Tag Archives: Vietnamese

Char Siu Pork

You know that really delicious, sweet and tender pork you had a dream about the other night?  No?  Just me? OK.  Well, this char siu pork is definitely dream worthy, and I thought everyone should have the recipe.  It’s an amazing Vietnamese marinade – garlic, honey, hoisin, five spice, etc. – and can be used in oh so many ways.  On sandwiches, in soups (like pho!), rice paper wraps, or pretty much anywhere, really.  It’s more than fine all on it’s own too.

Char Siu Marinade

The longer you can let this marinade, the more delicious it will be.

Then, bake @ 475 F for about 30 to 35 minutes, flipping and basting the pork in the marinade every 10 minutes.  Don’t dump it all on right away, because the sugar will burn.  But if you just put it on a bit at a time, it will help form a nice sticky glaze.  MMMMmmmmmm sticky glaze…

Char Siu Pork

Here is one potential serving option:  on rice, with a bean salad on the side!

Char Siu and Bean Salad

Or sliced up and used in pho

Pho with Char Siu


Or buried under a bunch of other toppings to make up rice paper wraps!  This will very likely blow your mind.

Char Siu Rice Paper Wraps

Char Siu Pork Recipe

2 1/3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (tenderloin works well too)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 ½  tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Cut the pork into strips about 6 inches long and 1 ½ inches thick.
  3. To make the marinade, take a large bowl and whisk together the garlic, sugar, five-spice powder, hoisin sauce, honey, wine, soy sauces and sesame oil.  Add the pork and use a spatula or tongs to coat evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, turning the pork 2 or 3 times.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, line up pork on top and reserve the marinade.
  5. Roast, basting every 10 minutes, for 30 to 35 minutes.  The pork is done when it looks glazed, is slightly charred and registers about 145 Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer.
  6. Let the meat stand for about 10 minutes to finish cooking and seal in the juices.

From:  Into the Vietnamese Kitchen


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Filed under Main Courses

Fuschian Vietnamese

This soup deserves a shout-out! It’s the outrageously flavourful peanut satay soup from Fuschian Vietnamese (on Sommerset).  The flavours are somewhat unexpected – spicy, sweet, sour, savoury, and of course peanutty.  They’re all there!  It’s chock full of various other goodies too – juicy chicken breast strips, lots of noodles, peanuts, lime wedges – and topped with crunchy cucumbers and bean sprouts.  It’s wonderfully intense!

Chicken Satay Soup at Fuschian


Filed under Restaurant Food

Pho Bo

I’m so sad that I didn’t know pho existed until university (there weren’t a lot of culinary options in my small, largely Mennonite hometown).  There are so many pho-less years in my life that could have been so much more pho-filling!

But now pho and I are great friends.  I’ve had lots of great restaurant pho experiences, but in my opinion none of them have been better than this homemade version.  It’s all about the broth.  Often it can be a bit on the salty side in a restaurant, but this version offers a great balance of flavours, and you can easily tweak the amounts to suit your tastebuds.   I used chicken broth this time around, but you can easily use vegetable broth instead if you want a savoury vegetarian meal.

Ingredients for Pho Broth

Notice that the onion and garlic have been chopped into big chunks.  They are just used to flavour the broth, and get strained out before eating.  The big chunks ensure nothing gets through the strainer later on.

Pho Broth

Now char up a little fresh ginger and add that to the broth too…it adds a really deep, rich flavour.

Charring some fresh ginger

While the broth simmers away and makes your house smell so good your neighbours may “casually” show up at your door to see what’s going on, prepare whatever garnishes you’d like to add to your soup later on.

This is really where you can customize the pho to your liking.  Bean sprouts are usually a must for me, but my little local grocery store was out this particular day :(.  Nevertheless, I perservered and came up with some other tasty additions.  Specifically, snow peas, thinly sliced carrots, green onion, fresh basil and mint, lime, roasted peanuts and red pepper flakes.

Other garnish options could include cabbage, bok choy (their crunchiness adds great texture), mushrooms, chilis, cilantro, etc. etc. etc.  Use your imagination!

Pho Goodies

We’re getting close…..the rice noodles are cooked, the soup garnishes are prepped, hoisin is all set to add some sweetness…

Pho parts almost ready to eat

After the broth has simmered for about 30 minutes, strain it through a fine mesh sieve.

Strained broth chunks

Put the rice noodles in your pho bowl, and then add the broth.

Pho building - Rice Noodles and Broth

Now dress it up with your garnishes of choice and enjoy!


Mandatory close up…

Pho Close-up

Update:  I made this again for my family and took a few pictures of their different Pho  interpretations.

The Noodle Lover:  (Despite the ample noodles, this one isn’t actually mine)

Pho Variation #1

The Veggie Lover:

Pho Variation #2

The Kid Version:

Pho Variation #3

The Minimalist:

Pho Variation #4

The I Just Can’t Wait to Dig In:

Pho Variation #5

The Little Bit of Everything:

Pho Variation #6

Vietnamese Pho Bo Recipe

Vegetarian Vietnamese-Style Broth
8 Cups Clear Vegetable Stock
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
8 Medium Garlic cloves, peeled & chopped coarsely*
1 Small onion, chopped, not diced*
1 Inch piece of ginger
2 3 Inch cinnamon sticks
1 Pod of Star Anise
2 Large Bay leaves

1. Put stock, soy sauce, garlic and onion in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat. *Make sure the pieces of onion and garlic are not smaller than the strainer you will be using.
2. Meanwhile, char ginger on all sides over an open gas flame or in a small skillet. Add to stock.
3. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise and bay leaves to the broth. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.
4. Remove solids with a slotted spoon or strain broth through a fine mesh sieve. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Return to pot and keep hot until ready to use in soup.

Pho Bo
8 Cups Vietnamese Style Broth
1 Pound Rice Noodles
1/4 Cup Bean Sprouts
1/2 Cup Shredded Cabbage
1/2 Tender Greens, torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 Cup Basil Leaves
1/2 Cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 Scallions, thinly sliced (both green and white parts)
3 Tbsp chopped, roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 Lime, cut into wedges
3 Fresh red or green chili peppers, seeded and cut into five rounds
Salt & Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Make the broth as directed. When broth has been simmering for about 10 minutes, soak the noodles as follows. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat, add noodles, and let soak around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until noodles are pliable and easily separated.
2. Drain the noodles and divide them among 6 Bowls.
3. Assemble the soup by placing the bean sprouts, cabbage, greens basil, cilantro and peanuts on top of the noodles. Ladle the hot broth onto the noodle mixture.


Filed under Soups & Stews, Vegan, Vegetarian