Tuesday, December 20, 2011

oreo brownies

what do you get when you combine oreos with brownies? an oreo brownie! my friend, justdizzy, invited some friends over for a girly night of brownies and bridesmaids, the movie. she made these delicious oreo brownies. the recipe is from lorraine pascale on bbc food. they were fantastic!



Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in square baking tin with butter, then line with baking paper with the paper overlapping the sides a little.

  2. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the grated (or chopped) chocolate. Leave to stand for a few minutes, or until the chocolate melts, and then stir together. Alternatively, you can put the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 25-second blasts, stirring well each time.

  3. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer. Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it - again around the sides so as not to knock the air out.

  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and a third of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25–30 minutes. The middle should be very so slightly gooey. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin - the top will sink and crack a little.

  5. Pull the brownies out using the overlapping paper and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

high cholestorol

it's a sad day when the doctor tells a foodie that she has high cholesterol. what does that mean? reduce my intake of creamy sauces, butter, fried food, cheese, red meat, cakes, pastries, chocolate, mayonnaise, shall i go on?

i don't eat those items above on a regular basis (despite what you see on this blog) so i'm a bit puzzled why my cholesterol is so high. high cholesterol doesn't run in my family either.

well... i've decided that it's too difficult to do this over the holiday season so i will probably start after the new year.

does this mean the end of this blog? i hope not. it's just another challenge. how to eat good food and stay healthy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

korean keema

i love pakistani keema with the blend of curry spices, and it's an easy dish to make. recently i borrowed nigella lawson's, Kitchen cook book, from a friend, and i found this recipe for korean keema. the component that makes it korean is koh-chu-jang (spicy korean hot pepper paste).

you can double the recipe to make enough for four people or nice leftovers.

Korean Keema

(Serves 2)

150g sushi rice (short grain)

250g turkey mince (or ground beef)

6 thin or 3 fat spring onions, chopped

125g frozen petite pois (peas)

1 tsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp rice wine

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

For the sauce:

2 tbsp gochujang

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp rice wine

2 tbsp soy sauce

1. Cook the rice as instructed in a rice cooker.

2. Put a kettle on to boil for the peas later.

3. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, and stir in minced turkey. Leave to steep for about 5 minutes.

4. Heat a wok or heavy-based frying pan. While this is heating up, pour boiling water from the kettle over the frozen peas in a sieve or colander, letting the hot water drain away, thereby defrosting the peas. When the wok/pan is hot, add the oil, then the spring onions. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.

5. Add the turkey mince and its sauce, and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until cooked.

6. Add the peas and heat for 2-3 minutes.

7. Serve over rice and with a good scattering of chopped coriander.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

sin gluten in spain

i had an expected work trip to barcelona. sadly i wasn't able to partake in the amazing cuisine of the city because my schedule had no wiggle room outside of the exhibition i was there to attend.

after a full day of meeting with exhibitors and being on my feet in two inch heels all day, i headed back to the hotel wanting something decent to eat. i walked downstairs and turned left after leaving the hotel. i came across this cafe, la cafe creme, which was right next door. hm... what kind of cuisine do they serve? doesn't hurt to just check out their menu?

so i walked in and perused their menu. i came across something that said, "carne" (beef in spanish). can't go wrong with beef, right? so i asked for one carne item from the menu. sadly i can't remember the name of this dish. i waited patiently as the young spanish boy prepared my takeway for me.

after paying, i went back up to my hotel room. i peeled open the aluminum foil to see what this was. it reminded me of a stuffed taco filled with a mound of pulled beef. the beef was nicely marinated in a tasty sauce, not too spicy. however, what was most intriguing was the "stuffed taco". it reminded me of a pita, and i believe this "stuffed taco" was gluten free, possibly corn flour based. at that moment i remembered that on the menu it said, "sin gluten" which means without gluten. the beef was wonderfully tender. i savored each bite. now i just wish i could remember what it was called. i have a feeling that i will probably never have this again unless i return to cafe in barcelona.

so if you know, please tell me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

happy thanksgiving

this year, i was invited to two thanksgiving meals! it's always a treat to enjoy turkey and all the fixin's around thanksgiving.

