Shaking Beef

1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin tips or tri-tip, trimmed, patted dry, cut into 1½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons lime juice, divided, plus lime wedges, to serve
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
8 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 bunch watercress, stemmed

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and ½ teaspoon pepper. Toss to combine and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together 4 tablespoons of the lime juice, the fish sauce, sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until beginning to smoke. Swirl to coat the pan, then add the beef in a single layer. Cook without stirring until well browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip each piece and cook until the second sides are well browned, about another 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

To the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook over low, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the garlic is no longer raw, about 30 seconds. Pour in the lime juice mixture and any accumulated meat juices, increase to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is syrupy, and a spoon leaves a trail when dragged across the skillet, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add the beef and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce clings lightly to the meat, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and stir until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, toss the watercress with the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a bed of the watercress on a serving platter. Top with the beef mixture and its juices. Serve with lime wedges.

Tip: Don’t cut the beef into pieces smaller than 1 1/2 inches or they may overcook. And don’t fo

Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts

Neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed, then peeled
1 pound brussels sprouts, halved or quartered, if large
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Red-pepper flakes, to taste

Heat a large skillet over high for a few minutes. Drops of water should skitter across the surface then evaporate quickly. Set the pan lid and 1/2 cup water next to the stove. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan (3 to 4 tablespoons), then add garlic and sizzle until fragrant and wisps of smoke rise from the oil, about 15 seconds. Add brussels sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir to coat with oil. Spread in an even layer, carefully add water and immediately cover.

Cook without stirring until the water has almost completely evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes. After silent simmering, there will be loud popping sounds that quiet to a crackle.

Uncover, sprinkle with sugar and soy sauce, and stir for 1 minute. Sprinkle with red-pepper flakes and serve.

Crispy Cauliflower with Gochujang

2 lb/910g cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
2 Tbsp/30ml extra-virgin olive oil
fine sea salt
1/2 cup/120ml water
2 Tbsp/40g gochujang
2 Tbsp/30ml apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp/5ml light soy sauce
1/2 tsp packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp/20g roasted salted peanuts
1 Tbsp chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.

Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt. Fold and toss to coat well and when I mean toss, be gentle, the worst part is losing cauliflower to the kitchen floor.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the cauliflower till the florets turn golden brown and crispy, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through during roasting to evenly cook them. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl.

While the cauliflower roasts, place the water, gochujang, vinegar, ginger, soy sauce, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk till smooth, bring to a boil over medium heat, and remove from the stove. Taste and season with salt if needed (you probably won’t need to).

Pour the hot sauce over the roasted cauliflower.

Top the roasted cauliflower with the peanuts and chives. Serve warm.

Note: You can make very good crispy cauliflower in the oven keeping a few points in mind. The goal is to avoid over crowding, so the larger the baking sheet or roasting pan, the better. This will allow the hot air from the oven to circulate and do a better job crisping up those florets. Keep your florets, bite-size, if they’re too big or tiny, they will cook unevenly.

Indian-ish Nachos

FOR THE CILANTRO CHUTNEY:
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
1 small Indian green chile or serrano chile, stem removed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime), plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

FOR THE NACHOS:
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
Kosher salt
1 (8-ounce) bag white corn tortilla chips, preferably unsalted
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 medium Roma tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup store-bought tamarind sauce (or 1/4 cup date syrup or maple syrup whisked with 1 tablespoon lime juice)

FOR THE CHHONK:
1/4 cup ghee or olive oil
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
Pinch of red chile powder, such as ground cayenne
Greek yogurt, for serving

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Make the chutney: In a blender, combine the cilantro, green chile, lime juice, sugar and salt and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick to blend, add up to 3 tablespoons water, a tablespoon at a time, to get it going. Taste and adjust the salt and lime juice, if needed. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, lightly mash the beans with a fork (this is so they won’t roll off the chips), and season them with salt. On a foil-lined 13-by-18-inch sheet pan, arrange half the chips, followed by half the beans, onions, tomatoes and cheese (in that order). Repeat to make a second layer.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes on the highest rack of the oven, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

While the nachos are in the oven, make the chhonk: In a small pan or a butter warmer over medium-high, heat the ghee. Once the ghee melts (or the oil begins to shimmer), add the cumin seeds and cook until they start to sputter and brown, about 15 seconds. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the red chile powder. Set aside.

