Cold, wet, windy, overcast January is now one of my favorite months of the year. I know, sounds crazy, right? I can hardly believe it myself.
A couple of years ago during the Christmas merriment, I was bracing myself for the inevitable letdown of January and the funky monkey blues that usually accompanied that darkest of months. Resisting a downward spiral, I looked for a remedy.
Finally it hit me. Dive in and learn something new. Get inspired. Get creative. Get happy. And share the spirit of renewal and adventure with others who might also have the dreaded winter blues.
So now, January is officially the month I give myself to explore the culinary traditions that sat on the back burner as I spent most of my adult life mining and teaching the techniques and traditions of France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and South America.
January is now all about the cuisines of Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Northern China, Japan, Korea, and The Philippines, as well as Asian-influenced fusion dishes from creative cooks in America. In other words, any and all dishes even remotely Asian in flavor and technique.
Creativity, learning, and bold, exciting flavor are my goals, not authenticity. Part of the fun is indulging in new Asian cookbooks in preparation for this grand adventure each year, and I plan to share ideas from the best of these with you.
And of course eating at the many Asian restaurants, cafes, and food carts in weird and wonderful Portland, Oregon, which has become a culinary hotbed.
But before we start talking about the new dishes planned for the weeks ahead, here’s a look at all the absolutely delicious Asian-style dishes I’ve created so far.
Asian Inspired Dishes from LunaCafe
- Vietnamese Crispy Crepes (Banh Xeo)
- Chinese Good Fortune Cookies
- Asian Tacos with Prawn & Shiitake Filling & Cabbage Slaw
- Home-Style Chinese Fried Rice
- Asian Potsticker Dough (for Jiaozi & Gyoza Dumplings)
- Phat Thai (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Tamarind Sauce, Peanuts & Lime)
- Pork & Prawn Potstickers (aka Asian Dumplings)
- Almost Luc Lac Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
- Asian Pancakes (Beijing Pancakes)
- Chinese Cracker Jacks
- Golden Fried Garlic Sesame Noodles
- Pok Pok’s World Famous Vietnamese Chicken Wings
LunaCafe Asian-Inspired Restaurant Reviews
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- No. 18: Complex Systems in Your Mouth | The Materialist Papers
- Barbara Tropp | Askmar Publishing
- Reaching for the Moon at China Moon Café | San Francisco Chronicle
- Grant Achatz on Next and Their Modern Chinese Menu | Fine Dining Lovers
- Barbara Tropp, Interpreter of Chinese Cooking | Chicago Tribune
Copyright 2013 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.