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Mung Bean Pudding (Che Kho)

Easy and Healthy Sweet Treat: Mung Bean Pudding (Che Kho) | recipe from runawayrice.comSilky mung bean pudding allowed to set into a soft cake becomes a simple but tasty sweet treat. Mung Bean Pudding (Che Kho) is a popular Lunar New Year’s snack enjoyed casually as finger food. Small dishes of the hearty pudding are made in advance and served to visiting family and friends bringing well-wishes and gifts during this festive time of the new year. This dessert is easy to make and the recipe is really straightforward. Whip up a yummy batch today and have this sweet treat ready to serve to your guests this Lunar New Year. Enjoy!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

The dry mung bean can be soaked anywhere from 2 hours to overnight.

Adjust the sugar levels to your taste. The dessert is intended to be sweet. For a less sweet pudding, use 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar. For a sweeter pudding, use 1 1/4 to 1 1/4 cups sugar.

Stir frequently when cooking the puréed mung bean. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent any crust from forming as this will make the pudding lumpy. If a crust continues to form, reduce the heat to Low.

When cooking the pudding, be sure not to cook off too much of the water such that the pudding is stiff. The pudding should still have the ability to ooze or flow slowly. When spooning the pudding, it should flow slowly, filling out the dish.

The method of cooking off the liquid slowly stabilizes the pudding and prevents it from going moldy faster. To store, cover the cakes with cheesecloth and store at room temperature for up to 5 days. Do not cover with plastic wrap as this locks in moisture and breeds mold. Optionally, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To serve, allow to come to room temperature.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Sweet Mung Bean Pudding and Three Color Dessert (Che Ba Mau).

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups peeled split mung bean
1/4 ts salt
5 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Directions

Wash the mung bean by swirling in cold water. Pour out the wash water and repeat the process 2 more times or until the water is mostly clear. Fill the bowl with water and let soak for 2 hours.

After soaking, wash the mung bean one more time and then drain. Transfer the beans into a large pot. Add the salt and water. Stir to level-out the beans. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil over High heat. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to Low. Skim off the foam from the top and discard. Cover the pot and let cook for 20-25 minutes or until the beans are soft and creamy.

Transfer the cooked beans into a blender. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Blend on High speed for 30-45 seconds or until smooth.

Pour the puréed mung bean into a large non-stick pan or skillet. Cook the beans over Medium Low heat for 20-25 minutes stirring frequently. Cook off the liquid until it’s a pudding.

Transfer the pudding into shallow bowls or dishes using a cookie scoop or large spoon. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on top of the pudding. Allow to cool and set for 2 hours.

To serve, cut into bite-sized pieces and enjoy with hot tea.

Yields: 4 1/2 cups pudding, 10-12 servings

Lunar New Year Dessert Mung Bean Pudding (Che Kho) | recipe from runawayrice.com

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Lunar New Year Sweet Treat: Mung Bean Pudding (Che Kho) | recipe from runawayrice.com

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Salted Eggs (Trung Muoi)

Briny and delicious, these Salted Eggs are simply amazing! | recipe from runawayrice.comIf you’ve never had Salted Eggs, you’re in for a treat. These briny eggs will wake-up your taste buds and have you craving this unique yet simple dish. In this recipe, chicken (or ducks) eggs are soaked in brine and spices permeating them with salty goodness. The eggs can then be hard-boiled, steamed, fried or used as ingredients in other dishes. In future posts, I’ll share some of my favorite recipes using Salted Eggs, so please stop back!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Use chicken or duck eggs. Ducks eggs have a thicker shell and ideal for brining. The eggs are fattier and have a rich, buttery flavor.

Use sea salt as it dissolves easily. If all you can find is table salt, this will work, but note, this salt will not dissolve completely.

The ratio of water to sea salt is 4:1, for every 4 cups water, use 1 cup sea salt. You can easily adjust the recipe to make more or less salted eggs.

If you enjoy the aroma of star anise, add 1-2 whole flowers to the brine.

The brining time varies depending on the size of the eggs. For large eggs, brine for 4 weeks. If using medium eggs, check after 3 weeks. Crack one open and if the yolk is solid, it’s ready. Letting the eggs brine for too long may result in a yolk that is misshapen.

The eggs are super salty so be careful to reduce/omit salt, soy sauce or fish sauce in any recipe.

If not using the salted eggs right away, hard-boil the eggs and then freeze for up to 3 months. Please note egg whites do not freeze well. They become rubbery when frozen so when freezing eggs, the edible portion is the yolk.

Watch the video for instructions.

Ingredients

2 dozen large chicken or duck eggs
10 cups water
2 1/2 cups sea salt
2-inch ginger, peeled
1/2 Tbsp peppercorns
2 Tbsp vodka

Other Item
1 gallon jar with lid

Directions

Place eggs into a large colander removing any cracked ones. Gently wash the eggs with cold water and then drain.

