Seeds of happiness : lotus

[Happy Veggie] A sweet delicacy to end the year : try these lotus seeds.

che lotusLotus seeds taste like chestnuts, except for the fact that they exhale a delicate flowery scent. As a child I used to gulp bags of them. One of my favourite sweets! Now I use them in traditional savoury dishes (especially used to stuff duck along with shitakes) or in sweets, just like this one. You can also blend them into a puree, very delicious!

You can find them in cans to use as is . Otherwise you can buy them dry, rehydrate them overnight and boil them.

A common dessert in Vietnam combines these lotus seeds with dried longans (similar to litchis but smaller, sweeter) and white fungus (very good for your skin, said to contain a lot of vegetal collagene). I added some mandarin marmelade and jasmin tea. Everyhing blended perfectly into delicate and floral aromas.

This snack will promote good sleep (thanks to longans and lotus seeds) while embellishing naturally your skin. Isn’t it a must for these festive times?

- Rinse the lotus seeds. Should you use the dry version, don’t forget to retrieve the black stem inside; It is sometimes a bit bitter.

- Rinse and rehydrate the longans and white fungus for 30 minutes

- Combine all ingredients in a light jasmine tea, add some mandarine marmelade or candied kumquats. Enjoy!

These sweet soups are more appealing to those who are familiar of Asia.. But once you develop a taste for them, they cannot be replaced by anything else. In Vietnamese restaurants they are now even served as drinks; while in Vietnam they would be enjoyed all day long to refresh oneself.. Give it a try!


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Stuffed shitakes with tofu, walnut and leek

[HAPPY VEGGIE] I just discovered a new dish in a small trendy Japanese restaurant (Ito located in the South Pigalle area) : stuffed shitakes with walnuts, tofu and leeks. It was so delicious that I decided right away I had to replicate them at home. I must say that I’m pretty happy with the result.

It’s a vegan dish but I’m sure that even meat lovers will enjoy this. The nuts bring enough chunky and tasty to be totally satisfying..


For 2. Easy. 30′: 10 shitakes, 1 portion of tender tofu, 1 handful of walnuts, 1 leek (the white part), 2 ts of soy sauce, 1 ss of mirin, pepper.

1- Drain the tofu and mix it with the walnuts. Keep it chunky.Add the seasoning (soy and mirin). Add a pinch of pepper.

2. Rince and bleach quickly the leek. Slice it thinly and add it to the stuffing

3. Rinse and remove the stalks from the mushrooms. Place a spoon of stuffing in each mushroom. Preheat the oven at average temperature. Bake for 20 minuts. In traditional recipes, the mushrooms are fried in a pan then simmered in a sauce.. To be honest, even if the glazing then looks very appetizing, I find it quicker and easier to bake them in the oven. And they were as delicious! If you’re afraid they may be dry cover with some foil after 10 minuts.

Ready! Enjoy!

I served them with a salad made of raw beetroot, parsley, grapefruit, flaxseeds and walnut oil. It was very good and comforting food…

PS You can also use pecan nuts for the stuffing..

Enjoy your week-end!

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Vegan “pizza” and pecan pesto

[HAPPY VEGGIE] I If you find it difficult to have your greens, I have a recipe for you. No greens but 100% vegan… What do you think of my “pizza”? Perfect to stay fit, especially when some special dinner is coming..



Quick and dirty. 15′

Slice thinly a red meat radish (of course you can use daikon, but I find these coloured so beautiful.. Plus the more colourful, the more anti-oxidants you get..), one carrot, one chili (here I used both yellow ones). I added some artichokes and candied tomatoes brought back from Italian groceries..

And the special touch :  pecan pesto!

Ingredients : a handful of pecan nuts, 3 ss of miso paste, 2 ss of mirin (otherwise use 1 ss of white wine diluted in water), 1 ss of walnut oil or olive oil , some cilantro (optional) : Mix everything together, keep it a bit chunky. Done!

This pesto is very tasty, very healthy (loaded with Omega), plus the miso paste boosts natural immunity. You can keep it up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Use it as a spread on grilled bread, on pasta,  on roasted/ raw veggies (yum!)

To serve : dress the radish slices, add carrots and chili, artichokes. Place a ts of pesto in the heart of each artichoke, add some candied tomatoes. You are ready to go. Very light, yet very tasty and fulfilling!

Have a good we everyone!

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The natural healing power of food #comfortSoup #HoneyBomb

[NUTRIgastronomie] It’s been a week I’ve been fueling myself with paracetamol and syrup. One week that I have been coughing in movie theaters and one week that I perfume myself with.. dragon balm!.. Can’t take it anymore, this calls for emergency call, emergency rush in my kitchen!

