Vietnamese Rice Bowl

Did anyone see the Top Gear Vietnam special the other night?  I am in absolutely no way a motor-head (have forgotten what car I own on more than one occasion) and my usual pacifist stance crumbles when confronted with Jeremy Clarkson’s oh-so-punchable face.  Top Gear, therefore, is not something I’d go out of my way to watch.  But this one was taking place in Vietnam and Vietnam (along with California, Costa Rica, Tuscany and India) is one of my dream places to visit.  So I put aside my disinterest in noisy engines and my extreme aversion to the gobby one and watched the programme. And it was great.  Very beautiful, very interesting and very, very funny.

Go see.

I’ve always been intrigued by Vietnam as a country to visit but it was Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey who first got me interested in Vietnamese food.  Have you been to her blog?  It’s stunning and full of the most delicious food and the author is a real sweetie. So when Anh recommended this cookbook, I didn’t hesitate in buying it.  Terribly glad I did too as we’ve been eating the following dish weekly ever since.

This is my entry to this month’s Delicious Vietnam host by Ravenous Couple.

Vietnamese Rice Bowl (adapted from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen)

(serves 2)

4 chicken thighs ( skin, de-boned & cut into chunks) marinated in 1/2 tspn cornflour, 1/2 tblspn fish sauce, 1/2 tblspn soy sauce, 1 tblspn sugar & a pinch of pepper

1 onion sliced

Ground nut oil

  • Fry the onion in oil over a medium-high heat until golden brown.  Remove from the pan then add the chicken (in two batches if it doesn’t fit in one layer).  Fry until golden brown.  Add the onion back to the pan and mix well.
  • Serve in a bowl along with:

A bowl of beansprouts

2 pakchoi, sliced

1 medium carrot, ribboned

A handful of chopped herbs, e.g. basil, coriander & mint

A handful of chopped nuts (I like pistachio)

2 cups of cooked brown rice

Vietnamese dipping sauce – Juice of 1 lime, 1 tspn sugar, 2 tblspn fish sauce, 1 tspn white vinegar, 1 clove garlic (crushed) & a dash of water all mixed together


16 thoughts on “Vietnamese Rice Bowl

  1. Hi Wendy, greetings from Dubai 🙂
    Yes, that Top Gear Vietnam special really was amazing (although *I* actually like Jeremy Clarkson.)

    Thanks for yet another great cooking inspiration. Yes, Vietnamese food is so surprisingly fresh and ‘crunchy’. My father-in-law is in Vietnam for business this week and he’s a foodie like me… I’m hoping he’ll bring back some authentic spices and ingredients.

  2. looks beautiful – I am still upset about my favourite vietnamese restaurant closing – not that I have much time to go now but it was just the best place to eat out – I know what you mean about top gear – they are entertaining for revheads!

  3. I too am neither a fan of cars nor Jeremy Clarkson but I have to say, whenever I catch Top Gear I am pleasantly surprised by how interesting and entertaining it is! And isn’t Vietnam beautiful??

  4. Hi Wendy

    This looks delicious, and with our veggies growing I’m sure we’ll have super fresh ingredients to go in it too! I like the pictures too, me and taking food shots haven’t gelled yet.


  5. Oh, I love rice bowls!! I haven’t ever made one either, how silly, now that I think about it. I will have to give this a try. Thanks!

  6. Ohhh… Thanks so much for the sweet words about me, 🙂

    And I am glad you finally discover Vietnamese food for yourself. Surely there’s something fresh and healthy:)

  7. Having spent a month in Vietnam last year I can’t help but recommend it as a travel destination – the people are friendly, the scenery is beautiful, living costs are minimal, and the food is incredible everywhere you go.

    We got so used to being served something utterly delicious every day that we were quite shocked when we had a slightly bland meal once 🙂 But we were tired and hungry, and walked into the first place we saw, even though we could tell it was a bit of a touristy place… And even then the food wasn’t horrible – just bland.

    If you ever end up going, make sure you stop in a smallish town somewhere along the way. We had our best meals in Hoi An (the Red Flag restaurant on the river, near the market was a particular favourite) and Mui Ne (three starters of barbeques clams and prawns, three mains of squid, one dessert, six drinks = £12 for all three of us…).

    Sorry, didn’t mean for this post to become a travel story, but I loved Vietnam so much! And that Top Gear episode was really how I remember the country, except Hammond’s fear of the food was obviously not part of our trip 🙂

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