Add the water and sea salt into a large pot. Heat the solution over Medium heat stirring constantly until the salt is completely dissolved. (This takes approximately 10 minutes.) Allow to cool to room temperature. (This take approximately 1 1/2 hours.)

Add the peeled ginger, peppercorns and vodka into the jar along with the eggs. Pour in the brining liquid filling the jar to the top. Use a flexible plastic lid or a re-sealable plastic bag filled with water to weigh-down the eggs so they are all submerged in the brine. Put the lid on the jar and seal.

Place the jar on a countertop (away from direct sunlight) or in a pantry and allow the eggs to brine for 4 weeks.

After 4 weeks, the eggs can be hard-boiled, steamed, fried or used in other recipes.

Yields: 24 salted eggs

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Briny and delicious, these Salted Eggs are super easy to make at home. | recipe from runawayrice.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn how to make these beautifully glossy Salted Eggs | recipe from runawayrice.com*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Soy Milk (Sua Dau Nanh)

Delicious and refreshing homemade Soy MilkSoy milk has become so mainstream that it’s now very easy to find.  Every coffee shop and most restaurants now offer it as an alternative to cow’s milk.  Health food stores are fully stocked with a wide variety of soy milks in different flavors.  I’ve tried most of the products on the market.  They are good, inexpensive and quite convenient.  If you have the time though, I encourage you to try making soy milk at home.  You will be delighted with how fresh and delicious homemade soy milk tastes.  It’s truly wholesome goodness and the best part is you know exactly what went into it.  Enjoy!

Notes on the recipe, tips and tricks

Soy beans are relatively inexpensive but pay a bit more for the organic non-GMO soy beans.  You can buy them in bulk at most health food stores.  Most Asian and American grocery stores sell them packaged in bags of 8 oz or 1 lb.  (I like Bob’s Red Mill Organic Soy Beans.)

Shelling the soy beans is an optional step.  You may see some of the shells floating in the water while soaking.  You can remove them if but it’s not necessary.  We are not saving the pulp to make any additional dishes.  (I’ll share some recipes for what to do with the residual soy pulp called okara in future recipes.)

General rule of thumb, use 1 cup water for every 1 oz of soy beans.  If you prefer a thicker richer soy milk, reduce the water.  If you prefer a lighter soy milk, add more water.  Also, I use spring water instead of tap water.

Soak the beans for at least 8 hours.  I usually soak them overnight and then make the next morning.  The soaking time doesn’t have to be exact.  If you’d like to accelerate this process, soak in boiling water for about 3-4 hours.

I have the Vitamix 7500 which has a very powerful motor.  It blends the beans very quickly and the below blend times are based on my machine.  If your blender is less powerful, it will take a bit longer.  On a smaller machine, don’t blend continuously but blend for about 20-25 seconds, let the motor rest for about 15 seconds and then continue until the beans are finely blended.

I have tried a variety of nut milk bags but this is my favorite from NutNet.  It’s super strong, durable and very easy to clean.  The size of the bag is also perfect for this recipe!

Use a large pot to cook the soy milk.  The milk has a tendency to over boil very quickly so keep your eyes on it.  A trick to try:  If the milk is boiling vigorously and about to spill over, sprinkle a few drops of cold water on the soy milk.  This will cool it down quickly and prevent it from boiling over.  (If you look at the video closely, you’ll see I have a cup of water on the stove for this very reason.)

Adjust the sugar levels to your liking.  The below recipe uses a minimal amount.  Use a sugar substitute like Splenda or Stevia if you prefer.

The Pandan leaves add a lovely aroma to the soy milk.   It is optional and you can use any essence that you like such as vanilla or coconut.

As this has no preservatives, refrigerate any remaining amounts.  The soy milk is good for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Watch the video below for instructions.

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup (8 oz or 1/2 lb) organic soy beans
8 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
6-8 Pandan leaves

Directions

Put the soy beans into a large bowl.  Sift through the beans and remove ones that are mis-shapened and/or have black spots on them.

To wash the soy beans, fill the bowl with water and gently swish the beans around in the water for 1 minute.  Pour off the dirty water.  Repeat this washing process two more times or until the water is clear.

Fill the bowl with water and let the beans soak for at least 8 hours.

Wash the rehydrated beans one more time and drain.

Pour the beans into a blender and add 2 cups water (or just enough to cover the beans).  Starting on a Low speed, gradually increase the speed to High and blend for 1 minute.  Add another 2 cups of water and blend on High for another minute.  (Note:  The total water quantity is 4 cups.)

Place the nut milk bag into a large bowl or cup.  Pour the soy milk into the nut milk bag and then seal the opening.  Firmly squeeze the bag to extract the soy milk.  Continue until all that is left is the pulp.  Pour the soy milk into a large saucepan.

