WHAT IS PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHO ARE PHOTOGRAPHERS? – NGHE THUAT CHUP HINH VA NHIEP ANH VIEN

WHAT IS PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHO ARE PHOTOGRAPHERS?NGHE THUAT CHUP HINH VA NHIEP ANH VIEN

 

For us, who are normal (I exaggerate here, I mean amateur), as opposed to supernatural (I mean professional) the first thing we need to learn is to understand photography.

When you read my above opening sentence you might not see why I use these words.

Guess what I found out?

Photography is the art and science of capturing us or things around us and expressing them in pictures. I say “art” because photography does need the artist’s eyes.

To achieve great images, first we need to see things differently. Sounds familiar? I think I read that in some book or I’ve just watched the movie “Into the West” by Steven Spielberg: Clara taught her students: “the power to see things differently”.

Bryan Peterson wrote in his book “Understanding Close-Up Photography” that we see so much potential, so many possible intimate encounters, in a world that most people are too busy to notice or simply never thought was worth the look.

To break through from taking normal to breathtaking photographs, to move a little closer from amateur to professional, we need to look at even normal object with different angles and views.

Bryan Peterson did impress me with the picture of the downspout he took in Burano, Italy. Like many of us, who could pass by a typical downspout day after day, who could have thought it could be conveyed into an unusual amazing image that could be framed on the wall. Now you may ask, are professional (celebrity) photographers supernatural?

By the way you do not need to go to Italy to photograph the downspout, you can find it everywhere.

Now you know, what I got myself into.

People say we learn something new every day. Like you, I have learned a lot of things in my life. Do not count the fact I spent 12 years before finish high schools and 6 and a half for university. I learned 5 languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Russian and a little German. When it came to my previous job, I had to force myself to learn Spanish. After just a few hours of my life, I gave up. No more learning.  Je suis tres fatigue.

Life is not as easy as some say. I next found myself swimming in the ocean of knowledge about blogging. And while I am still barely afloat, I need to face another learning challenge: Photography. I do seriously need to take better pictures of my food.

Nowadays my life is divided among my husband Donald, Nicole Young, Teri Campbell, Derek Pell, Bryan Peterson, Tom Ang and Scott Kelby.

But instead of simply drifting, I find myself swimming again. In the early years, I did not learn how to swim although I dipped myself in the pool of our university for a whole year. I later mastered swimming, though, at least freestyle category, thanks to an Olympic-trained tutor.

I am an optimistic person so I continue to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If you are curious about what I am learning about photography and the improvements of my photography skill, sign up to receive my newsletter at the top right of my blog to read more.

Until then, bye-bye and be happy.

 

 

