a quick vegan recipe: sautéed eggplant with garlic, chili and herbs

I’d never really liked eggplant until I moved to Hoi An. I used to think of eggplant as bland and a little soggy but Hoi An local eggplant dishes convert me to a die-hard fan of this vegetable. Read more

Vietnamese Corn Pudding

There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post.

Corn pudding_Vietnamese cuisine_Vietnamese food blog_Vietnamese food recipe-3

Corn pudding_Vietnamese cuisine_Vietnamese food blog_Vietnamese food recipe-4

Finally we decided to get an oven last week. Ovens aren’t typically something found in Vietnamese homes because electricity can be expensive for the average Vietnamese family and the addition of a heat source in the house during hot months is a pretty foreign idea! However things are changing and Vietnamese are falling in love with baking. After baking our first loaf of bread (and eating it all down it soon after that), we wondered why we hadn’t bought it earlier. I’ve tried so many delicious recipes with it and my husband has been baking bread (and cookies!) nonstop. I’m wondering if I should photograph and write a blog post of him baking banana bread. Well, why not. He’s a super cute baker and the bread is super delicious!

The one thing that I haven’t tried with an oven is baking cakes. It’s because, being a Vietnamese I didn’t grow up with cakes and so I haven’t fallen in love with them yet. Usually in Vietnam we just eat fruit for dessert or the traditional dessert chè.
Read more

Vietnamese Banana Pudding

There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post.

Banana pudding_Tapioca_Coconut milk_Indiechine_Vietnamese food blog_ recipe_Che chuoi_-3

Banana pudding_Tapioca_Coconut milk_Indiechine_Vietnamese food blog_ recipe_Che chuoi_-6

Weather update: I haven’t seen blue sky here for the past few weeks. It’s the burning season, when people burn newly harvested rice stalks to prepare for the next crop.  So the rice paddies behind my house have been all smoky and fiery. It looks like part of a battlefield, or my grandmother’s countryside kitchen back in the 1980s when she cooked with leaves, straw and rice husks in humid and rainy weather…
Read more

Vietnamese Mango Tapioca Pudding

*The Vietnamese word for mangoes is xoài, pronounced soai.

Mango_coconut_tapioca_pudding_Vietnamese food_Indiechine-5

Mango_coconut_tapioca_pudding_Vietnamese food_Indiechine-2

If you happen to be in Vietnam in xoài season, you have to try them. Seriously!

The mangos here are one-of-a-kind. I remember that sentiment being expressed in an endearing scene from the movie “Indochina” where the main character, a French colonist, handed her adopted daughter a plate of mangos that looked so juicy and delicious. I don’t remember much else about the movie but that scene has stayed in my mind for years.
Read more

A Vietnamese vegan meal

Goodbye European castles and cobblestoned streets!

Goodbye budding tulips and daffodils in chilly wind!

Goodbye giant plates of steak and potatoes, beer and sausages!

We’re back home to sunshine and beach, to mangoes and watermelons, and to vegetables and herbs!

Read more

Vietnamese Daikon and Carrot Pickles

*Scroll down to the end of this post for a video tutorial.

Vietnamese pickles_Vietnamese food blog_Vietnamese cuisine_Indiechine-3

Vietnamese pickles_Vietnamese food blog_Vietnamese cuisine_Indiechine-12

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I wish I had a chocolate cake or fruit tart or some more romantic sounding recipes for this day than pickles. But well, I made these for Tet, our big lunar new year celebration, and they’re so easy and delicious I can’t help sharing the recipe and video tutorial right here and right now.
Read more

Mushroom & Tofu Braised in Caramelized Shallots & Soy Sauce

Braised Mushroom_Vegan_Vietnamese cuisine_Indiechine blog

Last week we flew to Ho Chi Minh City (AKA Saigon) to run some errands and had lunch at Cuc Gach Quan (meaning A Piece of Brick Restaurant) – one of my favorite restaurants in Vietnam. If you ever visit Vietnam, I can’t recommend enough that you try it. The restaurant cooks authentic Vietnamese meals in an utterly serene Vietnamese rural style. It reminds me of my grandparents’ place in the countryside when I was growing up, except for the addition of the very nice music playing and relaxing smell of lemongrass oil essence.

Read more

Vietnamese Sesame Rice Donuts

*Scroll down to the end of this blog post for a video tutorial of this recipe. 

Vietnamese Sesame Rice Donuts_Banh Ran Vung_Indiechine

Calligraphy_Linh_Christmas_Indiechine

Call me childish, but I’m a little more excited about this Christmas season because I took a calligraphy workshop last month. For the first time in my life, I can make pretty Christmas cards by myself. That really means a lot to me as I always find it so rewarding to hand make something from scratch for my loved ones. For almost two weeks now, I wake up really early, make myself some tea, put a candle under some essential oil, and practice drawing and writing. My dining table is piled up with papers, water colors and ink. It’s messy, but I think it’s a joyful, festive looking mess. (I think my husband thinks so too.)
Read more

Vietnamese Mochi in Sweet Ginger

*There’s a video tutorial at the end of this blog post.

Vietnamese Dessert_Indiechine-10

mochi vietnamese food
Craig adding some sesame to his mochi

I made this dessert about two weeks ago when we invited our friend Peter, a retired Australian chef living in Hoi An, over for dinner. Most restaurants in Hoi An serve Western cakes for dessert, and you wouldn’t discover the Vietnamese traditional desserts without a local “connection”. Plus it was raining cats and dogs that week, so I decided to make a Vietnamese traditional warm dessert, chè trôi nước, for that dinner.
Read more

Vegan Vietnamese Eggplant & Tofu Stew

*Scroll down to the end of this post for a video tutorial.

Vegan eggplant tofu stew_Vietnamese food_Indiechine-6

I grew up eating this stew, often twice in late autumn when eggplant was in season. The stew was one of the few recipes that my cooking-challenged father mastered. Read more