When you're not ready for it, the robust garlic-spiked flavor of a dish with black bean garlic sauce can feel like a punch to the mouth. The first time I cooked with it, a dish of stir-fried eggplant, I kept sneaking spoonfuls from the pan and feeling my eyes pop with every umami-packed bite. If you need something that will wake up your tastebuds in these dog days of winter, just find yourself a jar of this sauce and let it work its magic.
Q: I am looking to buy a good quality pair of chopsticks for my boyfriend for Christmas. We don't use them for cooking, just for eating (mostly noodle dishes). He has talked about wanting some ceramic ones, but I have been reading that wooden ones might be the way to go.
Time seems to speed up this time of year as we near the holidays. In preparation, I like to make and freeze a big batch of Asian dumplings like these tofu and kimchi-filled Korean mandu. They're easy to heat up as a bite to eat between running to events and make a nice appetizer for guests, too.
I recently had the best Pad Thai of my life. It was one of those restaurant meals where the person cooking takes us under her wing and simply says, "How about I just cook for you?" Chef Ngamprom "Hong" Thaimee of Ngam in NYC's East Village then brought out plate after plate of regional Thai cuisine from her native Chiang Mai, Thailand, and I was floored.
Normally when I have this kind of meal out, I try to savor it as just that: a meal out that I will probably not make at home. But this was different. In particular, Hong's Green Papaya Pad Thai was a game-changer. Replacing the traditional rice noodles with shredded green papaya isn't a new trick — and one that's gaining a wider audience thanks to its lower carb count — but I'd never thought to make it that way at home. So I called her the next day and asked her to please teach me. This week, I visited her kitchen.
Trying to reproduce a beloved relative's signature dish is often futile, especially when recipes are unrecorded and our dear ones are no longer with us. In this case, I was inspired by my father-in-law's kalguksu, or Korean "knife noodles," despite the fact that I sadly never got to meet him nor taste the noodles that my partner remembers so fondly. While my version could never match the original, I think I can safely say these noodles are a fabulous comfort food.
As the weather gets darker and chillier, my craving for Asian noodle soups gets ever stronger. Light yet satisfying and deeply comforting, these ten noodle soup recipes — including Japanese miso-spiked ramen, fragrant Vietnamese pho and spicy curry noodles — are sure to hit the spot.
Egg noodles and curry might seem like an unlikely combination, but if you've ever tried the Burmese-influenced Thai dish khao soi, you know the two were meant to be. A popular street dish in Northern Thailand, khao soi isn't often found in restaurants abroad, but not to worry. Though its flavors are complex — chewy egg noodles coated in rich, fragrant curry sauce and topped with a choose-your-own combination of garnishes like crispy shallots, fresh cilantro and roasted peanuts — this recipe is quite easy to recreate at home.
Q: I recently bought Grace Young'sStir-Frying to the Sky's Edge and have been making delicious stir-fries for dinner several times a week. I'd like to share my newfound skills with dinner guests, but most of the recipes serve 3 to 4 as "part of a multi-course meal."
I don't think I'll ever get tired of one-bowl meals. Give me a bowl, a spoon, and a comforting mix of grains, vegetables and protein, and I'm set. Kimchi fried rice satisfies all those requirements — and even includes the underappreciated "pickle" food group — but I always like to add a couple handfuls of shredded greens to the mix for a boost of color and nutrition. Funky, a little spicy, and studded with soft bits of scrambled egg and pops of bright kimchi, it's a quick one-bowl lunch or dinner I could eat anytime.
Q: While clearing out my refrigerator, I discovered a whole tub of gojuchang which I had picked up earlier for bibimbap. I love the hot-peppery taste but don't know what else to make with it. Any suggestions?