We all love chicken chow mein and sushi, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of other amazing Asian foods available. The following list is comprised of some of the most delectable but overlooked Asian cuisine in America.
1. Stinky Tofu is available for takeout and delivery from Hunan Manor in NYC. The “stink” comes from a month-old brine of fermented shrimp in which the tofu is marinated and then boiled or fried. This is the sort of thing that can violate air-pollution laws, but when you gotta have it, you gotta have it!
2. Skewered Sweetbreads are an astoundingly satisfying way to enjoy an otherwise overlooked thymus gland. Perfect grilling skills leave the outside of these skewered sweetbreads crunchy and the insides beautifully creamy. The Chef at Yusho in Chicago pairs them with a tart sauce prepared from preserved plums.
3. Shrimp and Snow Pea Leaf Dumplings are a beautiful modern Asian creation straight from the RedFarm kitchen in New York City. Not only does this dish present the best of Asian flavors and techniques, but the best in aesthetic appeal as well. These soft, translucent dumpling skins show the pink and green filling underneath two tiny, perfect dots of sesame-seed-topped sauce.
4. Coconut Ginger Rice Pudding is a featured dessert at Kuma Inn in New York City. It’s a fabulous way to use Asian ingredients to create a better version of a traditional European dish. Coconut gives the rice pudding an intense, creamy sweetness while the ginger works in place of nutmeg as a more invigorating counterpoint to the cream. This luscious dessert is just to die for.
5. Crispy Pig Ear from the Mission Chinese Food in NYC is something that will forever change the way you look at those rubbery pigs ears in the pet store. The dish is made with old bay and country ham powder making the flavor combinations out of this world.
6. Duck Fat Fried Chicken is one of those masterpieces whose simple ingredients were sitting in plain view for years without being put together. Fried chicken – check. Duck fat – check. It’s a symphony of the traditional Asian soy sauce and chili marinade, battered in corn starch and finished off with the most flavorful fat on the planet. This delightful entree is available from Chicago’s Slurping Turtle.
Got other awesome hidden gems in your Chinese food order? Share them in the comments below!