for me thanksgiving isn't thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. i always use libby's recipe for pumpkin pie. i did bake a lot longer than i expected. however, everyone was very happy to have pumpkin pie.

i also made fresh whipped cream which is very simple to make. just take some whipping cream or double cream, add some powder sugar (also called icing sugar) and whip until it gets stiff. however, be careful. make sure you don't overbeat it. you don't want it to get too stiff.

happy thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

stuffed french toast

there's a great place in philadelphia called sabrina's that makes delicious breakfast dishes. one of them is stuffed french toast. i decided to try and make my own.

take a french baquette and slice them into 2 inch pieces. then slice them in half but not all the way so you have a hinge. lather one side with cream cheese (let it soften to make it easier to spread) and the other side with any kind of jam you like.

in a bowl, mix together egg and milk (for one serving i used one egg and about 1/2 cup of milk). add a sprinkle of cinnamon and about 1/2 tsp of vanilla. add the french toast slices covering both sides and then let them sit in the mixture until the bread soaks up all the liquid. flip occasionally.

in a pan on med-low heat, melt a dab of butter. place the french toast on the pan cooking evenly on both sides.

enjoy by itself or with maple syrup.

Friday, November 11, 2011

many mandu

i usually have to shop at the korean grocery store if i want mandu, korean dumplings. while perusing the local grocery stores, i tried to find any kind of dumpling, but sadly none of the stores sell dumplins, not even the chinese kind. so the last time i was at the korean grocery store, i bought some mandu skins to try and make them at home.

last weekend, i spent my saturday afternoon making 85 mandu (korean dumplings). i guess i had a lot of skins. i used a mandu recipe from my favorite korean cooking lady, maangchi. i did skip a few ingredients like mushrooms and korean chives because i couldn't get them. also i added thin vermicelli which i had in my cupboard. i made some shaped for frying and some made for soups.

what's nice is that they freeze very nicely. just lay them out on a baking sheet but make sure they're not touching each other. after they are frozen, you can store them in a ziploc bag. i fried a few mandu and i made dukk mandu gook (rice cake dumpling soup) afterwards. yum! great for those cold nights.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


my former roommate, bombelly, might not be a chef in the kitchen but surprisingly her brother is! he came to visit and stayed at our place for awhile. he made the best katsudon (pork cutlet with egg and rice).

i was going to try and make it following his recipe, but it was a bit more complicated and time consuming so i found another recipe for katusudon instead.

i adjusted the broth since i didn't have dashi. instead i used anchovy broth made from dried anchovy.
also i increased it from 100ml to about 400ml of anchovy broth.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

comfort food

one of my comfort foods is nooroongji, burned rice. i know it probably doesn't sound appetizing. it's not completely burned.

before the age of the nonstick rice cooker, rice was made in simple pots. there was always a layer of rice stuck the bottom of the pot. koreans never waste anything, so by adding some hot water to the pot, you can have nooroongji bop (burned rice porridge).

some restaurants serve nooroongji bop with soft tofo spicy soup. the rice is brought in a stone bowl. after you scoop out the rice, they'll add hot water to the bowl.

growing up i never really had nooroongji because in our home we had a non stick rice cooker. one day my dad made it for me.

just take any leftover rice and spread it evenly on a frying pan. heat it until it turns a nice golden brown color. when it's done, add it to a pot of boiling water. let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes for the rice to soften. and then enjoy! great with kimchi.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

kimbap with egg

there are those occasions where i might have leftover kimbap. what do you do with leftover kimbap? it doesn't taste great if you re-heat it in the microwave.

i learned a trick from my friend, juicy, when we used to live together in california. she actually learned this from her aunt.

crack an egg into a bowl and scramble it. then dip the kimbap in the egg coating all sides and then fry on a pan with a little bit of oil.

simple and easy!

