Managed to catch up on the last day for AFF Indochina. I guess among all parts of Asia, Indochina’s food didn’t have much appeal for me accept for the Vietnamese Banh Mi (baguette sandwich), Bun Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork Vermicelli) and Banh Xeo. I came across these 3 when I was studying in Sydney. Well I must say that I have widen my palate and food knowledge when I was in Sydney because it was so culturally vivid with so many towns of different ethnics living there. So there would be a town, with lots of Vietnamese residence, living and operating food stalls, markets there. I haven’t been to Vietnam yet so that would probably be the closest to original since the shops there are operated by Vietnamese themselves.
Since coming back, I have never had any good Vietnamese food, or maybe I just don’t eat out often enough. I realize with the Vietnamese cuisine, alot of fresh herbs and leaves comes to place. The use of mint, basil leaves and coriander are very much common in alot of dishes. With Banh Xeo, it’s no surprise to wrap them up with raw crunchy bean sprouts, grilled prawns or pork.
I remember having a really crispy Banh Xeo in a Vietnamese Restaurant in Sydney and I’ve always wanted to try to make it. But just never did. Haha. If you want to have a look at my “to-cook” list, I’d take years to complete it.
Banh Xeo, these crispy pancakes have their bright golden yellow hue from a magic ingredient called tumeric, and it’s fragrance from coconut milk. Southern-style bánh xèo contains coconut milk and certain Central regions skip the turmeric powder altogether. They are served wrapped in mustard leaf, lettuce leaves or banh trang wrappers, and stuffed with mint leaves, basil, fish leaf and/or other herbs, and dipped in a sweet and sour diluted fish sauce; Nuoc Cham.
It is relatively easy to whip up, whether for a single person’s meal, or to share. Mine was however not that crispy. It had a crepe like texture with crispy sides. I adapted the recipe from this site.
AFF Indochina: Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Crispy Pancakes)
- 90 (1/2 cup) rice flour
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- 120ml coconut milk
- 90ml ice cold water (plus extra if necessary)
- Oil for frying
- 200g of cooked pork or chicken finely sliced
- 100g of cooked medium sized prawns, shells removed
- 100g of bean sprouts
- Freshly sliced chilli
- Mixed herbs including mint and coriander (cilantro)
- Lettuce (optional)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp line juice
- Chopped chilli to taste
- ½ tsp sugar or to taste
- Small pinch of minced garlic
- Combine all the ingredients for the batter and mix until smooth. Then set aside for about 1 hr until the batter thickens.
- Make the dipping sauce (nuoc cham) by combining all the ingredients and set aside. Season and taste.
- Heat a cast iron pan over high heat and add 1 tsp of oil until sizzling
- Stir the batter and add some batter to the pan, swirling it round to cover the base of the pan.
- Cook until the underside is golden. Flip pancake over for a quick 10 seconds.
- Then decant pancake onto a plate and spoon in various toppings of your choice and fold over and keep the pancake warm.
- Continue frying the batter adding in a tsp of oil for each new pancake till all the batter is gone.
- Serve warm stuffed pancakes with more herbs, a salad and the dipping sauce.
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – IndoChina hosted by Kelly Siew Cooks
I love salmon! But I hardly ever eat it out in restaurants or cafes because of 2 issues. Overcooking and not fresh.
Salmon filet / steak are the easiest to cook and I don’t know why restauranteurs can get it wrong so easily. Hence it’s why I prefer to buy and cook them myself. Well I’m not saying that I cook the best salmon, but at least I get it to the doneness and pinkiness I want 😛
Recently, I was at The Food Studio for a Dove Workshop (previous post) We had to cook our own lunch, which was fun and interactive anyway. I love cooking so it was very enjoyable for me. Nestled in the heart of the luxury environment of Mont Kiara, The Food Studio offers a variety of culinary events. From gourmet cooking classes to networking parties, there’s over 2500sqft of state of the art kitchen, lounge and dining area to give you the right space to put your product in the spotlight and launch it in style.
The dish had 3 parts, the herb crusted salmon, mashed potato and caramelized onion.
This recipe was also provided by The Food Studio (but I adjusted the recipe because in the original, it was for 25 people!)
