Khichdi

1/2 cup (92.5 g) long grain white basmati rice
1/2 cup (96 g) quick cooking lentils such as split Red lentils (masoor dal) or (petite yellow lentils) Mung Dal or both
1 tsp oil
1/3 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 inch (7 g) ginger finely chopped
1 green Chili, chopped serrano or birds eye, or use half a jalapeño
1 bay leaf or 6 curry leaves , optional
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala , optional
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne optional
1 tomato chopped
1 to 2 cups chopped vegetables
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (473.18 ml) water 2.5 for saucier

Wash the lentils and rice then soak in hot water for 15 minutes.

Heat the Instant Pot on saute. Add oil and let it heat up. Add cumin or mustard seeds and cook for half a minute.

Add the onion, chile, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt (and bay leaves or curry leaves) and cook for 2 mins.

Add ginger and spices and mix in.

Add tomato and cook for 3 mins. Mash the larger pieces. Add 2 tbsp water to deglaze mid way.
Drain and add the lentils and rice. Add water, salt, veggies and mix well to pick up any stuck bits.
Close the lid and pressure cook one of the following times. Low pressure for 3 mins for pictured version. High pressure for 3 to 6 minutes for a porridge and if using mung dal. Once the cooking cycle is done, quick release the pressure after 5 mins.

Fold in a few tbsp chopped cilantro and lemon juice to taste and fluff. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.

Store refrigerated for upto 3 days. For brown rice kitchari, try this.

Notes:
To make it in a saucepan: follow steps 1 to 5 in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the lentils and rice and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low-medium and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency. You can add any blend of veggies! Think carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, and spinach. Use any blend you like.

Make sure not to burn the spices or your kitchari will be bitter.

White basmati rice can be substituted for other quick cooking whole grains such as quinoa, and amaranth.

Feel free to play around with the spices and vegetables, according to what you enjoy and what’s in season.

Chicken Soup (with Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker Variations)

1–2 tablespoons olive oil
one large onion, diced (or sub 2 fat shallots, or two leeks)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
4–8 garlic cloves, rough chopped (I like 8)
4 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or use regular)
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless ( or use breasts- if very large, cut in half)
——–
lemon juice to taste
pinch chili flakes
scallions, cilantro or Italian parsley
drizzle of toasted sesame oil (optional, tasty)

Optional: 2-3 cups of cooked grain or starch of your choice like… Quinoa, rice or soba noodles, pasta, rice, 1 can whitebeans.

STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat oil in a big pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to med- low and continue sauteeing until golden, 3-4 more minutes.

Add the chicken stock, water, salt, white pepper, bay leaves and skinless chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover, and lower heat so it’s gently simmering, covered for 20 mintues. If using breasts, check at 15.

Test a piece of chicken for doneness by pulling meat apart with two forks. It should come apart easily and look opaque. If done, shred the rest of the chicken, then return to the pot and simmer gently for 5 more minutes.

Squeeze with lemon, taste and adjust broth. You can add more salt of needed, or if too salty for your taste, water down with a little water. I prefer ours salty, lemony and unctuous, especially if adding a starch (like rice, noodles or beans) which will temper the salt quite a bit. Up to you. If the soup tastes bland, it needs salt.

Ladle it over cooked rice or noodles or just on it’s own.

Garnish with scallions or cilantro (or both) a drizzle of sesame oil if you like and chili flakes (or chili paste or sriracha). Or you could add some cooked or leftover rice or quinoa. You could add white beans or cooked pasta.

Or if going low-carb- leave all the starch and grains out keep it simple and keto-friendly. Cauliflower rice would also work well here too!

Notes:

Soup will keep 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.

You could ladle it over a mound of rice noodles, then finish with sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro

Feel free to add 1/2 cup rice or quinoa to simmering soup. Or add a can of whitebeans. You can also add pasta ( about 4 ounces) but I prefer to cook pasta and rice noodles separate and ladel the soup overtop cooked noodles. Up to you. Feel free to toss in veggies, kale, spinach, etc.

Instant Pot: Set Instant pot to “saute” function and heat the oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add broth, water, salt, pepper, bay, white pepper and chicken thighs, give a stir. Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. (If using breasts, pressure cook 8-10 minutes depending on size). Manually release. Shred chicken with two forks. Season with lemon juice. Taste, adust salt. Follow the rest of the instuctions above.

