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Tag: vietnamese

Vietnamese Mussels

Vietnamese Mussels

I’m on a mission to get people to make and enjoy mussels at home. Mussels are sustainable, economical, and an effortless way to add drama and sophistication to any gathering. There’s no reason to save these for a special restaurant meal. These Vietnamese Mussels are read more

Coffee Jelly

Coffee Jelly

I love gelatin desserts. Not the ubiquitous neon hued jello that played heavily at school cafeterias, but all of the the amazing desserts that rely on humble gelatin: from the silky creaminess of panna cottas to the sinful richness of a bittersweet chocolate mousse and read more

Coconut Flan

Coconut Flan

Coconut Flan is one of the most popular desserts on our menu. And while it is a nod to the enduring love Miamians have for Latin American flan (you can seriously get flan even at our gas stations), the addition of coconut makes it closer to the iconic Vietnamese dessert Báhn Flan. Our Coconut Flan is a rich and creamy make-ahead dream of a dessert. The individual servings feel really special and make a beautiful presentation. It’s naturally gluten free, and it makes 10 servings, making it ideal for a dinner party. Or, since it lasts about a week or so in the fridge, I won’t tell if you make it and eat the whole batch whenever you’re craving a little something sweet.

coconut flan ingredients

Coconut Flan Starts with Caramel

Making caramel is easier than you might think. It just requires patience and a watchful eye. I make what’s called a wet caramel-meaning that there is water along with sugar in the pan. I think it’s more fool proof and I’ve never had to start over because I’ve burned the caramel. And if you’ve ever watched The Great British Baking Show, you know that making caramel can stump even the best amateur cooks. Because the water has to cook off before the sugar can start to caramelize, wet caramels do take a bit longer. But I figure, what’s a couple minutes compared to having to start the whole process over again.

And before I start, I get a large bowl of cold water ready in the sink, so that when the caramel is the desired color, I can quickly stop the cooking process by dipping the bottom of the pan in the cool water. Once caramel gets to the right color, it can quickly start to burn from the accumulated heat in the pan.

Let me give you an obvious tip that will ease your anxiety: use white granulated sugar. As you can see in my photos, I only had natural sugar, which is why it already looks a little brown before I even started to cook. The light brown color can be difficult for cooks who don’t often make caramel since the white sugar turning a deep amber color is the sign that your caramel is ready. The taste is the same, but I suggest using regular granulated white sugar, especially if you’ve never made caramel before, so you can carefully watch it as starts to brown.

When it’s a nice golden brown, I take it off the and carefully stir it. It is still cooking at this point, and stirring it helps to make the caramelization uniform. When it’s the color I want, I quickly put it in the bowl of cold water.

Baking the Coconut Flan

I can never really decide which part is best-the caramel or the velvety coconut custard. Luckily, we don’t have to. Yes, 12 egg yolks are a lot. Save the whites and make a healthy egg white omelet. That’s called balance!

This flan is more similar in texture to the French creme caramel than Latin flan which is often very dense. It’s ultra creamy and just sweet enough. I would suggest making it the way the recipe is written, but if you want to cut some of the fat and calories, you can substitute coconut milk instead of cream or use whole milk instead of the half and half. I would not suggest using low fat milk or fat free condensed milk. It’s just not worth it.

Once the mixture is velvety smooth, it’s time to bake the coconut flan. I make a water bath to insure that they cook very gently and evenly.

Bake the flan for about 45-55 minutes, until just set. The center shouldn’t look wet, but it should jiggle slightly when tapped. I turn off the oven, keep the door open, and let them cool for 20 minutes in the oven.

The flan need to chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours. Which makes this so convenient for entertaining. Then all you have do on the day of is to plate them right before serving.

plating coconut flan

Prepare for oohs and ahhs when everyone sees your caramel gloriously bathe the coconut flan.

