Sichuan Stir-Fry Sauce (For Chicken or Beef)

Sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons aged Pixian chili bean paste (doubanjiang)
3 tablespoons canola (or other neutral) oil
2 teaspoons Sichuan chili flakes (toasted and ground chilies)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground red Sichuan pepper
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese light soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For Chicken
1 pound dark-meat chicken, cut in small, ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/4 pound mildly hot green chili peppers (Chinese or Korean long hot peppers or Anaheim), cut on the diagonal in 1-inch pieces
2 fat cloves of garlic, sliced

For Beef
3/4 pound steak (top sirloin, flank steak, etc.), cut in thin, slices
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 small white onion, cut in ½-inch slices
1 red or green bell pepper, cut in thin strips
2 fat cloves of garlic, sliced
cilantro

In a small bowl, mix the sauce: doubanjiang, oil, chili flakes, ground Sichuan pepper, dark brown sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil.

In a separate bowl, marinate the chicken or beef in Shaoxing wine.

Heat wok until very very hot, add a couple tablespoons of oil and swirl around the wok. Once heated, pour that oil out and add 2 tablespoons fresh oil. This procedure helps keep the chicken from sticking to the wok, which it really wants to do.

Add chicken or beef and let sear, undisturbed, on one side. When lightly browned, continue stir-frying until just cooked through. Remove and reserve.

Clean wok, return to heat, and add 2 tablespoons oil. Add vegetables and stir-fry over high heat until they start to brown but are still crispish.

Add garlic slices and cook briefly, then lower heat, push the veg to the sides of the wok and add the stir-fry sauce into the center. Cook it briefly, then add back the chicken, or the beef and cilantro, and mix all ingredients well.

Vietnamese Satay Sauce

25 g garlic (3 large cloves), coarsely chopped
30 g shallots (1 large shallot), coarsely chopped
80 g lemon grass (4 medium stalks), coarsely chopped
About 1 cup peanut oil
8 g fresh Thai bird chilis, minced
30 g crushed red thai chilis, the dry red ones about 3-4″ long
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp. MSG (optional)
3 to 4 Tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce (optional, use for brighter color and extra heat)

Food process the garlic, shallots and lemon grass separately. (An electric mini-chopper works very well for this task.) Get the garlicand shallots to a fine mince, and the lemon grass well processed, but not to powder.

Put 14 tablespoons (that’s 1 cup less 2 tablespoons) oil in a small saucepan and add garlic. Heat over medium low and after the mixture starts bubbling and making sizzling sounds, lower the heat to the low. Let fry on low, low heat for 5
minutes.

Add the shallot and keep frying on low heat for 10 minutes more. It should gently sizzle without browning.

Add the lemongrass and let fry on low for another 10-15 minutes, until the lemongrass is fragrant, toasty, and has sunken into the oil.

Add the minced fresh chiles and fry for 5 minutes to release their oil and turn the mixture pale orange.

Add the crushed red pepper and fry for 5-10 minutes, until there’s a nutty, spicy smelling heat.

Stir in the Sriracha to achieve the desired color — orange red. About 3 to 4 tablespoons should do it. Then stir in the fish sauce, sugar, salt, and MSG. Adjust the heat to lightly bubble and let cook 1 or 2 minutes longer.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust with a little more sugar to tame the heat, fish sauce or salt for savoriness, or a bit more Sriracha for extra heat. If you add sugar, warm up the mixture and stir it to dissolve the sugar. There should be a layer of oil floating on top to cover. If not, add more oil as needed to barely
cover the top.

For a smoother texture, use a stick blender or food processor to grind the mixture finely. Allow to cool completely before transferring to a jar. Store at room temperature for daily use or in the refrigerator for infrequent use and longer keeping

Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce (Tuong Ot Toi – Raw Version)

6 ounces hot chiles (e.g., cayenne, Fresnos, habanero, jalapeno, long, serrano, Thai, or a combination of them), stemmed and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Put all the ingredients in an electric mini chopper or food processor. Process to a coarse texture. Take a whiff and it should make you sweat a bit. Taste and adjust the flavor with add extra salt or sugar. Transfer to a small jar and refrigerate. Let stand at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to blend. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Note: if your concoction is too hot, add some bell pepper to tone it down. You can also mitigate the heat with sugar, salt and/or vinegar.

Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce (Tuong Ot Toi – Cooked Version)

6 ounces hot chiles (e.g., cayenne, Fresnos, habanero, jalapeno, long, serrano, Thai, or a combination of them), stemmed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Put all the ingredients in an electric mini-chopper or food processor. Process to a coarse texture. Take a whiff and it should make you sweat a bit. Taste and adjust the flavor with add extra salt or sugar.

Transfer to a small saucepan, bring to a vigorous simmer over medium heat, lower the heat to gently simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it no longer smells raw. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. Makes a scant 2/3 cup.

Singapore Chili Sauce

2 or 3 large red chiles, such as Fresno, cayenne, or long chile, coarsely chopped
2 or 3 hot Thai chiles, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon hot chicken poaching broth

Put all of the ingredients into a small electric mini chopper and process to a semi-coarse sauce. Transfer to a dipping sauce dish.

Nuoc Cham

3 tablespoons lime juice (1 fat, thin skin lime)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

Optional additions

1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 or 2 Thai chilis, thinly sliced or 1 teaspoon homemade chili garlic sauce or store bought (tuong ot toi)

Make limeade. Combine the lime juice, sugar and water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Taste and as yourself this question: Does this limeade taste good? Adjust the flavors to balance out the sweet and sour.

Finish with fish sauce. Add the fish sauce and any of the optional ingredients. Taste again and adjust the flavors to your liking, balancing out the sour, sweet, salty and spicy. Aim for a bold, forward finish — perhaps a little stronger than what you’d normally like. This sauce is likely to be used to add final flavor to foods wrapped in lettuce or herbs, which are not salted and therefore need a little lift to heighten the overall eating experience. My mother looks for color to gauge her dipping sauce. When it’s a light honey or amber, she knows she’s close.
Notes

Advance Preparation – This sauce may be prepared early in the day and left to sit at room temperature.

Variation – Use half lime juice and half Japanese rice vinegar for a less assertive sauce. Some delicately flavored dishes require this.

courses sauce

Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Gung)

Chubby 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 or 3 limes)
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons fish sauce

In a small bowl, combine the ginger, lime juice, and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste and adjust the flavors with more lime sugar or sugar as needed. The ginger and lime should both be prominent, but not to the point that they make you wince and pucker. Add the fish sauce, starting out with 2 tablespoons and adding more as your palate
dictates. Set aside for 30 minutes to let the ginger bloom before serving.

Vietnamese Corn and Coconut Soup (Che Bap)

Coconut sauce:
1 cup coconut milk
2 pinches of salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water

3 cups water
1/4 cup sweet rice, rinsed and drained, or small tapioca pearls (about 1/8 inch in diameter)
3 ears of corn, or 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen sweet corn
1/3 cup coconut milk
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large or 5 medium pandan leaves, rinsed and tied into a knot, optional (see the photo below)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the coconut sauce, combine the coconut milk, salt, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a near-simmer, lowering the heat if the coconut milk spits or pops. Give the cornstarch mixture a good stir and add it to the sauce, mixing well. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, or until the sauce thickens; then remove from the heat.

Let the sauce cool, uncovered, to concentrate the flavors before serving. It will keep in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Before using, reheat gently over low heat.

For the corn soup, put the water in a saucepan and it to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, stirring to prevent them from sticking together. Boil, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the rice is nearly cooked. If using the tapioca pearls, it will take 12 to 14 minutes for them to turn halfway clear; look for a tiny white dot in the center of each pearl. The water will seem slightly thick and viscous.

Meanwhile, if you are using, cut the kernels off the cob. If you are using frozen corn, thaw it for about 20 minutes. You should have 3 generous cups. Regardless of the corn used, use a processor to render it into a coarse texture.

When the rice (or tapioca pearl) is ready, add the coconut milk, sugar, salt, and pandan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture comes to a near boil, add the corn. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the corn is cooked and the flavors are blended. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow the soup to cool for about 15 minutes. The resulting sweet soup will be thickish, like Italian risotto. Taste and adjust with more sugar and salt, if necessary. (The soup may be prepared up to 2 days in advance, tightly covered, and refrigerated. Warm over low heat, adding a splash of water to thin and prevent scorching, before serving.)

To serve, ladle the soup into small bowls and top with the coconut sauce

Thai Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)

3 1/2 pounds chicken leg-and-thigh quarters

Marinade
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems
1/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons light palm sugar or light brown sugar
5 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 to 3/4 cup Thai Sweet Chile Sauce

Trim excess fat and skin from the chicken. Put into a baking dish or bowl. Set aside.

