Category Archives: asian

cambodian-style rice noodle salad with shrimp, cucumber and herbs

We skipped the shrimp and served this as a side to Vietnamese grilled lemon grass pork.


  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 english cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts (finely chopped) *
  • 6 TBSP lime juice
  • 1 fresno or thai serrano chili, stemmed, seeded and minced **
  • 3 TBSP fish sauce
  • 2 TBSP packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp (roughly chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, mint and/or basil

* Cashews will do in a pinch, as it did for us. We only had the lightly salted ones but it worked just fine.

** Didn’t have chilies on hand and wanted the kids to eat it, so we substituted with a small pinch of cayenne


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold running water, tossing until fully cooled. Drain again. Use kitchen shears to snip the noddles in several places to cut them into shorter lengths. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  2. In the colander, toss cucumber and shallot with the salt. Let drain in the sink for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together peanuts, lime juice, chili, fish sauce, brown sugar and pepper.
  4. Add the cucumber-shallot mixture, the shrimp, and the chopped herbs to the bowl with the noodles. Add the dressing and toss well.

nutritional information

yield: 4 servings
time: 20 minutes
source: Milk Street, July-August 2020, p.4

grilled lemongrass pork

We served this with a Cambodian rice noodle salad.


for the pork:

  • 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of surface fat
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 medium shallots, quartered
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed to lower 5 or 6 inches, dry outer layers discarded, thinly sliced *
  • 1 serrano chili, stemmed and roughly chopped **
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • pickled carrots and daikon, for serving
  • lettuce leaves, for serving

for the dipping sauce (nuoc cham):

  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 3 1/2 TBSP lime juice
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 serrano chilies, stemmed and minced **

* Couldn’t find lemon grass stalks in any of our regular grocery outlets (and not about to add another trip right now) so we used lemongrass paste. did the job fine.

** Didn’t have chilies on hand and wanted the kids to eat it, so we substituted with a small pinch of cayenne



  1. Place the pork on a large plate and freeze until the meat is firm and partially frozen, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the garlic, shallots, lemon grass, chili, five-spice and 1 1/2 teaspoons each salt and pepper.Process until finely chopped, about 45 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and honey, then process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Using a chef’s knife, slice the partially frozen pork against the grain into pieces about 1/8 inch thick. The slices will be irregularly shaped; cut them into strips about 1 inch wide (it’s fine if the strips are not uniform). Add to the seasoning paste and toss, rubbing the paste into the meat.
  3. Thread the pork onto 10- to 12-inch metal skewers, evenly dividing the meat and scrunching it together, packing it quite tightly. If some pieces are too wide, too wispy or awkwardly shaped, fold the meat or tuck in the edges as you skewer. Place on a rimmed dish, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the grill.
  4. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 minutes, then clean and oil the grate. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high and heat, covered, for 15 minutes, then clean and oil the grate.
  5. Place the skewers (on the hot side of the grill if using charcoal) and cook until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the second sides are lightly charred, about another 3 minutes. Flip the skewers again and continue to cook, turning every couple of minutes, until well charred on both sides, about another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to platter and drizzle with about 1/4 cup of the nuoc cham. Serve with the pickles and lettuce leaves for wrapping and with the remaining nuoc cham for spooning on or dipping.

nuoc cham: In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and 6 tablespoons water. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the garlic and chilies. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving.

NOTE: Don’t be afraid to pack pork tightly onto metal skewers. This prevents overcooking. If using gas grill, make sure to allow it to heat covered for about 15 minutes before cleaning and placing skewers on grate. This helps ensure the grill is hot enough to char the pork nicely.

nutritional information

yield: 4 servings
time: 50 minutes (not counting freezer time)
source: Milk Street, July-August 2020, pp.9-10

scallion noodles with ground pork


  • 2 bunches scallions
  • 10 ounces dried Asian wheat noodles
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 or 2 Fresno or jalapeño chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds (optional)


  • In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. While the water heats, cut the scallions into 2- to 3-inch lengths, then slice lengthwise into thin strips, reserving the whites and greens separately. To the boiling water, add the noodles, then cook until tender (refer to package instructions for cooking times). Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool to the touch; set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the scallion whites and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add about half the scallion greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and beginning to crisp, another 5 to 8 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the pork to the oil remaining in the pan and cook over medium, stirring to break the meat into small pieces, until the meat is well browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sugar, then bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan.
  • Reduce to low and add the noodles and fried scallions. Cook, tossing to combine, until the noodles are heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, then taste and season with salt. Toss in the remaining scallion greens. Divide among individual bowls and top with fresh chillies (if using).
nutritional information
yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/cup beef and 2/3 cup rice)
time: about 35 minutes
source: Milk Street

hibachi-style sesame ginger zucchini


  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Garnish: Sesame seeds, cilantro


  1. For this recipe Sesame Ginger Zucchini recipe, the first thing you want to do is chop the zucchini into evenly sized chunks.  I first sliced off 1/2 inch rounds, then either cut those into quarters or six pieces, depending on how big each round was.  Mine were big, so for most, I’m thinking you’d probably quarter them.
  2. Whisk together the ginger and the soy sauce and set aside.
  3. Next, heat a large skillet to medium high (almost high-high) heat and pour in the sesame oil.  Add the zucchini in a nice, even layer.  DON’T stir.  Seriously, just leave it be.  This is the most important step.  Letting it sit lets it get the nice char.  Otherwise, things can get mushy.
  4. After about 3-4 minutes, give the zucchini one nice toss.  Again, let it sit.  For another three minutes or so.
  5. Time to toss it again.  You’ll see some nice caramelization now. Reduce the heat a tad and pour in the sauce.  Give everything a nice stir, and allow the flavors to hang out in the pan for a bit and let some of the liquids evaporate, about another two-three minutes.  You can give it a toss once or twice, but not so much that the zucchini breaks apart.
  6. Serve the zucchini in a bowl, garnished with sesame seeds and cilantro, if desired.
nutritional information
Calories: 360; Fat: 10g (sat 2g); Protein: 32g; Cholesterol: 145mg; Sodium: 1022mg; Fiber: n/a; Carbohydrates: 35g (30g sugars)
yield: 4 servings (serving size: n/a)
time: about 20 minutes

shishito peppers with soy ginger sauce


  • 2 tsp sesame oil divided
  • 1 lb shishito peppers
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional)


