Category Archives: Asian Recipes

Kimchi Mac and Cheese Ups the Game

A delightfully crisp panko crust, along with kimchi and gochujang take this mac and cheese to another level.
A delightfully crisp panko crust, along with kimchi and gochujang take this mac and cheese to another level.

Get ready to raise your mac and cheese game.

All it takes is a little kimchi and gochujang.

“Kimchi Mac and Cheese” is from the new “The Honeysuckle Cookbook: 100 Healthy, Feel-Good Recipes to Live Deliciously”(Rodale), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by Dzung Lewis, a financial analyst in the Bay Area who moved to Los Angeles and pursued her real passion of cooking. Born to Vietnamese immigrants, she started the popular YouTube channel “Honeysuckle.”

Lewis’ forte is taking familiar dishes and adding a fun spin, such as in “Matcha-Almond Breakfast Loaf,” “Miso Udon Carbonara” and “Ginger-Cardamom Lemon Bars.”

Kimchi is a staple in my fridge, so I was eager to add it to mac and cheese. It did not disappoint, adding a touch of acidity and a real depth in the way that Dijon mustard often does in this classic.

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Broccoli Salad with Peanuts and Tahini-Lime Dressing

A broccoli salad that favors the stalk over the florets, but makes use of both.
A broccoli salad that favors the stalk over the florets, but makes use of both.

With their flowery, showy crowns, broccoli florets get all the love, leaving their thick, knobby stems so often woefully underappreciated.

I grew up in a household that actually valued those stems. My mom would squeeze two meals out of a couple heads of broccoli, stir-frying the florets with pork one night, then stir-frying the thinly sliced stalks with shrimp the next evening. It was not only frugal, but double the deliciousness.

If you ever doubted that the appeal of those stalks, then “Broccoli Salad with Peanuts and Tahini-Lime Dressing” will definitely sway you.

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The Grape Tomato Kimchi You Didn’t Know You Needed

An easy-peasy tomato kimchi you will devour from the first spoonful.
An easy-peasy tomato kimchi you will devour from the first spoonful.

How incredible is this “Grape Tomato ‘Quick Kimchi’ “?

Let’s just say that it makes about 2 1/2 cups of kimchi — and my husband and I nearly polished off all of it in one night.

An umami bomb that’s a little spicy and a lot refreshing with bursts of juicy summer fruitiness, it’s just that addictive.

Best yet, it takes practically no time to make.

I spied this recipe by Eric Kim in the New York Times archives, and knew I had to try it.

It’s not your typical kimchi that takes days, weeks or even months to ferment. As Kim writes, it’s more of a muchim or seasoned salad, but it sports the flavor profile of classic kimchi.

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Summer’s Pan-Roasted Tomatoes Stuffed with Pork

Sweet, caramelized tomatoes stuffed with a dumpling-like pork mixture.
Sweet, caramelized tomatoes stuffed with a dumpling-like pork mixture.

Times were when I’d make a special trip to the grocery store at the drop of a hat just to get the precise -sized tomatoes needed for this recipe.

These are not those times, obviously.

Which is why you see this mismatch of tomatoes in this dish instead.

But I’m happy to report that like many things in life, well, size doesn’t matter so much.

Yeah, not quite all the same size. But they'll do in a pinch.
Yeah, not quite all the same size. But they’ll do in a pinch.

“Pan-Roasted Tomatoes Stuffed with Pork” will work out perfectly well, no matter if you have all the same-sized tomatoes or not.

This fun recipe is from “Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors” (Ten Speed Press, 2019), the best-selling cookbook by my friend Andrea Nguyen.

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The Simple Pleasures of Homemade Pickled Ginger and Gingery Ground Beef with Peas Over Rice

Easy-peasy soboro donburi -- with homemade pickled ginger and fresh summer tomatoes.
Easy-peasy soboro donburi — with homemade pickled ginger and fresh summer tomatoes.

Anyone who knows me knows I am an absolute, unabashed, crazed ginger fiend. I’m the one sitting at the sushi bar, who’s always nagging the chef for seconds — even thirds — of pickled ginger. Yup, I am that person.

Yet surprisingly, I’d never made my own pickled ginger.

And what a fool I’ve been, now that I know how embarrassingly easy and fast it is to make at home.

My impetus for making my own pickled ginger came about when I saw that it was a garnish for a dish of “Gingery Ground Beef with Peas Over Rice” that I intended to make.

When I scanned the ingredients list of various jarred pickled gingers sold online, I was aghast. Quite a few of them contained the artificial sweetener, aspartame. Why? Oh, why?! That was such an immediate turnoff, that I decided to make my own instead.

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