Use a mini food processor to grind the cilantro stems, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar to a coarse texture. Add the fish sauce and pulse to emulsify. Taste and season with salt, pepper, or sugar to create a marinade with a slightly intense savory-sweet bite.

Pour the marinade over the chicken. Use your hands to massage it into the chicken, making sure you get some between the skin and flesh too. Cover and set aside for 1 hour. Or, refrigerate for several hours, letting the chicken sit out for 45 minutes before grilling.

Preheat a gas grill to medium or prepare a charcoal fire to medium heat. Grill the chicken for 25 to 35 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Transfer to a platter. Brush on the sweet chile sauce or serve it on the side for guests to help themselves.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems and roots
2 cups water
3 to 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
4 ounces Fresno chiles, mostly seeded and coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
About 2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 1/3 cups sugar

Put the cilantro stems and water into a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover. Let steep for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, use an electric mini chopper to grind the garlic, chiles, and salt to a coarse texture. Set aside.

Strain the cilantro liquid through a mesh strainer. Measure the liquid. You should have about 1 3/4 cups. Transfer to a saucepan. Add the same quantity of vinegar as you had of the cilantro liquid. Add the sugar and chiles and garlic mixture. Stir.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to simmer. Let simmer until the volume has reduced by half. (How much time this takes depends on the size of your saucepan. Use a shallow, wide pan to hasten the process.) The resulting sauce should be slightly thick.

Remove from the heat and set aside, uncovered, to cool completely. Expect the sauce to thicken further and concentrate in flavor.

Thai Turmeric Grilled Chicken (Kai Yang Khamin)

1 teaspoon white peppercorns or ground white pepper
1 teaspoon coriander seeds or ground coriander
1 packed tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
5 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro stems
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds (600 to 675g) boneless chicken thighs (with or without skin)
1 lime, quartered (optional)

Grind the peppercorns and coriander seeds in a small food processor to a coarse texture. Add the sugar to grind it a little finer. Visible bits remaining are okay. Add the turmeric, garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Process into a relatively smooth marinade.

Transfer to a bowl. Add the chicken and use your fingers to rub the marinade into the chicken, getting some under the skin if you kept it on the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before heating, remove the chicken from the fridge and let sit at room temperature to remove the chill.
Heat a gas grill to medium-high or light a charcoal fire, leaving one side free of coals. The grill is ready when you can hold your hand 6 inches (15 cm) over the grill for 4 to 5 seconds.

Cook the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through. Check for doneness by nicking with the tip of a knife. Transfer to a plate and serve with lime wedges.

Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Pork (Thit Heo Nuong Xa)

You can use this marinade with small pieces of pork and thread them on skewers and dip them in some nuoc cham dipping sauce. If there’s no lemongrass, use about 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder instead. Slicing the pork at the end is a traditional Vietnamese approach to eating meat as the pieces are easier to pick up with chopsticks. Enjoy with rice, a stir-fried or grilled vegetable and a quick soup (canh). Feel free to stuff leftovers into banh mi sandwiches and use them for bun rice noodle salad bowls.

Ingredients

1 pound boneless pork shoulder steak, about 1/2 inch thick

Marinade

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons granulated or light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped shallot or yellow onion
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped (3 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon dark (black) soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oil

Cut the pork shoulder steak into pieces about 3 to 4 inches big. Set aside.

Put the sugar, garlic, shallot and lemongrass into an electric mini chopper and process to a fine texture. (Or, mince the garlic, shallot, and lemongrass individually, put them into a bowl, and add the sugar.) Add the pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce, and oil and process to combine well. Aim for a relatively smooth texture. The marinade will be chocolate brown. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the pork, and turn to coat well. Cover and set aside at room temperature to marinate for 1 hour. Or, refrigerate up to 24 hours, letting the meat sit out at room temperature for 45 minutes to remove some of the chill before grilling.

