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Asian Cooking – My Way

April 14, 2010 by Joan Nova in Asian, Fish/Seafood, Rice/Risotto, Vegetables | 22 Comments

I like my own version of Asian food better than what I eat out. I love the flavors coming from the Pacific Rim but I don’t like the thick sauces made with corn starch, heavy batters or the high calories found in many Chinese restaurants. Nor am I big fan of the Benihana-type restaurants that seem to be all theatrics and not much flavor — and you go home smelling like the cooktop.

I prefer a more fusion style of Asian cooking that incorporates the tenets of California cuisine — fresh products, simple and clean preparations, and attractively presented.

Some of the flavors of the Orient that I keep on hand are sesame oil, rice vinegar (I love the one with red pepper flakes), scallions, ginger, ponzu (or soy) sauce, 5 spice powder as well as chili paste, dried shrimp, and a few other items found in Asian cooking.

Green Bamboo Rice w/Vegetables + Matsutake Mushrooms
green bamboo rice
fresh shelled peas
handful of spinach leaves
minced scallion + garlic in olive oil
chopped cilantro
chicken broth
matsutake mushrooms (rehydrated and chopped)

Saute scallion and garlic in olive oil (or I guess peanut oil would be good if you have it). Add rice, add double the amount of chicken broth, and the rest of the ingredients.

Grilled Eggplant (mini – the size of a small plum) halved and brushed with a marinade of wasabi sesame oil, a drop or two of rice vinegar with red pepper flakes, 5 spice powder and soy sauce. Grill.

The salmon was brushed with same marinade as the eggplants and then sprinkled with sweet onion sugar before going on the grill.

Finishing Touch. I garnished with grilled scallion, a few soy nuts and chow mein noodles for crunch.

My first post using green bamboo rice and sweet onion sugar appeared on February 19, 2010.

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. When did you say you were coming over to cook me some fusion Joan…wink…wink…

  2. norma says:

    Must of missed this. what a great dish….

  3. Núria says:

    Wow Joan! You are writting like a maniac… so many posts I have missed! Hope you don’t put me in the black list ;D.

    I’m loving Asian food too and I would love to try your dish! All ingredients marry so well and on top is so healthy!!! Mmmmmm

  4. peter says:

    A fine dish, quick and easy. All made possilblw as we all embrace so many foods and ask for these ingredients.

    What used to be exotic is now available at our supermarkets…nice!

  5. Penny says:

    It all sounds so good. Will have to stock up when I next get to Trader Joe’s.

  6. bunkycooks says:

    Asian food prepared at home is so much better! The last take-out we had was swimming in a puddle of oil and totally inedible. This looks so refreshing!

  7. Devaki says:

    How lovely Joan – We have both done salmon, Asian style but different interpretations which is so much fun!

    With such fresh ingredients and delightful flavors you can’t go wrong. Lovely :)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  8. Maria says:

    I tend to agree about the “Americanized” Asian food we’re generally offerec here. Luckily, we have a lot of very authentic Asian restaurants here in Flushing and can get some high quality dishes.

    But this dish you’ve put together looks even better Joan. I love the flavors here. And it is the perfect Spring dish.

  9. Ben says:

    Have you tried authentic Thai or Vietnamese restaurants. Their food is amazing, inexpensive and so healthy. I love it. Of course, I also love your Asian fusion. The best food comes from the fusion of different cuisines. Your dish is making me hungry!

    • Joan says:

      Yes, I like many Thai dishes. I’ve had less experience with Vietnamese. And I’m seeing lots about Korean bbq these days.

  10. Erica says:

    That looks amazing! I love Asian flavors……and your pictures are fantastic, Joan!

  11. I agree with you about the Asian food we are generally accustomed to. But, I too like my way of doing Asian flavors. I love the green rice. And, where do you get the wasabi oil?

    Beautiful presentation.

  12. Katie says:

    I miss Asian food dearly! There are some good restaurants in Buenos Aires, and there’s also a very small Chinatown where it’s possible to purchase Asian ingredients. Alas, I only make it to Buenos Aires a couple times per year, so that means Asian cuisine is a rarity for me.

    Your dish looks amazing – fresh and colorful! I’ll have to live vicariously through you, Joan. :)

  13. Love the egg plants, with the wasabi hints!

  14. Your first reference to Asian cuisine sums up a lot of the Cantonese restaurants you find here in Sydney. Like Ben, I like Thai and Vietnamese and some Japanese thrown into the mix…your use of Asian fusion flavours work well here Joan…great stuff!

  15. sippitysup says:

    So beautifully creative! I also agree about cornstarch in sauce… GREG

  16. redkathy says:

    Have never seen or eaten mini eggplants Joan. Asian food your way looks absolutely delicious!

  17. Joan, I so agree with you about Chinese restaurant greasy, sauce laden food that give us a bad name. We don’t eat like that at home! Unfortunately, many westerners expect it and ask me for recipes! It makes me so sad.

    I also do a ‘squirt, squeeze, dash’ instead of measuring, love your dish and photos, so appealing and colorful. I got a sample of green bamboo rice at a trade show, so now I really must try it!

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  1. […] mentioned my theory and fondness for a certain type of Pacific Rim cooking in Asian Cooking – My Way and it jibes perfectly with my penchant for “doing it my way”. I’d also like to […]

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