Asian Recipes

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Coconut Tofu Recipe Recipe

Coconut Tofu Recipe

09.22.14 by Jackie

Eating vegan foods doesn't necessarily mean they have to be bland. My goal to jazz up a Japanese eggplant and broccoli tofu dish was to add extra richness to the taste with coconut cream. The vegetables cooked fairly quickly, so I focused more on seasoning the sauce, using soy sauce, chile black bean sauce, palm sugar and coconut.

This coconut tofu is a great way for our family (baby Aria and I are the only ones not on a vegetarian diet) to share the same meal without missing meat. The tofu was flavorful with crispy texture and the added spiciness. With a dish like this one, you won't have naysayers claiming the tofu dish is too plain!


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Lobster Tails in Spicy Broth Recipe

Lobster Tails in Spicy Broth

09.18.14 by Jackie

As I mentioned yesterday, we had a dinner guest the other evening. He lived in Japan for 20 years  and now he's back to the US. We've met several times in the past and I remembered his love for seafood, so I promised him a special feast the next time he came to visit.

I wanted to prepare a special dish with luxurious flavors. so I served out-of-this-world lobster tails in spicy broth.

Lobster tails were pan-fried first, then sautéed in Chinese chives, Thai basil leaves and garlic and then dipped in a spicy lobster broth. 


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Banh Uot Cha Lua Chay (Vegetarian Vietnamese Rice Noodles) Recipe

This vegetarian dish is Cậu Hoà's (my uncle) favorite. Since we live near San Jose, I'm fortunate to be able to find ready-made bánh ướt. It literally translates to "wet cakes". They're sheets of rice and tapioca noodles. The assembly of the dish, after steaming the rice noodle sheets, is ultra simple. 

I accompanied the rice noodles with Vietnamese tofu ham called chả lụa chay (you can find the recipe in my second cookbook, Banh Mi.) I also added fried tofu, steamed bean sprouts, fried shallots, cucumber and a wide array of Vietnamese herbs. The vegetarian dish is then "watered" with nước mắm chay. I just discovered vegetarian nuoc mam made of pineapple juice, which is similar to but less pungent than real fish sauce. 


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Yuba Stuffed Mushroom Appetizers Recipe

Whenever I'm at the Asian grocery store, I buy large quantities of fresh yuba (tofu skin) whenever it's available. If you've wanted to try a vegetarian meat substitute but were suspicious it would taste bland, I urge you to try these yuba stuffed mushroom appetizers. 

If you're not familiar with yuba (tàu hũ ky in Vietnamese), this food product is the film that's formed on the surface after boiling the soy beans in water. I bought ready-to-use fresh yuba, so all I needed to do was season it. I made a mixture of rice vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, tahini, yuba, five-spice powder and black sesame seeds. 

The assembly was very easy. I stuffed the yuba filling into hollowed crimini mushrooms and garnished the appetizers with sunflower seeds for extra crunch. Voilà!


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Vegan Panna Cotta Recipe Recipe

Vegan Panna Cotta Recipe

08.29.14 by Jackie

Panna cotta is a dessert we often ate during our Italian vacation last month. It consists of a combination of cream, milk, sugar and gelatin, which is the key ingredient for binding and thickening the dessert. My husband Lulu, who's a vegetarian, is still on a diet and has been working hard to shed the last few pounds, so I prepared my own version to suit his dietary needs.

Agar agar (made from seaweed) is a great vegan substitute for gelatin. I used hazelnut milk to replace the cream and milk and Manuka honey as the sweetener. 

To give an appealing look to the dessert, I served it with red currants ("Corinthes rouges" in French) for a striking contrast in color. The reasoning behind the hazelnut milk is that historically, panna cotta was eaten with fruit and hazelnuts. 


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