Chao vit, soupe de riz au canard

Chao vit, soupe de riz au canard


Chao Vit, the healing soup : First I cook some chao: it’s the Vietnamese equivalent of Chinese congee. No need to be sick to have some, but if you’re sick then traditionnally you will opt for this nourishing but light food. When I was a child my mom would serve it with some very salty scrambled egg. Today I am sharing the recipe of a North Vietnamese traditional soup. The taste is between a risotto and duck pot au feu. It comes with a ginger and lime sauce in which you dip the duck slices. Ginger is a natural antiseptic that warms and dries up your body. To boost the immunity and taste, I also added to the broth a handful of shitakés and goji berries (most powerful antioxydant food) .  

Recipe for  4, 15′ of preparation, 1:00-1:30 of cooking
Ingredients: 1 duck breast, 1 onion, 2 stalks of celeriac, salt, pepper and cilantro seeds, 1 handful of goji berries and dried shitakes (optional), 2 cups of rice
To serve : fish sauce, ginger, sugar, lime, chili, chives and cilantro
1-  Cook the duck in 1.5 liter of water in which you will add the celeriac, onion, pepper, cilantro, ginger, salt, goji and shitakes. After 30′ retrieve the meat, slice it and set aside.
2- Rince the rice and add it to the broth. Let it simmer for 1-1h30 according to the texture you like. The rice flakes should be very tender and kind of open like small flowers.
3- Prepare the sauce: grate the ginger, add half a lime juice and nuoc mam sauce (prepared with sugar, chili, garlic and water).
4- Spread some fresh chives and cilantro  and serve piping hot! enjoy!chao2

Should you want a vegan version, very easy, replace the duck by 3 handful of mushrooms. Now is the full season, so you can play with combinations of them. The dish could be enough in itself. But I added some salad with cabbage, mint and daikon..




the drink to kill germs

the drink to kill germs


The drink to kill germs  : I spent the week drinking orange-carotts-ginger juice.. But I decided to increase the dose to reinforce immunity, with an incredibly efficient recipe inspired from the Green Kitchen Stories honey bomb. I mixed in some water some fresh curcuma (turmeric) . You can use dried curcuma but for the healing benefits as well as aromas, I will advise you to try to get some fresh one. It is now pretty easy to find in oriental stores, and it can be kept in the fridge for quite a while. I also added a big piece of ginger (5 cm long ), 1 lime juice, 3 ss of honey (go organic if you can) . Don’t forget the pepper that will boost the assimilation of curcuma benefits.

You can dilute this in hot water, in tea, in orange juice (what I did this morning). I must admit that I’m quite surprised by the healing power of this magical potion. More efficient in one night than one week of medication!..

Now you should be ready to deal with all the elevator and subway germs!

Have a good week everyone !


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Fragrance to drink : hibiscus, rapsberries and pink pralines

[HAPPY VEGGIE] Je vous ai apporté des bonbons.. les bonbons c’est tellement bon… Do you know this song from Jacques Brel?


I had lunch with some friends last week and was wondering what I could bring ..

As they love herbal teas, I thought that my “fragrance to drink” stories could please them. So here is what came out of it… A somptuous red herbal tea..

I brought back from China dried hibiscus flowers. When infused they release beautiful red swirls, but they may be a bit sour as is. So I thought that combined with pink pralines and the last rapsberries, it would be perfect..




Imaginary flower to drink: Can you imagine a flower with purple petals and a fruity heart made of rapsberry? the delicious pink pralines come and wrap all this.. Drop the pralines generously in the hot tea and let them melt..



Fragrance to drink :  for 0,5 liter

10 dried hibiscus flowers, 5-7 pink pralines , 10 rapsberries

hibiscus4.jpgPour the hot water on the hibiscus. Let infuse, adding the pralines. When the herbal tea has cooled a little bit, add the rapsberries (not before because it would cook them and damage the flavour). Wait at least 10 minutes. Enjoy !

To be served at room temperature or fresh. I warn you, it’s like drinking candies, totally addictive… And for the fun this is the famous song “I brought you candies” by Jacques Brel.


Tip NUTRIgastronomie

Hibiscus flowers are anti oxydant thanks to anthocyanins. They help diminish hypertension and cholesterol. They have a slight diuretic effect and also help relieve PMS syndroms. 

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Pancake party! the Vietnamese way : Banh Xeo

[LOVE TIP] You asked for it, here it is, the recipe of Vietnamese pancake : Banh Xeo. Litteraly sizzling cake to echo the sound it makes in the pan. It’s a typical dish Vietnamese people love to eat in small restaurants that will only serve it.

banh xeo

banh xeo

This crispy yellow pancake owes its colour to curcuma. Made of rice flour it is also very aromatic, thanks to chives , coconut milk.. and beer, my little secret..This will bring additional flavour and crisp. You can find flour mixes in exotic stores, very handy because the curcuma powder is provided along.

