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

Asian

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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Tue Feb 18, 2014

Thai Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

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Thai Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

I can totally get behind a beef satay—thinly sliced, marinated flank steak becomes incredibly delicious when well seared over a scorching fire—unfortunately I can't say the same for chicken satay. Sure, the components of the marinade are more noticeable on chicken, but it's the lack of flavor and fat in the meat itself that makes it comparatively flavorless and, all too often, dry. So I approached making this Thai chicken satay with some low expectations, but luckily the final product left me pleasantly surprised.

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Tue Jan 21, 2014

Filipino Chicken Adobo Wings

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Filipino Adobo Chicken Wings

My gateway food into Filipino cuisine was chicken adobo. In the early years of dating my wife (a Filipina), the bright red meats, chocolate laden rice, fried pork knuckles, and other traditional dishes served to me were hard pills to swallow as I was trying to navigate a way into liking Filipino food. Back then I was not an adventurous eater, so I needed something familiar enough that I would want to eat, and that came in the form of chicken adobo.

This dish is comprised of chicken pieces simmered in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaf, and black pepper. It's simple, which made it appealing, but also provided a taste of the garlicky and sour flavors that are a common part of the Filipino territory. From that singular dish, I opened up and have embraced the food culture of this Southeast Asian nation. Chicken adobo has actually become one dish I rarely eat anymore—why get flabby chicken when you can have crackling lechon kawali or sweet barbecue—so I thought it was time to get back to a first love and see how I could translate into chicken wings.

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