Maybe it was due to all the hiking and swimming the week before Labor Day or maybe it was because eating in restaurants was a rare treat for me, but I still count the sandwich I ate in a no-name diner in Weaverville as one of the best I've ever had. It was a club sandwich, California-style. Piled in between two halves of a toasted croissant were avocado slices, alfalfa sprouts, and thick slices of tomato layered over mayonnaise. And bacon and turkey. In my memory, the meats were more like seasoning agents. Still, I couldn't stop eating it. Call it nostalgia for Labor Days past, but I've been thinking about recreating that Weaverville sandwich. Yet I rarely buy sprouts because they don't last long in the refrigerator. And then I found a workaround.Read More
Japanese culinary expert Elizabeth Andoh provides two methods to make her miso-marinated broiled fish: "traditional" and "impatient." One requires more marinating time. Both involve wrapping the fish in cloth, which I suppose makes it easier to remove excess marinade before broiling the fish. I went rogue with my own "even more impatient" method.Read More
Yesterday, I pulled the zip-top bag out of the freezer and let it thaw on the counter. Later, I saw that my friend Malena had posted a snapshot of a family-favorite recipe on Instagram. It was for a fruit cake – named "fruit torte" since fruit cake would throw people off – adapted from one of the New York Times most popular recipes, the original plum torte. There is a reason that this recipe is one of the paper's most popular: It's one that everyone should keep handy, flexible enough that almost any soft fruit (berries, sliced peaches, and, especially, plums) can be put on top.Read More
"How are you going to write a recipe for tea leaf salad?"
This was the first question people asked me when I told them I was writing the Burma Superstar cookbook. It was a good one, too: tea leaf salad is the restaurant's most popular dish, but the key ingredient, laphet (fermented tea leaves), is hard to find outside of Burmese restaurants. It's actually hard to find this salad (or Burmese restaurants, for that matter), outside of the Bay Area. When friends come to town looking for food that they can't find back home, a Burmese meal is often on the list. And nearly every meal at a Bay Area Burmese restaurant starts with tea leaf salad. But it still remains one of the most mysterious ingredients in Burmese cooking. Where was it really from?Read More
While the details of how Burma Superstar came to be--a family took over a Chinese restaurant in the Inner Richmond, added Burmese dishes, changed the name, and later sold it to Desmond--is unique to the restaurant, the larger story is not. Like a lot of restaurants in diverse cities, it's a place that introduced new dishes and flavors to people outside of the community. It's part of the story of how immigration has made San Francisco a much more dynamic place to eRead More