Ginger Garlic Recipes

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King Mushrooms in Pineapple Sauce Recipe

King mushrooms braised in pineapple sauce makes a quick and easy side dish. The beautiful part of this dish is that it works both as a vegetable side dish and a meat substitute. King mushrooms have a chewier, more meaty texture than Portobello mushrooms, which is very pleasant if you're looking for a filling meal without a ton of calories.

The mushrooms are sliced, then braised in crushed pineapple and soy sauce. If you’re a true carnivore though, you could always replace the mushrooms with chicken breast.


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Indian Cluster Beans (Gawar Ki Phalli Recipe) Recipe

Cluster beans, also known as guar beans or cyamopsis tetragonolobus, are legumes that are very popular throughout India. They resemble flattened green beans and have an extremely hardy and crunchy texture, and they're usually cooked into a curry.

This version, gawar ki phalli (sometimes called gavar ki sabji) is cooked in sesame paste and curry leaves. It's one of the healthiest Indian dishes you can make because these beans are very low in calories. My husband Lulu's family is from Hyderabad and this bean dish was Lulu's paternal grandma Baji's specialty. Making this dish is quite labor-intensive because the beans need to be stringed and chopped. But the result is definitely worth the effort. Whenever I find very fresh cluster beans at the Indian market (blemish-free, green and relatively tender), I cook them right away as they don't store well in the refrigerator.

Note: Glossary of relevant Indian / Urdu cooking terms.

Gawar, gavar =
cluster

Ki = 
of

Phalli =
beans

Sabji, sabzi = greens, vegetables

Guar Beans Recipe with Picture


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Pineapple Tofu Recipe with King Mushrooms Recipe

Pineapple tofu with king mushrooms is a great dish for both vegetarians and "meat-atarians", as my little munchkin would say. King mushrooms, also known as "abalone mushrooms", have a very meaty, chewy texture that I love. They complement the pineapple really well. If you can’t find fresh pineapple, canned crushed pineapple will work fine. I made a sweet and sour sauce using canned pineapple and dipped the fried tofu in the sauce with the mushrooms.

Even if you are a "meat-atarian", it’s worth working some vegetable dishes into your diet. It’s good for your health, and if you try recipes like this one, it will be good for your tastebuds as well.


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Ca Nuc Kho (Traditional Vietnamese Whole Mackerel in Sugarcane Sauce) Recipe

Cá nục kho mía literally translates to "mackerel braised in sugarcane sauce". It's the fish traditionally served in  a Vietnamese claypot. The dark caramel ginger sauce is made from galangal and sugarcane juice (nước mía in Vietnamese).

Mackerel is high in Omega 3 oils but can have a strong fishy flavor. There are several steps that can be taken to ensure this dish is absolutely delicious. First, when you're at the market, make sure the fish is fresh; fresh mackerel shouldn't smell fishy. Look for clear-eyed fish with bright, shiny scales. The second step is to clean the inside of the fish thoroughly in several water baths and let the fish rest in a vinegary solution for a few minutes. The last part is to use a lot of shallots and galangal, which has a sharper, more aromatic flavor than ginger. It's slightly more expensive than ginger but it's well worth it.

I served the fish with steamed jasmine rice and sautéed rau muống (Vietnamese pea shoot tendrils) with fresh chestnuts and wood ear mushrooms.


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Tofu Stuffed Bitter Melon (Kho Qua Nhun Tau Hu) Recipe

Khổ qua nhưn tàu hũ, tofu stuffed bitter melon is similar to dishes you might have seen at Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants. The difference is that it's usually shrimp paste instead of tofu (tàu hũ) and eggplant or button mushrooms in place of the bittermelon, called cà tím nhưn tôm ("eggplants with shrimp paste" in Vietnamese). I made my own blend of ground tofu paste with fried tofu and vegetarian ham to resemble the color of shrimp paste. I then stuffed the mixture into the bittermelon rounds and steamed the vegetables. For more flavor, I pan-fried the tofu filling then braised the dumplings in sweet pineapple hoisin sauce.

I love this dish because it's so flavorful and the texture of the tofu is very similar to meat. My husband Lulu, who’s a vegetarian, really likes it even though he isn’t into meat substitutes. It just proves that there’s more to vegetarian and vegan cooking than just silken and firm tofu!


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