View all posts filed under 'Asian Recipes'

Autumn Kabocha with Miso

Thursday, 25. October 2012 5:25

Sweet kabocha squash for prime-time pumpkin season.

Fall is prime time for pumpkins. But instead of choosing the typical one that thumps its deep orange glow so readily on the outside, choose one that reveals its eye-popping color more shyly only on  the inside instead.

That’s kabocha for ya. Otherwise known as Japanese pumpkin, it’s squatty, a dull deep-green and rather weirdly knobby looking.

But cut it open to reveal its intense orange-hued flesh that’s like a bright tropical morning sunrise.

It’s my favorite hard squash for its incomparable sweetness and dry, fluffy texture akin to a chestnut or sweet potato.

A wonderful way to prepare it is in this super simple dish of “Sake-Steamed Kabocha with Miso” from the new cookbook, “Japanese Farm Food” (Andrews McMeal), of which I recently received a review copy.

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Category:Asian Recipes, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (10) | Author:

Chef Charles Phan’s Grilled Five-Spice Chicken with Tamarind Sauce

Tuesday, 16. October 2012 5:25

Charles Phan's grilled five-spice chicken with tamarind sauce to spoon over everything.

More than a decade ago, I remember taking my parents to dinner at the Slanted Door for the first time.

Housed in its original location then on Valencia Street in the heart of the Mission District in San Francisco, I remember my Mom getting out of the car and looking around the neighborhood with trepidation. Walking quickly through the somewhat sketchy neighborhood, she clutched my Dad’s arm tightly and murmured, “Where are we going???”

But once ensconced inside the lively restaurant, my parents much enjoyed what was their first real taste of Vietnamese food — from crispy imperial rolls to shaking beef to claypot chicken in caramel sauce.

Indeed, since opening that first restaurant in 1995, Chef-Owner Charles Phan has helped introduce the cuisine of his homeland to countless diners like my parents, luring them out of their comfort zone by virtue of the addicting profusion of fresh herbs and pungent fish sauce that are its hallmarks.

For years, folks have nagged Phan to write a cookbook. But with six restaurants/cafes now, he hardly had the time.

Fortunately for all of us, he finally managed to do it, releasing his first cookbook last month, “Vietnamese Home Cooking” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

The book is filled with beautiful photographs of Phan’s most recent trips to Vietnam. The recipes highlight the fundamental techniques used in Vietnamese cooking: frying, steaming, braising, grilling and stir-frying.

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Category:Asian Recipes, Chefs, General | Comments (11) | Author:

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: