My guest for this episode is Corinne Trang (see below). I had her on my show on the food network when she came out with her first cookbook and just loved her recipes. So, I challenged her to come up with some noodle entrees that could be made quickly on a weeknight. The three recipes we prepared together come from her new book, Asian Noodles Revealed (Chronicle Books, 2009). One caveat about these noodles, which is true for most Asian dishes – all ingredients must be diced, sliced, prepped ahead of time (which is not necessary for most of my recipes) because Asian cooking is so quick. You throw one ingredient in the pan and cook it for 10 seconds or so. If the next ingredient is not ready at that point the first ingredient will burn. We have included sources for the ingredients to make sure you will be able to make Corinne’s recipes.
Corinne Trang, is the award-winning author of Authentic Vietnamese Cooking (1999), Essentials of Asian Cuisine (2003), The Asian Grill (2006), A Food Lover’s Guide: Vietnamese (2007), and Asian Noodles Revealed (2009). She has also contributed to many cookbooks including the recently published, Curry Cuisine (2006), as well as written for numerous publications. She is the Educational Program Consultant at the Sylvia Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to teaching children about proper nutrition and healthy eating habits through fun, sensory hands-on cooking classes (for more information go to www.sylviacenter.org). Corinne has taught and lectured internationally including at Syracuse University, University of Massachussetts at Amherst, and New York University. She is also a food consultant and spokesperson, frequent television and radio guest, and Chief East Coast Correspondent for the World Travel and Dining Guide On-line Radio. For more information visit www.corinnetrang.com.
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Tips. The best way to store fresh ginger is to put it in a bowl when you bring it home from the store and cover with cold water. It will last much longer stored this way.
You can use the stems of cilantro as well as the leaves. The stems are very tender (unlike parsley stems).
Soy sauce does not last forever; use it within about 9 months.
Fish sauce should be stored in the fridge and used within 9 months.
Sesame oil must be kept in the fridge after you have opened it. Nut and seed oils go rancid quickly.
If you can’t find palm sugar, you can combine 1 cup brown sugar plus 2 teaspoons molasses and use the amount called for in the recipe.
Tools. You can find a large variety of Asian cooking equipment and dried ingredients at Pearl River; 800-878-2446.
Ingredients. Here are all the ingredients that Corinne recommends you stock in order to make her dishes: Ginger, Garlic, Scallions, Shallots, Cilantro, Soy sauce, Sesame oil, Fish sauce, Tamarind concentrate, Pressed tofu, Wonton wrappers (made with or without egg), Soba noodles, Rice sticks, Toragashi, Nori flakes, Bok choy, and Palm sugar. If you can’t find what you need at your supermarket, try the following sources:
Diamond Organics; 888- 674-2642; Asian herbs and vegetables
Kaluystan’s; 800-352-3451; Dried spices and Sauces
Importfood.com; 888-618-8424; Southeast Asian condiments and dried ingredients
Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Inc.; 800-588-0151; Asian herbs and vegetables
Mitsuwa Marketplace; 201-941-9113; Japanese and Korean ingredients
Penzey’s Spices; 800-741-7787; Dried herbs and spices