A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by reporter Christie Clements from SinoVision, the NY-based TV station promoting Chinese culture in the U.S. The station wanted to tape a short segment about the day-to-day work life of a food blogger and cookbook author. I been on TV few times before before (most memorable being this CBS Early Show segment about strange Beijing street food). But this was the first time a small crew would film in my apartment. Cue the frantic cleaning!
I first attempted making Sichuan dry-fried green beans 5 years ago while living in Beijing. Night after night I would have these delicious crispy green beans at Sichuan restaurants alongside dishes like mapo tofu and kung pao chicken, and finally decided I needed to try making them on my own. The results of my first experiments were less than impressive, to put it mildly. Then help came from a fellow blogger back home in NY.
Years later, I still make dry-fried green beans with the same time-tested method, varying the ingredients ever so slightly. Here is a revised all-vegetarian recipe featured in my new cookbook.
Dried-fried green beans is one of my favorite side dishes to order in Sichuan restaurants. In contrast to crisp haricot verts or mushy microwaved diner-style beans, Sichuan-style green beans are blistered and well-cooked without being bland. With Sichuan peppercorns and dried chillis adding spice and smokiness to the flavor profile, this dish becomes positively addictive.Read More
One of my favorite things about spring is that sugar snap peas are everywhere right now. If I go to a farmer's market, there will be bins full of sugar snap peas piled high. And inevitably someone offering a sample using the peas, like a salad with a lemony dressing.
My favorite way to cook them is just roasting them in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper, serving them alongside dishes like buttermilk roast chicken. But this week I decided to use them in a stir-fry with some radishes I also picked up at the Greenmarket.
Since I started developing and testing Soy Vay recipes back in January as one of their brand ambassadors, I've made a bunch of really tasty dishes using just a handful of ingredients: Teriyaki Turkey Burgers, Ginger Hoisin Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken Stuffed Mushrooms, and a Garlic Beef and Asparagus Stir-fry. This month, in honor of National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, I decided to do a vegetarian recipe instead.
For years I made edamame, one of my favorite snacks, by just boiling the frozen pods and then sprinkling sea salt on top. It was easy, and if you're using good salt, one of the tastiest things to snack on.
Then one night, while having drinks at my friend Barb's apartment, she whipped up a batch of edamame that was hands-down the best I had ever tasted.
Instead of boiling or steaming the edamame, she sautés the pods in a skillet with crushed garlic cloves. The edamame is cooked over a medium flame for 6 to 7 minutes, so the outsides develop a crisp garlicky flavor while the insides get cooked through. Genius, right?Read More
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind. Between going to conferences, tours, teaching, planning more classes, and blogging both here and on Brooklyn Atlas, having a quiet night at home just to relax had been put on the backburner.
So this past weekend, when the weather went a little berserk and the temps dipped down into the 40s with wind and rain, I decided to spend a night in to catch up on Mad Men. And made this Sriracha hummus to go along with chips and carrots for TV-time snacking.
It's a spicier, smokier take on your traditional hummus, but not so spicy that your tongue is scorched afterwards. I throw in a bit of garlic and add some crushed red pepper flakes at the end.Read More
Here in New York, having outdoor space is seen as the ultimate luxury. Whenever you meet someone who has a backyard, front yard, roof deck, terrace, balcony, heck, even a fire escape, it's hard not to feel very, very jealous. You imagine all the grilling they get to do in warm weather. And all the big barbecues they host on summer weekends, with burgers and beers and maybe even hammocks to sunbathe in. Life for them must be grand. And you wonder if you can be friends with them too.
Fortunately, every summer I do get to join in on a handful of barbecues around town. And for all those long stretches of time between outdoor cooking, I satisfy those cravings for BBQ food by cooking on a grill pan.
These teriyaki turkey burgers, fortunately, can be made easily both indoors and out. I started a partnership with Soy Vay® back in January and have made a ton of great meals with their sauces, including Ginger Hoisin Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken Stuffed Mushrooms, and a Garlic Beef and Asparagus Stir-fry. This month for Memorial Day (and National Burger Month) I decided to test out their Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce in preparing turkey burgers.Read More
Have you always been super-curious about what goes on behind-the-scenes at some of the biggest food publications in the U.S.?
I'm a sucker for any peek into how something is made, whether it's a chocolate maker, vodka distillery, local urban farm, or major publication that I regularly read. So I was thrilled to join in a tour this week that Cookbook Create organized for Internet Week, at the test kitchens and offices of Bon Appetit, The Daily Meal, and Food52. And hearing about the different recipe testing, writing and publishing processes from their editors. Check out the post with plenty of photos on my other site, Brooklyn Atlas!
For the last few weeks I've been switching over my morning caffeinated beverages from hot to cold. For the mornings when I'm groggier than usual and in dire need of caffeine, I'll do cold brew coffee instead of hot. And for the rest of the time, when I'm already pretty functional, I'll make a nice iced matcha latte in place of hot green tea.
As someone who's not a fan of the coffee chains that sell overly sweetened iced matcha lattes, I like making them at home much better. It's really pretty simple. And all you really need is some matcha powder, agave nectar or honey, almond or soy milk, hot water, and ice.
If you've never made drinks with green tea powder before, you're in for a treat. It has a more concentrated earthy flavor than bagged or even whole leaf green tea that you would normally buy in the US. You can get matcha powder at many Japanese markets or online at places like Matcha Source and Amazon. (In addition to matcha lattes, you can use the powder for desserts, such as green tea cookies and matcha pound cake.)Read More