View all posts filed under 'Asian Recipes'

Hakka-Style Halibut

Thursday, 4. October 2012 5:25

A taste from my childhood, courtesy of the new "The Hakka Cookbook.''

I’d like to raise a virtual glass of bubbly to Linda Lau Anusasananan, whom I’ve known for years since her days as the recipe editor for Sunset magazine.

I’d like to congratulate her on a job well done for finally publishing her “The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from Around the World” (University of California Press), of which I recently received a review copy.

It’s a true labor of love and deliciousness that Lau Anusasananan spent more than five years working on. Her brother, artist Alan Lau, did the lovely illustrations of ingredients in the book.

For Chinese-Americans like myself, we’re all the better for its publication, too, because it includes so many recipes for dishes that we grew up with and still crave to this day.

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Category:Asian Recipes, General, Seafood | Comments (19) | Author:

Susan Feniger’s Soba Noodle Salad

Tuesday, 18. September 2012 5:25

Dig your chopsticks into Susan Feniger's light, bright soba salad.

You may know Los Angeles Chef Susan Feniger from her recent appearances on “Top Chef Masters,” first as a competitor and this season as a judge.

But she’ll be the first to tell you that TV is not exactly her cup of tea.

“Some people love it,” she told me in a recent phone interview. “But it’s not one of those things that I love to do. Once I won the first round and didn’t get kicked off at the start, I was happy. But judging is a whole lot easier than competing, that’s for sure.”

Over the years, Feniger and business partner Chef Mary Sue Milliken have won legions of fans for their Latin flair at their Border Grill restaurants. In 2009, though, Feniger struck out on her own to open Susan Feniger’s Street in Los Angeles, just as global street food would become a phenomenon with the likes of food trucks serving up inexpensive, boldly flavored ethnic food to the masses.

Feniger would love to tell you she predicted it all by looking in a crystal ball. But really, she says, she lucked out with the timing when she decided to follow her passion.

“When I took my first trip to India in 1981 and ate on the streets there, it moved me away from the formal kitchen,” she says. “Now, with social media, the world is a much smaller place and much more available. Our eyes have been opened to the rest of the world beyond France or Mexico. There’s this whole world of cuisines out there that is so exciting now.”

That includes Japan, which was her inspiration for “Chilled Soba Noodles with Spicy Orange Sesame and Tofu.”

The recipe is from her new cookbook, “Susan Feniger’s Street Food” (Clarkson Potter), of which I recently received a review copy. The book contains 83 recipes from her Street restaurant that span the globe, from Tunisian chicken kebabs with currants and olives to Thai creamed corn with coconut milk to Trinidad duck and potato curry with plaintain and green beans.

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Category:Asian Recipes, Chefs, Food TV, General, Recipes (Savory), Restaurants | Comments (14) | Author:

A Jacques Pepin Dish Fit for Father’s Day

Wednesday, 13. June 2012 5:25

A lamb steak that any Dad is sure to love.

We cook for many reasons.

Because we’re famished. Because it’s more economical. Because it can be relaxing or satisfyingly challenging. And because we take pleasure in pleasing others.

But we also cook for the memories it evokes. For flavors that are indelible, and for the times lived and shared with those we love, which we never ever want to forget.

Often, when I try a new recipe, it often makes me think of someone who has touched my life. This lamb dish by the one and only Jacques Pepin is no exception.

It’s from his newest tome, “Essential Pepin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy. It’s filled with more than 700 timeless Pepin recipes. It also comes with a fantastic DVD with demos of fundamental cooking techniques.

One bite of “Lamb Steaks with Soy, Vinegar and Garlic” has me back in my childhood home in San Francisco, watching my Dad in the kitchen preparing steaks in a sizzling frying pan.

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Category:Asian Recipes, Chefs, Meat | Comments (9) | Author:

Peas, Please!

Wednesday, 30. May 2012 5:25

A simple bowl of peas with a punch of flavor.

That’s what you’ll be imploring when you try “A Spicy Bowl of Peas.”

This simple dish is from “Quick-Fix Indian” (Andrews McMeel) by Bay Area cookbook author, Ruta Kahate.

It’s just a brothy bowl of peas, steeped in mustard seeds, turmeric and cayenne for a kicky hit of exoticism and heat.

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Category:Asian Recipes, Enticing Events, General | Comments (14) | Author:

Memories of Childhood Chinese Chicken

Thursday, 24. May 2012 5:25

There's tofu in this. Can you believe it?

I remember the times of peeking into the refrigerator at home to find a big jellyroll pan laid out from one end to the other with marinating chicken.

And feeling the excitement of the dinner to come that night.

I remember how those plump drumsticks were arranged in two neat rows down the length of the pan.

I remember their terracotta color.

And the aroma of savoriness and something a little mysterious in the mix.

I remember waiting for my Mom to roast them in a hot oven until their color deepened and their skin crisped.

I’d pick up a drumstick with my fingers, the reddish sauce staining them deliciously as I took a big bite of joy.

As a kid, I never really knew what made this chicken so distinctive. All I knew was that it was something that came from a screw-top jar from Chinatown. And that my Mom referred to this dish as “fu-yee chicken.”

Thanks to my friend and most talented cookbook writer, Andrea Nguyen, I now know exactly what goes into the marinade that gives it such color and taste.

It’s tofu. Yes, cubes of soybean curd, but ones that have been allowed to age and ferment in a brine of red yeast rice or red wine, rice wine and water. It turns the tofu red and creamy with a flavor that’s salty, a little sweet, really savory, sort of musky and a tad funky.

Not that funky is a bad thing. After all, it’s what makes anchovies and runny cheeses so wonderful.

Like them, red fermented tofu may be a taste sensation that has to grow on you. It might seem strong and strange the first time, but the more you eat of it, the more you want.

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Category:Asian Recipes, General | Comments (24) | Author: