls

Have fun with food

Vietnamese people love eating so much that they have a term called “an choi”, which means to eat playfully, or snack. There are many small and light street food portions that you can pick up, eat and go, throughout the day. Sometimes they are even referred to as gifts to the mouth.

There isn’t a starter, main and dessert – there are snacks, meals in one dish and family meals with many plates all served at once. Vietnamese food is all about the love of food, flavour and eating. Or in other words, how food is love.

If you want to try cooking Vietnamese food at home, have a go at Uyen Luu’s Saigon summer rolls.

How To Cook Vietnamese Food Part 2 – Good Food Channel

In the second of her series of blog posts on how to cook Vietnamese food, guest blogger Uyen Luu explains how some of the key ingredients are used.

Vietnamese food is full of flavour, bursting with tangy freshness, sweet tastiness and umani spiciness! When cooking a Vietnamese dish, most of the work is within the prep and little on the stove.

All of the work is fine tuning every taste bud on the tongue to make sure that there is a balance of sweet, sour and salty. It is also important to combine and balance ingredients that pair well with each other and people remain loyal to combinations.

Coriander

Use herbs like salad leaves

The Vietnamese use herbs in abundance. They don’t just sprinkle a little on here and there, they use them like salad leaves. Full of perfume, flavour and health benefits, herbs are used in almost every savoury dish. Coriander, sweet basil and mint are the most readily available, so if you can’t find the required herbs, use those.

Rice takes different forms

Rice is essential in Vietnamese cuisine, providing most of the carbohydrates one would need and it is also the base of most noodles, buns, crepes, dumplings, rice paper etc. Rice is neutral and is neither warming or cooling for your body so it can be eaten as much as desired. This makes for an easy gluten free diet.

Garlic

Aroma, acidity and sweetness

In Southern Vietnamese cooking, a lot of garlic is used for an appetising aroma; sugar for sweetness and vinegar for acidity. Combine this with a good fish sauce to make many wonderful dishes, sauces, dressings and flavours. It can be varied by adding water or lemongrass, peanuts, ginger, lime and so on.

Look for quality

Fish sauce is the staple of Vietnamese cuisine and is often used instead of salt to season dishes. Fish sauce was invented when someone had left a bucket of fish in sea water in the sun for too long. It rotted and fermented but gave us this wonderful pungent sauce that is now used daily by every cook in Vietnam.

Investing in a good premium fish sauce is imperative and makes a huge difference to the taste of dishes. The fish sauce that is usually stocked in supermarkets are cheap and have not matured enough for a good taste. Use any fish sauce that is over £3. All fish sauces vary in flavour, some (mainly from the Northern regions) are saltier so less should be used.

Fresh and healthy

Being one of the most fertile countries in the world, the Vietnamese use all the great vegetation vastly available on the land. Meat and fish are usually luxuries. One fish per family of five instead of one per person.

Therefore, herbs, fruits and vegetables such as morning glory, taro root, lotus roots, watercress, pineapple, tomatoes and cucumbers fill out a delicious meal, making a Vietnamese diet quite a healthy one.

For more from Uyen Luu visit her blog Love, Leluu, follow her on Twitter @loveleluu or get Uyen’sLove Leluu Facebook updates.