Sea salted Edamame
Refreshing and comforting Miso soup.
...and fresh tasty sushi!
It's getting itchingly hot again, and this soup is the perfect dish to refresh your insides because:
1. Not only this soup makes you sweat while eating it and instantly reduces your body temperature,
2. It's anti-inflammatory and
3. It's an aromatherapy soup: it smells like the sea.
The ingredients are simple: Napa cabbage, dried seaweed and tofu. I boiled a chunk of pork meat and use the stock to make this soup but you can skip this if you're vegetarian.
How to proceed:
Just cut the napa cabbage and tofu into chunks and break the dried seaweed into pieces (I used the Korean dried seaweed that is easily soften).
Put the napa cabbage and tofu chunks in your pot of boiling water (put the salt in right from the beginning) and let it cook for about 3 minutes then add in the dried seaweed, cook for 2 minutes more. You can add spring onion and coriander and a pinch of pepper like me, but it's not really necessary, the soup is fresh and smells good on its own. That's it, your soup is done! It's as simple as that.
For this dish I really recommend using Himalayan salt because it complements the natural sweetness of tofu and napa cabbage, and because you already get iodine from the seaweed, Himalayan salt is more desirable.
This dish will bring you to the sea in just a short time, eat this and have a good summer night sleep.
We call it fried banana for dirty-minded people and well, we could even create a fan club for this dish since this photo has such great success on our social networks. How did they do this? I honestly don't know but let's just agree we shouldn't try this at home.
This fried banana "feast" was made by Thanh Binh Restaurant. And they don't just create funny fried bananas, their Vietnamese dishes are ones of the best I tried so far in France. Delicious Vietnamese dishes and a great laugh for dessert, what more should we ask for?
As presented in the fish sauce twist post, a Vietnamese tip for fish sauce is to add in pickles to enhance the taste and provide interesting textures. One of the most eaten pickles is pickled carrot and green papaya. Have you ever tried the great versatile sexy green papaya? If you've watched the movie ''The scent of green papaya", you'd know what I'm talking about. It is so versatile because Vietnamese not only make pickles with it as a side dish, they also make it into salad, stew, soup, and even candied green papaya as a snack! Now isn't it one of the most sexy vegetables out there? Anyway back to the green papaya pickles, you’ll meet these pickles again and again when you try street food in Vietnam. There are at least 5 dishes that go well with these pickles. We will, of course, cover the dishes in next articles but for now, let’s discover how to make this sweet sour colorful side dish.
Sweet pickles? Yes, pickled carrot and green papaya should have a balance of flavors: you should find these pickles sweet, salty and sour.
For a 1,5 l glass jar you will need
- 200 g or 3 carrots
- 150 g green papaya (fresh green papaya or you can also use dried green papaya stripes that you can find in Asian stores)
- 250 ml of water
- 150 ml of white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, in this case you use 200 ml as it’s less sour than white vinegar)
- 100 g sugar
- 1 tablespoon of salt
How to make pickled carrot and green papaya:
1. Sterilize your jar
2. Mix water, vinegar and sugar. This mixture is to become the base for your pickles. Boil it, take off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. If you use it when it’s hot, your vegetables will be cooked and won’t be as crunchy as they should be.
3. While you wait for the mixture to cool, let’s cut the carrots and green papaya into stripes of around 5 cm long (if you use dried green papaya stripes, soak them in water in advance for them to regain their original shape)
4. Sprinkle salt over your vegetable stripes and let the salt soak in for 15 minutes. Why do we do this? This step is meant to take the water out of your vegetables to make them crunchy and a little salty.
5. After 15 minutes, your carrot and green papaya stripes will produce water and shrink a bit in size, this is good for fermentation process, so take those stripes and squeeze out excess water.
6. When the mixture is cooled completely, we can assemble the pickles. Put the vegetable stripes that you massaged earlier into the sterilized jar, then pour in the mixture. The vegetables should be completely submerged in water. Close the jar tight and let it sit in room temperature for a couple of hours then move it into the fridge. Your labor is finish.
Note: The longer you let your jar sit in room temperature the more sour your vegetables get will get, so check the taste to see if it’s sour enough for you and move the jar to the fridge to slow down the fermentation process.
