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Simple, Tasty Vietnamese Cooking

At Seattle’s Monsoon, siblings Eric and Sophie Banh offer an excellent Vietnamese menu and a standout wine list. Here, F&W streamlines their best pairings.

Stir-Fried Noodles with Chanterelles

Chef Way This rich and unusual noodle stir-fry is made with fresh duck eggs.

Easy Way Substitute regular chicken eggs.

Spicy Shrimp in Chile Sauce

Chef Way Eric and Sophie Banh use fresh coconut juice in this sweet-spicy stir-fry.

Easy Way Since fresh coconut juice can be hard to find, use a combination of water and canned coconut milk instead.

Crunchy Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Chef Way The Banhs like to poach the chicken for this vibrant dish, then toss the salad with a homemade scallion oil.

Easy Way To save time, use store-bought rotisserie chicken and skip the scallion oil; the salad already gets plenty of flavor from the spicy, vinegary dressing and abundance of fresh herbs.

Grilled Beef Rolls

Chef Way The Banhs follow Vietnamese tradition and wrap their beef rolls in la lot leaves, which are similar to shiso.

Easy Way Grape leaves make an excellent replacement for la lot in these crunchy grilled beef rolls.

Lemongrass Chicken

Chef Way The Banhs marinate the chicken in a mixture of curry and fish sauce for up to 2 hours before stir-frying.

Easy Way A five-minute marinade allows the curry flavor to develop quickly.

Steamed Fish with Mushrooms and Noodles

Chef Way At Monsoon, this dish is prepared with dried, reconstituted lily buds and wood ear mushrooms.

Easy Way The fish and noodles are fragrant and delightful, even without the hard-to-source lily buds. Replace the wood ear mushrooms with white mushrooms.

Published October 2007
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