Dan Dan Noodles

DANDAN NOODLES SERVES 4 AS A MEAL, OR 6 AS A SNACK  The Chinese word dandan derives from the name of the pole that street vendors traditionally carried over their shoulders while hawking bowls of noodles to pedestrians. The pole had a basket on either end— one to hold the noodles and the other for […]

Grilled Chicken Tsukune Sausage

GRILLED CHICKEN TSUKUNE SAUSAGE MAKES 12 SKEWERS Closet-size yakitori stalls (so small and casual that you might eat standing up) are part of the fabric of Japanese street food life. There you can order stick after stick of skewered chicken parts, including this tsukune sausage. Yakitori literally means “grilled chicken,” and in yakitori chicken culture, […]

Beef Satay

BEEF SATAY MAKES 32 SKEWERS, SERVES ABOUT 8 AS AN APPETIZER To me, the perfect street eat is something that you can hold in one hand, and meat-on-a-stick, or satay, certainly fits the bill. Though you’ll find a variety of meats in night markets (lamb is popular in Beijing, while offal like chicken hearts and […]

Hot and Sour Soup

HOT AND SOUR SOUP Suan La Tong SERVES 4 TO 6 Hot and sour soups are popular throughout Asia—from the “sour soups” (canh chua) of Vietnam to the tom yum of Thailand. However, thanks to Chinese restaurants, you can find a Westernized version of this soup (and an egg roll!) almost everywhere, best enjoyed with […]

Double-Boiled Chicken Soup

DOUBLE-BOILED CHICKEN SOUP MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART, SERVES 4 This soup is so intense, in terms of both its healing properties and its flavor, that I consider it more of a tonic than a broth. Because of the double-boiling method, the chicken is not submerged in water but rather slowly steams in its own juices. […]

Long Life “Supreme” Broth

LONG LIFE “SUPREME” BROTH MAKES 4 QUARTS, SERVES 8 Cantonese bone broths like this one can be used as a master stock for countless other soups, but they are also amazing on their own and renowned for their restorative properties. Also known as “long life soup,” these tonics are brewed with ancient Chinese “secret” ingredients—namely […]

Bubble Tea

BUBBLE TEA SERVES 4 The first time I had bubble tea was at a night market in Taipei, but since then the tapioca pearl tea craze has expanded into seemingly every nook and cranny—like fro-yo shops on caffeine. The pop culture sur- rounding bubble tea parlors is just as sugary, from the cute bleached blond […]

Tonkotsu Ramen

TONKOTSU RAMEN SERVES 8 The opposite of instant ramen, tonkotsu, this old-school milky pork bone–style broth takes some work and quite a lot of time. But don’t let that scare you away—it is well worth the effort. The collagen-rich broth really needs to cook for a good 12 hours to properly extract the milkiness of […]

Hawaiian Tuna Poke

HAWAIIAN TUNA POKE SERVES 6 AS AN APPETIZER One of Hawaii’s favorite fast foods, ready-made poke is available at most local delis. When we were on Kauai to celebrate my mother-in- law Joan’s seventieth birthday, one of our best meals was not at a fancy restaurant but at a small deli near Kilauea. Built on […]

Grilled Sardines in Soy Sauce

GRILLED SARDINES IN SOY SAUCE SERVES 6 Dried seafood snacks – from shredded squid to salted fish – are perhaps the Asian version of Western snacks like Pop-Tarts and popcorn. And at izakayas, little umami-packed fish like sardines are typical snack fare. Alongside edamame, karaage, and a bottle of beer, you’ll find plenty of these […]