How to cook: Grilled pork in lemongrass stalks

A popular Southeast Asian hawker food, this dish consists of minced meat flavored with chili, cumin, crushed galangal, ground coriander, coconut milk and fish sauce, wrapped around lemongrass stalks and grilled. There are Thai, Malay, Indonesian and Vietnamese versions but, for the life of me, I can’t recall any of their local names.

The lemongrass stalks are bruised before the meat mixture is wrapped around them. As a result, during grilling, the lemongrass emits its oil and flavors into the pork. I had to do the grilling indoors as it was raining earlier and the aromas that permeated the house were just unbelievable. Like citrus notes and pungent shadows dancing in the air. Oh, never mind. To even try to describe it would do this dish an injustice. I don’t think there are proper words.

And what about the taste? Juicy meat that is at once spicy, a bit salty and a bit sweet because of the coconut milk. Heighten the experience with peanut sauce on the side and it’s perfection twice over. »

How to cook: Pineapple and chicken rice

pineapple and chicken rice

And so I bring home a taste of Phuket. Last Saturday, I cooked this chicken and pineapple rice and my daughters and I had it for lunch. I would have cooked it days earlier, heaven knows how excited I was to try it, but my older daughter (who took the … »

How to cook: Vietnamese beef stew

vietnamese-beef-stew

This is a deconstructed recipe. My husband so loves the beef stew at Pho Hoa (above) that I wanted to try and make it at home. I did find a recipe for beef stew in one of the three Vietnamese cookbooks that I have but I felt that the list of spices … »