Тор 10 Asian streetfood delights recipes

Just what makes Asia so alluring and full of charm

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Try to follow these recipes and recreate Asian street treats at home. If you succeed, you’ll never forget the taste of delight.

1. Chinese Jiaozi (filled dumplings)

MAKES 18 PREPARATION: 20 MINUTES COOKING: 15 MINUTES

Jiaozi are the little ravioli-type dumplings usually filled with minced pork, garlic, spring onions and salt in tiny ‘parcels’ of pastry made of flour and water – boiled in broth. They are surely delicious.

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A big plate of 20 jiaozi is served and you pick them up with chopsticks and dip in a saucer of vinegar and soy sauce mixed together. Indeed they can have various fillings (some jiaozi-makers say they are no good without some meat as well as vegetables). For some tasters jiaozi resemble the Chinese version of Italian tortellini, with soy sauce instead of tomato sauce.

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INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE FILLING:
½ pound / 225 g minced pork (or chicken, if you don’t eat pork)*
1 cup / 150 g cabbage, shredded
½ cup bamboo shoots, chopped (optional)
1 scallion/spring onion, chopped
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil
salt

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
2 cups / 200 g flour
½ teaspoon salt
water

TO ACCOMPANY:
soy sauce
cider vinegar
1 scallion/spring onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

* Or use the equivalent amount of spinach, leeks or cooked beans.

DIRECTIONS:

1 To make the filling, mix the pork or main filling ingredient with the cabbage, bamboo shoots if using, scallion/spring onion, soy sauce, sugar, oil and salt.

2 For the dough, mix the flour with the salt and just enough water to make a light dough. Knead it and then roll out into a long strip about 1 inch/2.5 cm thick.

3 Cut pieces 1 inch/2.5 cm long and roll them into round flat thin circles of 3 inches/7.5 cm diameter.

4 Place half a tablespoon of the filling on one side of the dough circle, and fold over the other half to make a semi-circle, pressing the edges to seal. Repeat to use up all the dough and filling.

5 Place the dumplings in a steamer for 10 minutes, or boil for the same time. Serve with shallow bowls of soy sauce mixed with the cider vinegar, scallion/spring onion and toasted sesame seeds, if using, for dipping.

2. Chinese Baozi (steamed filled buns)

MAKES 20-24 BUNS PREPARATION: ABOUT 1 HOUR, PLUS 20 MINUTES RISING AND STANDING TIME COOKING: 15-20 MINUTES

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These popular buns are on sale from early morning. You may focus on the doushabao, as a sweet but fairly nutritious breakfast or snack food. They are filled with red bean paste – excellent for vegetarians. At the baozi stalls you can also find other types of these buns, such as roubao, with meat, and shucaibao, filled with vegetables.

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INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE DOUGH:
4 cups / 400 g self-rising flour
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup / 240 ml warm water

FOR THE SAVORY FILLING:
½ pound / 225 g mushrooms, finely chopped
½ pound / 225 g cooked pork or chicken +
¾ cup / 125 g bamboo shoots, drained and chopped (or use bean sprouts)
2 scallions/spring onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped (or use 1 teaspoon powdered ginger)
1 tablespoon rice wine
a little sesame oil
soy sauce
sugar
salt

+ optional – replace with cooked beans or chopped vegetables such as carrots, or just use ready-made red bean paste.

DIRECTIONS:

1 Begin by making the savory filling. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well, adjusting the flavoring and seasoning to taste.

2 To make the dough, first dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water for 5-10 minutes until frothy.

3 Then sift the flour into a bowl, and gradually stir in the yeast mixture to make a firm dough. Knead for 5 minutes, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for about 20 minutes.

4 When ready, remove the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes before rolling it into a long sausage shape. Cut into 20 or so pieces and flatten each one with the palm of your hand. With a rolling pin, roll out each into a 4-inch/10-cm circle.

5 Place 1 tablespoon of the filling (either the red bean paste or the savory one) in the center of each flattened circle of dough. Now gather together the edges to meet at the top around the filling. Twist or press to enclose the filling.

6 Place the buns, seam side down, on a piece of aluminum foil or wax paper. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

7 When ready to cook, put the buns on foil on a steamer rack over boiling water. Leave at least 1 inch/2.5 cm between the buns. Cover and steam for 15-18 minutes, until done. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired.

3. Indian roasted spicy peanuts

PREPARATION AND COOKING: 10 MINUTES.

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This snack was and still is a favorite all over India though it varies according to seasons, different nuts, regional tastes and available spices. Some hawkers use cashews, chickpeas, lentils and other legumes but peanuts are the all-round favorite because they are cheap, nutritious, delicious and very filling.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups / 250 grams raw shelled peanuts

FIRST MIX:
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon fine brown sugar (or to taste)

OR SECOND MIX:
1 onion finely chopped
1 green chili, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
½ teaspoon chili powder
lemon or lime juice to taste
salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1 Heat a heavy bottomed pan and turn the fire down low. Add peanuts and roast, stirring for about 8-10 minutes until done.

