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Everyday Asian: Asian Flavors + Simple Techniques = 120 Mouthwatering Recipes

Everyday Asian: Asian Flavors + Simple Techniques = 120 Mouthwatering Recipes

by Patricia Yeo, Tom Steele

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Patricia Yeo is one of the most acclaimed of the new crop of bright young chefs in America--she specializes in world food, introducing Asian flavors, California freshness and French technique to her restaurant menus, including the offerings at the three-star A/Z in Manhattan. With Everyday Asian, Yeo leaves restaurant technique behind and focuses on packing


Patricia Yeo is one of the most acclaimed of the new crop of bright young chefs in America--she specializes in world food, introducing Asian flavors, California freshness and French technique to her restaurant menus, including the offerings at the three-star A/Z in Manhattan. With Everyday Asian, Yeo leaves restaurant technique behind and focuses on packing flavor into dishes for weekday meals and simple home entertaining. The taste of the Pacific Rim is still the biggest trend in food today, and Yeo is the ideal expert to translate it for home cooks. Everyday Asian includes over one hundred recipes with far eastern, Indian and southeast Asian accents, including:
--Chinese chicken salad with pickled vegetables
--Seared tuna and three-bean salad
--Toasted Walnut, Cheese and Chili Shortbread
--Smoky eggplant and yogurt puree
--Gingered Pineapple Glaze for Buffalo wings
--Roasted five-spice chicken
--Thai pork curry
--Stir-fried beef with black beans
--Baked coconut rice pudding

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Everyday Asian

Asian Flavors + Simple Techniques = 120 Mouthwatering Recipes

By Patricia Yeo, Tom Steele, Alex Martinez

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2005 Patricia Yeo and Tom Steele
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6215-9



Salads are a large part of my diet. I love big composed salads that can be served as an entrée for lunch or as a light supper when it's too hot to think about cooking. In Cooking from A to Z, I tried to bring new flavors to classic American favorites. In this book, I wanted to introduce some more unusual salads, like fattoush and laabs, using flavors and ingredients that are familiar to everyone.

Grilled Shrimp and Indian Bread Salad

This bread salad is an Indian spin on Tuscan bread salad; instead of using pieces of stale peasant bread, I use pieces of naan or roti. Actually, it's more like a fattoush, which is the Middle Eastern version made with toasted stale pita bread. Note that if you use curry oil, it needs to steep for an hour.

Makes 4 light main course servings

1 tomato, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced cucumber
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup diced grilled zucchini
½ cup diced roasted peppers (see Options below)
½ cup pieces blanched green beans (cut into 1-inch pieces)
4 pieces naan or roti, torn into bite-sized pieces (see Options below)
½ cup cilantro leaves
½ cup flat parsley leaves
5 large Boston lettuce leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
½ cup curry oil (see Options below)
20 grilled shrimp (see Options below)

In a large bowl, combine the tomato, onion, celery, and cucumber. Toss lightly with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice; allow to sit for up to a half hour. The salt will draw out the juices from the vegetables. Add the other vegetables and naan. Toss well, allowing the vegetable juices to soak into the bread. Just before serving, toss with herbs, lettuce, and curry oil. Garnish with grilled shrimp, five per serving.


• I like using a mixture of roasted red peppers and poblano peppers because I like the sharpness of poblanos.

• To make the curry oil, mix two tablespoons of curry powder with enough water to make a paste. Slowly stir in ½ cup canola or other mild oil. Let the mixture stand for an hour, strain it, and it's ready to use. Store the oil, covered tightly, in the refrigerator if you're not using it immediately.

• If you don't have roti or naan, use pita or whatever bread you have lying around. Stale bread is preferable. No stale bread? Make some: Simply tear up pieces of bread, spread them on a cookie sheet, and dry them out in a low oven (150 degrees or just with the pilot) for half an hour.

• Substitute slices of cool roast lamb or roast chicken for the grilled shrimp.