Honestly this is perfection just like this. But if you’re feeling fancy a sprig of fresh mint provides a nice pop of color, and a sprinkling of toasted coconut chips add a nice crunch.

coconut flan garnish

Give this crowd pleasing dessert a try and let me know what you think. Please take a second to rate and comment on the recipe below, and show off your coconut flan by tagging us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

 

 

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recipe card coconut flan

Coconut Flan

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45-55 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minute
  • Yield: serves 10 1x
  • Category: sweets
  • Cuisine: vietnamese

Ingredients

Scale

Caramel Syrup:

  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup water

Flan:

  • 19 oz can coconut cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 14 oz can condensed milk
  • 12 eggs

Garnish:

  • Mint sprigs
  • Crunchy coconut strips

Instructions

  1. Set 10 (1 cup size) aluminum cups on a rimmed baking tray. 
  2. Set a bowl larger than the diameter of the pan you will be using in the sink and fill it with water.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and the water. Turn the heat to medium high and stir the sugar just until it melts. Let the sugar water boil. It will start to thicken and bubble more slowly as it reaches the candy stage. 
  4. Continue cooking until the sugar turns a light amber color. This whole process will take about 8-10 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and gently and carefully use a spoon and continue mixing as the sugar will continue to darken. 
  5. As soon as the caramel is the right color, stop the cooking process by dipping the pot into the bowl of cold water. (Do this in the sink as the water may hiss and spit.)
  6. Pour or spoon the caramel evenly into the containers. Set aside to cool.
  7. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and set the oven rack to the middle.
  8. In a large bowl separate the egg yolks, saving the whites for another purpose. Add the coconut cream, condensed milk, and half and half. 
  9. Whisk until the mixture is well combined. Pour the mixture through a mesh to eliminate any unmixed egg. 
  10. Pour the mixture into the aluminum tins.
  11. Put the tray into the oven and then carefully pour about 3 cups of water into the baking tray (the water should come up to near the edge of the tray, about ⅓ of the way up the aluminum tins).
  12. Bake for 45-55 mins until just set. If you tap the side of one, it should jiggle loosely but the center should not be wet. 
  13. Turn the oven off and open the oven door. Let cool for 20 minutes before moving the tray out of the oven. Transfer the aluminum tins to a dry tray. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  14. When you are ready to serve, run a pairing (or steak) knife along the edge of the flan. Gently flip the tin over onto a small plate and then pierce the middle of the tin. This will create an air pocket allowing the flan to plop onto the plate.
  15. Garnish with a little mint or some coconut chips as desired.

 


Notes

*This is a rich and creamy flan. You can substitute the half and half for whole milk or substitute coconut milk for the coconut cream if you prefer a lighter flavor.

*If you do not have aluminum tins, you can use any 8 oz (1 Cup) size oven safe bowls. Once the flans are baked and cooled, run a knife along the outer edge and push gently along the edge of the flan when turning it out to break the seal. If you’re having problems turning out the flan, just eat it out of the bowl itself. It’s perfectly fine and you save yourself from having to wash an additional dish!

Keywords: flan, coconut, dessert, sweets, holiday, party

Eggplant Salad

Eggplant Salad

Cà Tím Nuong is a lovely grilled Vietnamese eggplant salad. I don’t always want to fire up the grill just for a few veggies though. By now I think you know I really hate to get a grill going outside in South Florida; I find read more

Bânh Mì Sandwiches

Bânh Mì Sandwiches

Bánh Mì is one of the world’s great sandwiches. They are a riot of colors, textures, and flavors. They are also a wonderful example of the culinary magic that can happen between food cultures. When the French colonized Vietnam in the 17th century, they brought read more

Vietnamese Beef Pho

Vietnamese Beef Pho

What the Pho?!

First things first. Let’s clear up the pronunciation. Pho is pronounced fuh, NOT foe. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Beef Pho is to Vietnam what pizza is to Italy, or what fish and chips are to England.  It can be hard to call something a national dish, but Vietnamese beef pho probably is the number one dish associated with Vietnamese cuisine.

There are many different types of Pho, including chicken and seafood, but beef is the most common. And the number of different beef cuts and options on menus at a Pho restaurant can be dizzying. Everything from raw beef, to tendon, to tripe is available. Without getting too crazy, my Vietnamese Beef Pho brings all that vibrant flavor straight to your table by selecting a couple of contrasting beef cuts, creating a great stock, and highlighting a couple key points.

Pho is a customizable soup, with endless garnishes offered for you to tweak your own bowl.  There’s hot sauce for the hotheads, bottles of fish sauce for the funkheads, and lots of other tasty little bits of herbs and goodies like shallots, limes, and sprouts that are passed around to add freshness, flavor and crunch. No two bowls will be alike and that’s all part of the fun.

