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Friday, June 09, 2006

Index of Peek in My Kitchen

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I firmly believe that in order to encourage people to try new foods, one has to demystify it so that nothing seems terribly "exotic," and thus, inaccessible. Many of the foods that I know and love may be new to you. Many of the techniques I learned by helping my grandmother and mother in the kitchen.

Tallinn - Estonia 13
On the Right: Kiek in de Kok (Peek in the Kitchen) Tower, Tallinn - Estonia.

I toyed with calling this "kitchen essentials," but really, there are so many ways to cook and ingredients to use. Instead, this is a "peek into my kitchen." This is simply how I do things and what I like to keep on hand. Here, you'll find my preferred brands of nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce), Chinese thick black sauces, and banh trang (Vietnamese rice paper). Essential kitchen skills such as how to make Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth). Techniques on how to Chop and Prepare Sugarcane. Directions on how to Season a Wok. How to identify various Vietnamese foods such as herbs, noodles, or desserts. Or just general information about the various ingredients, packaged or prepared, that I keep in my kitchen.

This category is broken down into guides, how tos, ingredients, and tools. When relevant, I've listed my preferred brands. They are not an endorsement, merely what I like. My preferred brands are often chosen based upon what my grandmother or mother had in their kitchens, or based upon availability, price, and relative value.

This page is a constant work-in-progress for me. I'll update it when necessary. You'll find a link to this page at the top of the navigation bar or see all posts by clicking the label "Peek in My Kitchen."

In case you're interested, I prefer to do most of my Asian grocery shopping at the San Gabriel Superstore.

I hope this helps you explore and love Vietnamese food as much as I do.


Black Steel Pans
Chinese Claypot
Dao Che Rau Muong (Vietnamese Water Spinach Splitter)

Guide to...
(Coming soon, err, eventually some day!)
Banh/Bun/Hu Tieu/Mi/Mien
(Vietnamese Rice and Egg Noodles)
Banh Trang (Vietnamese Rice Paper)
Che (Vietnamese Pudding/Dessert Soup)
Rau (Vietnamese Herbs)

How to...

Bake Egg Rolls That Taste Almost As Good As Fried
Chop and Prepare Sugarcane
Cook Jasmine Rice
Cook Rice on the Stove Top
Devein Shrimp with a Toothpick
Dry Herbs
Dry Orange Peels
Dye Coconut Flakes
Eat a Jackfruit
Eat a Pomegranate
Eat Hot Vit Lon (Vietnamese Fetal Duck Eggs)
Flip a Chicken Using a Wooden Spoon
Fold a Chopsticks Rest
Fry Perfect Steak
Julienne Carrots and Other Vegetables
Make Bechamel Sauce
Make Bitter Melon Less Bitter
Make a Homemade Cake Stand
Make a Homemade Tiered Cupcake Stand
Make a Loofah Sponge
Make Nuoc Mau (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce)
Make a Scrambled Egg Omelet in a Wok
Make a Tile Trivet
Make and Flip Buckwheat Crepes
Make and Flip Pajeon (Korean Savory Pancake), Okonomiyaki (Japanese "As You Like" Grilled Pancake), and Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Potato Omelet)
Make Butter with a Hand-held Mixer
Make Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth)
Make Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Make Thai Green Curry Paste and Red Curry Paste
Make Turkey Stock
Make Your Own Sugar Body Scrub
Peel and Cut a Mango
Prepare Crab
Prepare Geoduck and Razor Clams
Prepare Sturgeon
Pronounce Pho
Roll Banh Trang (Vietnamese Rice Paper) Through Photos or Video
Roll an Egg Roll Through Photos or Video
Season a Wok
Season Black Steel Pans
Use a Vietnamese Coffee Filter


Bamboo Shoots
Banh Pho (Vietnamese Flat Thin Rice Noodles)
Bot Thinh/Kao Kua (Vietnamese/Thai Ground Roasted Rice Powder)
Ca Ri Ni An Do (Vietnamese Indian Madras Curry Powder)
Chao/Doufu Ru (Vietnamese/Chinese Fermented Bean Curd)
Chinese Black Bean, Hoisin, and Oyster Sauces and Indonesian Kecap Manis
Coconut Milk, Coconut Powder, and Coco Rico
Dashi Kombu (Japanese Kelp Broth)
Hanh Dam (Vietnamese Vinegared Onions)
Hanh Phi (Vietnamese Fried Shallots)
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Lap Xuong (Chinese Sausage)
Maggi Seasoning Sauce
Mam Nem (Vietnamese Fermented Anchovy Sauce)
Mam Ruoc (Vietnamese Fermented Shrimp Paste)
Mo Hanh (Vietnamese Scallion Oil)
Nam Meo (Tree/Wood Ear Fungus/Mushroom)
Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce)
Nuoc Mam Gung (Vietnamese Ginger Fish Sauce)
Pickled Turnips
Tuong Ot Toi (Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce)
Tuong Ot Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Chili Sauce)
Ultimate Stir-Fry Sauce
Xi Dau (Vietnamese Soy Sauces) (Coming soon!)
Xi Muoi (Vietnamese Preserved Plums)
Chinese XO Sauce (Quick Cheater's Version)


  1. This is way cool. I love to look in the pantries of really good cooks.

  2. Great idea! I'm sure you get a lot of emails from people about ingredients, techniques, etc, so now you can point them here :-) And I'm like Mary; I love looking into people's cupboards.

  3. thank you so much for this! i will refer to this over and over again!

  4. Excellent post and most useful, thank you!

  5. Mary,
    Thanks. I like peeking into other people's kitchens too.

    I do get a lot of emails and don't have time to respond to them nearly as fast as I wish I did!

    You're welcome!

    You're welcome!


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