Traditional recipes

Beef and Shishito Pepper Skewers with Sichuan Salt

Beef and Shishito Pepper Skewers with Sichuan Salt

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This seasoned salt is equally good on other cuts of meat, like chicken thighs or breasts or pork chops. Make a big batch and use it as you like.


  • 1½ teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns or ½ tsp. black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound flatiron steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 8 shishito peppers or Padrón chiles, halved crosswise if large
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Special equipment

  • Spice mill or mortar and pestle; 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes

Recipe Preparation

  • Coarsely grind cumin seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, salt, and red pepper flakes in a spice mill or mortar and pestle (you still want some pieces of spice); set Sichuan salt aside.

  • Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Thread beef (fold over as needed to skewer) and peppers alternately onto skewers, starting and ending with beef. Brush with oil and season with reserved Sichuan salt. Grill, turning often, until lightly charred and beef is medium-rare, 5–7 minutes.

  • Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

  • DO AHEAD: Sichuan salt can be made 1 month ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

,Photos by Christina Holmes

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 296 Fat (g) 19 Saturated Fat (g) 5 Cholesterol (mg) 75 Carbohydrates (g) 9 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 23 Sodium (mg) 90Reviews Section

Let the steaks rest on top of the tomatoes. Their juices will commingle and make the dressing that much better.

By Alyse Whitney. Photos by: Gentl & Hyers, Alex Lau, Peden + Munk, Christopher Testani, Christina Holmes, and Hirsheimer & Hamilton.

Raise the stakes on weeknight dinners with easy steak recipes.

This story originally appeared on Bon Appetit.

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  • 2 (1 1/2– to 2-inch-thick) ribeye, strip, porterhouse, or T-bone steaks (about 1 pound/450g each), or 4 tenderloin steaks (6 to 8 ounces/170 to 225g each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs thyme or rosemary (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable, canola, or rice bran oil (if pan-searing)
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter (if pan-searing optional)

Karl’s Salt Cabbage with Red Shishito Pepper (Kyabetsu Shiozuke Tsukemono)

I am making several vegetable dishes for my Japanese feast this Sunday, pickled cabbage is an easy choice for me. Japan has many Tsukemono, literally “pickled things.” When my father came back from Japan in the fifties, he introduced my family to Japanese cuisine. One dish that he learned to make was salt pickled cabbage (kyabetsu shio-zuke キャベツ塩-漬け ). A fond memory of my childhood was this salty crunchy pickle, that he only made occasionally for special occasions.

Karl’s Salt Cabbage with Red Shishito Pepper
Kyabetsu Shio-zuke Tsukemono

A while ago, I finally replicated his recipe. I always have to add something. When I was at the local farmer’s market last week, I saw some red shishito peppers. This are nothing more than fully ripe shishito pepper. They are a bright fire engine red and are usually mild—although you might get a “hot” one. I decided to add one to my pickled cabbage.

Karl’s Salt Cabbage with Red Shishito Pepper (Kyabetsu Shio-zuke Tsukemono)


¼ head of green cabbage
1 Tbs. Kosher salt
1 Red Shishito Pepper


1. Cut the cabbage into one inch squares and break the leaves apart.

2. Put them in a large bowl and sprinkle the salt over the vegetables.

3. Use a spatula to mix and distribute the salt over the leaves.

4. Toss the vegetables several times over the next two hours to coat all surfaces of the cabbage with the salty brine.

Tip: This salting starts the process of drawing the liquid out of the leaves and makes them a bit softer and easier to press down.

5. Slice the shishito pepper into rings and remove the seeds and stem.

6. Mix the pepper rings into the cabbage and transfer the mixture to a pickle press and crank down on the press.

Tip: You want the cabbage to be completely submerged when it is press down.

Note: If your pickle press has a crank, turn it as down as tightly as you can and tighten it again after an hour.

7. Let the cabbage pickle for one to three days, the longer the better.

Tip: I have found that 2-3 days is the perfect length of time.