Vietnamese Beef Pho

Pho Ingredients

 

No matter what type of broth or protein, no pho would be complete without the slippery, chewy deliciousness of pho noodles. Known as báhn pho, these rice noodles  are also sometimes called rice sticks. Look for the ones that are thicker than vermicelli, but thinner than the really wide rice noodles used for stir fries. It is best to use the fresh or frozen noodles for this dish, instead of dried noodles. I find the taste of fresh noodles so much better than dried in Pho.

 

Rice Noodles

Sweet Spices

Star anise is the dominant spice flavor in a true pho broth. Star anise gives it that characteristic sweet aroma. Toasting the star anise, cinnamon stick, and cloves will help to release and deepen their flavor. Since we want to toast them to bring out the flavor, it’s efficient to do it on the same pan as the aromatics. Toasting the spices will just take a couple minutes. Be careful though not to burn them though as that will add a bitterness we don’t want. As soon as you can smell them, they’re ready. 

charring pho ingredients

A Great Broth Takes Time

Pho is based on a rich bone broth, usually beef, although there are some regional variations. One of the more common requests we get at our restaurant in South Miami is for Pho. But once you see the process in making the broth, you will see while it is not difficult, it does require lengthy simmering to achieve a rich bone broth. It takes time and stove space to get flavor and richness out of those bones. Since we are in short supply of both, we keep Pho as an anticipated special rather than a regular menu item. 

Pho ingredients

Making the Broth

Typically, bones are combined with vegetables which are charred over an open fire, before simmering for hours. However, my recipe streamlines the process for you, without sacrificing one drop of authentic flavor. First, we’ll start out by using the broiler to get a nice, fast char on the onions and ginger. This will help mimic some of pho’s characteristic smokiness without the hassle of lighting a grill. And toasting the spices on the same tray also keeps washing dishes to a minimum.

Choose the Right Bones

Now it’s time for the beef bones. I always use neck bones. Ask your butcher for meaty bones- they have more flavor. You’ll do a quick boil to rid them of impurities (the initial scum that may rise from them). Then rinse them in fresh water, and simmer with the spices, onions, and other flavorings, giving a stir every 30 minutes or so, and skimming the surface to remove scum/oil. We continue to skim off any scum residue that rises so that the final broth is clean and clear.

Finally, you’ll add the braising meat in the last two hours, simmering until it becomes fork tender. I have brisket in the recipe but you could use chuck as well. Then you are going to strain the broth into a container, and slice the meat. Although we like a clear broth, a little bit of fat is nice as it gives the broth some body and richness. 

 

See those impurities in the first picture?  Remove them to keep your broth nice and clear.

 

Do It In Stages

The broth can be made ahead, and both the meat and broth refrigerated separately, until you are ready to make the noodles and serve. Sometimes on a weekend when I have more time, I’ll make the broth.  Then, on a Tuesday night, I can surprise everyone with pho, because once the broth is done, the rest comes together quickly, since it’s mostly just a matter of cooking your noodles, reheating the broth, and prepping your garnishes.

The Garnishes

You should put together a garnish plate before you start on the noodles. The garnish plate is where everyone gets creative, using it to customize their own bowls. Mound the fresh herbs, crisp bean sprouts, slices of jalapeño, and wedges of lime attractively on a plate and set it in the middle of the table where friends can help themselves. Also common and appreciated are little sauce dishes where you can squeeze hoisin sauce and sriracha to flavor the meat. Once you have placed all of these items on the table, it’s time to get your bowls of Pho out to your hungry family.

pho garnishes

Ready To Serve

Start by prepping your noodles and topping with the meat. Above all, it’s important to bring the broth back to a rolling boil before you pour it over your noodles. You need it at a scorching temperature in order to not only finish softening the noodles but also keep the dish hot since you have raw meat and cold garnishes.

And then it’s time to gather everyone around the table!  Let them add spicy funk, squirts of citrus, herbal goodness, and raw veggie crunch to their heart’s content.

Pho is such a fun and delicious meal, I know your family is going to love it.  If you make our Vietnamese Beef Pho, we want to know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag us in your photos, @funkyasiankitchen. Show us the goods!

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Beef Pho

Vietnamese Beef Pho

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4.5 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese

Description

Classic Vietnamese Beef Pho, with a rich and savory broth, and of course delicious noodles.


