Tag: Asian

Mariam’s Salad Rolls

Mariam's Salad Rolls // Serious Crust

Mariam's Salad Rolls // Serious Crust
Mariam's Salad Rolls // Serious Crust

It was 100 degrees in Portland yesterday. The sun was not beating down, no. It was a cloudy, muggy day (by Pacific Northwest standards). And so when the time came to cook dinner, the thought of turning on any heating device just felt wrong. So I went to the store and picked up some fresh, crunchy, fruity, flavor packed ingredients to make salad rolls.

I had seen a recipe for salad rolls using lentils, but I didn’t really have time to cook them, so I thought I’d use another flavor of Mariam’s lentil dips (which I’ve written about before here). I went with the curry and green lentil flavor, thinking it would go nicely with the kind of Asian flavor. I’m not sure a few of these rolls would have made enough for dinner without the lentils – they’re packed with protein, and they made the rolls much more filling. They were delicious!

You can fill these rolls with whatever you’d like, really. You can slice up some tofu and put it in raw or cooked. You can grill some shrimp. You can add some vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, red onions, or even shiitake mushrooms. The possibilities are endless!

Mariam’s Salad Rolls

Note: If Mariam’s lentil dip isn’t available where you are, feel free to substitute with some cooked green lentils, tossed with a little sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha, salt, etc. Or see above for other recommendations.

Ingredients

½ cucumber, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 large ripe mango (or 2 small ripe mangos), thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Cilantro, picked from stems
Mariam’s Curry and Green Lentil Dip
Spring roll wrappers (available in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
Sweet chili sauce for dipping

Instructions

Arrange all of your ingredients in bowls or on plates, so that they are easily accessible. Set out a large bowl of room temperature water, and a damp dishtowel. Follow the instructions on the spring roll wrapper package to prepare, or if they don’t have instructions, prepare like this: soak in room temperature water for 15 seconds, until the wrappers have almost no crinkle left, and spread on a damp dish towel. Arrange a few slices of cucumber, carrot, mango, avocado, a few leaves of cilantro, and a few dollops of Mariam’s Curry and Green Lentil Dip down the center of the wrapper, leaving about an inch on either end. Fold in the short ends over the ingredients, fold the bottom half of the wrapper up over the ingredients, and roll up the rest of the way. Enjoy dipped in sweet chili sauce or other dipping sauces.

This is a sponsored post. All of the opinions below are my own.

Weekend Finds 5:18:14

I’m writing this post from my hotel room in California, where I watched my baby sister graduate yesterday. Her school threw an incredibly fun party, where we ate good food and danced with my adorable grandmother and family. What a lovely way to celebrate. Now, on to weekend finds.

1. Storing Asparagus

Storing Asparagus // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Storing your asparagus correctly involves trimming the ends and standing it in water.

In our house these days, you will usually find at least 3 bunches of asparagus in the fridge at any given time. Clearly, my housemates and I are ready for spring/summer produce, ready for a change, ready for something other than root vegetables and kale. Because as good as all that stuff is, it’s really hard to eat it for 6 months and not get tired. And sometimes, we play a game of “Whose asparagus is that?” Anyway, my point is, these tips for keeping your asparagus fresh and lasting longer will be welcome in my household.

2. Foodies, a Documentary

Foodies, a Documentary // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
A film about foodies? Yes please. And I’ll eat some truffle popcorn while I watch it.

A documentary about my people? Yes please. I’ll go see it for sure. The trick is to find out where it’ll be playing. And also to figure out how I can hop a flight for my dinner reservation.

3. Supper.mx

Supper.mx // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
A screenshot of the Supper.mx website: recipes, Spotify playlists, descriptions, etc.

I’ll definitely be trying out this music app at my next dinner party. Simple as that.

4. Parmesan Broth

Parmesan broth on Food52 // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Always save your rinds!

I love using up as much flavor-creating ingredients as I can, and one thing I can’t stand to throw away is parmesan rinds. Now that I’ve found parmesan broth, I’m going to make lots of it, and use it in probably all of the ways listed in this article.

5. Crack Slurp

Crack Slurp on Lady and Pups // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
These noodles look oh so good.

