Of all the various Asian fried rolls I’ve ever eaten, cha gio is the best in terms of taste and texture, hands down. There is just something serendipitous about the interplay between the flavors of the filling ingredients: the taro, the freshly ground pepper, the fish sauce, and of course, the pork and shrimp. Texture-wise,… Continue reading Cha Gio / Nem Ran / Vietnamese Fried Rolls
This ubiquitous, must-have sauce unifies the different flavors in many a Vietnamese dish and makes the entire composition come together and “pop.” Nuoc cham can effortlessly pull together a dish, making it a godsend for anyone looking to get breakfast/lunch/dinner on the table ASAP. I have a small airtight container of this stuff in my… Continue reading Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Basic Dipping Sauce)
I sometimes forget that not everyone grew up eating this kind of yummy food. For the record, “Lung Kow” is not a brand name. This term, like “vermicelli,” describes this type of fine, yet resilient, noodle. Bean thread noodles, lung kow noodles, cellophane noodles, glass noodles, and vermicelli are often used interchangeably when describing this… Continue reading Ingredient Spotlight: Pagoda Bean Thread Noodles
Hippo Flatbread, my contribution to the world’s repertoire of flatbread, is rich and buttery in flavor, even if it is gluten-free and free of dairy, egg, sesame, peanuts, and all tree-nuts except for coconut. The texture is satisfying: soft and warm on the inside with a bottom and edges that are crisped just so. Eat this flatbread with dal, stews, curries, and grilled meats and veggies. Or, spread on Sunbutter and allergen-free jam for a gluten- and allergen-free pb&j sandwich. Personally, I like it best eaten plain.
This was my son’s birthday cake this year. I was so happy he loved it!!! 🙂 An old-fashioned term, “spider” refers to a cast iron skillet, which I use to make this cake; spiders are not an ingredient. 🙂 Pineapple Upside Down Cake is probably one of the best known spider cakes baked today. The… Continue reading Chocolate Craze Spider Cake
Some days are meant for sitting on the sofa and eating bon bons. While I admit bon bons are incredibly tasty (I had them just once and even made it a point to sit on the sofa while eating them), more often than not, I’ll make jun jiu kao when I’m in need of a… Continue reading Jun Jiu Kao (Pearl Balls)
Yup, you read right — gumbo with tofu. Now before ya’ll get started with me, let me start off by saying that if you’re allergic to soy, if tofu isn’t your thing, or if you believe in all that crazy hype about soy being bad for you, please, by all means, leave out the tofu.… Continue reading Chicken Tofu Gumbo Ya Ya
Every gluten-free cook has his or her signature bread recipe. This is mine. A derivation of Neat Bread, Hippo Bread is superior in terms of texture, taste, and appearance thanks to its key ingredient, plain, homemade soy milk. Homemade soy milk acts as a binder, tenderizes the loaf’s crumb, adds a creaminess to the flavor, and imparts… Continue reading Hippo Bread
Soy milk is a kitchen basic in our household. It’s good for drinking, but it’s also indispensable in the kitchen as an ingredient in many recipes. Soy milk is an excellent dairy substitute in cooking. It’s also a great egg substitute in recipes requiring the binding (though not rising) properties of eggs. My family enjoys… Continue reading Soy Milk
Tasty, easy, and fast, “Catfish” Tofu — which contains no catfish — is my primary go-to dish on nights when I’m too tired to do anything but am having one of those gotta-get-dinner-on-the-table-NOW-or-else-hungry-toddler-is-gonna-have-a-meltdown nights.