2 Season with the required amount of mix 1 and eat. For a more substantial version, mix roasted peanuts with the ingredients for mix 2, adding the lemon/lime juice at the end. Serve while still warm.

4. Indian Pav bhaji (vegetables with bread)

SERVES 4 AS A MAIN COURSE PREPARATION: 15 MINUTES COOKING: 35 MINUTES

This one-dish meal (pav means bread, bhaji vegetables) appeared on the streets of Mumbai no more than 20-25 years ago. It soon became all the rage and pav bhaji stalls have sprung up all over north India. It is prepared on huge griddles: butter sizzles, vegetables and spices are added and stirred with gusto. The bread is also toasted on the griddles. Vendors constantly rake at the cooking vegetables with iron spatulas with an almighty clatter designed to attract customers.

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If you can’t find pav bhaji masala, try another Indian spice mix designed for vegetables or even the ubiquitous supermarket curry powder. Black salt (also called kala namak or sanchal) is actually pinkish in color and has a sulfurous smell – no wonder Indian kids call it ‘farty salt’. If you can’t find it, try substituting chaat masala or just a mix of salt and black pepper.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons butter (it must be real butter!)
2 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 potatoes, boiled and crushed
1½ cups / 150 g cauliflower florets, chopped small
2 carrots, finely diced
½ cup /50 g peas
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon pav bhaji masala
½ teaspoon black salt
8 soft white sandwich rolls or buns
extra butter for spreading
1 tablespoon cilantro/coriander, chopped
salt

DIRECTIONS:

1 Melt butter in a large pan and cook the onion and bell pepper for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook for a further minute or two, until the onion softens.

2 Add tomatoes and cook at a brisk simmer until the butter begins to separate from the vegetables, about 10 minutes. While this is happening parboil the cauliflower, carrot and peas in a little water, for about 4 minutes, and drain, keeping the water.

3 Add all the spices to the tomato mixture and cook for a minute or two. Then add the boiled vegetables and the potato. Stir thoroughly and add a bit of the reserved water at a time until you have a thick broth-like consistency. Check seasoning and leave the bhaji on a low heat while you get the bread ready.

4 Heat a griddle or a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Slice each roll or bun in two horizontally and spread with a little butter. Place buttered side down on the griddle and dot the other side with a little butter too. When one side is crisp and lightly browned, turn and heat briefly on the other side.
5 Sprinkle the vegetables with chopped cilantro/coriander and serve with the hot bread.

5. Indonesian Chicken satay

SERVES 4 PREPARATION: 30 MINUTES (INCLUDING MARINATING TIME) COOKING: 10 MINUTES

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Satay – little kebabs of chicken, pork, beef and seafood – are found in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand; in fact throughout the whole region. In Indonesia it may be sold in the warungs (food stalls) or from the handcart called kaki-lima – ‘five legs’– which are the three wheels of the cart and the two of the vendor. A favorite with Western visitors to southeast Asia, satay with peanut sauce is delicious and easy to recreate at home.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ pounds / 675 g chicken, cubed

MARINADE:
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons water
4 cloves garlic, crushed/minced
1 teaspoon sugar

PEANUT SAUCE:
1 onion, chopped
1-inch/2.5-cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced/crushed
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 oz / 100 g raw peanuts, freshly fried
¾ cup / 175 ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
oil
salt

DIRECTIONS:

1 Start by making the marinade. Mix together the ingredients and pour over the chicken pieces in a bowl; leave for 30 minutes.

2 When ready, thread the meat onto skewers (small wooden ones if possible).

3 To make the peanut sauce, mix the onion, ginger, garlic, chili, sugar and peanuts or peanut butter in a blender, adding oil to make a smooth paste.

4 Heat some oil in a wok and cook the blended spice mix for a minute or so. Then spoon in the marinade juices and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring.

5 Now add coconut milk to achieve a thick but not solid sauce; keep warm. When you are ready, sprinkle in the lime juice and serve.