Evenly drizzle the cilantro chutney and the tamarind sauce on top of the nachos, followed by the chhonk. Add a few dollops of the Greek yogurt, if using.

Vietnamese Braised Pork Ribs

2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layer removed, lightly smashed and very finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as Red Boat)
1 tablespoon hot chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon grated garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated ginger
3 to 4 pounds baby back ribs
4 scallions, slivered or chopped, for garnish
Cilantro and mint sprigs, for garnish

Make the marinade: In a small bowl, put the shallots, lemongrass, soy sauce, fish sauce, chile paste, salt, sugar, five-spice powder, garlic and ginger. Mix well.

Put the meat in a deep baking dish or roasting pan and add marinade. Using your hands, coat ribs well. Let marinate, refrigerated, for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight, well wrapped. Bring back to room temperature before proceeding.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Add 2 cups water to the pan, cover tightly with foil and place pan in oven. Cook for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 1 hour more. When done, the meat should be very tender, nearly but not quite falling off the bone. Remove cover and return to the oven for about 15 minutes until the ribs are nicely browned.

Remove ribs from pan. Pour pan juices into a saucepan and skim fat. Reduce over high heat until somewhat thickened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, divide ribs with a sharp knife and pile them onto a platter.

Serve family style with steamed rice and pan juices. Garnish with scallions, cilantro and mint sprigs.

Gochujang Barbecue Ribs With Peanuts and Scallions

FOR THE RIBS AND RUB:
3 racks St. Louis-style spareribs (2 1/2 pounds each)
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup ground black pepper

FOR THE GOCHUJANG BARBECUE SAUCE:
1/2 cup gochujang
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chile powder, such as ancho
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

FOR GARNISH:
1 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup sliced scallions

The day before you plan to cook the ribs, use a paper towel to help you pull the silver skin off the backside of the ribs.

Combine salt, light brown sugar and black pepper to make a rub, then generously season ribs with the rub on both sides. (You may have some rub left over.) Place on a rimmed baking sheet, wrap in plastic, put in the refrigerator, and let sit overnight.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients and whisk until brown sugar is dissolved. (You can use a hand mixer if you’d like.)
The next day, prepare a charcoal grill (preferably a kamado, the egg-shaped ceramic grill) and warm it to 225 to 250 degrees. If your grill doesn’t have a thermometer, use an oven thermometer to try to keep the temperature consistent. (See note.)

Place ribs on a rack so they are not sitting directly on the grate. Cook 3 to 3 1/2 hours, turning and basting ribs with barbecue sauce every hour.

Glaze the ribs with the sauce once more before serving. Cut the ribs and then sprinkle with peanuts and scallions and serve.

Tip
Coals burn hotter and faster with more oxygen, so use your grill’s vents to slow, but not stop, the amount of oxygen coming in to keep the temperature down. To keep the fire going, you can add unlit coals directly to the lit fire; it takes about 15 minutes for new coals to come up to temperature.

Pressure Cooker Sticky Tamarind Baby Back Ribs (with Slow Cooker Variation)

4 to 5 pounds baby back ribs
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup tamarind paste or concentrate
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from about 1/2 orange)
1/4 cup honey, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 star anise pod
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
4 small shallots, diced (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced

Cut the ribs into chunks of 2 or 3 ribs, depending on their size, and place them in a large bowl. Toss with 1 teaspoon salt, and set aside while you prepare the sauce.

In a small bowl, combine the tamarind, orange juice, honey, soy sauce, lime zest and juice and star anise. Set aside.

Using the sauté function, heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Stir in the shallots and cook until they are starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute, then stir in the tamarind mixture.

Bring to a simmer, and then scrape the sauce into the large bowl of ribs. Toss gently to combine.

Arrange the ribs standing up along the outer edge of the pressure cooker, making a ring with the meat side of the ribs facing out. Continue with the remaining ribs, arranging them to make concentric circles. Pour any remaining sauce over the ribs, cover and cook on high pressure for 32 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.

Heat the broiler.

