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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for International Foods

RECIPE: Tunisian Chickpea Soup (Leblebi)

This recipe came to us from our friends at Rancho Gordo, a great purveyor of heirloom beans.

In Tunisia, chickpea soup is a street food, served as a hearty breakfast to men on their way to work. But you can garnish it and serve it at any meal.

Middle Eastern cookbook author Aglaia Kremezi’s advises:

“Leblebi is yet another ingenious combination of legumes and all kinds of readily available vegetables, herbs, and spices that create an irresistibly satisfying dish. Slowly cooking the chickpeas in the oven, inside a clay pot, as Paula Wolfert suggests, makes a wonderfully flavored, silky base. But precooked frozen chickpeas, simmered briefly with garlic in their broth, will make excellent leblebi, flavored with homemade h’rous and sprinkled with Aegean herb and hot pepper mix.”

Take a look at Aglaia Kremezi’s Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts.


A note about the chickpeas: Don’t use them from a can, as easy as it is. Cooking them from scratch makes a huge difference. You can make them ahead of time, refrigerate, and reheat them when you want to serve your soup.

Ingredients For 6-8 Servings



Eat more beans and legumes for the new year. They’re high quality, inexpensive protein. Photo courtesy Stewart, Tabori and Chang.

  • ½ pound (225 g) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked overnight in water to cover with a pinch of baking soda added
  • 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth or water, plus more as needed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
    Toppings Per Person

  • 1 poached egg*
  • ½ cup (about 50 g) cubed day-old, whole-wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon harissa, thinned with some water
  • 1 sun-dried tomato, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained
  • Diced roasted red or green bell peppers (optional)
  • 1 pinch of ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 5 black olives, preferably Kalamata
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • Good, fruity olive oil
  • 1 lemon wedge
    *If you don’t like runny poached eggs, substitute chopped or sliced hard-boiled eggs.



    More ways to eat the better-for-you Mediterranean diet. Photo courtesy Stewart, Tabori and Chang.



    Let people customize their soup garnishes. Select a variety from the following, and place them in ramekins or small bowls:

  • Canned tuna fish, flaked
  • Coarse sea salt or flaked salt
  • Croutons/crostini
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • Green and red bell peppers, chopped
  • Lemon wedges
  • Pickled turnips
  • Preserved lemons, sliced
  • Scallions, thinly sliced


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 225°F (110°C). Drain the soaked chickpeas and place them in a clay casserole with a lid (a Dutch oven will work, too). Add the broth, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, and extra broth as needed to cover the chickpeas by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, and place in the oven for at least 3 hours, until the chickpeas are soft and silky. (Note from Rancho Gordo: “Our chickpeas are so fresh, it may not take anywhere near this long to cook. Check frequently after about an hour.”)

    You can make the soup up to this point and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to serve…

    2. REHEAT the chickpeas in their liquid while you poach the eggs. You should have one egg for each bowl of soup.

    3. POACH the eggs with this method from Paula Wolfert: Fill a bowl with ice water. In a pan of boiling water, add the eggs, still in their shells. Cover with the lid and turn off the heat. After 6 minutes, slip the eggs into the ice water to cool. Once they are cool, peel them carefully.

    4. PLACE a few cubes of bread in the bottom of a bowl and cover with some of the chickpeas and their cooking liquid. Set an egg on top and cut it so that the yolk runs. Drizzle some harissa over the top, add sun-dried tomato and roasted pepper (if using), and sprinkle with the cumin and black pepper. Top with olives and capers. Drizzle good, fruity olive oil on top and squeeze the lemon wedge over the soup. Repeat for each serving.



    RECIPE: Green Tea Rice

    If you like green tea, have you ever tried cooking with it? An easy way to start is with this Green Tea Rice recipe from Bee Yinn Low of Rasa Malaysia, a website that features easy Asian recipes.

    The recipe illustrates how green tea is not just for drinking but for adding flavor and nutritional benefits (antioxidants!) to everyday dishes.

    Bee Yinn Low uses Oi Ocha brand’s shincha tea in her cookng. Shincha is the year’s first harvest of green tea, which begins in early April. The young leaves used to brew shincha tea has even more benefits than other green teas, the result of wintertime dormancy. They deliver smooth umami flavor plus four times the amount of the amino acid L-theanine, higher concentrations of catechin antioxidants and vitamin C. It’s also lower in caffeine than regular green tea, with a subtle sweetness attributed to the higher content of L-theanine and the lower content of caffeine.

