29th August 2009

    Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp

    greenpapayasalad

    Lisa had her first green papaya salad at Thoa in Seattle and absolutely loved it; after trying it myself, I decided that this was something we had to make at home. The recipe itself, which I adapted from a few I spotted online, as well as what I remember of the restaurant version, came together really quickly. The biggest adventure was actually in procuring this little gadget — I wandered all over the International District/Chinatown looking for it and finally found it in a little grocery next to the Tamarind Tree. Four bucks, and the papaya was shredded perfectly. Highly recommended if you’re going to make this dish.


    Lisa says:

    I love how the papaya looks like noodles — so different that what I was expecting!

    Chris says:

    I know, green papaya seems nothing like its ripe counterpart.

    Lisa says:

    This dish just tastes so summery and fresh…

    Chris says:

    I like that dishes like this are so easy to tailor to what you have on hand — you can pretty much make it however you want.

    Lisa says:

    Well, now that you went through all the effort of finding that little papaya shredder, we’ll definitely have to have this more often.

    Chris says:

    Heck yes! Next time I’m thinking I’ll do the beef jerky version, which apparently pretty popular.

    Lisa says:

    Hmmm… maybe I’ll have some shrimp ready as a backup… you enjoy, though!

    Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp
    1 medium-sized green papaya
    1 large carrot
    2 serrano, thai bird, or other hot peppers
    2 garlic cloves
    2 tsp sugar
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    1 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
    1/3-1/2 lb. shrimp
    fried shallots
    peanuts, toasted and chopped
    cilantro, chopped
    basil, cut into ribbons

    Peel the green papaya, then shred or julienne into thin strips and set aside in a large serving bowl. Peel the carrot, and shred or julienne into strips, and add to the papaya.
    In a mortar, crush the chilies, garlic, and sugar into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings to have your preferred level of tartness, sweetness, and spice. Pour just enough dressing over the papaya and carrots — it shouldn’t be swimming in liquid. Toss and set aside.
    Grill or saute the shrimp until just done, then add to the tossed salad. Garnish with fried shallots, the peanuts, cilantro, and basil.

    2 Servings

    Print This Recipe

    posted in Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups, Vietnamese | 4 Comments

    19th August 2008

    Fee, Fi, Faux Pho

    Pho rilz? No.

    Sometimes you know a recipe’s just not going to be anywhere near authentic, not going to be nearly as good as you could get in a restaurant, but could still suffice for a quick weeknight meal. This is one of those recipes, from the cookbook How to Eat Supper. Should you really expect a full-flavored broth — the essence of pho! — in a 20 minute cooking-time recipe? No. If you haven’t yet experienced pho, this might stand on its own as an interesting soup recipe, but if you try to compare it to the real thing, it falls short. But hey — it was good enough to warm our bellies on this chilly evening.

    Chris says:

    What the pho? This just makes me want real pho, not faux pho.

    Lisa says:

    What if you just think of it as a noodle soup with slices of beef in it?

    Chris says:

    Okay — in that case, it’s not bad. But the broth could still be more flavorful. You can definitely taste the broiled veggies, and they’re good, but I really need to try to disconnect the pho association.

    Lisa says:

    You certainly look like you’re enjoying your sauces.

    Chris says:

    Pho Shizzle. I’m a meat dipper.

    Lisa says:

    Oh, pho cryin’ out loud… enough with the puns!

    Chris says:

    Okay, fine. In fact, there’s my review of this recipe. Okay/fine. Not spectacular, but I certainly didn’t dislike it.

    Lisa says:

    I agree. Good, not great.

    Chris says:

    Not pho.

    Fee, Fi, Faux Pho
    For the broth:
    1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    3″ piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
    6 whole cloves
    1 whole star anise, bruised (or 1/2 tsp anise seed)
    freshly ground black pepper
    4 14-oz cans chicken broth
    2 tbsp sugar
    2 tsp fish sauce

    For the soup:
    6 oz rice noodles
    6 oz top round steak, sliced paper-thin (place in freezer for 30 minutes before slicing to make this easier)

    To Garnish:
    cilantro
    thai basil
    jalapenos, sliced
    bean sprouts
    lime, quartered
    hoisin sauce
    sriracha, or other hot sauce

    Place an oven rack 4-6 inches under the broiler and preheat. On a large piece of doubled-over foil, scatter the vegetables and spices from the broth ingredients (onion through black pepper) and broil for five minutes, flipping once, until the onion begins to char and the spices are fragrant. Remove from the oven and place everything in a large pot.
    Add the broth, sugar, and fish sauce and bring to a low boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. While the broth simmers, prepare the rice noodles by soaking them in warm water for 10-15 minutes, or until almost tender. (They’ll lose a little more firmness when the soup gets added.) Drain and divide the noodles between two very large soup bowls. Place the garnish ingredients on a plate and set at the table.
    When ready to serve, divide the (raw) beef between the two soup bowls. Ladle the low-boil broth into the bowls (this will cook the meat pretty much instantly). Top each bowl with your preferred garnishes.

