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#YummiestAsianFood

If you’re like us, the recent situation may have you turning your kitchen upside down to replicate some of your favourite dishes. Perhaps you can’t visit your favourite restaurant as often as you did in the past. Or you may have unearthed prized family recipes to satisfy a longing for that familiar taste. So you’ve been cooking up a storm! And we’re guessing your smartphone is bursting with snaps of your creations that you’re dying to share with the rest of the world! And why not? Food is best enjoyed when shared.

Because of this we’re starting #YummiestAsianFood. 

We’d like to make space in our social media channels for some of your best Pan-Asian food creations. Send us a really cool photo of an Pan-Asian dish you made and include a short description. Tell us something interesting about the dish! What is it called? Is it something that means a lot to you? It may be something comforting (we could all use that right now). Is it something that reminds you of some crazy, fun and therefore unforgettable event? Or does the dish remind you of someone? Tell us! If you’d like to share the recipe to the rest of our followers, write it in there, too! Who knows? We may turn this into a book someday and your contributions may be part of it.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Simply send us a photo of an Asian dish you made while sheltering-in-place.

2) Include a short description, no more than 200 words. Don’t forget to include your FB or Insta or Twitter accounts. 

3) Send it to: office.vahms@gmail.com

4) And stay tuned to explorASIAN.org on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see whether we’ve selected your entry for the week!

It’s that easy! 

Send us your Pan-Asian food creations, and we’ll fill our streams with appetizing images and increase awareness about the deliciously diverse cuisines from Asia!


SUBMISSIONS:

Submitted by Jasper Sloan Yip:

These days, I try to visit my parents once a week, usually in the evenings at the end of my workday. They have a porch large enough for many people to sit comfortably while still maintaining a safe distance. Yesterday I happened to visit as my father was cooking, and since I had yet to eat, I stayed for an impromptu meal. Sometimes you don’t realize you miss something until it returns to you. This was true for me last night as I tucked into my dinner. 

When I was growing up, My father did most of the cooking at our home, and that meant eating a lot of Chinese food. He is a natural cook, and as such, he has no need for recipes. I have become much the same in my own cooking, and can trace this facet of my practice, among many others, back to him. The downside is that I have tried many times to recreate his food without success. His fried rice, in particular, has frustrated me for years. He has walked me through it at least twice, which is the closest I will ever come to getting a recipe, and still it never quite turns out. I suppose food is like that. Perhaps his food is irreplicable not for any lack of recipe or technique, but because what I’m actually trying to replicate is the memory of my father’s cooking and the experience of being with my family in our kitchen, rather than the food itself. 

Last night, my father prepared braised short ribs in black bean sauce, fried tofu with gai lan, and beef with snow peas and water chestnuts. I didn’t ask him for a recipe, I just enjoyed the meal with my family. #YummiestAsianFood 


Submitted by Leticia Sanchez:

My dear next-door neighbors, a very friendly Filipino family, enjoy gathering with friends and sharing their stories about the beautiful places in the Philippines. Of course, food is at the center of all the conversations. As for me, our friendship of around fourteen years is always a pleasurable learning experience and one that involves the discovery of authentic Filipino cuisine. You could say that living in Vancouver, you can have delicious Filipino food any time, but nothing compares with their homemade meals.

When it comes to their cooking, I cannot decide who cooks the best because while Cora is great in the kitchen, her husband is a very good cook when barbequed meat is the main dish for dinner. His fish, steak, and chicken are always marinated with his favourite Filipino spices which give the meat an exquisite flavour and tenderness. Cora prefers to cook curries with vegetables and meat, delicious pastries, seafood and noodles, and a soup I still have not been able to exactly know what it is made of. I must say though, that I am the luckiest neighbour, because sometimes Cora knocks at my door with a delicious meal on her hands and a big smile.

This week Cora surprised me with some Filipino style braised chicken marinated in soy sauce, citrus juice, brown sugar, fresh garlic, and secret spices. The other dish is what Cora cooks on regular days, a chicken afritada or afritadang manok, which is a Filipino chicken stew with potatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, green peas, onion, garlic, sugar, and a dash of curry powder. A simple dish, but perfect when eaten warm and with white rice. All these years, I still haven’t mastered Filipino cooking, but thanks to my neighbours, I get to enjoy Filipino food once in a while.