Posted in Photography | Tagged | Leave a comment

MY FIRST CAMERAS – NHUNG MAY CHUP HINH DAU TIEN CUA TOI

MY FIRST CAMERASNHUNG MAY CHUP HINH DAU TIEN CUA TOI
Many students at my school liked to take photographs.   They even made dark room to develop the films to print out the pictures. They were black and white era pictures, just so you know.
I often had my picture taken by those amateur “photographers”. My pictures captured all my six college years from Erevan, Armenia to Odessa, Kiev, Ukraine to Moscow, St. Petersburg (called Leningrad at that time), to Siberia, to Budapest, to Czech Slovakia to list a few. I cannot tell the whole list because it is too long.
The technical requirements of creating a dark room intimidated me, so I never bothered.
But I absolutely got to buy one camera to bring home before leaving the Soviet Union. It was a Zenite and was praised pretty high. At home my brother liked it more than me. So he used it for a while then it went into storage.  Over time it became outdated and became a good candidate for the museum. As I write this today, sad to say my family has lost track of that old Zenite camera.    
As the years went by, my passion for photography continued on. I built up a number of albums. The result of every business trip I made to America. I did buy a very good camera by recommendation of a friend, whose brother owned a camera shop. But did I really use it? Not so much.
When I married my husband, I suddenly lived without taking pictures. My husband is a very handsome man but he is not vain. Like in our native language: “he does not eat the picture” so he does not live to see pictures of himself. However, his life was about to change because upon my begging he broke down and bought me the best available Sony Handycam.
We brought it with us on our trips and made some videos and took some pictures. I brought it to my country when visiting and made some videos.
It was a show off piece for an equipment. People recognized and valued it and I was proud.
I now have an HTC android phone with 8 megapixel camera and camcorder. It is light and easy to carry around. It takes great pictures. It became an easy choice to leave the big and bulky handycam at home.
Then my husband bought me a Samsung Galaxy tablet. It was so wonderful with the camera and video function. I use it almost every time, especially when I started to take pictures for my saigoncook.com blog.
I thought my tablet camera was great until one day I visited Smitten Kitchen blog while I was reading the book “Food blogging for Dummies”. The pictures there were stunning. For the first time I realized I took very average pictures.
I retrieved my handycam from the closet and intended to use it for taking pictures. My husband was a big boss at his job and he supervised two professional photographers. I asked him for me to ask them some questions about how to use my handycam. My husband did not let me. First, he was a very straight boss, he did not want me to bother his employee for my personal things. Second, he assured me that my handycam was not the good candidate for the job I wanted to do.
It was hard for me to accept that our expensive Sony Handycam could not be my camera. However, when I tried to take a close-up photograph, I could not.
My husband referred me to his niece Shanna, who uses a high-tech digital SLR camera.  She also does some professional photo work. When it came to Shanna, I must agree the girl is an extremely competent individual, and always thoroughly researches products before she buys.
So stay tuned. You want to find out what camera I will buy?  And more? Don’t you?
Posted in Photography | Tagged | 1 Comment

MY FIRST PICTURES – NHUNG TAM HINH DAU TIEN CUA TOI

MY FIRST PICTURES – NHUNG TAM HINH DAU TIEN CUA TOI
My love of photography is natural. I have loved to see myself in photographs ever since I was small.
It might be an obvious desire. Remember I was born in a remote village. There was no electricity. Although electricity was nothing related to photography, I introduce it here to let your mind play some imagination about the kind of life, dark, remote, and primitive.  Rarely someone had a camera, and a primitive one it was.  Still, it was a fancy thing.
I had my first picture taken in 1968 at the only studio in the closest district town. It was a 4x6mm and a 3x4mm. I did not ask the money from my parents for fancy pictures. They were needed to attach to the application for taking the entry exam for the 6th grade, the entry level for my elementary school.
With the eyes of a 6-year-old person I believed I looked beautiful.
Now, after adding years of life, I see in the picture a little creature, shy and timid, exposing her inner self to the photographer, wearing her white school dress. I was puzzled to find myself in a strange and dark studio. I trembled when the strobe light was turned on. Yet, I was burnt with desire to be beautiful in the picture.
I took a few more pictures when I was in the 6th grade.
My school organized a tour for students to the sea. That was my first trip away from home. That event was big. My mother was excited as much as I was. From our village to Saigon, the old capital of the South of Vietnam, was the farthest  she had ever gone from home. She had never had the opportunity to see the sea, so she was happy for me. She went out buying me a stainless steel fork and spoon that were so big that I felt embarrassed. Her effort was to get me something fancy to have to eat my meals with other students, instead of using ordinary bamboo chopsticks that we used every day.
My youngest aunt lent me her new beautiful blouse. I even had a pair of black glasses.
So I was there, me and the ocean for the first time. I played with the waves. I rented a float (it was actually a huge tire) and rode on it. I was not afraid of the ocean at all.  So young and so brave!
I was curious and patient to wait for the light beams that casted over the school yard of some school that our teachers could arrange for us to stay.
I believed all the overwhelming excitement from discoveries of new things and new places were captured there in my pictures. Thanks to the photographer who had the camera and cared enough to take my pictures.
Now it is your turn. I can’t wait to read about your first picture taking experiences.
Please come back for more about photography.
 
