Carb Lover--I am practicing for my dinner party, and bought some stir-fried water spinach, or rau muong, as you suggested for one of the dishes. I asked the owner what I should add to the stir-fried rau muong, and he said just garlic and salt (I'm assuming oil, of course). Do you agree? Anyone else have any recipe suggestions?
Thank you everyone for the terrific ideas. I am surrounded by Vietnamese cookbooks at the moment and will report back on my final menu and results.
Oh--one more question! For the caramel chicken can I make the caramel sauce in advance? There is a recipe for caramel pork in one of my cookbooks, and it calls for a few tablespoons of pre-made caramel sauce. I remember when I made caramel chicken before, the chicken got a teeny bit dry by the time the sauce caramelized. This time I'm using a mix of white meat and chicken thighs to try and avoid that problem.