Archive for the 'Ready in minutes' Category


Watermelon Radish with Spicy Oil

Monday, July 20th, 2009

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Some of us are lucky enough to have friends who are doctors, mechanics, carpenters, or even a massage therapist or two. I’ve recently decided that anyone who works weekends at an organic farmer’s booth and who loves to share bounty from her bottomless market bag is automatically promoted to my own BFF list.

A bonus bunch of super fresh watermelon radish recently found their way into my kitchen through such delicious connections. Aptly named for their vivid red, white and green coloring, these gems call for the simplest of preparations to highlight their fresh, summer flavor and gorgeous hues. (more…)


Bean Sprouts with Sake and Bonito Flakes

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

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Shaved bonito, planed just like wood from a dried, fermented and smoked fillet of skipjack tuna, is a popular garnish in Japan. Known as katsuobushi, the delicate shavings belie a rich, complex flavor that serves as one of the cornerstones of Japanese cuisine. Paired here with sake’s mouth-fullness, bonito flakes deepen the flavor of this simple, quick pickle.

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Cucumber Stuffed with Perilla and Ginger

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

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This pickle is currently my favorite quick pickle. Astonishing, really, that four naked ingredients can meld together so beautifully, so gently, so easily.

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Bean Sprouts with Scallions

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

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Maybe it’s because I grew up with this one, but truly, these lightly pickled bean sprouts would rank at the top of all three workhorse lists: easy, fast, versatile. They are the fresh-tasting foil to a classic Vietnamese dish, thit kho, that involves long, tender cooking of fatty pork, burnt sugar, and hard boiled eggs. Delicate in flavor, with just a hint of tartness, the pickle’s refreshing crispness works well with grilled meats, rich stews and the sweet, roasted pork of Chinese delis.

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Rau Tien Vua: Dragon Fruit Leaves

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

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I first tasted rau tien vua at Jai Yun, one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in San Francisco. The small plate of faded green cubes, not quite nopales, not quite artichokes, confounded two full circles of seasoned food professionals. Thanks to the magic of my cell phone and the memories of my mother, I learned that the toothsome bites were simply the dried leaves of dragon fruit trees.

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