Japanese Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, about 3 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
Kosher salt
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced crosswise
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons homemade or store-bought Japanese mayonnaise, such as Kewpie
1/2 teaspoon Japanese hot mustard
1 small carrot, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 scallion, white and light green parts only, chopped

Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Season generously with salt, set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Let cool.

Meanwhile, place cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well, then let stand for 10 minutes. Drain any accumulated water, then gently squeeze cucumbers with paper towels to blot up any excess liquid.

In a small bowl, stir together rice vinegar, mayonnaise, and hot mustard until well mixed.

Mash potatoes with a masher or a large fork, allowing some small lumps to remain. Add cucumbers, carrots, onions, eggs, scallions, and mayonnaise mixture. Mix well and season with salt. Serve right away. The salad can be refrigerated up to 1 day.

Mango Salad With Zesty Lime Vinaigrette

Mango salad:
3 mangoes ripe, Alphonso recommended, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped

Mango Salad Dressing:
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup lime juice freshly squeezed (about 2 limes)
2 tsp white sugar
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil or other neutral tasting oil
Freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the Mango Salad in a large bowl. Toss to combine. *If making ahead, cover and refrigerate at this point, before adding the salad dressing.

Prepare the Mango Salad Dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking well to combine. Cover and refrigerate if making ahead or use immediately by drizzling over the salad and tossing to combine.

Heirloom Tomatoes and Red Onion

1 small or 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes (about 3 medium tomatoes)
1/4 cup packed fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, or a combination, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the onion in small bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, about 10 minutes.

Core the tomatoes and slice into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons. Place in a large bowl. Add the herbs, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Drain the onions and add to the bowl. Toss to combine and let stand for at least 10 or up to 30 minutes before serving. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, vinegar, or oil as needed.

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade

3 tablespoons green-olive tapenade from a jar
1/4 cup peperoncini—stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups bocconcini (mozzarella balls) (about 9 ounces)
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small head of iceberg lettuce, halved, cored and finely shredded (4 cups)
6 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami, cut into thin strips (1 1/2 cups)
6 small basil leaves
1/2 cup green olives, such as Picholine

In a medium bowl, mix the green-olive tapenade with the peperoncini and 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the bocconcini and toss.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the vinegar, garlic and oregano. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper.

n a bowl, combine the shredded lettuce and salami. Add the marinated bocconcini and half of the dressing and toss well. Transfer the antipasto salad to a large platter. Top with the basil and olives. Drizzle the remaining dressing around the salad and serve.

The recipe can be prepared through step 2 and refrigerated overnight.

Summer Tomato Salad with Feta and Pita Crisps

1 1/2 pound heirloom tomatoes (about 3 medium)
12 oz. mixed cherry tomatoes
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided plus more
1 lemon
1/2 garlic clove
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. za’atar
2 cups pita chips
1 1/2 tsp. (or more) honey
3 1/2 oz. Greek feta
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves

Cut tomatoes to taste, then toss with salt.

Zest 1/4 lemon—-you want about 1/2 tsp. zest (it’s easiest to measure if you hold the Microplane upside down so that the zest collects on top and you can scoop it into the measuring spoon). Grate 1/2 garlic clove. Set aside.

Heat 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium until just starting to shimmer, about 2 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. za’atar and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and darker in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in reserved lemon zest and garlic. Wait 10 seconds, then remove from heat. (You’re looking to cook off the raw flavor of the garlic without losing the brightness of the lemon.) Transfer za’atar oil to a heatproof measuring cup.

Place 2 cups pita chips in a medium bowl. Pour 2 Tbsp. za’atar oil over; season with salt. Mix well with a rubber spatula, aiming to coat chips without breaking them into too many pieces.

You should have about 1/4 cup za’atar oil remaining. Squeeze 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon) into a small bowl. Add 1 1/2 tsp. honey and ½ tsp. salt. Add za’atar oil, stirring constantly, until emulsified (meaning that you don’t see any beads of separated oil). Taste dressing and add more lemon, honey, or salt if needed.

