Episode 52: Pinch Chinese + Xiao Long Bao

It’s only right that we end the season strong with a conversation about one of our favorite foods of all time—the famous xiao long bao (XLB), aka soup dumplings. We chat with Sean Tang, managing partner for Pinch Chinese, known for serving some of the best soup dumplings in NYC.

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Episode 51: Yunnan Mixian + South Of The Clouds

We’re talking about a Chinese cuisine we’ve never covered before on Feast Meets West, and that’s Yunnan cuisine. Yunnan is best known for its “crossing the bridge noodles”, which is a soup based rice noodles dish. It’s also the signature dish at the new noodle shop “South of the Clouds” in Greenwich Village. Tune in to hear from Chef & Owner Liheng Geng.

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Episode 50: COTE + NYC's First Korean Steakhouse

It’s our 50th episode of the Feast Meets West podcast! We have a fun episode for you covering how the Korean BBQ experience can be elevated and unexpected, and how you can be more mindful and respectful of your meats.

We’re chatting with Simon Kim, owner of COTE, NYC’s first Korean steakhouse, and what Pete Wells of the NYTimes called “the best beef at any Korean BBQ in New York”.

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Episode 49: China Blue + Designing a Different Chinese Dining Experience

In this episode, we are not just talking about Chinese food, but also the elevated dining experience you can find at a number of Chinese restaurants in recent years. We chat with founders Yiming Wang and Xian Zhang of Cafe China, China Blue, and Birds of a Feather, who are purposefully designing Chinese restaurants that become well known as much for its food as for its tastefully designed spaces.

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Episode 48: Zai Lai + Taiwanese Breakfast

#FMWAsianBreakfast is back in a big way this season. Last week we talked about Beijing’s jianbing, this week we’re onto Taiwanese breakfast! Chef Edward Huang of Zai Lai, a home-style Taiwanese concept in Columbus Circle’s Turnstyle Market, takes us through this iconic Taiwanese meal.

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Episode 47: Mr. Bing + Jianbing, The Ultimate Beijing Street Food

On this week’s episode, we talk about one of the oldest and most popular street food items in China–jianbing. It’s a crispy and savory crepe packed with delicious flavors, textures, and color.

Brian Goldberg, Founder of Mr. Bing, first fell in love with jianbing when he studied Chinese in Beijing in the late 90s; he bought jianbing everyday outside of his school from a nice lady who made them fresh on the back of a bicycle cart. Learn about this tasty treat and its journey to NYC.

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Episode 46: Kimbap Lab + Bibimbap in a Roll

Kimbap is an iconic Korean dish made from cooked rice, and other ingredients that are rolled in a dried sheet of seaweed, cut up and served in bite-size pieces, or as our friends from Kimbap Lab call it–bibimbap in a roll.

Co-founder of Kimbap Lab, Sarah Lee, takes us through her experience with this dish, her mission at Kimbap Lab, introducing sauces to kimbap, making Korean food gluten-free, and more!

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Episode 45: Tang Hotpot + China's Thousand Year Old Dish

On this episode of the Feast Meets West podcast, we are talking about a beloved dish that will warm you up inside and out. Hotpot is one of the most popular and oldest dishes originating from China over a thousand year’s ago.

In the studio with us is Yu Li, Founder of Tang Hotpot, where he serves up an authentic yet upscale Sichuan hotpot experience.

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Episode 44: The Hwa Yuan Legacy + OG Sesame Noodles

In this episode of the Feast Meets West podcast, we’re talking about sesame noodles and the family that made it a staple in New York's culinary landscape, helped define Chinese cuisine in the city since the 1960s, and pioneered the craze for fiery Sichuanese.

Chef Chen Lieh Tang and James Tang–son and grandson to the legendary Shorty Tang–joined us in the studio to talk about the popular dish and the return of their restaurant Hwa Yuan on East Broadway.

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Episode 43: Shunan Teng + Baijiu, the World's Most Consumed Liquor

Baijiu is the world’s most consumed liquor but is virtually unknown outside of China. Baijiu connoisseur, Shunan Teng of Tea Drunk, returns to the Feast Meets West podcast to talk about drinking baijiu, the different types, and how to appreciate this strong Chinese spirit.

