Friday, February 28, 2014

Leilani’s Original Almond Dipping Sauce Recipe

This is a bonus recipe that accompanies my Goi Cuon recipe.

Leilani’s Almond Dipping Sauce

Makes almost 2 cups of sauce

This is my very own recipe that I've been using for over 10 years!  It's based on my mom's peanut dipping sauce which consists of chunky peanut butter, hoison sauce, lime, garlic, chile & water.  My secret ingredient is swapping almond butter instead of peanut butter.  This is inspired by my mom's use of slivered garlicky almonds or crushed macadamias (really whatever she has on hand) as a garnish on lots of different dishes that call for crushed peanuts.  Also I eliminate the hoison sauce which is really just wheat, starch/thickener, color/caramel, and MSG, and instead use molasses instead which is a nutrient-rich sweetener.  If you cannot tolerate any cane sugar, try using organic dried mission figs or dates and use an immersion blender or food processor to mix it.  The measurements are rough estimates of what you will need. Adjust according to your taste.


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-6 dried organic unsulfured apricots or prunes or 3 tbs fruit syrup*
  • 1 c. crunchy or creamy almond butter
  • 2-3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or fresh diced chilies to taste
  • juice from ½ lime
  • 1 ounce sliced or minced almonds
  • fresh coconut juice (or water)

In a small bowl, mix molasses 6 tablespoons almond butter, chili, lime and garlic. And water until the consistency resembles yogurt. Stir until almond butter is dissolved. Add additional almond butter and water until desired thickness is obtained. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish sauce with chopped almonds.

We eat this with our spring rolls and with noodles.

*3/1/2014 This is a substitute for hoison sauce.  I've recently watched Dr. Robert Lustig's TED talk where he lists the 56 names of sugar.  Blackstrap molasses was listed so I am now removing that from my recipe and in considering the sugar content of fruit, I've also removed dried figs and dates as alternatives.

Try my new recipe for making almond sauce:

Leilani’s Rustic Almond Dipping Sauce

Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Aioli Remoulade Sauce

My amazing vintage Republic of VN platter shop find; it's older than I am!

Aioli Remoulade Sauce

Vietnam hugs the coastline and fresh seafood is omnipresent in the cuisine.  One of my favorite seafood meals of all time is steamed Dungeness crab.  Whenever I've had this eating out, I've been sorely disappointed by the frozen crabs; live crabs steamed at home is so much better, cheaper, and satisfactory.  Every Thanksgiving we eagerly await the opening of Dungesness crabbing season.  The traditional accompaniment for steamed crab is muối tiêu chanh | salt pepper lemon juice.  In my Phamily, we have the custom of eating crab with aioli remoulade.  I'm not sure how this remoulade became my Phamily's preferred condiment perhaps via our years in Hawai'i.  I rarely eat dairy from any species as both me and my daughter have a sensitivity/allergy (no, it's not lactose intolerance, it's not the protein that bothers us, it's probably the free glutamates).  One of the advantages of being in the Bay is access to quality, premium products.  So I do make occasional exceptions for butter especially when it's Spring Hill organic cultured grass-fed butter or Petaluma Creamery organic butter from nearby Marin County.


  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 1/2 lemon juiced or more
  • minced garlic
  • sea salt

Melt butter in a saucepan on low heat.  Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.  Add mayonnaise and blend.  Turn off heat and add lemon juice and sea salt to taste.

Don't worry if your garlic turns green while cooking; it's chemistry, not putrefaction.

Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!