  1. Add 1 tsp sesame oil to a large skillet or wok on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the shishito peppers and sauté for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk the remaining 1 tsp sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, lime juice and ginger together in a small bowl to form the sauce.
  3. After the shishitos have sautéed for 10 minutes, pour the sauce over the shishito peppers.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 7-10 minutes or until peppers are tender and blistering on the outside.
  5. Optional toasted panko topping:
    1. Add panko breadcrumbs to a small skillet over medium-high heat. Allow to toast in the skillet for 5 minutes.
    2. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the shishito peppers and serve.
nutritional information
Calories: 68; Fat: n/a (sat n/a); Protein: n/a; Cholesterol: n/a; Sodium: n/a; Fiber: n/a; Carbohydrates: n/a (n/a sugars)
yield: 4 servings (serving size: n/a)
time: about 20 minutes

instant pot honey garlic chicken


  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup no salt ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • 4 to 6 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • sliced green onions, for garnish


  1. In a small mixing bowl combine honey, minced garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, oregano and parsley; mix until well combined and set aside.
  2. Heat the Instant Pot in sauté mode.
  3. Add sesame oil to the pot.
  4. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper; arrange in the instant pot and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  5. Add the prepared honey garlic sauce to the pot; cover and lock the lid.
  6. Cook in poultry mode for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn off the pot and allow it to release the pressure, about 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer chicken to a serving plate and spoon the sauce over the chicken.
  9. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
nutritional information
Calories: 360; Fat: 10g (sat 2g); Protein: 32g; Cholesterol: 145mg; Sodium: 1022mg; Fiber: n/a; Carbohydrates: 35g (30g sugars)
yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 thighs)
time: about 25 minutes
source: Diethood

korean beef and rice


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-2/3 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced


  • In a large skillet, cook beef and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix brown sugar, soy sauce, oil and seasonings.
  • Stir sauce into beef; heat through. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with green onions. Freeze option: Freeze cooled meat mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.
nutritional information
Calories: 413; Fat: 13g (sat 4g); Protein: 27g; Cholesterol: 71mg; Sodium: 647mg; Fiber: 3g; Carbohydrates: 46g (14g sugars)
yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/cup beef and 2/3 cup rice)
time: about 15 minutes

asian dumplings in garlic broth with peas


Grapeseed or other high-heat oil, for the pot
5 to 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
3 1/2 to 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (organic if you can)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 carrot, thinly sliced into coins
1 package (16 ounces) Asian vegetable dumplings (substitute other kinds if desired)
2 cups peas, any kind; snow peas, thawed frozen green peas, sugar snaps
3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced, plus more for garnish


Heat up a soup pot over high heat. Drizzle in enough oil to cover the bottom. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until deep golden, about 1 minute (deep golden is good here, as it will flavor the broth well).

Add 3 1/2 cups of the broth, the soy sauce, and carrot. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Just before serving, slip the dumplings and peas into the pot and increase the heat to high. Cover and cook until the dumplings are heated all the way through, 4 to 5 minutes. If the dumplings soak up too much liquid add a little more broth. Toss in the scallions. Taste it! Does it need more ginger? A little soy sauce? Divide among big bowls and garnish with scallions.

other suggestions: add a dab of miso paste in the beginning; slice red chile for heat; asian chili paste at the end; garnish with chopped cilantro, mint, chives, or pea shoots; serve with soy sauce and hoisin sauce on the side.

nutritional information: not available.

yield: 12-15 servings (serving size: 1 bar)
time: 30 minutes (15 minutes prep)
source: The Family Cooks, p. 197

fresh zucchini salad


1/4 cup mirin (sweet sake)
1/4 cup thin soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 small to medium fìrm zucchini, sliced into paper-thin rounds
2 scallions, trimmed and cut into thin diagonal slices (white and green parts)
Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)


This delicate and refreshing salad is perfect as an accompaniment to any miso- or soy sauce-marinated meat. The zucchini is raw and sliced paper-thin, making for a vegetable side dish that is both crunchy and tender in the same bite. The zucchini will give up some of its natural juices while curing. Those who like a bit of a hot note can sprinkle a small amount of red pepper flakes on the salad for
both color and flavor contrast.

In a salad bowl , whisk together the mirin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and black pepper. Toss the zucchini and half of the scallions with the dressing and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with the remaining scallions and red pepper flakes, if using.

nutritional information: not available
yield: 6-8 servings (serving size: 1 small bowl)
time: 40 min
source: The Asian Grill, p. 78

sesame ginger salmon


1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
4 green onions, thinly sliced
4 salmon filets


2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds


To make the glaze, whisk together honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, ginger and sesame seeds in a small bowl; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds and green onions. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine ginger marinade and salmon filets; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place salmon filets along with the marinade onto prepared baking dish and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. Serve salmon immediately with honey ginger glaze.

nutritional information: not available


yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 filet)
time: 65 min