New Year’s Rice Cakes

The best way to ring in the New Year, in my opinion, is with some rice cakes. For my people–the Hmong–rice cakes, or ncuav, signify a good harvest. It means everyone has labored well for the year, so we take a break from our hard work and celebrate the coming of the new year–with family,…

Pork and Shrimp Egg Rolls

When it comes to gift-giving over the holidays, many of us think of chocolates, gingerbread men, fruit cakes, and hard candy. But why not give a savory rather than a sweet? As a sign of love and appreciation, my mother always made egg rolls for friends and family. This year I’ve decided to do the…

Chicken Pho with Pork Meatballs

With the cold setting in, and the temperatures dropping to the low double-digits (and soon the one-digits), my husband requested Pho. This popular rice noodle soup, with its aromatic broth, is mostly associated with Vietnamese cuisine, but it can be found at any street food stall in South-East Asia. The name pho is thought to…

Holiday Roast Duck

This holiday season, why not enjoy a roast duck instead of turkey? This bird not only has a lot more dark meat, but it’s also very tender and moist, and it does not require any brining. Roasting duck can be traced back to 1206 B.C., during the Yuan Dynasty in China. It was considered a…

Chinese Green Onion Pancakes

Green Onion Pancakes, or congyoubing in Chinese (蔥油餅), are a traditional snack that can still be found on the streets of China today. Made from flour, green onions (scallions) and water, these layered, crispy, thin pancakes are quick and easy to make–though greasy–and make a great breakfast or snack food. As someone who enjoys cooking…

Onigirazu (Cabinet Cookery)

Onigirazu is a rice ball that one does not need to roll in their hands, or touch the filling, as it is wrapped in seaweed wrap. The end result is a sandwich-like onigiri, or rice ball. The making of this is very recent, having first appeared in 1990 in the manga “Cooking Papa”. Like many…

Steamed Rice Rolls

Steamed Rice Rolls are a delicious street food in Southeast Asia, and contain any filling of your liking, from noodles to pork. Growing up, these rolls, known as fawm kauv in Hmong, were a luxury. Mom rarely made them, and when she did my siblings and I dug in right away. I admit I seldom…

Simple Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are believed to have originated in China, during the Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD). In the spring, the people would make thin flour cakes loaded with fresh vegetables, to welcome this change in season. Today, these refreshing wraps of rice noodles, vegetables, and your choice of protein, can be enjoyed any time of the…