Cashew Chicken


  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided into 2 and 1
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 12 oz. green beans, trimmed, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled, sliced very thinly
  1. Combine oyster sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add cashews and tilt skillet toward you so that the oil pools around cashews. Toast cashews, tossing and spooning oil over constantly, until cashews are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer cashews to a small plate and let cool, reserving oil in skillet.
  3. Cut chicken into 1/2″-thick slices. If any slices are longer than 2″, cut in half crosswise. Season chicken with salt and coat with cornstarch, tossing chicken to evenly distribute cornstarch. Increase heat to medium-high and cook chicken in a single layer in same skillet, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until other side is just opaque, about 1 minute. Transfer chicken to a plate (don’t need it to be totally cooked through; will finish cooking in the sauce).
  4. Cook beans and onion in same skillet, tossing often, until softened and brown in spots, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, garlic and ginger. Cook, tossing often, until garlic and ginger are softened, about 1 minute longer. Add reserved sauce and return chicken to skillet. Cook, stirring often, until sauce is glazy and coats chicken and vegetables, and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer chicken and vegetables to a platter. Spoon sauce over. Top with toasted cashews.



Pad Thai Dan Dan



  • ½ palm sugar disc (about 1 oz)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Pad Thai

  • ½ box pad thai noodles (about 7 oz)
  • ½ package extra firm tofu, squeezed of liquid and diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small shallot, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp salted radish, shredded
  • 4 green onions, sliced lengthwise then chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • ½ cup peanuts, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 recipe Pad Thai sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lime
  • (optional ½ lb. of diced chicken or shrimp)


  1. In small saucepan, simmer water and palm sugar until dissolved. Add tamarind and fish sauce, and stir to combine. Add Sriracha to taste (about 2 Tbsp). Set aside.
  2. Fill large bowl with warm water and let noodles soak approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large non-stick pan over medium heat. Fry tofu until golden on all sides, set aside. Saute meat and set aside (if using). Wipe pan clean, add more oil if needed. Scramble eggs, set aside. Wipe pan clean.
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over med-high heat. Saute shallot and salted radish 2-3 minutes. Add drained noodles and combine. Pour in about ½ of the Pad Thai sauce and stir constantly to coat noodles thoroughly. Stir fry about 5 minutes, add more sauce if it starts to dry out too much.
  5. Add green onions, tofu, cooked meat, and eggs. Combine well for about 3-5 minutes, add more sauce if needed. Turn off heat, add bean sprouts, peanuts, and cilantro. Squeeze ½ of lime and serve.

Serves 2

Thai Sticks

1st place Winner! – Olympique 2013

Team Thai-Juan, representing Thailand and Mexico, took home Best Dish honors with this simple Thai street food staple. Basically, we wrapped some ground chicken and pork around lemongrass spears, threw em on the grill, and slapped on some peanut sauce before serving. Fire!


  • 1 ½ cups sliced shallots (about 10)
  • ½ cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut (can be toasted coconut found in supermarkets)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh Thai chiles, stemmed
  • 1 1-inch chunk fresh galangal,
  • sliced 2 Tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs with skin, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 16 whole fresh lemongrass stalks
  • 1 package Lobo Satay Mix (peanut sauce!)


  1. Grind first 7 ingredients in processor to coarse paste. Do not clean processor.
  2. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add paste to skillet; Saute paste about 5 minutes; transfer to large bowl and cool.
  3. Add chicken and salt to processor; grind coarsely. Add ground chicken and pork into paste in bowl.
  4. Clean lemongrass by removing outer layer(s), wash and remove the tips. Press ¼ cupful of meat mixture around thick portion of 1 lemongrass stalk in 4-inch-long sausage shape, leaving 1 inch of stalk end exposed. Repeat with remaining chicken mixture and stalks.
  5. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill until chicken is cooked through, turning often, about 8 minutes. Serve with warm peanut sauce.

Adapted from

Garam Masala

Garam Masala

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup dried red chiles
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg

In a large saute pan, combine the black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, and dried red chiles. Over medium heat, cook just until slightly toasted, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and stir in the grated nutmeg.

Transfer to a food processor and grind to a fine powder. Pass through a fine strainer. Allow to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight jar. Use as needed, i.e. in daal.



  • 1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onions
  • 2 Tbsps. minced garlic
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1 lb (16 oz) orange lentils
  • 2 Tbsps. finely minced ginger
  • 2 1 1/2 Tbsps. Garam Masala, recipe follows
  • 1 Tbsps salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 6 cups chicken stock


  1. In a large pot, heat the ghee and stir-fry the onions just until wilted, do not brown. Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, lentils, ginger, curry powder, salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaf. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until the herbs and spices bloom. You’ll smell it.
  2. Add the tomatoes and deglaze with the vinegar. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender (20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning with cumin, salt, pepper and sugar.

