Category Archives: Asian Recipes

The Genius of Oven-Steamed Fish

The easy way to make a lot of steamed fish at once -- in the oven.

The easy way to make a lot of steamed fish at once — in the oven.


I grew up with Chinese-style steamed fish — both as a focal point of a celebratory banquet meal or an everyday staple made by my Mom on a harried weeknight.

But the one thing I always found challenging was trying to steam a large amount of fish to feed a hangry, hungry crowd.

After all, a stovetop bamboo steamer only holds so much. You could always stack two or three atop one another to steam more fish. But what if you only have the one steamer basket?

Enter a genius solution by recipe developer Julia Turshen in her new cookbook, “Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy.

Now and Again

With more than 125 recipes, she shows off her flair for making delicious food a no-brainer in recipes that include”Chicken and Roasted Tomato Enchiladas,” “Pressed Broccoli Rabe and Mozzarella Sandwiches,” and “Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese and Honey Frosting.”

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Sensational Seared Miso Mushrooms

What's in this bowl? An umami bomb, that's what.

What’s in this bowl? An umami bomb, that’s what.


There are only three ingredients in this recipe and none of them is meat. Yet you won’t believe the powerhouse of earthy, meaty flavors it possesses.

The secret is red miso.

“Seared Miso Mushrooms” is a recipe from the new cookbook, “Feasts of Veg: Plant-Based Food for Gatherings” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Nina Olsson, a Sweden-based photographer and recipe developer who created the blog, NourishAtelier.

The book is a collection of vegetarian recipes that take influences from around the world. Think “Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin,” “Smoked Tofu Rillette,” “Chipotle Jackfruit Tacos,” and “Sweet Tahini Babka.”

Feasts of Veg. jpg

Miso is made from soybeans fermented with rice or other grains. If all you know is the lighter tasting white and yellow varieties, it’s high time you tried its deeper, darker cousin that’s been fermented even longer. It is much more pungent, with a much deeper and stronger earthy funkiness that will give anything it touches a big boost of umami.

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Shredding It In The New Year

Your new go-to dish in the new year.

Your new go-to dish in the new year.


Another new year. Another pledge to exercise more, snooze more, disconnect from the electronics more, and of course, to eat more tofu.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

You know come Jan. 1, you promise yourself you’ll eat better. This is an easy way to keep your word.

Because “Shredded Tofu with Spicy Ground Chicken and Edamame” not only incorporates good-for-you tofu, but is effortless and delicious.

It will also teach you a new nifty trick with tofu.

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Nik Sharma’s Roast Leg of Lamb

Set this down in front of your guests for real treat.

Set this down in front of your guests for real treat.

The holidays practically demand a showstopper entree, something with heft and presence that will make guests not only sit up and take notice, but eager to dig in with complete abandon.

For me, that’s long been bone-in prime rib crusted with salt and rosemary, fresh Dungeness crabs with their deep orange shells that give way to snowy fluffy meat, a glazed ham enveloped with a thick glistening layer of juicy fat or a massive leg of lamb cooked on the grill with copious amounts of garlic.

Now, Nik Sharma of the award-winning A Brown Table blog ups that leg of lamb option by adding a load of irresistible ginger, cardamom, turmeric, juniper, cloves, almonds, pistachios and luscious yogurt to the equation.

His “Roast Leg of Lamb” marinades in that creamy, unctuous sauce tinged the color of daffodils for a full day before being slid into the oven.

Season Cookbook

The recipe is from his first cookbook “Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food” (Chronicle Books) cookbook, of which I received a review copy.

Sharma is an Oakland-based writer, recipe developer and photographer (yes, he took all the wonderfully evocative images in his book) who writes a weekly cooking column for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Why Just Have A Regular Burger When You Can Have…

A shu mai dumpling turned into a burger instead. You know you want this.

A shu mai dumpling turned into a burger instead. You know you want this.


A shu mai burger.

Oh, yes, I did just type that.

And it’s as divine as it sounds.

Leave it to Mark Bittman to come up with this pork-shrimp burger that tastes just like your favorite Chinese dumpling.

It’s from his new cookbook, “How To Grill Everything: Simple Recipes For Great Flame-Cooked Food” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy.

And when Bittman says “everything,” he means everything. This cookbook features 1,000 recipes and variations for everything from appetizers to seafood to meat to vegetarian dishes to condiments to breads to desserts.

It’s enough to make you want to stock up on charcoal or propane.


Bittman also covers the in’s and out’s of both types of grilling, too, as well as grilling tips that are useful no matter if you’re a novice or a pro.

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