    In Japanese, “shin” means new and “cha” means tea. The tea is available for only a few months a year, but is still available on and from the manufacturer, Think it as the summer ale or Beaujolais Nouveau of green tea.



    Green tea rice. Photo courtesy Rasa Malaysia.



    Shincha green tea. Photo courtesy Oi-Ocha |



    Prep time is 5 Minutes, cook time is 10 minutes.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1 cup cooked steamed rice (we prefer jasmine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup shincha (or other plain green tea)
  • Garnish: thinly sliced scallions
  • Garnish: 1/2 teaspoon toasted white and black sesame seeds


    1. BRING the green tea to simmer in a small sauce pan. Add the salt and turn off the heat.

    2. PLACE the steamed rice in a large shallow bowl. Top with the scallions and sesame seeds. Pour the green tea over the rice and serve immediately.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Find Healthier Versions Of Your Favorite Recipes


    Skinny enchiladas: great flavor with lower calories and cholesterol. Photo courtesy Denise Austin.


    As we were writing this, we heard two television newscasters discussing their diet resolutions for 2015.

    “I lasted five minutes into the Rose Bowl,” said one. “I made it to yesterday [January 2nd]”, said the other.

    Sure, it’s tough to diet. But on a daily basis, it’s easy to downsize the calories and saturated fat. If you must have Fettuccine Alfredo or cheesecake, look for Cooking Light-style alternatives to your favorite dishes, from Fettuccine Alfredo to cheesecake.

    Here are two Mexican favorites “downsized’ by health and fitness expert Denise Austin, who debuted a new online diet and fitness program this month. Try them, and if they please your palate, look for more “skinny” versions.



  • 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder (use half ancho chili powder for a smokier flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked skinless boneless chicken breast, shredded
  • 3 cups loosely packed spinach, roughly chopped
  • 8 organic corn tortillas
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with oil spray.

    2. HEAT the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent and very soft, about 7 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth, and salt and cook until hot, 3 to 5 minutes.

    3. RESERVE 3/4 cup of the sauce. Add the chicken and spinach to the remaining sauce and cook until the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

    4. WRAP the tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for 30 to 60 seconds to heat through.

    5. DIVIDE the chicken filling evenly between the 8 tortillas. Roll the tortillas and arrange them seam sides down in the baking dish. Spread the reserved 3/4 cup sauce evenly over the tortillas and top with the cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and broil the top for 3 to 5 minutes to brown the cheese.

    6. TOP each serving (2 enchiladas) with 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt and scallions.

    Calories per serving: 510.




  • 20 organic corn tortilla chips (if following gluten-free diet, check label to ensure chips are gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 cups vegetarian chili
    For The Vegetarian Chili

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1 cup tomato juice


    Skinny nachos amp up the flavor with spices. Photo courtesy Denise Austin.

  • 1 cup cooked black, pinto, or red kidney beans (if using canned, choose no-salt-added or low-sodium beans and rinse and drain well before use)

    Preparation: Nachos

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

    2. ARRANGE the tortilla chips in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is just melted.

    3. SPRINKLE the tomato, olives, and scallion evenly over the nachos. Divide into 2 equal portions and serve each portion with 2 cups Vegetarian Chili topped with 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt.


    Preparation: Chili

    1. HEAT the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.

    2. ADD the onions, carrot, cilantro, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir well and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.

    3. ADD the tomato juice and beans. Simmer for 10 minutes.

    Calories per serving: 430.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Lettuce Wraps

    We love to start the new year with lettuce wraps instead of bread-based sandwiches.

  • If you use the right lettuce—a soft variety like butter or bibb lettuce—you can roll the filling like a burrito.
  • If you prefer a crunchier lettuce like romaine, you can fill the leaves boat-style; or you can create a lettuce cup and serve the filling salad-style.
    Here are two variations on a similar recipe—Asian turkey wraps—from Jennie-O, a specialist in turkey products from ground to whole to burgers and bacon.

    You can substitute your meat of choice (it’s a great way to use up leftovers) or create vegetarian versions.

    The first recipe is simpler in flavor profile, and uses ground turkey cooked from scratch. The second recipe is more complex in flavor, and uses leftover roast turkey.