Green Mango Salad

Green mango has a flavor more like a vegetable than a fruit. It is crisp, slightly tart, and tastes like a cross between a green apple and a cucumber. In fact, if you are unable to find green mangoes in your market, just substitute a mixture of green apples and cucumber. In Thailand toasted ground rice is added to green mango salads, giving it additional flavor and a textural element. Ground rice is raw rice that is toasted until it is golden then ground in a spice grinder — easy enough to do yourself.

Makes 4 servings

1 cup julienned green mango
¼ cup julienned carrot
¼ cup julienned jicama
¼ cup julienned red pepper
2 tablespoons Lemongrass Caramel Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup toasted chopped peanuts (optional)
Toasted ground rice (optional; see Option below)

Toss all the julienned vegetables with the vinaigrette and lime juice. Allow to macerate for up to a half hour. Just before serving, toss in the mint and cilantro. If you like, add the toasted peanuts at this point and toss well.


• If you want to add toasted ground rice, add it with the peanuts and herbs at the last moment.

Lemongrass Caramel Vinaigrette

Makes about 1 cup

1 stalk lemongrass, tough top and bottom removed and discarded, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 nickel-sized slices ginger, unpeeled
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Thai fish sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
About ½ cup canola oil

Place the lemongrass, garlic, and ginger in the workbowl of a food processor. Add the shallot, jalapeño, and pepper flakes, and process until the mixture is finely ground. Set aside.

Pour the sugar into a medium-sized heavy saucepan and set it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, until the sugar melts and turns amber, about 5 minutes. Add the lemongrass mixture and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. (The mixture will seize up at first, but then smooth out.) Carefully add the fish sauce and simmer, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. When cooled, whisk in the lime juice, sesame oil, and canola oil to taste. Use at once or refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

This salad is great for lunch or to bring along for a potluck dinner. It's a substantial change from the ubiquitous Caesar salad with grilled chicken. I like using different varieties of apples in the salad, some Granny Smith for tartness, Fuji for the texture and sweetness, and perhaps an apple with a softer texture, like Golden Delicious. If you don't want to make your own mayonnaise just use your favorite store-bought.

Makes 4 servings

2 cups diced roasted chicken (see Options below)
2 cups peeled and diced apples (see Options below)
1 cup large-diced celery
½ cup toasted walnuts
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large Boston lettuce leaves

Mix everything together except the salt, pepper, and lettuce. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Serve the salad in the lettuce leaves.


• Use other roasted meats, or if you are vegetarian, tempeh works well, too.

• Add some halved grapes to the salad; just reduce the amount of apples.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Pickled Vegetables

This is one of my mother's recipes. It's simple and straightforward, and can be made in advance, which makes it a great dish to take to family gatherings. Pickled vegetables are available at most Asian markets, or see Ingredient Sources.

Makes 4 servings

4 poached boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup each pickled carrots, daikon radish, and red onion (available in most Asian markets)
½ cup each finely julienned napa cabbage
½ cup peeled and julienned cucumber
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup pickled ginger
½ cup toasted sesame seeds

Shred the chicken, and toss with the remaining ingredients.

Malaysian Spicy Fruit Salad

There is a wonderful Malaysian salad called rojak, often sold as street food. It is spicy, sweet, and tart, all at the same time. My Fourth Auntie (who is my favorite aunt) loves it and I always think of her when I make this side dish, especially since she now lives in New Zealand where it is nearly impossible to get green mango, shrimp paste, and many of the other ingredients needed for this salad. Luckily, in almost any large city in America, you can find these ingredients pretty easily. Ketchup or kecap manis is a sweet, thick soy sauce common in Southeast Asia, rather like hoisin sauce. It's available in many Asian specialty stores or grocery stores.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 tablespoons shrimp paste (optional; see Options below)
1 tablespoon kecap][manis
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 2 limes
1 green mango, cut into bite-sized pieces (see Options below)
1 cup bite-sized chunks pineapple
1 cup bite-sized pieces jicama
1 cup blanched water spinach (see Options below)
1 cup bite-sized chunks firm tofu (see Note below)
¼ cup toasted peanuts

Toss all the ingredients except the peanuts together in a large bowl. Sprinkle the top of the salad with the peanuts and serve at room temperature.

