A simple steak frites is that kind of meal that has the ability to please just about everyone, vegetarians aside, of course. For this Grilled Hanger Steak with Korean Flavors and Spicy Potato Pancakes, Anita Lo has taken the steak-fries-and-salad combo on a trip east, accenting the plate with a selection of Korean elements that elevate the dish while retaining its simple integrity.
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Turkey with Spicy Black Beans in Tofu Dumplings is Anita Lo's adaptation of two favorite Chinese dishes, mapo tofu and steamed dumplings. By stuffing little rounds (or squares) of tofu with ground turkey mixed with scallions, fermented black beans, and doban djan, a Sichuan chile sauce, and steaming them, she's created little self contained packages filled with all of the salty, spicy flavors that make mapo tofu so irresistible.
Lo's wings are seasoned with salt and pepper, fried, and then tossed in a sweet chile glaze that's heavy on the gochujang, a thick, sugary chile sauce that's ketchup-like in texture with just a touch of heat. The chile paste is boosted with a bit of fresh ginger and garlic as well as sesame seeds for crunch. It's a pretty much perfect wing sauce—spicy, salty, and sticky enough to necessitate plenty of Wet Naps.
Swap out beef bones for duck to make a stock that has all of those warm and wonderful phở notes plus that unmistakable fattiness that can only come from duck. To the stock she adds a touch of fish sauce, sheds of duck leg, rice noodles and all of your go-to phở garnishes.
Gazpacho, kimchi, and shrimp cocktail aren't dishes that you'd expect to find of the same table or even the same menu, but for Anita Lo, author of Cooking Without Borders these seemingly separate dishes combine for a brilliant palate-awakening first course. The concept behind her Kimchi Gazpacho with Shrimp springs from the little plates of pungent fermented kimchi that kick off nearly all Korean meals. Mixed into a fresh and simple blender gazpacho of tomatoes, cucumbers, and garlic, the kimchi acts as both salty and sour elements with just a hint of red chile.