Transfer the pulp back into the blender along with 4 cups water.  Blend on High speed for 30 seconds.  Again, pour the soy milk into the bag and repeat the milking process above.  Pour into the saucepan.

Heat the milk over Medium Low heat.  Skim the foam from the top and discard.  Stir the milk every few minutes to keep it from burning.  When it comes to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and simmer on Low for 10 minutes.

Add the sugar and Pandan leaves and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Continue cooking on Low heat for another 10 minutes.

Turn-off the heat and allow the milk to cool for 15 minutes.

Strain the soy milk and skim off the foam again.

Serve the soy milk hot or cold.

Yields: 6 cups

Soy Beans double in size when hydrated.

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Glass Noodle Salad with Seafood (Goi Mien Tron Hai San)

A refreshing noodle salad loaded with seafood!Nothing is better on a hot summer day than having a cool meal to chase away the heat.  Abundant noodles with a medley of vegetables and seafood in a light dressing makes this dish super scrumptious and refreshing.  This noodle salad is so easy to toss together and can be served as a main meal or appetizer.  If you need to prepare this dish ahead and chill in the fridge, even better, the salad will be wonderfully marinated.  Bon Appetit!

Notes on the recipe, tips and tricks

Use any type of seafood you like.  For a shortcut, buy seafood that’s already cooked.

Avoid over-soaking or over-cooking the noodles.  They will become a sticky mess.

Make sure to drain the seafood and noodles well.  You don’t want a wet salad.  Here’s a trick to try–put the noodles in a salad spinner.  It does a great job of removing the water.

The recipe below makes enough dressing for the entire salad.  This is not a salad that’s drenched in dressing but is lightly seasoned.  If you want more dressing to serve on the side, double the recipe below.

Watch the video below for instructions.


Ingredients

1/2 lb bean thread noodle also called glass or cellophane noodle
1 1/2 lb mixed seafood:  shrimp, squid, crab and scallops (or use what you like)
2 medium carrots
1/2 small red onion
2 celery stalks
2-3 sweet peppers
1/2 bunch cilantro

Dressing
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup lime juice
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp crushed roasted peanuts

Directions 

Peel the carrots and then cut into 3-inch lengths.  Shred the carrots using a mandolin or cut into long, thin strips.

Cut the red onion into thin slices.

Clean the celery stalks and cut into 3-inch sections.  Cut each section into long, thin strips.

Cut the sweet peppers into thin slices.

Coarsely chop the cilantro.

Cut the larger seafood pieces into bite-sized pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Add the raw seafood and cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring gently.  Add the cooked seafood and swirl in the water for 1 minute.  Transfer the seafood to a bowl of ice water and soak for 1 minute then drain well.

Put the dried noodles into a large bowl and fill with cool water covering the noodles completely.  Let rest for 5 minutes and then drain.  Bring a large pot of water to a rapid bowl.   Add the noodles and swirl in the boiling water for just 15 seconds.  Quickly drain the hot water and then rinse the noodles with cold water.  Drain.  Fill a large bowl with ice water and soak the noodles in the bath for 1 minute.  Drain well.  Cut the noodles into shorter sections using scissors.  Spread out the noodles and allow to air-dry for 15 minutes.

In a measuring cup, combine lime juice, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and garlic.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

In a large bowl, add a small amount of the glass noodle.  Add small amounts of each of the vegetables and seafood.  Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp of the dressing.  Continue making the layers until all of the ingredients are used.  Add the black pepper.  Toss everything combining well and making sure all ingredients are well-combined with the dressing.

When serving, top the salad with the crushed roasted peanuts.

Yields:  4-6 servings

Dish up a heaping amount of this refreshing noodle salad!

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Quick Guide to Vietnamese Herbs

Herbs add such wonderful aroma, flavor and color to foods that it’s no wonder they’re such integral ingredients in Vietnamese cuisine.  Without the inclusion of certain herbs, a dish could be rendered completely lacking and unappetizing.  Can you imagine having Vietnamese Chicken or Beef Noodle Soup (Pho) without Thai basil?  Just the aroma of Thai basil conjures to mind a big, piping hot bowl of pho! 🙂  If you’re not familiar with all of the different herbs and their uses in Vietnamese cuisine, I am here to help!  In this post, I’ll go through some of the more popular Vietnamese herbs with some basic descriptions.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve included pictures of each herb to help you identify them when shopping.  Lastly, I’ve provided links to recipes where these herbs are used.  I hope you try all of these herbs and let me know which one is your favorite.  Enjoy!

Check out the video below to learn how to prepare and store herbs.



