David Chang was inspired to make these playful rolls by a snack he had at Yunpilam, a temple in South Korea, where the nuns served him edamame mixed with walnuts and molasses. His rolls have an edamame-and-walnut filling; unlike other sushi rolls, they can be served warm.
This sweet and savory Japanese-style cold noodle salad is an easy dish to serve to a crowd, since it's delicious chilled or at room temperature. Use preshredded carrots in place of julienned to make it even more quickly.
Luke Nguyen grew up in Australia and learned to cook at his Vietnamese parents' restaurant. He later opened his own restaurant, The Red Lantern, in Sydney. On his first visit to Saigon 11 years ago, he had this simple sandwich filled with peppery pork and hoisin sauce.
Patrick Dunlea was booted off Top Chef Season 5's first episode because his salmon and bok choy were lackluster and his black-rice noodles were mushy. Gail Simmons amps up the broth with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and garlic and uses white-rice noodles instead of black (they're easier to find), cooked briefly to keep their texture firm.
"Korean-style horumon stalls are big in Tokyo," says Andrew Zimmern. "These tiny restaurants grill dozens of skewers with animal parts like udders, cockscomb, trachea, you name it. But even with conventional meat, grilling techniques like basting with fresh ginger juice are genius. If you're not adventurous, try it on chicken thighs."
Asian street-food carts sometimes serve food in banana leaves instead of using plates or bowls. Look for them at Asian markets. Here, Melissa Rubel Jacobson wraps the leaves around silky Chinese noodles.
Grace Parisi learned to make unagi Kabayaki—grilled eel—by watching YouTube's Cooking with Dog. Since eel is fairly hard to find, she often substitutes trout, which is a bit leaner than eel but similar in flavor.
Tofu is made by mixing freshly made hot soy milk with sea salts such as magnesium chloride. The sea salts (nigari) coagulate the proteins in the milk, forming very fragile, custardy curds. To make firm tofu, that fragile tofu is lightly pressed and allowed to drain.
Be sure to chop the filling for these vegetarian dumplings with a knife; they become too wet and pasty in a food processor. We liked the dumplings boiled in water, but they're also delicious cooked in a steamer.
In Singapore, satays are usually made with chicken or lamb. But for parties, Chris Yeo likes to use shrimp because he thinks it's more festive. He marinates the shellfish in an alluring mixture of sautéed garlic, ginger and ground spices, then threads each shrimp on its own skewer and grills them until they're lightly charred.
Asian Steamed Buns with Bok Choy and Chinese Chives
The Baker Creek catalog includes lots of seeds for Asian greens, including some that Jere Gettle found on his travels in Thailand. Here, a blend of mild bok choy with spicy mustard greens and oniony Chinese chives fills puffy, savory buns.
Bulgogi, the Korean classic, calls for slices of rich beef; this version uses thinly sliced chicken breast, which has barely any fat at all. The chicken is best served with rice and lettuce leaves for wrapping. Kimchi, a spicy, garlicky Korean pickle often made with cabbage, is especially delicious on the side and is loaded with beneficial bacteria known as probiotics.
"You see 7UP quite a bit in Korean recipes," says David Chang. "My mom cooked with it: She put it in a noodle dish, she added it to beef stock." When he wanted to prepare a quick "white" version of kimchi, Chang opted for 7UP; it adds lovely bubbliness to the cabbage. It can be served as a side dish like traditional red chile kimchi or with cold noodle soup.
Spicy Green Bean and Tofu Stir-Fry with Ground Bison
Many cultures use meat as a flavoring instead of as the main ingredient. Here, ground bison adds substance and richness to the tofu and green beans in a chile sauce—spiked stir-fry. For the most sustainable and humane option, buy grass-finished bison.
Takashi Yagihashi cooks scallops, squid and shrimp in stock, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil and mirin, then tops the dish with crispy deep-fried noodles. For a healthier version of the recipe, stir-fry shrimp in a small amount of oil and top with a light sprinkling of crunchy instant ramen noodles.