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Monday 1 February 2010

Salty Tales

Miss Saigon
Friday 29th/ Saturday 30th January 2010

-Summer Roll of Egg, Barbequed, Crispy & Cured Pork, Shredded Pork Skin,
Mint, Corriander & Lettuce

-Lemongrass Beef With Vermincelli, Pickled Carrots & Salad

- Shredded Chicken With Corriander, Vietnamese Parsley & Lime Salad
w/ Prawn Crackers

-Woven Spring Rolls With Prawns, Pork, Black Fungus, Beansprouts, Yam & Glass Noodles 

-Braised Ham & Quails Egg In Fish Sauce & Coconut Juice Served With Rice

-Beef Pho Noodle Soup

-Banana Fritters & Coconut Cream/ Banana With Tapioca in Coconut Milk
We have got to put the prawns in no?
Simon is referring to the Fernandez & Leluu summer rolls that we stuff shredded pork with barbequed pork, crispy pork belly, cured sour ham, omlettes, mint, coriander, sweet basil, dill fish cakes…
No. Lets cut one ingredient out because these are absolutely too expensive to make!
Yeah but you know the prawns will make it that bit special- going the extra mile.
Yeah! Go on then!
(Fernandez & The Summer Roll)
Our weekend of Miss Saigon Menu went down really well. We had accomplished this menu before in December when we got back from Vietnam with such great success so it did appear to us – with all our plans, schedules in place – easy peesey!

Simon insisted (as he “loves learning”) on making the spring roll mixture according to my recipe while I was getting on with prepping other things.  Little did I know, he started to make up his own quantities as I saw from the corner of my eye half a tub of salt falling like sand all over the mixture.
O my God Simon! What are you doing?
We also need more pork stock. He grins.
You used the whole packet?
Yeah. Licking his fingers and wiping it on the tea towel hanging on back of his jeans in assumed proud-ness.

That night, we put one more kilo of pork shoulder, one more kilo of tiger prawns, one more kilo of carrots and nothing! It was like eating a roll of salt with the finest ingredients you can get! I was ever so angry!

Either throw it all away. Start again. Not serve spring rolls or save it somehow? How?
My mum came up with a really good idea – put away half of the mixture and add one kilo of beansprouts and one kilo of yam and another kilo of carrot.

I cycled in the rain for about 20 min at 1030 pm to Longdan on Hackney Road the only shop opened til 11pm in a fury. It should have been Simon getting wet but he had abandoned the project to get on with the dreaded tax returns. (am sure he has taken a year to do those).
But we saved it in the end and they were actually really delicious with yam and bean sprouts. It’s the devil’s spawn. Says Simon crunching away. (As if I had chosen to add beansprout to my lovely recipe- we do not use bean sprouts normally because it’s a cheap filler and reminds us of cheap Chinese takeaway spring rolls).
Lesson to Simon: You can always add more salt but you can’t take it out!
Lesson to Uyen: Don’t let Simon near the salt!

Simon did a very good job with the Braised Ham In Rock Sugar & Coconut Juice & Quails Eggs. Slurrrp. Slurrrp. Simon is constantly checking the concoction. Slurrp. Slurrp. Seasoned perfectly. Spending time and giving love is what such a dish needs.
He promises to write more blog posts. I’ve got them all lined up. He says. This recipe will surely be on – it is simply one of my favourite foods – Ever! Becoming his as well! And yours!

Simon was the hero in the end, our butcher really let us down by not fulfilling our orders on time for prep but Simon managed to get us the beef rib for Pho and all the sirloin needed for our menu - I am sure he had "a word" with our butcher! 

Whilst waiting anxiously for my beef to arrive at 6pm!!! - (it would have been a case of people not getting Pho on Friday), I used the chicken stock (from boil of shredded chicken salad), added one charred onion and small piece of charred ginger and five star anise. When the beef did arrive, I made the pho (recipe) stock and added the chicken stock that I had prepared earlier to the clear broth to simmer. 

This trick proved to be really really amazing. It was the best Pho I have ever made!


  1. I am glad the evening went well despite all your troubles, I really LOVED the braised ham with quail eggs in coconut juice, so pls pls pls post the review for us at some point?! Thanks.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  2. I have read nothing but good tweets and comments on your evening so you must have done a great rescue job on spring rolls. I've had the same thing happen with chilli - "just a little bit more... whoops", another two tins of tommies more rice, chilli for a week etc...

    The menu looks fantastic - good trick with the chicken stock btw - i have taken notes.

  3. Thanks guys! Amazingly we did save the spring rolls otherwise we would never ever serve something that is wrong (I hope not anyways)

    The weekend was brilliant and I have another post about it coming...

    But the chicken stock in the Pho gave the broth the extra layer of definition. Well worth doing and having shredded chicken as starter! Yums - Am making myself very hungry! Uyen x

  4. Hahaha! I made cheesecake brownies with my 15 year old nephew... it was much the same story.

    Can't wait for next week! I come bearing gifts!


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