Yes, that is the name of this recipe from Lady and Pups. The guide to Asian noodles, this recipe has you frying up chicken skin, the “crack,” and reserving the fat to stir in with some fresh delicious noodles and sprinkle the fried skin on top. I don’t know if I can find all of the ingredients she uses, but I certainly hope to try recreating some version of this.

Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes

Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

There’s this dumpling house near my mom’s old apartment in Bellevue called Din Tai Fung. It’s a chain, but it’s ok because the dumplings are awesome. We always entrusted our ordering to my little sister, who is the guru of Asian cuisine, and she always ordered the best dishes. If you go, I highly recommend the juicy pork dumplings that are filled with pork and a hot broth, the shrimp and pork shao mai, and some variation of the Shanghai rice cake. These rice cakes are small, oval cakes that I assume are made out of ground rice. They’re delicate and chewy at the same time, and they take on the flavor of whatever sauce they’re cooked in.

Recently I went to Fubonn Supermarket, an Asian market in southeast Portland. I love roaming the aisles of international markets, being astounded by some of the things you can find, and excited when you happen upon an ingredient that you love but have never been able to find before.

You can imagine my delight when I happened upon a bag of dried rice cakes, and they were roughly $2 for a pound. So… that’s a thing. I immediately grabbed a bag, and it sat on our shelf for a few days while I tried to figure out what to do with them. (Then they sat on the shelf a couple days longer when I forgot to start soaking them the night before we wanted to make them, so we had to whip up something else for dinner instead.)

I believe you can also get frozen and fresh rice cakes, but with my dried ones, I soaked them overnight before I made them. But they were easy to use, and delicious, and I recommend getting your hands on some as soon as you can to start experimenting! I stir fried mine with some bok choy and shiitakes, and it was delicious.

Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes

Ingredients

3 Tbl canola oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
8 oz rice cakes, soaked overnight if dried, thawed if frozen
2 heads baby bok choy, rinsed
8 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced into 1/3-inch strips
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-3 tsp Sriracha
1-3 tsp brown sugar

Ingredients

More optional additions: bean sprouts, napa cabbage, other mushrooms, fish sauce, pork, beef, shrimp.

In a large wok or nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic, and sauté until fragrant and starting to brown, about one minute. Add the rice cakes, bok choy, and mushrooms and cook until the bok choy is wilted. If your rice cakes aren’t quite soft enough (remember though, you want them to be a little chewy), add about 1/4 cup water to the pan and cover for a few minutes to steam a bit. Once the mushrooms are cooked through and the bok choy is wilted, add the soy sauce, sriracha, and brown sugar to taste. Start with less sriracha and brown sugar, and taste a lot! I found that I wanted a larger amount of brown sugar because of the saltiness of the soy sauce, and Jonah wanted more Sriracha (obviously). Cook, stirring, until all the rice cakes and vegetables are thoroughly coated and the liquid of the soy sauce has cooked off. Enjoy with teriyaki salmon or Korean short ribs (like we did).

Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

When I was getting ready to make this Asian pulled pork, I knew I wanted to write about it. I didn’t intend to write about it so soon – I knew I had a few posts to be written, the pictures sitting in their appropriate folders on my desktop – but things changed.

As I was putting all of these ingredients together on Monday, the kitchen already started to smell good. The fragrance of the lemongrass and ginger, combined with the rice vinegar and soy sauce, had begun to permeate the kitchen, and when my friend Elsa stopped by while I was making the pickles, she asked, “What smells so good?” as soon as she opened the door. When I left for work a few hours later, the slow cooker was on, the pickles were in the fridge, and mostly I just couldn’t wait to get home and eat the stuff.

After work, I had a message from my mom, asking me to call her. My phone was nearly dead (a morning on the phone with various auto insurance agents will do that to you), so I decided to wait till I could get home and plug my phone in to call. I opened the front door, and I was surrounded by this smell. The Asian flavors swirling around, making my stomach grumble. And then I looked at Jonah, sitting at the kitchen table, and he asked me, “Have you called your mom?” No. “Herby died,” he said.