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through. Nick with a knife to test. Transfer to a plate, loosely cover with foil or an inverted bowl for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Thai Watermelon Salad

3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons packed light palm sugar or brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lime juice
2 Thai or Serrano chiles, minced with seeds intact for fun
1 tablespoon finely chopped kaffir lime leaf (remove the midrib)
1/3 cup (90 ml) dried shrimp, briefly rinsed to soften and finely chopped
1/2 cup (120ml) roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
A volleyball-size seedless watermelo

For the dressing, combine the garlic, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lime leaf, dried shrimp, and peanuts. Set aside for 15 minutes, then revisit the dressing for a taste test. Add extra lime juice, sugar, or fish sauce as needed to balance the flavors. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 3 days; return to room temperature before using.

Cut the watermelon into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Pile them into individual bowls, on a dramatic platter or in a shallow bowl. Top with the dressing and serve.

Vietnamese Chile Sauce (Tuong Ot)

1 large clove garlic
1 medium (3 to 4 ounc) Roma tomato
6 ounces Fresno or other kinds of moderately-hot chiles
Brimming 1?2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar, preferably organic
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1?2 cup water, plus more as needed

Coarsely chop the garlic and tomato. Transfer to a 11?2-quart (1.5 l) saucepan, including the tomato juices and seeds.

Stem and quarter the chiles lengthwise. Because you want a moderate amount of heat, seed half of the chile pieces, reserving those unwanted parts in case the chiles are wimpy.
With the skin side facing up, coarsely cut all of the chiles crosswise into pieces the size of your thumbnail. Use one of the leftover stem pieces and your knife to usher them into the pan.

Add the salt, sugar, vinegar, and water. Bring to a brisk simmer over medium heat. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the chiles have softened. Taste midway. If it’s too mild, add some of the reserved chile seeds and spongy placenta to the pan.

When done, slide to a cool burner, let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, then puree in a blender. Expect skin bits and seeds to remain.
Pass through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on the mixture with a spatula; discard the solids.

Allow to cool and concentrate, uncovered, for about 1 hour before tasting and tweaking.

If needed, add salt by the pinch, sugar by the 1?4 teaspoon, vinegar by the 1?2 teaspoon, or water by the tablespoon.

Notes:
Texturally, the sauce should resemble a pourable sriracha. The flavor should be pleasantly sweet and spicy. You will want to eat the chile sauce by the spoonful but know that you should not.

Organic cane sugar perfectly balances and brightens the chile heat without being cloying. As an experiment, substitute 1/2 ounce yellow Chinese rock sugar, which you may already have for preparing pho broth. If the chile sauce has too many rough edges, round them out with a touch of maple syrup. If refined sugar isn’t for you, substitute 2 tablespoons of maple syrup for the sugar below.

When Fresno chiles aren’t available, or if they’re just not very hot, try red or green jalapeño. Consider combining different kinds of chiles, too.

Keep refrigerated for up to 3 months. Enjoy at room temperature.

Golden Egg Fried Rice

1 large or jumbo egg
1 scant tablespoon chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon MSG
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
Brimming 2 cups cooked long grain rice, at room temperature
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon neutral oil or bacon dripping

In a bowl and with a fork, beat together the egg, green onion, MSG, salt, and sherry. Add the rice and stir vigorously to combine well.

Heat a medium (10-inch) well-seasoned carbon steel or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil (or bacon dripping). When shimmering, dump in the rice. Stir and fold constantly for 3 to 4 minutes to cook evenly and separate the grains. The rice will be sticky and clump together at first but eventually separate.

When the grains have separated and pale yellow, you’re done! Serve on a plate to share or in individual bowls.
Notes

Peking Meat Sauce Noodles (Zha Jiang Mian)

9 ounces dried spaghetti
5 to 6 ounces baby spinach leaves and/or radish greens
1 large handful bean sprouts
5 or 6 red radishes, thinly sliced then cut into matchsticks (1 cup total)
2 Persian cucumbers or 1/2 English or Armenian cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks
6 ounces (3/4 cup) ground pork or chicken thigh
Scant 1 teaspoon dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
3 tablespoons light (white) miso
3 tablespoons red (aka) miso
1 1/2 teaspoons hoisin (optional)
1 tablespoon regular or gluten-free soy sauce
Scant 1/4 teaspoon MSG
2 teaspoons canola or other neutral oil
1/3 cup lightly packed finely chopped green onion, white and green parts
Generous 1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
Chile oil, chile garlic sauce, sambal oelek, sriracha

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water until chewy-tender. Drain, rinse, and set aside to drain well.

Put the spinach and bean sprouts in two separate bowls. Add very hot water (use a kettle to heat the water) to just cover. Let sit for 1 to 3 minutes (longer for the sprouts), until softened. Drain separately and set aside with the radishes and cucumber.

