Search this blog

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Five-Seasoning Fried Tofu (Đậu Hủ Chiên Ngũ Vị)

Source: Chân Thiện Mỹ


  • 4 rectangular pieces of tofu, cut in halves

  • 1 onion or leek, diced

  • 1 green pepper, chopped

  • 1 red pepper, chopped

  • 2 sprigs of spring onion, chopped (optional)

  • Ground black pepper

Five-seasoning salt:

  • 2-3 tablespoons mushroom seasoning powder

  • 1 tablespoon vegan sugar

  • A pinch of salt

  • 1 teaspoon five-seasoning powder

* Mix all of the above well.


  1. For each piece of tofu, make several cuts on the surface.

  2. Marinate with five-seasoning salt and a little bit of vegetable oil for at least a few hours.

  3. In a pan, turn on high heat. Sauté onion, then add green/red pepper and continue to sauté. When done, put on a plate.

  4. Using the same pan, add a little bit of vegetable oil to fry tofu until golden brown on both sides.

  5. Add the onion/pepper mixture to the fried tofu. Stir gently.

  6. Add some more seasoning salt, a pinch of vegan sugar and ground black pepper.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Steamed Beet Sweet Rice

Recipe by Moka

Total time: About 30 minutes.

This recipe is for those who wish to make Steamed Momordica (“Gấc”) Sweet Rice but cannot find the gấc fruit (momordica, red baby jackfruit).


  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 1 large beet (about the size of a small rice bowl) or 2 smaller ones
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegan sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (or coconut milk powder)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Rinse glutinous rice well. Drain in a colander. Set aside.
  2. Peel the beet. Cut into cubes. Put in a pot, add 1 1/2 cups of water. (If needed, more water can be added to cover the beet completely.) Cover with lid. When the liquid is boiling, cook for another 15 minutes, or until the beet is tender. Pour out to get about ¾ cup.
  3. Put the glutinous rice, beet water, salt and coconut milk in a nonstick pot. Mix gently, until the liquid is all absorbed. After that, mix the mixture with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Steam with water that is already boiling. Occasionally, open the lid and stir the rice evenly.
  4. When the glutinous rice is just about soft, add 1 tablespoon sugar. Steam another 10 minutes. You can add shredded coconut as desired. (Optional: You can also add a bit more vegetable oil so the rice looks more shiny and tastes richer.)
  5. You can cook mung bean and use it as filling. Put in a mold (see picture above).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mochi Vegan Ice Cream

  • Glutinous rice (can buy Japanese type, called mochi-mai or sweet rice).
  • Vegan ice cream, any flavor (can try green tea or green bean vegan ice cream).
  • Cooked glutinous rice flour for the shell.


  1. Steam the rice.
  2. Blend cooked rice (while it’s still hot) until smooth and very fine.
  3. Let the rice dough cool off, then roll into round-shape thin layers.
  4. Place vegan ice cream in the center of each round mochi dough. Use some dry flour so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. Fold it into a round ball.
  5. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving.


Steamed Momordica Sweet Rice (Xôi Gấc)

  • 1.5 kilograms glutinous rice (also called sweet rice, sticky rice)
  • ½ cup non-alcohol vegan white wine
  • 1 red gấc fruit (also called Momordica Cochinchinensis, momordica, or red baby jackfruit)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 100 grams vegan sugar


  1. Wash glutinous rice. Add ½ tube of orange natural food coloring to water. Soak glutinous rice in colored water overnight. The next day, rinse well. Drain off the water.
  2. Cut the gấc fruit and discard the seeds. Put the gấc flesh in a bowl. Add ½ cup non-alcohol vegan white rice. Mix thoroughly. Soak for about 30 minutes.
  3. Mix well glutinous rice, vegan sugar, gấc, and 1 teaspoon salt. Put in a steamer.
  4. Steam in high heat for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and mix the rice evenly. Add ½ cup coconut milk. Cover with lid and steam for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Put in a colander. Sprinkle ½ cup coconut milk. Mix well until the glutinous rice absorbs all the coconut milk. Steam the rice another 20 minutes. Mix one last time thoroughly so that the glutinous rice is evenly cooked. Steam for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Banana, Pineapple & Coconut Vegan Ice Cream