Note: I usually toss all the ingredients together, then fold in the tofu as it sometimes falls apart and I like my tofu in large pieces. If you don't mind your tofu a little beaten up, then mix it all up together.


• If you cannot find shrimp paste in your nearest Chinese market, try using dried shrimp (which can more easily be found in Asian as well as Mexican markets). Pan-fry the dried shrimp in a little oil until crisp, then roughly chop it up and toss it into the salad. The flavor of the dried shrimp can be a little strong, so use it judiciously.

• You can substitute a tart green apple like Granny Smith.

• You can substitute blanched asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths.

Grilled Asparagus Salad with Poached Egg and Shaved Parmesan

After a long winter of cold, snow, and root vegetables, I always look forward to the first asparagus in the spring. I like to cook tender pencil asparagus on the grill. There is no need to blanch it first.

Makes 4 servings

4 large eggs
¼ cup white vinegar
1½ quarts water
40 stalks pencil asparagus (see Options below)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 lemons, preferably Meyer lemons, juiced
1 shallot, finely diced
4 pieces grilled sourdough bread, ½-inch thick
1 cup (or more) freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Add vinegar and water to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Break the eggs into the simmering vinegared water and poach for 4 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, and keep them warm.

Toss the asparagus in ¼ cup of the oil, mixed with the salt and pepper, and grill for 3 minutes (I like the asparagus to char a little). Transfer to a bowl, add the lemon juice, shallot, and the remaining olive oil. Toss well. Serve the asparagus on grilled bread with the poached eggs and lots of shaved Parmesan.


• Serve the asparagus with really soft scrambled eggs on grilled bread for breakfast. If you feel like treating yourself, add a slice or two of cured salmon.

• When you trim the woody ends off the asparagus, don't discard them. I usually save mine to toss into stock. Asparagus-flavored stock is especially great for a vegetarian risotto or asparagus soup. Store the asparagus stems tightly wrapped in the freezer until you're ready to make stock. They'll keep there for up to 8 months.

• Try roasting your asparagus to concentrate the flavors, or stir-fry it. Blanching is my least favorite way to cook asparagus because too much of the flavor leaches out into the blanching liquid.

Smoked Mussels and Potato Salad with Mustard Seeds

I am very fond of smoked fish and shellfish, probably because growing up in England, kippers and smoked oysters were considered a treat. I remember toasting bread over an open fire, then buttering and eating it with smoked oysters my first winter at school. I have been trying to recapture that taste ever since. This smoked mussel salad is a grown-up and more subtle version of that flavor. The mussels are steamed and smoked at the same time. They are sweet and delicate, a perfect foil for the nuttiness of the mustard seeds and the acidity of the lemons.

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons gold mustard seeds
2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
¼ cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
10 small Yukon gold potatoes, boiled until just tender and sliced
¾ cup Lapsang Souchong tea
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons smashed star anise
40 mussels, scrubbed, "beards" removed, and dried (see Options below)
1 bunch watercress sprigs for garnish

Toast the mustard seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until they start to pop, about 5 minutes. Transfer the seeds into a mixing bowl with the mayonnaise, capers, mustard, and juice and zest of lemon. Mix.

Add the sliced Yukon gold potatoes while they're still warm, to absorb the flavors of the mayonnaise mixture.

Line the bottom of a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid with two layers of aluminum foil. Spread the tea, brown sugar, and star anise over the foil. Place the mussels directly on the mixture and turn the heat to high. Once the mixture starts to smoke, after about 3 minutes, put the lid on, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, until all the mussels have opened. Remove the mussels (discarding any that haven't opened), shuck them, and reserve.

Just before serving, toss the mussels and any juices that have collected with the potato mixture. Serve with sprigs of watercress as a garnish.


