From the Publisher
“I love the fact that Susan Feniger has done the legwork for us all and brought back tons of intoxicating street food recipes from all over the world. My next party is definitely including a platter of the miso-glazed chicken wings and some Thai drunken shrimp. Yum!”
“I would follow Susan Feniger anywhere around the world. She gently takes you out of your comfort zone into a world of delicious, exotic, yet comforting street food. No passport required!”
“This book teaches you more about finger food than you could ever learn on the street.”
“The most authentic and tastiest flavors of a culture are disseminated in street-side booths and carts often in dodgy and out-of-the-way alleys. In the absence of napkins and tablecloths you experience some of the greatest hospitality the world over. Susan Feniger’s Street Food depicts the delicious grittiness of the streets of Hanoi and Mumbai in characteristically expert fashion. American home cooks often struggle to re-create the flavors of Asia. The recipes in Street Food artfully bring you the international kitchen through Feniger’s cool California lens. They made my New York kitchen smell like Cambodia in the best and most poetic way.”
“This is one incredible journey around the world. Globe-trotting chef Susan Feniger helps you easily re-create astonishingly tasty treats in your own home. From irresistible Indonesian noodles and Indian puffed rice to tantalizing Turkish breads, Thai spices, sensational Saigon shrimp, and Szechuan sauces, this cookbook is packed with flavorful foods and the culinary adventure of a lifetime.”
“In the world of Los Angeles restaurants, Susan Feniger is a pioneer, for she indeed brings the food world right to our streets. She’s like the Marco Polo of chefs, traveling the globe and bringing back recipes we might never get to sample if it weren’t for Susan. She has this immense passion and talent to bring these food cultures together in a harmonious way. Dining at her brilliant restaurant STREET is like eating at the ideal fantasy restaurant in the United Nations.”
“This is food from all over the world that's so bone-suckingly good you will stop at nothing to have or make more.”
—NPR.org, best books of 2012
Here, with restaurant partner and executive chef Kajsa Alger and writer/director Liz Lachman, Los Angeles cooking legend Feniger showcases the spicy tastes of STREET restaurant, her first solo venture in an illustrious career that's included numerous books (e.g., Cooking with Too Hot Tamales: Recipes & Tips From TV Food's Spiciest Cooking Duo), television appearances (e.g., Top Chef Masters, Cooking with Master Chefs), and restaurants (e.g., Border Grill). Shopping for these recipes—which call for shiso leaves, cactus paddles, black garlic, carob molasses, kokum plums, and other uncommon ingredients—is a major undertaking, but preparing them is well within reach of proficient amateurs. VERDICT A diverse collection of global street food. Highly recommended.
Read an Excerpt
Coconut Curry Caramel Corn
This is the recipe to think about if you are going to a party—it would make a great gift instead of a bottle of wine. I recently prepared this as a party favor for a luncheon of 750 women, and they loved it. Even more note-worthy: I still loved it after making such a huge batch! That says a lot. The combination of sweet and spicy in the popcorn is what makes it different from anything else you’ve tasted.
Olive oil spray
1½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tablespoons canola oil
¾ cup popcorn kernels
2 cups Candied Peanuts (page 21)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons chopped fresh curry leaf (see page 20; optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (see page 78)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Makes 18 cups
1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Liberally spray an extra-large mixing bowl (not plastic) with olive oil spray.
2. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven, stirring it once or twice, until it is golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool, leaving the oven on.
3. Put the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot, add the corn kernels, and set over medium-high heat. Cover, and shake the pot occasionally until the popping begins, about 5 minutes. Once the popping starts, shake the pot continuously until the popping slows down dramatically, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, but continue shaking it until the popping stops entirely. Dump the popcorn into the prepared mixing bowl, trying not to let any unpopped kernels fall into the bowl. Add the toasted coconut and the candied peanuts.
4. Before beginning the caramel process, spray a rubber spatula, a wooden spoon, and 2 cookie sheets liberally with olive oil spray.
5. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with the oil-sprayed spatula, until the butter is melted. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and being careful not to splatter the hot caramel, until the mixture thickens and a candy thermometer registers 255°F, about 7 minutes. (If you do not have a candy thermometer, you will know it is ready when the bubbles of the mixture get noticeably larger and slower.) Remove from the heat. Add the salt, baking soda, curry leaf, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, turmeric, mace, paprika, cayenne, and cinnamon. Stir quickly to incorporate, and then immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn mixture. Stir with the wooden spoon until all of the popcorn is well coated.
6. Pour the mixture onto the oiled cookie sheets and spread it out evenly. Bake for 1 hour, stirring it every 20 minutes to keep it from burning.
7. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let the popcorn cool to room temperature. The popcorn will crisp as it cools.
8. When it is cool, you can serve the popcorn immediately or package it in airtight bags for storage. It will keep well for 4 days.
Used in curries in India and Sri Lanka, curry leaf is fried along with chopped onion in the first stage of cooking. Usually called “curry leaves,” they are also called “neem leaves” or “curry neem leaves.”Curry leaf is what they call the “mystery ingredient” in India. Used everywhere but hard to describe, curry leaf has a slight nuttiness that adds backbone to the flavor of a dish. There really is no substitute, so if you can’t find the leaves, simply omit them from the recipe.