Asian Cuisine: Pan Asian or Asian Fusion?

Living in Manhattan has given me a constant craving for all things Asian; well, in terms of food at least. I’m not sure whether it’s because there is an Asian inspired restaurant on every corner or I just love the comforting taste of carbs & MSG. I don’t mean to put down this cuisine by any means, I just don’t quite understand why I love Asian Food so much! And it’s ironic how much I love the stuff given how I enjoy eating healthy.

And speaking of Asian Cuisine, what do you call it? Friends and family members are commonly calling this style of cuisine Pan Asian and it drives me nuts! According to Wikipedia Pan-Asianism is an ideology that
Asian countries and peoples share similar values and similar histories and should be united politically or culturally. This could be why I don’t like the term. But I also just like the way Asian Fusion sounds AND more importantly, it just makes sense. It’s a fusion of Asian cultures, end of story.

In any case, Asian Fusion, along with Thai, Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, etc are all equally delicious. And because I frequently eat this type of cuisine, I wanted to share some of the Asian Fusion restaurants I’ve been to this month along with a list of my top favorites.

So please stay tuned for some great reviews and recommendations. Some of the restaurants up for discussion this week are:

Bond Street

L’Annam

New Yeah Shanghai

Nice Green Bo (New Green Bo)

Yama

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp with Steamed Vegetables

Cooking Light's Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

Cooking Light

Cooking Light’s Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp, is probably the first Cooking Light recipe that I prepared without any alterations or substitutions. I happened to have really enjoyed the flavors in this dish, though I felt it could have been a little spicier.

This had been my first time ever using red curry paste and I was very underwhelmed by its flavor. Because I tend to like spicier foods, I added some sririacha to the sauce. I would also recommend adding small amounts of Tumeric to spice it up even more.

If you don’t have brown rice on hand or prefer pasta, I suggest using some whole wheat papparadelle and increasing the amount of coconut milk to about 1 1/2 cups, creating more of a sauce. Combining the cooked papparadelle with the shrimp mixture right before serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen or Sririacha)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 12 ounces pre-cooked (frozen) shrimp
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1 cup sliced white button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • 1 Ziploc Steam Bag

Preparation

Defrosted Shrimp1. Defrost the shrimp, by placing them in a large bowl covered with warm water. Then take off their tails and slice each shrimp into two pieces.

Coconut Sauce2. Heat the curry paste, fish sauce, and coconut milk in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds until thoroughly heated. Stir in sugar and sauté 15 seconds.

3. While coconut milk is heating up, place two cups of broccoli and 1 cup of mushrooms in a Ziploc bag. Place pre-cooked brown rice packet and the Ziploc steam bag simultaneously in the microwave and heat based on instructions.

Shrimp with Green Onions

3. Add shrimp and green onions; sauté on a low flame for 2 minutes or until coconut milk appears to be sticking to the shrimp.

Shrimp with Steamed Vegetables

4. Remove steamed vegetables from the microwave and sautee with the shrimp until combined.

5. Plate a 3/4 cup of brown rice in each of two bowls and top with 1 1/2 cups of the shrimp and steamed vegetables.

Coconut Curry Shrimp with Vegetables

Coconut Curry Shrimp with Vegetables

Nutritional Information*

Calories: 255 (26% from fat)
Fat: 7.4g (sat 2.6g,mono 1.8g,poly 1.9g)

Steamed Vegetables are not included, but can be estimated at about 90 calories per cup.

Laut Reviewed

Last Monday a few coworkers and I tried out Laut for lunch. I guess I’ve been on an ethnic food kick the last two weeks with the curry and Moroccan chicken posts. But today I decided to go with a Malaysian/Thai post. Wikipedia says that Malaysian cuisine reflects the multi-racial aspects of Malaysia. Various ethnic groups in Malaysia have their dishes but many dishes in Malaysia are derived from multiple ethnic influences. I probably wouldn’t have seen Laut if it weren’t for a previous trip to Cafe Medina, since they are on the same street. But because of how packed the restaurant was that day and the fact that the menu looked fabulous, I had to go back and try it out.

Laut has a variety of lunch specials priced at around $12 though doesn’t include any appetizer, drink, or dessert, which was a little disappointing. I ordered the Sambal Dish which consisted of beef, okra, eggplant, string beans, bell peppers, and onions in a spicy chilli shrimp paste sauce. My coworkers all ordered the Pineapple Fried Rice with chicken, pepper, green pea, carrot, egg, and onion in a mixed spice sauce. Although I didn’t try the rice dish, mine appeared to be more hearty and delicious. The mixture of vegetables added more depth to the dish, though it wasn’t as spicy as I’d hoped. So being that I love condiments, I added some of their hot sauce to it.

Overall I thought the food was very tasty and would be more likely return for dinner so I could try a few other items on the menu. I recommend trying this restaurant out if you’re in the neighborhood.

Laut

15 E 17th Street (between Bway & 5th)

Sambal Dish with Brown Rice

Sambal Dish with Brown Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice