The Ethnic Paris Cookbook Winner and Vietnamese Rice Noodles Love Me Long Time

bun, vietnamese rice noodle salad from The Ethnic Paris Cookbook
Before I explain why it is absolutely essential that I give away the review copy of The Ethnic Paris Cookbook even though I so very boldly declared my absolute love and adoration for the book, let me first force myself a woman of my words by announcing the winner.

Because, you know, once you blog something, you’ve made it official. It’s formal. It’s real. Once you say something out blog, you’re basically making an almost legally binding contract that you have to uphold. You can’t take it back, and even if you try to deny be deletion, Google is faster than you. Your ass has been cached.

So here goes. I am obligated to part with the beloved The Ethnic Paris Cookbook once I say I’m giving the book to…

ethnic paris cookbook giveaway winner

Really?

Do I have to?

Can’t I just send photocopies of the important pages to TerryB of BlueKitchen?!?!

TerryB, aren’t you just so excited you almost swallowed your balloon whisk!? I know I did! Drop me an email with your mailing address so I can send you the book, and don’t forget your promise. You have to make something. You promised. We all saw and read your comment (#34), and commenting, as you know, is the blog equivalent of a handshake.

Everyone else, I know how so very disappointed you must be, but despair not. There will be more, oh yes, there will be many more giveaways because, well, because that’s just how living The Delicious Life has transformed me – I’m caring and giving and generous and I can’t help but love*love*love you all!

Let’s just ignore the fact that really, all of this generosity comes at no true financial burden to me other than shipping expense of a few dollars — wait a budgetary second here — which is about 86% of my monthly allowable spending limit because — hold on — I don’t have a job, so now that I think about it– smacks enormous Mongoloid foreheadI am being pretty f**king nice.

Really though, I have an entire shelf about to snap under the weight of complimentary copies of cookbooks for me to “review.” Publishers and PR agencies seem to believe that sending “review copies” and product samples to little delicious moi will give their clients all kinds of positive online exposure because I will read and cook and bake and blog praises of their book/energy drink/salad spinner/USB-powered vibrator (oops, wrong blog), sending readers to the store in droves to buy! buy! buy!

Little do they know.

Little do they know that 1) I don’t cook, 2) I can’t bake to save my loaf and C) The Delicious Life has exactly 14 readers a day (11 on the weekends), so the maximum possible number of people who will actually spend money to purchase a cookbook is…zero. No one is going to buy the books or energy drinks or salad spinners (but maybe the USB vibrator) because I give mine to the one person who actually wants it and would potentially shell out the $36.95 msrp, and everyone else will get the recipe for Red Velvet Cake and Vietnamese Rice Noodles online for free when I post them.

But giving away cookbooks is Too. Much. Fun. Really, it is, and to be quite honest, it makes me feel less stupid for stomping around the kitchen in my 4″ stilettos and frilly little apron, because I wouldn’t dare give away something that I didn’t test myself first, now would I? So let’s just keep all of this our filthy little secret, and as long as everyone plays along in this grand PR charade, I’ll keep getting cookbooks to give away to you.

bun

Bo Bun (Vietnamese Rice Noodle “Salad”) Recipe

from The Ethnic Paris Cookbook
Serves 4

Beef and Noodles

  • 1 pound boneless steak, sliced into 2-inch strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons nuoc mam
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin rings

Salad and Garnishes

  • 2 cups fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 2 cups shredded red or green lettuce leaves
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into julienne strips
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • handful each of fresh mint, coriander, and Asian basil
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 1 recipe Nuoc Cham (see below)

1. Combine the sliced beef, minced garlic, lemongrass, nuoc mam, and sugar in a bowl and marinate 30 minutes.

2. To cook the rice vermicelli, bring a large of water to a rolling boil. Add the noodles and cook 3 to 5 minutes, giving the pot a stire from time to time. The noodles are done when soft and white but still firm. Drain and rinse in cold water until cool. (The vermicelli can be cooked in advance and kept at room temperature for several hours.)

3. Right before serving, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or a wok and saute the sliced onion until translucent. Add the marinated beef and quickly stir-fry to brown, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

4. To serve, the different elements of the dish can be arranged on a platter and guests can create their individual portions: To assemble, first plac
e some of the bean sprouts, lettuce, cucumber, and carrots in the bottom of each bowl, then add a handful of herbs and cool vermicelli noodles. Top the whole thing off with slices of the caramelized beef and garnish with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts before drizzling over the Nuoc Cham sauce.

nuoc cham for bun

Nuoc Cham

  • 1 bird’s eye chili
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup nuoc mam
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon thinly shredded carrot (optional)

Roughly slice the chili and garlic and then put in a mortar, along with the sugar. Pound into a paste and transfer to a bowl. If you do not have a mortar, finely mince the chili and garlic before adding to the sugar. Add the other ingredients (except the carrots) and stir well until the sugar dissolves. Add the shredded carrots, if using. Let the sauce stand for at least 10 minutes for the flavors to fully develop.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous March 18, 2008 at 5:15 am

damn… if it was 35, i would have won and thus given the book back to you. you sure your random counter didn’t pick 35? you sure that the 33 before terry b. and myself were all real requests?

oh well, enjoy the book terry b.