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Sri Rao's Homestyle Chicken Curry Recipe

On the final episode of 2017, we talked to Sri Rao on the Feast Meets West podcast. Sri is the author of Bollywood Kitchen: Home-cooked Indian Meals Paired With Unforgettable Bollywood Films.

He has generously shared one of the recipes from his new cookbook with FMW listeners. Make this homestyle chicken curry, throw on a Bollywood flick, and enjoy a cold winter's night at home!

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Episode 42: John McCarthy + Bringing Izakaya Culture to the West

Japanese izakayas are easy to love. They’re casual, fun places to drink, and have become synonymous with tasty and affordable food options.

In this episode of the Feast Meets West podcast, we talk about bringing izakaya culture to the west, and what that looks like at John McCarthy’s latest project, Oka. We also give special attention to pairing sake with food.

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Episode 41: Nom Wah Tu + Beverage Pairings for Chinese Food

As the landscape for Chinese food matures in New York with more specialized and regional options, it’s time we talk about what we can expect in the alcohol department that matches and complements the food.

What exactly pairs well with the many flavors and spices found on the contemporary Chinese menu? To help us answer the question is Sophie Maarleveld and Phillip Szabados of Nom Wah Tu.

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Lynda's Food Diaries: Countdown to 2018

In case you were wondering what your Feast Meets West host has been doing over break other than hibernating, here's a page from my food diary counting down to 2018. Clearly, I've been reading too much of the Grub Street Diet.

Happy belated new years everyone! See you back on air in a couple days.

Monday, Dec 25th - Merry Christmas!

A bit of an odd week to write this diary entry since 1) holidays - so not my regular eating schedule 2) stomach bug (day 3 of suffering, or as my friend Suzanne puts it “my butt falling off”) - worst timing as the holidays are a rare and glorious time in the year for guilt-free feasting. On the plus side, this is the first time I lost weight over Christmas.

Depressed due to lack of appetite. When you take away a man’s ability to fulfill their life’s passion (mine, being eating), they become a shell of their former selves. Ryan, sensing my despondency, suggested we venture into the bone-chilling cold for a bite. We made it down a few blocks to the perpetually dependable Sapporo Ichiban. We are hosting Christmas dinner so did not order too much. Shared a plate of gyoza, clam soup, a California and a sweet potato tempura roll. Still feeling nauseous, so focused energy on consuming the easy to drink clam broth for sustenance.

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Proceeded to dive into dinner prep once we got home. Ryan’s vision was an all vegetarian meal with a lentil-based “meatless meatloaf” as the centerpiece, flanked by garlic mashed potatoes, and vegetables. Ryan was on the mains, using the InstantPot my mom got me for my birthday to pressure cook the lentils and potatoes. I was on veggie duty. For the roasted brussel sprouts, I used this recipe, minus the hazelnuts. For the crudite plate, I blanched some asparagus, cut up some cucumbers, plated some cherry tomatoes, poured ranch sauce into a ramekin, and called it a day. Our friend Vicky brought a lemon ricotta cheesecake from Whole Foods which took care of dessert. 

Sadly, I did not eat, because stupid stomach. But Ryan and our friends enjoyed the food while we watched the Christmas classic, Home Alone 2.


 

Tuesday, Dec 26th

Did not wake up with stomach ache so felt a lot more cheery today. Had a sliver of yesterday’s cheesecake for breakfast and did not immediately explode. Very promising.

Checked out the “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” exhibit at the Guggenheim with Vicky. We had some hot chocolate after to reward ourselves after such challenging art. Again, stomach feels settled and excited to put more solid things into it.

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Met up with Suzanne at Yaso Tangbao in Downtown Brooklyn before catching “Call Me By Your Name” at the Alamo Drafthouse. Note, soup dumplings are a genius idea for any day, but especially an arctic day. Got the regular pork, and crab & pork soup dumplings, the non soup-dumpling pork dumplings in broth, and pan fried baos. Soup dumplings were tasty morsels, the broth in them was light, and they were budget friendly. 

At the movies, Suz and I shared some soft pretzels dipped in mustard. Good carbs. Good movie.