For a slow cooker version, cook as stated above then cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on High for 3 hours.

Tom Yum Gai

2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon Thai red chile paste (nam prik pao; see headnote; may substitute other chile paste such as sambal oelek)
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 2-inch sections and crushed (see headnote)
6 thin slices (about 3/4 ounce) galangal (see headnote; may substitute fresh ginger root)
2 makrut lime leaves, torn into small pieces (see headnote; may substitute a few wide strips of lime peel)
3 cups water or chicken broth
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices (see headnote)
1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
1 scallion, white and light-green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Leaves from 1 stem cilantro

Whisk together the fish sauce, lime or lemon juice and chile paste in a small bowl.

Combine the lemongrass, galangal, makrut lime leaves and water or broth in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to discard the solids.

Add the chicken to the pan, making sure the pieces don’t stick together (they will begin to cook as soon as they hit the liquid). Once the liquid returns to a boil, add the mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through and the tomatoes have softened, reducing the heat as needed to keep the soup from boiling over.

Remove from the heat; stir in the fish sauce mixture, scallion and cilantro. Serve hot.

Zha Cai Rousi Mian (Shredded Pork Noodle Soup)

For the pork:
4-6 ounces pork shoulder or pork loin (cut into thin strips)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the rest of the soup:
8 ounces fresh white noodles (use half this weight if using dried noodles)
4 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
7 ounces pickled mustard stems (may also be labeled “pickled radish” – look for ?? – Zha Cai on the label)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 scallion (chopped)

In a small bowl, combine the pork, cornstarch, oil, wine, oyster sauce, and salt. Set aside to marinate while preparing the other ingredients.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles, and cook according to package instructions. Drain and distribute between two bowls.

Meanwhile, in another pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil and keep warm on the stove. Taste for seasoning and season with salt to taste if desired.

Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Add a tablespoon of oil, and stir-fry the pork until browned. Add the Zha Cai and sugar, and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Ladle hot broth over the noodles, and top with the pork and Zha Cai mixture. Garnish with a drizzle of sesame oil and scallions. Serve.

Tomato Coconut Soup

1 can Full-Fat Coconut Milk, full fat
1 Red Onion. chopped, diced
6 Tomatoes, chopped in quarters
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Minced Ginger, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1 tablespoon agave nectar, (see list of subs in Notes)

For the Instant Pot:
Put all ingredients into the Instant Pot and cook on High for 5 minutes. Allow the pot to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. After that, release pressure. If you start to see sputtering and spewing from the valve, close the valve and try again in 5 minutes.

Remove from the pot and use an immersion blender to mix all the ingredients together and get a smooth soup.

For Stove Top:
Cook all ingredients together until the tomatoes are soft and bursting.
Remove from the pot and use an immersion blender to mix all the ingredients together and get a smooth soup.

SUBSTITUTIONS:
You can use a 14-oz can of tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes if you prefer.

Agave can be replaced by your sweetener of choice including honey, maple syrup, Splenda, xylitol, stevia, Truvia, etc.

Indian Tomato Soup

2 14-oz cans (822 g) Tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 ml) Water
6 (6 ) Garlic Cloves
6 slices (6 ) Ginger, equivalent to 2 tablespoons minced
1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons (2 teaspoons) Turmeric
1.5 teaspoon (1.5 teaspoon) Garam Masala, + 1.5 teaspoon garam masala for finishing
1/2-1 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
4 ounces (113.4 g) Butter, diced into cubes
1/2 cup (119 g) Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup (4 g) Cilantro, chopped

Place undrained tomatoes, water, ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon of garam masala into the heated blender container.

Press the Soup 2 button.

When the blender shows DONE, using a hot pad carefully remove the inner insert on the lid and set aside. Add the cubes of butter and 1 teaspoon of garam masala through the opening in the lid. Place a towel on top of the opening and press BLEND LOW.

Allow the blender to process the butter and soup for 10 seconds. Then, add 1/2 cup of cream in a slow steady stream.

Process for 10 seconds until the cream is well-incorporated into the sauce. Press CANCEL to turn off the blender.

Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Do not add your butter and cream until after your soup is done cooking, for best results.
Remember the blender will be hot, so be careful!

