L.A. chef Bryant Ng finds inspiration in the Southeast Asian home cooking of his childhood.

By Kate Heddings
Updated June 06, 2017

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Bryant Ng grew up cooking at his parents’ Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles, majored in molecular biology at UCLA, studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, then trained under star chefs Daniel Boulud and Nancy Silverton back in the US. Now he has his own L.A. restaurant, The Spice Table, an homage to Southeast Asian flavors—from the Singaporean home cooking he grew up with to the Vietnamese flavors of his wife’s heritage. One of his most delicious recipes is a version of the coconut-curry noodle soup known as laksa in Singapore and ca-ri tom in Vietnam, made with seafood, plenty of spices and lots of rice noodles. Here, F&W streamlines that dish plus three more of Ng’s favorites. “My recipes are fairly simple,” he insists. “They just have a lot of components.”

The Spice Table, 114 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles; 213-620-1840.

Coconut Laksa with Shrimp

Coconut Laksa with Shrimp

© Anne Fishbein/Jonny Valiant

Chef Way Bryant Ng simmers mussels in coconut milk, lemongrass and beer, then chops them up for his coconut-curry soup. He tops his soup with a soft-boiled egg.

Easy Way Home cooks can make Ng’s laksa with raw shrimp rather than cooked mussels, boiling them in the soup. Home cooks can omit the egg garnish.

Asian Noodles with Roast Pork

Asian Noodles with Roast Pork

© Anne Fishbein/Jonny Valiant

Chef Way Ng roasts the pork for kon loh mee in his restaurant kitchen; he also grinds his own fresh pork for the dish.

Easy Way Home cooks can buy Chinese roast pork (char siu) from a restaurant to add to the noodle dish kon loh mee.

Singaporean Sautéed Asparagus with Ginger

Singaporean Sautéed Asparagus with Ginger

© Jonny Valiant

Chef Way Ng uses a salted duck egg yolk in his sauce for grilled asparagus, as well as freshly squeezed ginger juice.

Easy Way (photo) Home cooks can top grilled asparagus and Chinese sausage with a sauce of egg yolk, cream, ginger, garlic and chiles.

Go-To Wines for Southeast Asian Recipes

2010 Palmina Dolcetto ($17)

“This light, juicy, dark-fruited wine works well with smoky, herbal dishes like chicken satay.”

2011 Leitz Dragonstone Riesling ($18)

“The slight sweetness in this Riesling balances rich, spicy dishes.”


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