Pipis wok-tossed with chilli and Asian basil

Pipis wok-tossed with chilli and Asian basil

By
From
The Food of Vietnam
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Alan Benson

When I opened my restaurant more than ten years ago, I cooked pipis almost every night, as they were so readily available. Nowadays, you’ll be lucky to find them on Sydney restaurant menus as they are scarce. Every time I see them in the markets of Vietnam, I jump at the chance to buy some and cook them for friends. They are delicious, fun to eat and make a great drinking dish to enjoy with beer.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 lemongrass stem, bruised, then cut into 5 cm lengths
500g pipis
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon red asian shallot, finely diced
2 teaspoons potato starch or cornflour, blended with 1 tablespoon water
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 handfuls asian basil leaves

Method

  1. Bring 250 ml water to the boil in a saucepan. Add the lemongrass and pipis. Cover and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the pipis open slightly. Discard any pipis that do not open.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, fish sauce and oyster sauce in a bowl. Mix until the sugar has dissolved and set aside.
  3. Strain the pipis, reserving the broth.
  4. Heat a wok to high. Add the oil, garlic and shallot, followed by the pipis, then wok-toss for 1 minute.
  5. Add the oyster sauce mixture and 3 tablespoons of the broth from the pipis. Toss for a further minute, then add the potato starch mixture.
  6. Finally, add the chilli, pepper and Asian basil and toss to combine.
  7. Enjoy straight away, with a cold beer.
Tags:
The Food of Vietnam
Luke
Nguyen
Red
Lantern
Vietnam
Vietnamese
Asian
Asia
South
East
Southeast
South-east
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