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These are our family tried & true, passing down recipes.

Bánh Chưng

posted Jan 29, 2019, 6:28 PM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Jan 30, 2019, 5:14 AM ]

Ingredients to make 4 bánh chưng, about 5" square.
  • 3lbs of sweet rice
  • 1 bag of mung bean
  • 1 bag of banana leaves
  • 1lb of pork bellies
  • 1/2 bag of shallots
Preparation the night before
  • Soak the rice 
  • Soak the mung bean 
  • Peel and slice shallots
  • Wash and cut pork bellies into 3/4" x 2" strips, add 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper, 1 tsp salt, and shallot slices.
Prepare the banana leaves
  • Cut 16 squares, 8" min - 10" max. Make sure they are square
  • Cut 8 5" x 10" rectangles.
  • Cut 4 5" squares. 
  • Wash and wipe them clean
  • Double fold the big squares into small squares
Use pressure cooker
  • Make sure the water cover the bánh chưng. We have a small pressure cooker, so we do a batch of 2. Set the pressure level of medium, and the temperature 160degree-C, and for one hour. So, in two hours we can cook 4 bánh chưng.

Notes from after eating the batch cooked in the pressure cooker:
  • Less salt in the rice, next time. I had 2 tsp, reduce down to 1.
  • The color on the rice is not as green as the batch cooked in the turkey fryer

Spicy Sausage Cheese Balls

posted Feb 18, 2014, 6:16 AM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Feb 23, 2014, 6:03 AM ]


  • 1 lb of hot sausage
  • 1 3/4 c of bisquuick
  • 2 c sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder


  • Mix all the ingredients up by hand in a mixing bowl. Then make bite size balls place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

On 2/23/2014, we did this but they came out pretty dry! So, I checked only, the Betty Crock's version, she added 1/2 cup of milk, and preheated the oven at 375. So here are the changes to the recipe if we don't want them to come out too dry: add some sort of liquid, like milk; or finely minced garlic, or onion; and preheat the oven; or even bring the bisquick down to 1 1/2 instead of 1 3/4 cup.

I also recommend to:

  • Add hot sauce, since the spicy sausages are not that spicy
  • Add fresh garlic, finely minced. Don't use the garlic powder. Use about one clump, or 2 tsp
  • Add white onion, finely minced. Use 1/2 or 1/4 of the onion; or 2 tsp
  • Change the Bisquick amount to 1 1/2
  • Add freshly ground black/white pepper

Roasted Mushrooms Escargot-Style

posted Feb 6, 2014, 6:09 PM by Quoc-Anh Vuong

Roasted Mushrooms Escargot-Style

  • Active Time:15 min
  • Start to Finish:35 min
January 2009
Let’s be honest—the best part of escargots is the garlicky, parsley-flecked butter that the snails are cooked in. In this playful vegetarian spin, meaty mushrooms turn out to be the ideal vehicles for soaking up all that buttery goodness. Capers (left over from both Hake with Hazelnuts and Capers and Tony Oltranti’s Chicken Liver Crostini) add a briny pop that fits right in.
  • 1 lb mushrooms such as cremini or white, halved lengthwise if large
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Accompaniment:

    crusty bread
  • Preheat oven to 450ºF with rack in middle.
  • Toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, and 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper in a 1 1/2- to 2-qt shallow baking dish. Top with butter and roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley.

Recipes I like to try

posted Feb 3, 2014, 10:48 AM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Feb 19, 2014, 11:11 AM ]


posted Oct 27, 2012, 2:00 PM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Oct 27, 2012, 2:00 PM ]

Here is another recipe on how to make flan. This one using a different technique when preparing the flan mixture: using a blender!

This recipe is from Pati's Mexican Table, and it's called Coffee Flan with Tequila Whipped Cream.