Break feta into chunks and toss with tomatoes. Add basil and mint. Drizzle about 3 Tbsp. dressing over and toss to gently combine.

Add pita chips to bowl (don’t leave leftover oil behind—scrape that in too) and fold gently to combine. Spoon salad onto platter, making sure to leave no juices behind. Drizzle with remaining za’atar oil.

Eat fast for crunchy chips or let sit for a crispy-gone-soggy experience.

Macaroni Gratin

3 quarts whole milk
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 pound ridged penne pasta
2 trays of ice cubes
1 cup freshly grated imported Gruyère cheese (3 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons minced chives

In a large saucepan, combine the milk and garlic. Warm the milk over high heat until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic. Measure out 1 cup of milk and reserve; set aside the rest.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, without browning, for 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and gradually whisk in the reserved 1 cup of milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce is completely smooth. Season with a large pinch of salt and generous gratings of white pepper and nutmeg. Return the pan to low heat and cook the sauce, whisking constantly, until it’s thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly and stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt.

BLT Egg and Cheese

4 thick slices of bacon
2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
2 thick slices of rustic white bread, toasted and hot
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 tomato slices
2 leaves of butter lettuce
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 large egg

In a skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Set the Monterey Jack slices on 1 piece of toast. Spread the mayonnaise on the other slice of toast, then top with the bacon, tomato and lettuce.

Tomato Egg Drop Soup

2 tablespoons oil
10 ounces tomatoes (1 large or 2 small, about 280g; cut into small chunks)
1 cup chicken stock (235 ml)
2 cups water (or more chicken stock; 470 ml)
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
salt (to taste)
1 egg (beaten)
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1 scallion (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped, optional)

Heat the oil in a soup pot or wok over medium low heat. Add the tomato chunks and stir-fry for 5 minutes until the tomatoes are softened and start to fall apart.

Add in 1 cup chicken stock, 2 cups water, 2 teaspoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat so that the soup is simmering with the lid on.

Now quickly beat the egg in a small bowl and prepare the cornstarch slurry in a separate bowl.

Use a ladle to slowly swirl the soup in a whirlpool motion. Keep swirling as you pour in the cornstarch slurry until well incorporated. Now pour a thin stream of egg into the middle of the whirlpool as you slowly swirl the soup. This is how you get that pretty egg drop effect.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro, if using.

Miso-Ginger Chicken Salad

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup white miso
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted, divided
1/3 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (see note)
6 medium scallions, thinly sliced (½ cup)
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced (1 cup)

In a blender, combine the water, miso, ginger, ? cup of the almonds, the lime juice, mustard, honey and ½ teaspoon white pepper.

Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the oil and blend until the dressing is thick, about 1 minute. Transfer to a jar, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, scallions, cilantro, cucumber and remaining ? cup almonds. Add 1 cup of the dressing and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

Buttermilk Cucumber Salad

2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers (from 1 large English cucumber or 3 mini, peeled fully or in stripes if desired)
3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallot rings (from 1 shallot)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup torn or chopped fresh tender herbs, such as dill, tarragon, basil, parsley or dill
INSTRUCTIONS

Transfer the cucumbers and shallots to a colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and toss to combine. Set aside to drain for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Stir together the yogurt and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Taste and season with with salt and pepper, then stir in the cucumbers, shallots, and herbs.

Lao Hu Cai (Cucumber Tiger Salad)

3 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 medium jalapeño, finely chopped (seeded first if desired)
1 bunch cilantro, tough stems trimmed, leaves and tender stems cut into 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons vegetable or toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then cut again in half crosswise. Cut into pieces lengthwise into thin strips. Place in a large bowl.

Add the scallions, jalapeño, and cilantro and toss gently with your hands. Add the vinegar, oil, and salt, and toss once more. Taste and season with more salt as needed.

