Sunday, October 10, 2010

Đậu xanh

Chào các cô! Chào các bn!

Chúng em bốn đi đinh Thầy Minh để nấu ăn trưa. Chúng em là LAV1201 Vit mt sinh viên. Thy Minh sng Bukit Panjang Mayspring. Chúng em ₫ến lúc tám sáng, vào thứ bảy.

Chúng em tên là: Minh Phong, Minh, Minh Hằng và Minh Cưởng

Here is the recipe:
- 125g Green Beans (aka mung beans) – soaked overnight and drained
(In which we forgot to soak it overnight and it takes a long time to cook the beans on that day itself :P)
- 2 Pandan (aka Screw Pine) Leaves, dried ends cut, tied in a knot
- 1.25 litres water
- 50g rock sugar
-1/3 cup sago (small tapioca pearls)

1. Place water, and pandan leaves in a pot and bring to boil.
2. Reduce the fire, add beans and simmer, partially covered, for about 30-50 minutes (or till beans are soft). Add sugar to taste during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.
3.  For the addition of sago, it is after the beans have been partially cooked. (Don’t add too much of sago, since it will cause the soup to be to starchy)
4. Also, keep stirring while waiting for the sago to soften. Otherwise, the sago pearls will aggregate together, causing lumps and will be gooey like. :o

And we have found another way of cooking sago, such that it can retain nice ‘pearl-like’ sagos…

  • Soak tapioca pearls in cold water for 20 minutes. The pearls will expand and turn bright white. Drain.
  • In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. When water boils, turn off heat and add the drained tapioca pearls and stir constantly for 1 1/2 minutes, or until the pearls are translucent with a very small white center. Taste the tapioca, it should be soft but not goopy.
  • Drain the tapioca in fine mesh sieve and run cold water through the sieve to stop the tapioca pearls from cooking further. Swish with your hands to make sure that the pearls at the bottom of the sieve have a chance to cool down. Drain and add to the green bean soup.
The Finished product! :D
Outcome of our green bean soup:
Although Cô Bích says the taste of the soup is sweet enough, the problem lies with the texture of soup. It turns out to be overly-starchy, reason being that too much beans are in the pot! ): Also, over-stirring of the soup will mesh the beans instead. Still, we have learnt our lessons from our experience and have great deal of enjoyment relishing food cooked from other groups!

Hôm nay chùng em vui. 

Gỏi Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Salad)

Chào các cô! Chào các bn! J

Chúng em là LAV1201 Vit mt sinh viên. Nhóm ca chúng em có bn người: Minh Thơ, Minh Tĩên, Minh Hu and Minh Đc. Chúng em đi thy Minh’s nhà vào sáng th by cho cooking project. Thy Minh sng Bukit Panjang Mayspring. Chúng em did gi gà cho cooking project. Chúng em mua all the ingredients in ch, Giant và Cold Storage.

Chicken Salad
            3 pieces 200g chicken breast fillets
            2 tablespoons vegetable oil sea salt
            White pepper use black if that is all you have
            1 cup bean sprout
            1 cup Vietnamese mint leaf
            1 cup Asian basil leaves
            4 cups Chinese cabbages finely shredded
            1 cup carrot peeled and finely julienned
Vietnamese Dressing
            60 ml Lime juice
            60 ml Fish sauce
            1 tablespoon caster sugar
            2 very finely chopped Garlic Cloves optional
            3 finely sliced red Asian shallots or 1/2 red onion
          2 small very finely chopped red chilli

Chicken Salad
·      Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).
·      Heat a frying pan over a high heat, and while the pan is heating, brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
·      Place the chicken skin-side down and sear for 2 minutes, turn and sear for another minute.
·      Put the chicken on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
·      Shred the chicken into thin strips with your hands and place in a large bowl.
·      Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
Vietnamese Dressing
Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

These are the vegetables that we prepared:

Us in action:
Each of us prepared one aspect Minh Thơ sliced carrots, Minh Tĩên plucked the cabbage, Minh Hu cut the shredded chicken, and Minh Đc plucked the basil and mint leaves.
We are supposed to prepare for roughly 10 person but the ingredients we brought was more than enough and we made a big bowl of chicken salad.

Personal reflection:

The preparation took about 1 hr. The actual process isn’t that long actually (most of the time was spent waiting for Cô Bích to dy chúng em how to slice and arrange the ingredients). It was an enjoyable time as we got to know more about each other through this teamwork. While waiting for Cô Bích to come and teach us, we ate some of the chicken we prepared and grabbed a few Vietnamese spring rolls another group had made. Ngon tuyt! But some of us got caught by Cô Bích for secretly eating and got scolded for being greedy.

We also had to prepare the dressing sauce, whose main component is the famous fish sauce much-loved by Vietnamese. The dressing required loads of sugar as well, so that salad would have a delicate sweet-sour taste to it.