Posted in Photography | Tagged | Leave a comment

12 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS: THE FOOD: stuffed mushrooms – 12 ngay cho den giang sinh: mon nam nhoi

STUFFED MUSHROOM – NAM NHOI
A plate of stuffed mushrooms

A plate of stuffed mushrooms

This is a popular appetizer. These mushrooms are very flavorful and healthy at the same time. Do not wait until you have a party to make them. My husband loves to add them to his lunch or dinner.
Ingredients:
1 lb white button mushrooms, cleaned
6 dried shitake mushroom, soaked in hot water
1 medium onions, peeled and minced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 slices of ginger, minced
3 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon breadcrumb
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
A pinch of parsley salt
A pinch of ground black pepper
A teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
Instructions:
Preheat the oven 375oF.
Use the point of a small knife, making an incision into the base of the stem, turning the mushroom around to remove the stem. Remove more to make bigger cavities.
Chop the stems coarsely.
Discard the tough stems from shitake mushrooms, chop coarsely.
Heat a skillet or pan over medium heat until hot. Add oil and wait until hot, add ginger, garlic and stir for 30’ until fragrant. Add onion and both mushrooms and cook for 5’, then season with salt, soy sauce and black pepper. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and let cool.
Mix in parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
Spoon the mixture into the mushroom cavities.
Bake for 15’. Remove from the oven and they are ready to serve.
Posted in vegetarian | Tagged | Leave a comment

sauté CHILI – OT SA TE

sauté CHILI – OT SA TE
Sate chili

Sate chili

.
This is the ultimate cooked chili for heat lovers. When you open the jar the aroma allures you to take a spoon (or less) for your Hue beef noodles soup (bun bo Hue). There are so many dishes like sauté chili squid (muc xao sa te), sauté beef hot pot (lau bo sa te) call for this condiment.
.
I use ginger in this recipe. If you can get galangal it would be a nice component. In some cases not strictly for vegetarian people, dried shrimps or fermented fish or shrimp sauce can be added. They are sure to make distinstive flavors.
.
It is worth the effort to make at home; clean, fresh, and safe because of no preservative chemical addition. The only caution to take is wearing gloves to protect hands and masks to protect nose and glasses to protect eyes from hot smell.
.
Ingredients:
.
10 medium red chilis, minced
¼ cup dry red chili flakes, soaked in water for 10’
10 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger root, minced
2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves discarded, minced
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 small glass jar
.
Instructions:
.
Heat a pan or skillet over medium heat until hot. Add oil, ginger, garlic and lemongrass, stir until fragrant. Add dried chili and fresh chili. Add sugar, salt and fish sauce and cook until dry. Remove from heat and let cool.
Spoon the sate chili into a jar. It can keep in the fridge for about 10 days. The first time I made and left on the counter and forgot about it. When I opened the jar it was full of fungus. Better to put in the fridge.
Posted in Condiments - Nuoc cham | Tagged | Leave a comment

12 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS – 12 NGAY CHO DEN GIANG SINH

12 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS – 12 NGAY CHO DEN GIANG SINH

Christmas wreath 1

Christmas wreath 1

 

Christmas wreath 2

Christmas wreath 2

 

