Mood Food: The Recipes

These deliciously potent dishes were featured in the “Mood Food” article in our March 2013 issue. If you can’t make it out to these lovely venues, try making these dishes at home!

Oysters with soy pearls and radish garnish via Square One @ Park Hyatt Saigon

Canadian oysters, garnished with soy pearls and radish (Courtesy of Square One, Park Hyatt Saigon)

24 live oysters, shucked

Soy Pearls

50g tapioca


60g lime juice
110g light soy
100g mirin
60g garlic
10g cold water

Mix all ingredients together.


3 fine slices of red radish per oyster
20 sprigs of chives

Cook the tapioca in boiling water for 21 minutes, remove pot from heat and allow tapioca to rest in the cooking water for 5 minutes. Strain tapioca and rinse until cold. Cover with the marinade, and allow to sit overnight.

To serve, arrange the oysters on a platter or on crushed ice, if available. Spoon 1 teaspoon of soy pearls on top of each oyster. Garnish with chives and radish.

Chef Soren Lascelles

Chef de Cuisine, Soren Lascelles, says that the soy pearls have a beautiful flavor, has the aesthetics of looking like salmon caviar, and provides a nice texture contrast with oysters. While he says that Nha Trang oysters are good, they’re not quite as good as Canadian oysters, raised in pristine cold waters.

When purchasing live oysters, you can ask your seafood supplier to shuck them for you or use an oyster shucker as a lever between the two halves being very careful as the shell can cut your fingers. Grasp the oyster with tea towel and use the shucker (or strong small knife) to gently shimmy the oyster open. Eventually the seal will pop. While some people rinse the oyster under cold water, Chef Lascelles loves the natural sea flavor.

If you don’t make the soy pearls, have the oysters with the traditional condiment of a champagne-shallot mignonette port wine reduction or with very good quality oysters, simply lemon juice and freshly cracked pepper will do.



Banana Blossom Salad With Shredded Chicken aka Gỏi Gà Bắp Chuối (Courtesy of Saigon Cooking Class)

Fish sauce “Nuoc Mam” dressing

1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce (Nuoc Mam)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon chopped shallot
1 teaspoon chopped red long chili (medium spicy)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir well until the sugar is completely dissolved.

SAIGON COOKING CLASS-Banana Blossom Salad 2Salad

1 young banana blossom “bắp chuối” (around 400 gr)
500 ml Iced water with 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
2 Chicken breasts
1 Carrot julienned
1 Onion thinly sliced
½ Green pepper cut into strips
10 leaves “Rau Ram” thinly sliced (laksa leaf)
10 leaves of  Vietnamese mint “Hung Cay” thinly sliced
1 tablespoon crushed peanuts
1 tablespoon crispy fried shallots to garnish and 2 fresh shallots cloves
60 ml fish sauce dipping sauce


Place the chicken in a saucepan and cover with water. Poach over medium low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool and then shred chicken along the grain into thin strips.

Finely cut banana blossom and soak in a large bowl with cool water and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar for about 20 minutes to remove the sap and then drain with cheesecloth until dry and set aside.

Peel and slice finely shallots. Deep fry until light brown and reserve.

Combine banana blossom, chicken, onion, carrot, green pepper, fish sauce dressing, all leaves and peanuts in a large bowl and toss well.

Arrange the salad on a serving platter and sprinkle with crispy fried shallots on the top. Serve immediately.

 Caravelle - Salmon 2

Crispy Skin Seared Salmon On Crushed Baby Potatoes “Ecrasse”, Sautéed Highland Mushrooms, Steamed Asparagus And Truffle Sabayon (Courtesy of Reflections Restaurant, Caravelle)

INGREDIENTS (per portion)

Crispy Skin Seared Salmon
200 grams fresh salmon filet

Crushed Baby Potatoes “Ecrasse”
110 grams baby potatoes
3 grams black olives
1 pcs tomato

2 grams chives
10 gram butter
20 ml milk
2 grams garlic

Truffle Sabayon

2 grams shallots
1 egg yolk
20 ml white wine
0.01 ml truffle oil
1 gram truffle

Sautéed Highland Mushrooms, Steamed Asparagus

100 grams asparagus
80 grams mushrooms
10 ml olive oil
Salt & Pepper for seasoning
Fresh Dill for Garnish


