This is a simple dish, but it’s much greater than the sum of its parts. I love anything with pesto, but would have never thought to add spicy, citrusy yuzu kosho to it. Adapted from Donabe, I usually serve this with good-quality tinned sardines.
2 rice cups (1 1/2 cups) short-grain white rice, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 clove garlic
2 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon yuzu kosho
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the rice in a rice cooker according to directions.
Meanwhile, make the pesto: in a small saucepan, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat, stirring and watching carefully until pine nuts are lightly golden, about five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. In a food processor, combine 1 tablespoon of the pine nuts with the garlic, basil, olive oil, yuzu kosho, soy sauce, and lemon juice.
Once the rice has finished cooking, uncover and add the pesto, the remaining pine nuts, and the Parmesan cheese. Gently mix to combine and serve.
Noodles, chili sauce, and nut butters are an unrivaled trifecta. These spicy noodles are a perfect example — chewy udon, fiery gochujang, and nutty tahini make for an easy and delicious summer dish. Adapted from Bon Appetit, you can substitute the udon with ramen or lo mein, and feel free to replace the broccoli rabe with whatever is in season.
8–10 ounces udon noodles
1 tablespoon gochujang
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 bunch broccoli rabe, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Handful of torn basil leaves, plus sprigs for serving
Toasted sesame seeds, for serving
Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cool running water.
Whisk gochujang, soy sauce, brown sugar, tahini, sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl to combine; set sauce aside.
Heat avocado oil in a wok over medium-high. Add broccoli rabe and garlic; season with salt and lots of pepper. Cook, tossing often, until broccoli rabe stems are crisp-tender and leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add reserved sauce and cook, stirring often, until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Add noodles and a handful of basil and toss until sauce clings to noodles, about 1 minute.
Divide noodles among bowls and top with sesame seeds and more basil.
These are my OG, been-making-them-since-I-was-thirteen, classic spring rolls. Adapted from the legend himself (Martin Yan, obv), this is the spring roll recipe I still find myself going back to. They’re a bit of work but oh-so-worth it. I recommend Menlo brand spring roll wrappers for the crunchiest exterior.
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
4 ounces dried bean thread noodles
1 carrot, shredded
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
3 green onions, sliced
3/4 pound boneless chicken
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 tablespoon avocado oil
20 spring roll wrappers
Avocado oil for shallow-frying
Soak mushrooms in warm water to cover until softened, about 15 minutes; drain. Trim stems and thinly slice caps. Soak bean threads in warm water to cover until softened, about 15 minutes; drain. Cut bean thread noodles into 4-inch lengths. Combine mushrooms and bean thread noodles in a large bowl and add remaining filling ingredients; mix well.
Cut chicken into thin slices, about 2 inches long. Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon oil, swirling to coat sides. Add chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the chicken mixture and add to the bowl with the filling and mix.
To make each spring roll, place a wrapper on work surface with one side facing you. Place 3 tablespoons filling in a band along base of wrapper. Fold bottom over filling, then fold in left and right sides. Tightly roll up to completely enclose filling.
Heat oil (enough to be 1-inch deep) in a wok or frying pan to medium-high. Shallow-fry spring rolls, a few at a time, and cook, turning carefully occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
It’s eggplant season! Adapted from chef Joe Ogrodnek, this buttery, savory, and lime-heavy eggplant dish is one of my new favorites. I could eat this all summer.
4 medium Japanese eggplants (about 1 3/4 pound) 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the dressing: 6 tablespoons hot water 4 tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 cup fresh lime 1 teaspoon grated ginger 1 teaspoon grated garlic 1 serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped 1 (2-inch) piece lemongrass stalk, halved lengthwise and smashed 1 makrut lime leaf
Additional ingredients: 1/4 cup torn fresh basil, cilantro, and or mint, plus more for garnish 1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes 1/4 thinly sliced red onion 1/2 cup toasted chopped peanuts 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions 2 teaspoons crispy fried shallots 2 teaspoons fried garlic
1. Cook the eggplant: Working in batches, sear the eggplants in vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high until browned on all sides and tender. Set aside to cool slighly.
2. Whisk together 6 tablespoons hot water and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk in fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and chile. Add lemongrass and lime leaf.
3. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise (do not cut all the way through).
4. Place eggplant on a serving platter. Stuff eggplants evenly with herbs, radishes, and red onion. Drizzle 2 tablespoons dressing over each stuffed eggplant. Top evenly with peanuts, scallions, fried shallots, and fried garlic. Sprinkle with additional herbs. Serve warm or at room temperature.