Grilled Romaine with Feta and — Wait For It — Nuoc Cham
This romaine salad is not your usual suspect.
It’s not even your typical odd uncle of grilled romaine.
Not when it’s garnished with feta — and nuoc cham, the ubiquitous Vietnamese dipping sauce.
The creative combo of ingredients that make up “Grilled Romaine with Feta and Nuoc Cham” comes from the mind of Bill Kim, the South Korea-born chef of Urbanbelly and bellyQ, both in Chicago.
Kim, who immigrated to the United States at age 7, grew up helping his mother cook at home, before going on to work at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Bouley Bakery in New York, and Susana Foo in Philadelphia.
It’s featured in his new cookbook, “Korean BBQ” (Ten Speed Press), co-written with Chandra Ram, editor of Plate magazine, a publication I’ve been fortunate to contribute to.
As the name implies, this book, of which I received a review copy, is all about grilling with bold Asian flavors. In fact, if you master Kim’s seven master sauces, which includes nuoc cham, you’ll be good to go to not only make any recipe in this book, but jazz up any type of barbecue dish you routinely make already.