Category Archives: Asian Recipes

Good Things Come In — Farm Box

Some of the impeccable produce from small farms in this past Saturday's Farm Box.
Some of the impeccable produce from small farms in this past Saturday’s Farm Box.

Andreas Winsberg is used to growing things. The son of a farmer — David Winsberg of East Palo Alto’s Happy Quail Farms that started the craze for pimentos de Padron in California — he’s been helping his dad plant those prized Spanish peppers and sell them at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmers market since he can remember.

Now, it’s this 25-year-old’s turn to germinate something special of his own.

In late-March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit full bore in the Bay Area and shelter-in-place restrictions took hold, he created Farm Box, a weekly curated farmers market box that customers can get delivered to their door or pick up at the Ferry Plaza farmers market on Saturdays or the Menlo Park farmers market on Sundays.

Farm Box was developed by 409 + Co, a design agency that Andreas founded with fellow 20-something alums of Pennsylvania’s Haverford College, Stephen Davis and Jessie Lamworth.

They didn’t set out to do this. But realizing just how complicated buying groceries and food was about to become for people, they rose to the challenge to build out a new web-delivery business to help small-scale, local farmers, whose goods are so perishable, reach more customers.

Contactless delivery to my porch.
Contactless delivery to my porch.
The reveal of what's inside.
The reveal of what’s inside.

“Seeing what my dad was going through, and fearing that the farmers market might shut down, was the impetus,’’ Andreas says. “We’re not in it to get rich, but to help farmers and others who need the boost now.’’

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Wasabi Soy Sauce Pasta

A plain looking pasta turned irresistible with soy sauce, wasabi, and butter.
A plain looking pasta turned irresistible with soy sauce, wasabi, and butter.

These days, when a trip to the grocery store demands the detailed preparation and stealthy movements of a crown jewel heist, we are all trying to make do with what we have on hand as much as possible.

That’s why I fell hard for this simple recipe for “Wasabi Soy Sauce Pasta.” Think of it as a Japanese version of Italian aglio e olio. It’s equally addictive, too.

It’s from the new “Rika’s Modern Japanese Home Cooking: Simplifying Authentic Recipes” (Rizzoli), of which I received a review copy.

The book is by chef and TV personality Rika Yukimasa, a Japan-native and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

While working as a commercial producer for a huge advertising firm in Japan, Yukimasa wrote cookbooks on the side. It wasn’t long before that became her vocation. She’s now written more than 50 cookbooks. She also hosts a popular cooking show, “Dining with the Chef,” which airs in 150 countries, including on PBS in the United States.

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Easy-Peasy Spiced Ground Lamb with Peas

A comforting home-style Indian dish -- in mere minutes.
A comforting home-style Indian dish — in mere minutes.

Some people always keep a bag of frozen peas in the freezer to suppress bruises or aches and pains.

Me? I keep one for last-minute additions to salads, soups, stews, pastas, and more.

They are nearly as good as fresh, easier to prep (there’s none involved), and are available year-round.

They add bright color, subtle sweetness, and gentle texture to so many dishes, including this one.

“Spiced Lamb with Peas (Kheema Muttar)” is from the cookbook, “Indian in 7” (Kyle, 2019), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by Monisha Bharadwaj, a chef and food historian, who runs an Indian cooking school in London, Cooking with Monisha.

As the name implies, the book is all about recipes for that take seven ingredients or fewer. Bharadwaj does take a few liberties with that, though. Cooking oil isn’t included in the official count. And some recipes call for simple sauces or pastes from a different recipe in the book.

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A True Bright Spot: My “East Bay Cooks” Honored with “Golden Poppy Book Award”

A super easy cucumber dish that uses only a handful of ingredients. It's a featured recipe by Grand Lake Kitchen in my "East Bay Cooks.'' (Photo by Carolyn Jung)
A super easy cucumber dish that uses only a handful of ingredients. It’s a featured recipe by Grand Lake Kitchen in my “East Bay Cooks.” (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

In this stressful, challenging time, I scroll social media for glimpses of good news: chefs donating food to hospital workers, folks grocery-shopping for elderly neighbors, and everyday people trying to help lighten the mood with cheery videos and haikus.

And then I spied this gem: the news last week that my cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1) was honored this year with a “Golden Poppy” award by the California Independent Booksellers Alliance. It recognizes “the most distinguished books written by writers and artists who make Northern California their home.”

I couldn’t be more thankful for the incredible recognition. I share it with the talented team whom I had the privilege to work with to make this book a reality: photographer Eva Kolenko, Clair Mack at Rule & Level Studio, Figure 1, and of course, all the chefs and restaurateurs who participated.

I salute you all with a virtual toast — as well as this easy, addictive recipe from the book to enjoy. After all, times like these when we limit trips to the grocery store, call for dishes that come together with few ingredients.

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Sushi The Easy Way: Asparagus and Scrambled Egg Scattered Sushi

It's like a deconstructed maki roll, which means it's so much easier to make, too.
It’s like a deconstructed maki roll, which means it’s so much easier to make, too.

At times like this especially, it pays to have a well-stocked pantry loaded with spices, condiments, and dry goods from around the world.

My husband used to joke that our kitchen shelves runneth over with star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, yellow mustard seeds, cumin, pimenton, garam masala, za’atar, togarashi, and so much more.

Now, with a mandate to shelter in place during the coronavirus crisis, he is definitely grateful that I am such a culinary pack-rat.

Because that meant that after grabbing a bunch of fresh spring asparagus at the market just before the request came down to stay home as much as possible, I was able to easily make “Asparagus with Scrambled Egg Scattered Sushi.”

It’s from the new cookbook, “Japanese in 7: Delicious Japanese Recipes in 7 Ingredients or Fewer” (Kyle Books), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Kimiko Barber, a Kobe-born self-taught Japanese cook.

As the name implies, the recipes all require seven ingredients or fewer. Barber takes a little liberty with that because some recipes will require the making of sub-recipes to complete, which will add up to more than seven ingredients all together.

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