  • 1 package (20 ounces) lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ cup sweet and spicy hot pepper sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 12 butter lettuce leaves


    Chinese lettuce wraps with turkey, flavored with hoisin sauce, soy sauce and hot sauce. Photo courtesy Jennie-O.

    *Tabasco makes a sweet and spicy version of its original hot sauce. It’s much milder than original Tabasco: (100-600 on the Scoville Heat Scale as opposed to 2500-5000 for original Tabasco. There are other brands of “sweet heat,” including Sweet Sunshine, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.


    1. COOK the turkey as specified on the package. (Always cook turkey to well-done, 165°F, as measured by a meat thermometer.)

    1. HEAT the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes or until they begin to brown. Mix in the turkey, sweet and spicy pepper sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and cucumber. Heat through.

    3. MAKE the wraps: Spoon the turkey mixture onto lettuce leaves and the wrap leaves around filling.



    Turkey wraps with the filling spooned into a lettuce cup, salad style. Photo courtesy Jennie-O.



    This recipe uses leftover cooked turkey, although you can cook raw, ground turkey as in the previous recipe. There are more ingredients, resulting in more authentic, complex flavors.

    The reason this is a “Thai” wrap instead of a “Chinese” wrap is the Thai cuisine ingredients and seasonings: lime juice, grated ginger, fresh mint and cilantro, shredded carrots, fish sauce and sweet chili sauce.

    Prep time is less than 15 minutes; total time is less than 30 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2½ cups shredded leftover cooked turkey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (here’s an easy recipe if you don’t want to buy it)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ¾ cup coarsely shredded carrot
  • 8 large butter lettuce leaves
  • ¼ cup peanuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

    1. COMBINE the onion and lime juice in small bowl; let stand 15 minutes.

    2. HEAT a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, ginger and garlic. Cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat.

    3. COMBINE the onion mixture, turkey, mint, cilantro, sauces and carrot in large bowl. Spoon the turkey mixture into each lettuce leaf and sprinkle with peanuts.

    Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet-and-pungent condiment that’s used in Asia much the way we use barbecue sauce (but the taste is completely different). It can be used to coat meat and poultry prior to cooking, it can be stirred into dishes and, as in the case of Peking Duck, it can be used as the principal condiment—a very elegant “ketchup.”

    The flavor of hoisin sauce has always seemed pruny-plummy to us (in the sense of a sweet fruitiness of roasted plums). In fact, recipes for a hoisin sauce substitute can include prunes.

    However, there’s no fruit in traditional hoisin sauce; unless you count a touch of chiles, which are, by botanical definition, fruits. The base of hoisin sauce is soybean paste, which is flavored with garlic, vinegar and sometimes some other spices. The resulting sweet-and-spicy paste is extremely flavorful and may overwhelm people who try it the first time. But keep trying; you’ll learn to love it.



    RECIPE: Japanese Chicken Noodle Soup

    Today is National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day, honoring a series of books that have been warming hearts for twenty years with their inspirational stories.

    While some might use the day to feed the soul, we’re doing some traditional feeding with a twist on chicken noodle soup: Japanese chicken soup from Haru restaurant in New York City.

    Udon is a thick wheat flour noodle of Japanese cuisine, typically served in hot chicken broth.


    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 5-1/2 cups chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • 8 ounces boneless chicken breast, cut into slivers
  • 4 medium-sized shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 scallions, julienned into two-inch pieces
  • 4 handfuls baby or regular spinach, stems discarded
  • 1 package dried or frozen udon noodles
  • 1 tablespoon hot sesame oil


    The Japanese version of chicken noodle soup. Photo courtesy Haru Restaurant | NYC.



    1. COMBINE the stock, soy sauce and mirin in a medium saucepan over high heat, and bring to boil. Lower the heat and add the chicken and mushrooms. Simmer 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. In the meantime…

    2. BOIL the noodles per package instructions. Drain and split evenly between four bowls. Ladle the hot broth, chicken and vegetables into each bowl.

    3. DRIZZLE some in sesame oil and garnish with scallions. Serve immediately.



    RECIPE: Churros With Three Chile Mole Fondue

    Fondue with a south-of-the-border accent.
    Photo courtesy McCormick.


    For Dia de los Muertos, celebrated today and tomorrow, serve something with a south-of-the-border theme. We’ve got an exciting chile mole fondue; use churros (South American crullers) for dipping.

