All week we're sharing Asian food recipes and inspiration here at The Kitchn. Here are some refreshing drinks to sip alongside your East, South, and Southeast Asian meals – or just to cool down on a hot summer day.
Among the other flamboyantly garnished and highly aromatic plates being handed around the table, this one seemed rather plain jane. An unassuming bowl of slippery noodles sprinkled with what looked like crispy pork and crushed peanuts? But one bite was all it took: it was love at first spicy-tangy-sweet forkful.
We're 2.5 weeks away from the 2012 Olympics, folks! (Go gymnastics!) But before we begin marveling at the physical prowess of the world's best athletes, let's take a human moment to discuss something a little more down to earth: what the heck do they eat? The U.S. Olympic team will have a full-service nutrition center with them in London modeled after their training center dining hall in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Meals are all very nutrient-and-calorie dense, but lest you think it's space-age-protein-gel stuff, think again! The most popular meal served wouldn't be out of place on your dinner table. Can you guess what it is?
Call me crazy, but when the weather heats up, I don't feel like eating big hunks of meat. Slow and sluggish might work for winter when everyone is half-hibernating anyway, but in the summer, salads like this are what I want to eat — full of freshness and crunch, with a salty-tart lime dressing and just the right amount of juicy grilled steak.
I love to set a big bowl of freshly-steamed mussels down in the middle of a dinner party and watch what happens. Some guests dive in with gleeful abandon while the shellfish newbies hang back to see how it's done. Either way, soon everyone is grabbing mussels from the bowl, slurping from the shells, and fighting over the last chunks of bread to sop up the sauce. It's a happy, playful, messy scene that never fails to get the party going.
Thai stir-fried greens have been in my weeknight cooking repertoire since I began cooking. It's the first Thai dish I ever prepared that tasted straight-outta-Thai-Town authentic, and it's so simple, I make it — usually with rice and a Thai omelet — whenever I want a quick, flavorful dinner with lots of healthy leafy greens.
Q: About a month ago, I decided to make pad Thai from scratch, and could not find the elusive tamarind paste in three grocery stores. This past weekend, I finally found it, and simply bought it on principle because I had been so frustrated looking for it. What else, other than pad Thai, can I use it for?!