8. Drain, but do not rinse, the cabbage before serving.

9. Transfer the tsukemono to a serving bowl and serve at room temperature.

Tip: Pick out a few of the pepper rings to use as a garnish.

Ethnic/Cultural Info

In the last decade, izakayas have become one of the most popular small plate dining venues in the United States. Originally from Japan, izakayas are the Japanese’s take on a tapas bar and were partially designed to help increase sake consumption among the younger population. The local bars offer a wide variety of food items to share with family and friends, and the ambiance is meant to be loud, relaxing, and a place to spend an extended period of time while continually ordering food and drinks. At izakayas, the plates are traditionally small and are brought to the table as soon as they are ready. Many of the dishes found at izakayas are meant to complement the drink selection, providing salty, savory, crunchy, and spicy flavors. Green Shishito chile peppers are one of the popular and more common items seen at American izakayas, quickly blistered over an open fire and sprinkled in sea salt, and are viewed as a trendy, modern, and comfortable finger food.

Eat Your Way Through The New Andaz Singapore

While most hotels have about at last one in-house restaurants, and maybe a cafe and bar, the newly-opened Andaz Singapore has gone all-out with half a dozen dining concepts under one roof. Christened Alley on 25, the hotel's food hub consists of 7 distinct shophouse-inspired establishments with a bar, a lounge, and 5 restaurants differentiated by various cooking styles. While payment is separate for each 'shophouse', nothing is stopping you from creating your own food trial by moving around the different concepts. Here's what to eat:

Sichuan-style dishes at Aunties Wok & Steam

Auntie's Wok & Steam

It's in the name. This shophouse serves local and Sichuan-style dishes prepared using the traditional Chinese cooking methods of steaming and wok-frying. Also just like in many Chinese restaurants, you can pick live seafood from tanks to be cooked in front of you, only now you know that it's all sustainably sourced. Besides zi char-style dishes with a Sichuan slant, they've also got la mian and dim sum that's perfect for breakfast or brunch. Favourites include double-boiled beef short rib noodles ($18) that come in an intense broth mapo tofu ($30) that's elevated with Alaskan king crab meat and fiery, mouthwatering steamed eggplant ($14) with tofu and Sichuan dressing. If things are getting a bit too hot here, order their refreshing Pandan iced tea, which comes with a tiny pitcher of housemade pandan syrup. Open all day.

Smoke Peppers Japanese Black Angus beef skewers

Smoke & Pepper

Your food trial continues with Asian-style barbecues at Smoke & Pepper. There's a varied selection of cuisines here, from Japanese Black Angus beef skewers ($35) with soy-mirin glaze and shishito peppers to a moreish otak-like spiced fish burger ($17) that's served with Asian slaw and Sriracha-mayonnaise. There's also some pretty good seafood items coming out of this kitchen - we particularly like the diver scallops ($15/piece) that come grilled with sesame-butter and a squeeze of lime. Lunch and dinner only.

Lobster mac and cheese at The Green Oven

The Green Oven

Ravenous? The Green Oven is the way to go, with plenty of hearty, sharing mains like braised osso buco ($35) with Barolo wine jus, mushrooms and root vegetables as well as lobster mac & cheese ($35), prepared with a moreish sauce that's somewhere between lobster bisque and cheese. The comfort food doesn't stop there, as desserts like their oven-baked brownies with peanut butter ice cream ($16) will feed your stomach and your soul. The Green Oven's also open for breakfast, and you can find fresh, cage-free eggs all ways, served with sourdough toast Tiong Bahru Bakery. Open all day.

The signature pandan chiffon cakes at Andaz come in a variety of flavours


While you get your usual charcuterie, seafood (sustainably sourced), salads and sandwiches at the cold kitchen at Alley on 25, what you want to look out for are the desserts. They've got a custom Andaz Chendol Pop ($10) that's made in collaboration with Bjorn Shen's Neh Neh Pop. The icy treats are like a chendol magnum, with gula melaka coconut ice cream and red bean caramel swirls encased in pandan white chocolate. Their other signature is their insta-worthy pandan chiffon cakes (from $4.50), which comes glazed in luscious, Asian-inspired flavours like banana, taro, black sesame and coconut. Open all day.

