The Vietnamese adventure continued on Sunday night. I had wanted to make the Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom Stir-Fry (Mang Tây Xào Nâm Hu'o'ng) on Saturday, but failed to realize that dried shiitakes need to soak for a long time. I'm glad I waited, the asparagus paired so nicely with a steak. We had our warmest day in what feels like months, yesterday, and marked it by firing up the grill!
I'm very excited I've found another way to get the kids to eat asparagus!
1 1/2 lbs asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces
6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted, trimmed, and cut into 1/4 inch thick strips
1/2 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. fish sauce
1 generous T. oyster sauce
2 t. canola oil
1 1/2 T. water
1 1/2 T. canola oil
Bring a large saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and parboil for about 1 minute, or until just tender but still firm. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside. Have the mushrooms cut and ready to cook.
To make the flavoring sauce, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, oil, and water and stir to disolve the sugar. Set aside.
In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the asparagus and mushrooms and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, or until heated through. Raise the heat to medium-high. Give the flavoring sauce a stir to recombine, then add to the pan and stir to distribute evenly. When only a little sauce is visible, after about 1 minute, transfer to a plate and serve.
We ended the weekend with this creamy, delicious Coconut Sorbet (Kem Nu'ó'c Côt Dù'a). Yum! This was a hit with everybody.
Makes about 3 cups, to serve 6
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
Generous pinch of salt
2 1/2 T. light corn syrup
1/2 t. vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, salt, and corn syrup and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring or whisking gently, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to chill well and develop the flavor.
The mixture separates as it sits, so whisk to reblend, and then freeze in an ice cream maker.
I am notorious for not reading carefully through a recipe before I start cooking, so the chilling for 24 hours took me by surprise. We did not chill that long, the flavor was still very good. Next time I will follow the directions and see if there is a difference. It was good to bring the ice cream machine out. The bowl has been at the ready in the freezer for years!
As for my Vietnamese translations of the dishes, they may not be 100% accurate. I did the best I could, but you need special software to type all the correct accents and symbols.