Reply

2 sarah March 18, 2008 at 6:23 am

Oh, Anonymous, maybe I secretly rigged the lottery just so you wouldn’t win this time thereby ensuring that you would keep coming back to play…

Reply

3 theballadofyoko March 18, 2008 at 1:15 pm

I find it hard to believe that you only have 14 readers! I know you have more than that.

I have limited space for cookbooks right now, otherwise I’d play along too…

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4 Terry B March 18, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Wow! Yes, I’m very excited that I won! [Okay, that’s two exclamation points in a row–if you knew me, you’d realize that means I’m practically hyperventilating with excitement.]

There. I breathed into a paper sack for a couple of minutes. I’m fine now. Thanks so much, Sarah! [Dang. A third one–my reputation as a blasé guy is totally shot.] I will most definitely cook and post something from this book soon.

Reply

5 Terry B March 18, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Wow! Yes, I’m very excited that I won! [Okay, that’s two exclamation points in a row–if you knew me, you’d realize that means I’m practically hyperventilating with excitement.]

There. I breathed into a paper sack for a couple of minutes. I’m fine now. Thanks so much, Sarah! [Dang. A third one–my reputation as a blasé guy is totally shot.] I will most definitely cook and post something from this book soon.

Reply

6 Anonymous March 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm

damn, i knew this thing was rigged.

sarah, trust me – i keep coming back. this blog is crack and you’re my dealer.

and still waiting for ikko. at this point, you need to revisit before posting.

cheers.

Reply

7 John S. March 18, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Sarah – I’d like to point out that some of your loyal readers actually followed *the rules* and left a comment in all caps. Certain winners of an awesome cookbook, ahem, did not…

Terry – (grudging) congrats… :)

Reply

8 sarah March 18, 2008 at 4:46 pm

balladofyoko: oh alright! i actually only have 12 readers because two of them are my sisters, okay?!?

man this is reminding me of elementary school when the only people who would support me in the school talent show was my family…

terry b: and to think you didn’t even ALLCAPSSHOUT…

anonymouscrackho: ikko…oh YEAH. dammit, i thought you forgot about that.

john s: read very, very carefully…spelling is key on The Delicious Life.

Reply

9 sarah March 18, 2008 at 4:46 pm

balladofyoko: oh alright! i actually only have 12 readers because two of them are my sisters, okay?!?

man this is reminding me of elementary school when the only people who would support me in the school talent show was my family…

terry b: and to think you didn’t even ALLCAPSSHOUT…

anonymouscrackho: ikko…oh YEAH. dammit, i thought you forgot about that.

john s: read very, very carefully…spelling is key on The Delicious Life.

Reply

10 MC Doorite March 18, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Aw, shiznit!
So, Sarah, whaddya givin’ away fo free next??? whatever it is, I wannit.

MC Doorite

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11 nancy_blumberg March 18, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Who needs a cookbook when you’re posting the recipe… I know what we’re havin’ fer dinner tonite!

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12 Anonymous March 18, 2008 at 10:17 pm

sarah – even though alcohol may have wiped out most of my memory, there is still enough to remember. plus, i hav a very good touchpad in which to search your past posts. so disappointing. and that’s mister crackho.

Reply

13 theballadofyoko March 20, 2008 at 2:32 am

Well, count me as a loyal reader! ;)

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14 sailorpikaangel March 27, 2008 at 2:58 am

hmmm.. I think I would give this a try. I have very poor vietnamese cooking skills and everytime I ask my mom to try to teach me something… It gets kinda difficult bcs she is all about the taste and add with no measurement philosophy. I would be interested in trying to make this and see how it compares to what my mom makes.

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15 theballadofyoko April 3, 2008 at 2:37 am

Hey– I made this for dinner tonight, but using pork instead of beef. It was really tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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16 theballadofyoko April 3, 2008 at 2:37 am

Hey– I made this for dinner tonight, but using pork instead of beef. It was really tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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17 sarah j. gim April 3, 2008 at 2:47 am

mcdoorite: next up is a baking book. poor thing will never get used in the delicious kitchen.

nancy b: seriously, why waste the money?

mr crackho, since u nasty: i think just for you iwll leave ikko blank for all eternity

sailorpikaangel: but like, bun doesn’t require much “cooking” (thank god, or else i’da been in trouble). it’s mostly washing and prepping the vegetables.

balladofyoko: pork is never a bad substitution. glad it turned out well!

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18 hermz April 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Wow. You have the power to command your devoted followers to write in all caps, and they do. You give away free stuff. Soon you will be the Korean Oprah.

Regardless, I’d still love to cache that ass. haha! Couldn’t resist. =P

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