Hi everyone! The countdown is on. Are you ready? I am.
.
The decorations:
.
After Thanksgiving day, I removed the pumpkins and fall decorations in front of the house. I put up multi-color lights all over our balcony and the holly bushes. For the entrance the red lights garland took place. A wreath with green pine and red and yellow bows is hung on the door. A bunch of fresh pine and red bow is tied to the tree on the street near the driveway, another one for the mail box post and one more for the light post. From the street the house looks festive and brings the holiday spirit up. My husband and I love to see our house lit up when we drive home. He often takes me on a tour around the neighborhood to see who has the best decorations.
.
How about inside?
.
The chandelier in the dining room is hung with all green ornaments and a silver and gold Morroccan ball. The other chandelier at the breakfast nook is hung with blue ornaments and a red Morrocan ball. The opening from the breakfast nook to the family room is lit with multi-color motion lights. I love it. Sometime it is green, then blue, then red, then orange and then all together colors flashing. Another string is dragged over the staircase bannister going up to the second floor. At each post I attached a bouquet of fresh pine with a red bow.
.
Over the mantel is the fresh pine wreath with red bow and pine cones. I made another wreath and hung over the window in the living room. I am happy it is there because it balances the chandelier in the dining room as our living room and dining room are open great room.
.
I made the wreaths and bouquets myself. I will try to find time to show you how I made them.
.
We have two kids to give presents. I already wrapped Tyler’s (2nd grade) present. Riley’s (6th grade) gift is pending to the last day because I do not want to fold her beautiful burgundy gown and let it sit in a box too long.
.
We also purchased fresh poinsettias. They will go into fresh flower decorations when I set the tables.
.
Come back to see how I do with the tables; promise!
.
You do not want to miss my food, either. This week I am going to make the cookies.
.
My husband has been busy building the entertainment center. Today we assembled the bottom unit. It was too big and I was not happy. I am to blame because I designed it. We decided to make another smaller version. Poor my husband!
.
So you do not want to miss our entertainment center either.
.
Keep your spirit up! Bye for now!
Christmas wreath 1

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A VIETNAMESE COOK TAKES ON HANUKKAH LATKES – BANH TOM HO TAY

A VIETNAMESE COOK TAKES ON HANUKKAH LATKES – BANH TOM HO TAY
vegetarian sweet potato cake

vegetarian sweet potato cake

shrimp sweet potato cake

shrimp sweet potato cake

sweet potato cakes

sweet potato cakes

I saw the latkes picture in the Bon Appetit magazine volume 57 number 12. It looked exactly like my shrimp sweet potato pancakes. So I have posted this recipe for all of you who want something new for their holiday. There is no better time: the sweet potato season is here. The cold weather allows us to eat some fried food.
This cake was created and loved by Hanoi people and put Ho Tay (West lake), a beautiful lake in Hanoi on the map of food culture. Hanoi people bring along this dish with them whenever they go resettling. Now the whole country is able to devour this dish.
There were two versions of this cake: one soft and pluffy and the other crispy with sweet potato. Both are savory. They have shrimp on top and served with varieties of vegetables and dipped in a little sweet and sour fish sauce with green papaya and carrot pickles.
To eat, break up a piece of pancake, put on top of a lettuce leaf with some herbs like mint, Thai basil, chives, roll into a roll, dip in fish sauce. One bite can give you an amazing experience: soft dough, crispy sweet potato and shrimp, a little spicy herbs and sweet and sour dipping sauce.
The best part of it is you have fun making them. Watching the cake releases itself from the mold when it is cooked is fun. You have the accomplishment feeling of making the food that people are craving.
So do not wait any longer. Follow my recipe and let me know how your cakes turn out.
Ingredients:
For this recipe it yields 7 vegetarian cakes (no shrimps and they look like latkes) and 7 shrimp cakes
For the batter:
1 cup rice flour
½ cup tempura four (sold in Asian markets)
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoon AP flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon tumeric
½ cup milk
½ cup water
the batter

the batter

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
7 medium shrimps
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Canola oil for deep frying
the cake is about to release from the mold

