I’ve read, and heard, about the Night Markets in Taiwan – streets full of vendors open and busy until late at night. . . including a great deal of street food. These Night Markets are also one of the inspirations for a festival called Lucky Rice in New York City, which (not a coincidence) has a new cookbook coming out soon and sent an advance copy to Bear Pond to review. Lucky Rice features “modern classics” from around Asia. You can read about the events they’ve organized here. We’ve got some modern classics on our own menu now for takeout.
Peppery Pork Buns: These buns use both black peppercorns and Szechuan pepper. The Szechuan pepper will make your mouth tingle and (for me) it changes how things taste to be more sour. If you don’t want your pork buns playing tricks on your senses, skip this dish. The sweet-soy dip they come with tones it down. They’re best reheated in an oven at 375 to be crispy on the outside. Easier if they’re room temperature when they go in.
Ma Po Tofu over Rice: It’s a spicy dish, but with a well rounded spiciness not just gratuitous heat. You can reheat in the microwave or saucepan (it may need a splash of water or wine in the saucepan to keep from burning on the bottom).
Dan Dan Noodles: Noodles with a soupy-sauce or saucy-soup pork topping (depending on how you look at it). Don’t overheat when you warm it up, to keep the noodles from getting soggy.
Korean Chicken Wings: A half dozen wings with a dipping sauce. You can reheat ideally in the oven in tinfoil, or the microwave.
Stir Fried Vegetables with Galangal-Coconut Sauce: Galangal is usually described as similar to ginger – it’s less bright, more pungent. Like ginger, it goes well with coconut. Stir fried vegetables are tricky to reheat (if you’re picky about your stir fry). In an ideal world you’d turn up the heat on a skillet and re-fry the vegetables real quick. Heat up the sauce separately and pour on top. Or if you aren’t feeling picky about the texture of your vegetables, microwave it.
Japanese Pancakes: Recognizing that I’m way too anxious about reheating vegetables, I’d added an age old solution to the problem: Japanese Pancakes (which I’ve also seen called Korean Pancakes). You turn the stir fry into a pancake, a quick visit to a hot skillet and it’s good to go. The galangal-coconut sauce works particularly well with these.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Kecap Manis Glaze: Kecap Manis is a sweet soy sauce, and in this case it’s being an Asian version of maple syrup. Another dish where doing something that keeps it crispy is ideal. You could throw these in a pan under a broiler really quickly ,or in a skillet. The goal is crispy outside, soft inside. Just crisp the outside or they’ll fall apart in the reheating.
Ginger Custard: This is a very (very) subtly sweet, soy milk based custard. A nice grown up dessert for midweek.
Red Bean Paste Cookies: Super sweet red bean paste and coconut flakes fill a pie dough crust in these pocket cookies.