Spicing It Up
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 c. rice wine vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, combine carrots and orange zest. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, and salt, and warm over medium heat, stirring until sugar melts. Pour vinegar mixture over carrots and orange zest. Serve with the banh mi; this can be made several days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
4 large jalapeños, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 c. rice wine vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, and salt, and warm over medium heat, stirring until sugar melts. Pour vinegar mixture over jalapeños. Serve with the banh mi; this can be made several days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
Yeo loves to serve a fresh salad of green mango and papaya in her restaurant, but the ingredients can be hard to find. Apples and cabbage are convenient stand-ins; when dressed, they provide just as much tangy crunch.
4 c. Granny Smith apples, julienned
4 c. cabbage, julienned
2 c. carrots, peeled and julienned
2 c. cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and julienned
1 c. green beans, quartered lengthwise
2 tbsp. peanuts, roughly chopped, plus more for garnishing
1 c. (each) cilantro, mint, and basil
1 pt. lemongrass-caramel dressing (recipe follows)
Just before serving, toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Garnish with extra peanuts.
1/2 lb. sugar
1/2 lb. lemongrass, finely sliced
1/8 lb. garlic, roughly chopped
1/8 lb. shallots, roughly chopped
1/4 lb. jalapeños, roughly chopped
5 Thai bird chilies, chopped
1/2 bottle fish sauce
1/2 qt. freshly squeezed lime juice
In a heavy-bottomed pot, cook sugar over high heat until it melts and becomes caramelized to a deep mahogany brown. Add lemongrass, garlic, shallots, jalapeños, and chilies. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring for 3 to 5 minutes. Add fish sauce and deglaze the pan, stirring to incorporate browned bits and dissolve the caramel. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes more, then remove from heat. Once cooled, purée the mixture in a blender. Just before dressing the salad, add lime juice. Refrigerate extra dressing for next use.
Piña Colada and Orange-Cream Popsicles
Yeo loves these sweet, icy treats on a hot summer day. You will need a popsicle mold, available online or at cooking-supply stores.
For piña colada popsicles:
1 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. diced pineapple in syrup (optional)
1/2 c. coconut milk
1 c. dark rum
In a medium saucepan, bring rum to a boil and cook until reduced by half. (This intensifies the flavor and cooks out the alcohol; if the alcohol content of your liquid is too high, the pops will not freeze.) Add pineapple juice and coconut milk, reduce by half again, and fold in pineapple, if desired. Let cool completely, then pour into molds with a popsicle stick inserted into the center of each and freeze until solid.
For orange-cream popsicles:
1 c. orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 c. yogurt
Zest of one orange
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Pour into molds with a popsicle stick inserted into the center of each and freeze until solid.