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!
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.
Crush garlic cloves, ground them into a paste with salt, a little water and vegetable oil, and a drop of vinegar. This time, I used a teaspoon of spicy, hot mayonnaise, instead of water, then added oil and vinegar. The best way to taste it is tossing it on hot meat or fries. My oven is a mini rotisserie, so this is a home made rotisserie chicken, a suggestion for a next Sunday meal.
Happy Salad- with roasted peppers, lime and parmesan.
Chop peppers and stir fry them in a little bit of olive oil, enough to release the charred flavor. You can grill them too, but keep them firm. In a big happy salad bowl, add them to various cut tomatoes ( I used orange tomatoes and cherry tomatoes), cucumbers and parsil. Zest a line and add the juice. Zing! Now comes the secret of this salad: add parmesan + a good comfort cheese that you like, finely grated. I used telemea, the Romanian feta Add olive oil and a pinch of salt and mix. Before serving, you can add some additional parmesan on top. Enjoy!
There’s a reason why Adobo is the inauguration dish of our Tipsy Recipes section.
We, Anuca, Blessia and I, have known each other for years but it’s not until the end of 2016 that we began to talk intensely to each other, almost on a daily basis. We talked about our families, our values, our cultural specialties, the joy and struggles that we face. One of the many topics that seems to repeat itself is food, because we’re passionate about cooking, or to be more precise, we’re passionate about eating, be it our national dishes or foreign ones. I can’t count how many times my stomach rebelled loudly when I saw the food pics that were sent to me by Blessia and Anuca. One thing leads to another, on a February day after many sessions of looking at torturing delicious food pics, we asked each other to share our own favorite national dishes and we will try to recreate those dishes. That moment has become the first milestone of our Nomades Gourmandes journey.
For the first ever recipe of the Tipsy Recipes, we’d like to present to you a national dish that is finger-licking good but so very easy to make: Adobo chicken. Adobo is a famous Filipino dish. It has quickly become my favorite Southeast Asian non-Vietnamese dish and it may become yours too. So…Action!
Chicken thighs (600 gr)
Garlic (5 cloves)
Bay leaves (3)
Soy sauce (3 tablespoons)
Fish sauce (2 tablespoons)
Apple Cider Vinegar (2 tablespoons)
Sugar (2 tablespoons)
Chili (1, optional)
Step 1: Marinate the chicken thighs
In a bowl combine fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar and mix them well.
Pour the marinade over your luscious chicken thighs then let your lovelies marinate for 2 hours or better yet, over night.
Step 2: Cook the chicken
5 minutes before cooking, peel, crush and mince your garlic cloves. I have a habit of crushing garlic with the side of the knife on the cutting board. When you crush it, your garlic will be more flavorful and it’s easier to mince.
Now heat your pan and add in vegetable oil.
When the oil is heated, put in your marinated chicken thighs and sear them. This step will make your chicken thighs more firm while giving them a nice beautiful brown sear color. (Only put in the chicken thighs, keep the marinade for the next step)
After 3 minutes or until the thighs are seared evenly, add in the marinade, the garlic that you minced so dutifully, bay leaves, chili (whole, without cutting), a dash of water and give a good stir. Close the lid over your pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. When you cook with closing lid, this step will seal enough steam in the pan and help to cook your chicken evenly while keeping it moist.
After 25 minutes, open your lid and give your thighs, chicken thighs of course, a stir. Let it simmer for 10 more minutes or until the liquid is reduced to a beautiful condensed caramel-colored sauce.
Your Adobo chicken is done, serve with rice and crunchy fresh herbs.
History of Adobo - written by Blessia Margarita Halatae
Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines. To be more precise: Adobo is a cooking method. Meat or Fish or vegetables are cooked in soy sauce and vinegar and garlic that results in an awesome flavor: Adobo. Little is known about the history of Adobo. It was first mentioned by the Spanish colonialists, who wrote about meat cooked in soy sauce and vinegar in letters and diaries. Since the Spanish ruled the Philippines from 1565-1898, we can be sure that the origins of Adobo is many centuries old.
It is widely accepted that Adobo has been created to preserve meat, fish and even vegetables – a cooking method that has become of crucial importance facing tropical climate and the absence of fridges. Even today Filipino families on the countryside cook Adobo in large pots, would cover them with banana leaves and leave them in the shadow to save time at preparing meals the other day (and because Adobo is highly popular, no cook can get away with an average portion). Also, in times when clear water would have become a rarity, the vinegar, the soy sauce and the many garlic cloves can ensure that bacteria are killed or at least the growth of bacteria would be inhibited. Another big plus is that the ingredients are few and the preparation effortless. Even beginners are able to cook a delicious portion of Adobo with ease. So Adobo has become one of the most known and loved national dishes of the Philippines.
Because Adobo is a cooking method, there are hundreds of versions of Adobo. Apart from the Adobo chicken that we present to you today, we are experimenting with different Adobo recipes and will bring to you its many variations (we can’t wait to show you Adobo pork belly among many others). Happy creating your Adobo!
Cover photo: Thao Uyen
A melting pot experience, in more than one way. Welcome to our Epicurean adventure!