the cake is about to release from the mold

Accompanied vegetables: Lettuce, Thai basil, mint, chives…
Sweet and sour fish sauce dip (Hanoi style) recipe follows
Carrot and papaya pickles (Hanoi style), recipe follows
Special equipment:
The mold to make banh Gia (Bean sprout cake mold) or strainer or flat ladle.
Instructions:
Mix all ingredients for the batter 30’ in advance so that the batter has time to rest. It can be made and kept in the fridge for a day.
Shred potatoes into matchsticks. Soak in ice water to remove some starch and keep them crispy.
Marinate shrimps with garlic, salt and pepper. I use shrimps with heads and tails on, they crispier this way. You can trim if you prefer. I use the white shrimps (tep bac) as their shells are tender. I use one shrimp for one cake. You can use 2 shrimps if they are small.
Bring a deep fryer or a pan with at least 2 ½ inches oil to 350oF. That is the ideal temperature for making this cake. Too hot will burn the cake before cooked. Too low will make the cake soggy (not healthy eating). Leave the mold in the oil to heat. Lift up the mold from the oil (no oil in the mold). Mix some potatoes into the batter and place on the mold. You will hear sizzle. It is preferable the potatoes sit on different directions. Dip one shrimp in the batter and place on top of the potatoes. Lower the mold into hot oil. Let it cook for 1 minute or so, the cake will release itself from the mold. Leave the mold in the oil for the next cake. Cook the cake for 1 minute longer. Remove the cake to paper towel.
Now you are ready for the next cake. Repeat until all batter and sweet potatoes and shrimps used up.
You can make a lot of cakes and keep in 200oF oven until ready to serve. It is also good to eat them at room temperature. I put in the fridge they are still crispy the next day.
Carrot and papaya pickles:
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced across
¼ green papaya, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced across
1 cup vinegar
2 cups water
Soak carrot and papaya in vinegar and water mixture for 30’ or until they are slightly sour.
Sweet and sour fish sauce dip:
¼ cup fish sauce
3 tablespoon sugar
½ cup vinegar
2 cup water
1 red chili, sliced (optional)
Mix all ingredients.
Posted in Crepe | Tagged | Leave a comment

FLYING ALL NIPPON AIRWAY – BAY HANG ANA

 

FLYING ALL NIPPON AIRWAY

 

jUNKO

My husband said it was worth it when I hesitated for us to pay $100 more to get the ticket from All Nippon Airway to fly home to visit my country Vietnam.

I have been a United Airlines Mileage Plus member since 1999. So every time I fly home to Vietnam it adds more miles. The number is great now and I am a loyal member.

But now it is time for a change. More than that, it is a pleasant one. Now I fly ANA directly to Tokyo instead of flying to Chicago by UA and waiting four hours for connecting flights to Tokyo, then to Hochiminh City.

In-flight experience is also something new. I love the hot towel to refresh my face. The stewardesses brought hot green tea, coffee and beverages all the time. Everyone has his own screen in front for entertainments of choice: Movies, Music, Games and News.

I burnt three movies: “Some Like It Hot”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Pretty Woman” and slept on and off between meals.

Speaking of meals, I am so glad I could choose Japanese food over the Western option. I like the hot rice and a piece of moist salmon, some soba noodles with dashi sauce. I can see how Anthony Bourdain devoured hand- rolled and cut and cooked and served noodles in front of him in his show “No reservation”. I mixed in a little wasabi to make it a perfect one, not much to blow my top off.

 

Miso soup

Miso soup

Soba noodles with Nameka mushroom

Soba noodles with Nameka mushroom

 

soba noodles with fixings

soba noodles with fixings

Seafood rice

Cute yogurt

Cute yogurt

 

The other meal I had was hot steamed rice with seafood. I ate round cod fish pieces but could not say what they were. Luckily, the stewardess was so helpful. Her name is Junko. She told me the name of the fish and the name of the mushroom, the one with tiny caps.

One new thing about ANA is now they are serving wine in their flights. So it catches up with UA, but the food is definitely more favorable. It is great for me and a lot of other Vietnamese travelers. They happen to travel home to visit more and more.

The stewardesses were tall and slender, with the scarves fold into a flower on their necks and smiles always on their faces. They were right there for you whenever you needed them.

One thing that ANA can improve on is the language. It is mostly in Japanese everywhere.