Mix the ground meat with the sherry. Combine the two kinds of miso, hoisin, soy sauce, and MSG (or other seasoning powder). Keep near the stove.

Set a deep skillet or shallow saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil. When shimmering, add the seasoned pork. Stir vigorously with a fork to break up the meat into small pieces. When well broken up, add the green onion, stirring constantly. Cook for 45 to 60 seconds longer before adding the miso mixture.

Once the miso and meat are well combined, add the water. Adjust the heat to low. Let gently cook for 2 minutes (expect no bubbling action) to combine and slightly darken. Turn off the heat, then stir in the garlic. Cool a few minutes, taste and if needed, add a tiny splash of water to thin out. Set aside. Use warm or slightly above room temperature.

To serve, you may set out the noodles, meat sauce, bean sprouts, cucumber, spinach, and radish for people to compose their own bowls. Or, divide the components up among four (4) individual pasta or noodle bowls and let people mix things up themselves. Alternatively, make one giant bowl and toss at the table and serve. Offer chile oil or sauce for people to add heat. Spoon and fork are my utensils of choice.

Vietnames Pomelo Salad (Goi Buoi Tom Thit)

1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (240 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces (120 g) boneless skinless chicken breast or boneless pork chop
1 medium pomelo, or 1/2 large pomelo
1 carrot, peeled and cut into fine shreds
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, leafy tops only
1/4 cup chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons Crispy Caramelized Shallot (hanh phi, optional)

Dressing

2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped and mashed, or put through a press
1 red Thai chile or 1/2 Fresno chile, chopped

Put the salt in a small saucepan and fill 2/3 with water. Bring to a boil and then add the shrimp. As soon as they’ve curled up, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.

Return the water to a boil and add the chicken or pork chop. When bubbles form at the rim, turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes to cook the flesh. Remove and set aside to cool. (If you’re using the Vietnamese sausage, skip this step because it’s already cooked.)

Cut the shrimp in the diagonal into large pieces that will blend well with the pomelo and other ingredients. Hand shred the chicken or cut the pork into julienne. Set aside.

If the pomelo is big, halve it lengthwise and save one half for another day. Cut off the ends of the pomelo, then cut off the skin and pith to reveal the pinkish flesh underneath. Pry the pomelo open and split into two parts. Use your fingers and as needed, a knife and scissors, to peel away the flesh from the skin. Work segment by segment, and separate the flesh into bite-size pieces. Deposit the flesh in a bowl as you work.

5. For the dressing, combine fish sauce, lime juice, water, sugar, garlic and chile in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

6. Right before serving, add the shrimp, chicken (or pork), carrot, mint, cilantro, peanuts and fried shallot to the pomelo. Toss with your fingers or tongs to combine well. Add the dressing and toss. Taste and adjust the flavors, as needed. Transfer to a plate or shallow bowl, leaving any liquid behind and serve.

Vietnamese Grapefruit Salad (Goi Buoi)

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium oroblanco grapefruit
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 to 1 teaspoon chile garlic sauce, homemade or storebought
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely grated carrot (use the largest hole on a box grater)
1/2 to 3/4 cup thinly sliced red and/or green cabbage
1/3 cup chopped or hand-torn mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons purchased fried onions or homemade Crispy Caramelized Shallot (hanh phi, optional)

Put the salt in a small saucepan and fill 2/3 with water. Bring to a boil and then add the shrimp. As soon as they’ve curled up, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
Cut the shrimp in the diagonal into large pieces that will blend well with the grapefruit and other ingredients. Set aside.

Peel the oroblanco, separate in half. Working on one segment at a time, use a paring knife to help you remove the skin to reveal the supreme. When done with the entire grapefruit, separate each supreme into its vesicles (they’ll come apart as singles or small clusters). Let your fingertips do the separation and allow the vesicles drop into a bowl as you work. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours, if not using right away.

For the dressing, combine fish sauce, lime juice, water, sugar, garlic and chile in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Right before serving, add the shrimp, carrot, cabbage, mint, peanuts and fried onions (or shallot) to the grapefruit. Gently toss with your fingers. Add the dressing and gently combine. Taste and adjust the flavors, as needed. Transfer to a plate or shallow bowl, leaving any liquid behind and serve.