Monday, October 31, 2011

spider web apple muffins

i still have a plethora of cooking apples in our garden. recently i found a recipe for apple muffins on my friend's facebook page. however, rather than just topping it with brown sugar as instructed i decided to do something for halloween.

so i made spider web apple muffins. the recipe for the apple muffins is below. i tried making a cream cheese frosting, but it turned out very runny. i think the cream cheese here must be different because usually it has a nice frosting consistency. well, it made the spider web look nice. i also added orange food coloring. to make the spider web, first frost the muffins. then i used a black gel cake decoration to make 3 concentric circles. with a toothpick starting from the center, make a line going towards the edge. keep doing this until you get the spider web pattern. then you have a pretty spider web.

i made so many muffins that i decided to take them to church. well i found out that children in the UK are not used to cream cheese frosting (or philadelphia as they call it here). when they see a muffin/cupcake, they expect a sugary surprise. well, one taste and they rejected the muffins. oh well... at least the adults enjoyed it!

Cream together:
2 cups sugar (I use 1 1/2 cups)
2 eggs (I added another egg)
1 cup oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups peeled, cored, diced apples (around 3 apples)
Brown sugar for topping (around 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (gas mark 4) and line muffin pan with paper liners.

Cream together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon (I never sift and they turn out fine). Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Add the diced apples.

Fill paper liners almost to the top, about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes. Makes 18 muffins.

Friday, October 28, 2011

pumpkin season

autumn has arrived which means that winter squash vegetables are now in season. generally i post about foods i've eaten or made, but this time this post is about something i've carved. my housemate and i decided to carve our own jack 'o lanterns, something we've actually never done before. so it was a first for the both of us.

this site, zombie pumpkins, has a pdf instructions on how to carve your pumpkin. i was amazed at some of the patterns people have carved. i was going to do something simple and easy, but then i had an epiphany! what if i carve the philadelphia eagles' logo? could i do it? it was tough to find a pattern, but i found a photo of a pumpkin that someone had done, and i decided to use that photo as a guideline.

i first drew the design onto my pumpkin. then i slowly started carving it out piece by piece starting from the middle and working my way out. overall, i think it turned out pretty neat! my housemate created a very happy jack 'o lantern. so now we have our two pumpkins sitting outside in the garden.

as i research pumpkin patterns, i also looked into what you can do with fresh pumpkin. unfortunately, pumpkins used for carving are not the right type of cooking pumpkins. however, i did find some recipes on roasting pumpkin seeds. so i first cleaned, rinsed and dried the pumpkin seeds. then i turned on the oven to 350 degrees (180 C/gas mark 4). i found a recipe on allrecipes.com for spiced maple pumpkin seeds. i altered it by using olive oil instead of butter to make it healthier. with the pumpkin seeds from my housemate's pumkin, i made a savory batch of seeds tossed in olive oil and salt sprinkled with paprika. i roasted them for about 40 minutes.

next time i might add some brown sugar to the sweet batch and maybe a dash of salt to make it sweet and savory. i preferred the savory batch better.

but definitely a nice little snack to enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

kimbap at work

at work i organized a kimbap day. i wanted to give a lesson on how to make kimbap (korean rice wrapped in seaweed). i had about 10 people sign up to learn. i asked each person to bring seaweed, a bamboo mat, a cutting board, and a knife. you can easily find seaweed and a bamboo mat at most local stores around here. i also had each person prepare a component for the filling of the kimbap. i used videos and recipe from maangchi and aeri's kitchen so that they knew how to prepare the component. the only component unavailable locally was the danmunji (pickled radish) which i bought at the korean grocery store in new malden.

since each person pre-cooked and prepped their component beforehand, it was easy to heat up and set up one of our conference rooms for the lesson. first i demonstrated how to make one roll while everyone watched. then everyone started rolling their kimbap. it took some practice to get the kimbap to roll. some rolls were big. some rolls were small. overall, everyone loved it and enjoyed it.

for the recipe for kimbap, you can look at my earlier post for kimbap.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

primrose cupcakes

while perusing the bookstore, i found a cupcake cookbook and discovered that they had a bakery in london. so recently on a trip into london, i decided to stop by primrose bakery to try their cupcakes.

they had an assortment of flavors so it was pretty hard to choose. i asked the girl behind the counter which flavor was the most popular. she said chocolate and vanilla, but i felt those flavors were too common to try so i decided on carrot cake and banana chocolate.

