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Rare Beef in Lime Juice Salad (Bo Tai Chanh)

Rare Beef in Lime Juice and Fresh Herbs Salad served with Rice Chips, recipe from runawayrice.comFlavorful and refreshing, this tasty Rare Beef in Lime Juice Salad is the perfect nom nom food. The minimally cooked beef is tender and succulent. The lime juice is fresh and distinct but not at all overwhelming and the fragrant assorted herbs are what pulls this entire dish together. Serve atop sesame rice crackers, rice chips or tortilla chips, this dish makes one amazing appetizer! Enjoy!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Choose a tender cut of beef such as tenderloin, eye of round or filet mignon.  Slice against the grain and this will ensure the meat is tender.  If you find the beef difficult to slice thinly, freeze the beef slightly and this will make it easier to slice.

The pineapple juice serves a dual purpose, it’s used to cook the beef minimally and to add some sweetness.  If you don’t have pineapple juice, use water but you may want to add a bit more sugar when making the lime juice marinade.

Cook the beef in the pineapple juice depending on how rare you like it but not more than 15 seconds.  Keep in mind the lime juice will cook the beef the rest of the way.

You’ll notice that I transfer the beef to a new clean bowl twice and leave the residual bloody liquid behind.  This is my preference.  If you don’t mind the liquid, just leave it.  The acid in the lime juice will cook everything.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like:  Baby Clams and Basil Appetizer (Hen Xao).


1 1/2 lbs fresh beef (tenderloin, eye of round or filet mignon)
46 oz pineapple juice
4 large limes (approximately 1/2 cup lime juice)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1/2 medium red onion
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 red jalapenos
5 sprigs mint
15 sprigs rice paddy herb
12 sprigs sawtooth herb
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 sesame rice crackers or rice chips
1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts
1/4 cup fried onions


Thinly slice the beef about 1/8-inch thick, cutting across the grain.

Pour the pineapple juice into a small saucepan and set the heat to High.  As soon as the juice starts to boil, turn down the heat to Medium.

Please a strainer over the saucepan and into the pineapple juice.  Take some of the sliced beef and dip into the hot pineapple juice.  Swirl the beef in the juice for 5 seconds.  Drain well and transfer the beef to a clean bowl.  Continue until all the sliced beef is dipped.  Transfer just the beef and not the liquid into a new clean bowl.

Juice the limes and then combine with the 2 Tbsp sugar and fish sauce to make the marinade.  Pour the marinade over the beef and mix well making sure all pieces are coated with the sauce.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate while continuing with the next steps.

Cut the red onion into thin slices and then separate into strings.  Add the 1 Tbsp sugar and rice vinegar.  Toss together and set aside for now.

Remove the seeds from the jalapenos and cut the pepper into thin slivers.

Wash and trim the fresh herbs.  Coarsely chop all the herbs.

Break the sesame rice crackers into small pieces.  Place a few pieces into the microwave and cook on High for 1 minute.  Remove and allow to cool.  Continue cooking the remaining pieces.

Transfer the marinated beef into a clean bowl.  Add the seasoned red onions, red jalapenos, ground black pepper and toss together well.  Add the chopped herbs and lightly toss.

To serve, plate the salad alongside the sesame rice crackers.  Top the salad with the crushed roasted peanuts and fried onions.

Pile the Rare Beef in Lime Juice Salad on top of the rice crackers and enjoy with your favorite cold beverage.  Bon Appetit!

Yields: 6-8 servings

Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce goes great with this recipe for added flavor and zing!

Need a refresher on the different Asian herbs?  Check out my quick Guide to Vietnamese Herbs.

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Rare Beef in Lime Juice Salad (Bo Tai Chanh) on Black Sesame Rice Crackers, recipe from*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Egg Rolls (Cha Gio/Nem Ran)

Pork and Shrimp Egg Rolls served with a Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce | recipe from runaway

This is my Mom’s recipe and I have to say, these egg rolls are the best I’ve tasted.  (Thanks Mom!)  I like the balance of meat–pork and shrimp, and vegetables in the filling.  This recipe uses carrots which is quite common.  The taro root is a differentiating ingredient and adds a nice mealy texture to the egg rolls.  There’s no cabbage in this recipe which I find makes the filling wet and gives the egg rolls that funny (you know!) smell.