Kurobuta pork chop with Fuji apple puree at Plancha’Lah!


End your day on a high note with a plancha/teppanyaki-styled dinner theatre. On offer at this concept are a range of 5-course dinner sets (from $108/pax), prepared in front of you on a plancha. Items include sweets Japanese fruit tomato served with pine nuts, balsamic, and basil tender Kurobuta pork chop with Fuji apple puree and A4 Saga Wagyu sirloin. There's also a vegetarian set, with courses like wild mushroom papillotte and green asparagus with truffle butter. Dinner only.

Bar Square

Drink up a spectacular view of the city with a tipple in hand here. Cocktails here come with spirits that have been infused with local ingredients like their signature Lau Pa Loma ($16), a mezcal-based drink with a one-two punch of citrus and smoke or the Irish Kopi C ($16), a tribute to the local Nanyang-style coffee with Irish whisky. Not a cocktail person? Try the Andaz Pale Ale ($8), the house brew that's been produced in conjunction with the local Red Dot Brewhouse. Open 12pm-12am.

Grilled Short Ribs + Bacon Grit-Cake + Chinese Broccoli + 5-Spice BBQ Sauce + Creamed Corn Sauce

I was feeling the fusion when I thought up this dish!

I made this dish a few weeks ago and now I’ve finally gotten around to posting a picture of it. You’ll have to excuse me what with work and the new(ish) baby and holidays and travel I’ve been hard-pressed to find time to post about anything! But I’m trying to rectify all that and hopefully I’ll be able to pump out a few decent posts in the next week or two.

Anyway, this dish represents a rare fusion-y dish for me. I was striving for an Asian-slash-Southern-US dish, with some Chinese broccoli subbing in for collards and a barbecue sauce spiked with sriracha and Chinese five-spice powder.

I won’t take the time to go into all the minute details, but I’ll give you the broad strokes. If you really need more detail send me a comment and I’ll give you what you need.

• First I braised some short ribs (on the bone) in homemade beef broth and xao xing (Chinese cooking wine) with some shallots and garlic and ginger in a heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid. They took about three hours to cook at 300°F. I let the short ribs cool and then I removed them from the liquid and refrigerated them until they were cold.

• I then sliced nice slabs from the cold short ribs, removing any bone, connective tissue, and excess fat. I allowed the meat to come to room temperature before finishing the dish.

• While the short ribs were braising I made a basic red barbecue sauce (ketchup, mustard, vinegar, molasses, sugar, spices, etc.) and added a nice dose of sriracha for heat and a big tablespoon of Chinese five-spice powder.

• I then threw together a simple grit-cake by cooking white grits according to the package directions and when cooked, mixing in chopped cooked bacon, grated cheddar cheese, butter, chives, and some salt n pepper. I poured the cooked grits onto a small sheet pan lined with oiled parchment paper. I cooled the grits in the fridge until firm and then cut it into rectangular slabs.

• And then I made a sauce from some leftover creamed corn. I thinned out the creamed corn, cooked it until hot in a small saucepan, and then pureed it hot in a blender at high speed. While the creamed corn was blending I added a tablespoon of cold butter and a pinch of sugar. I poured the creamed corn through a coarse strainer and then set the sauce aside.

• Finally I blanched in salted boiling water a big handful of chopped gai lan Chinese broccoli. I cooled the par-cooked greens in an ice bath and then drained them.

To finish the dish I did the following.

• First I crisped the grit cake in a hot skillet until brown on one side. I flipped it and browned the other side.

• Next I sauteed the gai lan in some butter and kept it warm off the side.

• I heated a grill-pan and then lightly oiled the short rib slabs. I seasoned the short ribs with plenty of salt and pepper and then grilled them until I had nice grill-marks on both sides. I basted them with a little of the bbq sauce.

• I warmed the creamed corn sauce in a very small pot on the stove while I assembled the dish.