    This recipe, uses three types of chilies—guajillo, chilies de arbol and chipotle—to give this Mexican-inspired dessert fondue a smoky kick. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate, nutty peanut butter and warm cinnamon make it a luscious complement to churros, fresh fruit or assorted cookies. You can also try pumpkin tortilla chips, which have matching spices and a touch of sweetness.

    Here’s a recipe to make your own churros. You can buy them in Latin American grocery stores.

    Note that the serving size in this recipe (which is from McCormick) is 2 tablespoons. If you want a larger portion, double the recipe.


  • 4 large dried guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 4 dried chilies de arbol, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap or dark rum
  • 4 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ground chipotle
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed, toasted


    1. HEAT a medium saucepan on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the chiles; toast 30 seconds per side or until they begin to blister and change color slightly.

    2. LET the saucepan cool slightly. Add 2 cups water to cover the chiles and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer 30 minutes until the chiles soften.

    3. REMOVE the chiles with kitchen tongs to a blender container. Add 1/2 cup chile soaking liquid from the saucepan; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth. Discard the remaining soaking liquid in the saucepan.

    4. STRAIN the chile purée through a large mesh strainer into the saucepan. Stir in the cream and corn syrup. Bring just to boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

    5. ADD the remaining ingredients; stir until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Garnish with toasted sesame seed.



    Homemade churros. Photo courtesy



    Since pre-Colombian times, Mexicans have celebrated El Día de los Muertos, a ritual in which the living remember their departed relatives. From October 31 through November 2, graves are tended and decorated with ofrendas, offerings, and families expect a visit from loved ones who have passed.

    Ofrendas dedicated to the deceased, usually foods and beverages, are also put in homes on elaborately decorated altars with glowing votive candles, photos, chocolate and sugar skull heads (calaveritas).



    TIP OF THE DAY: Vadouvan


    This simple blend, from,
    contains only four ingredients: cumin, garlic,
    fenugreek and onion.


    We must admit, this was a new one for us. We received a recipe for deviled eggs for our consideration. One of the ingredients: vadouvan.

    Vadou-what? We had to look it up.

    Vadouvan, also called French curry, is a French interpretation of an Indian masala that mixes cardamom, coriander, cumin, curry, curry leaves, fenugreek, garlic, marash chiles, mustard seeds and roasted onion, among other ingredients. Its flavor is more familiar to Western palates than many Indian spice mixtures.

    A key difference is in dried onions or shallots. The spice is thought to have originated due to French colonial influence in the Puducherry region of India. [Source: Wikipedia]

    Use it in place of curry powder on fish, lamb, chicken, pork, sauces, stews, soups and vegetables. It’s a delicious pairing with dairy, potatoes, starchy grains and anything grilled.

    Give a tin or jar as a holiday gift to your favorite cooks. There’s an attractive tin for $8.32 on Amazon, with free shipping on orders over $35. (Tins are preferable to jars, since light is one of the factors that reduces the potency of the spice, along with proximity to heat and moisture.)



    Masala or massala is a South Asian term for a spice mix or a seasoning of any sort. It is used extensively in the cuisines of Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

    The word is of Arabic origin (maslahah), originally meaning “a thing which is good and right.”

    • Masala refers to any fragrant spice blend. It can be wet (a paste) or dry (a blend of dried—and usually dry-roasted—often toasted and ground spices). The pastes frequently include fresh ingredients like chiles, cilantro, garlic, ginger, mint, onion and tomato, along with dried spices and oil. Dishes made with such pastes sometimes have “masala” in their names, such as Chicken Tikka Masala and Vindaloo Masala.
    • Garam masala refers to dry spice blends. There are many variations, from region to region and cook to cook (examples: Tandoori masala, chatt masala and even panch phoron, the Bengali five-spice blend). Popular ingredients include bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, nigella and nutmeg/mace and pepper.


    Masala cauliflower. Photo courtesy The Paper Chef.

    It’s time to spice things up!



    TIP OF THE DAY: Have A Temaki Party

    What’s a temakeria?

    It’s a fast-casual style eatery featuring temaki, the made-to-order, cone-shaped “hand roll” sushi. Rice, raw fish and vegetables are wrapped in a sheet of nori, seaweed that pressed into thin sheets.

    In the case of Uma Temakeria, newly opened in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan (64 Seventh Avenue at 14th Street), the soy sauce and wasabi traditionally served at sushi bars is replaced with a choice of the chef’s special sauces.