Courtesy of

  • 5 bananas (just about ripe; peel should be greenish still)
  • 50 grams roasted peanut
  • 150 grams shredded coconut
  • ½ pineapple, finely chopped
  • 20 grams rice flour
  • Salt
  • Vegan sugar


  1. Roast peanuts; crush lightly. Shred coconut. Save 1/3 for topping. Use the rest to mix with water to get ½ cup coconut milk, then mix with water again to get ½ cup of diluted coconut milk.
  2. Combine the 1 cup of coconut milk, 1/3 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Boil the mixture. Add some cool water to rice flour and stir well. Then slowly add to the boiling coconut milk mixture for thicker consistency. Make sure the flour is well cooked. Set the coconut milk aside to cool. Finely chop pineapple.


  1. Peel bananas. Put the bananas on the cutting board. With a cleaver (large knife) or something similar, press the bananas until flattened.
  2. Add roasted peanuts and coconut milk. Insert an ice cream stick into each banana. Top with shredded coconut and pineapple.
  3. Freeze the bananas. They should be great to enjoy after 3 hours.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Transparent Vietnamese Vegan Dumpling (Bánh Bột Lọc Thuần Chay)

(Source: Nội Trợ)

Method 1:

Filling: Marinate vegan shrimps with vegan fish sauce, salt, mushroom seasoning, onion, and garlic to taste. Sautée.

Dough: In a pot, mix tapioca flour with cool water and a pinch of mushroom seasoning. Stir on low heat until there’s no more liquid. Cover the dough with some dry flour. Divide into small balls, about the size of a cherry. Dip into dry flour (so the dough won’t stick). Roll the dough thinly. Place 1 vegan shrimp in the middle. Fold and seal the edges.

Now boil the dumplings. When the dumplings surface on top, take them out and put in a big bowl or container of cool water. When the dumplings look transparent, remove and put in a colander to drain off the water. Display on a plate. Put some spring onion oil mixture on top. The transparent dumplings are ready to be served!

Method 2:


  • 300 g rice flour
  • 300 g vegan shrimp
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 2 stacks of banana leaves
  • 1 lime or lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon mushroom seasoning
  • Vegetable oil


Dough: Mix well 1 cup flour, 2 cups water, mushroom seasoning, salt, and vegetable oil. Sift the flour mixture. Put in a pot of water and cook on high heat. Stir frequently until the flour is no longer a liquid; turn off the heat. Continue to stir for smoother and cooler dough.

Filling: Mince vegan shrimps. Add to the skillet 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and finely chopped onion. Add vegan shrimps to the skillet; stir well. Add seasoning for taste. Stir-fry until the mixture is dry. Turn off the heat.

How to fold the dumpling: Tear banana leaves off lengthwise, about 25 centimeters. Blanch briefly in boiling water. Wipe dry. Arrange 1 leaf vertically, then another leaf on top of it horizontally. Spread some vegetable oil on the leaves (for ease to remove them later). Drop 1 tablespoon of dough onto the leaf and spread it in rectangular shape. Put vegan shrimp filling in the middle, horizontally. Fold the 2 leaves together, and pinch of the edges. Use a roller to roll the dough thin and even.

Put them in the steamer. Steam for about 10-15 minutes.

Decoration: Remove the banana leaves and arrange onto a plate. Enjoy with vegan dipping sauce.

