Spice up your dinner routine this holiday season with a menu of rich, aromatic, ginger-spiced dishes. Start off with snow crab legs flavored with cracked pepper and ginger, paired with whiskey cocktails made with a ginger-peppercorn syrup. For the main course, a crisp-skinned duck breast enhanced with Chinese five-spice powder makes an impressive display alongside ginger-glazed carrots and baby Asian greens dressed in umami-rich vinaigrette. An after-dinner treat of sticky-sweet cookies tastes delicious with a cup of ginger-laced coffee.
Deep-fried and then drenched in a honey syrup, yak kwa are a traditional Korean sweet flavored with sesame oil and fresh ginger juice. Our version of the cookie is adapted from Authentic Recipes from Korea; serve them warm with a dusting of cinnamon.
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This recipe, adapted from one in David Thompson's Thai Food (Ten Speed Press, 2002), belongs to a category of curries called phat phrik khing, or “dry curry.” It's caramelized in pork fat rather than cracked coconut cream, and there's no coconut milk for gravy, making the flavors of the paste—citrusy lemongrass, gingery krachai, briny shrimp—more pronounced. Begin with a fresh, well-balanced paste, then watch it closely so it doesn't burn. And while American cooks might find it counterintuitive to plunge pork belly into hot water, boiling and then browning the fatty meat gives it an excellent texture: crispy outside, soft within. See the recipe »
Light, tangy, and cooked with a modest amount of heat and any available seafood and fresh vegetables, kaeng som is an elemental and satisfying dish, and this curry from Pok Pok's Andy Ricker is an easy recipe to master. Learn to make the shrimp-enriched broth, which leads with tart, pungent flavors but also delivers measured amounts of sweetness, salt, and spice, and you'll begin to understand the balance in Thai cooking. See the recipe »
Every region of Thailand has its version of kaeng khiaw, or green curry—this central-Thailand version is from Andy Ricker, chef and owner of Pok Pok restaurant. Thai-style dumplings add a nice, bouncy texture to the dish—make your own, or buy fresh or frozen fish balls from an Asian grocery. See the recipe »
The dried spices in this complex, coconut-enriched Thai curry from chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok reveal its South Asian origins. Ricker's advice: "Follow the recipe exactly the first time, then adjust the seasonings and the coconut milk. Put your stamp on it. After all, that's what the Thai do." See the recipe »