    Beer, wine and saké, plus tea and soft drinks, are served.

    Uma implies “delicious” in Japanese, and this idea is totally uma—a healthful, lower calorie alternative to fast food. We love it, and hope there’s an Uma Temakeria in our neighborhood soon!

    Uma Temakeria (pronounced OOH-mah teh-ma-ka-REE-ah) is the first “fast-fine” sushi eatery to open in the U.S., inspired by the temakeria trend in Brazil, which began in the early 2000s in beachfront neighborhoods such as Leblon and Ipanema.

    Bringing the concept to the U.S. is Cynthia Kueppers, who left Wall Street to create her vision. All ingredients, including the seafood, are responsibly-sourced, fusing a trend that is growing among American consumers.

    You enter the bright space, roomy by Manhattan standards, and go to the counter, where the temaki of your choice are quickly made to order. You can take a seat to dine, or take your temaki to go.



    Tofu temaki, one of the vegetarian choices. Just roll and eat! Photo courtesy Uma Temakeria | NYC.


    What’s on the menu? First, there are Chef’s Temaki from Michelin-starred Executive Chef Chris Jaeckle (formerly of Ai Fiori, Morimoto and other great eateries such as Eleven Madison Park, Tabla and An American Place), with your choice of white or brown rice:

  • Tsumi Tuna Temaki: tuna and green apple in wasabi ginger sauce
  • Isara Salmon Temaki: salmon and seaweed salad with creamy miso sauce
  • Citera Tofu Temaki: red pepper and seasonal pickle in zesty citrus sauce
  • Terramaki: seaweed salad, daikon, carrot, avocado and sesame seeds with spicy mayonnaise
  • Fish ‘N Chips: the seasonal special, currently fried fluke, celery and potato chip crunch with tartar sauce


    Tuna and salmon rolls. Photo courtesy Uma
    Temakeria | NYC.


    Prefer a custom temaki? The attractive, enthusiastic counter staff are eager to roll whatever you’d like. Combine your rice with:

  • Protein: Atlantic salmon, blue swimmer crab, marinated tofu, yellowfin tuna or seasonal fish
  • Vegetables: carrot, celery, cucumber, daikon, red bell pepper, seaweed salad, seasonal pickle
  • Fruit: green apple
  • Sauce: avocado lime, creamy miso, tobanjan mayo, wasabi ginger or zesty citrus
    Most rolls are $5.50 (vegetarian), $6.00 (with fish) or $6.50 (seasonal special); any two rolls with a delicious side salad is $14.00.

    The sides are low in calories, each equally deserving to be included with your meal:

  • Asian Vinegar Slaw
  • Kale Salad with Balsamic Miso
  • Spicy Cucumber Salad
    Chef Jaeckle, please send us the recipes for all three!



    Why are temaki (hand rolls) different from other sushi? Because they don’t require a well-honed skill to prepare. Simply grab a sheet of seaweed, add your rice and fixings and roll into a cone.

    As the host, you don’t have to do much more than set out the ingredients, buffet-style. The guests roll their own (here’s how to roll temaki).

    It’s a great idea for a party. So take inspiration from Uma Temakeria and add some pizzazz to your entertaining. And invite us!



    TIP OF THE DAY: Easy Homemade Bibimbap

    One of our favorite Korean dishes is bibimbap (pronounced BEE-bim-bop), a comfort food recipe that’s easily customizable to your tastes. It combines rice, protein, fresh vegetables and spicy Korean barbeque sauce.

    The dish is traditionally made, mixed and served in a Korean stone bowl (also called hotstone or dolsot). You can use a regular skillet and a dinner plate.

    With a stone bowl, the rice on the bottom becomes extra crisp and crusty and is considered a bonus, like the socarrat on the bottom of paella pans.

    Already low in calories and healthful, if you substitute a [nontraditional] whole grain for the white rice, it becomes a very nutritious dish. Consider black, brown or red rice, or barley (bap is the Korean word for cooked rice). Quinoa fans: Go for it!

    Below are five easy steps to making bibimbap at home from Bibigo, maker of Korean pantry products.





    Bibimbap served in a traditional stone bowl. Photo courtesy Barnjoo Restaurant | NYC.