Vegan Phnom Penh Transparent Rice Noodle Soup

Recipe by Mrs. Apple


  • 1 pound vegan shrimp (about 2 kilograms)
  • 1 pound vegan crab (about 2 kilograms)
  • 1 bag of transparent rice noodle
  • 1 daikon radish
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 jicama
  • 1 Fuji apple
  • Vegan seasoning powder
  • 1 box of Phnom Penh rice noodle soup seasoning
  • Green onion, chopped garlic, fried small onion
  • A few stalks of Chinese celery, washed thoroughly and cut in chunks
  • Soy sauce, chili pepper, lime, bean sprouts
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Peel and slice daikon radish, carrots, and jicama. Cook the whole apple. Put everything in a pot. Add water until almost full and boil to get the sweet broth. Add Phnom Penh rice noodle soup seasoning. Add salt and mushroom seasoning for taste.

  2. Put the vegan shrimp and vegan crab into a bowl. Mix well with 2 teaspoons of vegan seasoning, a pinch of black pepper, 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped), and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

  3. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil into the skillet; wait until it’s well heated. Add the vegan shrimp and vegan crab. Stir fry for 5-10 minutes. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

  4. Boil the transparent rice noodle until soft. Pour into a colander, then rinse with cold water. Add 2 teaspoons of fried onions. Mix well.

  5. Put the rice noodle into a bowl. Add a few vegan shrimp and vegan crab pieces on top. Garnish with finely chopped onions and chunks of Chinese celery. Pour the broth on top. For a more aromatic feel, add more fried onion. Serve hot with bean sprouts, lime and chili pepper. Add soy sauce if dish is not salty enough. Enjoy with hoisin sauce and chili pepper sauce on a small plate (optional).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vegan Shrimp Sour Soup

Recipe by Mrs. Apple


  • 1 large can of vegan broth
  • 1 stalk celery, cut diagonally
  • 1 taro stem (bạc hà)
  • 2 tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons sour tamarind extract
  • 1/2 can pineapple chunks
  • Fried tofu, sliced in long strips
  • 10 faux shrimps
  • Rice paddy herb (ngò om), finely chopped
  • A few slices of green hot pepper for garnish
  • Vegan seasoning powder
  1. Boil the vegan broth. Add tomatoes, pineapple and tamarind extract.

  2. Stir fry tofu and faux shrimps briefly. Add some vegan seasoning, then add to the soup pot.

  3. Boil for about 5 minutes, then add celery. Boil another 2 minutes. Add taro stem and bean sprouts. Season for taste, then turn off the heat. Scoop the soup into a bowl. Add rice paddy herb and green pepper on top to garnish.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sauted Tofu

Courtesy of

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes


  • 1 box soft tofu (prefer purple Vitasoy brand)*, cut into 1-cm (½ inch) cubes
  • 2 stalks scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • A few cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon mushroom oyster sauce*
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce (can use Healthy Boy brand)*
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetarian Japanese teriyaki sauce (prefer Yoshida brand)*
  • ⅓ teaspoon mushroom seasoning*
  • Chili paste (optional)

* Available in Asian markets.


  1. Combine all the seasoning ingredients together into a bowl. Mix well. Put aside.
  2. Preheat the canola oil into a nonstick frying pan using medium heat and stir-fry the chopped scallion until fragrant.
  3. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and stir well. When the soy sauce mixture is boiling, gently add the soft tofu. Gently turn the tofu over by shaking the pan to make them tumble over.

Decoration: * Garnish with cilantro. This dish can be served with the hot rice and blanched vegetables such as water spinach, mustard greens, spinach, sweet potato leaves, etc.

Huế Rice Noodle Soup (Bún Huế)