Goan Shrimp and Tamarind Soup

1 pound large raw shrimp, fresh or frozen, shelled and deveined
4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and finely minced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon tamarind paste (not concentrate)
Kosher salt
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems minced
1 green chile, such as serrano or Thai chile, thinly sliced

Place the shrimp and the water in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat until the shrimp turns pink, about 10 minutes for fresh shrimp and 15 minutes for frozen. Increase the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Separate the shrimp and the liquid, and reserve both.

Wipe the saucepan dry with a clean paper towel. Heat the oil in the saucepan over medium. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until it turns translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the tomato paste begins to deepen in color. Add the black pepper and tamarind paste, then stir in the reserved cooking liquid and mix until fully combined. Taste and season with salt.

Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Remove from heat and fold in the reserved shrimp, cilantro and green chile. Serve hot.

Khichdi

1 to 2 tablespoons GHEE or clarified butter
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cumin or jeera
1 bay leaf or 1 sprig of curry leaves (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ginger grated or ginger paste
1 small onion chopped (optional)
1 green chili slit or 1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 small tomato deseeded & chopped
1/8 teaspoon turmeric or haldi
salt as needed
1/2 cup rice (or quinoa, steel cut oats, millets)
1/2 cup MOONG DAL or skinless petite yellow lentils (or any other dal)
3 to 4 cups water (use 4 cups for porridge consistency)
1 pinch asafoetida or hing (optional)
1/2 tablespoons GHEE for topping
optional ingredients
1 medium carrot cubed
8 french beans cut to 1 inch length
1 small potato cubed

Add rice and dal to a pot. Wash them at least thrice & drain water completely.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker or pot on a medium heat. Saute bay leaf & cumin on a low flame for 1 min. Then fry ginger until fragrant & sprinkle hing.

Fry onions and green chilies until the raw smell of onions goes away.

Add tomatoes, carrots, beans, salt and turmeric and saute for 3 to 4 mins. Then add drained daal and rice. Saute for 3 to 4 mins.

Pour 3 cups water for mushy consistency and 4 cups for porridge like consistency. Stir well & taste the water. Add more salt if needed.

Pressure cook for 2 whistles on a medium flame for a mushy khichdi. Cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a low to medium flame for porridge consistency.

If cooking in a pot, cook until soft adding more water if needed.

Pour 1 tsp ghee on the hot khichdi. Serve with papad and pickle.

Instant pot Khichdi:
Press saute button (medium) & pour ghee. When the ghee melts, add in bay leaf and cumin. When it sizzles then add in onions & chili. Fry until transparent.

Next add in ginger, hing, tomatoes, all veggies & turmeric. Saute for 2 to 3 mins until tomatoes turn mushy.

Add & saute drained rice & lentils for another 2 to 3 mins.

Next add in salt & pour water. Deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with a spatula to remove bits of food stuck in there if any. Mix well & taste the water. Add more salt if needed. Secure the lid & move the steam release handle to sealing.

Press the pressure cook or manual button (high pressure). Set the timer to 8 mins. Or you can also press porridge button & set timer to 9 mins.

Once it is done, the instant pot beeps, then press cancel and switch off. Wait for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes & release the rest manually. When the float valve drops, open the lid & stir gently.

If you like soupy khichdi, add some hot water to bring to consistency you like.

Top with some ghee & serve khichdi with plain yogurt, pickle or papad.

Crispy Tofu With Cashews and Blistered Snap Peas (with Variations)

1 (14-ounce) block firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed, vegetable or canola, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 pound snap peas, trimmed
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 2 tablespoons)
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (light or full-fat)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons molasses, dark brown sugar or honey
1/2 cup toasted cashews
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup mint leaves, torn if large
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
Rice or any steamed grain, for serving

Slice the tofu in half horizontally, and leave on paper towels to dry any excess liquid.

