Vietnamese Chicken with Mint – my best Asian dish to date?

If you don’t like to eat chicken breast cause they’re bland and tough, this recipe might change your mind. I got this recipe from Chef Wan’s book, “Simply Sedap!”. It’s one of my favourite recipe books! The instructions are clear and the flavours are always bang-on.

Anyway, I made slight changes in the recipe but they didn’t ruin the recipe so if you have Chef Wan’s book, you may find a slight disparity between what’s posted here and in his book.

This dish was so good that the BF claimed that it’s my best Asian dish to date. That allegation kind of threw me off a little (because I’m certain I’ve made Asian dishes that are comparably good!!!) but I had to agree with him that it was beautifully fragrant and every morsel was juicy, succulent and full of flavour.

# – Vietnamese chicken with mint.

Despite having 10 large red chillies in this dish, it was surprisingly mild! What can I say, the all the ingredients in this recipe really managed to balance one another out brilliantly!

The marinade, finely ground:

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • The spice paste, finely ground:

  • 10 large red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • Other ingredients:

  • 500 grams of chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 3 lemon grass, sliced thinly
  • 60 ml of cooking oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & sugar to taste
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • # – First, throw all the ingredients for marinade into a food processor and blitz till oblivion.

    # – Now throw in the chicken slices into the marinade and mix till they’re evenly coated.

    # – Cover and stick in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I left them overnight though :)

    # – When ready to cook, chuck all the ingredients for spice paste into a food processor and blitz till oblivion, again.

    # – Set the spice paste aside while you continue with other tasks.

    # – Heat up the oil in a pan and then throw in the sliced lemongrass.

    # – Next, throw in the spice paste and cook till fragrant. Cook for a little while more till the mixture looks like it’s excreting some oil.

    # – Now, throw in the marinaded chicken slices.

    # – When the chicken slices have cooked through, season with salt and sugar to your taste.

    # – Then, stir in the lime juice.

    # – Turn off the heat, throw in the mint leaves and stir.

    # – Vietnamese chicken with mint, DONE!

    As this is a Vietnamese recipe, I am convinced that the original version of this dish may actually contain pork…and that’s exactly what I’d do next hehehe.

    So…my best Asian dish to date? After 10 months of cooking actively? Guess I have to cook more and practise more!

    Chinese Steamed Pork Ribs with Salted Soyabeans.

    This is a dish that I grew up with and one that I’d always wanted to recreate since getting my own kitchen. Absolutely easy to make and so delicious, it’s no wonder that my mum served this for dinner at least once every week when I was younger.

    The pork is juicy, tender and succulent. The salted soyabeans, or “taucu” makes a distinctive and delicious savoury sauce that goes extremely well with piping hot plain steamed rice. You can add more chillies for kicks but if you’ve got children at home, they can be omitted for a milder version.


    • 400-500 grams of pork ribs
    • 2 tablespoon of salted soyabean paste or “taucu” (if they’re still in bean form, mash it with a fork or pestle & mortar or food processor)
    • 2 medium sized chilies or dried chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
    • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons of minced shallots
    • 1 ginger about the size of a thumb, julienned
    • 5 tablespoons of water
    • 2 tablespoons of chopped spring onion (for garnish)

    For marinating the pork:

    • 2 tablespoon of corn flour
    • 1 tablespoon of chinese rice wine
    • 1.5 tablespoon of sesame oil

    If you don’t quite fancy visiting the morning market, it’s quite easy to get pork ribs at places like Tesco, Cold Storage and Jaya Grocer. The ones that I bought were about 400grams for just under RM12 from Cold Storage. I believe it’s probably slightly more expensive than the wet market but I guess you pay more for convenience.

    # – Pork ribs from Cold Storage.

    # – The ingredients for the sauce. Ginger not in picture thanks to my carelessness.

    Lets begin…

    # – Clean the pork ribs and cut them into more or less equal sizes then marinade with chinese rice wine, cornflour and sesame oil for at least 5 hours. Overnight is even better. So yes, adjust your timing as you don’t need to deal with the pork till about 1/2 hour before serving time.

    # – When you’re ready to cook, heat up a pot with some cooking oil.

    # – Throw in the marinaded pork ribs and brown them. No need to cook through. Remove them from the pan as soon as the pork changed colours from pink to patches of white.

    # – Lay the pork out on the plate that you want to steam them in. Set aside. In my case, I used aluminium foil because I do not have plates that could fit into my steamer -_-

    # – In the same pot, heat up a little bit of oil. Throw in the garlic, chillies and shallots. Fry till fragrant.

    # – Next, throw in the ginger and fry it till you can smell the fragrance.

    # – Put the salted soyabean paste and stir.

    # – Add 5 tablespoons of water and stir. Let it simmer for a bit.

    # – Remove the mixture from heat and pour it all over the pork ribs.

    # – Steam for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, put a wire rack in a wok or very deep pan and fill it up with water. Make sure the wire rack is not submerged in water. When water starts boiling, put the plate of pork ribs onto the rack and cover with lid for 20 minutes. And if you’re using this makeshift steamer, remember to always check for water level and top up when it’s low.

    After 20 minutes….

    # – Garnish with spring onions. Delicious and very appetising chinese steamed pork ribs with salted soyabeans. DONE!

    Be warned as it will makes you wolf down rice like a teenager!