These delicate Japanese cakes have a wonderfully nutty taste.
I’ve been intrigued by kinako ever since I first experienced its unique taste.
Take soybeans, roast them, then grind into a fine powder. What you get is this golden Japanese flour that has a roasty-toasty character with a whisper of sweetness. It tastes like a cross between chestnuts, barley tea and maple syrup.
You might blanch at eating flour right out of the bag. But with kinako, you can. In fact, it’s often used to garnish desserts, such as by sprinkling on shave ice or as a coating to roll mochi balls or chocolate truffles in. It also can be incorporated into the batter and dough of cakes, cookies, and another baked goods.
Find it on the shelves in small bags at Japanese markets, then give it a try in these cute little unfrosted cupcakes.
Roasted soy bean flour known as kinako.
“Kinako and Black Sesame Cupcakes” is from the new cookbook, “Cook Japanese At Home” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Kyoto-born Kimiko Barber, who teaches Japanese cooking and is the author of a handful of other Japanese cookbooks.
Grilled eggplant dressed up with a quick soy sauce-serrano dressing.
In the Bay Area, we are blessed to be able to grill outdoors nearly year-round.
Heck, even my husband has been known to grill in the rain.
One of my favorite grilled veggies is eggplant because it takes to being smoke-kissed so well. And its texture turns nearly custardy.
“Eggplant with Spicy Asian Dressing” is a quick and easy dish to enjoy at this time of year when eggplants of all sizes are showing up at farmers markets.
It’s from the new cookbook, “Weber’s Greatest Hits” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by master griller Jamie Purviance, of which I received a review copy.
The cookbook contains 125 recipes culled from the more than 2,500 that Purviance has developed over the years for Weber. His greatest hits are tried-and-true dishes such as “Peach and Blue Cheese Bruschetta Drizzled with Honey,” “Curried Lamb Chops with Yogurt Sauce” and “Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.”
These addictive shrimp are crisp enough to eat with your fingers.
If you’ve ever shied away from cooking Indian food at home, fearing a long list of ingredients not easily available at your neighborhood grocery store, this is the recipe for you.
“Crisp Garlic Shrimp” could not be easier.
Nor more delicious.
It is from the new “The Indian Cooking Course” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy. The lavishly photographed, comprehensive cookbook is by Monisha Bharadwaj, who runs the Cooking With Monisha cooking school in London.
Inside, you’ll find a bevy of recipes that showcase the breadth of flavors from North to South, from “North Indian Chicken Biryani” to “Sindhi Pomegranate Chutney” to “South Indian Lentil and Milk Pudding.”
Enjoy asparagus in a velvety coconut sauce with lemongrass and garlic.
The countdown is upon us for the impending end of asparagus season.
So there’s no time like now to make this super easy asparagus dish.
“Asparagus in Coconut Cream Sauce” is from the new “Farm to Table Asian Secrets: Vegan & Vegetarian Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season” (Tuttle), of which I received a review copy. It’s by food writer Patricia Tanumihardja, who was born in Indonesia and lived in Singapore before moving to the United States.
The book is full of inspired recipes that showcase the bounty available each season at the market. Try your hand at everything from “Vegetable Soup with Rhubarb” to “Vietnamese Noodle Salad Bowls” to Tofu, Spinach and Fennel Wontons.” There’s also a helpful guide (with photos) about Asian herbs and pantry ingredients that will aid you in finding them at an Asian or international market.
Asparagus spears are simmered in a sauce of coconut milk, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and chili paste. It’s seasoned with a dash of soy sauce, but fish sauce would also work. As the sauce cooks, it thickens to coat the asparagus spears. Velvety, citrusy and just a little spicy, it’s made for spooning over a mound of fluffy steamed rice.
Crispy on the outside, and chewy-custardy soft inside.
There is pho. And then there is pho pancake.
Yes, my friends, get ready for something all together different and delicious.
Leave it to my friend and cookbook author extraordinaire Andrea Nguyen to come up with this novel version of everyone’s favorite soup noodles.
“Pan Fried Pho Noodles” is from her newest tome, “The Pho Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press), which already went into its second printing before it was even officially released in February.
You may have enjoyed steaming huge bowls of brothy noodles countless times at neighborhood Vietnamese restaurants. But with this book, you’ll learn how to make your own — from preparing the broth from scratch to choosing noodles and assembling garnishes and toppings.
Depending upon how labor-intensive you’re feeling, you can choose among quick versions of pho (which calls for doctoring purchased low-sodium broth or buying a rotisserie chicken) to pressure-cooker recipes that speed up the process to non-traditional riffs such as seafood pho.