BENGALURU: The best part of Vietnamese home cooked food is that it is usually cooked with very little oil, and the rice soaks in the rich flavours of the ingredients. As a result, Vietnamese food is very light and flavourful, unlike other cuisines of the region. To experience the joy of Vietnamese cuisine, I am going to share a few dishes that I cook on a daily basis at home. Stir Fried Vegetables in clear broth with Jasmine Rice is one of my favourites, it is a very simple and hearty dish.
To begin with, I stir fry some garlic with carrots, knol khol, broccoli, spring onions and coriander in a fish sauce with lemon and sugar. Once the vegetables are sautéed and the fragrance is evident, I add some salt and vegetable stock or chicken stock as per preference. I then add tofu or chicken, simmer for about 15 minutes and serve with hot steaming Jasmine Rice for a delectable dish that’s a family favourite. Another of my go-to choices for something quick and easy is fried rice.
As I’ve said before, the fried rice in Vietnamese households is very light compared to other South East Asian varieties. Fried rice is typically made in a wok on a stove-top. Even if you don’t have access to those, you’re still in business. You can still make delicious fried rice in a rice cooker! Simply throw everything together - oil, rice, seasonings (fish sauce and salt), and your favourite vegetables and proteins. I use sausages in the mix to add that extra layer of texture.
For the vegetables, I stick to peas, carrots, and corn to keep the recipe simple and foolproof. I usually avoid food with high water content like fresh leafy greens as these tend to make the fried rice soggy. Other than that, you’re all good, and can use almost any veggies and protein that you like. Fried rice is normally served with some raw cut cucumber on the side, and this simple dish is a family favourite in our house, especially with young children.