Sunday Supper: Vietnamese
Sunday Supper is official at 18B1, also known as the Lee Resident, or simply my home. This is the second time we dedicate a big part of our Sunday looking for special ingredients for a particular international cuisine. The results are pretty exciting, and we are looking forward to many more of this new home tradition!
This week we picked Vietnamese food, a cuisine my family loves, especially the raw beef Pho that locals serve with fresh aromatics. For an authentic experience, we hunted down a few Vietnamese herbs such as Thai basil, cilantro, mint and this funky looking saw-tooth leaf. The noodle broth is made with beef, black cardamom, pepper and ginger, all approximated in good old Chinese fashion, so I'm not going to attempt to include the recipe here. This also goes for the rice paper roll, which is so versatile and personal to taste that everyone should just have their own no-recipe version. Mine has giò lụa(Vietnamese pork roll), cucumber, carrot, lettuce and herbs in it. Here is a really great tutorial for how to make the spring rolls. Struggle through a few tears and you'll get the hang of it!
Goi Buoi (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad)
For the dressing:
1 red Thai bird chili, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, pounded or pressed
freshly squeezed juice from about 2 limes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
4 tablespoons lightly toasted sesame seeds
4 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
For the salad:
1 large pomelo (about 3 pounds)
6-8 prawns, shelled and deveined
1/2 carrot, peeled and sliced into matchstick strips
about 3 small Vietnamese cucumbers, deseeded and sliced into matchstick strips
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Place prawns in a bowl of cold salted water and stir vigorously for about 30 seconds (this gives the prawn a better texture). Blanch prawns in boiling water until cooked and place into a bowl of iced water. Drain and blot dry with paper towels. Place in the fridge while prepping the rest of the ingredients.
- With a paring knife, peel off the thick outer rind and cottony pith of the pomelo. Separate the fleshy pulp from the opaque skins that form each wedge. Gently pull chunks of pomelo pulp into bite-size pieces and place them into a large bowl.
- Prep carrot, cucumber, and herbs. Add salt and gently toss the ingredients along with the prawns into the pomelo. Refrigerate.
- Combine the chili, garlic, lime juice, and fish sauce in a small bowl. Refrigerate separately. An hour before serving, pour the dressing over the pomelo mixture. Toss gently and fold through to combine.
- When you’re ready to serve, use a tong to plate the salad, and discard the liquid if you find it too wet. Garnish with toasted sesame and peanuts.