-Minh Tiên

This is the first time, I ăn Vietnamese cuisine. It is very delicious and special. Cô Bìch dy chúng em how to differentiate lime and calamansi, Italian basil and Thai basil. And we realized how great a mistake we made in getting out ingredients. Cô Bìch cũng dy chúng em how to make delicious Vietnamese dressing for our gi gà by using fish sauce and sugar.

Chúng em finished nấu our gi gà trước mười hai gì. Sau decorating gi gà, chúng em và các bn đi function hall with all of our Vietnamese đồ ăn. Chúng em get to talk to all Vit mt sinh viên and some of the seniors. It was a very good chance to know more about Vietnamese culture through Vietnamese đồ ăn.

-Minh Hu

I felt that the cooking project really helped all the students become closer. I got the opportunity to chat and joke with classmates, and also see all of us in action, helping out with food preparation. But I was rather clumsy that day and kept knocking into things. I ended up wasting quite a lot of chicken which dropped on the floor. Nevertheless, it was fun! My favorite part of the project was … eating! I love all the desserts the best, especially the banana soup and Cô Lê’s drink! Thanks to everyone for their wonderful dishes!

- Đưc

The most memorable part of the nu ăn experience was making the gi gà dressing. Cô Bìch dy em làm thế nào make the dressing sauce: by mixing cá sauce, sugar, lime juice, some chopped garlic, shallots and chilies. Em added the sugar to the mixture and cô Bìch tried, nhưng sauce là too salty so in the end em added almost ½ the container of sugar. However, our gi gà was still a bit salty in the end. Despite this, em had fun cooking together and interacting with the other tiếng Vit sinh viên. Cô Bìch cũng dy chúng em how to garnish the gi gà using tomatoes and chili as decorations. Sau khi tiếng Vit sinh viên xong nu ăn, chúng em và các bn finally get to eat Vit đô ăn chúng em prepared. Em specially thích the Gi Cun as it has a unique taste. Em mun hc Gi Cun đ nu ăn cho gia đình.

- Minh Thơ

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gỏi Cuốn - Vietnamese Cold Salad Rolls

 Chào các cô! Chào các bạn!

Vào thứ bảy tuần trước, chúng tôi - Minh Hà, Minh Hòa, Minh Dũng và Minh Tâm, gặp ở Bukit Panjang LRT. It was raining heavily when we got there. Thế thì chán quá! We even went to the wrong apartment. Trời ơi! But that did not dampen our spirit at all.  Chúng tôi dến nhà thầy Minh lúc chín giờ sáng để làm Gỏi Cuốn cho lớp nấu ăn Việt.

Upon reaching nhà thầy Minh, cô Bích bắt dầu dạy how to prepare the Gỏi Cuốn, a Vietnamese cold salad roll and decorate the dish using vegetables like chilli and cucumber vì chúng tôi chưa bao giờ nấu món ăn Việt Nam.

We enjoyed wrapping the spring rolls even though it took us a couple of tried before we finally got the hang of it.

Gỏi Cuốn rất dễ làm và đây là recipe với some points to take note:

Rice vermicelli
Vietnamese rice paper
Lettuce, cucumber and carrot (all thinly sliced)
Mint leaves
Thai basil leaves
Bean sprouts
Chinese chives
Chicken breast meat, shredded (Tip: Cô Bích prefers pork belly!)
Tiger shrimps (cooked, peeled and sliced into halves)

Steps to making Gỏi Cuốn:
1. Soak rice vermicelli in cold water for 20 min before putting it into boiling water for another 5 min. (Make sure the vermicelli is soft and springy after boiling and should not be too hard)

2.  Briefly dip a sheet of rice paper into water and see it magically soften. Then, arrange the sliced lettuce, cucumber, carrot, basil leaves, mint leaves, bean sprouts, vermicelli and shredded chicken breast meat onto the rough side of the rice paper.
3. Top with a shelled, cooked tiger shrimp and chive before folding the left and right sides of the rice paper over the filling and then firmly rolling the spring roll away from you to form a neat parcel. (Be careful not to tear the rice paper!!)

4. Serve with fish sauce as a dip.

Gỏi Cuốn chúng tôi làm trông rất đẹp và ngon, phải không?

Chúng tôi làm nhiều Gỏi Cuốn. Chúng tôi cũng dạy các bạn how to wrap the cold salad roll, and tất cả các bạn couldn’t resist eating the cold salad rolls which they made themselves before the actual food tasting session but were unfortunately caught by cô Bích. Oops!

By mười hai giờ, chúng tôi rất đói. We can’t wait to eat!!
Sau đó was the food tasting session. We watched in anticipation, and growling stomachs, as cô Bích tried each and every dish and gave her honest feedback. Once cô Bích had her fill, it was our turn to eat all the delicious food prepared by our beloved teachers as well as our friends. Mmmm.....Yummy!!
Chúng tôi rất mệt nhưng rất vui. Chúng tôi rất thích lớp nấu ăn Việt! It was an enjoyable experience for us!
Cám ơn các cô, especially our master chef cô Bích for teaching us how to làm Gỏi Cuốn.
Chúc các cô và các bạn vui vẻ! Hẹn gặp mọi người ở lớp tiếng Việt nhé!!

