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Asian Grilling: 85kebabs, Skewers, Satays and Other Asian-Inspired Recipes for Your Barbecue

Asian Grilling: 85kebabs, Skewers, Satays and Other Asian-Inspired Recipes for Your Barbecue

by Su-Mei Yu

Now you can bring the authentic tastes and techniques of Asian grilling right into your own home. Su-Mei Yu, renowned Thai chef, teacher, restaurateur, and award-winning author of Cracking the Coconut, shows you just how easy it is to grill in her new book, Asian Grilling.

Su-Mei captures the splendor and diversity of Asia's cuisines — Chinese,


Now you can bring the authentic tastes and techniques of Asian grilling right into your own home. Su-Mei Yu, renowned Thai chef, teacher, restaurateur, and award-winning author of Cracking the Coconut, shows you just how easy it is to grill in her new book, Asian Grilling.

Su-Mei captures the splendor and diversity of Asia's cuisines — Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, Burmese, Laotian, and Cambodian — in this superb collection of 85 recipes. With Su-Mei's guidance and clearly written recipes, you'll be able to cook some of the world's most delicious grilled foods, including Indian Chicken Tandoori, Vietnamese-Style Grilled Beef in Lettuce, and Thai Grilled Pork Strips.

Asian Grilling begins with some of the better-known Asian dishes such as Chicken Yakitori, Pork Satay, and Lamb Kebabs. Su-Mei then takes you through her own treasured recipes for Salt-Grilled Yellowtail Tuna from Japan, Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp on Sugarcane Stalks, Bulgogi (Korean Barbecued Beef), and so much more. Along with these dishes, you'll find recipes for zesty dipping sauces and flavorful relishes to enhance every bite.

In the "Wrapped and Grilled" and "Grilled and Wrapped" chapters, you'll learn how each cuisine uses leaves and casings to make grilling pouches. When these pouches are opened at the table, they fill the room with a unique and savory perfume. The large green leaves of the banana plant are used to wrap everything from Malaysian Spicy Fish Cakes to Chinese-style grilled chicken. In true fusion style, Su-Mei encases a warm filling of grilled vegetables and cheese in a tortilla to make one of her favorite recipes, Thai Quesadillas. Even the ubiquitous lettuce leaf makes a great wrapper for curried lamb, grilled shrimp, and more.

Grilled vegetables and salads, main course rice and noodle dishes, and even grilled fruit desserts round out this collection. There are also detailed instructions for preparing the grill and making spice pastes and essential tips on shopping for and preparing Asian ingredients. Stunning color photographs illustrate how the dishes look.

Turn your kitchen into an Asian barbecue. It's easy with Asian Grilling by Su-Mei Yu.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
8.12(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

Soba Noodles with Grilled Vegetables and Sesame-Ginger Dressing

This cool vegetarian noodle dish is a perfect meal for a hot summer day. Since it is served at room temperature, you can prepare everything several hours ahead, then assemble it at the last minute. The dressing keeps overnight in the refrigerator.


2 tablespoons minced ginger
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Make the Dressing

1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring until the tahini is dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. (To store, transfer the dressing into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid; it will keep for a couple of days refrigerated. To serve, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water to the dressing and heat in a small saucepan until the sesame paste is dissolved. Let cool before serving.)

Makes 3/4 cup


1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
6 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
3 leeks
1 pound asparagus, tough stem ends removed
1 cup snow peas
2 bundles soba (buckwheat) noodles
2 cups bean sprouts

Make the Noodles

2. Heat thegrill.

3. While waiting for the grill to get hot, combine the sugar, mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a large bowl and whisk to mix. Add the mushrooms, leeks, asparagus, and snow peas. Toss lightly and set aside.

4. Put a fine-mesh grill rack over the regular rack. Put the mushrooms, leeks, and asparagus on the grill over medium-high heat and brush with the marinade. Grill the asparagus until they are slightly charred and the color has brightened, about 2 minutes. Grill the leeks until slightly charred and soft, about 3 minutes. Grill the mushrooms until slightly charred and soft, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Put the snow peas on the grill last and cook until the color brightens, about 1 minute.

