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Seriously Asian: Cold Somen Noodles

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 8 comments

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

Serious Eats Chichi Wang Post a comment

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

Seriously Asian: Grilled Rice

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 10 comments

This week's recipe is inspired by a segment on The Splendid Table, which I follow not only for the food but to hear Lynn Rosetto Kasper salivate on air. (Am I the only one?) Hearing people talk about food almost always makes me hungrier than watching videos or looking at photos, and this time she was talking about onigiri. More

Yaki Onigiri

Serious Eats Chichi Wang 10 comments

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

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 10 comments

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

Serious Eats Chichi Wang Post a comment

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

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 13 comments

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

Serious Eats Chichi Wang 3 comments

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: Preserved Duck Egg

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 17 comments

I seem to be on a roll in this column with talking about oft-maligned, malodorous foods common in Asian cuisine. Natto, for instance, being the most noxious of them all. Preserved duck egg is another one. It's not for everyone, but of course that's what makes it so special. More

Boiled Greens with Preserved Duck Eggs

Serious Eats Chichi Wang Post a comment

I seem to be on a roll in this column with talking about oft-maligned, malodorous foods common in Asian cuisine. Natto, for instance, being the most noxious of them all. Preserved duck egg is another one. It's not for everyone, but of course that's what makes it so special. More

Seriously Asian: Salted Duck Egg

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 10 comments

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

Stir-Fried Vegetables with Salted Duck Egg Yolks

Serious Eats Chichi Wang Post a comment

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

Seriously Asian: Natto Day

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 15 comments

I was just going to eat some natto with my rice on July 10 in honor of Natto Day, but my friend suggested that I try cooking with natto, and I'm glad I did. If you already love natto, then you might wonder why you would take a perfectly malodorous, gooey batch of fermented soybeans and do anything with it besides eat it out of the box. As it turns out, natto is delicious in other cooking preparations as well. The heat takes some of the pungency out of the beans and transforms them into savory, cheese-like nuggets. More

Natto Spring Rolls

Serious Eats Chichi Wang 1 comment

Imagine biting into a freshly fried spring roll, its shell breaking off in crispy, golden-brown shards to a piping-hot center of natto beans. The taste is still distinctly natto-esque, but with a kind of maturity and softness that is really pleasant. More

Seriously Asian: Cellophane Noodles

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 7 comments

Cellophane noodles—known in various guises as Chinese vermicelli, bean threads, bean thread noodles, crystal noodles, or glass noodles—should be one of those items you keep in your pantry to use in a pinch. Made from mung beans, yam, or potato starch, the gluten-free noodles are quite versatile. They are equally good tepid as they are warm, and they can be served in soups and hotpots, used in stir-fries in place of wheat noodles, or served cold in salads. More

Cellophane Noodles with Pork and Thai Basil

Serious Eats Chichi Wang Post a comment

Cellophane noodles—known in various guises as Chinese vermicelli, bean threads, bean thread noodles, crystal noodles, or glass noodles—should be one of those items you keep in your pantry to use in a pinch. Made from mung beans, yam, or potato starch, the gluten-free noodles are quite versatile. They are equally good tepid as they are warm, and they can be served in soups and hotpots, used in stir-fries in place of wheat noodles, or served cold in salads. More

Seriously Asian: Chinese Sausage

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 13 comments

If you visit any decent-sized Chinese market you'll find an impressive array of Chinese sausage, known commonly by its Cantonese name lap cheong. The term, in fact, is generic and covers a broad range of sausage, both fresh and smoked, and extends to sausages from Vietnam and Thailand. What unifies all kinds of Chinese sausage is an extremely sweet flavor and an emulsified texture that makes even the fresher links taste like meat candy. More

Stir-Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage

Serious Eats Chichi Wang 1 comment

Seriously Asian: Green Papaya

Seriously Asian Chichi Wang 6 comments

If you've only ever enjoyed the sweet, juicy flesh of ripe papaya, you might not be familiar with the fruit in its unripened staged. Green papaya flesh has a foamy texture and a mild, almost tasteless flavor. But if you massage shredded green papaya with salt and sugar, a preparation you might also use for daikon or carrots, the papaya flesh becomes sweet and crispy, with a mild, cucumber-like flavor. More

Green Papaya Salad

Serious Eats Chichi Wang 2 comments

Green papaya, which can also be pickled or added to soups, is commonly used for salads in Vietnam and Thailand. Dressed in fish sauce, lime, and chilies, the shreds of papaya are sweet and refreshing. The salad can be as simple or complex as you choose—for a vegetarian salad, stick with other vegetables that also benefit from being dressed in lime and fish sauce, such as carrots, daikon, and cucumbers. Parboiled shrimp and squid are fine additions. Another Vietnamese favorite uses shreds of Asian beef jerky, which softens as it soaks up some of the lime and chili dressing. More

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