Serves 4 to 6.

Pho Bo (Beef Noodle Soup)


For the broth

  • 2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound total)
  • 4-inch piece ginger (about 4 ounces)
  • 5-6 pounds beef soup bones (marrow and knuckle bones)
  • 5 star anise (40 star points total)
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 pound piece of beef chuck, rump, brisket or cross rib roast, cut into 2-by-4-inch pieces (weight after trimming)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 ounce (1-inch chunk) yellow rock sugar (duong phen, see note below)

For the bowls

  • 1 1/2-2 pounds small (1/8-inch wide) dried or fresh banh pho noodles (“rice sticks” or Thai chantaboon)
  • 1/2 pound raw eye of round, sirloin, London broil or tri-tip steak, thinly sliced across the grain (1/16 inch thick; freeze for 15 minutes to make it easier to slice)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, left to soak for 30 minutes in a bowl of cold water
  • 3 or 4 scallions, green part only, cut into thin rings
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro (ngo)
  • Ground black pepper

Optional garnishes

  • Sprigs of spearmint (hung lui) and Asian/Thai basil (hung que)
  • Leaves of thorny cilantro (ngo gai)
  • Bean sprouts (about 1/2 pound)
  • Red hot chiles (such as Thai bird or dragon), thinly sliced
  • Lime wedges

Prepare the broth

  1. Char onion and ginger. Use an open flame on grill or gas stove. Place onions and ginger on cooking grate and let skin burn. (If using stove, turn on exhaust fan and open a window.) After about 15 minutes, they will soften and become sweetly fragrant. Use tongs to occasionally rotate them and to grab and discard any flyaway onion skin. You do not have to blacken entire surface, just enough to slightly cook onion and ginger.
  2. Let cool. Under warm water, remove charred onion skin; trim and discard blackened parts of root or stem ends. If ginger skin is puckered and blistered, smash ginger with flat side of knife to loosen flesh from skin. Otherwise, use sharp paring knife to remove skin, running ginger under warm water to wash off blackened bits. Set aside.
  3. Parboil bones. Place bones in stockpot (minimum 12-quart capacity) and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring to boil. Boil vigorously 2 to 3 minutes to allow impurities to be released. Dump bones and water into sink and rinse bones with warm water. Quickly scrub stockpot to remove any residue. Return bones to pot.
  4. Simmer broth. Add 6 quarts water to pot, bring to boil over high heat, then lower flame to gently simmer. Use ladle to skim any scum that rises to surface. Add remaining broth ingredients and cook 1 1/2 hours. Boneless meat should be slightly chewy but not tough. When it is cooked to your liking, remove it and place in bowl of cold water for 10 minutes; this prevents the meat from drying up and turning dark as it cools. Drain the meat; cool, then refrigerate. Allow broth to continue cooking; in total, the broth should simmer 3 hours.
  5. Strain broth through fine strainer. If desired, remove any bits of gelatinous tendon from bones to add to your pho bowl. Store tendon with cooked beef. Discard solids.
  6. Use ladle to skim as much fat from top of broth as you like. (Cool it and refrigerate it overnight to make this task easier; reheat befofe continuing.) Taste and adjust flavor with additional salt, fish sauce and yellow rock sugar. The broth should taste slightly too strong because the noodles and other ingredients are not salted. (If you’ve gone too far, add water to dilute.) Makes about 4 quarts.
  7. Assemble bowls: The key is to be organized and have everything ready to go. Thinly slice cooked meat. For best results, make sure it’s cold.
  8. Heat broth and ready noodles. To ensure good timing, reheat broth over medium flame as you’re assembling bowls. If you’re using dried noodles, cover with hot tap water and soak 15-20 minutes, until softened and opaque white. Drain in colander. For fresh rice noodles, just untangle and briefly rinse in a colander with cold water.
  9. Blanch noodles. Fill 3- or 4-quart saucepan with water and bring to boil. For each bowl, use long-handle strainer to blanch a portion of noodles. As soon as noodles have collapsed and lost their stiffness (10-20 seconds), pull strainer from water, letting water drain back into saucepan. Empty noodles into bowls. Noodles should occupy 1/4 to 1/3 of bowl; the latter is for noodle lovers, while the former is for those who prize broth.
  10. If desired, after blanching noodles, blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds in same saucepan. They should slightly wilt but retain some crunch. Drain and add to the garnish plate.
  11. Add other ingredients. Place slices of cooked meat, raw meat and tendon (if using) atop noodles. (If your cooked meat is not at room temperature, blanch slices for few seconds in hot water from above.) Garnish with onion, scallion and chopped cilantro. Finish with black pepper.
  12. Ladle in broth and serve. Bring broth to rolling boil. Check seasoning. Ladle broth into each bowl, distributing hot liquid evenly so as to cook raw beef and warm other ingredients. Serve with garnish plate.
  13. Note: Yellow rock sugar (a.k.a. lump sugar) is sold in one-pound boxes at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. Break up large chunks with hammer.
  14. Variations: If you want to replicate the splendorous options available at pho shops, head to the butcher counter at a Vietnamese or Chinese market. There you’ll find white cords of gan (beef tendon) and thin pieces of nam (outside flank, not flank steak). While tendon requires no preparation prior to cooking, nam should be rolled and tied with string for easy handling. Simmer it and the beef tendon in the cooking broth for two hours, or until chewy-tender.
  15. Airy book tripe (sach) is already cooked when you buy it. Before using, wash and gently squeeze it dry. Slice it thinly to make fringe-like pieces to be added to the bowl during assembly. For beef meatballs (bo vien), purchase them in Asian markets in the refrigerator case; they are already precooked. Slice each one in half and drop into broth to heat through. When you’re ready to serve, ladle them out with the broth to top each bowl.

