When we came home with our little one, we were so blessed to have both families nearby to prepare food for us so we could focus on settling in as a family and not worry about nutritious food. My sister in law made a soup I had never tried before to go along with the dry lemongrass pork ribs that Anh loves. Way easier than I thought, Canh Cai Dau Hu – Tofu, Mustard Greens and Pork soup – has quickly become a staple. It cooks up fast and will fill you up even if you don’t have time to prepare a protein. In other words, most days that involve back-to-back nursing sessions, botched naps and blowouts 🙂
Simple and straightforward soup
Canh Cai Dau Hu
Serves 4 with two other dishes, or 2 with plenty of leftovers!
- 1 bunch baby mustard greens, rough chopped
- 1/4 – 1/2 lb ground pork (you can also use chicken)
- 1 package soft tofu, cut in cubes
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 4 inch knob ginger, minced and divided
- 6 cups water
- 3-4 tbl Fish Sauce
- 2-4 tbl Sugar
- 1-2 tbl Mushroom seasoning
- 1 tbl neutral oil
Heat oil in a 5 court pot and cook shallot until fragrant. Add 1/3 of the minced ginger, 1 tbl fish sauce and ground pork and mix well until cooked through.
Add water, 2 tbl sugar,1 tbl mushroom seasoning and 1tbl fish sauce and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Skim any gunk that rises to the top for a clearer broth. Then you may add the rest of the ginger and cubed tofu. Simmer another 5 minutes and taste, adjusting as needed.
Gently stir in the mustard greens and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Make any final flavor adjustments and top with black pepper.
Serve with rice on the side or in the same bowl.
We stopped by Ma’s house on the way home to discuss some details for the dam hoi and ended up staying for an impromptu cooking lesson and feast. Fortunately we arrived just as she was getting things going so I was able to watch over her shoulder and ask enough questions to sketch out the recipes and note her methods. A majority of which, of course, are all to taste. Three dishes were prepared start to finish in just over 30 minutes. Can’t beat that.
Canh Bi, Ga Xao Xa Ot, Ca Chim
I’ll test these out myself soon and finalize ingredient ratios. For those of you who are familiar with the flavors and ingredients, dive right in! Continue reading
I slipped into the comfort zone recently as, admittedly, I’ve been a bit overrun with twice weekly bootcamp and pool league on another night. Fortunately, I have only a couple of weeks left in the APA pool league, from which I plan to ‘retire’ after playoffs. As it happens, we’re currently in first place, meaning if we win the house we’ll continue on to Tri-Annuals or whatever tournament and I still have to be current. This is how they get me. Every time. Anyways, on to the food. Our dinner menu consisted of Canh Chua Ca (kahn chew-ah ka) Sour Fish Soup, and Ca Kho (ka k-oh) Caramel Fish.
Canh Chua Ca – Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup
Ca Kho – Caramel Catfish
After five days of egg and chorizo or brisket breakfast tacos, miscellaneous BBQ and a steady supply of cocktails, it is so very good to get back to fresher, lighter food. And vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables. And so goes the annual SXSW detox. Fortunately for me, the fiance is trying out a new diet of eating healthier in general, including mainly plant-based and whole foods. Don’t get me wrong, I seriously doubt my resolve in avoiding juicy steaks from time to time, and fish has to stay. However, I do think that eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is always wise.
Walking into FreshWorld was a breath of vibrant, healthy, fresh air. We picked up assorted fruits and herbs to get us through the rest of the week. Here they are, washed in diluted vinegar water and hanging out to dry.
Fresh cilantro, basil and green onions go with everything. Nectarines, clementines, kiwi, pears and pomolo’s (not pictured) for sweeter snacks.
I’ve been eager to try new recipes from Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, and settled on Canh cải cá rô (Gingery Mustard Greens and Tilapia Soup) to go with Sweet Chili Lime Tofu and Rice. The peppery bite of fresh Mustard Greens balanced with ginger and fish sauce sounded perfect for a light yet filling meal.
Canh cải cá rô and Sweet Chili Lime Tofu