5. When they are cool enough to handle, slice the asparagus, leeks, and mushrooms into thin diagonal slices. Set aside.

6. Cook the soba in a large pot of boiling water until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in a strainer and rinse well with cool water. Squeeze the noodles to extract all the excess water. Transfer to a bowl. Add the bean sprouts and grilled vegetables.

7. Just before serving, add the dressing to the noodles, and mix well.

Makes 6 servings

Nonya-Style Chicken or Pork Satay

When he was young, my father traveled throughout Southeast Asia as a salesman. I loved to hear his tales of adventure and food, such as his descriptions of satay vendors in Malaysia and Singapore. Papa said that each vendor had three or four metal grills going at the same time. The vendor would stand in front of the hot grills, engulfed in smoke, flipping, turning, and basting the tiny skewers all at the same time. As he slapped a handful of cooked satay onto a plate, a line of eager customers quickly snatched up the prizes and plunged the cooked skewers into bowls filled with different types of sauce. The price of a meal was based on the number of sticks picked clean.

Nonya cooking is a fusion of Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese cooking. The marinade ingredients for chicken and pork satay have slight variations. For chicken, the cumin is left out; the marinade for pork satay has no turmeric. Pork is not eaten by Muslim Malaysians, but it is the favorite meat of the Chinese. Serve the satay with Indonesian Peanut Sauce (page 141) and Indonesian-Style Cucumber Relish (page 152).


1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (for pork satay)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 fresh bird chiles or 2 red serrano chiles, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers and green parts removed, minced (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder (for chicken satay)
3 shallots, minced (1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon ground blanched almonds
1 teaspoon red miso
1/2 cup combined coconut cream and milk (the consistency of whole milk) (see page 135)

Make the Marinade

1. Put the coriander seeds in a small skillet and dry-roast over medium-high heat, sliding the skillet back and forth over the burner to prevent burning, until the spice exudes a pleasant aroma, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. Repeat with the cumin seeds, if using. Grind in a spice grinder and set aside.

2. Pound the salt and chiles in a mortar with a pestle into a paste. One at a time, add the lemongrass, coriander (and cumin) seeds, turmeric powder, if using, shallots, almonds, and miso, in sequence, adding each one only after the previous ingredient is pureed and incorporated into the paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the coconut cream mixture. Mix well and set aside.

3. If using a blender, add all the ingredients, including the coconut cream and milk, and puree. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.

4. Stored in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, the marinade will keep overnight in the refrigerator.

Makes 2 1/3 cups


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs or pork loin
10 to 12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes, then dried
1/3 cup pineapple juice
Vegetable oil spray

Make the Satay

5. Slice the chicken, if using, diagonally across the grain into thin strips approximately 1/10 inch wide, or as thin as possible. Or, for pork, slice the loin lengthwise in half, then slice diagonally across the grain, like the chicken. Add the meat to the marinade, mix well, coating it thoroughly, and let sit for 30 minutes.

6. Mound the charcoals in one side of the grill, leaving the other half empty. Heat the grill.

7. While waiting for the grill to get hot, thread 3 to 4 pieces of the chicken or pork onto each bamboo skewer into a tight bundle, covering 5 inches of the skewer. Add the pineapple juice to the marinade and mix well. Set aside.

8. Spray the skewers generously with vegetable oil. Lay the skewers with the meat portion on the grill over medium-high heat, arranging them very close to one another. (The uncovered portion of the skewers should not be over the coals.) Grill, brushing lightly and frequently with the marinade and pineapple juice mixture, and turning frequently to prevent burning, until the outside is crispy brown and the inside white and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Makes 10 to 12 skewers

Asian Grilling. Copyright � by Su-Mei Yu. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Su-Mei Yu is the author of Cracking the Coconut, which won an IACP Cookbook Award in 2000 in the First Book Category, and Asian Grilling. She is chef-owner of the acclaimed Saffron restaurant in San Diego, California. Born of Chinese parents in Thailand, at the age of five she was enrolled in an exclusive boarding school founded by the Royal Court of Thailand. At age fifteen, Su-Mei came to an American mission boarding school in Kentucky. After graduation, she received a master's degree in social welfare. After twelve years as a social worker, she joined the graduate school of social work at San Diego State University as an assistant professor. In 1985 Su-Mei opened the first Thai restaurant in San Diego.

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