Vietnamese Coffee and Peanut Sesame Gelato

Tucked away on the backside of Chinatown lies a tiny enclave of brick residential homes and a smattering of sidewalk cafes and restaurants, with a temperament that extends off the hippie vibe of Kensington market, but in a grown up way. This is Baldwin Village. For Torontonians, it’s where the infamous 2-for-1 Chinese fried lobster special from Wah Sing resides. It’s also home to a sweet gelato shop featuring Asian-flavored gelato.
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What In The World Are Banana Blossoms & More Importantly, How Do You Eat Them!?

You know when you happen upon something unfamiliar and then you encounter it repeatedly? I called it serendipity or fortunate happenstance, but science has another term for it, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Mine is currently banana blossoms. Keep Reading!

Slurp, Slurp

Slurp your way to warmth and health with this nourishing Asian-inspired soup. Don’t be afraid to stray from the recipe; open your fridge, use what’s on hand and experiment! If you’re a meat-eater go ahead and replace the tofu with free range pork, stir fried until brown and crispy. No watercress? Try spinach or another leafy green. Use what you have on hand and don’t worry you can’t go wrong with this soup! Keep Reading!

Remix: Born to hand CHIVE baby!

The following recipe is a spin-off from a class I took with the Grand Rapids Cooking School at the Uptown Kitchen in Grand Rapids, MI.  At the class we made a Garlic Chive and Almond Pesto which was shockingly green and highly addicting!  I remixed it fusion-style with Asian Chives (which are very garlicky) and Candlenuts.  Candlenuts frequent the sauces and sambals of Malay and Indonesian cooking, acting as a thickener and are known for their high oil content.  I find it interesting, that throughout various parts of the world the candlenut plant is medicinal, treating ailments with the bark, leaves and fruit.

Perhaps this Pesto Remix not only awakens the taste buds but awakens the body too!

Asian Chive and Candlenut Pesto

5oz Fresh Asian Chives (Kow Choi)
3oz Candlenuts
a few sprigs of Culantro
a few sprigs of Cilantro
150 ml Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
freshly, grated Parmesan

In a mortar with pestle or food processor/spice coffee grinder, finely chop the candlenuts, chive, culantro, and cilantro while steadily pouring in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with freshly grated parmesan.

I enjoyed this pesto on crusty baguette:

Asian Chive and Candlenut Pesto on Baguette

Slice open a baguette and butter both sides.  Smear each side with plenty of pesto.  Fire up the broiler and toast until bubbly and nicely browned!