In a medium skillet or cast-iron pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high until it shimmers. Season both sides of the tofu with salt and black pepper, place in the pan and sear without moving until tofu is browned and golden on both sides, turning once halfway through, about 8 minutes total. Move the tofu to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, and add the snap peas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until blistered and just tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and move to a bowl.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add the ginger and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the coconut milk, soy sauce and molasses. Simmer, stirring frequently until the sauce reduces and its color deepens to a dark brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. It should coat a spoon without running right off. Stir in the cashews, break the tofu into 1-inch pieces and toss in the pan to coat with sauce. Remove from heat, and taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Toss the snap peas with the rice vinegar, scallions, mint and red-pepper flakes, if using. Divide among plates, along with the tofu and cashews. Serve with rice or any steamed grain.

Yam and Plantain Curry With Crispy Shallots

1/4 cup neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
4 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
Kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 (2- to 3-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 whole red habanero or Scotch bonnet chile, pierced all over with a knife
1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
1 1/2 pounds white or orange yams, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 green (unripe) plantains (about 1 pound total), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon red palm oil (optional)
4 cups julienned hearty greens, such as dandelion greens, collards or lacinato kale, tough stems removed
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 lime, sliced into wedges

Heat a medium pot, large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium. Pour in the neutral oil, add the sliced shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are caramelized and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove shallots from the oil and allow to drain on paper towels or a cooling rack. Season with salt and set aside.

Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil out of the pot. (Reserve extra oil for another use.) Over medium-low heat, add the garlic, ginger and turmeric to the pot and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for an additional 2 minutes or until it begins to stick to the bottom of the pot.

Drop in the chile and add the whole peeled tomatoes with their juices, crushing the whole tomatoes with your hands as they go in. Stir to combine ingredients and dissolve the tomato paste, then add 3 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Once boiling, season with salt, reduce heat to medium, add the yams and simmer until the yams are just beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the plantains and cook until both are tender but hold their shape, and the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, 15 to 18 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and red palm oil, if using, season with more salt and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the greens and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve, remove and discard the cooked chile. Ladle the curry into bowls, top with the caramelized shallots, a scattering of basil and cilantro, and several squeezes of lime juice.

Note: This recipe is an adaptation of asaro, the Yoruba word for a dish of starchy root vegetables simmered in a seasoned tomato- and chile-based sauce. Regional versions of asaro are served all year round across the south of Nigeria and in other parts of West Africa. Traditionally, the dish is made with the West African yam, but you can also use white or purple taro root or unripe plantains. Here, firm, green plantains are combined with white yams in a sauce rich with caramelized shallots, garlic and ginger. There is a slight but welcome heat from a single red habanero dropped in whole to infuse the stew. Coconut milk and an optional spoonful of red palm oil — a floral, slightly smoky oil that is pressed from the fruit of oil palm trees — round out the flavors, and hearty greens cut the richness. Serve topped with crunchy shallots, fresh herbs and a wedge of lime.

Spanish White Bean Soup with Bacon and Herbs

1 1/4 pounds thick-sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
2 celery ribs, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh bay leaf
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
1 pound Great Northern beans, soaked overnight and drained
10 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving the fat and bacon separately.

Heat the olive oil in the soup pot. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon each of the chopped thyme and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the drained beans, stock and 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup over moderately low heat until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Discard the bay leaf and stir in the remaining thyme and rosemary. Season the soup with salt and pepper and transfer to shallow bowls. Garnish the soup with the bacon and serve.

Laksa Ayam Betawi (Jakarta Coconut Chicken Soup)

800 gr chicken breast fillet – about 28 oz, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups coconut milk

Ingredients to grind:
30 gr dried shrimp – soak in warm water until soft
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1 inch fresh ginger
1 Tbsp sambal oelek – or more if you want it spicier. You can also use this chili paste

Spices and herbs:
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp galangal powder
1 stalk lemongrass
2 bay leaves
3 kaffir lime leaves

Seasonings:
2 tsp salt – or more to taste
1 tsp sugar – or more to taste
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Choice of noodles: (choose one)
Rice noodles – (bihun) prepare according to directions on the package
mungbean thread noodles – (soun) prepare according to directions on the package

Serve with:
200 gr mungbean sprouts (tauge) – blanched in hot water
2 hard-boiled eggs – cut into quarters
Crispy fried shallots / bawang goreng
Emping crackers
Limes

Garnishes:
1 stalk green onion – finely chopped
Fresh mints and/or basil leaves

Place all ingredients to grind in a food processor and process into a paste. Add the cooking oil to help it going.

