Category Archives: Asian Recipes

Banh Mi Fried Rice (Yes, You Read That Right)

No bread needed -- banh mi fried rice.
No bread needed — banh mi fried rice.

If fried rice is an edible blank canvas, then get ready to channel your inner Jackson Pollock.

Fast, easy, and a perennial favorite, this homespun dish veers decidedly outside the box in the new “Fried Rice: 50 Ways to Stir Up the World’s Favorite Grain” (Sasquatch Books), of which I received a review copy.

James Beard Award-winning food writer Danielle Centoni, a former food colleague of mine she was at the Oakland Tribune and I was at sister newspaper the San Jose Mercury News, greatly expands on the notion of what fried rice can be.

The book includes globally-inspired 50 recipes. Of course, there are standards such as “Classic Chinese Fried Rice with BBQ Pork” and “Spicy Fried Rice with Chinese Broccoli, Ground Pork, and Szechuan Chili Oil.” But there is plenty more that you’d be hard-pressed to have considered before, including “Fried Rice with Halloumi, Pickled Onions, and Zhug,” “Carbonara Fried Rice,” and “New Mexican Chili Fried Rice with Queso and Pork.”

She also includes tips for making fried rice (always start with day-old cooked rice), proper water ratios when cooking rice, and ways to avoid pests growing in your stored rice (freeze it for three days first).

Her “Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi Fried Rice” has all the vibrant flavors of your favorite inexpensive Vietnamese sandwich, but its foundation is rice rather than a French baguette. That means this dish is gluten-free, especially if you swap out the soy sauce for tamari instead.

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Turmeric Grilled Sea Bass For The Win This Summer

Take a taste of Cassia restaurant's turmeric grilled sea bass -- in the comfort of your own home.

Take a taste of Cassia restaurant’s turmeric grilled sea bass — in the comfort of your own home.

 

There was a time when folks poked fun of the dining scene in Los Angeles.

Not anymore. Now, it’s not only the darling of food fanatics looking for authentic ethnic cuisines and exciting push-the-envelope places, but it’s also the location of choice for chefs around the country looking to open new ventures. That includes: San Francisco’s Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco-Mexico City Chef Gabriela C├ímara, New York’s David Chang, New York’s Christina Tosi, and New York-Mexico City’s Enrique Olvera.

“EAT. COOK. L.A.: Recipes from the City of Angels: A Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy, captures Los Angeles’ dynamic dining scene with stories and 100 recipes from some of the area’s biggest names. Find everything from the “Egg Slut” by, yes, Eggslut; “Tomato Salad with Crispy Potatoes and Whipped Feta” from Sqirl; “Chanterelle Lasagna with English Peas and Parmesan Pudding” from Lucques; “Chinois Lamb Chops with Cilantro Mint Vinaigrette” from Spago; “Adobo Fried Rice” from Republique; and “Chocolate Sesame Cake” from Kismet.

EatCookLA

The book is by Aleksandra Crapanzano, a screenwriter and food writer based in New York, who is a regular food columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

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Republique’s Dazzling Raspberry-Mochi Butter Cake with Matcha Glaze

Raspberries and matcha flavor this unique mochi butter cake from Republique.

Raspberries and matcha flavor this unique mochi butter cake from Republique.

 

When Campanile restaurant and its adjacent La Brea Bakery closed in Los Angeles in 2012, I admit I shed a tear.

After all, Chef Mark Peel and Pastry Chef Nancy Silverton (then a married couple) together had created two of the most landmark establishments in the city, with the Wolfgang Puck-proteges turning out stupendous California cuisine, and extraordinary artisan breads and baked goods. In fact, the bakery was always my last stop, where I loaded up on pretzel bread and ginger scones before flying or driving home to the Bay Area.

But the iconic Spanish building that Charlie Chaplin supposedly built couldn’t have gotten better new tenants than Walter and Margarita Manzke. The couple lovingly remodeled it, maintaining its spirit, to open their Republique in 2013. It even features a bakery in the exact same spot that La Brea Bakery once operated, only now it is fully connected to the restaurant.

Baking at Republique Book

If you’ve ever visited the bakery, you know it’s nearly impossible to take your eyes off the front-and-center glass case overflowing with cookies, tarts, cream puffs, breads and assorted pastries of about 50 varieties. And if you’ve had the pleasure of sinking your teeth into any of them, then you know just how skillfully they are made.

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Chicken Adobo Takes To The Grill

Garlicky and tangy chicken adobo -- done on the grill.

Garlicky and tangy chicken adobo — done on the grill.

 

Anyone of Filipino heritage will tell you that everyone has their own rendition of adobo, the classic home-style dish that gets its punchy flavor from copious amounts of garlic, soy sauce, and sharp vinegar.

Now comes Jamie Purviance’s version. And naturally, what makes this one special is that it’s grilled rather than simmered or braised like traditional adobo.

After all, as Weber’s master griller for 20 years, the Northern California-based Purviance can’t resist cooking most anything over gas or charcoal.

“Barbecued Chicken Adobo” is from his new cookbook, “Weber’s Ultimate Grilling: A Step-by-Step Guide to Barbecue Genius” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy.

Weber's Ultimate Grilling

This barbecue bible features more than 100 recipes. Best yet, each recipe is illustrated clearly with step-by-step instructional photos.

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All Rise For Cheesecake Souffle

Presenting the souffle cheesecake with a Wine Country garnish.

Presenting the souffle cheesecake with a Wine Country garnish.

 

Japanese pancakes and cheesecake are having a lofty moment.

Their poofy, airy stature, as if they’ve just been inflated with a pump of helium, can’t help but be attention grabbers.

I’ve fallen under their spell, too. So how could I resist trying my hand at the recipe for “Cheesecake Souffle with Roasted Grape & Vanilla Gastrique”?

It’s from the lush, coffee-table-sized cookbook by Jackson Family Wines: “Season: Wine Country Food, Farming, & Friends” (Cameron & Company, 2018), of which I received a review copy.

The cookbook, which recently won a “Cookbook of the Year” award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, was written by Justin Wranger, executive chef of Jackson Family Wines; and Tracey Shepos Cenami, chef de cuisine of the wine company; with Tucker Taylor, director of culinary gardens at Jackson Family Wines (whom if you follow on Facebook or Instagram know posts some of the most beautifully vivid photos of fruits, vegetables and herbs that you’ll ever see).

Season Jackson Family Cookbook

Jackson Family Wines is one of the largest wine producers in the world, with a portfolio of 40 brands in California, Oregon and across the world.

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