• Try using smoked fish. An oily fish like bluefish is really delicious. You can use store-bought smoked fish, but it's easy to smoke your own. Just substitute fish for the mussels in the recipe.

• Smoked mussels or fish is delicious tossed with pasta and lots of lemon juice, mustard, and herbs for a quick salad.

• Or make a smoky fish mousse by pureeing smoked fish with a little cream cheese, lemon juice, and scallions as a spread for toasted bagels.

Salmon Sashimi Salad

This dish is a cross between sashimi and a salad. It makes a perfect summer lunch because the only cooking involved is steaming the sushi rice — everything else is chilled. Sushi rice is best eaten the day it is cooked. Refrigerated, it becomes hard, although I've been told that if you warm it in a microwave oven, it will soften again.

Makes 4 servings

1 cup diced avocado
½ cup diced cucumber
¼ cup Pickled Carrots (available in most Asian markets)
1 cup cooked sushi rice
4 ounces sushi-grade salmon, cut into ¼-inch slices (see Options below)
¼ cup grated daikon radish
2 tablespoons sambal (Indonesian
spice blend, available in most Asian markets)
2 scallions, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into ribbons
[Soy sauce and wasabi for dipping

Toss the avocado, cucumber, and carrots together in a medium bowl. Divide the rice among four serving bowls. Divide the salmon slices evenly among the bowls, draping them over the rice. Mix the grated daikon and sambal together, scatter a small spoonful of the mixture over each portion, and garnish with the scallion ribbons. Serve with the soy sauce and wasabi.


• Instead of salmon, use tuna, fluke, or your favorite sushi fish.

• Instead of raw fish, use poached shrimp, grilled tuna, or braised lobster tail meat.

Roasted Golden and Red Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Vinaigrette and Toasted Hazelnuts

I cannot understand why people claim they dislike beets. Beets are wonderful; they are sweet, earthy, and incredibly good for you. Roasting beets improves their flavor because it concentrates and caramelizes the sugars, but if you have to boil them, use the smallest quantity of water you can. Goat cheese and roasted beets complement each other very well, and hazelnuts beautifully accentuate the nuttiness of the beets. This salad is also really colorful and looks terrific on the plate.

If you live near a good farmers' market, you may be able to find Chioggia (or "candy cane") beets, which will make your salad even more festive.

Makes 4 servings

4 medium gold beets
4 medium red beets
¼ cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup soft goat cheese, such as chèvre
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cups mixed baby greens
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Toss the gold beets in half the canola oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Wrap all four beets together in aluminum foil, then place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the red beets. Bake all the beets for 30 to 45 minutes, or until you are able to pierce the beets through the foil easily with a sharp knife or a skewer.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them. This is easily done: Simply rub each beet with a kitchen towel or with your hands. Careful — the red beets will stain your kitchen towel as well as your hands. Try using extra-sturdy paper towels. I always work with the golden beets first so that they don't get similarly stained, and I keep the red and gold beets separate until assembling the salad. Cut all the peeled beets into wedges, toss them with the vinegar and olive oil, and set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise with half the goat cheese and the lemon juice. This dressing may be a little thick; if so, thin it down with a little cold water.


Excerpted from Everyday Asian by Patricia Yeo, Tom Steele, Alex Martinez. Copyright © 2005 Patricia Yeo and Tom Steele. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Patricia Yeo is the executive chef at Sapa in Manhattan and the former chef at both Pazo and the acclaimed three-star restaurant A/Z.

Tom Steele is the author of BURGERS with Rebecca Bent, among other collaborations. They both live in New York City.

Patricia Yeo is the executive chef at Sapa in Manhattan and the former chef at both Pazo and the acclaimed three-star restaurant A/Z. Her books include Everyday Asian and Patricia Yeo: Cooking from A to Z. She lives in New York City.

Tom Steele is a restaurant reviewer for Fodor’s New York and a cookbook writer whose titles include EVERYDAY ASIAN with Patricia Yeo, A GREAT AMERICAN COOK with Jonathan Waxman, and BURGERS with Rebecca Bent. He lives in New York City.

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