This is a post that I’ve been meaning to get up for over a year now, and I don’t know why I kept pushing it off. I love talking about Vietnamese culture and sharing what I know. I was tired of pushing this off, so I finally sat down and wrote this up. Keep in mind, this is my first “recipe” type of post, so sorry if it’s not that informational. I’m happy to answer any and all questions if you’re a parent and ever want to give this a try.
When a baby is around 5-6 months, it’s common in Vietnamese culture to start the baby on some solid foods. That’s typical for the US, too, but instead of the usual rice cereal that parents know of, we make a rice flour and nutrient-rich broth puree and feed that to the baby.
It isn’t something that can keep in a container. You make it each time you want to feed the baby, but it’s very simple and very quick to make, as long as you’ve pre-made the broth. The broth can be your typical chicken stock or whatever you already know how to make. Most of the time, my family uses chicken, but we occasionally use beef or another meat. We also throw in some veggies like carrots, potatoes, winter melon, etc. The important thing is to make sure you get all the nutrients from those ingredients in that broth.
One thing you have to keep in mind is, with Asians, particularly Vietnamese (and I’m speaking for my family and friends), we don’t measure everything out. We’re pretty old-school about it and like to mix ingredients and then add in more if we need, for taste.
1. Rice Flour
2. Broth (Chicken or Beef, veggies, etc)
4. Small, stainless steel pot
1. Add a gracious spoonful of rice flour to the pot.
2. Add a touch of water to the pot and mix. Keep adding water a little bit at a time until all the flour has dissolved. The consistency should be thick.
3. Add the broth. If you’re using a small pot, you should fill it anywhere from 1/5 to 1/4 of the pot.
4. Stir on HIGH for around 2 minutes or until the mix starts to solidify.
5. Turn the stove to a LOW setting and continue to stir for 8-10 minutes. This makes sure the flour is heated up properly and adds better flavor to the puree.
6. Pour the puree onto a plate and place in the either the fridge (for 3-5 minutes) or the freezer (for 1-2 minutes). Times can vary based on your refrigerator temp settings. The puree should be cooled to room temperature or slightly warm.
We make this dish for the baby for a couple months, until they’re able to transition to more solid foods and eat a wider variety.
I’ve done this for all of my kids and they all loved it. It’s also something an adult could try and not think it was disgusting, like a lot of those jarred baby foods tend to be.