Seriously Asian

Asian cookery, with an emphasis on the traditional, underappreciated, or misunderstood elements thereof.

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Taiwan Eats: An Expat's Thanksgiving Turkey Comes Served Over Rice

Call it turkey over rice, or just "turkey rice," as its name directly translates; either way, should you find yourself in Taiwan's southwestern county of Chiayi, this is the number one dish to try. The soulful, rustic meal has earned island-wide yearnings for its delicate balance of fragrant seasonings. Head over to the recipe to transport your classic Thanksgiving meal (or its leftovers) to an entirely different place. More

Seriously Asian: Cold Somen Noodles

Here in the last throes of summer, lunch is sometimes no more than a mound of somen noodles served atop a bed of ice. Somen noodles are thin wheat noodles, as thin as vermicelli, more delicate than buckwheat. Twirled around chopsticks and dipped in a sauce made with soy sauce and dashi, the noodles slide down the throat. They are icy, firm, and rich. More

Cold Somen Noodles with Dipping Sauce

Here in the last throes of summer, lunch is sometimes no more than a mound of somen noodles served atop a bed of ice. Somen noodles are thin wheat noodles, as thin as vermicelli, more delicate than buckwheat. Twirled around chopsticks and dipped in a sauce made with soy sauce and dashi, the noodles slide down the throat. They are icy, firm, and rich. More

Yaki Onigiri

Most onigiri is not grilled. Sticky, short-grain rice compressed around fillings of fish, pickled vegetables or umeboshi (pickled plums) is the norm. A common home-style treat, onigiri is also sold in Japanese convenience stores and grocery stores where sheets of nori (seaweed) wrappers are covered in plastic to remain crispy. More

Seriously Asian: Durian Smoothie

It's that time of year again. My annual plug for durian, the oft-maligned, odoriferous fruit beloved in Southeast Asia and beyond. Usually, my advice to durian novices is to select a fruit with the least-pungent smelling odor you can find since different kinds of durian will range from mildly cheesy-smelling to gym-locker-stench-evoking. Durian smoothies are a treat on a hot summer's day. You might even get a few durian converts if you serve the fruit in smoothie form, which offers a milder kick of that distinctive cheesy taste. More

Durian Smoothie

It's that time of year again. My annual plug for durian, the oft-maligned, odoriferous fruit beloved in Southeast Asia and beyond. Usually, my advice to durian novices is to select a fruit with the least-pungent smelling odor you can find since different kinds of durian will range from mildly cheesy-smelling to gym-locker-stench-evoking. Durian smoothies are a treat on a hot summer's day. You might even get a few durian converts if you serve the fruit in smoothie form, which offers a milder kick of that distinctive cheesy taste. More

Seriously Asian: Perilla Leaves

If you live in an area with a big Asian community then you've probably seen little old Asian ladies hawking produce on the side of the road. They stand out in the hot sun selling produce at very cheap prices, and they are there day after day. Right now the Korean ladies are selling stacks of perilla leaves, though if you go to any Korean grocery store, you'll see them being sold as sesame leaves. I don't understand why they refer to perilla leaves as sesame leaves, but they do. More

Marinated Perilla Leaves

If you live in an area with a big Asian community then you've probably seen little old Asian ladies hawking produce on the side of the road. They stand out in the hot sun selling produce at very cheap prices, and they are there day after day. Right now the Korean ladies are selling stacks of perilla leaves, though if you go to any Korean grocery store, you'll see them being sold as sesame leaves. I don't understand why they refer to perilla leaves as sesame leaves, but they do. More

Seriously Asian: Salted Duck Egg

Like curing meats, the practice of salting duck eggs may have started as a method of preservation, but now salted duck eggs are a delicacy. Salting makes the egg whites dense and almost rubber-eraser-like in appearance, but it's the yolks that are especially prized. There's nothing quite like a good salted duck egg yolk. If properly salted, the duck egg yolks are creamy, granular, and oily all at once—an intriguing textural composition that tastes especially rich and salty. More

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