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks
  • Make sure to remove any excess water from the noodles and vegetables.  Adding 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to the filling helps to absorb any excess moisture.  This helps to reduce the chance of egg rolls popping and exploding when deep frying.  (We don’t want any oil splatters or burns!)
  • Peel off a small stack, about 5-7 egg roll wrappers at a time, fold in half to form two triangles, and then using scissors cut along the folded line.  I cut the entire package first.  When rolling, I take one of the small stacks, peel off the individual wrappers and then make the egg rolls.  To keep the unrolled wrappers moist, cover with a damp paper towel.
  • When I am short on time, I make the filling the night before and then refrigerate.  The next day, I roll and fry.
  • Any leftover egg rolls can be refrigerated and then reheated in a toaster oven.  They’re just as delicious as freshly fried!
  • Strive to have the same amount of filling in each egg roll.  Also prior to rolling, evenly distribute the filling forming a small log on the wrapper.  This way you will have an even amount of meat and wrapper and they will all cook at the same time.
  • Don’t let the egg rolls sit too long before frying.  The wrapper will get moist from the filling.
  • Make sure to use enough oil to completely immerse the egg rolls when deep frying.  If you use too little oil, the egg rolls will not brown evenly.
  • I find the egg rolls cook faster when deep frying in a single layer.  Double stacking or over-filing the fryer increases the cooking time.
  • I love the taste of peanut oil!  The egg rolls brown up really nicely and quickly with this oil.
  • If you don’t have an electric fryer, deep fry the egg rolls in a saucepan or wok.  Use a thermometer to get the right temperature.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Grilled Pork Sausage Fresh Spring Rolls (Nem Nuong Cuon) and Grilled Shrimp, Egg Rolls and Rice Vermicelli (Bun Cha Gio Tom Nuong).


1 lb ground pork or country style rib pork pieces
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lb carrots
1/4 lb yellow onions
1/2 lb taro root (fresh or frozen)
1-1.8 oz package bean thread noodles
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp cornstarch (optional)
1 package egg roll wrappers (25 square sheets per package)
1 Tbsp cornstarch + 1 Tbsp water
vegetable oil for deep frying


Peel skins off carrots and taro root and rinse with water.  Pat thoroughly dry with a paper towel.  If using frozen taro root, cut into smaller chunks.  Use a stand mixer with a shredder attachment to finely shred the taro root and carrots.  Alternatively, use a food processor or mandoline to achieve the fine shreds.  Finely dice the onions.

Mince the shrimp by hand or use a meat grinder attached to the stand mixer.  If using pork pieces, grind the pork using the meat attachment as well.

Soak the noodles in warm water for 10 minutes to soften.  Blot the noodles dry using a paper towel.  Using scissors, cut noodles into short strands.

In a large bowl, combine the pork, shrimp, carrots, onions, taro root, noodles, sugar, salt, ground black pepper and optionally cornstarch.  Mix all ingredients well.  (I use my hands and this takes approximately 2 minutes.)

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water and stir until smooth.  We will use this mixture later to seal the wrapper.

See above for tips on cutting and peeling the egg roll wrappers.  Place a single wrapper triangle on a cutting board so the point is on top and the longest side of the triangle is closest to you.  Place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling on the wrapper centering it along the bottom edge of the wrapper.  Fold the left and right sides of the wrapper over the filling.  (The two folded sides should meet in the middle of the roll.)  Take the bottom edge and fold it over and then roll gently away from you.  Use firm pressure but don’t roll too tightly or the wrapper will tear.  When there’s just a 1/2-inch triangle section of wrapper left, dip a finger in the cornstarch/water mixture and dab the top triangle with the “glue”.  Finish rolling, sealing the wrapper edge well.  Roll a batch of a dozen egg rolls and the fry per below.

Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit in an electric fryer or saucepan.  Place the egg rolls into a fryer basket with the seam side down.  Put the basket in the oil so that it partially covers the egg rolls.  Hold the basket in place for 10 seconds.  (This seals the edges of the egg roll.)  Now release the basket into the oil completely.  Deep fry for 10-12 minutes until they are golden brown.  If you like them crispier, fry for 13-15 minutes.  Remove the egg rolls from fryer and place on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce as an appetizer.  Optionally serve with rice noodles, fish sauce dipping sauce, and fresh greens and herbs.

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Yields:  35-40 egg rolls

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Chicken Liver Pate (Pate Gan Ga)

Not sure if you’ve had or even like pate?  If you’ve had a Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi) chances are you’ve eaten this delicious spread.  Typically made of liver, it’s combined with fresh herbs and spices and then whipped into a creamy spreadable paste.  Yes, it makes an amazing condiment for sandwiches (Check out the recipe for Grilled Pork Sandwich) but more often I like to serve it as a party appetizer with crusty French bread, crackers or a vegetable platter.