unfortunately there was no room at the bakery to sit and enjoy the cupcakes so i had to walk through the streets of london to find another cafe which wasn't too hard to find. hopefully they won't see me eating a pastry from another establishment.

the carrot cake cupcake had raisins inside the cake, and the frosting was a cream cheese frosting with orange zest. it was pretty moist as well. i didn't want to feel like a glutton so i saved the other cupcake for later. the banana chocolate was sadly not very moist as the carrot cake cupcake. but i enjoyed the banana flavor in the cake. maybe i should have taken the girl's recommendation and gone with the chocolate or vanilla.

maybe i'll have to stop by there again on another trip into london.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

chips or crisps

here in the UK, potato chips are known as crisps. occasionally i still stay chips which here in the UK means fries. as i was shopping the other day, i saw these crisps on sale for a pound. i was intrigued by the flavor, tandoori chicken with indian spices. hm.. could this be any good?

the crisps actually do taste for indian. very nice blend of spices overall. in the states i don't think we have anything like this. i guess living in a country that has a lot of indians/pakistanis allows companies to be a bit creative with their flavors.

my question is how do you pronounce this name in the UK? is it fil-LAY- us? or FIL- aye-us?

my favorite crisps are walkers smoky bacon because it really does taste like bacon! and who doesn't love bacon?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Maangchi in Canterbury

i've been mentioned in maangchi's gapshida journey! go to her blog to see a photo. i really enjoyed meeting maangchi. she's absolutely adorable. i'm sure others will enjoy meeting her as well.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

mmm... apple pie

i've written before that i do miss my citrus fruit trees from california, but here in the UK i have an apple tree. there was some apples sitting on the counter so i decided to make an apple pie, the american way. i can't remember the last time i made apple pie.

i did cheat by buying an already made frozen pastry crust. i was looking into making my own when my housemate told me that the shops sell frozen ones called Just so. yeah, it's not homemade crust, but it save some time.

the recipe i followed is actually my cousin's recipe. she gave it to me years ago. and you can't have apple pie without vanilla ice cream. apple pie a la mode. the only way to have apple pie.

Apple Pie


5-6 granny smith apples
2 tbsp butter (melted)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 pastry crusts

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Use 5-6 granny smith apples, sliced thin.
3. mix apples, about 3/4 cup of brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and about 2 tablespoons of butter (melted) all together for the filling.
4. Bake with edges covered for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce to 350 degrees and back for about 35 - 45 minutes longer...depending on how mushy you want your apple filling to be. Also bake on lowest oven rack.

Enjoy with a nice scoop of apple pie.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

soup for a cold day

another great soup for a cold autumn day is yook gae jang (spicy beef soup). i've never had to make it before, but i was really craving it. i followed a recipe from maangchi which was very easy to follow.

i did have to figure out what they call beef brisket in the UK. i looked at every kind of beef in the meat section, and then i found something called braising steak which looked like brisket. i had already bought gosahree (fern branch) but i forgot to soak it overnight.

overall, it was an easy recipe to follow thanks to maangchi. the only thing is that it takes some time to make the broth from the brisket, but once that's done, everything else was easy.

i can't wait to make it again, but this time i'll soak the gosahree overnight.

dosa failure

a few years ago, i was visiting my cousin in san jose. as i was driving around, i came across an indian restaurant. so i walked in and asked them for an order of chicken tikka masala.

the woman behind the counter responded, "oh, we don't serve that."
i was confused. what indian restaurant doesn't serve chicken tikka masala?
so i asked her, "what do you serve?"
she said, "we make dosas. see what others are eating over there."

so i asked for one dosa to go, and it was fantastic! it's a crepe pancake made of lentils and rice flour. it's light and crispy and filled with seasoned potatoes. now that i'm living in england, i have better access to indian cuisine. i thought i would try to make it myself. the shops even sell dosa mix and you need to do is add water.

well, i tried yesterday, and it was a failure. :(
i think i had the wrong pan, the wrong consistency of the batter, and i was working with an electric stove. so i will attempt again to make a better dosa. i've done some research on youtube to see how others make dosas.

however, i am happy to say that the potato subji (potato filling) turned out really nice.

