The chief food critic for the Village Voice shares his neighborhood favorites with us.
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Manhattan's Chinatown has its share of dumplings: potstickers aplenty, Shanghainese xiao long bao, some wontons here and there. But if you want real dumpling diversity, and an overall upgrade in quality, you have to hop the 7 train to Flushing. Here are the essentials to get the most out of your dumpling crawl.
Japanese chashu gets its name from the bright red Chinese barbecued pork known as char siu—you know, the stuff you see hanging in windows or stuffed into steamed bao?—and it probably came to Japan from China around the same time that ramen itself did. But like ramen, it's undergone some major alterations over the centuries. Unlike char siu, which is made by painting slices of pork shoulder with a thick, sweet marinade and roasting it, Japanese chashu is a simmered dish made with pork belly. The question: What separates the bad chashu from the good, the good chashu from the great, and how do we recreate the best at home?
The challenge? Figure out how to make world-class tonkotsu ramen right in my own kitchen. It took over 40 pounds of bones and over 200 hours of collective simmering time to do it, but I cracked the code.
Kürtőskalács, or chimney cakes, are traditional Hungarian pastries that originated in Transylvania. Anna, chef and owner of Chimney Cake, has brought this tasty treat to Long Island City in New York's Queens, with a store that opened in late 2011. The cakes are made with long strips of dough that are then wrapped around wooden molds; originally, the chimney cakes were cooked in a fireplace, but at Anna's cafe they are place inside a vertical oven that slowly turns each cake 'til it's done.
Kenji's monthlong Vegan Experience has come to an end. Over the course of that animal-product-free month, he shared many vegan recipes with us. And whether you're vegan or not, you have to admit, these soups, sandwiches, and shoot even a vegan Frito pie (!), looked pretty darn delicious. Here's a roundup of all 28 of his vegan recipes.
We write about restaurants all over the city. But sometimes, you don't want to travel for food; you want the best eats right in your neighborhood. So we're having the Serious Eats staff share where they eat around their own 'hoods. Today? Serious Eats Managing Editor J. Kenji Lopez-Alt on Morningside Heights.
Editor's note: We write about restaurants all over the city. But sometimes, you don't want to travel for food; you want the best eats right in your neighborhood. Over the next few weeks, we'll have the Serious Eats staff share where they eat around their own 'hoods. First up? Serious Eats overlord Ed Levine!
The newly opened New York Mart on Mott Street is like the Eataly of Chinatown. Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. But it's a crazily impressive food destination. Inside this mega-supermarket, there's a huge array of Chinese and Asian goods, along with American products—along with butchers and fish and live frogs, a bakery and steam tables and a rotisserie, a huge produce selection and a bigger frozen section.
Late summer and its joyous glut of tomatoes is a bittersweet time for a canner. Tomatoes signal the end of summer fruit and bring with them the knowledge that the growing season is nearing its end. However, there's just so darn much that can be done with tomatoes that the possibilities make this preserver positively giddy.
Hand-pulled noodles are dramatic to watch being made. Starting with one cylindrical rope of dough, a noodle maker pulls and tug on that rope and folds it over his fingers, weaving his hands back and forth as if playing an accordion, each time stretching out the dough so that before long all ten of his fingers hold up progressively thinner strands of one singular, unbroken string of dough. The chewy texture and slightly irregular shape of a hand-pulled noodles keeps each strand interesting and fun to eat. So we checked out five hand-pulled noodle joints in Manhattan's Chinatown, looking for the best the neighborhood had to offer.
We know from Photograzing, from your blogs, and from your comments that Serious Eaters are serious bakers. And over on Slice, we've loved watching My Pie Monday, where we get to take a peek at the amazing pizzas coming out of your ovens every week. So over here on our sweet corner of the site, get ready for Share Your Sweets.
There are less than a handful of reasons to hang around Jerome Avenue at the low 180s any time of day—that is, unless you've got a hankering for spicy stews. Home to an exploding population of Ghanaians that is the largest in the States, the Bronx has, in recent years, started to gain traction as a destination for honest, cheap West African food. Though the community is centered on the Melrose-Webster Avenue track, Ebe Ye Yie, just steps from the 183rd 4-train stop, is not far off the beaten track of plantains and palm oil. And it's very much worth the diversion.