Cilantro/Coriander (Ngò, Ngò Rí, Rau Mùi)
Cilantro
Appearance:  delicate, lacy leaves, clustered in three’s
Aroma/Taste:  strongly fragrant with mild citrusy taste
Dishes:  Commonly eaten raw, served with other fresh greens as a side dish, Vegetarian Fresh Spring Rolls, Fresh Spring Rolls, Grilled Pork Sandwich, Thick Noodles and Fish Cake Soup

 


Thái Basil (Húng Quế)
Thai Basil
Appearance:  elongated leaves with purple stems and pink-purple flowers
Aroma/Taste:  licorice-like aroma and taste
Dishes:  Vietnamese Chicken Noodle and Beef Noodle Soups (Pho Ga, Pho Bo), Baby Clams and Basil, Papaya with Shrimp and Pork, Savory Rolled Cakes 

 

 

Vietnamese Coriander (Rau Răm)
Vietnamese Coriander Appearance:  long, slender leaves with dark V-shape on each leaf
Aroma/Taste:  aromatic with slightly spicy and peppery taste
Dishes:  Commonly eaten raw, served with other fresh greens as a side dish, Chicken Cabbage Salad, Cured/Fermented Pork, Vermicelli Soup with Chicken, Steamed Pork Roll and Egg

 


Perilla (Tía Tô)
Perilla
Appearance:  large, broad leaves with purple underside
Aroma/Taste:  strong musky aroma and slightly bitter taste
Dishes:  Commonly eaten raw, served with other fresh greens as a side dish, Grilled Pork Patties, Beef Wrapped in Perilla, Sizzling Savory Crepes, and Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu)

 


Garlic Chives (Hẹ)

Garlic ChivesAppearance:  flat, long and slender leaves resembling tall grass
Aroma/Taste:  strong grass and garlicky aroma and taste
Dishes:  Can be eaten raw or cooked, Fresh Spring Rolls, Grilled Pork Sausage Fresh Spring Rolls, Won Ton Noodle Soup, Pickled Bean Sprouts

 


Lemongrass (Xả)

LemongrassAppearance:  long and tapered, light green, fibrous stalks
Aroma/Taste:  strong, citrusy aroma and taste without the acid
Dishes:  Chicken Curry, Beef Stew, Lemongrass Tofu and Rice Noodles, Lemongrass Beef over Rice Noodles, Curry Lemongrass Seitan Stir Fry, Honey Lemongrass Dressing, Asian-Style Beef Short Ribs, Grilled Shrimp, Egg Rolls and Rice Vermicelli, Satay Chili Paste, Grilled Pork Patties and Skewers, Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaves

 

Rice Paddy (Ngổ Ôm)
Rice PaddyAppearance:  small and delicate oval-shaped leaves
Aroma/Taste:  mild citrusy aroma and cumin flavor
Dishes:  Commonly eaten raw, Yampi Soup, Sour Soup, Rare Beef in Lime Juice Salad

 

 

 

Sawtooth (Ngò Gai)
Sawtooth HerbAppearance:  long flat leaves with jagged, serrated edges
Aroma/Taste:  strong cilantro flavor and slightly citrusy taste
Dishes: Commonly eaten raw, Beef Stew, Sour Soup, Rare Beef in Lime Juice Salad

 

 

 

Spicy Mint/Peppermint (Húng Cây)
Spicy MintAppearance: medium-sized, oval-shaped leaves
Aroma/Taste:  minty aroma, spicy taste with cooling sensation
Dishes:  Commonly eaten raw, served with other fresh greens as a side dish, Lemongrass Beef over Rice Noodles, Savory Rolled Cakes 

 

 

Spearmint (Húng Lũi)
SpearmintAppearance:  medium-sized, oval-shaped with curly leaves
Aroma/Taste:  minty aroma and minty and slightly sweet taste
Dishes:  Commonly eaten raw, served with other fresh greens as a side dish, Lemongrass Tofu and Rice Noodles, Lemongrass Beef over Rice Noodles, Sizzling Savory Crepes, Rare Beef in Lime Juice Salad, and Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu)

 


Vietnamese Balm (Kinh Giới)

Vietnamese BalmAppearance:  medium-sized, oval-shaped leaves with serrated edges
Aroma/Taste:  intense aroma that’s a combination of lemon and mint, slightly bitter taste
Dishes:  Commonly eaten raw, served with other fresh greens as a side dish, Grilled Pork Patties, and Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu)

 

 

 

Fish Mint (Diếp Cá)
Fish MintAppearance:  flat, heart-shaped leaves
Aroma/Taste:  strong fishy aroma and slightly citrusy taste
Dishes:  Commonly eaten raw, served with other fresh greens as a side dish

 

 

 

A plate of fresh herbs and vegetables (lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers) is often served as a side dish adding flavor, aroma and freshness to every meal!

Assorted Herbs and SaladHerbs and BBQ Pork Skewers

Herbs and Banh Xeo

 

 

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