Monday, October 3, 2011

meeting maangchi

tonight, my friend, and i drove 3 hours to Canterbury to meet maangchi! i discovered her back in LA. she started posting youtube videos of how to make korean food. back then i really didn't have a need for her recipes b/c in LA you can get almost anything.

however, now living in the UK, i'm very limited in the korean food realm. so i started watching her videos to learn how to make different korean dishes.

about a month ago, i noticed on her website that she was going to take a tour and her first stop was the UK! Canterbury is far, but it was worth it. i brought my friend along who never had korean food but loves to cook.

as soon as we walked in, we were greeted with a big hug from maangchi. the gathering was hosted by a woman who's half thai half german. maangchi videotaped her as she made a variation of papaya salad and larb. instead of papaya which is very hard to find here, she used swede, also known as rutabaga. maangchi prepared squid soup which was delicious! my friend who's never had korean food loved it all, even the squid soup.

unfortunately we didn't get to watch maangchi prepare the food, but we just listened to her talk and share about how she got started. she started her videos about 2007 when her friend wanted to know how to make certain korean dishes. she's absolutely adorable! she has so much energy for a 54 year old mother of two. i was amazed. i hope that i have as much as energy as her when i'm her age.

why is she called maangchi (which means hammer in korean)? she was into this online game, and her identity was maangchi because she liked to destroy things. she decided to use this name as her website.

she'll be touring all over the world, so if you want to meet her, check her out her website to see if she's coming to your area.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

homemade cha gio

for awhile i've been talking to jen and ben about making pho. since they are allergic to gluten, they have ventured into rice noodles and rice papers. awhile ago we made spring rolls which they loved.

we finally made a date in our diaries to make chicken pho (vietnamese noodles). i was able to find most of the ingredients, but i never saw thai basil at any of the asian grocery stores. however, last week, i was ecstatic to find it at the korea food grocery store in new malden! also i needed bean thread vermicelli, and ben suggested using rice vermicelli instead. i gave him this look and said, "c'mon. what kind of foodie are you? " i explained to him, "if we're going to make it, we're doing it the proper way." luckily i found the bean thread vermicelli at korea foods as well.

i packed all my stuff and headed over to jen and ben's. it's a good thing i started at 1:30pm b/c it was an all day process.

we started off by preparing the broth (recipe given to me by my friend, juicy, when she visited me back in april 2011). i didn't want to run out of broth so we prepared 4 pots of stock. i might have overestimated just a little bit. it's a good thing their family likes chicken b/c there's loads of it leftover.

i was excited to make the cha gio (fried spring rolls). this appetizer is one of my favorite vietnamese dishes. i found a recipe on wandering chopsticks blog. so that's the recipe i followed. thankfully jen had a food processor which saved us a lot of time in chopping.

while i continued to roll the spring rolls, she fried the cha gio. i chuckled each time she declared, "no touching! don't get naked." apparently when the rolls touch each other in the oil, they tend to lose their rice paper skin. i suggest not frying too many at once.

when i explained to jen that these spring rolls are best wrapped in lettuce, she slapped me on my arm while exclaiming, "get out!" she was so excited to know that this meal was not just fried food. i mean, who doesn't love fried food? but what i love about this dish is it is healthy as well when eaten with lettuce. i demonstrated to everyone how to eat the cha gio by wrapping the cha gio with lettuce, pickled carrots (recipe below) and cucumber then dipping in the fish sauce. as you take a bite, you can hear the crunch of the crispy rice paper and lettuce. i think i heard jen making lots of happy noises as she took a bite of her cha gio. at first, ben was a bit skeptical about wrapping the cha gio in lettuce, but he too was convinced that it was the better way to enjoy the cha gio.

we enjoyed our pho and our cha gio. i was very happy to share good food with good friends.

Below are the recipes for the cha gio, fish sauce and pickled carrots.

