Appetizer Recipes

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Toasted St. Louis-Style Ravioli

Pick your favorite store-bought refrigerated ravioli for this iconic Italian-American recipe, which transforms the stuffed pasta into a crunchy and super-satisfying appetizer. Breading the ravioli with panko and Parmesan helps them form a crispy shell when fried, and a gently garlicky marinara sauce is the perfect partner for dipping. To add an extra layer of flavor and texture, use the same oil to fry up rosemary and sage leaves, too.

Shrimp Toast

In this Night + Market dish by Kris Yenbamroong, blending fresh shrimp with pork fat creates a juicy, tender paste to spread on springy milk bread. Pork fat, from the back or belly (not rendered, like lard), can be easily chopped after freezing until quite firm, about 20 minutes.

Thai-Style Shrimp Cocktail

Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market invites a quick garlic aioli and super spicy fish sauce–based dipping sauce to the shrimp cocktail party. Using a fork to crush the garlic for the aioli leaves it sweeter and less pungent while still breaking down the fibrous cloves for a creamy dipping sauce. Serve the shrimp alongside ramekins of aioli and nam jim seafood sauce for dipping, or arrange the shrimp around the rim of a coupe glass filled with nam jim for more intense flavor.
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Lunar New Year Dumplings

Plump and tender dumplings symbolize longevity and wealth. As part of her Lunar New Year spread, Lucky Chow producer Danielle Chang fills hers with a fragrant and flavorful blend of garlic, ginger, scallions, and Chinese chives bound with tender ground pork. Store-bought wonton wrappers may be substituted for freshly made dough. Gently steaming the dumplings in bamboo baskets lined with cabbage leaves helps them keep their pleated shape without tearing and renders the filling juicy and the wrappers supple. For an extra dash of color and heat, drizzle them with with hot chile oil and sprinkle them with with pungent Chinese chives before serving them with dipping sauce.

Crispy Cheese Burritos with Chorizo and Eggs

When Richard Chang was chef and owner of Tacos La Tehuanita truck in Los Angeles, he wowed crowds with his burnt-cheese-roll taco, made by griddling cheese until crisp and rolling it up around various fillings. This version pairs chorizo-studded black beans and eggs with creamy avocado for richness.