Makes 8 big bowls.

Lahori Chicken Curry w/ Onion & Tomato


  • 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces and skinned
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 medium onions, roughly diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut in half crosswise
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 9 whole cloves
  • 9 black peppercorns
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Combine the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon of the turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of the cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl and stir to coat the chicken with the spices. Let stand while you make the sauce.
  2. Finely mince the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor and set aside.
  3. Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and black peppercorns in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the minced onion mixture and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion browns around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove and discard the cinnamon and stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth; set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the yogurt 1 tablespoon at a time and stir well after each addition. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes to evaporate some of the moisture.
  6. Add the pureed tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the water. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan every 5 to 8 minutes to keep the sauce from sticking. Then uncover and cook for 5 more minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Taste for salt and serve hot.

Chicken Biryani

This recipe requires a 3 1/2- to 4-quart saucepan about 8 inches in diameter. Do not use a large, wide Dutch oven, as it will adversely affect both the layering of the dish and the final cooking times. Begin simmering the spices in the water prior to preparing the remaining ingredients; the more time the spices have to infuse the water (up to half an hour), the more flavor they will give to the rice. Biryani is traditionally served with a cooling yogurt sauce; ideally, you should make it before starting the biryani to allow the flavors in the sauce to meld.


Yogurt Sauce – make ahead

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mint, minced


  • 10 cardamom pods, preferably green, smashed with chef’s knife
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into 1/2 inch thick coins and smashed with chef’s knife
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 3 quarts water
  • table salt
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lbs), trimmed of excess skin and fat and patted dry with paper towels
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thin (about 4 cups)
  • 2 medium jalapeños, one seeded and both chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, lightly crumbled
  • 1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves


  1. Wrap cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, ginger, and cumin seed in a small piece of cheesecloth and secure with kitchen twine. In 3 1/2 to 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan about 8 inches in diameter, bring water, spice bundle, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to boil over medium-high heat; reduce to medium and simmer, partially covered, until spices have infused water, at least 15 minutes (but not longer than 30 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, season both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat butter in 12-inch nonstick skilet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides; add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and dark brown about edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Add jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to bowl, season lightly with salt, and set aside. Wipe out skillet with paper towels, return heat to medium-high, and place chicken thighs skin-side down in skillet; cook, without moving chicken, until well browned, about five minutes. Flip chicked and brown second side, 4 to 5 minutes longer; transfer chicken to plate and remove and discard skin. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. If necessary, return spice-infused water to boil over high heat; stir in rice and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain rice through fine-mesh strainer, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid; discard spice bundle. Transfer rice to medium bowl; stir in saffron and currants (rice will turn splotchy yellow). Spread half of rice evenly in bottom of now-empty saucepan using rubber spatula. Scatter half of onion mixture over rice, then place chicken thighs, skinned-side up, on top of onions; add any accumulated chicken juices. Evenly sprinkle with cilantro and mint, scatter remaining onions over herbs, then cover with remaining rice; pour reserved cooking liquid evenly over rice.
  4. Cover saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes (if large amount of steam is escaping from pot, reduce heat to low). Run heatproof rubber spatula around inside the rim of saucepan to loosen any affixed rice; usind large serving spoon, spoon biryani into individual bowls, scooping from bottom of pot and serving 1 chicken thigh per person. Hit with Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4