Other than that I know I will use more ANA in the future.

 

Posted in travelling | Tagged | Leave a comment

Vietnam Odyssey – Ve tham lai Vietnam

Hi everyone, I have not been here for a while. I visited my home country Vietnam.

I have a lot to tell and show you.

Please come back soon.

Posted in travelling | Tagged | Leave a comment

VIETNAMESE CHICKEN CABBAGE SALAD – GOI GA BAP CAI

VIETNAMESE CHICKEN CABBAGE SALADGOI GA BAP CAI
Chicken salad

Chicken salad

.
I lived in the center of the city and often took time to visit my parents, who lived in the suburbs about 40 miles away. Any time I came they often treated me to chicken cabbage salad with chicken rice soup. They always had a few chickens running around the yard, along with healthy beds of Vietnamese mint (rau ram), mint (rau hung lui), and spearmint (hung cay). They definitely had some chili plants with the red color fruits, showing a spicy attraction. They just needed to buy cabbage, onions, and carrots that were best grown in Dalat, a city in Vietnam’s Central Highlands that French colonists founded, who had transplanted these vegetables from France to the new land.
.
There is something very harmonious and addictive in this salad. One thing that sticks in my memory forever is the smell of Vietnamese mint. I bear it with me wherever I go. Like the memory of my mother, who made the food for me.
.
Now in America, I have adopted my mother’s recipe to be more accessible. If you do not feed a crow you do not need a whole chicken. I use chicken breast, but definitely with the bone-in. Please pay special attention to my special technique of cooking chicken, because it yields a succulent, moist and sweet chicken meat.
.
In Vietnam we loved chicken skin. I still do, but I discard it now for a healthier food. American salad is very healthy with all kinds of vegetables, until dressing, in which 3 times of oil to 1 part of vinegar, is added. This Vietnamese chicken cabbage salad has no oil, but you do not miss anything. The level of spiciness is totally up to you. Cut of a little chili does not make a great loss. If you like it more tart you add a little more lime juice. One best thing about Vietnamese food is that diners can adjust the food to their own taste. This salad is typically served with more dressing on the side. Every ingredient plays its roll but the dressing is the key. This dressing makes or breaks the salad. I have developed this dressing from my mother’s and it is a no-fail dressing for a no-fail salad.
.
I know someone who eats this salad to lose weight. I believe her. The spicy, sweet and salty, tart flavors mingle with the crunchiness of vegetables and aromatic herbs. This salad is good for everyday meal or served at a party.
.
Ingredients:
.
For the chicken:
.
1 bone-in chicken breast
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ small onion or 2 shallots, peeled and wedged
3 black whole peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups water
For the cabbage:
½ medium cabbage head, tough outer leaves discarded, cored, washed and thinly sliced
.
For the carrot:
.
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
¼ cup sugar- vinegar mixture, recipe follows
.
For the onion:
1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced across
½ cup sugar vinegar mixture, recipe follows
.
Dressing:
.
¼ cup sugar-fish sauce mixture
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or pound
1 red chili, minced
1 tablespoon chili sauce
½ lime, juiced (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar-vinegar reserve
Double the recipe for dressing to be served on the side
.
Garnish:
.
½ cup toasted peanut, crushed
¼ cup cilantro (rau mui)
¼ Vietnamese mint (rau ram)
2 tablespoon mint (rau thom)
1 red jalapeno, julienned
1 tablespoon garlic chips, recipe follows
.
Accompanied shrimp chips:
.
1 shrimp chips package, sold at Asian market
Oil for deep frying
.
Instructions:
.
To make dressing:
.
Combine all ingredients plus 2 reserved sugar-vinegar mixture, stir well and set aside.
.
To fry the shrimp chips:
.
