'southeast asian' on Serious Eats

Date Night: Dressed Up Hawker Fare at Singapura

Some call what comes out of the kitchen at Singapura "Asian fusion." While the dishes do draw on ingredients and preparations from a wide swatch of the continent, including India, Thailand, Malaysia, and the provinces of China home to the Hakka people, they represent, according to the menu, what's made by housewives and hawkers in Singapore. Singapura offers an excellent introduction into this multifaceted cooking culture. More

Wong in the West Village: Asian Fusion That's (Usually) Done Right

Pan-Asian cuisine can be a gamble at best. The flavors of China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia—all of which make an apperance on Wong's menu, sometimes in a single dish—are so diverse that more often than not, endeavors like this end in confusion rather than triumph. For the most part, Wong avoids the typical pratfalls of overzealous menus, serving food that's incredibly fresh, refined, carefully thought-out for the most part, and reasonably priced even when it's not. 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

Spice Hunting: Turmeric

Done right, turmeric an ingredient that can change the way you cook ethnic food. The aroma is intense: earthy, pungent, redolent of dried citrus peel and dusty streets soaked in sunlight. The flavor, though subtler, warms the tongue, the missing link between black pepper and chile. After tasting the real deal, one automatically understands why the food of over a billion people is stained with it. More

Spice Hunting: Chewy Drinks with Basil Seed

Sweet beverage drinkers can be divided into two camps: those like bubble tea and those who don't. Fans relish a sweet slurp mixed with mildly flavored chewy orbs; detractors regard the innocent pearls as nuclear caviar that should never cross human lips. If you're in the second camp, maybe we can still be friends, but I've got nothing for you this week. If, on the other hand, you like your beverages on the chewy side, basil seed is just for you. More

Grocery Ninja: Pandan, the Asian Vanilla

The Grocery Ninja leaves no aisle unexplored, no jar unopened, no produce untasted. Creep along with her below, and read all her mission reports here. Photograph from tisay on Flickr Chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and grilled. Photograph from doubtless on Flickr Before I knew vanilla, I knew pandan. Mind-boggling, I realize, but I was well into my teenage years before I set eyes (and greedy hands) on a plump vanilla bean, whereas my family had a pandan plant growing right at our doorstep. In fact, the corridor we shared with our neighbors was lined with pots of it—Southeast Asian cooks use pandan leaves to scent their dishes so frequently that it would be unthinkable to not have any on... More

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