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Globally-Inspired BBQ: Asian

Globally-Inspired BBQ: Asian

 Lemongrass Pork with Cold Noodle Salad

Yield: 4-6 servings


For the pork patties

3 or 4 large shallots, or 1 medium red onion, peeled & minced

4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced

2 stalks lemongrass

1 teaspoon stemmed, seeded and minced chili or ¼ teaspoon dried red chili flakes, or to taste

680-908 grams (1½ to 2 lbs) ground pork (substitute beef, chicken or turkey, if desired)

Sea salt 

Freshly ground pepper 

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

For the dipping sauce

3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 garlic clove, peeled & finely grated

6 to 8 small Thai chiles, thinly sliced

For the peanut dressing

2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1x 1” chunk ginger, peeled and sliced

4 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Pinch cayenne

For the noodles

225 grams dried rice vermicelli or other rice noodles

2 small cucumbers, cut in ¼” half moons

1 medium carrot, peeled & julienned into 3” lengths

¾ cup fresh bean sprouts 

Small handful basil sprigs

Small handful mint sprigs

Small handful cilantro sprigs

2 green onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup crushed or chopped roasted peanuts

Lime wedges


1. Make the dipping sauce. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve sugar. Set aside to develop the flavours while you prepare the rest of the meal.

2. Make the peanut dressing. In a blender or small food processor, puree all the peanut sauce ingredients to a smooth sauce, about the thickness of 35% cream. Pour into serving bowl.

3. Make the pork patties. Slice root off lemongrass and remove tough outer layers. Thinly slice, and then finely chop the pale green end. Add chopped lemongrass to a large bowl along with pork, shallots, garlic, chili, 1-1 ½ tsp salt, ½-1 tsp pepper, fish sauce and sugar. Thoroughly, but gently combine meat and seasonings. Do not overprocess or your patties will be tough when cooked.

4. Noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Turn off heat and add rice noodles. Soak for 7-8 minutes. (Adjust if necessary according to package directions) Drain when noodles are al dente, and cool under cold running water. Fluff and leave in strainer to drain well.

5. Grill the pork. In a grill pan over medium heat or on the BBQ over medium heat. Divide the pork into 6-12 patties and grill for about 10 minutes total, flipping halfway through. If you make the patties small, cook for less time. 

6. Assemble the salad. In small bowl, dress the cucumbers, carrot and bean sprouts with 1 tablespoon of the dipping sauce. Divide cooked noodles among 4-6 bowls and top each with an equal amount of the vegetable mixture and a pork patty. Spoon 2 teaspoons dipping sauce and 2 tablespoons peanut sauce over each bowl. Add the basil, mint and cilantro sprigs, torn or roughly chopped. Sprinkle with green onions and crushed peanuts. Serve each bowl with a lime wedge and pass around the extra two sauces. 

Note: Leftover dipping sauce should be refrigerated, and is good for a few days. 

Grilled Bulgogi Asian Eggplant

Yield: 4 servings


454 grams Asian eggplant, especially Korean (2 to 3 large), cut in half crosswise, then lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices

½ teaspoon sea salt

Neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola, for grilling

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Freshly ground black pepper

1 green onion, thinly sliced on the bias, for garnish


1. Place eggplant in colander and set inside the sink. Sprinkle with salt, toss to combine and let sit for 30 minutes to drain its excess moisture.

2. While eggplant drains, prepare a charcoal grill for direct high-heat cooking, or a gas grill to high. In medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, maple syrup, sugar and garlic powder until sugar dissolves.

3. Carefully grease grill grate: Use tongs to grip a bunched up piece of paper towel dipped in oil and then rub grates with the oiled towel. In colander, toss drained eggplant with 1 tablespoon oil. Place eggplant on hot, greased grate. Grill until charred at the edges, 1-2 minutes per side. If using a gas grill, close the lid between flips.

4. Add grilled eggplant to bowl with sauce and gently toss, making sure each slice is thinly coated. Arrange the eggplant with sauce on a large platter and crack over it some fresh black pepper. Garnish with green onion.

Note: To use a grill pan indoors, heat a grill pan over medium-high and add enough oil to lightly coat bottom of pan. Heat until shimmering. Cook until charred, 1-2 minutes per side. 


Vietnamese-style Iced Mocha Sundaes

Yield: 6 servings


1 cup sugar

3 ½ cups very strong hot black coffee

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk

2 cups 18% cream (table cream)

1 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

¼ cup dark chocolate shards, optional


1. Mix ½ cup of the sugar in 2 ¼ cup of the hot coffee until it dissolves. Pour into a shallow lidded container and let cool. In bowl, combine remaining 1 ¼ cup coffee and ½ cup sugar with cocoa powder; stir until sugar dissolves. Cover and refrigerate.

2. In another bowl, whisk together condensed milk, cream, crème fraîche, vanilla and salt and pour into a shallow lidded container. Place both this and the shallow container with coffee in the freezer for 2 hours.

3. Remove condensed milk mixture (ice cream) from freezer, and whisk vigorously, breaking down the ice crystals until texture is smooth. Return to freezer to set firm before scooping, about 4 hours or overnight. 

4. Remove coffee mixture (granita) from freezer and rake surface with tines of fork to form icy crystals. Return to freezer and repeat this raking every hour for about 3 more hours, until the texture is free-flowing but completely crystalline. At this point, it may be frozen overnight. Rake over again before serving to loosen.

5. To serve, place scoops of ice cream into glasses or bowls, alternating each scoop with coffee granita. Douse with the refrigerated coffee syrup and scatter with chocolate shards, if using. Serve immediately.

Recipes adapted from NYT Cooking