Three Asian-American Chefs Share Recipes for Meaningful Dishes

American chefs of Asian descent are changing the way we eat, reclaiming the ingredients and flavors of their childhoods and making of them a new cuisine. We asked three to share recipes that speak to their experience of growing up in two cultures: Angela Dimayuga, the daughter of Filipino immigrants and, until recently, executive chef of the eclectic Mission Chinese Food in New York; Diep Tran, the owner of Good Girl Dinette, a Vietnamese diner in Highland Park, Los Angeles, whose family came to the U.S. as refugees from Saigon; and the Korean-born Deuki Hong, who spent his childhood in Texas, Alabama and New Jersey and now runs the Korean fried-chicken pop-up Sunday Bird in the back of a bubble-tea shop in San Francisco.

The former chef of Mission Chinese Food in New York describes her take on garlic fried rice, a traditional Filipino breakfast staple.Published OnCreditImage by Anthony Cotsifas

Shiso Fried Rice

Angela Dimayuga, formerly of Mission Chinese Food

In this vivid and deceptively simple dish, Dimayuga finds unexpected kinship between the Filipino breakfast tradition of fried rice with smashed garlic; a memory of umeshiso hand rolls at the end of a Japanese omakase; purple sweet potatoes in a temple meal by the Korean Buddhist nun Jeong Kwan; and, for the regal plating, a book of 17th-century banquets in honor of Queen Christina of Sweden.

“An herb-forward garlic fried rice with pops of sour notes from umeboshi, or pickled Japanese plums. Using a garlic butter, quickly fry jasmine rice with purple sweet potatoes, and garnish with lots of shiso, umeboshi and cucumber. The base of this dish is inspired by Filipino garlic fried rice which is usually a breakfast staple using day-old rice. It is also inspired by two favorites: the shiso fried rice at En Brasserie in New York, and umeshiso hand rolls which are typically something I order at the end of a sushi omakase meal.” — Angela Dimayuga

CreditAnthony Cotsifas

∙ 2 tablespoons butter

∙ 1 piece garlic, smashed

∙ ½ purple sweet potato, steamed, and crumbled into chunks

∙ 1 quart steamed jasmine rice

∙ 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil

∙ 6 pieces umeboshi, pitted and chopped into a coarse paste

∙ 12 shiso leaves, finely julienned into hairs

∙ ¼ cucumber, julienned

∙ 1 tablespoon fried garlic

∙ Salt to taste

1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the garlic. Cook on low until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. In a hot wok or large sauté pan, add grapeseed oil and butter and soften…

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