Preheat a large heavy-bottom pot. Add cooking oil (if you haven’t added it when you grind the ingredients above). Add the ground ingredients and stir fry until they smell really good, about 3 minutes or so.

Add the chicken pieces followed by turmeric, coriander, galangal powder, and seasonings. Stir to mix everything and cook until the chicken just turn opaque and add chicken broth, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Then stir in the coconut milk. Have a taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Serving:
Portion the cooked noodles into individual serving bowl. Portion out some chicken pieces. and beansprouts. Ladle the hot soup over.

Add hard-boiled pieces, chopped green onions, bawang goreng, and fresh mint and/or basil leaves. Squeeze some lime juice over if you like. Serve immediately when it’s warm with some emping crackers if you have some.

Laotian Khao Soi (Coconut Curry Noodles with Pork)

5 dried Thai chiles
1 cup hot water 3 tablespoons canola oil
3 medium garlic cloves, smashed
1 pound ground pork
2 small plum tomatoes, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup soybean paste (such as Healthy Boy)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as Red Boat), divided
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bunch fresh cilantro
8 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
14 ounces uncooked dried
1/8-inch-wide banh pho rice stick noodles
2 cups zucchini ribbons (shaved using a Y-shaped peeler, avoiding and discarding squash seeds) (optional)
2 cups shredded napa cabbage (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint Black pepper, for garnish
Lime wedges, for serving

Wearing gloves, crumble Thai chiles into a medium-size heatproof bowl. Add 1 cup hot water; let stand 15 minutes. Drain chiles; discard liquid. Process chiles, oil, and garlic in a mini food processor until chiles are very finely chopped, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Add chile mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pork; cook, stirring occasionally to break pork into small pieces, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, soybean paste, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, sugar, and paprika. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced and pork is coated with sauce, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, separate cilantro stems from leaves; tie stems together with kitchen twine. Chop leaves to yield about 1/2 cup; set aside for garnish. Stir together chicken broth, cilantro stems, and remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium. Uncover; remove and discard cilantro stems. Cover broth; keep warm over medium-low.

Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles, and divide evenly among 8 serving bowls (about 2/3 cup each). If using, add zucchini ribbons and cabbage to hot broth; cook over medium-low until just tender, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using tongs or a spider, remove vegetables from broth, and divide evenly among serving bowls (about 1/2 cup each). Top each bowl with about 1/4 cup pork mixture and 1 cup hot broth. Sprinkle bowls evenly with mint and reserved chopped cilantro. Garnish with black pepper, and serve with lime wedges.

Note: Noodles can be cooked up to 4 hours in advance and held in cold water. Broth can be made up to 4 hours in advance. Pork mixture can be cooked and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days ahead.

Soto Ayam

1/2 pack rice noodles (8 oz)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 3 strips
1 can coconut milk, 13.5 fl oz (400 ml)
1 can chicken broth, 14.05 oz (411 g)
1 cup water
Salt, to taste

Spice Paste:

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 piece turmeric (2-inch), peeled or 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 piece galangal, peeled and sliced (2-inch)
1 piece ginger, peeled and sliced (2-inch)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Toppings:

2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups sliced cabbages, optional
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into wedges
1 stalk spring onion, cut into rounds
2 limes, cut into wedges
Fried shallot crisps

Soak the rice noodles in warm water to soften them. Set aside.
Blend the Spice Paste in a food processor. Add some water if needed.
Add the oil in a pot on medium-high heat. Add in the Spice Paste and stir with spatula back and forth until aromatic.

Add in the chicken broth, coconut milk, lemongrass and water. Bring it to a boil. Add in the chicken breast cubes. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Blanch the rice noodles, bean sprouts, cabbages (if using) in another pot of boiling water. Transfer them to a bowl once they are cooked. Add the Toppings of hard-boiled eggs, spring onions and add the hot chicken broth into the bowl. Serve hot with lime wedges and shallot crisps on top of the noodles.

Herbed White Bean Stew with Sausage

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound dried great Northern beans, rinsed and picked through
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
2 thyme sprigs
1 large rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, 8 cups water, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if needed to make sure the beans remain submerged.

When beans are tender, return the sausage to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with more vinegar and olive oil.