Your pickles will be good up to 4 weeks in the fridge.
Apparently pickling vegetables is a method of preserving food that is thousand years old. Every country, every culture has their own pickles. Vietnamese people love pickles, there are all sort of pickles that they eat as side dishes or snacks: pickled green veggies that goes well with fish and meat dishes, pickled garlic to eat with Pho, pickled carrot and green papaya to add in fish sauce, pickled tamarin fruit as a snack (children LOVE this snack), pickled bitter cucumber which surprisingly stops being bitter once pickled,… We’d have to write an essay about Vietnamese pickles if we go down that route.
Do you like pickles? We’d like to know your favorite pickles and how they fit into your cuisine. Next time we will cover a famous Vietnamese street food to eat with this carrot and green papaya pickles: bun bo xao (beef sautee noodle). So stay tuned!
If you happen to be in Bordeaux starting from September, just make sure to give these meetups a try. Whether you're in Bordeaux indefinitely or for just a short time, whether you want to speak other languages or to discover different cultures, this is a great place to learn and to share.
Meetups organized every Tuesday night by Bordeaux Interculturel.
This photo was taken during a soirée of sharing culinary delights and music.
One good way to keep this earthly fragrant baby when out of season, to use in salads, potted recipes or for marinating meat and vegetables: separate the leaves and fill a glass jar with them, sprinkle sea salt and cover with 1 part olive oil/2 parts balsamic vinegar. Keep refrigerated. Summer fragrance to carry throughout the year.
How do you elevate your dipping fish sauce ? Add pickles. Pickles and herbs will instantly amp up the power of your fish sauce. Does it sound bizarre to you? Try out this recipe right away and I promise you'll fall in love with fish sauce.
- 1 chili (or half a chili, as you like)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 tablespoons of water
- 1 and a half tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or 1 tablespoon of lime juice)
- A small piece of ginger
How to proceed:
Crush the garlic cloves, ginger, chili in sugar (you can use mortar and pestle or just a small bowl with the handle of your biggest knife) to make a paste then add apple cider vinegar and water. Give it a good stir. The fish sauce will be added at the very end so you can adjust the sauce to your liking.
Then comes the fish sauce twist: pickles. The pickles will add tartness and a fresh flavor to your sauce and, of course, a small dose of vitamins. For the pic I used pickled carrot, green papaya and Vietnamese hot mint (persicaria odorata). And voilà! The fish sauce will taste fresh and garlicky and oh! so yummy.
This sauce can be served with different kinds of dishes : boiled meat, grilled fish, boiled/steamed vegetables, spring rolls etc. Next post we will cover the pickles, the fabulous and famous pickled carrot and green papaya. Just remember that the pickles shouldn't overwhelm the original taste of fish sauce, everything must blend in great harmony.
400g fresh or frozen strawberries
400g whipping cream
Throw them all in the blender! Strawberries, lime zest and juice, whipping cream, the honey (to taste). Freeze. By the time the ice cream begins to get thicker on the edges of the bowl, use a fork to break the ice shards forming, then let it freeze for 12h. I like to scoop it, grate it from the surface, but if you want it smoother you can also cut it in pieces and blend it again, before serving. Ornate with strawberry slices and more lime zest and enjoy a refreshing early summer delight.
5 kg mirabelle plums
2 kg sugar
The trick with mirabelles is that it is difficult to remove the kernels before cooking, so what you need to do is pass them through a rather large sieve after letting them simmer on low heat until you notice the pulp removes by itself (for the above quantity, it should take about 1 hour 30 min). Then add the sugar and boil (same low heat) for about an hour, until a caramel foam is formed and it has the proper consistency (which you can test by pouring the jam on a small plate and let cool, when ready it should be half way between running :D and sticking to the plate).
No addons to this jam, but I liked to caramelize it a little bit more than average, which in the end gave it an intense flavour and taste of tart, tangy mireballes and caramel. Mirabelles acquire an amplified perfume and taste through cooking, which makes this jam a delicious breakfast treat, spread with fresh unsalted butter on a hearty bread slice and accompanied by a good cup of tea or coffee.
A melting pot experience, in more than one way. Welcome to our Epicurean adventure!