Normally the challenge consists in doing very thin and crispy pancakes. Don’t cut on the oil! It is served with tons of salads, aromatic herbs and cucumber that should balance all the richness

The best would be to eat them piping hot from the pan. But if you are a bunch of people, you can prepare them ahead of time and keep them in the oven at low temperature. Just before serving heat the temperature up. They won’t be as crispy, but still very tasty…

The filling comes with fresh bacon, shrimps, bean sprouts and mungo beans. It can also be prepared in advance, unless you prefer to cook everything at the same time. In this case, first sizzle the meat and other ingredients. Then coat a thin layer of batter around. You can easily go vegan with tofu and mushrooms. I also twisted the recipe this summer with grated zucchini served with a huge bunch of mint..


Ingredients. For 8 personnes (16 pancakes). 3h of which 1h30 to do the pancakes (I know it’s long…)

Pancake : 2 bags of mixed flour, 300 ml of coconut milk, 300 ml of water/beer, chives, neutral oil. You will need an anti adhesive pan.

Filling :  garlic, onions, bean sprouts, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper + fresh bacon, shrimps, mushrooms…

To serve : salad, cucumber, aromatic herbs : mint, cilantro, thai basil, shiso (tia to in Vietnamese), chili and pickles (do chua)

To serve (bis) : “prepared” fish sauce (nuoc mam) with lime, garlic, chili , water. Count a 1 to 6-8 ratio between pure nuoc mam and water, the juice of 1 lime, 1 pressed garlic, 2 red chili and about 4-6 ss of sugar. Taste and adjust …

1- Prepare the batter :   Mix the flour, curcuma, coconut milk, water, beer and chives. Let it rest in a cool place for one hour.

2- Filling : Thinly cut the onion and press the garlic. Clean the shrimps (remove the black stomach), thinly slice the meat. Wash the bean sprouts. In a pan gently golden the garlic and onions, add the meat, and then only the shrimps. Last at the very end add the bean sprouts. Cut the heat right away. Set aside. If you use mungo beans, rinse them, quickly boil them, drain and coarsely mix into puree. Enrich with coconut milk and season to your taste.

3- Pancake : Oil the pan, pour a thin layer of batter, let it golden. Flip it and add some more oil so that the edges curls and crisps. Add the filling on one side, close down the pancake. Ready! (at last!)


4- To serve : Roll a piece of pancake in a salad leave, garnish with herbs. Dip in the sauce and enjoy with pickles !

At this stage I am afraid you are tempted to run to the restaurant rather than generate a huge (but nice…) mess in your kitchen.. I do totally sympathize.. But home-made cooking is always so much better! Hope you will try it !: )


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Come and cook Vietnamese with me #giveaway #foiredautomne #lappartelier

[SNIFFKISS] If you have been around lately in Paris, you may have noticed that Foire d’Automne has started  and will last until 2nd of November.  L’appartelier – kitchen to rent- has set up a tremendous programme of cooking classes .

ImpressionEveryday comes with a new angle : ” How to impress  friends”, “Trompe l’oeil”,”Wander in the garden”, “Street Food”, “Carte blanche to bloggers”…  For the detailed programme click  here

I will join the team on Saturday November, 1st for the “Carte blanche to bloggers” session. 5 cooking workshops are planned. Detailed programme here

If you like Vietnamese food but don’t know where to start, why don’t you join me at 6 pm : 10 “active” seats (cook and taste) + 40 “spectators” seats (the class will be broadcasted live on a big screen). First arrived, first served ! :)

On the menu: Autumnal “Goi” ! It consists in a traditional Vietnamese salad, adapted to feature local and seasonal ingredients. Although adapted, it goes with the typical and traditional flavours. Very easy, healthy, but most importantly delicious recipe !

Pear, radish, carrot goi

Pear, radish, carrot goi

You will call me a purist if you want, but I am very strongly attached to share what accounts for the traditional smell & taste feelings of Vietnamese cuisine. It is a subtle, aromatic, light and delicious cuisine that traditionally calls for a lot of fresh herbs and vegetables, all minutiously prepared and combined. Influences from China, India, France blend together in a very unique way. Combinations of ingredients, flavours, textures tell a lot about Vietnamese history and are also a testimonial of traditional medicine. From North to South, Vietnamese cuisine varies a lot. As for the imperial delicacies from Hue they are by themselves a full chapter.

Vietnamese food is so much more than Pho and Banh Mi… which tend to become more popular in Paris right now. Although I am delighted that people discover and like this food, I am still cringing when Pho is served with mint (like basil with pot of feu??!!). Besides I can’t help sighing when I see Bo Bun with shrimps/chicken.. because Bo Bun litterally means Beef Vermicelli.. ( You just learnt 2 words of Vietnamese!:)) So come and share a glimpse of Vietnamese (food) soul..By the way Minh Tam from la kitchenette de Miss Tam will precede me and teach you how to prepare “Banh Khot”

GIVE AWAY : to participate  1) share this post 2)write in below comments or send me by email at if/why/ what you love in Vietnamese cuisine… v…Drawing lot, good luck!

Enjoy your week!

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