Transfer the ribs, meat-side down, to a rimmed baking sheet. Turn the pressure cooker to the sauté function and cook to reduce the sauce until it’s thick, about 15 minutes; spoon the fat off the top when finished. Taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning or add more honey if necessary; then brush the ribs with the sauce. Broil the ribs until they are charred in spots, 1 to 3 minutes. Then flip them over, brush with more sauce, and broil on that side until charred. Serve immediately, with more sauce on the side.

Tip
If you’d rather use a slow cooker, add 3/4 cup water to the machine when adding the sauce in Step 4. Cook the ribs on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the ribs, reduce the sauce and broil as described in Step 6.

Spicy Tamarind Pork Ribs With Scallions and Peanuts

2 racks baby back or spare ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds each)
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup store-bought tamarind concentrate or purée
1 scotch bonnet chile, stemmed and chopped, or 2 tablespoons sambal oelek or other chile paste
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lime zest (from about 2 limes)
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup peanuts, crushed (optional)

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the ribs out on a cutting board and pat dry with paper towels.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar with the garlic powder, cayenne, pepper and 1 tablespoon salt. Rub both sides of each rack with the brown sugar mix.

Wrap each rack in a double layer of foil and crimp along the edges to seal. Place on a baking sheet and cook until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Allow to cool before unwrapping, being careful of rising steam. Remove the ribs from the foil packets and cut each rack into 4- to 6-rib portions.

While the ribs bake, add the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar with the tamarind concentrate, chile or chile paste, honey, ginger and nutmeg to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir to combine, bring to a slight simmer and cook until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, add the lime zest, season to taste with salt and allow to cool completely.

Finish the ribs on the grill (or proceed to Step 5 to finish the ribs in the oven): Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium. Brush the ribs on both sides with a thin coat of the glaze. Place the ribs on the grill, turning often, until the glaze is sticky and charred in spots, 5 to 7 minutes.

Finish the ribs in the oven: Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the ribs, meat-side up. Brush the tops with glaze and broil until glaze is set and caramelized in spots, 3 to 5 minutes.

Brush again with the glaze and transfer the ribs to a board. Slice into individual ribs. Transfer ribs to a platter and top with scallions and crushed peanuts.

Tip
The glaze can be made and refrigerated up to a week in advance. The ribs can be cooked up to 3 days in advance. Allow to cool completely, wrap tightly in foil or plastic and store refrigerated.

Thai-Style Spare Ribs

2 racks of baby back ribs, 3 to 4 pounds, halved lengthwise to make 3-inch ribs (ask your butcher to do this)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind paste or hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine, mirin or sherry
3 tablespoons chopped garlic chives or scallions, for garnish
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, for garnish

Lay the ribs flat in a roasting pan. (You will have 4 long pieces.) Season lightly with salt on both sides.

Make the marinade: In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, tamarind paste, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. Add the wine and 1/4 cup hot water and whisk well.

Pour marinade over ribs to completely coat. Marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, turning once or twice, or cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 250 degrees. Transfer the roasting pan, uncovered, to the rack. Roast ribs for 1 1/2 hours, basting with pan juices and turning ribs over every 20 minutes or so. If pan juices seem to be drying out or burning, add a little water to the pan. (Alternatively, cook ribs over indirect heat in a covered charcoal grill, turning ribs every 20 minutes or so.)

Pour juices from the roasting pan into a small saucepan. Spoon off fat from surface of sauce, then simmer sauce for a few minutes until slightly thickened, then use the juices to paint the ribs.

Turn up oven heat to 400 degrees. Return ribs to oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until nicely glazed. (Alternatively, return ribs to the grill to glaze.)

Use a sharp knife to divide ribs, cutting between the bones. Pile ribs onto a platter, sprinkle with garlic chives and cilantro, and serve.

Tip
Ribs may be prepared through Step 5 several hours in advance, or even a day ahead and refrigerated. To reheat, proceed with Step 6, but bake or grill for 30 minutes to make sure they are completely heated through.

Note: They may be cooked over indirect heat in a covered charcoal grill, but it is far easier to bake them in a slow oven, then reheat (on the grill, if you wish) at the last minute.