Bring at least 2 inches of oil in a pan or pot to 350oF. I have a deep fryer so I use it. It is very convenient to take out the guesswork of when the oil is hot enough. If you use the pan or pot, stick a chopstick into the oil and see the bubbles coming up, the oil is ready to fry. Drop 1 shrimp chip at a time into the oil, use chopstick or tong to press it down, it will react by puffing up and expanding. Turn the chip over and do the same thing for this side. Remove the chip before it shows brown. Drain on paper towel and let cool. Fry this way until you have no more chips.
.
The fried chips can be stored in airtight container and crispy for few hours.
.
To cook chicken:
.
Rub the chicken with salt and rinse under cold water. Place the chicken in water in a small pot and add salt, onion (shallot) and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to barely simmer for 20’. Turn off the heat and keep the chicken in poaching liquid and on the stove. The chicken continues cooking that way. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat (discard bone and skin) and pour 2 tablespoons of dressing over it and let sit for 5-10’.
Note: In the book” Around my French table” by Dorie Greenspan, she and Jacque Pepin think there is no need to clean the chicken before cooking. Not in our house, we always clean the chicken before use. We use salt and sometimes add lime to rub the chickens and wash them. We feel that no smell of animal is detected. My mother is very picky.
Prepare carrot:
.
Combine water-sugar mixture and carrot and let it sit for 5’. Drain. Reserve 2 tablespoons for dressing.
.
Prepare onion:
.
When cutting the onion, reserve the outer rings to decorate the plate.
.
Combine water-sugar mixture and onion and let it sit for 5’. Drain.
.
Prepare the salad:
.
Combine cabbage, carrot and onion in a mixing bowl. Add half of the herbs, peanut, garlic chips and chicken. Pour all the dressing but reserve 2 tablespoons over and mix.
.
The salad can be eaten right away but best to sit for 5- 10’for the flavors develop. The mixed salad can be kept in the fridge about 3 hours before serving for maximum crispiness.
.
It is still good after a night in the fridge. It is ideal for preparing ahead for party. The components are kept in the fridge and mixed 10’ before serving.
.
When ready to serve, arrange the salad on a plate, sprinkle remaining herbs, chicken, peanut, garlic chips and 2 tablespoons of reserved dressing on top. Enjoy this salad with crispy shrimp chips.
.
Recipe for sugar-vinegar mixture:
.
Bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of vinegar to a boil, and simmer for 30’ until the mixture becomes syrupy.
.
I use distil vinegar for cost effective. You do not need rice white or any fancy vinegar because even normal vinegar after reduction becomes very good.
.
Recipe for sugar-fish sauce mixture:
.
Bring 1 cup of sugar and ¾ cup fish sauce to a boil, and simmer for 15-20’until the mixture becomes syrupy.
.
I use normal fish sauce here. The result is great. If you want to use good quality fish sauce like 3 crab brand, by own means. Be careful to watch the fire as the mixture might boil over and make a mess for your stove.
Recipe for garlic chips:
.
Ingredients:
.
¼ cup oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
.
Instructions:
.
Cook garlic and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the garlic chips are crisp and turn light yellow and fragrant. Remove from heat immediately. Watch carefully while they cook because the garlic chips can turn dark brown in seconds, meaning they are burnt and will taste bitter.
ingredients for the salad

ingredients for the salad

slice the cabbage thinly

slice the red onion across the grain

slice the red onion across the grain

decorate the plate with red onion rings

soak the onion in sugar-vinegar mixture

soak julienned carrot in sugar-vinegar mixture

soak julienned carrot in sugar-vinegar mixture

julienne jalapeno

 

the herbs

the herbs

dry roast peanuts

garlic chips

garlic chips

chicken after poaching

shred chicken meat into bite-size pieces

shred chicken meat into bite-size pieces

sprinkle the dressing over the chicken

ingredients for the dressing

ingredients for the dressing

dressing

First toss

First toss

photo of salad from above

Enjoy salad with crispy shrimp chips

Enjoy salad with crispy shrimp chips

Posted in chicken | Tagged | Leave a comment