Rule no.1 in cooking salmon for me. Skin side down, and only a brief 3-4 minutes, then finished it off in the oven for another 5-7 minutes. If turning on the oven is too much of an hassle, I usually flip it over and cook for another 4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the filet too)
It has become one of my favourite ingredient to cook for quick dinners (albeit abit more expensive than other meat choices like chicken)
Tasmanian Pesto Crusted Salmon Filet
- 2 deboned salmon filet (15og each)
- 2-3 russet potatoes
- 1 white onion (halved then sliced thinly)
- 20ml cream
- 15g butter
- 2 tbsp Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp pesto paste
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
- Peel and boil potatoes until soft, mash with cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper
- Peel and cut onions into thin slices and panfry golden brown (probably 10 minutes)
- Sear the bottom side of the salmon in hot pan, remove onto tray (4 minutes)
- Mix bread crumbs with olive oil, pesto paste. Add salt and pepper and add on salmon top side
- Bake in oven at 200 Celsius until brownish and salmon is in pale pink (5-7 minutes)
- To serve, scoop mashed potato onto plate, add caramelized onion, plate the fish (crumbs side up) Add a lime slice or wedge and top with some alfalfa.
So so yummy I think I’m going to cook this tomorrow for dinner
This is Chef Paul from The Food Studio. They also host private parties and private cooking sessions if you are looking for a place for a more cozy celebration or looking to learn something new.
Hands up if you shower at least once daily.
What do you use when you shower ? soap bar ? shower gel ? shower oil? milk ? butter < kidding? For me, I use shower gel for sensitive skin because I find them more mild and not so dry on the skin. Isn’t it a pain when you step out from the shower and feel like your skin is dry, even though clean?
Regular body washes that do not contain nourishing ingredients can cause dry skin damage by washing away skin’s natural moisture. Some body washes can actually damage proteins and lipids in the skin’s outer layer in the process of cleansing. Minimizing this damage during cleansing is important for maintaining skin’s beauty.
So I was at The Food Studio, Mont Kiara, to find out about how we can get nourished skin while showering, without stripping off the skin’s natural moisture. (Not only that, we also cooked our lunch with healthy ingredients to promote healthy skin)
Now, Dove has discovered how to actually/effectively nourish skin while cleansing with body wash. By doing so, the body wash minimizes the damage caused during cleansing and cares for skin’s long-term beauty.
That sounds good right? It’s like cleaning and moisturizing at the same time. What’s the secret ?
So what’s NutriumMoisture™
• Helps rebuild skin’s beauty from the inside the epidermis layer by replenishing lipid so it feels more beautiful on the outside
• Unlike moisturizers in regular body washes that wash away during cleansing, when used regularly NutriumMoisture™ penetrates surface skin 20 layers deep into the epidermis layer of the skin to replenish and nourish.
“Dove has continuously led innovations in the skin care industry and the introduction of NutriumMoisture™ technology continues that tradition,” said Tanya Teng, Brand Manager for Skin Cleansing at Unilever (M) Sdn Bhd. “We are thrilled our extensive research and testing has allowed us to be the first brand to minimize lipid damage with a liquid cleanser in order to provide long-term beauty benefits that strengthen and smooth skin.”
“By absorbing into the skin, Dove NutriumMoisture™ helps rebuild skin’s beauty from the inside of the epidermis layer to make it feel more beautiful on the outside. The new technology delivers hydration for skin barrier components and processes to help skin remain healthy and beautiful in the longterm when used daily,” said John Goh, R&D Deploy Manager, Home & Personal Care and R&D Site Leader, Unilever (M) Sdn Bhd.
So how is it better than milk ? We know that milk is nourishing for the skin already, but can Dove NutriumMoisture™ prove otherwise ?
We had some tests and experiments to try. I volunteered to try it out since it always is better trying on our own skin rather than just seeing it.
So yes, according to the gadget to measure moisture level on the skin (hydrometer ?), there’s a higher increment in using Dove NutriumMoisture™ than milk. Indeed more nourishing than milk.
NutriumMoisture™: Clinically Proven to Deliver Results
The new Dove Body Wash collection with NutriumMoisture™ is clinically proven to deliver noticeable results. Results from a clinical study show that when used daily:
• Softer, smoother skin all over
• Significantly reduces dryness
• Maintains skin’s beauty
• More even skin tone
We then had our lunch cooked by all the other bloggers attended with the guidance of Chef Paul, from The Food Studio. It was very fun and interactive to include cooking in any events. Definitely is more fun than sitting and listening to people talking ?
Some of my team mates, aren’t they cute and pretty ???
Since there were quite afew number of us, we were divided into groups. I was in team appetizer. We’re pretty busy cutting up avocado and other stuffs!
Appetizer: Summerset Greens with Avocado and roasted walnuts
Main Course: Tasmanian Herb Crusted Salmon Filet (OMG SO YUMMY !!! I must make this at home)
Dessert: Pandan Pannacotta with mangoes
Spot some familiar faces ??
*fan girl mode on!*
So if you feel that your skin is drier than usual during this hazy weather, get yourself a bottle of Dove NutriumMoisture™ Body Wash!
Thanks to Shirlyn for the invitation.