Beet Green Ginger Stir-Fry

Beet Green Ginger Stir-Fry

What to do with beet greens? That is the question. The beauty about buying beetroots from the farmers markets or getting them in your CSA share is that they come with the lush leaves and stems still intact. I will then cut them off immediately so that the roots can be stored separately for a longer time, as I've learned, but what can I do with the leftover beet greens? That was one of the questions I asked Aarika Chilson of the blog Just Beet It when she agreed to help me learn more about beetroots as part of the Spring Discovery series. 

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Malaysian Beetroot Rendang

Malaysian Beetroot Rendang

If there's one thing I miss more than eating Malaysian food, it's hearing Malaysian food being prepared. The sizzle of garlic and onion in hot oil, the clanging of a Chinese metal spatula against the wok, and that conspicuous thump of a cleaver meeting a wood chopping block. Such is the soundtrack of a typical Malaysian kitchen. Add to that brilliant bursts of flames licking the sides of woks and you have a scene from a busy "daichow" (literally "big fry" in Cantonese) restaurant, like the one my dad used to cook in.

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Shiitake Mushroom and Potato Miso Stew + the Umami Factor

Shiitake Mushroom and Potato Miso Stew + the Umami Factor

You may have heard of something being described as having the "fifth taste" known as umami. You may even have tasted it before knowing there was a name for it. And, as I've just discovered, an online information center dedicated to it. Words often associated with this flavor are deep, savory, complex, meaty and pungent, and although I may not be able to string the perfect sentence to describe it, my Southeast Asian tongue knows it well and wants it. I know of two ingredients that can help me achieve the umami in my cooking: miso paste and dried shiitake mushrooms. They join the list of key ingredients in my Asian Kitchen Project series that let me cook with a twist of Asian flavor no matter where I am in the world.

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"Economy" Soy Sauce Stir-Fried Noodles + Chili Soy Sauce Dip

"Economy" Soy Sauce Stir-Fried Noodles + Chili Soy Sauce Dip

If I had to pick only one Asian ingredient to have in my kitchen, it would be soy sauce. I'll tell you why. To me, it's as important as salt, and acts like salt in cooking and as a condiment, but with an unmistakable punch of flavor that comes from fermented soybeans. As part of the March Asian Kitchen Project series, I've been sharing key ingredients I'm stocking my new kitchen pantry with that let me cook with a twist of Asian flavor no matter where I am in the world. I've previously written about using dried jujubesgoji berries and Chinese Five Spice in some of my favorite Eastern-Western fusion recipes, but soy sauce was absolutely the first thing I had to get when I moved from Southeast Asia to the US. 

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Einkorn Pizza for Birthday + a Video of Italy

Einkorn Pizza for Birthday + a Video of Italy

Around this time a year ago, we were stuffing our faces with freshly-baked, award-winning pizzas in a quirky little spot in Florence, Italy. It was David's birthday. We were joined by a couple of friends we just met at our Airbnb apartment, and we each ordered a pizza. For his birthday this year, we wanted pizza again and decided to whip some up in our kitchen. We made Neapolitan Pizza Margherita using einkorn flour, and it has a crispy-thin crust with minimal toppings in the colors of the Italian flag. 

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How WWOOFing Renewed My Love for Long Beans

How WWOOFing Renewed My Love for Long Beans

Every morning I get up before the sun and I'm out in the field by daybreak. I feed the cats and the chickens, and then dive straight into the work of the day, usually starting with seedling transplant. After receiving clear instructions from Michelle, my farm host, I dig small holes in the ground and fill them with baby kale/ beetroot/ lettuce/ spinach. "Grow," I whisper, "you better grow."

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