Category Archives: Asian Recipes

Tantalizing Farro and Tomato Salad with Fish-Sauce Vinaigrette

This is bound to be your new favorite summer salad.
This is bound to be your new favorite summer salad.

If like me, you can’t get enough of nuoc cham — that zesty, indispensable Vietnamese dipping sauce for spring rolls, rice noodle salads, and so much more — you will go bonkers for this summery tomato and grain salad.

“Farro and Tomato Salad with Fish-Sauce Vinaigrette” takes a dressing with a similar profile as nuoc cham — minus the lime juice — to dress a colorful, bountiful mix of chewy, nutty farro grains with fresh heirloom tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and a lavish amount of fresh parsley and tarragon leaves.

The recipe is from Chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s in Portland, as published in Bon Appetit magazine.

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Indispensable Korean Scallion Pancakes — Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Korean scallion pancakes -- a cinch to make with kimchi and any leftover veggies you have.
Korean scallion pancakes — a cinch to make with kimchi and any leftover veggies you have.

That quarter head of cabbage lingering in the fridge. The two carrots, once the epitome of crunch, now possessed of droopy ends. That once bright-white cauliflower head starting to go sallow. And those green onions now sadly going limp.

When I peer into my crisper drawer at home, it often feels like a race against the clock. Limiting my trips to the grocery store now means loading up with perishables all at once, each with its own limited life cycle. Tick, tick, tick. When I spy things beginning to wither, like Valentine’s Day roses after the bloom of the holiday has come and gone, I slump dejectedly.

But now, thanks to a genius recipe, I perk up immediately instead to the possibilities.

Because “Korean Scallion Pancakes” or “Vegetable Pajeon” was made for those bits and ends of veggies that hang around a little too long through no fault of their own.

Think Hanukkah potato pancakes gone Korean with kimchi instead.

Small-batch Vietnamese Tiger Sate chili sauces -- plus a chance to win three jars to try.
Small-batch Vietnamese Tiger Sate chili sauces — plus a chance to win three jars to try.

This genius recipe, published in 2019 in the New York Times, is by one of my favorite food writers, Melissa Clark. She learned the recipe from Chef Sohui Kim of Insa and the Good Fork restaurants in Brooklyn.

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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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