Despite Berlin's reputation as the capital of mild, the epicenter of inauthentic Asian food, there's a layer of not just acceptable, but actually good restaurants for mapo tofu and dumplings, laab and fiery papaya salad, pho and more, lurking just below the bland, curry-covered surface.
'Chinese' on Serious Eats
New York is one great noodle town, but my new favorite bowl comes from a forward-thinking restaurant hugging the eastern border of Chinatown, where some excellent noodles take inspiration from an unlikely source: linguine with clam sauce.
Dim sum, barbecue pork, and saucy chicken feet are all part and parcel of a specific regional cuisine of China: Cantonese food, which has paved the way for Chinese food in the U.S. But there's way more to Cantonese cooking than spare ribs and siu mai.
What's the deal with egg custard tarts and Chinese sponge cakes? And just what exactly is a pineapple bun? Here's your essential guide to the great wide world of Chinese bakeries.
When travelers to New York ask me where to eat, I send them to Flushing. When locals ask me about a new restaurant I'm excited about, the answer's often there. But let's say you have just one day to take a whirlwind tour of the neighborhood. What do you need to try?
As the weather starts to cool down, schedules start to fill up again and the pace of life starts to quicken, but that shouldn't mean you don't have time to throw together a delicious, healthy meal. We rounded up 16 fast-and-easy stir fry recipes that will keep you from resorting to boxed mac 'n' cheese for dinner this fall.
I'm having tea with Helen You in her palatial new restaurant, where we're about to cook my favorite dumplings in the world. There may be other kitchens on earth making fat boiled dumplings stuffed with lamb and summer squash, but none make them like Helen's.
Smooth and a little sweet with a mild soybean flavor, fresh bean curd skin is a delicacy. At dim sum houses, it's often stuffed with a mixture of ground pork with mushrooms and ginger, then bathed in a mild yet rich chicken-stock-based sauce. While it's typically a breakfast item, these rolls also make a good dinner dish when served with rice alongside.
With bright pink chunks of plump shrimp veiled in thin, stretchy, translucent dough, har gow—crystal-skinned shrimp dumplings—may well be the most popular dim sum classic of all. You may think there's a lot of difficult technique involved in getting those shrimp so plump and the skins so delicate, but it's really much easier than it seems.
Plump and juicy, with chunks of shrimp barely visible through translucent dough, har gow are one of the most widely recognized dim sum classics. Ours enhance the shrimp with bits of pork fat in a stretchy, delicate wrapper.
Inspired by the flavors of Northwestern China, where ingredients from the Middle East blend seamlessly with East Asian ones, these lamb kebabs are marinated in a fragrant bath of toasted cumin, soy sauce, and crushed red chili flakes.
The best Chinese restaurant may not have the best beer list, so you might be stuck between the choice of Tsingtao or Tsingtao. But if you're able to bring your own bottles...or you're prepping these dishes at home yourself, you get to consider how to really punch up your meal with a well-chosen beer.
Braised chicken feet are a dim sum classic that don't get much love in this country. So why learn to cook them? Provided you can get over the mental hurdle, they're actually one of the most flavor-packed dim sum dishes around. Give them a shot and you may well find yourself fighting for that last claw so that you can suck every flavorful bit of skin and cartilage from between the tiny bones.
Though they're a dim sum classic, braised chicken feet (A.K.A. phoenix claws) can be a challenge for those unused to eating them. It takes a little while to get used to the plump claws sticking out of a little bowl, and a bit of work to get at the meat in between the tiny bones, but the flavor-packed rewards are well worth the mental and physical effort.
A staple for breakfast and lunch in many Asian countries, congee is rice and water (or broth) cooked down into a thick porridge. Everyone does it slightly different. It can be cooked using different grains of rice, different kinds and amounts of liquid, and different cooking times. Every choice can affect the final flavor and consistency. After much trial and error, I've arrived at the ideal recipe for a congee that's silky and comforting instead of sludgy or overly heavy.
Fluffy and sweet, lotus seed buns are a popular treat at Chinese bakeries. As the name implies, they're flavored with a paste made from lotus flower seeds, which have a light, chestnut-like flavor. This recipe for homemade buns has been perfected to work with either low-gluten flour, or all-purpose. Hot from the steamer, they're a confection not to be missed. The only thing that could make them either better is a cup of bubble tea.
Fluffy and sweet, lotus seed buns are a popular treat at Chinese bakeries. As the name implies, they're flavored with a paste made from lotus flower seeds, which have a light, chestnut-like flavor. This recipe for homemade buns has been perfected to work with either low-gluten flour, or all-purpose. Hot from the steamer, they're a confection not to be missed. The only thing that could make them even better is a cup of bubble tea.
There's more to Sichuan cooking than scorched taste buds and peppercorn-numbed lips. Here's the real deal on one of China's most exciting cuisines.
Located at the terminus of the Silk Road and at one time the cultural and political capitol of China, the city of Xi'an in Shaanxi province has one of the more interesting culinary histories in China, in no small part due to the influence of its large Muslim population.
For the amateur noodle shopper, parsing through a grocery's many noodle options can be mindboggling, so it helps to have a guide. Here's everything you need for your next shopping trip.