Caravelle Sous Chef - Mr Darren Watson 02
Chef Darren Watson of Caravelle’s Reflections Restaurant

Crushed Baby Potatoes “Ecrasse”
Blanch the tomato for a few seconds in boiling water, place in ice water and peel the skin. Cut the tomato into small cubes, leaving out all the seeds. Cut the black olives into small cubes. Chop the chive very fine. Chop the garlic finely and sauté in the of butter until soft. Boil the milk and keep hot. Boil potato in salt water until soft, then peel and mash with a fork when still hot. Mix the potatoes with the milk, garlic butter, chive, olives, and tomatoes until all is mixed well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Truffle Sabayon
Chop the shallots very finely and cook them with the white wine until about 50% of the liquid is evaporated. Take it off from the heat, add the egg yolk and place on top of a pot with very hot water, almost boiling. Whisk the mixtures constantly until it become s a creamy consistency, take it off from the heat immediately so to ensure that the heat will not turn the mixture into a lumpy consistency. Add the truffle oil and chopped truffle to the sabayon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sautéed Highland Mushrooms, Steamed Asparagus
Peel the asparagus and steam to your liking, season lightly with salt. Clean the mushrooms, cut in small size pieces, (any Vietnamese fresh mushrooms can be used) and sautée in olive oil until cooked, season with salt and pepper.

Crispy Skin Seared Salmon
Season the salmon filet with salt and pepper and cook, skin down in a nonstick pan slowly, allowing the skin to crisp up. When the skin is crispy turn the salmon and cook on the other side for a few minutes allowing the salmon still to be juicy.

Assemble the dish by placing the asparagus and mushrooms on the plate; put the sabayon on top and gratinate under a salamander so to give it the nice toasted color effect. Place opposite the potato and set the crispy skin salmon slightly on top. Decorate with some fresh dill oil if available (just mix plenty of dill with little olive oil). Garnish with some fresh dill.


 CARAVELLE - Ginger Mango Cocktail 1


Ginger Mango Cocktail (Courtesy of the Caravelle Hotel)

Fresh, sliced ginger crushed with bar muddle
1 tsp sugar
1 can tonic
Fresh mango, blended
60ml Hennessey
60ml mango pủree
5ml lime juice
2-3 dashes of grenadine syrup

Add brandy, followed by the puree. Shake all ingredients together with ice. Top with tonic. Drizzle grenadine syrup into center of glass.

saigon park hyatt pastry boutique cakes and desserts


Frasier Cake (Courtesy of Pastry Chef Bertrand Sommereux of the Italian restaurant Opera, at the Park Hyatt Saigon)

Pastry Cream

500 gr milk
166 gr cream
106 gr sugar
1 pc vanilla
5 pc egg yolks
26 gr corn flour
20 gr custard powder

Warm the milk, cream with vanilla bean. Mix sugar, egg yolk and add corn flour and custard powder. Put milk on the second mixture. Mix and bring to boil in sauce pan. Cool down.

Butter Cream

500 gr egg whites
750 gr castor sugar
150 gr water
130 gr butter

Cook sugar and water together until it reaches 121 degree Celsius. Using a mixer with whisk attachment, add the sugar into the white eggs and mix until firm. After the mixture cools down, addd creamy butter and mix well.

Jocombe Biscuits

500 gr sugar
500 gr almond meal
135 gr flour
12 gr whole eggs
40 gr glucose
100 ml melted butter
450 ml egg whites
80 gr sugar

Using a paddle beater, mix sugar, almond meal, flour, eggs and glucose until white. Fold in melted Butter. Whisk together whites until stiff and add the sugar, folding through batter. Bake on well greased trays at 220 for 10 minutes. Trim edges and turn out onto silicon paper.


250 gr pastry cream
250 gr butter cream

Mix all ingredients together using a paddle attachment until smooth.

Assembling the cake

Cut the jocombe biscuits smaller them 24 cm and put in the bottom of the metallic ring. Cut strawberries in half and place all around of the ring.
Add the cream all around the ring and on the biscuits and add strawberry halves to create another layer above the biscuits. Add the last layer of biscuits and finish with another layer of cream. Rest 1 hour before removing the metallic ring. Add thin slices of strawberries on top of the cake as a garnish.

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