Tag Archives: asian

Singapore, March 2014

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I was in Singapore last month for work, and I had to post a few pictures of the food.

Beef noodle soup from a mall food court (which are amazing there):

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A food hawker center:

Hawker 1

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Tiny deep-fried prawns from a Japanese restaurant:

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Prawn fishing with my aunt, cousin, and her husband (we caught 3, not sure we would survive in the wild):

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Skewered and grilled prawns from a Szechuan restaurant:

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Soft-boiled eggs with toast (they slice frozen butter for the toast, then top it with sugar). I have been eating a LOT of soft-boiled eggs since I got back:

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Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)

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I was never partial to chicken pho until we tried it in Hanoi. We had it at our hotel for breakfast, and it had a very clear but complex broth, with only the tiniest slivers of chicken meat. It was amazing.

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I used the recipe from Steamy Kitchen, and I was very pleased with the results.  Paco had three bowls! Today is also the beginning of Chinese New Year, so the noodles that we had are good luck because they represent long life. Winner winner chicken dinner! 😉

Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)
Adapted from Steamy Kitchen

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, or 3-4 lbs of chicken pieces (I used 2 leg/thigh pieces, 4 wings, and a bunch of extra wing tips)
1 onion, halved
3-inch piece of ginger
1 packet of pho spices (or coriander, cloves, star anise, and fennel)
2 T fish sauch
2 T sugar
1 small bunch of cilantro stems, tied

For serving:
dried pho noodles, boiled and drained
bean sprouts
cilantro
jalapeno, serrano, or Thai chilis, thinly sliced
green onions, sliced finely
lime wedges

Begin by preheating your broiler to high.  Put the onion halves and ginger on a baking tray on the top shelf, and broil for 15 minutes, turning at the halfway point.  The onion skin will brown and both the onion and the ginger will soften.  When they are done, remove the skin from the onion and ginger, and slice the ginger into thick slices.

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the chicken pieces, and boil for 5 minutes.  There will be a lot of frothy scum that rises to the top. Drain the pot, rinse the chicken in cold water, and rinse out the pot.  This is how you make sure that your broth stays clear.

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Fill the pot with cold water, and add the chicken, dried herbs, fish sauce, sugar, cilantro stems, onion, and ginger to the pot.  Bring to a boil then immediately reduce the heat to low and cover. You want the broth to continue cooking at the most gentle simmer possible.

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If necessary, skim the broth every 20 minutes, removing any impurities that float the top.  After 30 minutes, remove the meatiest pieces of chicken. (For me that meant the legs, but if you used the whole chicken it will be the breasts.)  Set them aside to cool.  Continue to simmer the broth for another hour (90 minutes total).  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. (Mine required some more fish sauce and quite a bit of salt.)

When you are ready to eat, remove the solids from the broth, reserving as much of the liquid as possible.  Shred the chicken that you set aside earlier.  Assemble the individual bowls with noodles, broth, and chicken.  Serve with bean sprouts, lime wedges, and fresh herbs.  Enjoy!

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Korean Tofu Stew with Chicken and Mushrooms

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This is the perfect quick meal for a cold night. I used ground chicken because I had it on hand, but thinly sliced beef would be more traditional.  This could easily be vegetarian, as well, just add some extra mushrooms.

Korean Tofu Stew with Chicken and Mushrooms
Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

1 T vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground chicken (or thinly sliced beef, ground beef, ground pork)
kosher salt
black pepper
4 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 10)
4 oz crimini mushrooms
2 T red chili flakes (or Korean chili flakes)
1 T soy sauce
4 c chicken or beef broth
1 block (14 oz.) silken tofu, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 tsp sesame oil
4 eggs
2 green onions, sliced

Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Brown the meat and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and saute for a minute or two. Add the chili flakes, soy sauce, and broth. Bring a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Add the tofu and stir.

Gently crack the eggs into the pot, lightly basting each with hot broth. When the whites are cooked, gently ladle the stew out into individual portions over rice. Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle green onions over the top.

Beef with Broccoli

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Beef with broccoli is not something that I would typically order at a Chinese restaurant. The sauce can be heavy, and I prefer my broccoli on the crisp side. However, I love homemade beef with broccoli!

I always use the recipe from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, which advises you to steam the broccoli separately then toss it with the sauce. It’s a great way to make sure that your broccoli remains bright green and perfectly cooked!

I used flank steak this time, but I have used presliced meat from the Japanese market (for stir fry), and it makes this an even quicker dish. I served mine over brown rice, but you can use white rice or chow mein.  (Brown rice also takes 50 minutes to cook, so it’s not ideal for a quick dinner.)

Beef with Broccoli
(Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook)

1 lb flank steak, sliced across the grain into thin slices
1 1/2 lb broccoli, cut into florets
kosher salt
1 T vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

For the marinade:
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
black pepper

For the stir-fry:
3 T oyster sauce
2 tsp sherry
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Combine the marinade ingredients, then marinate the beef for 15 minutes.

To steam the broccoli, place it in a microwavable bowl with an inch of water and season with salt. Cover with a plate. Microwave it on high for 2-3 minutes, until the broccoli is tender but still a little bit crunchy. Drain the broccoli and rinse it with cold water.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat. Add the garlic and beef in a single layer, and brown the beef on both sides. Add the stir-fry sauce, and cook until the sauce is a little bit thick. Finally, add the cooked broccoli to the pan and toss in the sauce.

Cold Peanut and Sesame Noodles

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I have been really into cold noodle salads lately, so I made this one to take to book club.  If you are making it as a side-dish, be warned that it makes a ton (at least 8 servings).

Cold Peanut and Sesame Noodles
Adapted from Mark Bittman

12 oz angel hair pasta
2/3 c peanut butter
2 1/2 T sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/2 T sugar
1 T rice vinegar
3 1/2 T soy sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 English cucumber, sliced into thin strips
5 scallions, finely sliced
1/2 c frozen edamame, shelled

Prepare the angel hair pasta and frozen edamame according to package directions. Drain.

Combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a large  bowl to make the dressing. Add the noodles and vegetables and toss to coat.

Enjoy!