Eggplant Curry / Talong Curry

Curry Comes to Luzon
A Fusion Note from Tomato

Cooking Asian dishes with Asian eggplants

Asian Eggplants

This Filipino take on Eggplant Curry has a Fusion note with the addition of Tomato. The Curry Paste is savory but on the milder Continue reading

Curry Paste Philippine Style / Almuwasahin Paste

A Complex Curry Taste
Good with Dumplings and Stir-Fries

Belachn Shrimp Paste

Belachan, Shrimp Paste

his Filipino style Curry Paste is good with a lot of things, including Dumplings and stir-fry dishes, as well as blander presentations of Fish, Chicken and Shrimp. This recipe Continue reading

Yard Long Beans and Pumpkin Curry

Sesquipedalian, Not Truly Yard-Long
Not Just for Halloween

PumpkinYard Long Beans, known in China as Dou Jiano and in Indian cuisine as Barbatti and other names according to dialect are actually not truly a yard long.  Their Latin name Sesqipedalia, Continue reading

Chicken Curry Indo-Japanese Style

Indo-Japanese Fusion Dish

How to cook delicious and healthy Asian dishes using tomatoes

Tomatoes

There are so many ways to make Chicken Curry. This version was adapted from a Japanese acquaintance who was interested in South Asian spices and food preparation and researched cooking techniques of South Asia, adapting them to the Japanese kitchen. Continue reading

Thai Cuisine

Hot, Sweet, Salty, Sour and Bitter
Variety in Flavor, Ingredients, Color

“Food is eaten not just for nourishment. For a Thai, it is an art, a topic of conversation, a source of pleasure.” — Kreesnee Ruangkritya [1]

Deva sculpture, Thailand 15th century

Deva, Thailand, 15th cent.

The core concepts of Thai cooking are hot, sweet, salty, sour and bitter.  A well-designed meal offers a variety in flavors, preparation methods, ingredients, and color.

So if a Red Curry is the main dish, the cook woul Continue reading

Cambodian Cuisine

Rice, Fish and Edible Flowers
An Ancient Civilization, a Noble Cuisine

Angkor Wat

“The Cambodians have some two hundred different ways of describing rice of various kinds.” — Christopher Pym [1]

Cambodian cuisine, descended from the ancient Khmer society, is one of the world’s oldest cuisines. [2]

It is now in a period of revival and Continue reading

Vietnamese Cuisine

Fish Sauce, Nuoc Mam and Sea Ghost  Fingers
The National Dish Is a Soup — Even at Breakfast

“Only the French imposed their own cuisine upon their Asiatic possessions.” — David Dodge [1]

“He was not yet Ho Chi Minh. It was 1917 and he was Nguyen Ai Quoc and he was a pastry cook under the great Escoffier.” — Robert Olen Butler [2]

Cooking with Vietnamese Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce

Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce

Vietnamese cooking is light and delicate, healthy, and remarkably varied. Its famous dishes can be very unusual and even have poetic names, like one for Crab Claws called Sea Ghost Fingers. Continue reading

Philippine Cuisine

Crossroads of Asia
Lingering Vinegar and Garlic

“There’s a trick if you want to know that it’s a Filipino an apartment belongs to; the garlic and vinegar can linger around a good long while.” — N.V.M. Golnzalez, The Bamboo Dancers [1]

There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines. And its people speak some 87 languages.[2, 3]

Lumpia Shanghai
Fusion Food and the Greatest Appetizer

Can there be any common factors in the cuisine of such a far-flung and diverse people? There may be some common elements, but we have to look for them in the past.

The ancestors of today’s Filipinos spoke languages of the Malayo-Polynesian language family.  This far-flung language group stretches from Madagascar in the west to Easter Island in the east, with Hawaii in the middle.

These people were sea-farers, expert seamen and navigators.  Fish were an essential part of their diet, and seafood remains a key element of Philippine cuisine today. Continue reading

Lemongrass

Southeast Asia’s Not-So-Secret Ingredient
Citronella’s Cousin

“Lemongrass is one of the defining flavors of Vietnamese cooking.” — Charles Phan

Lemongrass has been called the not-so-secret ingredient of Vietnamese cuisine. But not just Vietnamese Thai, Cambodian, and other Asian cooks also use it to good effect.

Cooking with lemongrass

Lemongrass

What It Is: Lemongrass is the common name for a family of more than 50 species of a plant type native to India and tropical Asia.  Continue reading