Tag Archives: Asian food

Hot Pot! With Recipe for Taiwanese Hot Pot!

Taiwanese Hot Pot

For many Americans, holidays brings to mind traditional meals including ham, roast turkey, gingerbread houses and dozens of cookies.  These are definitely part of my Taiwanese-American family’s holiday repertoire.  But as with other American customs and holidays, my family also included distinctively Asian food in our celebrations.  During holidays and other special occasions, my family would break out an electric skillet and prepare for a meal of what my mother Americanized for us as “tabletop cooking.”  I didn’t know until years later that this already had an English name, hot pot.  It is still a meal my family enjoys when we get together, though now that my parents are getting less enthusiastic about all the prep work, we are more likely to enjoy this communal meal at a restaurant than at home.

Chinese hot pot or huo guo  literally translates as “firepot.”  It has existed for over 1000 years in China, and is thought to be of Mongolian derivation.  This is probably a myth, as hot pot is not a part of modern Mongolian cuisine.  It originated somewhere in Southern China, and spread to Northern China during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906).  From China, this meal has spread in many variations in different Asian cultures.  I grew up eating the Taiwanese version, which involves a clear pork or chicken broth as a base, and various meats, seafood, tofu, vegetables and noodles as the ingredients.  Similar versions are Japanese shabu-shabu and what is called Steamboat in Singapore and Malaysia.

Hot pot is basically a meal of choose-your-own-ingredients, which each diner/cook adds to the bubbling communal broth.  The best part is making your own dipping sauce.  In Taiwan, a raw egg is combined with Sa Cha sauce (a soy and seafood flavored “barbecue” sauce) and/or soy sauce,  but you can also add chilies, minced garlic, cilantro, scallions, and any other variety of savories, to your taste.  People can get very creative with the sauce making.

The most distinctive variation of hot pot is served in Southwestern China, in Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces.  I worked for some time in Sichuan, and during my first week there was treated to the local specialty, Ma-La (numb-spicy) hot pot.  Rather than a clear broth, this is a thick, puree-like sauce which reminds me of Mexican mole (with chiles and ground sesame seeds common to both), and gets its name from the Sichuan hua jao (flower pepper), which leaves a not unpleasant numb sensation on the tongue.  Aside from the cooking sauce, the meats offered to me on that visit were also memorable.  I was presented with a platter of interesting animal parts including pigtails (curly!) and rabbit ears, among other offal.  I realized that these tidbits were prized, expensive, and offered to me only because I was an honored guest, but I still couldn’t manage to try them.  Because everything is community property around a hot pot, nothing went to waste; my dining mates were more than happy to partake of these special tidbits.

Thankfully, you don’t need exotic ingredients to enjoy hot pot cooking.  My favorite aspect of eating hot pot is neither the individual ingredients I have chosen, nor the sauce I have created, but how the broth tastes at the end, when the flavors of each person’s choices have simmered together into an unimaginably rich, fragrant broth.  The complexity of this flavor is the product of the contributions of the many cooks who created this group meal, the ultimate expression of communal cooking.

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Taiwanese Hot Pot
Ingredients
A variety of thinly sliced meats (hint: slice while frozen to make paper-thin slices), such as chicken, pork, meat and lamb

Fish balls or fish cake
Shrimp, sliced squid
Tofu
A variety of Chinese greens, chopped (I like whole leaf spinach and Napa cabbage in my hotpot)

Fresh mushrooms
Cubed taro root
Sliced lotus root
Noodles, such as udon, egg noodles, mung bean noodles, rice noodles
Broth, chicken or pork are used most commonly
Condiments: Sa Cha sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, chilies or chili sauce, diced cilantro, chopped scallions, raw eggs for stirring into the sauce

Equipment

Traditionally, a large wok over hot coals.
Modern home cooks can use a large, covered electric skillet.  (My parents still use the covered electric skillet they received for a wedding gift in 1967– used only for this purpose.)
Technique
Bring the broth to a boil.
Each guest/cook selects a variety of ingredients to add to the communal hot pot.  Based on cooking time, meat is usually added first, vegetables just briefly, and noodles at the very end, because they absorb a lot of the broth.  Make sure to have extra broth or water on hand to replenish the broth throughout the meal.  Adjust the temperature to keep the broth at a gentle simmer.  While the food is cooking, each guest/cook makes her own dipping sauce of a raw egg mixed with the condiments of her choosing.

Linda Shiue is a doctor and food writer who believes in the healing power of chicken soup.  You can read about more of her food and travel adventures at spiceboxtravels.com and follow her on Twitter @spiceboxtravels.  Her work has appeared in Salon, The Asia Magazine, The New York Times, andRemedy Quarterly.
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Top 10: Best Asian Cookbooks to Savor UPDATED

Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, JadeLuckClub, Asian Grandmother Cook Book,

I was a cooking school for kids called Create a Cook because my girls were invited to a birthday party. Though I’ve been there in the past for the occasional party, I realized that I never actually stepped inside before. There was a huge 2 sided wall display of gorgeous cook books, better than any book store and I purused a pile of them while the party finished up. This inspired me to pull together my own Top 10 List of Best Asian Cook Books from their selection and my own stack at home.

p.s. Thank you to my mom friend Nathalie for reminding me about this one. I have it too!