Barbados Curried Rice

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons canola or other neutral oil
5 fresh curry leaves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus additional as needed
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce, plus additional as needed
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 to 2 habanero chiles, seeded and minced
3 cups cooked white rice, cooled
2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 quartered

Place a large skillet over medium heat, and add to it the black pepper and white pepper. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the curry powder, shake again and toast for 1 minute more. Scrape the toasted-curry-powder blend into a small bowl using a rubber spatula, and set aside.

Add the oil to the skillet, and swirl it around. When it shimmers, add the curry leaves, and fry, 1 minute. Stir in 4 tablespoons butter. When it melts, add the shallots and garlic. Lower the heat, and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.

Raise the heat to medium. Stir in the toasted-curry-powder blend, followed by 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce and the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add habanero to taste, then adjust the levels of soy sauce and oyster sauce if you want to go a little saltier or sweeter. Scrape the curry paste into the small bowl.

To finish the dish, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet, and heat over medium-high. When the butter melts and foams, flake the rice into it, and allow it to crisp slightly, then stir a few heaping tablespoons of curry paste into the rice to season to taste.

Finish with lime juice to taste, and serve with lime wedges alongside fried fish, stewed chicken, goat or lamb, or just on its own. Transfer remaining curry paste to a lidded container. Let cool, cover and refrigerate up to 1 month.

Tip: You’ll end up with more curry paste than you’ll need to season the rice, even if you season aggressively. Refrigerate the extra to make the dish a second time (it keeps well), or to enliven ground meat for a Caribbean-ish version of sloppy joes, even just to improve a bowl of instant ramen.

Pressure Cooker Steamed Idli

2 cups Rice Idli OR Rava Idli Batter
1.5 cups Water
oil for greasing

Add 1.5 cups of water to the Instant pot and turn on SAUTE (high), so that the water comes up to a boil. Meanwhile grease your idly plates with oil or ghee, Pour idly batter into the idly plates/moulds. Do not over do.

Once the water starts to boil, place the idli stand in to the Instant pot. Close lid and keep in VENTING position and turn on ‘STEAM’ mode.

Steam the idli trays in the IP for 10-12 mins.Note:Timer on the instant pot does not work in the venting position, so you have to monitor time with a separate timer.

Once done ,check the idlis by piercing a toothpick in it. If the tooth pick comes out clean, the idlis are done.

Remove idli’s from the moulds. Serve hot, with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Pressure Cooker Vegetable Sambar

1 cup toor dal/split Pigeon Pea washed
2 cups mix vegetables (carrot,beans,potato)
1 large tomato finely chopped
2 tablespoon sambar powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon tamarind Concentrate *See Notes
1/4 cup coconut paste optional *See Notes
4 cups water
salt to taste
2 tablespoon cilantro/Coriander leaves to garnish

Tempering Ingredients
1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Cumin/Jeera Seeds
8-10 Fresh curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon Asafetida/Hing
2 tablespoon oil or ghee

Press SAUTE mode on Instant Pot. Add oil and once it’s hot add mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and asafetida, let it splutter.

Add mix vegetables, tomatoes and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Then add washed toor dal(lentils),sambar powder, turmeric powder, tamarind extract , salt, coconut paste and water.Mix well.Press CANCEL button on Instant Pot.

Close the lid on the pot, and turn pressure valve to SEALING position.

Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and set timer to 8 minutes

Do a NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE.

Remove lid away from you, garnish with Cilantro.

Mix well and adjust consistency and spice level.Increase accordingly.

Serve with Hot Steamed Rice.

Notes
Blend 1/4 cup fresh/frozen coconut with little water to make smooth coconut paste.

To make tamarind paste,soak lemon sized tamarind in hot water,squeeze and extract the pulp.

If you like your sambar to be more spicy add 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder.

You can also add vegetables like pumpkin,drumstick,eggplant etc.

Sesame-Crusted Fish With Butter and Ginger Sauce

1 cup sesame seeds
4 skinless fillets like black sea bass or red snapper, 6 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons neutral oil, like corn or canola
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Put seeds on plate. Season fillets with salt and pepper and turn in seeds, patting to coat fillets as fully as possible with seeds. Add oil to skillet and when it shimmers add fillets.

