Tofu & Haricots Verts Stir-Fry with Moroheiya Noodles

Sometimes I just want to eat something vegetarian, gentle, and clean. Tofu and haricots verts is always a good place to start. I also found these fabulous moroheiya noodles at Whole Foods. (Moroheiya is a leafy green vegetable that's considered a superfood because of its rich levels of vitamins, minerals and fiber.) Unlike ramen noodles, they contain no fat, sugar, or cholesterol. These noodles take no time to cook and have an addictive chewiness to them. Definitely a pantry staple. The other brilliant ingredient I discovered is The Ginger People's Organic Ginger Juice, which is a time-saver if you want the essence of ginger without peeling and grating it. (Also great in tea!)

Serves 1

1/2 block of tofu, sliced then cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
A handful of haricots verts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks of scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of organic ginger juice or freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
1 block of moroheiya noodles
A small bundle of fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil


1. Fill a small saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and blanch the haricots verts for 2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Set aside.

2. Fill the same saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and cook the moroheiya noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. 

3. In a small bowl, combine the the tamari/soy sauce, ginger juice/grated ginger, and sesame oil. Set aside.

4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a slick of olive oil. Add the sliced garlic and stir with a wooden spatula until fragrant. Then, add the tofu. Let it get golden for a minute or two before stirring. Repeat until the tofu has an overall golden hue. Next, add the haricot verts and scallions. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour the tamari-ginger mixture evenly over the contents of the pan and stir to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste, 

5. Turn off the heat. Using tongs, drop in the moroheiya noodles and toss to combine. Place in your bowl and garnish with fresh chives. 

Salmon & Shiitake Fried Rice

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You might not find salmon amongst popular forms of fried rice (chicken, pork, shrimp), but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try. Usually, when I buy salmon, I'm on some sort of health kick and won't do much more than searing it in a pan with lemon juice and olive oil. This is certainly one way to give salmon a not-so-healthy but delicious "comfort food" makeover...

1 lb. of cooked salmon filet
1 container of shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 slices of fresh ginger, minced
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 bay leaf
3 or 4 cups of cooked rice
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper


1. Coat the surface of a large frying pan or wok and turn up to medium high heat. Add minced ginger and chopped garlic. Stir around with a wooden spatula until fragrant and golden. 

2. Add the cooked salmon filet and break into flakes with the wooden spatula. Mix well with garlic and ginger. 

3. Next, throw in the sliced shiitake mushrooms and drizzle with soy sauce. Stir around the pan with salmon until softened and cooked through. 

4. In a separate small frying pan, heat up vegetable oil and scramble up the two beaten eggs. Turn off heat and add the scrambled eggs to the mushrooms and salmon. 

5. At this point, start adding the cooked rice to the large frying pan in portions. Incorporate the rice with the mushrooms, salmon, and scrambled eggs. Crush the bay leaf and drop it into the mixture to add a nice aroma.

6. Drizzle the fried rice with soy sauce and continue to stir around the pan. I like it when there are crispy bits of rice. Add the scallions to the pan and fold into the fried rice. Season with salt and pepper.

Basic Rice Porridge

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When I'm sick, I usually want a soup of some sort. Rice porridge usually fits the bill because it's soothing to the stomach and is neither too heavy or too light. Essentially, what you'll need is 10 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of uncooked rice. (This is the ratio that I've found works for me.) I like to add a few slices of fresh ginger and a few stalks of scallions as aromatics. If you'd like, you can also chop up carrots and celery and throw them in too. Let it all cook away for an hour. Everything should become soft and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into a bowl and savor. 

Spicy Lamb with Green Beans, Thai Basil & Scallions

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If you're in the mood for spicy Southeast Asian flavors, this dish will totally hit the spot. Make a pot of steamed jasmine rice and give it a go!

1 pound of top round lamb (or another boneless cut, such as shoulder)
Hot curry powder
Cumin powder
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 slices of ginger, minced
1 green bird's eye chili, chopped
A bunch of green beans or haricots verts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 stalks of scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
A large sprig of Thai basil leaves
3 tablespoons of black bean and garlic sauce
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
Sesame oil


1. Thinly slice the lamb and place in a large bowl. Shake hot curry powder and cumin powder over the lamb and mix well. 

2. Add the black bean and garlic sauce and soy sauce to the lamb and make sure that it's evenly coated.

3. Coat a large cast iron pan with a slick of sesame oil and turn up the heat to medium-high. When it's adequately hot, add the chopped garlic, ginger, and chili and let it sizzle. Stir around with a wooden spatula. Once that's golden, add the lamb to the pan. Make sure the lamb is evenly distributed over the surface of the pan. Let the lamb cook for before stirring so that it gets browned. 

4. Once the lamb is browned on both sides, throw in the scallions and green beans/haricots verts and stir around. When they are tender, pluck off the Thai basil leaves and add them to the pan.  Turn down the heat to low and cook for another couple of minutes. Serve immediately over steamed jasmine rice.


Steamed Pork Buns & Malay Micheladas

643 Hudson Street bet. Horatio & Gansevoort Streets

Though steamed pork buns have officially gone mainstream since first appearing at Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2004, Fatty Crab's version is distinctly...Fatty Crab. The Southeast Asian complexity here comes from the side salad of fresh cilantro leaves and thinly sliced red onion tossed in a sesame oil dressing, with a healthy shower of coarsely ground black peppercorns, and a wedge of warm boiled egg as a garnish. I just stuff everything inside of the fluffy white bun and dip the entire pocket into the hoisin-Sriracha sauce. Try these with their piquant Malay Michelada cocktail, cold beer with a spicy sangrita mixture that's poured into a chili-salt rimmed glass.