Vietnamese Spring/Egg Rolls (Gluten-Free Cha Gio)

For about two dozen egg rolls, you'll need:

1 lb ground pork
1 package rice paper wrappers. I prefer Three Ladies brand. (if you use small ones, will make about 3 dozen rolls)
1 small section bean thread vermicelli. They're sold individually or in packages, but the packages will tie a small bundle together. You just need one.
½ large onion, finely diced or grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
2 tsp sugar, adjust to taste
1 tsp black pepper, adjust to taste
2 tsp nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce), adjust to taste

Optional: Ground turkey or chicken may be substituted for the pork. Add 1 cup minced shrimp if you're not allergic. Add finely shredded cabbage if you'd like more vegetables. Add minced crab to make it even more flavorful. Vegetarians may substitute the meats with fresh tofu. Add 1 cup dried mushrooms, soaked and sliced, or 1 cup Tree/Wood Ear Fungus/Mushroom, soaked.

Place the bean thread vermicelli noodles into hot water to soften. Squeeze vermicelli and mushrooms dry and allow to drain. Cut vermicelli into two-inch segments. I use a pair of scissors for ease. Cut off mushroom stems and slice thinly. Sometimes tree ear fungus is sold pre-sliced, if not, then slice into strips.

Grate the onion first and squeeze to remove excess water. Grate one or two carrots. Add 1 lb ground pork.

Add 1 tsp salt, 2 tsps sugar, 2 tsps fish sauce, and 1 tsp ground black pepper to the pork mixture. Mix everything thoroughly. To check for taste, I usually take a tiny lump of the meat and pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds or so. It's easier to adjust seasonings if necessary this way. Just remember to factor in that the fish sauce will make the mixture saltier as it gets absorbed and cooked.

You should only wrap enough egg rolls for however many you plan to eat right then. They don't keep so well. Store the filling in the fridge if you plan to make more egg rolls over the next few days. Otherwise, you can also freeze the leftover filling for use the next time you have a craving.

It's best to work with about two rice paper sheets at a time. On the left is the rice paper before being wetted, on the right, I've just splashed it with water on both sides. Have a large bowl of warm water on hand and just wet the rice paper in the bowl or do it under running water. There is no need to let the rice paper sit in the water. It will become pliable in a few seconds.

So wet one rice paper sheet and leave it to become pliable. Then wet a second sheet and leave it to become pliable. Return to the first sheet and it will now be pliable enough to roll. When you finish rolling, set the spring roll aside to dry out. Wet another sheet, and leave it. Return to the second sheet, which has now become pliable, and roll it. Repeat as desired.

Now, in rolling an egg roll, don't be greedy. A tablespoon or two is more than enough filling. Spread it out on top of the wrapper. See the other sheet in the top corner? It has just been wetted (Yeah, I made up that word.) and is just resting until it becomes pliable?

I usually fry on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the egg rolls.

Drain on paper towels or paper bags.

Serve with lettuce and Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce).

Nuoc Mam Cham Ngot (Vietnamese Sweetened Fish Dipping Sauce)

For a 24-oz jar, you'll need:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Optional: Chili peppers

Boil 1/2 cup water. Actually, you don't have to boil the water, just get it hot so that it can dissolve the sugar more easily. Stir in 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup fish sauce, and 1/2 cup sugar. Taste and adjust if necessary. Add crushed chili peppers if you wish.

The taste should be slightly sweet and rather mild, the pungency of the fish sauce quite muted.

Store in a jar in the fridge. Serve with cha gio.

Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables (Dua Chua)


  • 250ml/8 fl oz distilled white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1.2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 carrots, sliced 3mm/1/8 inch thick
  • 675g/1 1/2 lb white cabbage or Chinese leaves, cored and cut into long shreds about 1 cm/1/2 inch wide
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and cut into 5cm/2 inch lengths


  1. Put the vinegar, sugar, salt and 600ml/ 1 pint water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil; stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove form the heat and leave to cool until just warm to the touch.
  2. Put the carrots, cabbage and spring onions in a large ceramic bowl and pour the brine over the vegetables from floating.) Cover and leave to stand at room temperature until the vegetables turn sour, 4-6 hours or overnight.
  3. The pickled vegetables will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Drain before serving.