Yeah, that’s my take on cooking food outside your ethnicity. All it takes is knowing what you like, a few good seasoning agents*, a dash of confidence and access to google for recipes or to answer any last-minute questions. It may not be “authentic”, but it could (should) be tasty.
The type of Asian cuisine I prefer is clean and balanced. It’s all about the yin-yang.
Having just returned from NY where I ate at the newly-opened Ivan Ramen, I wanted to re-create the delicious cold ramen dish I had there (well, as best I could). Then, as usual in the FOODalogue kitchen, one thing led to another and I invited a few people over.
Here’s the menu I created and some tips on how to make these dishes.
Cook edamame and mash with 1/2 Haas avocado, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, coarse salt, chili flakes and a dash of rice vinegar.
Roast in oven at 400 degrees till interior is soft by knife prick. Cool, split and scoop out meat. Mix with chopped cilantro, garlic, ginger, red chili flakes, salt, rice wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice and toasted sesame seeds. Chill and serve at room temp.
Wasabi-coated peanuts and toasted (split) wontons seasoned with salt and chili flakes.
Pork Meaballs with 2 Dipping Sauces
Ground pork, chopped scallions, garlic and cilantro, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper (no binder). Brown in coconut oil and finish in oven.
Sweet chili cream (‘laced’ sour cream) – and – almond sauce (almond nut butter diluted with rice vinegar and a dash of sesame oil).
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Cold Citrus-Vegetable Ramen
Cook noodles (mine were frozen) in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, rinse, mix with lemon juice and refrigerate. Separately mix organic vegetable broth with a few splashes of soy sauce or fish sauce, quartered lemon and limes, garlic, ginger, scallions, mild jalapeño and aromatics. Bring to a boil. Cool down and refrigerate. To serve, strain and ladle cold broth into bowl, add noodles and swish around, top with thin slices of lemon, julienned seedless cucumber and mushroom, a leaf of baby bok choy and cilantro. Never fill bowl — you need room to slurp the noodles out.
Grilled Soy and Garlic-Dipped Shrimp and Purple Snow Peas with Raw Radish, Seedless Cucumber and Shredded Carrot Slaw
Dressed with cilantro, rice vinegar, honey and sesame oil vinaigrette. Finished with sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Short Ribs with Green Bamboo and Black Forbidden Rice Duo
Marinate ribs overnight in a mix of sweet chili sauce, ponzu, mirin, soy sauce, fish sauce, star anise, scallions and garlic. Cook in crock pot till fork tender. Reduce and thicken sauce. Finish with sprinkle of sesame seeds and scallion rings.
Sauteed and braised with a little vegetable broth and oil, a dash of ponzu and chopped almonds.
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Mochi Ice Cream Bonbons, Ceremonial Tea Cake, and Fortune Cookies (all store bought).
Note: Everything here was prepped and prepared in advance. No cooking once guests arrive. Never! The party begins for them and me!
*With any of these items in your pantry/refrigerator, you too can create an Asian flair in your dishes: sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, mirin, ponzu.