From the Kitchen #1

A round up of recipes to try and foods to seek out.

Red curry-spiced kabocha soup with Thai basil pesto

This soup had the best red curry paste I’ve made from scratch, as well as a pretty decent Thai basil pesto that I whipped up on the fly. I wish I had written down the ingredients and amounts I used. Unfortunately, my general method for these things is indiscriminately throw stuff in bowl and pound aggresively. The pumpkin soup recipe is adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

Nhom bao

Buns from Battambang Market II

I found these pretty Cambodian-style steamed buns with sausage at Battambang Market II ($5 for 4). When photographing them, I wanted to see if capturing steam on film actually makes food sexier, the way it does in Olive Garden commercials. As you can see, what I wound up with was a blur that looks like I smeared my greasy fingers all over the lens.

Fried bananas with coconut rice and broiled grapefruit


Somehow, despite having cooked plantains countless times, it never occurred to me to deep fry slices of banana. After seeing this recipe from Saveur, I decided to give it a shot and, well, mind blown. Imagine soft, melty puddles of banana inside puffy batter shells. I ate them for breakfast with some sweetened coconut rice and grapefruit slices thrown under the broiler. If I had had some condensed milk on hand, I certainly would have drizzled it on top.



How I managed to make it this far in my food exploits without having ever heard of basterma, I don’t know. But I’m obsessed and think this might be my new favorite food. Although the etymology of basterma’s name hints at a relation to pastrami, it’s really more like a bresaola seasoned with all the best spices: paprika, cumin, garlic, and fenugreek. All other salted meats just seem dull and plain in comparison to me now.

At the moment, I’m tempted to get a hunk of beef and some berbere powder and make my own, with an Ethiopian slant. Can home curing your own beef be all that dangerous?

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