Last July I wrote a piece for the Los Angeles Times Food section on Vietnamese herbs. I'd been wanting to write that story for years to offer information on the wide range of herbs, as well as their culinary uses to a broad audience of cooks. Russ Parsons, the Food section editor, allowed me to let my geek out, and the resulting article was just what I envisioned. Today I learned that one of the recipes I'd submitted for the piece was selected for the LA Times's top 10 recipes of 2009.
It's for a simple rice noodle stir fry that employs lots of Chinese chives (he in Vietnamese), which are flat like a long blade of grass and have a mild garlicky flavor. I love that recipe as I grew up on it. In fact, one summer my family made it over and over as a Vietnamese neighbor had a bumper crop and kept bring by plastic bags of the chives. One time I ate so much of the garlicky, tangy noodles that I got a stomach ache.
The rice noodles with Chinese chives, shrimp and pork recipe originally was published in my book, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen as part of the giant noodles chapter. If you've got the book, check out the recipe on page 235. If you don't have the book, use the recipe posted at the Los Angeles Times Food section, Enjoy!
"Fresh Herbs at the Center of Vietnamese Cuisine" (Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2009)