Submitted by Jing Palad:

I’ve moved around a lot and I’ve mastered a few tricks to instantly
feel at home in a new city or country. One of my favourites is cooking
Sinigang, a Filipino favourite. The smell of its steamy sour soup
along with the taste of Bagoong with hot chilli pepper takes me right
back to when my mom first taught me to make this dish. It’s almost
like the culinary version of a warm, happy hug
🤗

#YummiestAsianFood
#FilipinoFood
#Sinigang
#Bagoong
@jingchronicles


Submitted by Cosmo Kwan:

This recipe comes from our friend Cosmo Kwan, who has shared his recipe for Sticky Rice Wrapped with Bamboo Leaves (Joong in Cantonese) or (Zongzi in Mandarin).

The main ingredients are: Bamboo leaves, glutinous rice (sweet rice), Chinese sausage, peanuts (optional), lean pork, Chinese mushrooms (shiitake), salted egg, shallots, mung beans (optional).

The Joong dish is very meaningful and brings back memories and warmth from happy times. I grew up learning how to prepare this dish from watching my maternal grandma (Paw Paw) from the age of 7 years old onward. I enjoyed the traditional festival for making these Joong yearly. It was not easy to prepare this dish. It was lot of work to prep and it takes a long time. It was pretty much a whole entire day for completing this, not including the pre-preparations the day before. Whenever I make this special dish, I think of how much I miss my grandma, so much, which has been over 37 years ago.


Submitted by Winnie L. Cheung:

Have fun making your own Cong You Bing!

My first taste of this traditional Shanghai breakfast item was on my way to grade school on a blustery winter day. Our school was situated halfway up a mountain on a steep slope in Hong Kong. On one of those unusually cold mornings when every step forward was a struggle (because the wind was blowing hard from the mountain), we had to turn our backs to walk backwards up the slope against the unrelenting gusts. My companion suggested we take a little detour to check out a corner store selling Shanghai style breakfast: hot soy milk and all kinds of piping hot pastries and sticky rice rolls. The chef was just churning out these savoury pancakes cut out into big triangles from a big flat round plate. We each had a big wedge of this piping hot pizza-size flat bread called Shanghai Cong You Bing. It was divinely chewy, flaky, and heavenly with lots of spring onion. And it was filling too! It warmed both my body and soul. I felt fortified for the struggle uphill, and started my day at school with a sense of gratitude.

When I grew up and started to seek out all the culinary delights from around the world, I would always try out different kinds of flat bread and pancakes on the menus. Nothing beats the folksy type of simple Cong You Bing that I was introduced to half a century ago. During COVID-19 isolation, like most people I spend more time in the kitchen. After experimenting with the dough and different recipes, I finally hit it right. Here’s the magic of turning the simple dough into the heavenly Cong You Bing that I can’t get from the restaurants:

Mix flour with water and knead. Rest dough for 20 minutes. Roll it out into a circular piece, spray it with oil and sprinkle it with salt and plenty of spring onion (chopped). Roll it into a tube and twist it like a snail. Rest for 20 minutes and flatten it into a thick cake. Add oil to the pan, brown both sides and cover it until done. There are lots of variations between steps, but you’ll experiment until you get the texture and taste you prefer. That’s the magic which one has to discover by trying. Have fun making your own Cong You Bing!



Submitted by Yvette Alegre:

As a predominantly Catholic nation, Lent (and the Easter to follow) is a very important season in the Philippine calendar. In its observance, many Filipinos will abstain from meat every Friday (at the minimum) during the 40-day Lent. 

It wouldn’t be a surprise (or actually, one would expect!) to see a bowl of mongo soup paired with salty fish on the dinner table during Friday Lent. And of course – the white rice! (To the uninitiated, the dish is similar to split pea soup paired with salty sausage or ham.)

The simplicity and humility of the dish (read: cheap) is said to reflect the spirit of sacrifice that goes with the season. Lent or not, this dish combo is a staple on the Filipino table. And it doesn’t have to be on a Friday!