Vietnamese Dipping Sauce by Mai Phom

  • download3 Thai bird chilies or 1 serrano chili, or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded carrots for garnish (optional)

Cut the chilies into thin rings. Remove one-third of the chilies and set aside for garnish. Place the remaining chilies, garlic, and sugar in a mortar and pound into a coarse, wet paste. (If you don’t have a mortar, just chop with a knife.) Transfer to a small bowl and add the water, lime juice and fish sauce. Stir well to dissolve. Add the reserved chilies and carrots. Set aside for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: Nuoc cham is very amenable to variations and adaptations. In Vietnam, cooks like to use various vegetables to flavor the sauce, such as thinly sliced marinated daikon and carrots, ginger, scallion oil or peanuts and even slices of kohlrabi and the core of a white cabbage. Each imparts a distinctive savoriness.

Momofuku’s Soy Sauce Eggs

ec8e90c3-de92-4ac3-a706-108c38f82e74--17381949518_15079556af_b6 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3/4 cup soy sauce
6 large eggs
Maldon or other flaky salt, for serving
Black pepper, for serving

 

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the water and sugar to dissolve the sugar, then stir in the sherry vinegar and soy sauce.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully put the eggs into the boiling water and cook for exactly 6 minutes and 50 seconds, stirring slowly for the first 1 1/2 minutes to distribute the heat evenly. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. When the eggs are done, transfer them to the ice bath.
  3. Once the eggs are cool (and the water isn’t uncomfortably icy), peel them (in the water—this will help them keep a perfect exterior). Transfer the eggs to the soy sauce mixture and marinate in the fridge for at least 2, and up to 6, hours, making sure they are completely submerged. If necessary, top the eggs with a small plate to ensure submersion.
  4. Remove the eggs from the sweet and salty solution. You can save the soy sauce mix for another round of eggs, if you wish. The eggs will keep, refrigerated in a tightly sealed container, for up to a month.
  5. To serve, cut the eggs in half lengthwise and season with salt and pepper. Or Cool Hand Luke them to impress your friends.

 

Pretzels on the Baking Steel

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12 oz warm water (110ish degrees)
1 T sugar
2 t salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
22 oz AP flour
2 oz butter
6 c water
1/2 c baking soda
pretzel salt (coarse sea salt will work as well)

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Combine water, sugar, salt in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and allow to foam up for about 5 minutes.

3. Add melted butter and flour into mixer, and mix with dough hook for about 4 minutes. The dough will ball up and help clean the sides of the bowl for you, that’s a good sign.

4. Spray a mixing bowl and transfer the dough to that bowl, cover with plastic wrap and proof in a warm environment for up to an hour. You want to see the dough expand a little more than double.

*Chef’s Tip: Spray the top of the dough with pan spray too before wrapping in plastic wrap. This will help you when removing the dough from the bowl and not have any stick to the top.

5. Once your dough has proofed, get it onto a cutting board. At this time, you want to bring water and baking soda to a quick boil to dissolve and turn off. With a bench scraper or knife, portion the dough into 170g for pretzels, 85g for buns. Shape as you wish.

6. Dip your pretzels into the baking soda solution and let sit for about 10-15 seconds. (Traditionally, one would use lye to dip the pretzels in, but we don’t want to poison anyone here). Transfer soaked pretzels onto a baking steel with parchment paper and coat with pretzel salt.

7. Bake for approximately 12 minutes until golden brown and rest for about 3 minutes.

Grab your favorite mustard and dig in, you won’t be disappointed. These didn’t last very long in the test kitchen, believe me.  yields 6 medium pretzels/ 12 buns)

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s Good Eats