Magenta sticky rice and pillowed noodles: a three-course dinner from Luke Nguyen

Green papaya salad with buffalo jerky

Serves: 2
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Green papaya salad and smoked buffalo meat by Luke Nguyen

Green papaya salad and smoked buffalo meat by Luke Nguyen. Photograph: SBS

For the salad
1 green papaya
, peeled and julienned
100 grams buffalo or beef jerky
, torn into thin strips
1 long red chilli
, sliced
5 perilla leaves
, sliced
5 mint leaves
, sliced
5 Vietnamese mint
, sliced
5 Asian basil leaves
, sliced
1 tablespoon crushed roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon fried red Asian shallots
1 teaspoon fried garlic chips
1 tablespoon roasted coconut flakes
Nuoc mam cham dipping fish sauce
(recipe below)

For the sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves,
1 bird’s eye chilli
, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lime juice

To make the sauce
Combine the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and 125 ml (4 fl oz/ ½ cup) of water in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir well and cook until just before boiling point, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
To serve, add the garlic and chilli, then stir in the lime juice.
Store tightly sealed in a jar in the fridge, for up to five days.

To make the salad
In a mixing bowl combine green papaya, herbs, chilli, fried shallots, fried garlic, buffalo jerky and three tablespoons of nuoc mam cham dipping fish sauce. Toss well, transfer to a plate or shallow bowl and garnish with crushed peanuts and roasted coconut flakes.

Crispy noodle pillows with stir-fried beef

Serves: 2
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Crispy Noodle Pillows with Stir-Fried Beef by Luke Nguyen

Crispy noodle pillows with stir-fried beef by Luke Nguyen. Photograph: SBS

200 grams fresh flat rice noodle sheets
1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying
100 grams beef sirloin, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 cup Chinese celery, sliced into 2cm lengths
½ cup shredded carrot
½ onion, cut into thin wedges
1 baby bok choy, cut into quarters and blanched
1 long chilli, julienned
½ tablespoon fish sauce
½ tablespoon light soy sauce
½ tablespoon oyster sauce
½ cup chicken stock
2 spring onions
, sliced into 4cm lengths
2 teaspoons corn starch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon fried garlic
Handful coriander
Handful Asian basil leaves

For the marinade
½ tablespoon oyster sauce
Pinch salt & pepper

In a small mixing bowl, marinate the beef with oyster sauce, salt and pepper for 10 minutes.

Stack four layers of the rice noodle sheets on top of each other, then cut into 4cm x 4cm squares.

Now deep fry the squares at 150C for five minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.

In a hot pan, add one tablespoon of the deep-frying oil, then sauté the garlic until fragrant.

Add the beef, then stir-fry for two minutes until browned. Remove the beef and set aside.

In the same hot pan, add one tablespoon of oil, then stir-fry the bok choy, carrot and Chinese celery for one minute. Now add fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and stir again for one minute.

Add the cooked beef, spring onions and sliced chilli. Mix well, add chicken stock, then slowly drizzle the corn starch slurry until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Place the noodle pillows into a shallow bowl, then add the stir-fried ingredients on top.

Garnish with fried garlic, coriander and Asian basil.

Magenta sticky rice with sweet coconut and mango

Serves: 4
Active prep: 20 minutes
Passive prep: 3 hours
Cook: 35 minutes

Magenta coconut sticky rice with mango from Luke Nguyen

Photograph: SBS

For the rice
100 grams fresh magenta leaves (available at Asian grocers)
3 cups white glutinous rice
½ teaspoon salt

For the coconut milk
1 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon potato starch
1 tablespoon sugar

For the garnish
½ cup roasted peanuts
¼ cup roasted sesame seeds
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

To serve
1 fresh ripe mango, peeled and finely sliced

Pour 500ml of water to a medium-sized pot. Bruise the magenta leaves, then add to the pot and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.

The leaves will emit a beautiful violet colour. Turn off the heat and let it cool down completely.

The colour will turn a deeper tone of purple. Drain the magenta water into a bowl. Squeeze the leaves to extract the liquid, then discard the leaves.

Once the purple water is cooled, soak the sticky rice with the purple water for three hours or overnight for a deeper colour.

Now drain the rice, and steam the rice on high heat for 15 minutes.

As the rice cooks make the coconut milk. Add the coconut cream, sugar and potato starch to a saucepan and mix well. Heat the mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Do not allow it to boil. Once hot, remove from the heat.

Once the rice is cooked, add three tablespoons of the sweetened coconut milk to the rice, then steam for a further 10 minutes.

Divide the steamed purple rice into four serving plates, add some sliced mango to each plate, then drizzle two tablespoons of sweetened coconut milk over the top of each serving.

Garnish the rice with the peanut and sesame mix.

Luke Nguyen’s Railway Vietnam airs at 7.30pm, Thursdays on SBS


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