Huế Rice Noodle Soup (Bún Huế)
by Mrs. Apple

  • 1 chayote squash
  • 1 jicama
  • 1 daikon radish
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • Vegan seasoning
  • 12 oz. of fresh coconut juice or 1 can of coconut soda
  • 2 teaspoons of Huế noodle soup mixed seasonings
  • 4 lemongrass stalks, cut in 2-inch pieces
  • Vegan fish sauce
  • Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) – vegan beef style
  • Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) – vegan pork style
  • Slices of pickled daikon (sweet and salty) – available at Asian markets
  • Vegan rock sugar
  • Cashew oil
  • Rice noodles (big and round)
  • Dried chili pepper
  • Vietnamese coriander (rau răm), bean sprouts, onion, purple cabbage, spring onion, garlic
  • 2 vegan hams (white) – optional
  1. Peel chayote squash, jicama, daikon radish, carrots and apple. Put all in a pot with the coconut juice. Then add water to fill up the pot. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of vegan seasoning. When water comes to a boil, continue in low heat. Scoop off the bubbles on the surface.
  2. The longer you boil in low heat, the sweeter the broth will be (from the roots and apple).
  3. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) slices (vegan beef and vegan pork): soak in water until soft. Then squeeze out the water.
  4. Put TVPs in a big bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of vegan fish sauce, 2 spring onions, finely chopped garlic, lemongrass, and a pinch of vegan sugar. Mix well and set aside for 1 hour. After that, add some vegetable oil into a pan. Add Huế noodle soup seasonings, dried chili pepper and cashew oil.
  5. Mix for 2 minutes. Then add the marinated TVP and stir fry for 5 minutes. When done, add everything into the soup pot. Boil for another hour. Season for taste.
  6. Add boiled rice noodle in a bowl. Microwave 1 minute.
  7. Arrange the TVPs and pickled radish on top of the rice noodle. Add 2-3 slices of vegan ham. Sprinkle sliced onion and Vietnamese coriander on top.
  8. Now add the broth. Eat with bean sprouts and shredded purple cabbage. Remember to squeeze on a few drops of lime or lemon.

Sun and Moon Patties

Courtesy of

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 25 minutes


  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil for frying
  • 12 oz. white vegetarian meat paste**, partially thawed
  • 1 Tablespoon Thai red curry powder*
  • 1 Tablespoon spring water
  • 8 snap beans, washed and cut into ½ cm short pieces
  • 4 stalks scallion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup kernel corn (canned or frozen), drained
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce (can use Healthy Boy brand)*
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch (or tapioca starch)*


  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes

* Available in Asian markets

** Available in Asian markets, the health food stores, or from


  1. Combine all the patty ingredients together. Mix well and season to taste. Add more cayenne powder to spice up the mixture.
  2. Preheat 2 Tablespoons olive oil into a nonstick frying pan using medium heat. Form the veggie ham paste mixture into small balls, then press down to shape the balls into round patties. Fry both sides until golden. Remove the patties and place on paper towel to absorb some of the oil.

Decoration: * Place the fried balls into a plate together with Romaine lettuce and tomato. This appetizer is delicious if served with cucumbers soaked in vinegar.

Stir-fried Eggplant & Tofu

Courtesy of

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes


  • 1 large eggplant, cut in bite-sized chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil (may use canola oil or olive oil)
  • 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried pepper
  • 3 blocks fresh tofu* (medium soft, cut into big strips), julienne cut
  • 8 stalks scallion (green part), thinly chopped

Sauce :
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce (can use Healthy Boy brand)*
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (or 1 cup spring water + ½ teaspoon mushroom seasoning**
  • 3 Tablespoons tapioca starch (or corn starch)*

  • 8 stalks scallion (white part), julienne cut
  • A few red chili peppers
* Available in Asian markets ** Available in Asian markets, the health food stores, or from


  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

  2. Preheat the peanut oil in a medium pan on high heat. Add in and stir-fry the sliced sweet onion for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the eggplant and stir well.

  3. Add the salt and continue to stir for about 10 more minutes.

  4. When the eggplant is almost cooked, add the minced garlic, the minced ginger, the black pepper, and the dried pepper. Stir-fry for few more minutes.

  5. Next, add tofu and the chopped scallion. Stir gently.

  6. Last, add the sauce mixture and lower the heat. When the sauce thickens, the dish is ready.

  7. Transfer the stir-fried eggplant into a plate.


* Sprinkle the scallion and red chili pepper on top.