A few notes on the recipe

I use chicken livers in this recipe because it’s readily available at my local grocery store.  Feel free to use duck or goose (if you can find it) pork, beef liver or a combination.  Keep in mind pork or beef liver is denser and will change the consistency of the pate.  You can adjust by adding more butter or cream.

Livers can be quite strong-smelling and gamey.  The trick to toning down the smell is in the preparation.  Be sure to rinse the livers with water several times to wash away the blood and soaking liquid.  Also, don’t skip the step where we soak the livers in milk.  This trick really helps to reduce the gameness of the liver.  The longer you soak in milk the mellower it makes the livers.  I like to soak for 1-2 hours if possible but a minimum of 30 minutes.  I’ve read that using milk with higher fat content helps too.  I always have low fat milk at home and so that’s what I use.

Be sure to trim the livers of fat, connective tissues and blood spots.  These bits are stringy (and kinda scary) and we don’t want them in our pate.

Regarding the wine, I love Madeira but you can substitute with any sweet wine or alcohol like Brandy.  Again, I use what I have available but choose something sweet and aromatic.  Another thing we must not skip is the fresh herbs–I use tarragon and thyme but will vary the herbs depending on the season.  Rosemary is nice but use half the amount as it’s pretty strong.  During the summertime, I use basil, chives, cilantro, or dill.  They all work really well so use the herbs you enjoy.

You can vary the processing time of the liver depending on the texture you’d like.  If you prefer a more rustic texture where you can see bits of the liver, pulse in the food processor for 20-35 seconds.  For a smoother more whipped pate, pulse for 1-2 minutes.  The pate will seem a bit loose after processing, like a thin pudding, but will set up after it’s refrigerated.

Remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.  Pate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.  If you want to make a big batch, you can freeze for up to 3 months.

Watch the video below for instructions.


1 1/2 lbs chicken livers
1 cup milk
4 Tbsp butter
8 small shallots
4 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp Madeira wine
2 Tbsp half and half
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 sprigs fresh tarragon
6 springs fresh thyme


Rinse livers in cool water several times and drain well.  Cut off fat, connective tissues and any blood spots and discard.  Cut liver into thin slices.  Soak livers in milk for at least 30 minutes.

Finely dice garlic and shallots and set aside.  Finely chop fresh herbs and set aside.

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a large sauté pan over Medium High heat.  Add shallots and garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Transfer livers to the pan using a slotted spoon and leave the milk behind.  Cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally so livers brown evenly.  Reduce heat to Low.  Add the wine, half and half, salt, nutmeg and black pepper.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Turn off heat, add the fresh herbs and combine.  Remove from stove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Put cooled livers (along with any liquid) plus 2 Tbsp of butter into a food processor.  Pulse until smooth, approximately 1-2 minutes.

Spoon pate into mini loaf pans or ramekins.  Cover with plastic wrap.   Chill for 4 hours.

Serve with crusty bread, crackers or veggie plate.

Yields:  2 mini loaves, approximately 3 1/2″ X 6″



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Baby Clams and Basil Appetizer (Hen Xao)

This savory appetizer is made by quickly stir frying baby clams with fresh herbs and serving with your favorite chips.  You can also serve on crusty bread similar to bruschetta.  If you’re looking for something different to try, here’s a tasty and unique dish.  How about making this for your next party or get-together?

Watch the video below for instructions.


2-10 oz cans whole baby clams
3 Tbsp dry roasted peanuts
1/4 yellow onion
2 green scallions
1/2 cup Thai basil
1/2 cup Vietnamese coriander
2 red chilies (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp fried onions


Drain clams using a sieve and discard excess liquid.

Use a hand food chopper to crush the peanuts.  Alternatively, place peanuts in a small resealable plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin or meat mallet.

Slice the onion into thin strips and chop green scallions into small pieces.  Coarsely chop Thai basil and Vietnamese coriander.  Red chilies are optional.  Leave them whole if you want to use as a garnish.  Slice them if you plan to eat them.

Heat a wok over medium hot.  When hot, drizzle olive oil into the pan.  Add sliced onions and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.  Add baby clams and  stir fry for 2 minutes.  Add the seasonings:  fish sauce, oyster sauce, black pepper and paprika.  Stir to combine everything well.  Add the scallions and stir fry for another minute.  Turn off the heat.  Add fresh herbs, fried onions and half of the crushed peanuts.  Stir together one last time.

To serve, garnish with fresh herbs, red chilies and remaining peanuts.

Yields: 2 1/2 cups


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