Spicy Vietnamese Soup: Week Three
In this weeks recipe I served the noodles the Vietnamese way, in the serving bowls not in the soup, or they become soggy. The same holds true for any crunchy add ins like bean sprouts etc.
Tip for carnivores: I crisped up the chicken skins in the oven and cracked a few pieces for each bowl as a garnish. OMG sooo good!!! IS CRISPY CHICKEN THE NEW BACON!?! Momofuku's David Chang thinks so.
No matter where you live food has the power to transport you. This week I took a trip to Vietnam with Dorie's wonderful soup recipe. It brings back memories of that fresh and distinctive cuisine that I don't get to experience all that often. I do have a few favorite Vietnamese restaurants that I try to get to when I can: http://www.monsoonrestaurants.com/ in Seattle http://www.slanteddoor.com/ in San Fransisco and http://www.xyclorestaurant.com/ in Oakland. All three of these restaurants marry traditional Vietnamese cuisine with pacific northwest innovation and are fabulous.
This soup gives us an opportunity to broaden our food horizons. Fresh and lively it has many of the ingredients that symbolize Vietnamese food: coconut milk, chili's, fish sauce, ginger. I love that there is a certain authenticity and purity to this dish. It was so flavorful. When I first used fish sauce I was scared to death. I thought there is no way I would like it. But it is like anchovies in sauces, it melts into the dish and adds a certain depth that you just can't get without it. Be brave. Neither one tastes like fish in the end.
I love to cook from Andrea Nguyen's book: Into the Vietnamese kitchen from Tenspeed press. It gave me more confidence to use ingredients that I was not familiar with and in doing so I've been able to explore a way of cooking that I would never have tried.
As with all of my Friday posts I will feature a Dorie Greenspan recipe for our group French Fridays with Dorie. The recipe will not be shown but I encourage anyone who enjoys these Friday posts to pick up Dorie's newest cookbook: Around my French Table or for that matter join the group and cook along.