Rhubarb season is finally here! I don't know about you, but I can never get enough of its sweet-tart flavor and gorgeous rosy hue. This raspberry-rhubarb jam is incredibly easy to make thanks to a secret ingredient: a packet of raspberry Jell-O. Best of all, it's a freezer jam, which means you don't have to bother with sterilizing the jars or processing them in a hot water bath.
The Himalayan Yak's staff was very attentive to my daughter and smilingly guided us through the long menu. The restaurant is large and comfortable (they also have live music Friday through Monday) and a good place to introduce kids to Himalayan fare at very reasonable prices (the highest priced item on the menu are prawns at $12.99).
In honor of Serious Eats New York Bakery Week, I've rounded up ten of my current favorite bakery desserts in the city. It's a mix of old and new—some of that have only recently made an appearance on our city's wonderful bakery scene, and others that I've Sugar Rush'ed in the past. You'll find classic uptown pastry shops, standout sweets from tea parlors, and much more.
I'm not one for suspense, so I'll give it up right away: Zabb Elee has easily the best Isan Thai food in Manhattan. A couple weeks back, Serious Eats Drinks editor Maggie mentioned that Le Da Nang, the East village Thai spot, had just been converted to a Manhattan branch of Zabb Elee, a popular Queens Isan Thai restaurant. Preliminary reports of takeout seemed promising. About a week later, I received a hastily written email from Harold Dieterle, Chef at Kin Shop, and authority on Thai cuisine—and his recommendation meant that we just had to visit.
When I first learned how scallion pancakes are made, I was floored. Whoah, ancient Chinese secret! was what ran through my head. It took me several years to realize that conceptually, the method is almost identical to that of making puff pastry, croissants, or any number of laminated pastries, which makes scallion pancakes a perfect subject for exploring in this week's Food Lab.
Crisp, with a steaming hot center and dipped into a sweet sauce, egg rolls are a study in contrasting textures and flavors.
Of all the foods off the A1 through A24 section of your local Chinese takeout menu, fried dumplings (that's Peking ravioli to you Bostonians) are perhaps the ones that benefit most from some home treatment. Unless you're really lucky, takeout dumplings are thick-skinned and greasy, any crunch having left them in the long steamy bike ride from the kitchen to your door.
Ribs are central to barbecue, but they're also part of cuisine traditions all over the globe. The SE team wanted to stop and appreciate all the ribs out there, from Pinnekjøtt in Norway to Cantonese char siu spare ribs to baby-backs (I want my...). Here are the international highlights. As it turns out, the world is boned.
Opened back in November, Court Street Grocers is making some of the best sandwiches we've had recently (and we are sandwich crazies)—plus you can wash them down with tough-to-find-in-NYC regional sodas. Like Cheerwine, for which they drive down to North Carolina to pick up crates of the real cane-sugar version. The fridge also stocks cans of Vernors ginger ale, glass bottles of Bubble Up, and Kombucha.
A pig's foot is so well-composed. Think about all those little bones in the foot, all that cartilage, all those tendons and all that meat bundled up in skin. I think of each foot as curated package of pig, an indispensable tool in the cook's arsenal. In fact, I wrap my trotters individually in plastic wrap to keep in my freezer. That way, I'm never more than a pig's foot away from the perfect soup or stew. A pig's foot is so well-composed. Think about all those little bones in the foot and all that cartilage in the joints. Not to mention the tendons and the meat, and everything bundled up in skin. I think of each foot as curated package of pig, an indispensable tool in the cook's arsenal. In fact, I wrap my trotters individually in plastic wrap to keep in my freezer. That way, I'm never more than a pig's foot away from the perfect soup or stew.
We asked Michael Nagrant, our normal Chicago go-to guy, to handle this week's Serious Eats City Guide. From deep-dish pizza to the best taqueria and meatiest Eastern European butcher, Michael tells how a missionary of the delicious should visit Chicago. As always, chime in with agreement, or feel free to alert us to any Chicago eats we've overlooked.