Category: Vietnamese

Vietnamese Hardshell Clams Cooked in Elderflower Cordial with Lime, Garlic, Ginger, Chili Peppers

Ingredients (1-2 servings):

  • 400 g Vietnamese hard shell clams
  • 300 ml elderflower cordial
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger freshly minced
  • 1 small dried red chilli
  • 1-2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 1-2 green onions

Preparation method:

  1. If using frozen clams, leave them in cold water for half an hour or so.
  2. Wash them in two bowls of water until the water in the bowl is clear.
  3. Chop the garlic.
  4. Chop the ginger.
  5. Chop the dried chilli into flakes.
  6. Chop the green onion and parley.
  7. Cut the lime into wedges.
  8. Place the clams into a smaller pot, add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes and pour the elderflower cordial just enough to cover them all with liquid.
  9. Squeeze the juice of a quarter of a lime.
  10. Cover with a lid and cook for 4-5 minutes until the clams have opened.
  11. Adjust the taste with fish salt and black pepper to your liking.
  12. Serve with chopped green onions, chopped parsley and some lime wedges.

Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs in Coconut Milk Recipe (Thit Heo Kho)

Since I was lft with some coconut milk from my Satay Ayam, I needed a recipe to use it. Since Serban has long told me he liked Vietnamese cuisine, I dedicate this to him. I had to do some modifications to the original recipe but it ended up great.


  • 1 kg pork belly
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 star anise
  • ½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 leek
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ white onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 hard boiled eggs – peeled
  • Jasmine rice to serve


  1. Cut the pork belly into 4-5 cm cubes
  2. Dice the red onions (shallots if you have) and garlic
  3. Smash the leek with a mallet, then cut it up coarsely
  4. Put into a bowl the pork cubes, fish sauce, soy sauces, garlic and leek. 
  5. Add the cracked pepper, star anise and palm sugar.  
  6. Marinate pork for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  7. Chop the white onion.
  8. Into a heavy based pan add vegetable oil and when heated add the onion and fry until golden. 
  9. Add to the pot the pork and its marinade, the coconut milk and water.
  10. Simmer the mixture for one hour on low heat, skimming occasionally the fat, then add the previously hard-boiled eggs.
  11. Simmer for another 1-1/2 hour.
  12.  Serve with jasmine rice and garnished with some greens (preferably vietnamese/asian ones), sliced lettuce leaves, coriander.

Satay Ayam – Indonesian Chicken Skewers Recipe


I prepared this dish for the New Year’s Eve as they are a perfect finger food both the skewers and the lontongs.

While I prepared it I  remembered the streets of  Jakarta and other cities of Indonesia where Satay Ayam and other types of Satays are prepared by street carts, many of them attached to a bicycle, on almost every corner.


For satay (skewers)

  • 1 kg chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 2 teaspoons Galangal powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped ginger
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4-6 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste or some hot chilli paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil

For Sambal kacang (peanut sauce)

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • about 3/4 cup water (until you reach the needed consistency)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek  / Indonesian chilli paste or minced hot chiles
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt to taste

For Lontong (compressed rice)

  • 1 cup round rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • polyethylene food bags

Preparation Method


  1. Cut the breasts into thin strips.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients and add the chicken (excepting the sambal kacang)
  3. Set aside to marinate for about an hour.
  4. Soak the skewers for 1/2 hour in a pot of water.
  5. Thread the chicken strips on the bamboo skewers.
  6. Although it is preferable to grill the chicken over hot coals, I grilled them in a skillet with some vegetable oil.
  7. Grill the chicken skewers until just cooked through turning them regularly to get an even roast.
  8.  Serve on a large plate with sambal kacang as a dipping sauce and 2-3 slices of lontong (compressed rice).

sambal kacang

  1. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste I prefer it hotter.

 Compressed rice

  1. Take a polyethylene food bag, fill it 1/3 with rice, flatten it so you can remove the remaining air from it.
  2. Roll up the opening and sew it.
  3. Repeat the operations 1+2 until you got all bags ready.
  4. In a pot bring water to boil, adding a pinch of salt.
  5. Put in the bags of rice in the boiling water and let it boil for about an hour.
  6. From time to time check the water level and add enough water so the rice bags are fully submerged.
  7. When done, remove the rice bags from the pot water and dry them in a colander.  You should check if the bags are hard, if not you should let them boil some more time.
  8. Cut them using a sharp wetted knife into 2 cm slices.