• I placed the gai lan in the center of a warmed plate. I topped the greens with a cooked bacon grit-cake. I placed two slabs of short ribs on top of that and then drizzled the warm creamed corn sauce around the plate. I dabbed more bbq sauce over the meat and then drizzled a few decorative swirls of bbq sauce on the plate. I topped the meat with a little chopped scallions as a garnish and then I ate the WHOLE THING!!

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Sichuan Pork Ragu

This Momofuku inspired recipe comes from Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes cookbook, by way of by way of my son, Scott.

I’m always getting interesting recipes from Scott to try. Like the 6 day plus salt cured egg yolk or his 24 no knead bread recipe. This particular recipe sounded really interesting to me though because I have follow Momofuku restaurants and David Chang for years. I just love that name and the way it rolls off your tongue — mo – mo- fu- ku. Now how could their food not be interesting and delicious.

The Lucky Beach cookbook has simplified a dish that David Chang serves in his Momofuku Ssam Bar. I always though of a ragu as being Italian and a heavy, hearty meal. The Italian versions of a ragu is a pasta sauce made with ground or minced meat, vegetables and tomatoes and the French style is more like a stew that is made of meat, fish and vegetables. You can eat either on its own or with a starch like a noodle or polenta.

This version is much lighter. I have used a Japanese dried noodle and it has baby bok choy which I increased from 2 cups to four since it seems to disappear when it starts wilting a little. I had a hard time finding the red chili bean paste though. I’ve bought it in the past but ended up using a fermented red chili past that is made from soybeans. (So, that could still pass for chili bean paste I thin??) I also did not have any ground pork on hand but had a bag full of pork milanese slices that I chopped up into small pieces. I may try the ground pork or even use some shrimp the next time I want to try this recipe.

I put together most of my ingredients earlier in the day so when I was ready to throw this together it literally took minutes to make. The noodles only take 3-4 minutes to cook and that can be done while you are sautéing the other ingredients.

Hope you will give this a try, and if you do, and you like it or have any suggestions for changes, please leave me a note down in the comment section.

Ingredients for this quick stir-fry.

Put the baby bok choy in a colander and rinse really well removing all grit and dirt that may be hiding in the leaves.

Coarsely chop up the baby bok choy.

Szechuan Peppercorns. It takes a tablespoon.

I could not find chili bean past but this version is made from soy beans.

Saute the onions until golden and remove from pan, set aside.

Saute the pork for 7-8 minutes, breaking up into small pieces if using ground pork. I used some pork milanese slices and chopped small because I had it in my freezer.

Add in the chili bean paste and all the other seasonings and peppercorns.

Add in the bok choy and quick stir-fry a couple of minutes. The recipe called for 2 cups, I will add 4 cups the next time because it quickly wilts down.

From Xi'an Famous Foods: The Cuisine of Western China, from New York's Favorite Noodle Shop Xi'an Famous Foods by Jason Wang

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  • Categories: Pasta, doughs & sauces Main course Cooking for 1 or 2 Chinese
  • Ingredients: all-purpose flour green cabbage soy sauce Chinese black vinegar oyster sauce whole star anise Sichuan peppercorns bay leaves fennel seeds fresh ginger white pepper Chinese chili powder garlic green onions celery Chinese chives vegetable oil

Sakura House: Sizzling Skewers of Kushiyaki

Tucked away in the corner of a nondescript strip mall across and down the street from Costco on Washington Blvd is a wonderful Japanese restaurant. I’m not exactly sure how long Sakura House – Sizzling Skewers of Kushiyaki has been there, but I first went there maybe eleven years ago. I believe my pal Mitch Pender took me there and I was a fan from the first bite. As you may have guessed from their wonderfully descriptive name, Sakura House specializes in grilled things on sticks.

Most of you will be familiar with yakitori, the famous chicken skewer of Japan, but you may not be familiar with the larger world of kushiyaki, which is way more than just grilled chicken bits on sticks. Of course chicken is offered, but perhaps in less recognizable forms the best savory bits are chicken hearts, gizzards, livers, skin, and wings. But you’ll also find pork, beef, shrimp, squid, fish, and a variety of vegetables prepped for the grill. In addition they offer a wide range of other dishes from their back kitchen — salads, sauteed veggies, and some desserts.