Ingredients

Scale

For the broth:

  • 5 pounds beef neck bones (you need meaty bones, do not use bones that have no meat or your soup will be watery and flavorless)
  • 1 pound brisket or chuck roast
  • 3 2-inch pieces of ginger, washed and slightly smashed with the side of a knife
  • 2 large yellow onions washed and halved
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 3 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves 
  • 1 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

For Serving:

  • 2 lb frozen/fresh pho noodles defrosted
  • 1 pound of shaved top round, sirloin, or rib eye
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 shallots or ¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced 

Garnishes:

  • ½ lb fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch of thai/holy basil
  • 1 small bunch cilantro or culantro leaves
  • jalapeno or Serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes quartered

Condiments: 

  • Hoisin sauce
  • sriracha chile sauce
  • fish sauce 

Instructions

Make the broth:

  1. Turn the broiler on high and move the oven rack to the top. Put the onions (cut side up) and ginger on a baking tray and broil for 10-12 mins. Don’t be scared. Make sure they are well browned/blackened. 
  2. Flip the onions and ginger and broil for another 6-8 mins.  In the last couple of minutes, add the star anise, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to the pan to toast. Place the spices, the onions, and ginger in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large stockpot, place the bones in 6 quarts of water and bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Let the bones boil for 5 mins to rid the bones of impurities. Drain the bones in a large colander and rinse with water to wash off any lingering bone fragments. 
  4. Rinse out the pot and then place the bones back in the stockpot along with the onion and ginger. Fill with 8 quarts of filtered water (using filtered water is recommended any time you make a soup).
  5. Bring the broth to a simmer over high heat then lower heat to medium, cover partially with a lid, and simmer for 4-5 hours, skimming the surface of impurities a couple of times for the first hour. 
  6. Fish out the ginger and onion from the pot. Then add the spices, brisket, fish sauce, sugar, and salt and simmer for about an hour and a half until the meat is fork tender.

Strain the Broth:

  1. Pour the soup through a colander into a clean container and skim the surface fat if there is a lot. A little bit of fat remaining on the surface is fine and will give the soup body and richness.
  2. If you are making the pho in stages, which is a great idea, chilling the stock in the fridge overnight will simplify de-fatting as the fat will congeal at the top and make removing it very easy.
  3. You should have about 6 quarts of broth. Add a little water if you’re short or reduce the liquid for a couple mins over high heat if you have a lot more. Taste the broth. It should be more salty than you would normally drink since the noodles and vegetables will dilute the broth. Adjust with some salt if needed.
  4. Slice the brisket into thin slices against the grain. If your meat is too soft to slice, chill it along with the stock and cut it when it is cold, which will be much easier. Put all of the meat into a storage container and refrigerate if not using right away.

For the Noodles and Garnishes:

  1. If you need to make your own shaved beef, put the top round or sirloin into the freezer for about 1 hour until slightly frozen. Using a sharp knife, slice the meat as thinly as possible across the grain. When all the meat is sliced, gather it onto a plate and refrigerate until ready to make the noodles.
  2. Wash the bean sprouts, cilantro, and basil and mound onto a large platter. Add the cut limes to the plate and refrigerate until ready to serve the noodles.
  3. Bring the stock to a simmer before preparing the noodles. If you need to reheat the brisket, take a little of the stock and put it into a separate pan with the brisket. Put a lid over the pan and let the meat reheat gently over medium heat.
  4. Put the noodles into a large bowl. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil and pour the water over the noodles. Use tongs or chopsticks to stir the noodles for 1 minute and then drain the noodles into a colander and rinse with cool water. Do not let the noodles sit in the hot water for longer than 1 minute-you want your noodles springy and chewy, not mushy.  

To Serve:

  1. Divide the noodles into 8 deep soup bowls and top with the hot brisket slices, the cold raw meat, some sliced onion, and a sprinkling of scallions. (I also used some of the braised meat off of the neck bones in the photos).
  2. Bring your broth to a rolling boil. Then ladle 2-3 cups of the broth over the noodles, trying to avoid the raw meat so it doesn’t discolor from the heat. But if you prefer your meat cooked well, go ahead and pour the hot broth over the raw meat. Serve immediately. Guests can add their favorite garnishes and adjust the flavor of the pho with the condiments at the table. 

Notes

I hate to throw away the bones with all of that meat and would encourage you to remove the meat from the bones and save it for another use. You can use the meat in the pho itself, in stir-fries, as a filling for tacos or hot sandwiches, or even in other soups. Here is a link for a quick recipe using the leftover meat.

Keywords: pho, soup, vietnamese, beef, noodles