Stir-fry Tofu & Wheat Gluten Sausage

Courtesy of

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes


  • 1 wheat gluten sausage**, cut into 6 long strips, then into 2-inch sections
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 block (½ kg or 1 pound) tofu*, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 3 or 4 scallion stalks (may replace with leek) with the green part cut into 5-cm (2-inch) long pieces and the white part finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch* + 2 teaspoons spring water, mixed together well


  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce (can use Healthy Boy brand)*
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon mushroom seasoning**
  • Pinch of black pepper and cilantro

* Available in Asian markets ** Available in Asian markets, the health food stores, or from


  1. Marinate the wheat gluten sausage with a pinch of sugar and soy sauce.
  2. Add the canola oil into a pan. When the oil is hot, add in the wheat gluten sausage and fry until golden. Transfer to a plate.
  3. With that same pan, stir-fry scallions and tofu together.
  4. Then add in the seasoning ingredients and wheat gluten sausage. Continue to stir.
  5. Add the tapioca starch mixture into the pan to thicken the seasoning mixture.

Decoration: * This dish can be served with hot rice, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Enlightened Tofu

Courtesy of

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes

  • 1 block tofu* (about ½ kg or 1 pound), cut into small chunks
  • 4 fresh oyster mushrooms (soaked first if you use dried mushroom)*, cut into small chunks
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ stick vegetarian tuna**
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch + 1 Tablespoon spring water, mixed and set aside
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 stalks scallion, cut into short pieces
  • 3 cups vegetable broth*
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce (can use Healthy Boy Brand)*
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon mushroom seasoning**
  • ½ teaspoon dried chili pepper
* Available in Asian markets ** Available in Asian markets, the health food stores, or from


  1. Mix all seasonings ingredients together in a bowl. Put aside.
  2. Preheat the olive oil into a non-stick frying pan and stir-fry the minced garlic, the minced ginger, and the vegetarian tuna until fragrant.
  3. Then add tofu chunks and the oyster mushrooms. Stir-fry for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the seasoning mixture, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the tapioca starch mixture and stir-fry until the sauce thickens. Sprinkle with the scallion and the sesame oil.

Eggplant Clay Pot Sensation

Courtesy of

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes


  • 1 large eggplant or Chinese eggplant*, washed and cut into 1-cm (½ inch) slices
  • 2 Tablespoons potato starch
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 sweet onion (or 1 leek), finely chopped
  • ¾ cup Coco Rico coconut soda*


  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce (can use Healthy Boy Brand)*
  • 2 Tablespoons mushroom sauce*
  • ½ teaspoon mushroom seasoning*
  • ¾ cup Coco Rico coconut soda*
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • A few thin slices of fresh chili peppers

* Available in Asian markets


  1. Coat each eggplant slice with the potato starch, and put aside.
  2. Preheat ½ cup canola oil into a non-stick skillet on medium heat. When the oil is hot, deep-fry each slice of eggplants until golden. Remove from the skillet and put onto a plate.
  3. Preheat 2 Tablespoons canola oil into a clay pot using medium heat. When the oil is hot, stir fry the chopped onion until golden and fragrant.
  4. Add in all the seasonings ingredients and bring to a boil. Then lower heat.
  5. Put in the fried eggplants and cook for 5 minutes to allow the seasonings to absorb into the fried eggplant. Turn the eggplant over and continue to simmer on low heat.
  6. When the sauce thickens, add ½ cup Coco Rico coconut soda. Cook until the sauce thickens.

Decoration: * Place the eggplant clay pot sensation onto a big plate. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and the sliced chili peppers on top. Serve with hot steamed rice.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Crispy Tofu

Courtesy of

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 25 minutes

  • 8 oz. soft tofu (in box with water)
  • ¼ cup rice flour*
  • 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch*
  • 5 cups canola oil for frying
Dipping sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (can use Healthy Boy brand)*
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili sauce
Pickled Cucumber:
  • 2 small cucumbers (small seed variety), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (can use Healthy Boy brand)*
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce

* Available in Asian markets.


