Since my recent success with baking baguette bread I have been making this awesome recipe to go along with it: Xui Mai. Xíu mai is Vietnamese meatballs and it sounds very similar to the Chinese dumplings siu mai. I’m sure these meatballs are influenced by the Chinese but the only similarities between these meatballs and the Chinese dumplings are that it’s made of out ground pork and it’s steamed. These meatballs also has European influences as it’s cooked in a delicious tomato sauce. The flavors are still very uniquely Vietnamese and the meatballs has a nice crunch from the use of water chestnuts or jacama and the steaming process. Yes, you read it right. We steam our meatballs and collect all the delicious juices. The juices are then added to the soft tomato mixture, creating a mellow sauce to coat those lovely meatballs. Delicious by itself, or used as a filling for baguette together with other sweet-sour pickles and herbs.If you rather not use jacama, you can substitute bread crumbs to make the meatballs more tender.
|Xui Mai (Vietnamese Meatballs)|
- 2 lbs pork mince
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 red Asian shallots, finely chopped
- 1 small can water chestnut (220g) or 1/2 jicama, cut into very small pieces (optional)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Tomato sauce
- 3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- If serve with bread
- 4 crusty bread rolls
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- pickled white radish and carrot
- fresh chillies (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the pork mince, garlic, shallots, green onions, water chestnuts, egg, sugar, salt, fish sauce and pepper, and mix well with your hands. Form the mixture into 4cm balls then place them on a plate or tray.
- Bring a steamer to a boil and place the meatballs in a shallow bowl and place the bowl in the steamer. You might have to steam in batches depending on the size of steamer. Steam the meatballs for about 15 minutes.
- In a large heavy based saucepan, heat a small amount of oil then add the chopped garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add the tomato paste, water, fish sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Then add the meatballs and the juices in the bowl (that’s the good stuff).
- Simmer the meatballs for about 25 minutes or until cooked and sauce is reduced.
- Taste test and add more seasoning if required. Remove from heat.
- Serve meatballs as fillings in a crusty baguette with cilantro, cucumber, red chillies and pickled radish and carrots. Or serve meatballs with white rice.
I am back! I am so excited to be back after such a long break. With launching the new “Yum” layout and the holidays, the last couple months…well more like 5 months…flew by. Even thought postings was on a hiatus for a short while but the baking still continues so I have a lot of catching up to do. I feel like going bananas…or nuts. Well same thing but one great result…Banana Bread. Every body at one time or another always have some bananas laying around in their kitchen. And if you are like me and you do not like eating bananas that are too ripe then you should try out this recipe. Plus bananas are so cheap now that it would be a loss not trying this out.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 ripe large bananas (approximately 1 pound), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional, I did not use it because the kids does not like nuts)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.)
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and place the slices of banana on top of the batter for garnish. Bake until bread is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Makes 1 – 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.
I have never had fritter before. There are many different kinds out there like apple, banana, corn..etc. So when I found this recipe in RasaMalaysia blog whom I have been stalking for a while now, I knew I had to try it. Her version included bean sprouts but since I am not a fan of it I decided to substitute sweet potato instead. It turned out to be a great idea, the crunchiness of the shrimp and the sweetness of the potato, it was the perfect marriage. Likewise you can also add whatever vegetables you like and it will be just as good. I might try it with zucchini next time.
Shrimp Fritters Recipe
1 C all-purpose flour, sifted
1 Tbsp rice flour
4 oz peeled shrimp (any size is fine, depending on how big you want your fritter to be)
1 medium size sweet potato (cut into 2 inches, french fries style)
1 large egg
3/4 C water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
Oil for deep frying
1. Combine all the ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl and mix well.
2. Heat up the oil in a wok for shallow frying ( I fry all my food in a wok, it uses less oil than the regular deep fryer). As soon as the oil is fully heated (you can test it by dipping a wooden chopstick in the oil. If there are tiny bubbles around the chopstick, that means the mean is hot enough) Use a spoon to scoop a heaping amount of the mixture and gently drop it into the oil. Repeat the same until the wok is about half full with shrimp fritters. You will have to fry in smaller batches to prevent the fritter from sticking to each other. Turn the shrimp over and fry both sides until it is golden brown. Once done, place the fritter on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
3. Serve while hot with sweet & sour sauce or any kind of sauce to your liking.
Congrats to my blog turning 1 year old today. Wow how fast does time fly. Seems like it was just yesterday when I posted my first blog. There are lots of things that i have learned about the blogging world over this one year. Here are the top 5 things I have learned and hopefully more in the coming years.
1. Things can only get better. As i look back at my old posts, sometimes i cringe. Its only been a short amount of time and i can feel that my pictures and recipes are getting more creative and more variety.
2. Photos make a big difference. A picture can speak a thousand words. I am slowly learning how to work my slr camera. I have figured out that natural lighting is the best. It beats the light box or external flash hands down.
3. Not everyday is a good day. Some recipes will turn out better than others. Some days by the time I am finished cooking the last thing on my mind is taking pictures. I am either so exhausted or that its dark outside and the pictures turn out less than perfect.
4. Always do grammar and spell check. Lets admit it, I am not a professional writer, nor do I wish to make that my career. Being English is my second language, sometimes I have a hard time getting my points across. Also blogging when my brain is not feeling like mush after work or late at night is a good idea So please don’t judge me…too much.
5. The food blogosphere is HUGE. I guess somehow it never hit me before I started blogging. Comments from readers have left me are really nice and encouraging that makes all my hard work worth while. I am surprised that my blog has lasted this long. Thanks to those who frequent my blog and here’s to the future and learning as I go!
I do have another announcement to make….my blog is getting a new facelift! I am super excited, its going to be lighter, brighter and many more new recipes to come. So please stay tuned!!