East Asian Recipes


Pickled Ramps, Japanese and Korean Flavors

Pickled Ramps, Japanese and Korean Flavors

Even before I open my eyes in the morning, when senses are at their dullest, the first thing I’ve been noticing lately is the pungency of ramps. I’m not sure whether it’s my breath, clothes, or skin pores, but I’m guessing that pouring a boiling red pepper broth over wild leeks is enough to trump [...]

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Gamja Jeon – Korean Potato Pancakes

Gamja Jeon – Korean Potato Pancakes

Realizing that I’ve been using the oven almost exclusively lately, turning to other kitchen appliances seems to be in order. I hear that stove tops get heavy use in other kitchens so I’m dusting off the skillets and cooking with (gasp) fire instead of hot air.
Gamja jeon are savory skillet-crisped pancakes made with grated potatoes. [...]

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Green Tea and Red Rice Swirl Bread

Green Tea and Red Rice Swirl Bread

Green tea and red rice add more than color and an East Asian twist to this soft bread loaf. Lightly enriched with sugar, butter, and an egg yolk, the subtle tastes of both ingredients pull through along with their many nutritional benefits.
The health benefits of green tea are well-documented, but red rice may be a [...]

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Chinese White Cut Chicken

Chinese White Cut Chicken

White-cut chicken is a traditional Chinese preparation that calls for poaching, cutting on the bone, chilling, and serving with a flavorful dipping sauce. Chicken doesn’t have to be fried, crisp, or golden brown to be delicious. When it comes to Chinese dishes, “traditional” usually implies “old as hell” and “bajillions served,” so they must be [...]

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Chinese Crab and Corn Soup

Chinese Crab and Corn Soup

Do you try and remember the first things you learned to cook? My memory is a bit hazy, but here’s my list so far:

Rice, because some Filipino kids are forced to cook as soon as they can lift a pot.
Eggs, sunny-side up.
Hot dogs, cut with a butter knife to resemble octopi.

And of course, this crab [...]

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Pork Belly Recipe – Braised in Soy and Dashi

Pork Belly Recipe – Braised in Soy and Dashi

Since the Japanese have high life expectancy, it follows that this braised pork belly recipe is health food, doesn’t it? Green vegetables are also involved and a hefty portion of the fat is melted away through slow cooking, so the corollary holds true so far.
A few glasses of Japanese green tea or red wine can [...]

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Hobakjuk – Korean Pumpkin Porridge

Hobakjuk – Korean Pumpkin Porridge

This version of hobakjuk, a Korean porridge made with pumpkins or squashes, is all about texture. Velvety pumpkin puree is mixed with tender azuki beans, chewy sweet rice balls, and crunchy pine nuts. And because everyone knows that pumpkins and spices go hand-in-hand, a light dusting of ground cinnamon ties everything together.
I’m just a bit [...]

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Braised Pork Belly – Hangzhou Dongpo Pork

Braised Pork Belly – Hangzhou Dongpo Pork

Dongpo Pork is a minimalist recipe for braised pork belly that needs only a few Chinese pantry staples — ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and Shaoxing rice wine. Ever ordered anything “drunken” at your local Chinese restaurant? Odds are you’ve had Shaoxing. It is the most widely used rice wine in Chinese cookery so invest in [...]

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Apples Steamed with Red Bean Paste

Apples Steamed with Red Bean Paste

If you have a nagging need to apply heat to apples before enjoying it, try steaming for a change. Cooking and baking cultivars such as Granny Smith Apples can be steamed with good results, changing its distinctive crispness into a spoonable consistency. Steaming also intensifies the flavor of apples while retaining much of its fresh [...]

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Gyung Dan – Korean Sweet Rice Balls

Gyung Dan – Korean Sweet Rice Balls

This light Korean snack highlights the chewiness and natural sweetness of sweet rice flour. Boiled until floating, sweet rice balls are really easy to prepare and has endless variations. Dry coatings such as sesame seeds, roasted soybean powder, and cinnamon sugar cling readily to its surface. Gyung dan can also be stuffed with sweet fillings [...]

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Shanghai Red Bean Crêpe

Shanghai Red Bean Crêpe

Pureed red bean paste is wrapped in a thin blanket of crisp-fried crepes in this sweet Shanghai classic. Traditionally served on its own, toppings such as toasted sesame seeds and light syrups are certainly welcome. My favorite addition is Japanese kinako, an aromatic flour of roasted soybeans, adding a subtle nuttiness that always plays well [...]

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Kinpira Gobo – Burdock Root, Stir-Fried and Spicy

Kinpira Gobo – Burdock Root, Stir-Fried and Spicy

There are many things that look more exciting than the beige stick facade of burdock roots but few have the appealing crunchiness it is prized for. Resembling a lengthier anemic carrot, it takes well to braising, retaining its crispness where other root vegetables turn mushy, and stir-frying, where its appetizing aroma is drawn out. Both [...]

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Sweet Azuki (Red Bean) Paste – East Asian Dessert Introduction

Sweet Azuki (Red Bean) Paste – East Asian Dessert Introduction

Sweetened azuki bean paste opens the door to East Asia, where it is widely used in a variety of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean sweets. Whether used in bread or pastry fillings, sweet soups, pancakes, or ice cream, the essential azuki bean is usually highlighted as the main flavor. Its assertiveness is best complemented with neutral [...]

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Steamed Peaches with Honey Dates

Steamed Peaches with Honey Dates

This deceptively simple steamed dessert has only three ingredients — peaches, dates, and brown sugar. I wasn’t too excited about it at first because I like peaches raw and I’m not too fond of dates. Since I was steaming chicken for dinner and had some fresh peaches on hand anyway, I figured that I might [...]

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Steamed Lemon Chicken

Steamed Lemon Chicken

Family recipes are great, especially if they’re not from my own. Having said that, my food-obsessed relatives are sure to disown me, so I’m going to explain myself in case my grandmother finds this while googling my name in search of my Twitter account.
I’ll never get tired of the foods of my childhood and will [...]

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Pureed Corn and Miso Soup

Pureed Corn and Miso Soup

Dotted with tiny bits of yellow, it looks like any other corn soup but one taste and you’ll know it’s unmistakably Japanese. Pureed corn kernels are seasoned with dashi, miso, and soy sauce to create a soup that can be enjoyed hot or cold. Served with tofu, a poached egg, or shredded crabmeat, it can [...]

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Asparagus the Japanese Way

Asparagus the Japanese Way

There are two major categories in Japanese salads — sunomono (“vinegared things”) and aemono (“dressed things”). This crisp asparagus salad falls under aemono where a simple dressing of Japanese mustard, egg yolk, and soy sauce is applied sparingly, just enough to provide that distinctive mustard heat.

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Feed a Crowd: Red Cooked Pork Shoulder

Feed a Crowd: Red Cooked Pork Shoulder

Cooking for a small crowd can be really stressful for the budding Michael Chiarello. However, it can be one of the most fun things you can do for friends and family. There is something perversely satisfying with making something delicious and sharing it with people you really really care about. A lot of things can [...]

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Japanese Vinegared Cucumber

Japanese Vinegared Cucumber

This is a refreshing and simple recipe for the ubiquitous Japanese side dish that seems to go well with anything. The sanbaizu, or “three flavors vinegar” dressing, is a delicate balance between sweet, sour, and salty but doesn’t overwhelm the clean and mild flavors of cucumber.

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