We hope you enjoyed your cookalong with MasterChef’s Jenny Lam. If you missed it or you want to take another look at the recipes, here’s everything you need to recreate her menu for authentic Vietnamese cooking at home.
What’s on the menu:
- Food processor
- Chef’s knife
- Chopping board
- Mixing bowls (various sizes)
- Grater and peeler
- Pressure cooker
- Stock pot (large enough to fit a whole chicken)
- Saucepans (small and medium)
- Frying pan
Sweet & Sour Dressing
A good sweet and sour dressing is the ultimate dipping sauce when it comes to Vietnamese cooking. If you try this recipe you’ll never buy the bottled stuff again!
- 5 bird’s eye chillies
- 5 large garlic cloves
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 ¼ cups white vinegar
- 1 cup fish sauce
- Place chilli and garlic into a processor and blitz until finely minced.
- Place the remaining ingredients, except fish sauce, in a pot and cook on the stove over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn off the heat but stir through the chilli-garlic mince and fish sauce while the mixture is still hot.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
VEGAN OPTION: Substitute the pork mince for shredded cabbage, a favourite in Vietnamese cooking.
- 500g pork mince (or 500g shredded cabbage for vegetarian option)
- 400g taro, grated
- 500g carrot, grated
- 1 medium brown onion, minced
- 50g dried vermicelli noodles, soaked in cold water, cut into 10cm lengths
- 10g dried sliced wood ear mushroom, rehydrated and minced
- ½ tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
For the spring roll glue:
- ⅓ cup plain flour
- ½ cup cold water
- or 1 egg, beaten
- For the filling, mix all ingredients together really well and leave to marinate for at least half an hour. Put in the fridge until ready to use.
- If you are using flour, place in a small mixing bowl and add cold water, stirring until a thick glue forms. (Alternatively, beat one egg).
To roll the spring rolls:
- Turn the wrapper so it is in a diamond shape facing you. Fold the edge closest to you up towards the centre and spoon a heaped tablespoon of filling about 1cm above the bottom flat edge.
- Make the filling into a log shape about 10cm long in the middle of the wrapper. Fold in the two corners, keeping the vertical edges as straight as possible and hugging the filling as tightly as possible, to make an envelope shape.
- Press the wrapper all around the filling to remove air bubbles before slowly rolling the spring roll from the bottom edge up to the top.
- Add a tiny bit of the glue or egg wash to the top corner to seal the spring roll.
- Set the deep fryer to 180C and fry in batches until golden brown on the outside (about eight to 10 minutes).
Beef & Chicken Pho
VEGAN OPTION: Substitute all meat bones for your choice of vegetables and instead of the thinly sliced beef, use hydrated Shitake mushrooms.
CHICKEN ONLY OPTION: Substitute the beef bones for 3kg of chicken carcasses and cook for two hours, adding poached chicken when assembling.
- 1.5kg beef knuckle and marrow bones
- 1kg chicken carcasses
- 600-800g skirt or round eye beef, thinly sliced
- 2 large brown onions
- 10cm piece of ginger, thickly sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Piece of cassia bark
- ⅓ cup star anise
- ½ cup coriander seeds
- ⅓ cup yellow rock sugar*
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup fish sauce
- ½ cup salt
- 1kg freshly cooked rice noodles
For the garnish:
- 5 spring onions, thinly sliced
- Bunch of coriander, chopped into 1cm pieces
- 1 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
- Wash all bones under cold water, giving them a good scrub before putting into a stockpot big enough to hold 15L. Pour 10L of cold water into the pot. Cook on the highest heat until it comes to a rolling boil (this can take up to 30 minutes).
- Char the onions and ginger over the gas stove or place in the oven under a medium grill for 15 minutes until charred and fragrant, turning as necessary. Wash off the charred black bits, and set aside.
- When the bone broth is boiling, brown-greyish foam will form on the surface. Skim off until the broth is as clear as possible and there is no more scum. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Once clear, drop in the onions and ginger. Add half the salt and simmer for an hour.
- Toast all the spices in a frying pan until fragrant. Tie in a muslin cloth (a clean Chux cloth also works well) and add to the pot to infuse. Top up the stock pot with 1-2L of water, depending on how much has evaporated, and simmer soup for another four hours (two for chicken pho).
- Strain the broth into a new pot before adding the sugars, fish sauce and salt. Bring to the boil just before serving.
- To serve, place two large handfuls of cooked rice noodles at the bottom of the bowl, add the raw sliced beef and spread out thinly on top. Add a ladle of boiling pho broth, enough to cook and submerge the raw beef. Top with a handful of pho garnish and serve with sides and condiments for guests to add as they wish.
To poach the chicken for the chicken only option:
Place the chicken breasts in a medium saucepan, add a large pinch of salt and cover with cold water. Once the water is boiling rapidly, turn off the heat and leave the chicken to poach in the water uncovered for about 10 minutes then remove the chicken and leave it to rest on a wooden board or plate, covered in cling film so it doesn’t dry out. Thinly slice when ready to serve.
For more authentic Vietnamese cooking tips and tricks, check out Jenny Lam’s cookbook, available here.
These other Vietnamese recipes are well worth a try:
- Authentic Vietnamese Crepes (Banh Xeo) with Jenny Lam
- Pork Dumpling Recipe by Jenny Lam
- Vietnamese Noodle Salad (With A Kick)