Shaved Fennel and Cucumber Salad

1/2 cup pitted, torn Castelvetrano olives
1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large fennel bulb with fronds
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
3 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
Juice of 1 large lemon

Stir the olives, feta, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil together in a medium bowl. Season with black pepper. Finely chop 1/4 cup fennel fronds from the fennel bulb and stir into the olives and feta.

Trim the fennel bulb. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, shave the fennel and cucumbers lengthwise into very thin slices. Toss the fennel, cucumbers, and lemon zest and juice together in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, plate the fennel-cucumber mixture in alternating layers with the feta-olive mixture so you get a little of everything in each bite.

Blistered Cucumbers with Spiced Seeds

4 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil

Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.

Toast the sesame seeds in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the cumin and coriander to the skillet and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until the seeds are just cracked. Transfer to the bowl of sesame seeds and add the red pepper flakes.

Wipe out the skillet and pat the cucumbers dry. Heat the oil in the skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the cucumbers cut side down, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board, cut each piece in half lengthwise, then serve with the spicy seeds for dunking or sprinkling over.

Smashed Cucumbers with Turmeric, Coconut, and Peanuts

4 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers, or 1 small English hothouse cucumber (about 12 ounces total)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Freshly ground black pepper

Smash the cucumbers with the bottom of a heavy pan, then tear into one- or two-bite pieces. Place in a medium bowl, add the lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and toss to combine. Set aside for at least 5 minutes or up to an hour, then drain and transfer to your serving plate or bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the peanuts and cook until they turn slightly darker brown, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut, turmeric, and a generous few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the coconut is lightly toasted, just 30 seconds. Immediately pour the peanut-coconut mixture on top of the cucumbers. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve right away.

Korean Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber, about 8 oz
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Korean chili powder or regular chili powder
1 teaspoon chili oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
sesame seeds for garnishing

Rinse the cucumber thoroughly and slice it into pieces. Add the salt to the cucumber, stir gently to combine well. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Combine the garlic, vinegar, sugar, chili powder, chili oil, and sesame oil together, stir to mix well. Make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved.

Drain the salt water from the cucumber. Add the dressing to the cucumber, toss well. Top with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Summer Mango Salad

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon palm sugar (or regular sugar)
1 fresh red chili pepper, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
3 ripe mangoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves , finely chopped
2 tablespoons shallots , fried (or French fried onion)

Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, palm sugar, chili, and salt in a small bowl. Stir to mix well and set aside.

Combine the mango and cilantro in a large bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to mix well. If you plan to serve the dish later, you should transfer everything into a sealed container and store it in the fridge, up to 1 day.

Toss in the cashews and fried shallots. Mix well.

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice (Khao Pad Sapparod)

1 large pineapple
3 Tbsp cooking oil divided
4 cups cooked jasmine rice (best is leftover rice)
1 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 large onion (peeled and diced)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Seasonings:
1 Tbsp shrimp paste
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce or more to taste
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Garnishes:
3 stalks green onion (finely chopped)
Fried shallots crisp

Prepare the pineapple:
Cut the pineapple into half lengthwise. Scoop out the meat on each half of the pineapple. Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. You’ll only need 1 cup of the pineapple cubes (drain off extra juice). Keep the rest for other use. Empty the juice that’s left on the shell and set aside to place your finished dish into the pineapple shells later.

This step is totally optional. Put the pineapple shells in the oven at 350 F and bake it for 30 minutes to dry it up.

Cooking the fried rice:
Preheat a wok or large skillet. When the wok is hot, add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the shrimp and stir fry quickly until pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes or so. Dish out and set aside.

In the same wok, add the rest of the cooking oil. Crack in the eggs and break the yolk a little bit and then let it cook for about 10 seconds without stirring. When the eggs are half cooked, add chopped onion and stir fry for another 10 seconds. Add the rice follow by seasonings. Stir fry to mix everything.