    2 Servings

    Print This Recipe

    posted in How to Eat Supper, Main Dishes, Vietnamese | 1 Comment

    7th July 2008

    Vietnamese Lime & Mint Chicken

    Vietnamese Lime & Mint Chicken
    Lisa and I just got back from Atlanta, where we stuffed ourselves with cheese dip, Waffle House, BBQ, and various other gut-busting fare, so we’re looking to keep things light this week as we ease back into our routine. This chicken and noodle salad definitely fit the bill. The chicken has a wonderful citrusy glaze, and the mint and veggies add texture and crunch to the bean thread noodles. This recipe comes from Asian Flavors.

    Chris says:

    Hooray; our first recipe using our mint from the planter out front!

    Lisa says:

    Hooray; our first plant we haven’t managed to kill! Yet.

    Chris says:

    I think you’ll really like that chicken. The sugar in the marinade caramelizes a bit and makes a nice thick glaze.

    Lisa says:

    I do like the chicken — but the noodles need more sauce.

    Chris says:

    There isn’t any sauce.

    Lisa says:

    That would be why then.

    Chris says:

    Actually, if you mix it all up, the noodles soak up the glaze from the chicken and get a little saucy.

    Lisa says:

    Ooh, you’re right; good tip. Well, this definitely passes our “light” test.

    Chris says:

    I know — what’s for dessert?

    Vietnamese Lime & Mint Chicken
    1 lime
    2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    1 tbsp sugar
    1/4 tsp ground pepper
    1 large or two small chicken boneless chicken breasts
    1 tbsp peanut oil
    3.5 oz bean thread noodles
    1/4 cucumber, cut into sticks
    1/2 carrot, cut into sticks
    small handful of mint sprigs
    1/2 red jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

    Peel 1/2 the zest from the lime and cut into fine shreds. Set aside, then squeeze all the juice from the lime and add to a bowl. Mix with the fish sauce, garlic, sugar, and ground pepper. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then add the chicken to the bowl, making sure it’s coated well, and marinate for 30 minutes.
    Heat the peanut oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken skin-side down and cook for five minutes until the skin is browned. Set the heat at medium-low, turn the chicken over, and pour the rest of the marinade in. Cover the skillet and cook for 10 minutes, then uncover and cook until chicken is cooked through, another 5 minutes or so.
    Meanwhile, soak the noodles in hot water for 3-5 minutes or until softened. Drain, and mix with the carrot, cucumber, and mint leaves. Slice the chicken and arrange over the noodles. Garnish with the chopped jalapeño and lime zest.

    2 Servings


    Andrea from Andrea’s Recipes has a regular blogging event called Grow Your Own, and since we grew that mint, I’m going to go ahead and submit it for the round ending on the 15th!

    Print This Recipe

    posted in Asian Flavors, Blogging Event, Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups, Vietnamese | 12 Comments

    25th May 2008

    Salt and Pepper Grilled Shrimp

    Salt and Pepper Grilled Shrimp
    We recently picked up the full-color edition of Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Bible, and this is the first recipe we’ve made from the book. If this one is any indication, I’m guessing we’re going to have a great time grilling this summer! In this recipe, shrimp is briefly marinated in lime, salt, and white pepper, and then dipped in mixture of the same. Very simple, and it came together extremely quickly.

    Chris says:

    I love grilled shrimp — it cooks so fast that it’s in my mouth that much sooner.

    Lisa says:

    I really like the dipping sauce. Very limey.

    Chris says:

    It’s been a while since we’ve had shrimp and left the shells on — a bit messy while eating, but they seem more flavorful.

    Lisa says:

    It looks like I ate a ton of food with all these shells on my plate. You know, we could probably use these shells for something.

    Chris says:

    Yep — if you don’t want to toss them, you can use those shells to make paper or dress wounds.

    Lisa says:

    Um, okay, I thought you were going to suggest making a shrimp-shell stock…

    Chris says:

    Oh. Yeah. That makes more sense.

    Salt and Pepper Grilled Shrimp
    1 1/2 lb pounds large-jumbo shrimp, deveined, shells on
    3 tbsp fresh lime juice, plus 1 large lime, quartered
    3 tsp coarse salt
    3 tsp ground white pepper

    Rinse the shrimp under cold running water, then drain and pat dry with paper towels. Place the shrimp in a large glass baking dish, sprinkle the lime juice and 1 tsp each salt and white pepper over them, and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
    Meanwhile, cut the lime lengthwise into 4 wedges. Put a lime wedge in each of 4 small shallow bowls or dishes. Place a small mound of salt (1/2 tsp) on one side the lime wedge and a mound of white pepper (1/2 tsp) on the other. Set aside.
    Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.
    When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the shrimp, in their shells, on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until the meat is firm and pink, about 2 minutes per side.
    Transfer the shrimp to serving plates. To eat, squeeze the lime wedge over the salt and pepper and stir two or three times with chopsticks; peel the shrimp and dip it in the lime mixture.

    4 Servings

    Print This Recipe

    posted in Main Dishes, The Barbecue Bible, Vietnamese | 4 Comments


    Page optimized by WP Minify WordPress Plugin