  1. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Put aside.
  2. Combine all the pickled cucumber ingredients together in a big bowl. Put aside.
  3. Mix the rice flour and the tapioca starch together.
  4. Remove soft tofu from the box, use a paper towel to pat it dry, and then allow it to stand for about 20 minutes. Then, cut tofu into 9 square pieces.
  5. Take a nonstick frying pan and place it on medium heat. Add in oil to the pan and heat until it is about 380˚ F. When the oil starts to smoke, take each piece of tofu, coat gently with the flower mixture, and pan fry until golden. This should take for about 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t turn over the tofu because it will break.
  6. Remove from pan, and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Decoration: * Place tofu on a plate and serve hot with special dipping sauce and cucumbers soaked in vinegar.

Vegan Scrambled Eggs

Courtesy of

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes

  • 19 oz white firm tofu
  • ¼ cup olive oil or margarine
  • 4 ounces yellow soy cheese
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring
  • 3 teaspoons Tofumate Eggless Salad (optional, available in the health food section)
  • Pepper and salt to taste


  1. Mash or break the tofu by hand into small pieces; drain in colander.
  2. Heat oil or margarine in a skillet and cook the tofu for 2 minutes.
  3. Drain water from tofu and place tofu back into the skillet.
  4. Add the cheese, Tofumate Eggless Salad (optional), and a few drops of yellow food color. Cook until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

Note: * Serve Vegan Scrambled Eggs with toasted bread with butter and jam; either hash browns or fried potatoes; and veggie sausage or veggie bacon for a delicious meal. This is a classic American breakfast, healthy style.

Stuffed Bitter Melon (Khổ Qua Dồn Đậu Hủ)

Photo by Jacquelyn Pham

Courtesy of Jacquelyn Pham


Yields: 8 servings

  • 4 fresh bitter melons
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 (12-ounces) packages firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (see tips), finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup mung beans
  • 4 wood ear mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon mushroom seasoning salt (or regular salt)
  • 2 ounces dried bean thread noodles
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground


  1. Prepping the bitter melons: Cut the bittermelons in half. Using a melon ball scoop, remove and discard the spongy center and the seeds. Soak the bitter melons in lemon water.
  2. Prepping the tofu: Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch slices. Blanch the tofu for about 3-4 minutes in salted hot water. Drain the liquid. Let the tofu cool a little. Then mash the boiled tofu with your hands using disposable gloves. The tofu should resemble large-sized cottage cheese curds. Set the tofu aside.
  3. Prepping the bean thread noodles: Place the dried bean thread noodles in a bowl. Don't forget to cut the little cotton threads and discard them! Soak them in cold water for 20 minutes and drain. Cut into 1 inch lengths. Set aside.
  4. Making mung bean paste: Place the mung beans in a small saucepan, barely cover with water, then slowly cook for about 30 minutes. It will form a dry paste. Set aside.

Assembly time:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the tofu, bean thread noodles, mung bean paste, cilantro, ginger garlic paste, shallots, onions, green onions, sugar and wood ear mushrooms. Season with mushroom seasoning salt and pepper.
  2. Remove and discard the liquid from the bitter melons. Pat them dry and stuff them with the tofu mixture.
  3. Place the stuffed bitter melons in a steamer, bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cover and steam for about 30-40 minutes. Check doneness with a fork; the bitter melons should be soft and tender but still firm (not fall apart). Remove from the steamer. Let them cool a little.
  4. I served them with brown (for a healthier version) jasmine rice. You can also make a vegetable broth (see tips).


Easy Seaweed Soup

Courtesy of

Easy Seaweed Soup is nutritious and simple to make. It is particularly convenient when we're looking for a quick dish. Korean roasted seaweed, well-known for its delicious flavor, can be used.


