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Hmong Foods


About Hmong Foods 

Hmong Red Chili Peppers

Hmong cuisine is influenced by the counties they migrated to during the war.  They consist of many spices and herbs.  Chilies, cilantro, ginger, green onion, garlic, mint, fish sauce, and oyster sauce are very popular ingredients.  Their three meals always include a portion of white rice and some hot sauce (kua txob) to add some fire to their meals.  Most meals will also include a small portion of meat and a few vegetables.  

 

Typical dishes are either boiled, steamed, or stir fried.  Hmong meals are considered very healthy.  In their native countries, they grow all their herbs, spices, and vegetables.  They also usually keep animals such as chickens, pigs and cows on hand.  Here in the US, most

Hmong still try to stay true to this.  Many families typically still grow their own gardens with native herbs and spices and harvest the seeds for the next year. They also will butcher their own meats, usually with another family to fill up their freezers.  This reduces chemicals and cost for Hmong families. 

 

Hmong families typically do not have a breakfast.  Sure, they may eat in the mornings but what it consist of does not differ too far from what they eat for lunch and supper.  Another difference is that Hmong families typically do not make or eat desserts.  For special

occasions, they will sometimes make a dessert called Nab Vam.  Nab Vam, called Tri-Color in the US, is served cold and typically consist of tapioca pearls and tapioca strings in three different colors.  It also has coconut milk and caramelized sugar to sweeten it up. 

 

There are more and more Hmong restaurants sprouting up in heavily Hmong populated areas.  A dish that is common in areas that Hmong people may be is Pho.  Pho is a soup that consists of rice stick noodles, beef steak, beef flavor paste, green onions, cilantros, chili

oil/paste, and then you decide what other flavors you would like to bring in.  Other ingredients would include, but definitely is not limited to, are sugar, lime, chili, and bean sprouts.   This recipe definitely comes from the Vietnamese but has also been perfected by Hmong people and seasoned to their taste. 

 
 
Nam Vam
(Known as Tri-Color)
 
3 different colors/shaped uncooked Tapioca
2 cans coconut milk
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
Banana extract
 
Boil 4 cups water and 2 cups sugar together until color of honey and all sugar is dissolved, burns very easily so watch closely.
Boil tapioca using directions from package.  Drain and run water through a couple of time  to keep them from sticking together. 
Thin out your coconut milk by adding 1 can water to the one can of coconut milk.
If making individual servings, put ½ cups of the different colored tapioca in cup, add ½ of coconut milk mixture, add 2 tablespoons of honey, and ice.  One drop of banana extract can be added at this point.  Stir together and serve with spoon.  You can also add just about any fruit of your choice.  Cantaloupe, honeydew, and lychee are pretty common. 
 
 
 
Traditional Hmong Recipe for Hot Sauce
 
Thai Chilies
Fish Sauce
Optional additional ingredients:
Lime
Cilantro
 
You will find this hot sauce at every Hmong home you visit.  Most families, like my wife’s family, have a year supply in the freezer.  It is made with Thai Chilies, also known as Birds Eye Chili.  They can be found at just about any Asian market or with most Hmong families that have a garden, these chilies take up a big chunk.  You can make as much as you like but it is very simple and easy to store for long periods of time.  Take the amount you want and take the stems off.  Throw in blender until evenly chopped.  Not liquid.  This can be stored in the freezer and small amounts can be served with fish sauce at every meal.  You can also add lime and cilantro to change it up.  Again, you will find this recipe at every traditional Hmong household.
*Wash your hands after every encounter with Thai Chilies.  They are very hot!
 
 

Traditional Hmong Recipe for Chicken Soup

 

1 whole chicken cut into larger pieces (farm fresh chickens are the best)

2 stocks of lemon grass

Salt and Pepper to taste

Rice

 

Using a stew pot, fill ¾ full of water.  Add lemon grass and all the pieces of chicken.  Add a teaspoon of both salt and pepper.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Soup is finished when chicken is fully cooked.  Taste liquid to see if more salt or pepper is needed. This traditional Hmong recipe is always served with rice with this poured on top and a couple pieces of chicken to be eaten like a soup.  Most Hmong families will have this meal once a week.  It is easy on the stomach and a Hmong staple. 

 

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