I immediately called my mom, who was on the other line with my Nana, and said she’d call me back shortly. Herby, or Poppa Herb, is my grandfather. Herby had been sick for a long long time, and I had known for a while that his time was coming to a close. We all knew. And yet, as I said to Jonah moments after he told me, knowing it’s coming doesn’t seem to make it any less sad. Herby suffered for a long time, and so did Nana, really. He was unwell and hard to care for, and he was very ready to go. So after some tears, we couldn’t do much but continue to get dinner ready. The lid came off the slow cooker, and the scrumptious aroma wafted into the air, perfuming our meal. Before we actually sat down to eat, I got to talk to my mom, who let me know that one of the last meals Herb enjoyed was 5 (count them, 5) slices of her french toast. Thank goodness he ate well until the end. And then we ate.

As I started to think about writing this post, I haven’t been able to think about this dish without thinking of Poppa. And while the association could be sad, it really isn’t. It makes me a little more thoughtful, but mostly happy. Happy that I got to have this wonderful extra grandfather, who loved me like I was his own flesh and blood, who believed in me, who used to do little funny dances around the kitchen, who wore all those silly sweatshirts we made for him when we were little, and who made it possible for my family to see each other every year on the Oregon coast. And while I certainly don’t want this recipe to make you sad, I do hope that this post can make you think a little bit more about doing and eating the things we enjoy, and who we enjoy them with.

Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork Tacos

Note: You’ll see in my pictures that I minced up the lemongrass with the garlic, ginger, and jalapeño, as recommended in the Garden Betty recipe. I would suggest cutting it into coins or large chunks instead – the stalks were too hard for my food processor, and so I ended up with some sharp/pokey pieces of lemongrass amongst the meat.

Ingredients

Pulled Pork

2 inch piece of ginger
1 jalapeño
5 large cloves of garlic, or 6 smaller cloves
2 stalks of lemongrass
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbl fish sauce
2 1/2 lbs pork shoulder roast
4-5 large portobello mushrooms (optional, but recommended)

Quick Pickled Daikon and Carrots

2 large carrots
1-2 large daikon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar plus 1/2 cup
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water

Tacos

Small corn tortillas
Lime wedges
Cilantro
Slices of jalapeño (if you like heat)
Sauces: sweet chili sauce, Sriracha, plum sauce…

Instructions

Pulled Pork

To prepare the meat, mince the garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and lemongrass (I did mine in the food processor; see note). Combine those four ingredients, as well as the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and fish sauce in a small pot over low heat. Cook until the brown sugar is dissolved, then pour into your slow cooker. Place the pork shoulder in the sauce, turning to coat, and then cook for 8-14 hours (I did mine for 8… but it definitely could’ve been softer and more fall-apart-tender, so I suggest going for longer). If you are opting to use the portobello mushrooms (which you really should), cut them into large slices and add them to the slow cooker 4 hours before the meat is done.

Quick Pickled Daikon and Carrots

Once the meat is nestled in the slow cooker, ready for the long haul, you can prepare your pickles. Peel and julienne the daikon and carrots, and put them in a bowl. Sprinkle them with the salt and 2 tsp of sugar, and then gently massage/knead them for 3 minutes. When the daikon is very bendy, and a little pool of water has collected at the bottom of the bowl, rinse the vegetables in cold water, and pat or press them dry with paper towels. Put them into a jar (or jars, depending on how big your jars are and how big your carrots and daikon were). Now make the brine by combining the 1/2 cup sugar, rice vinegar, white vinegar, and lukewarm water in a bowl and stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the brine over the vegetables in the jar, and allow to sit for at least 1 hour. In a jar, these will last for about 4 weeks in the fridge.

Tacos

When the meat is cooked, remove the strings, and pull it apart with two forks. Leave the slow cooker on warm while you warm you tortillas, slice your cucumbers and jalapeño, and pick your cilantro. Then, enjoy!

P.S. The meat and sauce and toppings make great leftovers when heaped atop a bowl of fresh rice or soba noodles.

Poppa Herb and I at the Oregon coast, many years ago.
Poppa Herb and I at the Oregon coast, many years ago.