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BOOKS | Hmong Cookbook…a special tribute to an elusive cuisine
In talking with Julie Keown-Bomar, one of the forces behind the effort, it is clear she and the other participants share a passion for Hmong culture and cuisine. Just released, the booklet draws most of its recipes from the Hmong who settled in the Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin. Along with four-color photos, 15 recipes have been carefully preserved and presented for home chefs everywhere.
According to the editors, “The culinary practices of Hmong in the United States reflect the integration of foods and culinary practices from China, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, and more recently the United States – all stops along a long trail of migration. Hmong arrived in the United States in the mid-1970s as refugees fleeing persecution because of their alliance with the Unites States during the South East Asian conflict. Since that time, Hmong-Americans have maintained cultural traditions and adapted quite successfully to mainstream society.”
Curry Noodles, Pho, Bean Thread Noodle Salad, Hmong Egg Rolls, Spring Rolls, Chicken and Mixed Vegetables Stir Fry, Spicy Cucumber Salad, and Sesame Balls are some of the Hmong specialties. There are also complete instructions for making Tofu. The editors have included a recipe nutrient guide plus information on Hmong culinary history.
Other editors are Nancy Coffey and Kong Vang along with assistance from Tanya Becker, Mai Lee, and Leah Rekau. The booklet is available by mail for $10 from the University of Wisconsin-Extension, 227 1st Street West, Altoona, WI 54720. Or go to www.uwex.edu/ces/cty/eauclaire or call 715-839-4712. Proceeds from the sale of the cookbook will support Hmong business, entrepreneur grants and scholarships in the Western Wisconsin area.
With permission of the editors, we are reprinting a recipe submitted by Wung Tsue Vang, a resident of Chippewa Valley since 1981. He and his wife have nine children and currently live in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
Phyllis Louise Harris is a cookbook author, food writer and cooking teacher specializing in Asian foods. She is founder of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes Ltd. dedicated to the preservation, understanding and enjoyment of the culinary arts of the Asia Pacific Rim. For information about ACAI’s programs call 612-813-1757 or visit the website at www.asianculinaryarts.com.
(featured on cover of Hmong Cookbook)
by Wung Tsue Vang
2 pounds of lean beef
8 stalks green onions
1 bunch cilantro
1 (1.06 ounce) package Laj seasoning mix (Lobo
Laab-Namtok Seasoning Mix brand used)
6 celery stalks
½ pound yard long beans
2 Chinese eggplants
10 leaves of red leaf lettuce
Boil water in a pot (large enough to hold beef submerged in water). Trim fat off beef and cut into 1-½ inch thick strips. Add beef to boiling water, boil beef for 15 minutes. When beef broth froths, spoon of froth. When froth does not appear anymore, beef will be cooked.
While beef is cooking, prepare vegetables and set aside. Cut green onions length-wise into long thin strips. Pick tender stems and leaves off cilantro. Cut celery stalks and yard long beans into 2 inch lengths, and slice Chinese eggplants into thin slices. Wash lettuce leaves.
Remove the beef from the broth, save the broth and set aside. Carefully cut the hot, cooked beef into small chunks and chop finely in food processor (or with cleaver). Put chopped beef in serving bowl. Add squeezed lime juice, seasoning mix, and ¼ cup beef broth to the beef (and mix together). Also stir in the cilantro and green onions.
Eat the Beef Salad with the raw celery, yard long beans, egg plant and lettuce with steamed rice.
(Ingredients available at Asian grocery stores or farmers’ markets.)
©2008 Asian Pages