6 Cook the chicken over the barbecue or under a preheated broiler/grill and serve with the hot peanut sauce.

6. Malaysian Roti canai (lentil dal and pancake)

SERVES 4 PREPARATION (FOR DAL): 10 MINUTES (FOR ROTI): 15 MINUTES PLUS 8 HOURS COOKING (FOR DAL): 20 MINUTES (FOR ROTI): 5-10 MINUTES

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Classic Malaysian hawker dish; delicious and worth having just to enjoy watching the skill of the cook making the pancakes, with a twist, a swirl and a flourish of thin dough that is very hard to replicate. An easier version is below, but the dough must sit for 8 hours or so. You can also serve the dal with bought chapatis, puris or parathas.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE DAL:
1 cup / 200 g red lentils or yellow split peas
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 egg-plant/aubergine, cubed
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 potato, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1-2 chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 cup / 200 ml coconut milk
½ cup / 110 ml water
½ teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2 shallots or 1 small onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
salt
oil

FOR ROTI:
3 cups / 300 g flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup / 110 ml water
margarine

DIRECTIONS:

1 First, put lentils or peas into a pan with enough water to cover. Add the turmeric and then bring to the boil, removing the froth with a spoon. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

2 Now add the egg-plant/aubergine, tomatoes, carrot, potato and onion. Continue to simmer until everything is cooked, and then put in half the chili. If the mixture becomes too dry during cooking, add a little more water.

3 When this is done, pour in the coconut milk, salt and tamarind. Mix well and cook gently for 5 minutes or so before turning off the heat.

4 Next, heat a little oil in a wok or pan and toast the mustard and cumin seeds until they begin to jump about. Put in the curry leaves, remaining chili, shallots or onion and garlic. Fry, stirring, until the onion or shallots and garlic are golden. Then turn this spice mix into the dal and stir well to combine.

5 Cover the pan and cook very gently for a few more minutes to heat through. Serve with hot chapatis, puris or parathas or make rotis (below).

6 For the roti, mix the ingredients in a bowl to make a smooth dough. Then make into golf-ball-size pieces and knead each one. Smooth on some margarine, using your hands. Place the dough balls back into the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave for 8 hours or overnight.

7 When ready to cook, take a roti ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Try to make it as thin as possible. When that is done, roll it up and, holding the roll vertically, flatten it down to make a circle.

8 Heat pan or griddle/skillet with a little oil and fry both sides until golden. To serve, hand round the hot rotis and put the curry into a bowl, or individual bowls. Break off bits of the bread and scoop out the curry (or use a spoon).

7. Thai Tom yam (hot and sour soup)

SERVES 4 PREPARATION: 10 MINUTES COOKING: 10 MINUTES

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A delicious hot, fragrant, spicy soup, flavored with lime and chili – far removed from kaeng jeut (bland soup), a milder broth with noodles, tofu and Chinese radish. You can of course use more chilies, but see how it tastes to you. If you want to reduce the spiciness, leave the chilies whole instead of cutting them.

INGREDIENTS:

½ pound / 225 g prawns (if using unpeeled prawns, peel them and keep the peelings for stock)
6 cups / 1.5 liters chicken or fish stock
2 stalks lemongrass, cut in half
4 lime leaves, torn (optional, you may use lime peel)
1 onion or 3 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2-inch/5-cm piece of fresh galangal, cut into thick slices or 2 teaspoons galangal powder
½ pound / 225 g mushrooms, halved
2-4 green chilies, de-seeded and cut in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons cilantro/coriander, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

1 If using prawn peelings for the stock, discard them when ready to start the soup.

2 Put in the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, onion or shallots, garlic, tomatoes and galangal into the stock. Bring it back to the boil and then simmer, covered, for about 3 minutes.

3 Now add the mushrooms, chilies and fish sauce. Cook gently for 2 minutes before putting in the prawns. Bring back to the boil and cook the prawns. When they are ready, turn off the heat and remove the lemon grass. Pour in the lime or lemon juice and scatter in half the cilantro/coriander. Stir well.

4 Garnish with the remaining cilantro/coriander and serve with a bowl of plain boiled rice.

8. Vietnamese Pho (beef noodle soup)

FOR 6-8 SERVINGS PREPARATION: 20 MINUTES COOKING: 1-2 HOURS (INCLUDING STOCK)

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Wherever you go in Vietnam, from the busy side streets you stroll along in Hanoi to the mountain villages you stop at on your motorbike, there will always be a place to buy a hot, nourishing and tasty pho bo. Served with draft beer, a huge side plate of greenery and a warm smile this is the fast food of Vietnam.

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INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE SOUP:
2 pounds /1 kg beef bones or chopped oxtail
1 pound / 450 g beef brisket
2.5 quarts / 2.5 liters water
1 inch/2.5 cm piece of ginger, sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 whole star anise
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup / 200 g Chinese radishes cut into chunks
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 cups / 300 g flat rice noodles
½ pound / 225 g beefsteak, very thinly sliced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges
salt and pepper

DIPPING SAUCE:
2 tablespoons fish sauce (you can use soy sauce instead)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-2 red chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

GARNISH:
1 cup / 100 g bean sprouts
6-8 lettuce leaves, chopped coarsely
2-3 tablespoons cilantro/coriander, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

1 Place the water, bones and brisket in a deep pan and bring to the boil. While that is happening, grill or dry-fry the ginger and onion until they are almost burnt. Add them to the stock, plus the star anise, cloves, cinnamon and radishes.

