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November 24, 2013

Anantara Spice Spoons Vietnamese Cuisine Experience

Rolling your own down Mui Ne way

words: Anantara

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on Anantara Spice Spoons
Steeped in history, Vietnamese cuisine is considered one of the most flavoursome and healthy in the whole of Asia. The style of cooking, which has evolved over many centuries, is an enticing blend of Chinese and Asian spices, flavours and techniques influenced by the ingredients and traditions of classic French cuisine. The result is a mouth-watering wealth of unique dishes that few countries can compare with.

Vietnamese cuisine features a combination of five fundamental taste elements in the overall meal: Sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty. Each dish has a distinctive flavour that reflects one or more of these taste elements. Common ingredients include soy sauce, shrimp paste, fish sauce, fresh herbs, rice and fruit and many traditional recipes use ginger, mint, lemongrass, coriander, Vietnamese basil, lime, cinnamon and chilli.

The cuisine of this long and thin country that stretches from Hanoi and the mountains of the north to Ho Chi Minh and the fertile river delta of the south can be roughly divided into three regions. The food of the north, through stir fries and noodle-based soups, shows the heavy influence of Chinese cooking. The mountainous middle region has an abundance of fresh produce enlivened with spicy ingredients, while the tropical south sustains rice paddies, coconut groves and yet more spices.

As in most of Southeast Asia today, there is an historic underlying of Indian cultural presence, most obviously evidenced in the culture of the Cham People and religion of Buddhism. French colonisation of Vietnam, which began in the 16th century and ended in the middle of the 20th century, also had a strong influence on Vietnamese cooking. The cuisine balances all these influences.

Fresh Spring Rolls - Gỏi cuốn
 
When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, you just have to roll with it. Fresh spring rolls may have started their journey in Vietnam but their popularity has spread globally, filling the world's finger bowls at cocktail parties from New York to Vladivostok. And any wonder! Fresh spring rolls are tightly packed morsels of crunchy delight: Bacon and prawn diced and sliced with crushed peanuts in a bed of herbs wrapped in rice paper and deep fried till golden brown.

Topping it all off comes the sweet peanut source infused with garlic and chilli and brought to life with a splash of lime juice. The beauty of fresh spring rolls is that you can enjoy them standing up, sitting down or rolling around on the floor in fits of ecstasy. They really are that good!




Recipe


30g Pork belly
80g Prawns (shell-on)
500ml Vegetable stock
100g Rice noodles (cooked)
Anantara Mui Ne Sous Chef Hoa
shows us how it's done (R Eime)
1 Egg
20g Peanuts
4g Fresh ginger
4g Lemongrass Shallots
5g Asian basil
5g Mint
5g Coriander
20g Bean sprouts
2g Chives
10ml Fish sauce
5g Rice paper

Dipping Sauce

4g Garlic
10g Fresh chilli
10g Peanut
10g Soya bean paste
10g Soy sauce
10g Sugar
10g Water
1 Lime
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