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Yin Yang balance

There’s a lot more to Vietnamese cuisine at this new food festival in the city.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2011 14:46 IST
Priyanka Singh
Priyanka Singh
Hindustan Times

A healthy body is the guest-chamber of the soul; a sick, its prison”. That’s exactly what the Vietnamese believe and the same is reflected in their food as it integrates the healthiest herbs and spices in to the cuisine that they have on offer.

The restaurant Trendz at Intercontinental, The Lalit has brought this exotic food experience all the way from Vietnam in the form of the chef Tong Gia, who has been serving the cuisine in the city for over four months now. He says, “The response from the guests has been very pleasant with people turning into regular customers in the past couple of months. The most popular dishes have been Hanoi Spring Roll, Roasted Lemongrass Chicken, and Fish Sizzler,” Gia says.

The obvious difference between the Indian and Vietnamese cuisine is the kind of spices that they flavour their respective foods with. Indian spices have a strong taste to themselves whereas the Vietnamese brew their cuisine with spices and herbs that are extremely light in nature with the same feather-light effect on the belly as well.

Gia aptly puts forth the reasons that make the cuisine high on the healthy quotient saying, “The dishes are based on fresh vegetables, spices that are mild in nature and herbs, with the use of lettuces as condiments. Sauces and dressings provide a final touch to the dish.” Judging by the current trend, the people of Mumbai are being quite experimental in the kind of food that they are open to trying out.

Gia agrees, saying, “The people of Mumbai are enormously updated with the international cuisine and flavours that are spread around the world and are always ready to experiment with new dishes which makes the entire cooking experience all the more enjoyable.”

Fish Sizzler recipe

Cut the seabass into sliced pieces. Peel off the turmeric and galangal and put into a blender.
Extract the juices from those. In a mixing bowl, mix the juices, fish sauce, oyster sauce and shrimp paste till it becomes a smooth paste.
Marinate the sliced fish overnight, if not longer.
Slice the onion and spring onion into big chunks and pick off the dill.
Cook the rice noodles just enough to make it soft. On a non-stick pan, fry the marinated fish until it attains a golden colour and add spring onion, dill, and onion.
At high temperature, quickly sauté all the ingredients with some extra oil for flavour.
Quickly blanch the rice noodles and serve with nuoc cham.

First Published: Jul 14, 2011 21:08 IST