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

Enchiladas (work in progress)

posted Oct 25, 2020, 10:30 PM by Thuy Vuong   [ updated Jul 27, 2021, 2:47 PM ]

~10-15 Tortillas (preferably small)
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (~12oz)
1 lb Ground meat (chicken, beef, etc)
Mexican cheese
Tomatillo sauce
Diced onions

Chicken broth
2 Tbsp Tomato paste

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
1 exp. Prepare the tortillas by microwaving them wrapped in a damp paper towel for 30 seconds, then frying them in a pan with oil.
2. Add oil and fry the ground meat at medium high heat until brown. Add about 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce and chipotle peppers into the pan and mix well. 
2 exp. Add 1 cup of chicken broth slowly to make sure a sauce forms. After 1 cup of broth is added, add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Reduce until the sauce is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.
3. Add the mixture into a bowl along with any diced onions and salsa. 
4. In a tortilla, scoop the mixture with plenty of meat and tomatillo sauce into the middle and sprinkle cheese inside. Roll the tortilla and place it into the pan such that the seam is facedown. 
5. Continue step 4 until the pan is sufficiently filled.
6. Pour the remaining sauce liberally over the finished enchiladas, filling in the spaces between them. Pour the tomatillo sauce as well in strips.
7. Generously but evenly sprinkle cheese overtop and place into the oven.
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
9. Allow to cool for ~5 minutes before serving. 

Cherry Pie

posted Jun 28, 2020, 8:19 PM by Thuy Vuong

Adapted from and, simplified by using a pre-made crust.

2 Pre-made refrigerated pie crust doughs
~4 cups cherries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cherry liqueur or cherry flavored brandy (optional)
1-2 tablespoons butter
1 whole egg
All-purpose Flour
Raw sugar

1. Mix the cherries, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium-size saucepan and cook over medium heat until cherries thaw (if frozen) and the cornstarch and sugar dissolve. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally to keep cherries from burning, and cook until the mixture thickens slightly. (Total cooking time should be about 20 minutes.) Add liqueur if available, stir and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenly oil the pie tin and roll out the pie dough in the tin. Dust flour across the dough. Roll the edge of the crust under the dough to keep all of the excess contained and to bulk up the crust. 
3. Poke holes with the fork in the dough, all along the bottom and sides of the pie tin. This prevents bubbles.
4. Place the pie in the oven for 10-12 minutes. 
5. Remove the pie from the oven and pour in the cherry filling. Chill in the refrigerator for roughly 5-10 minutes. 
6. Remove from the refrigerator and use the second pie crust as the cover. Crisscross with horizontal strips or use whatever design you prefer. Use any excess dough to patch the crust and make a second layer over it. Take a fork and crust, leaving indents similar to what is seen in the picture.
7. Melt the butter and add the egg and whisk. Brush the mixture onto the dough of the pie, particularly along the crust and dough on top. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
8. Place the pie in the oven again at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.
9. Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is thick and glossy. The filling may bubble over. Remove the pie and let it cool before serving.

Mapo Tofu

posted Jun 28, 2020, 7:11 PM by Thuy Vuong   [ updated Jun 28, 2020, 8:20 PM ]

Ingredients for 1 Serving, adapted from


  • 2 ounces (60 grams) ground meat
  • 6 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons Pixian chili bean paste (doubanjiang)
  • 2 teaspoons fermented black beans (douchi), rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan chili flakes (ground chilies)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 6 to 8 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 block Asian soft tofu (around 19 ounces), cut in 3/4-inch dice
  • tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns (to taste and according to potency of pepper; see note)


  • Toast the 1 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns until fragrant. Grind using a mortar & pestle, then set aside.
  • Heat wok/pan until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat until just begins to smoke. Add meat and stir-fry, breaking it into a small mince, until it is cooked through and starting to brown. Remove the meat and hold.
  • Clean the work, return it to heat until hot, then add the remaining 5 tablespoons oil. Heat briefly, then add the chili bean paste, fermented black beans and chili flakes. Let these sizzle until fragrant, being careful not to burn them. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce and scallions. Add the cornstarch slurry a bit at a time until the dish thickens. You may not need it all.
  • Return the minced meat to the wok. Add the tofu cubes, and simmer for a couple minutes, gently tossing the tofu with the sauce.
  • Sprinkle in the ground Sichuan pepper.
  • Optional: Serve with chopped green onions.

Bánh Chưng

posted Jan 29, 2019, 6:28 PM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Jan 15, 2023, 11:43 AM by Ly Vuong ]

Update Jan 15th 2023

Able to make 18 5"x5"x2-1.2" bánh chưng, from following materials
  • 10lbs sweet rice, 6tsp salt
    • Use 1cup to scoop to make thin 2", or 1-1/4 to scoop to make thick 3"
  • 3 bags of mung beans, 6tsp salt, 6tsp ground pepper
  • 3-1/2 bags of banana leaves
  • 3lbs pork bellies
  • 1/3lbs of shallots

The templates to cut banana leaves
  • 7" x 7" - Corners, need 4
  • 10" x 5-1/4" - Sides, need 2
  • 5" x 5" - Top/Bottom, need 2

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

Additional Information (Feb 5th, 2021)

  • With 3 new banana leaves bags, and 1/3 last year bag, we can cut & prepare for 15 bánh chưng
  • This time we cooked/steamed three 14oz bags of mung beans, and for each bag we added 3.5 tea spoons of salt, and 6 tea spoon of freshly ground black pepper.
  • We found it's easier to have card-board templates, to use to cut the banana leaves
    • One 7" square, to make 4 corners
    • One 5"x10" rectangle, to make 2 sides
    • One 5" square, to make top & bottom
  • We bought 6lbs pork belly 
  • We bought one bag of shallots
  • On Friday, the day before
    • We steamed the mung beans & mixed it with salt & pepper, and put them in smaller containers. About 2hrs to do this.
    • We cut & wash banana leaves, prepare about 3hrs to do this.
    • We cut 3lbs pork belly, mixed with 4 cloves of shallots, 3 tea spoons salt, and 3 tea spoons of freshly ground black pepper
  • On Saturday
    • We use 1 cup to scoop sweet rice
    • We use 1/2 cup to scoop mung bean
    • About 3 piece of pork belly for each cake
    • Started around 9am, by 11am we made 15 to fit the pot we have, and started the cooking
    • We also use saran wrap outside of each bánh chưng, to contain the blow out, if any.
    • We use the 12" diameter mesh to keep the bánh chưng to submerge under the water
    • We cook inside the garage to avoid the wind and potential snow/rain
  • For each mung bean bag, we used 2 teaspoon salt & 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • For each 5lb sweet rice, we used 3 teaspoon salt
  • For 3lbs pork belly, we used 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper

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.

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