Cold Peanut-Sesame Noodles
The secret to Andrew Zimmern's cold noodle recipe, inspired by the ones he had in China's Sichuan province, is the oil that gets drizzled on top. Made with chiles, Sichuan peppercorns and lots of spices, it is called Ma La ("numbing and spicy").
Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi
"Fermented cabbage is the most common kind, but kimchi is actually a pickling technique, so you can make it with any vegetable," explains Marja Vongerichten. "Every Korean household has a different recipe: Some use pears, others, raw shrimp or oysters." This classic recipe includes napa cabbage, ginger and garlic.
Crispy Tofu with Noodles
In his restaurant chef Pino Maffeo deep-fries tofu in tempura batter, then garnishes the finished dish with lily buds. At home, bread the tofu with panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and stir-fry in a wok. Skip the lily bud garnish.
Grilled Shrimp Satay
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.
Thai Ground Pork Salad
At Thai restaurants, Tom Mylan usually requests a double order of larb (or laab), an addictive appetizer of ground meat spiked with chiles, lime juice and fish sauce and served with lettuce leaves for wrapping.
Thai-Style Duck-and-Green-Papaya Salad
Pairing Suggestion: This salad calls for a sparkling wine that can cut through the rich duck and work with the tart papaya, such as cava from Spain. Try the dry NV German Gilabert.
Crispy Udon Noodles with Nori Salt
Inspired by a snack served at Japanese restaurants, Marcia Kiesel boils udon noodles until they are just al dente, then ties them into small bundles and quickly fries them in a shallow layer of vegetable oil. They are addictively crunchy.
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.
Beef Fried Rice
Stir-fry the sirloin, watercress, and egg while the rice cooks, so that you’ll be ready to assemble the dish at the last moment. Soy sauce and a drizzling of sesame oil flavor the combination perfectly. If you prefer, use strips of pork tenderloin instead of beef.
Cabbage, Watercress and Pine Nut Dumplings
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.
Crab Balls with Grapefruit Salad
The crab and grapefruit in this dish first appeared at the restaurant Spice Market tossed with cold glass noodles. Jean Georges Vongerichten decided it was a "messy pile," but liked the flavors, so he reconfigured them into crab balls rolled in panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and sesame seeds. The side salad is a fabulous mix of tart (grapefruit), spicy (Thai chile) and sweet (ginger syrup).
Green-Tea Fortune Cookies
Joanne Chang likes having fun with the fortunes she puts inside these large cookies, like "Give the chef a big kiss." Shaping the tuiles while they're hot can be tricky, so consider using cotton gloves.
Quick Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Beef
Rocco DiSpirito likes to heat shirataki noodles (a low-calorie noodle made from tofu or a kind of sweet potato) in store-bought chicken broth seasoned with lime juice.
For a wine pairing, try an earthy, minerally Pinot Noir.
Asian Meatball Wraps
These tasty meatballs are perfect for a cocktail party.
Coconut Crème Caramel
Coconut milk enriches and flavors this custard. Zang Toi suggests using fragrant pandan juice (from the palm-like pandan tree) instead of vanilla for a more Malaysian flavor.
Homemade Firm Tofu
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.
Nori Hand Rolls with Kale and Green Beans
Brown rice replaces the usual white in these fun-to-eat vegetable hand rolls.
Sparkling White Kimchi
"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.
Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks
Turkey legs have become a staple of music festivals. These have a sticky ginger glaze.
Asian Bar Mix
The sesame sticks, wasabi peas, almonds and peanuts make this irresistible bar mix wonderfully crunchy.
Black-Sesame Salmon Balls
The sesame seeds on these wasabi-spiked salmon balls are unexpectedly high in calcium.
Bananas in Coffee Bean Syrup
Every morning in Nha Trang, Marcia Kiesel topped yogurt with these bananas steeped in warm, bittersweet coffee syrup; they're also delicious over vanilla ice cream for dessert. Make sure the bananas you choose for this recipe are ripe but still firm, so they don't get mushy.
Fried Forbidden Rice
For a robust take on the Indonesian fried rice dish nasi goreng, Sang Yoon stir-fries black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice, with bacon and roasted garlic. "You can make it with short-grain brown rice, but you'd miss a lot of the fun," Sang Yoon says.
Salt-and-Pepper Squid with Chinese Five-Spice Powder
Wendy Leon gives this classic Chinese squid dish a fun twist by flavoring it with five-spice powder (typically a ground mixture of cinnamon, star anise, black peppercorns, fennel and clove). "It's her version of a Super Bowl snack," says her son Humberto. "Most kids eat chips; we grew up eating squid."
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.
Shrimp and Water Chestnut Toasts
At 66, his luxe Chinese restaurant in downtown Manhattan, Jean-Georges Vongerichten serves crunchy toasts he identifies as "New York Chinese." "Shrimp toast doesn't exist in China," he says. "You don't find spaghetti and meatballs in Italy either." Vongerichten adds a tiny dice of water chestnuts to the rich shrimp topping, which makes it extra juicy.