  • Cooked rice—your choice of type, including steamed sticky rice
  • Cooked protein(s) of choice: bulgogi beef*, chicken teriyaki, chicken breast, ground beef, seafood, spicy pork or tofu, cooked in marinade (see Step 2 of recipe below)
  • Egg, cooked sunny-side up
  • Vegetables of choice: lightly-cooked carrots, mushrooms, onions, spinach or other favorites
  • Sauce: gochujang (see below) or other traditional sauce (Bibigo makes Hot & Spicy Bulgogi, kohot, ssam sauce, and citron soy)
    *Bulgogi is thinly sliced, marinated and grilled beef. The word literally means “fire meat” in Korean.

  • Gochujang paste (see below), available at Asian markets or online
  • Kimchi
    Optional Garnishes

  • Nori (dried seaweed sheets, or laver, used to make sushi rolls)
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sliced green onions (scallions)

    Gochujang (pronounced ko-chu-JONG, also translated as kochujang) is a Korean hot chile pepper paste, spicy, but not too hot. It is made from glutinous (sticky) rice, red chiles, fermented soy beans and salt.

    Gochujang is one of the three indispensable condiments in Korean households, along with doenjang, bean paste, and ganjang, Korean soy sauce.

    The popular condiment is used in bibimbap as well as in bulgogi (barbecued meat wrapped in lettuce leaves), tteokbokki (a snack food made from soft rice cake and fish cake), and in salads, stews, soups and marinated meat dishes.

    You can also spread it on burgers and sandwiches for some fusion flare, use it as a breakfast condiment with eggs or hash browns, or mix it with soy sauce, rice wine and a bit of brown sugar to make a delicious dipping sauce.



    Bibimbap served on a regular dinner plate.
    Photo courtesy Bibigo.



    This dish is primed for “freestyling.” You can add whatever ingredients appeal to you, from edamame to rice noodles, to create your own signature bibimbap.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 2 cups steamed medium-grain rice, rice of choice, or other grain
  • 2 cups mixed raw vegetables: bean sprouts, julienned or sliced carrot, cucumber, radish, zucchini, etc.—or—1 cup raw vegetables and 1 cup cooked vegetables, such as bok choy, mushrooms or spinach
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced (about 3 large cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cooked protein
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • Garnish: julienned nori (seaweed sheets), kimchi, sliced green onion (scallions), toasted sesame seeds

    1. DIVIDE the rice and vegetables between two serving bowls; set aside.

    2. MAKE the marinade: Combine soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and pepper in a mixing bowl.

    3. COMBINE the marinade and protein in a skillet over medium-high heat, and stir frequently until just cooked through.

    4. TOP the rice with the cooked protein, reserving the cooking juices. Mix the juices with the gochujang sauce.

    5. FRY the eggs sunny-side up and place one on top of each rice bowl. Garnish to taste and serve with gochujang sauce.



    RECIPE: Goat Curry


    Goat curry with naan, Indian flatbread.
    Photo courtesy AG Local.


    Got your goat?

    AgLocal has it! The e-tailer sources its meats from family farms that treat their animals well. The goal: a marketplace where consumers can easily purchase high quality meats while actively supporting the development of sustainable, regional farms. Learn more at

    And here’s some news: Goat is the most widely consumed protein in the world. It is also one of the most sustainable animals to raise, eating mostly brush and weeds.

    Yet, while Americans love goat cheese and other goat milk-based dairy products, we rarely eat goat meat. In fact, it’s hard to find outside of international markets and butchers. Even the Italian restaurants of our youth that had goat on the menu have it no more. Where has all the goat meat gone?

    This recipe, adapted by the AgLocal Test Kitchen from the August 2012 issue of Good Food Magazine, is an easy way to introduce goat into your cooking repertoire.


    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 1 pound goat stew meat
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2-3 jalapeño chiles
  • Optional: small handful curry leaves
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 4 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 can (15-ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 can (15-ounces) pinto beans
  • 1-2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1-2 lemons, juiced
  • Small bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Naan and/or rice for serving

    1. PLACE the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and purée. Heat oil in a Dutch oven and add the onion mixture. Cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the peppers, curry leaves, thyme, curry powder and 2 teaspoons salt and cook for 2 minutes more until fragrant.

    2. ADD the goat meat and cook for 5 minutes until sides are browned. Add the tomatoes and stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and leave to simmer for 2 hours.

    3. UNCOVER and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Add the beans to heat through. Slowly whisk in lemon juice and yogurt. Taste and add more yogurt and lemon juice to cut through spice if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.



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