Wednesday, Dec 27th

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We ended up at Frankel’s Delicatessen for lunch. Normally would get a bagel (kind of a weekly habit at this point), but was feeling kooky so ordered the BLT instead.

On Day 2 of my winter break culture mission and decided to go to the Queens Museum with Ryan to check out the “Never Built New York” exhibit. This was my favorite cultural activity of the week. Most impressed by the to-scale Panorama of NYC model.

Waited until I got home to eat since I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon and didn’t want to attack my dentist with food breath. Normally would be whining with hunger but stomach bug has really done a number on me.

Ryan’s obsession and experimentation with the InstantPot continues. He made some risotto. Hm, not so good. The creamy starches that are released during stirring were not present. He says he will try again and make it work. Anyway, I ended up making a bowl of Shin ramen. After I stirred in all the little flavor packets, I dropped an egg in for a nice runny yolk.

Thursday, Dec 28th

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Had to catch up on work, so no art today. To get me through the day, I had some avocado a la Alison Roman (of Dining In) with her “Everything” seed mixture, lemon juice, spread on toasted english muffins. Pleased to say that Alison has personally approved my choice of vehicle for avocado consumption. 

In preparation for forthcoming 2018 Feast Meets West episodes (sneak peek, folks!), I went to Chinatown to meet up with Sophie Maarleveld of Nom Wah Tu. We had a chat over a pot of green tea about pairing beverages with Chinese food. Then, walked over to the nearby Hwa Yuan where I met the Chef’s son, James Tang, for a tour of the restaurant, a brief history of the restaurant, and a taste of some of their popular dishes including our recording topic of choice - the sesame noodles. Really looking fwd to our upcoming episodes!

Back home, I continued eating the leftover scallion pancakes, stir-fried beef, and spicy wontons for dinner, while watching “Coming to America” for the first time. Filling in my US culture gap.

Friday, Dec 29th

Went to Jongro KBBQ with some friends for a proper lunch feast. We inhaled platters of beef, pork, stews, and a seafood pancake. Welcome back appetite! Regulars of K-town BBQ joints (aka Vicky) say the meat here is the best.

After lunch I met up with Seung Hee Lee of Everyday Korean for a chat at Radiance Tea House in midtown. This tea house is a blessing in an otherwise annoyingly touristy and lacking part of town. We shared a pot of the “spring beauty”, a black tea infused with rosebuds, dates, and faintly sweet with brown sugar - supposedly good for things like vitality, blood and skin.

Met up with Ryan for a date at the The Met, now on day 3 of my winter break culture mission. Everyone apparently had the same brilliant idea. We waited in line and battled crowds of puffy jackets to check out the Michelangelo and David Hockney special exhibits. The ordeal required a drink where I experienced the most enjoyable part of the museum visit - a limoncello martini at the balcony bar.

On the way home, dropped by Keste Williamsburg, where we shared a pizza. Pizza was delicious, but this location was sparse and seems more optimized for the delivery operation, unlike the inviting West Village original. Pizza was not enough (sharing was Ryan’s idea), so got some Nestle cookie dough - warm cookies for lazy people. Didn’t put them in a cookie jar fast enough and Ryan ate all the cookies.

Saturday, Dec 30th

Started the day at the East River Park where I sent my dead fish ("Alpha" the betta fish) to sea. The memorial brunch took place at Reynard with Alpha’s inner circle.

Headed around the block to Westlight for end of year drinks. Still think this is one of the best views in the city. Let’s pour one out for my fish, and for the generally shitty year known as 2017.

Had too many cocktails, followed by more wine at home. Need nap. Fell asleep at 9pm like an adult.

Sunday, Dec 31st - New Years Eve!

Hooray, we made it through the year intact! Despite the deteriorating global climate, there is much to be thankful for.

Cleaned the house and rewarded myself with a bowl of spicy beef noodles with soup from Xi'an Famous Foods.

Iris is here visiting on her annual NYC pilgrimage!

We opted for a mature NYE celebration with some bubbly at home, dinner and countdown at the delicious Northern Italian restaurant Naked Dog, and our first cocktail of 2018 at Ramona.

Happy 2018!

