Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Banh Trang Viet Nam

Vietnamese food has been increasingly popular over the last few years, and I don't see why not - in my opinion it is a perfect culinary blend of all its surrounding far eastern neighbours. Hackney is no doubt the mecca for Vietnamese food in London, and it was here that I popped into a Vietnamese supermarket to pick up a few ingredients. I am no expert at far eastern cuisine; after an over-obsession with Japanese food a few years back, I have stayed away from that part of the world completely. However my saturation of ramen has left my system and over the last few months I have been back at the orient with a vengeance, though with a different outlook - more focusing on the depths of flavour that come from the more exotic far eastern kitchens, and not quite so much on the umami-miso-soy flavours that sickened me in my past.
I am still a fledgling in the Vietnamese kitchen and so cautiously make simple, few ingredient dishes at home and leave the interesting stuff to those with more experience; however that doesn't mean home made dishes aren't nice - this following easy recipe was delicious and enjoyed by all.
Banh Trang Viet Nam are Vietnamese rice paper wraps that are fun to play with and can transform some roast meat and vegetables. I love the sound of Vietnamese and probably greatly annoy my family by repeatedly and incorrectly pronouncing Banh Trang and Nhan Con Ngong Bay. Anyway, this a fun recipe to make but requires a bit of kitchen space or things can get a bit cramped. For this recipe use Flying goose hoisin sauce since it a Vietnamese brand.






Vietnamese chicken salad wraps
Serves 3-4

For the salad:
- carrot, shredded
- half cucumber, thinly sliced
- alfalfa sprouts, small handful
- thinly sliced spring onions, 4
- roughly chopped coriander, handful
- mirin, 2 tbsp
- nam pla, 2 tbsp
- honey, tsp
- juice of half a lime
- grated galangal/ginger, 3cm piece
- toasted sesame seeds, tbsp
- toasted sesame oil, tbsp

For the chicken:
- hoisin sauce, tbsp
- mirin, tbsp
- chicken breast, 400-500g

- Vietnamese rice paper wraps
- hoisin sauce 2-3 tbsp
- juice of remaining half lime
- honey, tsp

Start with the chicken: Preheat the oven to 180 degreees. Line a roasting tin with foil and place the chicken in the centre.  Mix the hoisin sauce and mirin and drizzle over the chicken. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
Meanwhile make the salad. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly (if you have any other salad type foods to hand feel free to toss them in also - this is a good recipe for using any salad in need of using).
When the chicken is cooked, remove and place on a large chopping board to cool. When cool pull/cut into smallish bite-size pieces. Clear a large area to prepare the wraps. One at a time dip the paper wraps into warm water for about 30 seconds (or whatever the pack instructions say) then transfer to a clear space and put a bit of the salad and the chicken just south of the centre and fold as you would a wrap to make little rolls. Repeat until all the salad and chicken have been used.
Mix together the hoisin sauce, lime juice and honey to make a dipping sauce and enjoy.

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