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.
One-pot cooking, Chinese-style.
With the Year of the Rooster set to start cockadoodledoo-ing on Jan. 28, you’ll have to forgive me if I’m craving Chinese food even more so this week.
But what a great excuse to try a recipe from the new “China: The Cookbook” (Phaidon). The cookbook, of which I received a review copy, was written by Hong Kong-based culinary experts Kei Lum Chan and Diora Fong Chan.
This door-stopper of a book is 720 pages. It contains recipes from the 33 regions and sub-regions of China, most of them surprisingly concise. That’s because this book is really about home-cooking. That’s why you won’t necessarily find Peking duck in here, but instead “Braised Duck with Won Tons” and “Duck with Mushrooms and Ham.” There’s all manner of congee recipes, too, including “Congee with Frog Legs.” And simple but more unusual desserts such as “Smoked Plum Soup.”
Leafing through this rather encyclopedic book, many recipes caught my eye, especially “Rice and Lamb Casserole” because it’s fairly effortless even on a weeknight. It also incorporates cumin, which really works well with lamb’s slight gaminess.
Make an impression in the new year with this whole, tea-smoked duck.
New Year’s Eve automatically means Champagne.
Caviar, perhaps. Lots of hors d’oeuvres. Even Dungeness crab or lobster.
Why not add duck to that glam list?
There is something special and regal about presenting a whole duck, especially one that is smoked with fragrant black tea, coated in five spice, and served alongside souped-up sweet-tangy hoisin sauce.
Little pillowy steamed buns filled with morsels of the moist duck would turn this into festive finger-food. Or carve at the table, and serve alongside steamed rice or garlic noodles.
The orange beef of my dreams — and yours.
Chef Dale Talde is a very talented chef, who became known as much for his fly-off-the-handle eruptions as his ferociously flavorful cooking when he appeared on “Top Chef.”
But it’s hard to blame a guy for getting emotional when good food is on the line.
Case in point: His no-holds bar feelings about the stand-by take-out Chinese classic of orange beef.
He laments to no end how this dish has been debased, turning into an evil concoction of cheap beef, battered and fried into oblivion, then tossed with a gloppy, over-cornstarched, candy sweet sauce.
It gives me shudders just thinking about it, too. I never order this dish at a restaurant. Exactly for those reasons.
But in the right hands, it could be a great dish. I mean, beef kissed with a deeply orange-y sauce and garnished with still-crunchy, bright green broccoli — how can that not be delicious?
In Talde’s hands, it actually is. “Orange Beef” finally gets its rightful treatment.
The recipe is from his cookbook, “Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes From the Philippines to Brooklyn” (Grand Central Life & Style, 2015), of which I received a review copy, by Dale Talde with food writer JJ Goode.
A spicy, savory Korean pancake that cooks up in no time.
For me, comic books were something my older brothers and cousins collected — first-edition superhero ones that surely would be worth a fortune now, had my aunt not thrown them out years ago, alas.
But to cook out of a comic book?
Now, that’s a new one on me.
But Robin Ha’s delightful “Cook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes” (Ten Speed Press), lured me to do just that. The unique, whimsical cookbook, of which I received a review copy, was both written and illustrated by Ha, a professional illustrator and creator of the blog, Banchan in 2 Pages, who was born in Seoul and now makes her home in New York.