At Sakura House they have a classic Japanese kushiyaki grill, which they feed with dense oak charcoal. I think they used to cook with specialized Japanese hardwood charcoal (which I’m familiar with and have used in the past) but according to the younger of the two grill-masters (the one staring at me in the picture below) Japanese charcoal is a thing of the past due to over-harvesting. You can get similar charcoal from China or Korea, but I think they now use a domestic product. In any event, this type of grill produces an intense heat, which cooks the skewers quickly and with a distinctive, lovely char.

It’s instructive to watch the guys grilling. They are focused and pretty adept at handling up to forty separate skewers at once, as well as whole ears of corn and rice cakes. I think they have a couple of different temperature zones, as I watched them transfer items from one side to another to finish. With most skewers, after grilling they’d dip or brush it with some tare sauce, a sauce of soy, mirin, sugar, ginger, maybe some garlic. It’s a simple sauce, and delicious.

It takes two guys to carefully tend this authentic Japanese grill.

Miso sauce, a little crunchy “crudite”.

When you sit down you’re given a little dish with two wells, one filled with a sweet-and-salty miso sauce. The other depression is for the soy sauce offered on the table. Another small dish is filled with a little crudite of cabbage, carrot, and cucumber which you can munch while you peruse the menu, which is vast with so many items it’s hard to make a choice. I recommend that you choose several grilled skewers, a salad of some kind, and a couple of warm dishes from the back kitchen. That’s what Regina and I did, and we had a wonderful, varied meal. We had enough to be full, enough to not want dessert, but not enough to make us feel obese when we left.

Simply, prettily prepared skewer of grilled squid with shiso leaf.

First up was a lovely skewer of grilled squid wrapped around shiso leaf. It was just-cooked-through, tender, and sweet. The aromatic shiso gave the mild squid a lovely herbaceous quality. I dipped it in the miso sauce and it came alive. It was a nice way to start, but frankly it paled in comparison to the robust and succulent parade of skewers that followed.

Next up was one of my favorites: enoki mushrooms wrapped in very thinly sliced pork belly. Six little bundles of the super-thin white fungi are stuck on a stick and grilled until lightly charred. This dish was absolutely stunning — fatty, delicious, springy on your tongue. I sprinkled over it a little shichimi togarashi, that finely ground Japanese chili powder mixed with ground yuzu zest. You’ll find a little shaker at every table. It’s a great way to give the skewers a little pow!

Skewer of gilled enoki mushrooms wrapped in thinly-sliced pork belly.
A little fuzzy, this pic. But the flavors of this dish were clear and direct.

A little sunomono was crisp and fresh, the thin slices of cucumber swimming in a mild ponzu. It’s a pleasant counterpoint to the more assertive flavors of the grill. If you’ve read any of my restaurant posts you’ll notice that in Asian restaurants Regina and I always get cucumbers in some form or another. It’s de rigueur when eating Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, or Japanese.

Grilled chicken hearts! Really delicious. I heartily recommend them! : )
This dude never loses his cool over a hot grill.

After the cucumbers we got in rapid succession some of Regina’s personal favorites — chicken hearts, livers, and gizzards. I love them too, but Regina gets downright fanatical about them. The chicken hearts were excellent — flavorful, a little chewy but not not remotely tough. The livers were by far some of the best I’ve ever had. Sometimes livers can be too granular, too minerally, almost too funky. These were not they were superb — tender, moist, robust in flavor, just delicious and addicting. They were on par with chicken livers I’ve eaten at Yakitoria and better than the livers we ate at Furaibo a few months ago.

Now gizzards are tricky. Part of the chicken’s digestive system, the gizzard is a gastric mill, pre-stomach, that helps the birds break down tough grains. It’s a pretty tough muscle and if cooked badly can be a hard thing to force down. But Sakura House makes perfect grilled gizzard. They were both tender and crunchy at the same time. Absolutely delicious, although probably not for the novice. But if you’re feeling just a tiny bit daring, this skewer is a must!