  • 3 sheets roasted seaweed (about 7” x 10” in size)
  • 1 cup vegetarian broth + 1 cup water (or 2 cups water + 1 teaspoon vegetarian seasoning mix)
  • 3 or 4 fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Maggi seasoning sauce and ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Put vegetarian broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Fold the seaweed and break into smaller pieces; put in the boiling water.
  3. Reduce heat; cook for 5 minutes until the seaweed expands and the soup consistency thickens.
  4. Add sesame oil.
  5. Remove from heat. Pour the soup into a bowl and sprinkle cilantro on top for garnish.
  6. Serve hot. Add a little Maggi seasoning sauce and ground black pepper to taste (optional).

Seaweed: Grown and harvested from the ocean, seaweed is rich in many nutrients. By weight, it contains more calcium and iron than dairy products. It also provides other valuable minerals and is thought to have cancer-fighting benefits.

Sesame: Cultivated for nearly 6000 years, sesame has been highly valued throughout history because it provides high energy and slows the aging process. Modern research has also found that sesame oil contains substances that decrease cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby lowering blood pressure and protecting the heart.

Cilantro: Also known as coriander, this delicate green plant cleanses the bloodstream by removing potentially harmful substances. It also stimulates the appetite and aids digestion.

Buddha Rice

Courtesy of

Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes

  • 4 cups cooked white rice (To season the rice, add to the cooking water 2 teaspoons natural vegetarian seasoning + 2 teaspoons soy sauce + 2 teaspoons ketchup)
  • 4 teaspoons vegetarian mushroom sauce + 1 teaspoon sugar + ⅛ teaspoon curry paste + ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 vegetarian chicken patties
  • 2 ½ teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoon roasted crushed peanuts
  • Shredded cabbage or lettuce
  • Sliced tomato and cucumber (optional)
  1. Prepare rice and let cool.
  2. Mix mushroom sauce, sugar, curry paste, and black pepper together to make a sauce. Place vegetarian chicken patties on a plate and cover with the sauce. Marinate for 2 minutes.
  3. Put olive oil in a skillet and heat. Grill vegetarian chicken patties in the skillet until golden brown. Remove and cut in half.
  4. Using a very small bowl as a mold, put ⅓ cup rice in the bowl and press down firmly. Turn the bowl upside down onto a tray or a plate and remove the rice. Repeat two more times for the first serving. (Each serving has 3 rice portions.)
  5. After the rice portions are prepared, on 4 plates arrange 3 portions of rice on one side of each plate.
  6. Arrange shredded cabbage or lettuce beside the rice portions. Place 3 pieces of grilled vegetarian chicken patties on top of the cabbage or lettuce. Sprinkle crushed peanuts on top of the veggie chicken. Repeat this step for the remaining servings.
  7. Add tomato and cucumber to create a fresh and colorful presentation. Serve immediately.

Steamed Tofu

Courtesy of

  • 1 pack firm tofu
  • 2 Tablespoons finely shredded carrot
  • 8 Tablespoons chopped fresh or dry black mushrooms (about 4-5 pieces.)
  • ⅓ cup mung bean thread*
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Grounded black pepper to taste


  1. Drain liquid from tofu. (About 1 hour)
  2. Soak mung bean thread in warm water to soften, chop into small pieces. (About ½ inch.)
  3. After tofu is drained, break tofu into small pieces with a fork.
  4. Mix in shredded carrot, salt, black pepper, and paprika.
  5. Add black mushrooms, and mung bean thread. Blend well and pack the mixture firmly into a large bowl. Steam for about 20-30 minutes. (Mixture will become firm.)
  6. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before un-molding. To take out: Run butter knife around the edge, cover with a plate and turn upside down. Gently shake it until the tofu comes off.
  7. Garnish with steamed vegetables and sprinkle top with paprika.

Tip: Tofu can be drained on a drainer with a small plate and a heavy object on top.