Episode 40: Sri Rao + The Indian-American Kitchen

Photo credit: Lisa Vollmer

For our final episode of the season (and year!), we are joined by screenwriter, Sri Rao, to help us learn more about Indian-American recipes, culture, and his new cookbook Bollywood Kitchen: Home-cooked Indian Meals Paired With Unforgettable Bollywood Films.

Aside from working in Hollywood and being one of the few Americans working in Bollywood (India’s movie industry), Sri is a devoted home chef of Indian cuisine. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, both films and food were ways in which he learned about and connected with his Indian heritage.

Food and films are our primary connection to a motherland we never knew.
— Sri Rao, in the introduction of Bollywood Kitchen

Check out Lynda's interview with Sri to learn about his process of introducing the American audience to Bollywood films across different genres through his cookbook, and how he paired a recipe with each movie. They also discuss Indian-American beef dishes, why Asian moms and aunties are the worst at imparting their recipes, and why a lot of Indian musical actors don't actually sing!

Quick-fire Q&A: Amelie Kang and Meng Ai of MáLà Project

Co-owners of MáLà Project, Meng Ai and Amelie Kang, joined us for Episode 36 to talk about Sichuan dry pot. Here's our quick-fire Q&A session with these two ladies!

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Amelie Kang

Neighborhood of residence:
Crown Heights.

Favorite restaurant in your hood:
I hang out more in Manhattan than Crown Heights. Huerta’s in East Village is one of faves.

Favorite spot to grab a drink:
B Flat any day!

Most recent/recommended dining out experience:
Jeepney.

Favorite dish to cook:
Lamb stew.

What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of?
鱼头泡饼Fish head + pancake stew?   

What would be your last meal on earth?
My grandmother’s fried rice—she does it with just leeks, eggs, and a proper amount of salt. Best thing ever.

Meng Ai

Neighborhood of residence:
Roosevelt Island.

Favorite restaurant in your hood:
There aren't many restaurants on Rooselvelt Island. Aside from MáLà Project, Little Alley is one of my favorites.

Favorite spot to grab a drink:
Angel's Share in East Village.

Most recent/recommended dining out experience:
Tang Hotpot in Chinatown.

Favorite dish to cook:
Braised pork feet (红烧猪蹄).

What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of?
Chinese breakfast, like clay oven rolls (烧饼) and fried bread sticks (油条).

What would be your last meal on earth?
A kind of fried roll with beef and bean curd sheet that my mother learned from my grandmother.

Episode 39: Momo Delight + Why NYC Loves Nepalese Dumplings

Momo photo credit: Teddy Wolf

Our first Nepalese guest, Fulpa Jangbu of Momo Delight—formerly known as food truck Momo Bros which won Rookie of the Year at the 2017 Vendy Awards—joins Lynda on our second to last episode of the year. They talk about Nepalese and Tibetan food, and why New Yorkers love the Nepalese dumpling, momo!

For those who are not familiar with this food, momo is a type of South Asian dumpling found in Tibet, Nepal, and parts of India. Fulpa and his brother, Pasang, were born in Tibet and grew up in Nepal - so they know their momo! Fulpa explains to us how momo isn't just a food in Nepal, it's part of their lifestyle. It's a food that all Nepalese people know and love. Whether it's a birthday, a wedding, or just a bad day that needs a pick-me-up, momo is the answer.

Starting Momo Bros, followed by Momo Delight, seemed like a natural series of events for the brothers. Not only did they learn how to make momo at a very young age, their father had been a chef in New York for several years and their mother is a great cook. As the brothers began to take their dumpling-making more seriously and making them for friends and family, their parents recognized their effort and encouraged them to start selling their momo. Though they are both college students, they also have the New Yorker work ethic and manage to balance running a small business with their studies.

Many people know Nepal for having the tallest mountain in the world. But it’s not just that. Nepal has more than 130 different ethnic groups [...]. They have so many different varieties of ideas and cuisines...we would love to share that with the rest of the world. And we would like to start with sharing momo.
— Fulpa on the mission of Momo Delight

To learn more about the different kinds of dumplings and sauces Momo Delight serves, why the brothers wake up at 4 a.m. to smash dough, and the difference between Tibetan and Nepalese momo, make sure to check out the episode above. 

There's only one episode left of the season, so make sure you tune in for the last Feast Meets West interview of 2017!