Tag Archives: Asian

Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad

January sure is flying by, isn’t it? We’re already halfway through the month! This is crazy! Only 17 days ago we celebrated the new calendar year. But do you know what other new year is rolling around?

Chinese New Year is coming just around the corner, and I can’t exactly say I’m ready for it. By the stroke of midnight on January 31, the calendar shifts over from the current Year of the Snake to the Year of the Horse!

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A few weeks ago I went to the Chinese Lantern Festival in Dallas and they devoted a whole section to the Chinese Zodiac. I’ve heard a couple different legends on how Chinese New Year began, but the one presented at the Chinese Lantern Festival was that once upon a time, the Jade Emperor summoned all the animals to a meeting. Only 11 of them, plus the dragon, arrived, and the Jade Emperor rewarded them by giving each of them a calendar year in the order that they arrived in. Because the Rat arrived first, it got the first calendar year that begins the 12-year Chinese Zodiac.

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Mango Sticky Rice

In Dallas, there’s a modern Thai-Vietnamese restaurant called Malai Kitchen that has one of my—and my family’s—absolute favorite desserts: mango sticky rice. It’s to die for! I don’t even need to eat there for a meal… all I need is dessert!

This modern mango sticky rice has four basic parts: sticky rice, crisped rice treat, mango, and sweet coconut custard.

I think part of the reason I love this dessert so much is because of the mangoes. I love the vibrant, orange hue of mangoes in the Philippines. Whenever I see those nice colors, I always have flashbacks to the summers I’d spend in Manila as a young child, eating diced mangoes in the kitchen of my grandparents’ condo.

Cut Mangoes

The sweet, succulent taste of mangoes goes well in nearly everything, dessert included. And while authentic Thai mango sticky rice doesn’t have the crisped rice, I still feel like it’s a fun, Western addition to an Eastern food.

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The best way to eat this is to just take your spoon and cut off a part of the side, making sure to get all four parts: rice, crisped rice, mango, and custard. It’s a perfect afternoon pick-me-up, as well as great for guests. Because let’s be serious… who doesn’t love dessert?

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Mango Sticky Rice

  • Servings: 1-2 people
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups glutinous rice or Thai sweet rice
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 14 oz. can light coconut milk (we used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 crisped rice treat (you can use a store-bought one or make your own; Malai Kitchen’s recipe is below)
  • 1 ripe mango, sliced and cubed

Directions:

  1. Soak the 2 cups of rice for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. The longer it’s soaked, the stickier it will be.
  2. Add 2 ½ cups of water before cooking. You can use either a steamer or a rice cooker. (We used a rice cooker.)
  3. While the rice is cooking, begin preparing the custard. In a small pot, combine the light coconut milk, organic sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Simmer on low heat. Let it cool and chill.
  4. Slice the crisped rice treat in about ¾ inch thickness, then cut with a round cutter (depending on the size you want).
  5. When the sticky rice is cooked, let it cool before making a small patty the same size as the crisped rice treat. Lay the crisped rice on top of the sticky rice, then add the cubed mangoes on top of the crisped rice. Pour the custard on the bottom of the plate. (The leftover rice can be stored in the refrigerator for 2–3 days.)

Want to make your own crisped rice treat for this mango sticky rice? Here’s a recipe adapted from Chef Keith Cedotal of Malai Kitchen:

Rice Crispy Treat

  • 1 bag marshmallows
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 8 cups rice cereal

Melt marshmallows and butter. Add rice until coated. Spray sheet tray, and spread mixture evenly.

Asian Coleslaw & Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice Sides

This Thursday, we here in America are going to be celebrating the Fourth of July, American Independence Day. A day filled with patriotism—and barbecue!—awaits! No Fourth of July celebration is complete without sides though, and as a country that values diversity and inclusion, here are some unique side dishes inspired by our friends to the east and the south!

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The Asian coleslaw is something my mom has made for a while now, a side to everything from Korean food to American food. I’ve always loved its vinegary taste; it leaves your mouth feeling pungent and tangy after every bite.

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The cilantro-lime brown rice is actually inspired by one of my favorite fast-food restaurants, Chipotle. The great thing about Chipotle is their commitment to hormone-free meats. Lately, a big “scandal” erupted when Chipotle labeled GMOs on their website, showing that much of their food is in fact genetically modified. Personally, I commend them for labeling GMOs, something food companies have fought against for years. (They have said that they’re working towards a completely GMO-free ingredient list, and I’m sure it’ll happen sooner or later!)

Both recipes aren’t complicated in the slightest, so you’ll be able to whip them up without stressing yourself out too much! Remember, they’re only sides, not entrees—you have more to focus on later!

The United States is a melting pot of many cultures and all walks of life. This is a country where diversity is accepted and cherished. So what’s stopping you from adding a little diversity to your Independence Day meal to remind everyone of the principles this country stands on?

Asian Coleslaw

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Ingredients

  • 1 bag prepared coleslaw mix (preferably tri-colored salad mix)*
  • julienned mangoes (optional)
  • julienned cucumber (optional)
  • slices of canned mandarin oranges (optional)
  • fried wonton strips (optional)
  • chopped nuts, preferably peanuts (optional)

Note: If you don’t have a bag of prepared coleslaw mix, you can use: ½ head of green cabbage (or Napa), shredded; 1 cup of matchstick/shredded carrots; and ¼ head of purple cabbage, finely shredded

For the dressing

  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

May be doubled if needed.

Directions

  1. Mix the rice vinegar, sesame oil, kosher salt, sugar, and sesame seeds in a bowl to use as the dressing.
  2. If using the prepared coleslaw, mix the dressing with the coleslaw. If not using the prepared coleslaw, place the green cabbage and purple cabbage in a food processor one at a time until they are finely shredded. In a bowl, add the matchstick carrots. Mix well with the dressing.
  3. Add the mango, cucumber, mandarin oranges, fried wonton strips, and nuts if desired.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice

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Ingredients

  • juice of two small limes (or 1 large lime) — add more according to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • 6 cups cooked jasmine brown rice

Directions

  1. Mix the lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir well.
  2. Toss the rice with the seasoning mixture. Mix well.