Note: * Available at Asian markets.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Green Beans and Tofu - Recipe
Serves 4 Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free


  • 1 lb. extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 lb. green beans, stem ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger (a microplane is ideal for this)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass (prepared as described above)
  • optional: fresh chili peppers of your choice, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • salt
  • black pepper
  1. In a large skillet or wok over maximum heat, fry the tofu in about half of the oil until it is crispy and brown, stirring occasionally. See picture above. Remove to paper towels and season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan, along with the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilis (if using). Fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the green beans and toss thoroughly. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until somewhat tender and nice brown spots are developing. If necessary, you can add a bit of water and cover the pan for a couple of minutes to steam them. (Or pre-microwave for 3-4 minutes first - this can be a really helpful technique).
  3. Add the tofu back in, along with the soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir, taste and make any final seasoning adjustments, and serve.

Mushroom and Sweet Peppers Sandwich

Courtesy of


  • 600g (20 oz) portabella mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 each red, yellow and orange sweet bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 medium size onions, cut into strips
  • 5-6, 6” French rolls
  • ½ stick vegan butter (or as needed), sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • As needed Mrs. Dash Seasoning (mixture of dried herbs without salt)
  • As needed garlic salt


  1. Heat oven at 400° F (205°C).
  2. Melt vegan butter in pan and place mushroom slices in pan, sprinkle dry herb mixture and garlic salt to taste. Pan-fry both sides of mushroom until soft. Put aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in pan, stir-fry onions and sweet peppers until soft. Season with garlic salt and dried herb mixture. Put aside.
  4. Heat French Rolls in oven for 3 minutes. Cut open from end to end.
  5. Layer Mushroom Slices and Sweet Bell Peppers.

Mango Sticky Rice

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 1 hour

Courtesy of


  • 2 cups uncooked sweet rice*, soaked in warm water about 3 hours and drained (or 5 cups cooked sticky rice)
  • 1 can (14 oz. or 1 ¾ cups) coconut milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe mangos (or 6 small ripe mangos)*

* Also available in Asian markets


  1. Steam the sweet rice in a steamer about 30-40 minutes or until fully cooked.
  2. Cook the coconut milk, the sugar, and the salt in a small saucepan on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk mixture to the cooked sticky rice about 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
  4. Before serving, cut the mangos into "bite-size" chunks.

Decoration: * Place the sticky rice on a medium-sized plate, add the mangos in the middle, and place a mint leaf on top to add color.

Stir-Fried Oyster Mushrooms

Courtesy of

Yields 4 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes


  • 4 big oyster mushrooms* (soaked in water for 1 hour, diced)
  • 3 Tablespoons minced lemongrass (or 1 Tablespoon thinly shredded ginger)
  • 1 big sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3 dried black fungus* (soaked in water for 1 hour, diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups textured vegetable protein (TVP) beef slices*


  • ¾ cup crushed roasted peanuts
  • 20 stems of rice paddy herb*, washed and finely chopped (or 1 cup chopped cilantro)
  • Roasted black sesame crackers*
  • Black pepper, and lime (optional)

Seasonings to cook Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) "Beef" slices:

  • 2 Tablespoons mushroom (vegetarian) oyster sauce*
  • 1 ¾ cups or about 14 oz. vegetable broth


  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 Tablespoons Indian curry paste* (or 1 Tablespoon curry powder* and 2 Tablespoons olive oil, stir in a heated pan for 1 minute, set aside)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)

* These ingredients can be purchased in an Asian market.


  1. Place a pan on the stove. Using medium heat, add the TVP beef slices, mushroom sauce, and vegetable broth. Cook the TVP beef slices until soft; remove from heat, and dice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the olive oil in the same pan and stir-fry the chopped onion and the minced lemongrass (or shredded ginger) until fragrant.
  3. Add in the oyster mushrooms, the black fungus, and the TVP beef slices. Stir well.
  4. Finally add in the seasonings and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste and turn off the heat. Remove from heat. Sprinkle the chopped rice paddy herb (or cilantro), then remove the pan from the heat for a fresh green color.

Decoration: * Put the stir-fried oyster mushrooms on a big plate and sprinkle with crushed toasted peanuts. When serving, put small amount into a bowl and sprinkle with black pepper and limejuice (optional). Serve with roasted sesame crackers along with non-alcoholic beer for a truly flavorful dining experience.