The Foods of Vietnam by Nicole Routhier

10. The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook: Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens by Patricia Tanumihardja

This is exactly the kind of food that I want to eat so I guess I better learn how to make it. I

9. Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors by Andrea Nguyen

She also writes for my favorite foodie magazine Saveur which is where I discovered her.

8. The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore by Grace Young

If you just want one cookbook for Chinese, this is it.

7. The Korean Table: From Barbecue to Bibimbap 100 Easy-To-Prepare Recipes by Taekyung Chung

My mother-in-law taught me how to make a few things but it’s a lot harder than it looks. This book is pretty though!

6. Practical Korean Cooking by Chin-hwa

For authentic Korean recipes and techniques, this is my go to.

5. Momofuku by David Chang

Well, a girl can dream, right? Celebrity chef David Chang showcases his rise to stardom amid a pile of recipes only a few of which can be reasonably recreated at home.

4. Bento Boxes: Japanese Meals on the Go by Naomi Kijima

I use some of these recipes as dinner entrees.

3. Hawaii’s Bento Box Cookbook: 2nd Course by Susan Yuen

The birthplace of Asian fusion was Hawaii.

2. Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa

This is a fascinating read that covers the history of Filipino food and its many influences.

1. At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka by Madhur Jaffrey

She’s my guide into the complex favors of South East Asian.

To view any cookbook more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

 

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Kogi BBQ and Setting Up Your Own Neighborhood Hawker Food Court

Roy Choi Kogi BBQ The Daily Beast JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Roy Choi, chef and owner of Chego restaurant and the Kogi Korean taco trucks in Los Angeles, Axel Koester / Redux

Before Kogi, most Los Angeles residents only had only glimpsed food trucks from afar, sitting in a parking lot or next to a construction site. 

This was in The Daily Beast about Roy Choi, the 41-year-old founder of Kogi BBQ food trucks. Now Choi, a 2010 Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chef recipient, has started his fifth food venture called Sunny Spot,  Choi’s take on a Caribbean roadside cookshop.

For the full article, click here.

Choi’s success begs several questions:

1) Where is my Kogi BBQ in Boston?!

2) Indeed, why not more major cities?

3) If he can do it, why can’t YOU? Food trucks can go upscale? Oh yeah! Choi laid the groundwork, now it’s up to you!

4) Is this how social media can spawn new food concepts?

 “It challenged a lot of people’s barriers and definitions of what is clean, what is dirty, what is right, what is wrong, without knowing it,” says Choi. “Before Kogi came out, we called them roach coaches. We called the stuff outside of clubs dirty dogs, danger dogs, death dogs. It’s that Western privileged mind-set: That’s dirty, that’s f—ing underground, that’s ghetto…We took away that ridiculous, passed-on, generational, privileged stereotype towards food that Latinos have been eating for a long time, or street food in general…We’ve stopped downgrading a certain segment of society. That’s pretty cool.” from The Daily Beast

and here’s his concept (that’s where YOU come in!):

The recognition from Food & Wine, the first time the magazine awarded Best New Chef to a food truck, helped legitimize the trend, and, Choi believes, street food is what can save our cities.

“We can take empty gas stations and empty parking lots, we can take under performing centers, we can turn those into little hawker centers like they have in Singapore,” he says. “Then we can encourage small business to come in and make a delicious dish with one thing, like this Cuban sandwich you’re eating. Just make one thing and then just transform our city into a city that’s filled with just small vendors serving the most delicious thing that they can.” from The Daily Beast

p.s. Please start one in Boston!

p.p.s. Thank you to Nathalie for sending this link my way!

p.p.p.s. Here are three recipes by Roy Choi by way of Food and Wine Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Korean BBQ Family Recipe for Kalbi plus Momofuku’s Recipe

Celebrity Chef Bad Boy David Chang Momofuku Korean American Famous JadeLuckClub David Chang, America’s Favorite Bad Boy Celebrity Asian American Chef

Give this man his own cooking show! I love this guy even though he’s arrogant and bad ass! Actually, that is what I love about him. My husband bought me his cookbook and I read it like a novel but didn’t actually cook out of it. His story about how pig headed he is and was is part of his charm. You have to give the man credit for getting up again and again to make his restaurants succeed. Now, he’s the toast of the New York restaurant scene. Not bad!

