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Please Vote For Me To Go To Vietnam!


Please Vote For Me To Go To Vietnam!

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I took part in Ainsley Harriott Foods #SoupSearch challenge!

PLEASE like Ainsley Harriott’s page, then VOTE FOR ME to go to Vietnam by clicking the button below!! Thank you!

update (07/09/2012): I just realised there’s a small print saying about the prize trip to Morocco is only opened to UK residents. However, voting for me is opened to EVERYONE. I hope you will still vote for me irregardless. Thanks a lot! 

It was a cooking challenge between 5 food bloggers in the UK. It was my first ever experience taking part in a cooking challenge as such. I didn’t know who the 4 other food bloggers were until I got there. It was quite a nice surprise and great to get to know them – Rachel from Rachel Cotterill, Dom from Belleau Kitchen, Chris from Tiki Chris and Natasha Miles from Food I Fancy .

We were taken downstairs where the filming crew was already in the process of getting ready with all their setups and lightning. Wow, I started to feel nervous as I was just not very used to be filmed. But, everything has to start somewhere. Just be myself – hopefully I didn’t look too silly! Check out the video!

Ainsley Harriott is a British celebrity chef and television presenter. He’s also the star of Ready Steady Cook. We were being brief what we were supposed to be doing according to the sequence of the scenes. Ainsley is such a warm and friendly guy. He didn’t fail to make us laugh most of the time!

Before the cooking challenge started, the name of each blogger was randomly drawn to decide which country and type of cuisine he/she would be challenged to cook with the secret ingredients provided. Those 5 countries are Argentina, Japan, Spain, Turkey and Vietnam.

I was pretty nervous at first as I had no idea which type of cuisine I would be cooking! My name was the first to be called and I was assigned to the first table with a big picnic basket in front of me, having no idea what ingredients were inside! Only when I was told I could open to reveal the ingredients, I was so glad to see those familiar ingredients and a card printed with a flag and name of a country – Vietnam!

I couldn’t be more happy to cook Vietnamese cuisine. It is one of the cuisines that I love! We had a pretty standard list of store cupboard ingredients and we could use either beef or chicken as the main ingredient.

It was such a great opportunity to be able to cook with Ainsley in the kitchen. He helped with some chopping, slicing and cooking as I had only 30 minutes to whip up my dish! With all the ingredients that I had, I decided to make Lemongrass Grilled Beef Noodles and Herbs Salad. It was a great fun making the dish though there was a time constraint and I couldn’t help checking the clock every few seconds!

For me, it was such a fun day and great experience – to meet other food bloggers and had the opportunity to cook with Ainsley, was such a great honour!

Please vote for me!

Though the challenge is now completed but there is no winner yet! So, I need your help, my dear readers, to vote for me to become the winner of this #SoupSearch challenge and to win a trip to Vietnam in October (it would be one of the best presents for my birthday *wink*!!) – to explore the tastes Vietnam has to offer!

Well, it is a trip with a soup searching mission to explore and capture the flavours of Vietnam, share my travel experience and capture the beauty of its people, foods and places during the journey! When I am back, my task, as a soup searcher, is to report on the local flavours I have tasted and discovered. Then, work with Symington to create the next new Ainsley Harriott cup soup flavour! I can already imagined lovely refreshing flavours of Vietnam in a cup soup!

What’s in for you?

As a voter, once you cast your vote, you stand a chance to WIN a 3-Night Trip for Two to Marrakech! How cool is that!

Update (07/09/2012): I just realised there’s a small print saying about the prize trip to Morocco is only opened to UK residents. However, voting for me is opened to EVERYONE. I hope you will still vote for me irregardless. Thanks a lot!


Please read the following instructions and vote for me!

1.       Click on this link will prompt you to like the Ainsley Foods Facebook page.

2.       View the video of the Challenge Day.

3.       Click on “VOTE FOR Leemei VIETNAM button below the video.

4.       On the next page, enter your details in order to enter a prize draw for a 3-night trip for two to Marrakech. The winner of this prize will be chosen after voting closes on the 25th September 2012.

5.       After entering details to win the trip to Marrakech, you will see the scores so far. You can only vote once and if you’ve voted and return to the app, you will see the current scores as percentages.


25th September 2012.

Please Vote For Me To Go To Vietnam!

Prep Time:

Cook Time:



For the Lemongrass Grilled Beef with Noodles and Herbs Salad:

250g beef filet, thinly sliced
1 lemongrass, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
1 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
1.5 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

150g rice noodle/vermicelli
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
150g bean sprouts
a big handful of basil leaves
a big handful of mint leaves
a big handful of roughly chopped toasted peanuts
1-2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For the dressing:

1 garlic, grated
1 tsp chopped red chilli
4 tbsp caster sugar
150ml lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
90ml water


1. Put lemongrass, garlic and ginger in a food processor. Blend until smooth and transfer to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of water, mix and pass through a sieve to obtain the liquid and discard the solid. Add the liquid to the beef, then add soya sauce, sugar, olive oil and black pepper, leave to marinate for about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodle according to the packet’s instructions. Once cooked, removed from the water, rinse under cold running water for a few seconds and drain well. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add carrots, bean sprouts, basil leaves and mint leaves, toss to mix.

3. Put a grill pan over medium high heat, cook each side of the beef for about 2-3 minutes or until brown and form perfect charred lines. Remove from heat and let stand in room temperature for a minute before adding to the vegetables and herbs. Toss to mix well.

4. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add enough dressing to coat all the ingredients, toss and mix well. Divide equal portions to individual plates or bowls, topped with some toasted peanuts and sesame seeds.



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