Hot and cold dish: Hot polenta with Asian seasoning tomato tartare

26 Aug

At home we bought some polenta. You may wonder why or how can we get some polenta in Vietnam? Easy; at the Annam Gourmet Market in Saigon. This shop is some kind of expat shop full of imported products that aren’t that expensive (I would say it is a bit more expensive than in Europe, but because they have many shops around Saigon, they might import in bigger quantities, so the transport cost is little).

We thought that because you can have at least 12 times of polenta per person with a one-kilo pack, the cost was quite reduced and it could enable us to eat at home.

Unfortunately, we don’t always have butter at home but usually cheap oil, so polenta is not always at its best. I was thinking about what we could do with it apart from meat (the nearest supermarkets leave us really doubtful about the fresh meat’s hygiene…) and I thought of making a tomato tartare.

We don’t have anything to make a salad sauce, but I thought that with a lot of fresh herbs and lime juice it could be fresher and better.

So here is my recipe of my Asian seasoning tomato tartare:

Ingredients for two persons:

4 tomatoes


Thai basil

Vietnamese spicy salt

1 lime

1 garlic clove (or two small depending on the size)

1 spring onion (or three small if you’re in Asia)


Wash the tomatoes and cut them into small cubes. Keep the juice with them in a bowl.

Wash the herbs, garlic and onion, chop them finely and add them to the tomatoes.

Roll your lime with your palm on a flat surface before cutting it (it will give more juice). Cut the lime and squeeze it to get all the juice. Add the juice to the tomatoes, a bit of the spicy salt and put the bowl in the refrigerator.

For the polenta:

In the meantime, prepare the polenta as written on your pack. We added a garlic clove inside the water as well as salt to give it some taste. Once cooked, I advise you to put a lot of butter and some parmigiano for the polenta to be creamier.


Put some polenta in a plate, and make a nest with it, then you can put the fresh tomatoes on top.

My tomato tartare is really healthy, no need to add oil for instance, there is taste without any sauce.

The Vietnamese spicy salt is some kind of salt people use here to eat with fruits to enhance their taste. It is usually made of salt, pepper and chillies but there are some made with dried shrimps.

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