My husband (just giving credit where it is due) suggested that I post on Asian restaurants. I love home cooking and my favorite magazine for that is Saveur which also has a great website if you don’t want to subscribe. I actually have years of this magazine carefully saved just because I love reading it and even, on occasion, cook from it. So this is my first recipe post. It’s my Korean mother-in-law’s recipe for Kalbi/Bulgogi marinade (and she’s an excellent cook) coupled with Momofuku’s version. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this and it’s perfect for a summer BBQ.

Momofuku Kalbi Marinated Hanger Steak

David Chang Momofuku Kalbi Marinated Hanger Steak JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club Bad Boy Chefs Celebrating Asian American Creativity
Hanger Steak:
2 c apple juice
1/2 c light soy sauce
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
5-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresly ground black pepper
Four 8 oz hanger steaks1. Make the marinade: combine all of the ingredients in al arge freezer back and mix to combine. Add the steaks and marinate for 24 hours.
2. Grill for 6-10 minutes total for medium rare, let them rest for at least 5 minutes.
3. Cut against the grain.

For ssam: serve with rice on bibb lettuce with Maldon and sauces

Ginger Scallion Sauce:
2.5 c thinly sliced scallions (1-2 large bunches)
1/2 c finely mined peeled fresh ginger
1/4 c neutral oil
1.5 tsp light soy sauce
3/4 tsp sherry vinegar
3/4 tsp kosher salt or more to taste.

Momofuku David Chang best Korean Kalbi BBQ recipe for marinade JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club Celebrating Asian American Creativity

My  Korean Mother-in-Law’s Kalbi Marinade

1/2 cup soy sauce (we use Kikoman’s and the brand of soy sauce does make a difference!)

2 tablespoons of finely minced garlic (use fresh and not from a jar please! Mash garlic with flat of a knife and then mince finely)

1/4 cup finely minced green onions (also called scallions). My mother-in-law julienne’s each green onion (after washing carefully to remove dirt) into about 4 long lengths, then minces this finely.

1-2 tablespoons sesame seed oil (the Asian variety. It should be nut brown and smell fragrant)

2 tablespoons sugar (white granulated is fine)

3 pounds of beef

Kalbi BBQ recipe Momofuku JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

1) Wash beef strips, trim fat and dry.

2) Sprinkle sugar on beef — an additional 6 tablespoons and mix thoroughly.

3) Combine rest of marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the liquid from the beef in sugar.

4) Dip beef into marinade one at a time and lay in a pan.

5) Leave to marinade for an hour or more refrigerated.

6) Cook on a grill until done. Serve with rice.

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Kogi BBQ to Go: Korean BBQ Trucks, Dang Where is My Truck in Boston?

kogi bbq truck JadeLuckClub best truck food asian mexican food on the go http://JadeLuckclub.com Celebrating Asian American Creativity Ingenuity Success in creative fields

Have you heard of Kogi BBQ? It’s this very cool hybrid: Korean Mexican but only in Los Angeles! Dang! I feel gypped here in Boston! Someone get a franchise out here please!

The Yelp reviews are outstanding:

Finally tracked down Kogi when there wasn’t a line around the block.  I love GFTs, but not when I am forced to wait an hour to eat.  Happily, my husband and I went for a late dinner and were able to walk right up.  We got the Kimchi Quesadilla and the Pacman burger.  Oh. my. gosh! Seriously?  Who knew kinchi and cheese could be so mouth watering.  I was blown away by the flavors – totally exceeded my expectations.

I’ve found heaven in many places,
And those have never been disgraces.
Their burritos are the bomb for sure,
And their short ribs are a heartbreak cure.
Everyone should come and see,
how incredible their food can be.
Succulent and tangy I taste,
It has stolen a place in my heart, no food could ever replace.
Your prices have also made me swoon,
This love can only be from a cartoon.
You are a dream come true,
And my desire for you is true blue.!

To locate them, follow them on Twitter. And kudos to them for Outstanding Use of Social Media!

“The Kogi truck is a traveling Los Angeles landmark that serves up Korean Mexican tacos, day and night.

Spicy Pork Tacos, Kimchi Quesadillas and Short Rib Sliders satiate the hungry mouths of Angelenos who crave excellent food on a dime budget. Quality Korean barbecue meets traditional, homemade tortillas and fresh veggies to create a taste that carries the rhythms of LA street culture and exudes the warmth of all that California sun. Under the direction of Chef Roy Choi, Kogi has developed a menu that delivers high-end food at street level prices.

Currently Kogi operates 5 trucks and out of 1 bar. Roaming the streets of LA County are Azul, Verde and Roja, while Naranja and little sister Rosita make the extra trek down to Orange County. Alibi Room in Culver City stays put as the adult hub for all things Kogi.

Most recently the Kogi family has opened up its first sit-down restaurant, Chego, in Palms. LA-in-a-rice bowl meets non-alcoholic local dive bar in this mash-up of 2nd generation Angeleno culture, great food and more-than-reasonable prices.”

Yum! Someone send me a Kogi taco please! I’m starving here!

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