Posts Tagged 'COOKING'

January 10

I love eating bo tai chanh. We make it at our house often and I also grew up eating it in quan nhau places in Little Saigon with my grandpa and uncles. It’s a great staple dish when I’m craving a lot of Vietnamese food and is always a hit with lunch or dinner guests. It also is a favorite next day lunch too. Just make sure to bring mouthwash or gum because of all the onions you’re eating raw!

This recipe is mostly from the Ravenous Couple.  I don’t change it up much, if at all, and I really like the way they blanche the meat just a bit beforehand to get that extra citrus taste.









  • 1 pound of beef (thinly sliced beef eye; I get mine at HMart)
  • 1 cup lemon juice or lime juice
  • 2.5 tbs sugar
  • pineapple juice or mango nectar
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch of rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (substitute with basil or mint if not available)
  • 2 tbs fried shallots pre fried, found in Asian groceries, known as Hanh Phi
  • 2 tbs roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • ~2tbs nuoc mam cham, that I also use from Ravenous Couple. I store in in the fridge and use it whenever I need to in Vietnamese cooking.
  • 1 jalapeno (finely sliced)


Mix lime or lemon juice with sugar until dissolve and set aside.

Fill half of a medium size sauce pan with pineapple juice and heat to a rolling boil. Quickly “blanch” some of the beef a bit at a time, no more then a few seconds or so removing it as it turns slightly opaque but still quite rare. Place in large mixing bowl.

Add the lime or lemon juice mixture and mix well, letting the acid do the rest of the cooking about 15-20 minutes, but use your judgement as to when to remove it from the acid. We like it pretty rare. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid from the meat. Mix in the onions, rau ram, mint and/or basil and drizzle with just a spoonful or two of  the nuoc mam (don’t over do it as you don’t want to overpower the fresh citrus taste) and mix well and adjust to taste. Transfer to serving platter and top off with crushed roasted peanuts, fried hanh phi, and jalepeno.

August 18

Bo Luc Lac in Vietnamese basically translates to “shaking beef”.  I posted a bad late night picture of this dish awhile back on my Instagram and I got a lot of questions and requests for the recipe…along with just requests to come over and eat it! So today I finally had the chance to not just make the dish, but also photograph it in nice daylight just before the rain came.

This is a dish I grew up eating. My mom doesn’t make it as often as I’d like, but when she does, it’s a big treat and we’re all over it!  This recipe is adapted from my aunties and mom, and is a standard and really easy recipe that I use very often on a cast iron skillet.







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July 09

My first ever attempt at hummus was pretty much a fail. Although the consistency was perfect, the color was right, and even the presentation was impressive [check out my scalloped dish for $5 from TJ MAxx!].  What isn’t perfect you ask? The proportion of GARLIC I somehow decided to put into the mix. Blame it on the 2 am decision to make hummus, the recipe I found online calls for 4 cloves of garlic….I put in at least 10-12 cloves after processing and tasting. I don’t know why, I just kept adding more garlic thinking that was what it needed.


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June 06

Trader Joe’s from beginning to end. The only thing outside of Trader Joes is the fresh basil from my garden. I tried to sit outside to eat…but thunderstorms and rain came upon me and I had to bring it inside. As soon as I finished my plate, the sun came out again. Figures.

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March 11

Amine and I have been obsessed with cooking shows since we’ve been cooking at home all the time now. Jacques Pepin is one of our favorites, among others like The Taste and Top Chef. We love youtubing them, mirroring a dish as they make it. Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way is a great way to start since he is such a classic French cook, and he is also a great teacher. He actually reminds me SO much of my father and how he used to teach me how to make the perfect fried egg and others for breakfast with the family. Here is an instagram pic of the country French omelette with the curds and slightly browned by the butter. It was DELICIOUS!


Through the past few weeks, we noticed that we consume yogurt in unsurpassed amounts. Yogurt is great for you, and we eat it after our long morning walks, for a light breakfast, quick snack, or even a late night munchie instead of ice cream. It got quite expensive at $4 for every 2 quarts, and we got tired of consistently visiting the grocery store just for yogurt.

Amine had it set in his mind that he would make it at home because his mom does. We set out youtubing different videos and tried it out. The first time, it came out tasting great, but it was too watery. We could actually drink it. The second time, it came out thicker, but was still pretty “slimy”. We kept the amount of rations the same at 2 quarts of milk each time, but tinkered with how long to boil and at what temperature, and also where to store the yogurt so that it can set and cultivate. This last time, we actually used the yogurt from the last batch because it actually tasted great with a slight hint of vanilla and honey, and it was the perfect starter.

Where you store your yogurt makes a huge difference. The first time, we kept it in a dark place wrapped in towels, under the counter. The second time, we kept it in a box wrapped in towels down in the basement. This third time, we realized that it needed more consistent warmth, and the tip we got online was in valuable.  When the yogurt was canned and ready to be stored, we turned on the oven for about 5-7 minutes to get it to warm up. Once warm, turn the oven back OFF and then put the jars into the oven wrapped in towels. We stored the jars in the oven overnight, and the next morning [or 6-7 hours later], moved the yogurt to the refrigerator to cool and set.

I’m so happy that we will save so much money, and make delicious homemade yogurt now!