Asian Recipes

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Grapefruit Salad (Pomelo Salad) Recipe

Grapefruit Salad (Pomelo Salad)

02.25.10 by Jackie

It's been raining so much this season in the Bay Area (California) that our garden has produced a lot of citrus. Our pomelo tree has been particularly prolific. I've been pleasantly surprised by their sweetness, and I knew I was on to something delicious.

Pomelos have a subtle sweetness that is greatly enhanced by the addition of certain spices. To make this salad, I gathered the pomelo segments in a large bowl and covered them with ginger, coriander, agave nectar, sesame oil and red Thai bird chiles. It's a refreshing way to begin or end a meal.


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California Sushi Rolls Recipe

California Sushi Rolls

02.24.10 by Jackie

Making sushi is a lot easier that it seems. The real key to well-presented sushi is having good utensils, such as a sushi mat and a sharp knife. Each ingredient can be prepped in advance and assembled when you're ready to serve, and when you make it at home, it's a fraction of the cost!

Though there are many wonderful forms of traditional makizushi, or rolled sushi, feel free to experiment with the ingredients you have on hand. I got my inspiration for the sushi pictured above from ingredients native to California; I used Hass avocados, goat cheese and baby Persian cucumbers. I wrapped these ingredients in the traditional combination of nori sheets and Japanese rice.

In standard California roll fashion, the rice is on the outside of the nori. If you've ever wondered why this is the case, the story goes that Japanese immigrants who came to the US turned the sushi inside out to hide the nori from culinarily unadventurous Americans. I don't know if that's true, but it's the story a sushi chef told me once. It certainly is a great tale!

I served the sushi rolls with wasabi paste, homemade pickled ginger and soy sauce. It may seem daunting, but a sushi dinner is really as easy as 1-2-3.


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Glass Noodles with Vegetable Stir Fry (Jap Chae) Recipe

This glass noodle dish (also known as cellophane noodles, dam myun in Korean and harusame in Japanese) is made from sweet potato starch. The dish is very similar to chow mein, but aesthetically the noodles look translucent once they're boiled and their texture is chewier.

I prepared the noodles with king mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, pan-fried tofu, baby spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and cauliflower. The dish is relatively easy and quick to make if you have all the veggies prepped in advance.


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Choy Sum with Oyster Sauce Recipe

Choy Sum with Oyster Sauce

02.18.10 by Jackie

Choy sum (also known as Chinese flowering cabbage) is a very quick and easy vegetable to cook. I pan-steamed the greens for only a few minutes to maintain a bright green color and paired them with an oyster sauce mixture. Of course, I also had to modify the recipe a bit for the strictly vegetarian diet of my husband Lulu, but the method is exactly the same.

You can serve them as is or with a sauce of your own. It's a healthy and flavorful way to open a meal. I've had it often that way at dim sum restaurants. In fact, it's usually one of the few vegetable dishes offered. With this recipe, you can have it at home, without the dim sum prices!


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Kumquat Breaded Baked Tofu Recipe

Kumquat Breaded Baked Tofu

02.15.10 by Jackie

Kumquat breaded baked tofu is the result of one of my various culinary experiments. I pan-fried pieces of tofu, covered them with a crust of bread and baked till golden. Tofu is a blank canvas that will absorb any flavor. By drizzling the puffed baked tofu with a ginger kumquat sauce, the complexity of the flavor matched the complexity of the texture of the dish.

After making my breaded version of Frenched rack of lamb, I thought it would be fun to make a vegetarian alternative. My little munchkin and I went to the garden and picked a basket full of mini kumquats, and it occurred to me that a kumquat persillade crust would go great with tofu.

Experiments don't always go the way you want them to, but judging by how quickly Lulu and the girls devoured the dish, I'd say it worked out all right. Give it a try, and don't be afraid to add your own twist!


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