Flan de café con crema batida al tequila
Makes about 10 individual flans

For the Flan:
1 cup sugar
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Mexican instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water

For the Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white or silver tequila

To Prepare the Flan:
In a heavy medium saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently, until melted and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Quickly pour the caramelized sugar syrup into individual molds. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place all three milks, the eggs, vanilla and coffee in a blender. Mix until completely blended and smooth. Pour into the caramel-lined molds or ramekins. Set the molds into a larger baking dish or pan. Carefully pour boiling water (it is very important that the water already be very hot) into the larger holding pan upto at least half the height of the molds. Place on the middle rack of the oven.

Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes, or until the center comes out moist but clean. Remove the individual molds from the water bath and let them cool completely. Refrigerate the molds, covered with plastic.

To serve, run a thin knife around the edge of the pan between the custard and the pan. Invert the flans onto plates to unmold them. Carefully lift up the molds to allow the syrup to run over the flan.

To Prepare the Whipped Cream:
Whip the cold cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. When it starts to hold peaks, add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and tequila. Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks. Serve flan with a generous dollop of whipped cream; serve cold.

Cheesecake Recipes

posted Feb 29, 2012, 7:32 PM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Feb 29, 2012, 7:38 PM ]

These are copied from the Joy Of Cheesecake by Daa Bovbjerg & Jeremy Iggers; borrowed from Richard Labash

Thịt Quay

posted May 4, 2011, 5:56 PM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated May 4, 2011, 6:12 PM ]

For 4.4lbs (2kg) of pork bellies, whole slab if possible

Dry rub
  • 2 tbsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of 5-spices (Ngũ Vị Hương)
  • 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
Broil at 400 - 450, on a rack inside a pan to catch fat drippings.
To make the skin crispy, wipe it dry thoroughly.
Optionally, brush vinegar on the skin.

Tofu Balls

posted Nov 11, 2009, 6:36 AM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Nov 11, 2009, 6:36 AM ]

Chị Lệ just shared with us all a new recipe, so here it is
hey guys, try this, i came up with it, and it is good, really!!!!

TOFU balls
1 box tofu (med firm)
2 packages dried nori (small package, available in Korean or Japanese markets)
2 packages dried fish flakes (small package, available in Korean or Japanese markets)
green onions, celantro, lemon grass (chopped and ground in food processor)
salt, cayene pepper (to taste)
2 teaspoons corn starch
mix tofu with nori, corn starch and spices by hand until smooth - roll the mixture into small patties.  Deep fry the tofu patties until golden.
Serve with fresh celantro leaves and hot sauce.

Drinks, anyone?

posted Nov 5, 2009, 9:11 AM by Phuong-Lan Nguyen   [ updated Nov 5, 2009, 9:20 AM ]

Tamarind Margarita

  • 4 oz blanco tequila
  • 3 oz tamarind concentrate
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • chili powder for rimming
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Pour the ice, tequila, tamarind concentrate and simple syrup into a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Rim a chilled margarita glass with chili powder.
  4. Pour the blended contents into the glass.
(copied from

I tried this drink in Mexico and it was pretty good... we ought to make it someday...

Fried Calamaris

posted Jul 30, 2009, 6:28 PM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Jul 30, 2009, 6:42 PM ]

This appetizer is served well with beer or white wine (Chardonnay).


  • Five squids or Calamaris
  • Tempura flour. I use this one
  • Lime/Salt/Pepper


Cut the squids into rings, strips, or bite size pieces. Pour tempura flour into small bowl and put the squid pieces into the bowl. Mix & roll the squid pieces until all being covered. Heat up the pan with 4-5 table spoon oil (any kind, peanuts, granola, or corn). In medium high heat, put the couple of squid pieces and fry until the batter turns light gold color. Taste test the piece to recognize the color of the batter outside in relation with the cooked squid inside. Squid should be tender, not tough. Then you can pour in the rest and cook until the consistent color is achieved.

Take the squids out on to the paper towel lined plate, to soak up the oil. Serve with lime + salt + pepper, beer is optional.

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