October Santa Monica Farmers Market Demo

We had an amazing time at the Coast Open Streets Event on October 1! Chef Kim Vu demonstrated the recipes below and conducted in-depth panel discussions and answered several cooking questions!

Asian Cabbage Salad

Serves 4

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Garlic Clove

For the Salad:
2 c Shredded Red Cabbage
2 c Shredded Napa Cabbage
1/2 c Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
1/2 c Green Beans, Blanched and Cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 c Carrots, Shredded or Julienned
1/2 c Cucumber (Coined or Julienned) or Daikon
(Shredded or Julienned)
Sesame Seeds, for garnish
Scallions, for garnish

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until garlic clove is finely incorporated. If you don’t have a food processor, then mince the garlic clove and combine with all ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

Curry Vegetable Stir Fry

For the Sauce (for 5‐7 lbs of veggies):
1 can Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Curry Powder
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Salt
2 tsp Pepper
1 Tbsp ground Ginger
1 Lemongrass Bunch/Stalk
1/4 c Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp Fine Chopped Green Onion
2 Tbsp Fine Chopped Cilantro

For the Stir Fry:
3 Tbsp Vegetable or Sesame Oil
1 whole Yellow Onion, Cut Into Large Chunks
2 whole colorful Bell Peppers, Seeded and Cut Into Large Chunks
2 whole Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 whole Medium Zucchini, Cut Into Large Wedges
1 whole Medium Eggplant, Cut into Large Wedges
Cooked Noodles Or Rice, For Serving
Sesame Seeds, For Garnish
Scallions, For Garnish

1. In a food processor, mix together all the curry sauce ingredients. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers, and stir, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more, stirring continuously. Add the eggplant and stir, cooking it for 2 minutes more. Add the zucchini and cook for a couple of minutes., While the veggies are still firm, pour in the sauce.
3. Stir the veggies in the sauce, cooking for 4 to 5 minutes more. Serve over noodles or rice, witha sprinkling of sesame seeds and scallions.
Tips: Prep all the veggies and make the sauce up to 24 hours ahead of time. Keep in separate containers in the fridge.

Skillet Asian Pear Crisp

1⁄3 c packed brown sugar
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
2 lbs Asian pears, unpeeled but trimmed, cored and chopped
6 Tbsp (3⁄4 stick) butter, divided
1⁄2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts: walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, etc.
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1⁄2 c rolled oats
1⁄4 c shredded unsweetened coconut

1. Put 5 Tbsp butter in large skillet over low heat. When butter is melted, add nuts, lemon zest, oats, coconut, packed brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt; toss to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until topping is golden and crisp, 6 to 8 min. Remove from the pan; no need to wipe it out. The topping can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container up to a day or so in advance.
2. Put 1 Tbsp butter in the skillet over medium heat. When it’s melted, add fruit and cook, stirring
occasionally until pears are soft but not mushy, 10 min. Scatter the topping over the warm fruit and serve. This recipe can be made with any fruit you like, including berries, apples and mangoes. Adjust cooking time based on firmness of the fruit.

To download the recipes on a handy 8.5 x 11 sheet, click here.


Kohlrabi and Persimmon Salad Recipe

After the delicious fruits of summer, the fall brings about another round of flavorful produce. This time of year, I anticipate the arrival of persimmons. These deceptive-looking fruits look a lot like tomatoes but have a delicate, sweet taste that blends perfectly with kohlrabi, a crisp vegetable with a sweet, peppery taste.

This recipe requires only a little preparation and is topped with an easy black sesame dressing for a beautiful finish.

Kohlrabi and Persimmon Salad


Shaved kohlrabi
ed persimmon
Charred shishlto peppers, sliced
Purslane, picked
Cherry tomatoes, halved
A dollop of plain yogurt
Dill, pickled
Cucumber, sliced
Black sesame dressing (recipe follows)

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Toss together.

Black Sesame Dressing

3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Asian (toasted) sesame oil
2 Tbsp black or white sesame seedstoasted lightly
Brown sugar or honey, to taste

In medium bowl, combine ingredients. Whisk together until combined.


August Santa Monica Farmers Market Demo!

Chef Kim's demo on Sunday, August 13 at the Santa Monica Farmers Market will include a fabulous shakshuka recipe and a tomato vinaigrette! We know not everyone can make it to the farmers market, so the recipes are below. Bon apétit!

Fresh Tomato Shakshuka

1 onion, julienne
1 bell pepper (any color), seeded, julienne
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
cayenne to taste, or 1/8 tsp
1 bay leaf
28 oz. tomatoes, fresh or whole canned, rough chopped, with juices
6 large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish
1 jalapeño, seeded, minced or hot sauce (optional)
Feta or goat cheese, crumbled, for garnish (optional)
Sautéed spinach or chard, seasoned with salt and pepper (optional)
Tomato paste, 1/4 cup, added 1 tablespoon at a time (optional)
Grilled or toasted bread or pita, for serving


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Pre-heat a large skillet, add oil, onion, and bell pepper. Cook gently until soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and juices, season with salt and pepper, and simmer 10 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
  3. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes, season the eggs with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven until the eggs are just set, 6 to 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro or parsley.
  4. Optional ingredients. Add jalapeños during step 2 for a spicier version. Add sautéed spinach or chard for a heartier meal. Add feta or goat cheese for a richer flavor.