Brown fish on 1 side for a couple of minutes, then brown on other side for a minute or two. Remove skillet from heat, transfer fish to plate (even if not done) and place plate in oven.

When skillet has cooled slightly, put over medium heat. Add butter, and when it melts add ginger. About 30 seconds later, add soy sauce and 1/4 cup water and stir to blend. Return fillets to skillet, along with accumulated juices.

Turn heat to medium and cook fillets for about 1 to 3 minutes until desired doneness, turning 3 or 4 times. (If the pan dries out, add 2 or 3 tablespoons water.) Fish should be done when a thin-bladed knife meets little resistance at fillet’s thickest point. Serve pan juices over fish.

Pork Noodle Soup With Ginger and Toasted Garlic

3 tablespoons neutral oil, grapeseed, vegetable or canola
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoons red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, plus more to taste
1 large bunch pea leaves or spinach, thick stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (from about a 1 1/2-inch piece)
6 ounces rice noodles (thick- or thin-cut), cooked and drained
1/2 medium red, yellow or white onion or 3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro, leaves and tender stems, coarsely chopped

Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium.
Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the slices become nicely toasted and golden brown, 2 or 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove garlic and set aside.

Add pork and red-pepper flakes to the pot, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up large pieces, until the pork is well browned and in small bite-size pieces, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add chicken broth, soy sauce and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes or so, until the pork is very tender and the broth tastes impossibly good. (Give it a taste and season with salt, pepper, red-pepper flakes and soy sauce, if you want.) Add pea leaves, half of the onion slices, and all of the ginger. Stir to wilt the leaves.

To serve, ladle soup over noodles and top with remaining onion, cilantro and toasted garlic.

Chicken and Herb Salad With Nuoc Cham

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bird’s-eye chile or other small hot chile, minced with seeds
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 loosely packed cups chicken meat (12 ounces, pulled from store-bought rotisserie chicken or roast chicken)
2 cups thinly sliced red or green cabbage
1 small English cucumber, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium bell pepper (any color), thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups peppery leafy greens, such as watercress with tender stems, arugula or mizuna
1 loosely packed cup Thai or sweet basil leaves
1 loosely packed cup mint leaves
1/2 cup crispy fried shallots or onions, store-bought or homemade
Lightly crushed peanuts for serving

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Whisk to dissolve the sugar. Add the garlic, chile, lime juice and fish sauce. Stir to combine.

Add the chicken, cabbage, cucumbers and bell pepper to the dressing. Toss to coat. Add the leafy greens and the basil and mint leaves. Toss to combine.

Divide the salad among bowls, garnish with the crispy shallots and serve immediately.

Coconut-Gochujang Glazed Chicken With Broccoli

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar or 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons gochujang paste
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 pound broccoli florets, cut into 2-inch pieces
Cooked rice, for serving
Sliced scallions or chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden all over, about 3 minutes. Add ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.

Add coconut milk, sugar, gochujang and soy sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring until gochujang dissolves. Gently simmer over medium-low heat, stirring, until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch broccoli until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Drain.

Divide chicken and broccoli among plates; spoon with sauce. Serve with rice.

Gungjung Tteokbokki (Korean Royal Court Rice Cakes)

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
4 ounces beef rib-eye or sirloin steak
1 pound 2-inch-long cylindrical rice cakes
2 tablespoons safflower or canola oil
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/4-inch-thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1/4-inch-thick
1 cup mung bean sprouts
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, garlic, black pepper, 2 tablespoons of the scallions and 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Transfer half of the sauce to another small bowl.

Thinly slice beef crosswise about 1/8-inch-thick, then cut into 2-inch strips. Add beef to one bowl and toss to evenly coat, massaging sauce into beef. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine rice cakes and enough lukewarm water to cover by 1 inch. Soak for 10 minutes. Drain, then return the rice cakes to the bowl. Add the remaining sauce and toss to evenly coat.

In a large skillet, heat safflower oil over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 minutes.

Add beef with its marinade and cook, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

Add the rice cakes, their sauce and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and rice cakes are tender and nicely glazed, about 8 minutes. Stir in mung bean sprouts and remaining scallions and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide tteokbokki among bowls and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve warm.