Add the pineapple cubes, raisins, and roasted peanuts and stir again to mix everything. Have a taste and add more fish sauce if needed. Finally, garnish with green onion, give it one last stir and dish out into the pineapple shells. Garnish with some fried shallots crisp. Serve immediately.

Basic Steamed Eggs

3 eggs
Water (same volume as eggs)
Vegetable or chicken stock (same volume as eggs)
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Chopped scallion

Crack 3 eggs in a liquid measuring cup and note the volume.

Pour the eggs into a large bowl, add salt, and beat for at least 1 minute.

Now measure out water at the same volume as the eggs, and add it to the bowl.

Do the same with the broth. Whisk in the sesame oil, and make sure everything’s well combined.

Place 4 empty ramekins in a steamer over high heat. Be sure the water will not bubble and touch the ramekins during steaming.

Once the water boils, turn the heat down to a slow simmer. Then, divide the egg mixture into the ramekins, pouring it through a fine mesh strainer.

Cover the steamer, turn up the heat to high, and steam for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes have elapsed, shut off the heat but keep the steamer covered. Let stand for 14 minutes

Steamed Eggs with Crispy Pork

For the meat & marinade:
4 ounces ground pork (110g, can substitute ground chicken or beef)
1 1/2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
For the egg mixture:
3 eggs
water (same volume as eggs)
vegetable or chicken stock (same volume as eggs)
salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

To cook the ground meat:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 scallion (finely chopped)

Marinate the ground meat:

Combine the ground meat with all the marinade ingredients. Stir until the meat has absorbed any standing liquid. Marinate for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the egg mixture.

Make the egg mixture:

To make the egg mixture, crack 3 eggs into a liquid measuring cup and note the volume. Pour the eggs into a large bowl, add salt, and beat for at least 1 minute.

Measure the same volume of water, and add it to the bowl. Do the same with the stock. Whisk the mixture all together along with 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and make sure everything’s well combined.

Steam the eggs:

Place a heat-proof shallow bowl in a steamer over high heat. Be sure any water in your steamer will not be able to bubble up and touch the bowl during the steaming process.

Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer. Then, pour the egg mixture into the heated bowl through a fine mesh strainer.
Cover the steamer, turn up the heat to high, and steam the eggs for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes have elapsed, shut off the heat, but keep the steamer covered. Let stand for 14 minutes with the lid firmly covered. Cook the meat during this time.

Brown the meat:

Heat a wok over high heat until it starts to smoke. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Brown the marinated meat over high heat until any liquid has cooked off and the bits of ground meat are crispy. Avoid stirring too much in order to give the meat a chance to brown and crisp.

Add in the chopped scallion, mix well and turn off the heat. Once the steamed eggs are done cooking, remove from the steamer, top with the cooked meat, and serve!

Stir-Fried Green Beans

For the pork & marinade:
8 ounces ground pork (225g, can substitute ground chicken or beef)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ginger (minced)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
3 tablespoons oil (divided)
1 pound green beans (450g, chopped to ½-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1/2 red bell pepper (diced finely)
4 red chilies (chopped, optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (a pinch, or to taste)
2 tablespoons water

Combine the ground meat with all the marinade ingredients. Stir until any standing liquid has been absorbed by the meat. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the chopped green beans. Stir and spread the beans into a single layer. Cook for 30 seconds. Then stir and repeat the spreading step several times until the green beans are slightly charred, wilted, and cooked through. Turn the heat lower if needed to avoid burning. It takes about 5-8 minutes to cook the green beans this way. (To speed up the cooking, add a few drops of water each you stir, to create some steam.) Transfer the cooked green beans to a dish and set aside.

Now add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok, with the heat turned up to high. Add the ground meat and brown it. Don’t stir too much; give the meat a chance to brown and crisp. Once the meat has browned, reduce the heat to medium.

Next, add the garlic, bell pepper and chilies. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add in the cooked green beans, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, r, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper, a pinch of salt (to taste), and 2 tablespoons water. With the heat all the way up on high, stir-fry for a final 10-15 seconds and serve.