2 Partially cover and simmer for 1½ hours, skimming frequently. Leave to cool and skim again, then add the fish sauce and seasoning and stir well. Drain the stock and retain it. Discard the other components, except the meat. Take this out and slice very finely.

3 Blanche the rice noodles in boiling water to soften and then divide them between 6 soup bowls. Put in the sliced cooked beef plus the raw beef which has been sliced paper-thin.

4 In a salad bowl add the bean sprouts, lettuce, mint and cilantro/coriander and mix lightly. Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together and place in 4 small bowls.

5 When ready to serve, heat up the stock until boiling and pour it over the noodles and meat. Sprinkle with chopped scallions/spring onions and hand round the lime wedges. Eat using chopsticks and a spoon. Sprinkle occasionally with the garnish and dip the meat into the sauce.

9. Pakistani Seekh kebabs

MAKES 12    PREPARATION: 10-20 MINUTES PLUS 1 HOUR STANDING TIME    COOKING: 10 MINUTES

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A Punjabi recipe widely eaten in both the Pakistani and Indian Punjab regions. In Jhelum, Pakistan, groups of young men would gather at street-side restaurants in the hot evenings to eat seekh kebabs together. The kebabs are often served with naan bread, sliced cucumber and lettuce and, importantly, yogurt (dhai) and mint chutney (podina) or raita, drizzled with fresh lemon juice. Tastes tangy, juicy and very more-ish.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound / 450 g minced mutton or lamb *
1 onion, finely chopped *
1-3 green chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped *
1½ teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon gram (chick-pea) flour
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 scallions/spring onions, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
1-2 lemons, cut into wedges
salt

* At most Pakistani butchers’, when buying minced mutton, it is quite common to ask for onion and chilies to be put through the mincer at the same time as the meat, and for the whole ensemble to go through it twice.

DIRECTIONS:

1 Once the onion and chilies have been either minced with the meat or finely chopped and added to it in a large bowl, sprinkle in the garam masala and the cumin, kneading all the while. Then add the gram flour, mint, cilantro/coriander and salt.

2 With one hand, hold the edge of the bowl and with the other just squelch and squash the ingredients. Swivel the bowl round a little and squelch again. Continue to do this for a few minutes, to combine everything. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge for an hour or so.

3 When ready to cook, take a skewer and, regularly dipping your hand in a bowl of cold water (to prevent the mixture sticking to your hand rather than the skewer), take a handful of mixture and pack it on, squeezing up and down the length of the skewer. The kebab should be 5-7 inches/12-15 cm in length.

4 Cook under a medium-hot grill or over a barbecue, turning regularly, until slightly charred on the ends and cooked through. Squeeze lemon juice over before eating.

10. Vietnamese Banh xeo (filled omelet/crepe)

SERVES 4-6 PREPARATION: 5 MINUTES COOKING: 10 MINUTES

Banh is a catch-all phrase for a wealth of snacks, baguettes, cakes, cookies and normally wrapped in some way, whether with an omelet or crepe as in this recipe, or carefully cosseted in banana leaves and tied firmly like a parcel.

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Wrapping the ingredients and then grilling over a wood or charcoal fire is one of the oldest forms of cooking. There are regional and ethnic specialties: yams, sweetcorn, cassava and rice are all frequently used. Banh xeo is made with pork and prawns, but you can replace these with vegetables such as mushrooms.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 scallions/spring onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ pound / 225 g minced pork
2 cups / 100 g bean sprouts
½ cup / 125 g prawns
6 eggs
1-2 tablespoons cilantro/coriander, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce *
8-12 lettuce leaves or as required
oil
salt

* Nuoc mam, Vietnamese fish sauce is widely available. You can use Thai fish sauce, Nam pla, soy sauce, or omit altogether.

DIRECTIONS:

1 Using a wok or frying pan, heat the oil and then sauté the scallions/spring onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic.

2 When they are soft, put in the pork mince and prawns; stir-fry it until the pork is brown and the shrimps are pink. If using cooked prawns, put them in once the pork is ready.

3 Next, add the bean sprouts and cook for a couple of minutes. Then put in half the cilantro/coriander. Add a little fish sauce or soy sauce and salt as necessary. Stir well and continue to cook for a further minute or so to combine all the ingredients. When done, turn off the heat, cover the wok or pan and keep warm.

4 Whisk the eggs. Heat some oil in a pan or wok and pour in the eggs, turning the pan so that they distribute. Flip or turn the omelet to cook the other side. When ready, spoon in the filling and add the remaining herbs before serving, garnished with lettuce leaves.

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