Chicken liver was truly amazing!
Perfectly cooked chicken gizzards. Both tender and crunchy!
Surprisingly spicy and addictive sauteed shishito peppers.

We got a little break from the grill in the form of sauteed shishito peppers, which had a nice little char from the hot pan. These were perfectly cooked, simple and delicious. Mostly shishito are very mild, almost like a baby green bell pepper, but it seemed like every third or fourth pepper in this batch had the fire of a jalapeno! I needed my ice cold Sapporo to help quell the heat.

That awesome quail egg!
You know these guys reek of grilled meat every day of their lives!

Afterwards came that excellent quail egg, wrapped like the enoki in thinly sliced fatty pork. The pork was crispy and delicious, and the flavor soaked into the mild and fluffy boiled egg. It was just dynamite, especially with a dash of togarashi and a tiny dip of soy. Possibly my favorite dish of the night. I could have eaten a dozen more!

Next was the a beef skewer, which was frankly overcooked and bland. Too chewy, and a disappointment. But the chicken wing that followed was great. Before skewering the wings, the chefs cut into the skin and splay it out a little so that the wings cook evenly on the grill even so, the menu says they take 20 minutes to cook. Well, the time on the grill pays off. The garlic pepper wings were delicious and perfectly cooked — moist on the inside, crisp and fatty on the outside. Very good, although I think I liked them a bit more than Regina.

Grilled beef skewer was a little tough and slightly bland.
Garlic pepper chicken wings. Very yummy, but don’t forget they take 20 minutes!

Our crispy char-grilled rice cake was also quite good, well-cooked and toasty. Only the filling of seasoned seaweed (perhaps hijiki) was kinda blah. They have other offerings, salmon roe being the filling I’d try on another visit.

Next was fried tofu with ground chicken, which was a bit like Chinese classic ma po tofu but less saucy and lacking the zesty kick of Sichuan peppercorn. It would have been perfect with a bowl of steamed rice, but we hadn’t ordered any and the rice cake was too flavorful in its own right to be a good foil. Also, the sauce was a trifle too sweet for my palate. It wasn’t great, but I ate the whole thing anyway.

Grilled rice cake stuffed with seasoned seaweed.
Fried tofu with minced chicken. Tasty, a bit too sweet.

Excellent eggplant with a simple miso sauce.

The eggplant with miso sauce came out next, and it was a winner. The eggplant was perfectly cooked. Tender but not mushy, well-flavored and not at all oily. It had a slight smoky undercurrent, and Regina turned to me and said, “You can taste the wok hay!” And then we burst out laughing. Because that is what we do.

The final dish was the spicy chicken wings. They weren’t very spicy, but the sauce was delightful and the char was really nice, adding texture and real flavor. Very good and tasty, but by that time I was pretty much done. We were full. Happy and full.

“Spicy” chicken wings weren’t, but they did taste good!

Service at Sakura House was pleasant and mostly attentive. We were comfortable. The restaurant has a clean, no-frills dining room with a few modest and pleasant touches. I particularly like the wooden bird toothpick dispenser, which dips its beak into the toothpick box and extracts a single pick just for you. A silly thing to take to, I know, but I can be a silly man.

Regina and I agreed that our dinner was fantastic. We will make a return trip for sure.

I just love this toothpick dispenser!

It’s 70 degrees and Regina is shivering at the door of Sakura House. Preposterous.

A couple of notes. Parking can be difficult and street parking might be the best option, so give yourself a little extra time. Also, I very much recommend dining early as the evening progresses the well-meaning and friendly waitstaff can get easily overwhelmed and the relatively small grill can get crowded. If you dine early, say 6:30 PM, you’ll get more attentive service and the cooks can take more care with your food. You should make a reservation for sure.

For just a couple of people I prefer the counter, where you can watch the guys grilling. For larger parties a table in the dining area is a better arrangement.

Watch the video: Για να μαλακώσει το κρέας (June 2022).


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