The classic northern Thai salad called som tam is often eaten with sticky rice and such ingredients as very small Thai eggplants, little tomatoes, crushed peanuts, dried shrimp, long beans, crispy pork and even salted crabs. This is a minimalist version, and it's simply stunning.
The inspiration for this dish is a bracing soup made with whole fish that Zak Pelaccio likes to eat at Sichuan Dynasty restaurant in Flushing, Queens. "They use it to encourage digestion," he says. Does it work for Pelaccio? "I'm always hungry," he says. "I'm really not a good judge." Warming Soup Recipes
"On St. John, hibiscus is known as sorrel," says Zak Pelaccio, referring to the red flowers that are used here, along with mezcal, to cure pristine fillets of fresh red snapper. "The mezcal gives the fish a little bit of a smoke flavor, while the hibiscus lends it a sour quality."Plus: More Fish and Seafood Recipes
For this quick and bold sauce, Zak Pelaccio purees vibrant ingredients like fresh lemongrass and ginger with chiles and fish sauce. The sauce is delicious with any grilled or roasted fish, with or without the banana leaves.
In Kuala Lumpur, there are as many permutations of fried chicken as there are purveyors. This version is one of the simplest, as it doesn't require long brining or dredging the chicken in flour and battering it. Instead, using easy-to-find ingredients, the recipe calls for mixing up a spice paste quickly in a food processor, then massaging it into the chicken. The spice-rubbed chicken is fried once until nearly cooked through, then fried again to ensure crispy skin every time. More Fried Chicken Recipes