The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Asian

Tue Nov 4, 2014

Grilled Cabbage with Ginger-Miso Dressing

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Grilled Cabbage with Ginger-Miso Dressing

Unless it's turned into coleslaw, I can't say cabbage is a very attractive vegetable to me. I've had it in the back of my mind to try grilling cabbage for years, but all the recipes I came across relied on roasting it, with or without a stuffing, until tender. I see little to no appeal in mushy, soft cabbage, so it never popped out at something I should make over anything else. Then over at Serious Eats, Kenji did a post on grilling cabbage that kept it tender-crisp, had an excellent char, and paired it with a number of dressings I could totally get behind. Instantly cabbage turned from something to actively avoid into a dish I needed to grill as soon as possible, which is exactly what I did.

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Tue Sep 23, 2014

Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers

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Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers

If you're from New York, I doubt you need to hear another love story about Xi'an Famous Foods—a now prolific restaurant that made the cuisine of the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an fairly well known here. Still, I need to give full credit to them for igniting my love for the marriage of cumin and lamb. This pairing makes up most of their best dishes and are the ones I found myself ordering time and again in different forms under the flickering fluorescent lights in the subterranean Golden Mall in Flushing, Queen where they got their start. These particular spicy cumin lamb skewers are a direct influence of that, bringing together the flavors I'm now quite familiar with onto one easily grill-able stick.

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Tue Jun 17, 2014

Thai Spicy Duck Salad

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Thai Crispy Duck Salad

When it comes to the run-of-the-mill Thai restaurants, you can count on me being predictable—pad kee mao and fried spring rolls is my order of choice. At the more authentic Thai joints though, I go crazy for the smorgasbord of spicy dishes that showcase the deep complexity of Thai cuisine that can span sweet to sour to tangy to bright and so much more. The standard corner Thai restaurants never really seem to achieve this in a way that piques my taste buds, which is why I stick to the almost always fulfilling broad noodles with spicy basil. There is one dish though I've found to be fairly consistently on menus at all Thai joints that starts to get at this richer contrast of flavors—spicy duck salad.

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Tue Jun 3, 2014

Inihaw na Liempo

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Inihaw na Liempo

Going to my in-laws is like stepping into pork heaven. I didn't realize what an asset to my swine consumption marrying a Filipino would be, but now that I know, I highly recommend it—or at least befriending a Filipino family, especially around holiday time. My time spent in the muggy days in Houston are filled with tangy crispy fried spare ribs, crunchy pork belly, sweet tocino, tangy longaniza, and so many more gifts from the pig that the Filipinos have worked their magic on. So when looking for new pork adventures for myself, I tend to turn to Filipino dishes for inspiration and guidance. That's how I found Inihaw na liempo—grilled pork belly—which was another win for Filipino pork.

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Tue Feb 25, 2014

Smoked Char Siu Pork Shoulder Steaks

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Smoked Char Siu Pork Shoulder Steaks

If there's a defining attribute of New York City barbecue, it's the loss of definition. North Carolina has whole hog, Texas has brisket, Kansas City had ribs, and New York City has pitmasters who are trying their best to emulate all of those traditions, but at the same time, not feeling beholden to them in a way a Southern local pitmaster may feel. That means you can get pretty stellar pork, brisket, and ribs in the city, but on the menu you may find smoke meats you wouldn't not see normally, like lamb ribs, coriander pork steaks, pastrami, and more.

One joint that embodies this spirit more than most is Fletcher's in Gowanus, who proudly advertise they serve "Brooklyn Barbecue." Unfortunately I've only gotten there once, but that one time I went, among the standard spare ribs and brisket, my tray also had a pile of sliced char siu pork shoulder steak. This clash of Chinese and American influence left a strong impression on me—it was unique, it was delicious, and I knew I needed to try to make it myself.

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