Gỏi bưởi tôm - Prawn Pomelo Salad! (:


Chào các cô, thầy, và các bạn, có nhớ gỏi bưởi tôm của chúng tôi không?
Chúng tôi đi nhà thầy Minh đẻ làm "Project nấu ăn ngon"vào thứ bảy trước (2/10/2010).  Chúng tôi rất vui khi đang nấu đồ ăn Việt Nam :D

Now Let's us have a review on the recipe :)

Ingredients you need...

500g Medium prawns1/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
1 medium pomelo

1 carrot
¼ cups of mint leaves
¼ cups of cilantro leaves
1 tablespoons of sugar4 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice 
1-2 generous teaspoon of Vietnamese chile garlic sauce

1/4 cup of chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts
1/3 cup of crispy caramelized shallot

How to Cook Gỏi bưởi tôm (:

For this dish, it was mainly a lot of preparation work which took up most of the time, whereas the final assembly of all the ingredients was rather quick!

1. For our dish, we bought chicken breast meat and boiled it in water. Once it is cooked, take it out and leave it aside to cool before hand-shreding the meat.

2. We bought medium-sized prawns and boiled them in water. Take them out once they are cooked. (Cô Bích says you can keep the water that you boiled the prawns in to make soup too!) Peel the prawns, cut them in half length-wise, remove the dirt, and rinse. 

Freshly steamed (and unpeeled) prawns!
Prepared by Minh Thằng

TIP 1: Keep the shell on when boiling the prawns. Do not peel the prawns before boiling them! (Otherwise, the prawns will curl up too much.)

3. Cut the pomelo open and remove the flesh form the skin. Using your hands, seperate the flesh apart into bite-sized pieces.

Preparing the mint leaves, cilantro leaves, and pomelo!

4. Peel the mint leaves from the stalks and keep aside. The stalks can be thrown away. Do the same with the cilantro as well (also known as 'chinese parsley').

TIP 2: Make sure you use fresh mint leaves, and ONLY fresh mint leaves, not the dry ones. Or else it won't taste nice.

5. Wash a carrot, remove the outer layer with a peeler, then shave the carrot into thin shreds.

Peter's first time shredding carrots (according to him)! (:

6. Cut the limes in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl. 

Minh Huy preparing the lime juice needed for the sauce.

TIP 3: cô Bích says that we Singaporean kids need to know how to differentiate limes from calamansi, especially big calamansi =p  SO, be careful not to buy the wrong one!

7. The garlic chili sauce was homemade by blending chili padi and small garlic cloves. The proportion is 1 chili padi to 1 small garlic clove. (You can make as much garlic chili sauce as you like. For our serving of salad, we needed only a 2-2 portion, but we made a 6-6 portion just in case!)

8. Now for the sauce, which Master Chef cô Bích says is the most important part of the dish! Add 1 part sugar to 4 parts fish sauce into a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. After that, add in about 2 teaspoons of lime juice. Lastly, add about 2 teaspoons of garlic chili sauce (which cô Bích says is crucial to the sauce).

Just a note: 
It may take quite a while for the sugar to dissolve so be patient! (: Remember to keep tasting the sauce from time to time to adjust the proportions of fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and garlic chili sauce as appropriate. Be careful also not to put too much garlic chili sauce otherwise it'll be too spicy! Ultimately, as much as online recipes give specific proportions of ingredients to make the sauce, you need not necessarily follow them. What I learnt from cô Bích is to trust your tongue! But then again, I guess it takes a lot of experience too (:

9. We seperated the prawns into 2 - those that looked less presentable, and those that did. Mix the less presentable prawns, the hand-shredded chicken, the pomelo, and the carrot, and toss. We then arranged the presentable prawns on the top, and added the garnishing for a finishing touch - the tomato-skin rose, and the mint and cilantro leaves.

Before garnishing...
And after!! Rất đẹp, phải không? (:

10. Finally, to serve, drizzle the sauce over the salad, sprinkle a generous serving of finely-chopped, unsalted, roasted peanuts, and crispy caramelized shallots before giving a thorough final toss and mix. 

TADA! There you have it, yummy yummy gỏi bưởi tôm (:

Our gỏi bưởi tôm in the blue salad bowl.

Toss, mixed, and ready to be served! (:


Waiting with much anticipation while setting up for cô Bích to taste the dishes.

Ours was the first dish that cô Bích tasted. Her comments? "Rất ngon!" yay (:

Feel the excitement in the air!

We really enjoyed the Vietnamese Food Festival (:

Bây giờ, chúng tôi sẽ đi về nhà nấu ăn cho gia đình!

Lần sau chúng ta lại nấu gởi bưởi tôm cho các bạn ăn nhế!