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Free Resources General Recipes

How to make Vietnamese Bun Cha (Pork Patties)

Some background…

Bun Cha is one of Hanoi’s famous dishes.┬áIt’s the Northern equivalent of South Vietnam’s Bun Thit Nuong. The two dishes are very similar in that it is rice noodles with grilled pork, served with a sweet chili dipping sauce and salad with fresh herbs.

In Bun Thit Nuong, the meat, noodles, and salad are all mixed in a bowl together drizzled with the iconic Vietnamese dipping sauce.

In Bun Cha, the meat is separated from the noodles and salad and served in a variation of the dipping sauce which is slightly thicker in consistency.

Anyhoos, this is an authentic hybrid recipe, in so much that it was taught to me by my mum who is proper Vietnamese.

Ingredients (serves 6-ish or 4 Lushes)

Patties

  • 500g ground/minced pork
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 large sprigs of spring onions – finely chopped
  • 1 slice of bread – the bit at the end (chopped into small breadcrumbs)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small chili – finely chopped (optional)
  • Handful of fresh mint and coriander – finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 Shallot – finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup minced lemongrass (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground salt and chili flakes (optional)

Salad

  • Assorted fresh salad (iceberg lettuce, bean sprouts, mint, coriander, sliced cucumber)
  • 2 bags rice vermicelli (Jiang Xi rice stick or Bun Giang Tay – normally in a red packaging)

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced into penny coin size – extra points if you can score them to make them into flower petals

The sauce should be sweet, tangy, and salty (and garlicy). Adjust the amount of sugar, fish sauce, or lemon accordingly.

Instructions

  1. To make the pork patties (cha), combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. You can leave it to marinate for 30 minutes (if you can wait).
  2. Roll the ground pork into small patties. Think ping-pong ball, but squished.
  3. Grill the sliced pork and patties over charcoal fire for a more authentic taste. Cheat-version: You can also pan-fry them on a medium-high heat using a griddle pan with a dash of olive oil for around 10 minutes. Make sure to turn and rotate frequently for even cooking. They need to be caramelised and crispy on both sides.
  4. To make the dipping sauce, in a small bowl, combine water and sugar and mixed until dissolved. Add fish sauce, lemon juice, garlic, chili sauce and sliced carrots.
  5. Cook the noodles per package instructions. Normally, it’s fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the noodles (two square portions will serve 6 people) to the boiling water. Cover and turn off the heat. Leave to steam for 10 minutes. Drain the hot water and run under cold water.
  6. To serve, add layer of noodles followed by the salad and then place the patties on top. Drizzle a generous amount of the sauce over everything.
  7. Enjoy! Don’t forget to take photos and share it with me on social media @whoatemycrayons, because “photo, or it never happened”.
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Free Resources Handmade Recipes Tutorial

How to make Vietnamese spring rolls

A family recipe handed down from my Mum who was born and lived in Hanoi, Vietnam. It’s a lot of preparation, but I promise, once you try these, no other spring rolls will come close.

With help from Miss Crayons with all the instagram-y bits.

Vietnamese spring rolls, made the way my Mum taught me.
Recipe makes around 30-35 rolls. Don't forget the veg cooking oil!
Soak and then cut glass noodles into small inch sections (use scissors).
Add the salt and pepper and fungus to cook with the pork and onions in step 2.
Add about two tablespoons of fish sauce.
This size would make around 30-35 spring rolls.
Wraps can be purchased from Asian supermarket or large supermarkets in freezer section.
Pastry wrap gives a crunchier roll, traditional rice paper is chewier and harder to work with.
Deep fry for 5-8 minutes until golden. Serve with rice noodles, fresh green crunchy salad with fresh mint and coriander.
Correction: 1/4 ml of cold water. Sweet and tangy sauce to be drizzled all over the dish.
Flower carrots garnish to go into the sauce. The way my Mum made them.
This is the SECRET ingredient. This is what gives our spring rolls a sweet flavour.
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Recipes Tutorial

Carrot and Apple Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

carrotmuffins1This is a super easy recipe for moist and fluffy muffins. Takes around 10 minutes to prepare and 20-25 mins to bake.

Ingredients

175g brown muscovado sugar
100g wholemeal self-raising flour*
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp of cinnamon
zest 1 orange
2 eggs
150ml sunflower oil
3 medium sized carrots, grated
1 medium sized apple, grated with skin
*You can use a total of 200g of self-raising flour

Icing

I use the fool-proof recipe from The Pink Whisk, Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting.

Method

1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
2. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients sugar, flours, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice, cinnamon and orange zest.
4. Whisk together the eggs and oil, then stir into the dry ingredients with the grated carrot and apple.
5. Divide the mixture between cases, I use an ice-cream scoop or measuring cup to ensure consistent levelled muffins.
6. Bake for 20-22 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
7. Scoff!

carrotmuffins2