Curry Mee

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion (minced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
1 tablespoon lemongrass (minced)
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (thinly sliced)
3 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
13.5 ounces coconut milk (400 ml)
4 cups chicken stock (950 ml)
3 tablespoons fish sauce (optional for vegetarians)
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces egg noodles (225g)
salt (to taste)
2 handfuls raw bean sprouts (washed and trimmed)
Cilantro leaves (for garnish)
1 lime (cut into wedges)

Heat the oil in a pot over medium high heat and add the onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Cook for about 6 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Stir in the red curry paste.

Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken turns opaque. Add the curry powder, turmeric, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package directions. Divide between 2 soup bowls and set aside.

Taste the soup and season with salt to taste. Divide the soup among your 2 bowls of noodles, and garnish with raw bean sprouts, cilantro, and a squeeze

Perfect Doctored Ramen

1 pack ramen noodles with flavor packet
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon butter
2 slices American cheese
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 scallion, green part only, thinly

Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Add the flavor packet, stir, and continue to cook for another 30 seconds.

Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the egg. Do not stir; pull the noodles over the egg and let sit for one minute to poach.

Carefully transfer everything to a serving bowl, add the butter, cheese and sesame seeds and mix. Garnish with the scallions if desired.

Coconut and Red Curry Lentil Stew with Sweet Potatoes

2 tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 to 1 1/4 cups)
2 sweet potatoes (16 to 18 ounces in total), peeled and chopped into 3/4-inch chunks
1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 pinch red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
4 teaspoons finely grated ginger (from a 3-inch piece)
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
3 tablespoons red curry paste (such as Maesri or Thai Kitchen)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (with juices)
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 lime finely grated zest (juice reserved for finishing the dish)
2 1/2 cups water, plus more to thin, as needed
1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste; see note about a vegan substitute
1 tablespoon (per person) Greek yogurt or sour cream, to serve
1 handful cilantro leaves, to serve

Heat coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, until softened. Add sweet potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook for 5 minutes (stirring often), or until the outsides lose their firmness.

Push the sweet potatoes to the side of the pan and add ginger, garlic, and red curry paste. Cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, then stir together with the sweet potatoes.

Add red lentils, tomatoes, cilantro, coconut milk, lime zest, and water. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft, about 20 minutes, thinning with more water, if needed. Season soup with fish sauce, then off the heat, add the lime juice (start with 1 teaspoon and go from there). Taste again. Need more fish sauce or salt? Add a bit more. Need more heat? Add a few red pepper flakes.

Divide among bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt and a little cilantro. (Make-ahead tip: stew can be made up to 3 days in advance; gently reheat before serving.)

Pasta e Ceci with Miso and Chili Oil

2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons white miso
2 1/2 cups just-boiled water
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup ditalini
2 teaspoons chili crisp (such as Lao Gan Ma or Fly By Jing), with oil, adjusted to taste

Add the oil and miso to a large saucepan or small soup pot. Set on the stove over medium to medium-low heat and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, lowering the heat if the miso is threatening to burn, until the miso is very fragrant and a toasty, chestnutty brown.

Carefully pour off the oil into a small heatproof bowl (you don’t need to obsess over every last drop, just try to get most of it); discard this later on, whenever it’s cool.

Set the pan back on the stove and add about half the water, stirring until the miso is incorporated and all the bits on the bottom are scraped up.

Add the rest of the water, as well as the chickpeas and pasta. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the pasta is super-duper al dente (remember, it will continue to cook as it hangs out in the hot soup).

Divide into two soup bowls and top with however much chili crisp you want.

Small Batch Congee (Khao Tom)

2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
1/4 pound ground turkey or pork
1 tablespoon fish sauce (more to taste)
2 eggs
1 green onion, chopped for garish
1 handful cilantro, for garnish
1 pinch ground black pepper, to taste

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Lower to medium heat and cook the ground meat in the water for about 5 minutes, separating the meat into chunks.
Drain the meat from the boiling water and wash the pot. Add the meat and rice to the pot.

Add enough water to just cover the rice by an inch and heat to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer for another 10 minutes for rice to soften.

While the rice and meat are cooking, add fish sauce to taste. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more for more flavor.

Poach the eggs in the porridge for at least 2 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs.

Divide into bowls and top with pepper, cilantro and chopped green onion.