Steak and Scallion Rice Cake Stir-Fry

12 oz. sirloin steak (340g, sliced)
3 tablespoons oil (divided)
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
4 thin slices ginger (finely julienned)
3 scallions (cut into 2-inch pieces)
1 pound rice cakes (450g)
2 tablespoons shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

Marinate the beef with 1 tablespoon oil, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon light soy sauce and set aside for 15 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your wok over high heat. Once it’s smoking, add the beef and sear for a minute before setting aside on a plate. Add the ginger to the wok, and when it starts to brown, add the scallions and give everything a stir. Pour in the rice cakes and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.

Spread the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok and cover the wok immediately. Cook, covered, for 2 minutes. Add the beef, 1 tablespoon each of dark soy sauce and light soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and sugar. Toss together for about 2 minutes. The rice cakes should be tender but still a bit chewy. If not, cover the wok and cook a little longer.

Stir-fried Rice Cakes (Nian Gao)

FOR THE MEAT AND MARINADE:

8 oz. pork shoulder or loin (julienned)
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

FOR THE REST OF THE DISH:

1 pound rice cakes
8 ounces baby bok choy (or napa cabbage)
2 cloves garlic (coarsely chopped)
3 scallions (cut on a diagonal into 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces)
6 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked for 2 hours until reconstituted; can substitute fresh shiitake mushrooms)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/2-3/4 cup water (depending on how hot your stove can get; for higher BTU stoves, use up to 3/4 cup water)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt (to taste)

Marinate the julienned pork with the water, light soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, vegetable oil, and cornstarch. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Rinse the rice cakes and drain. If using fresh or frozen rice cakes, you do not have to soak or thaw them. Only soak (according to package instructions) if using dried rice cakes.

Thoroughly wash the baby bok choy (or napa cabbage). Drain, shaking off excess water. If using baby bok choy, separate into individual leaves. If using napa cabbage, cut the large leaves into smaller bite-sized pieces. Also prepare the garlic and scallions.

If using mushrooms, slice them thinly. If using dried shiitake mushrooms, save the soaking liquid.

Place your wok over high heat until it begins to smoke lightly. Add the vegetable oil to coat the wok, and add the pork and garlic. Cook until the pork turns opaque. If using mushrooms, add them now and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Stir in the scallions, bok choy/cabbage, and Shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, and move everything to the center of the wok to create an even “bed” of vegetables and meat. Distribute the rice cakes on top (this prevents them from sticking to the wok).
Add water (or mushroom soaking water for extra flavor). Depending on how hot your stove gets, you can add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup. Cover, and cook for 2 minutes to steam the rice cakes and cook the vegetables.

Remove the cover, and add the sesame oil, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, and sugar. Stir-fry everything together for 1 minute over medium heat. Taste, and season with additional salt if necessary. Continue stir-frying until the rice cakes are coated in sauce, cooked through but still chewy. Plate and serve!

Chepa Vepudu (Andhra Fish Fry)

4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
1 teaspoon red-chili powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, rice flour or semolina
2 pounds fish steaks, such as bass, haddock, mackerel or swordfish, cut into about 6 1-inch-thick slices
6 tablespoons neutral oil
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 handful cilantro sprigs

Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, grind the garlic and ginger into a smooth paste, using a splash of water if necessary to catch the blade. Add the chili powder, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, 2 teaspoons of salt and lime juice, and mix until smooth. Add a scant tablespoon of water if the spice mix is packed and dry (it should be thick, but you should be able to easily spread it over the fish with your fingers).

Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a plate, mix well and roll the fish pieces around in it, coating each in flour. Shake off any excess flour, then gently rub the spice paste all over the floured fish pieces. Cover, and set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a wide, shallow nonstick pan, or seasoned cast-iron pan, over medium heat. When the oil is hot, slide the fish pieces into the pan, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then carefully flip over to cook another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. The spice paste should be evenly browned and crisp in places, and the fish should be cooked through. (If the pan is small, don’t crowd it. Cook the fish in batches, removing any burning spice paste remaining in the pan after each batch, and adding more oil as needed.) Transfer cooked fish to a paper towel to drain, then to a serving platter with the lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.