NOTE: Tomatoes vary widely in flavor depending on whether you’re using fresh or canned tomatoes, and also depending on the season and source of the tomatoes. If you’re using, say, store-bought fresh tomatoes during winter, consider adding tomato paste, 1 Tbsp at a time to either thicken or punch up the flavor of your shakshuka. If it is the middle of winter, chef recommends using whole canned tomatoes, San Marzano, if available.

Yield: 6 entrée servings

Printer-friendly 8.5x11 version | Printer-friendly 5x3 recipe card version

Tomato Vinaigrette

8 oz. very ripe tomatoes
1/4 c of your favorite vinegar — red wine, balsamic, or sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 c good olive oil
Salt, to taste
Optional:  Your favorite herbs

Throw everything in a blender and go crazy.

Printer-friendly 8.5x11 version | Printer-friendly 5x3 recipe card version

Santa Monica Proud

People sometimes ask us why we choose to run our business in Santa Monica. Rent, taxes, and ingredients are all more expensive here. But we do it because we’re proud of Santa Monica and want to be a part of the positive, healthy forward-thinking that it embodies. As a Santa Monica resident and business owner, Chef Kim is focused on contributing to the community and benefiting from it in ways that will also benefit you, our clients. We wanted to take a minute to express our gratitude by sharing with you the parts of Santa Monica that we take advantage of every day.

Taking in the earlybird crowd at Wednesday's Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Taking in the earlybird crowd at Wednesday's Santa Monica Farmers Market.

THE SANTA MONICA FARMERS MARKET.  From produce to protein, every menu that we design is built around the local organic ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers Market and surrounding local businesses. We order directly from farms as well as hand-shop on Wednesday mornings. So, keep an eye out for Chef Kim and Chef Freddy at the market.

I'm not sure cherimoyas existed when I was this age.

I'm not sure cherimoyas existed when I was this age.

The 2nd Sunday of each month, Chef Kim and team head to the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Main Street for a food demo, featuring ingredients from the vendors on-site.

SUSTAINABILITY. Earlier this year, we treated locals to vegetarian bites at Santa Monica’s State of the City, which focused on sustainability and the green initiative. We have since been working with Sustainable Works to ensure that our business operates as efficiently and environmentally-friendly as possible. Our commitment extends past where we source our food to our compostable/recyclable eating sundries, in-house cleaning supplies, and the type of lighting in our kitchen.

Chef Kim Vu at Santa Monica's State of the City event.

Chef Kim Vu at Santa Monica's State of the City event.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. Whether you’ve noticed or not, you’ve been seeing Chef Kim and her team out and about in Santa Monica now more than ever. Aside from the State of the City event, Chef Kim has offered her time, food, and staff to important initiatives, including the Planned Parenthood LA gala at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar. With a focus on corporate events, we are regularly involved in benefits, fundraisers, and social awareness events.

Locals taste small bites from Vucacious at the Planned Parenthood LA event at Santa Monica's Barker Hangar. 

Locals taste small bites from Vucacious at the Planned Parenthood LA event at Santa Monica's Barker Hangar. 

Join us in celebrating Santa Monica at the following events:

This Sunday, April 9th @ the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Main Street. It’s our monthly demo on the second Sunday of the month. This upcoming Sunday, we’re showcasing Autonomy Farms, who has been rebuilding their farm after incurring major flood damage. This is your chance to taste their meats before you buy them and then do your share to help give back. Our menu will feature dishes appropriate for Passover and Easter alike.

Wednesday, May 24th @ the Vucacious Private Dining Room. Chef Kim Vu opens her private dining room to the public for one night in celebration of the LA Times Food Bowl. In honor of National Strawberry Month, this event will harness Chef Kim's Vietnamese heritage along with her love of Santa Monica local fare to create a truly unique 5-course menu. All dishes will feature local strawberries with cocktails from our friends at Mixwell, a local premium soda company. Seatings at 6pm and 8:30pm. To purchase tickets, visit Resy

Finley Farms. Just one of the many strawberry vendors at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. 

Finley Farms. Just one of the many strawberry vendors at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. 

Santa Monica Farmer's Market Demo: Seafood

Every second Sunday, Chef Kim Vu and team heads to the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Main Street for a cooking demo. She develops a themed menu, teaches you how to make them, feeds you samples, and sends you home with easy-to-follow recipes. Thanks to everyone who came out. And to those of you we haven't seen yet -- what are you waiting for? 

This week, the focus was seafood, featuring Santa Barbara Channel Seafood Company. The market was packed with people, the sun was shining, and music was playing as we setup and started handing out samples. By the last tasting, we were standing room only and ran out of recipe sheets!

Everyone got to taste each of the dishes we prepared. 

Everyone got to taste each of the dishes we prepared. 

Chef Kim hands out samples.

Chef Kim hands out samples.

For those of you who missed the demo or didn't get to take the recipes home with you, here they are, in printer-friendly version: 

The Coconut Curry Marinade can be used for any protein or vegetable. Yesterday, we used cauliflower, but for our catering events, we tend to use chicken. Feel free to try it with fish, tofu, or beef. 

We hope to see you at our next one in April. Until then, happy cooking! 

1828 Lincoln Blvd. Suite B, Santa Monica, CA 90404 • 310-853-8005

Request a Proposal