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Ava's Around the World Lunch - France

Ava’s French Lunch

Ava's Around the World Lunch - France

This week Ava’s Around the World Lunch is inspired by the food of France.

The Snacks

We were in a bit of a hurry, so I started by grabbing some popular French snacks – a dark chocolate covered biscuit and a tiny, ultra creamy imported French yogurt called Petit Montenbourg (Ava’s favorite flavor is raspberry, but the little six-pack also comes with flavors like pear, apricot and banana). It’s really special that I can offer Ava the same snacks I enjoyed when I lived in France as a teenager (I was delighted to find both at Whole Foods).

Studying Monet at Philbrook in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Studying Monet at Philbrook in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Sandwich

As for Ava’s sandwich – we did a simple cheese sandwich, though butter and ham would also be very French. A little lettuce adds color and a bit of nutrition – remember romaine lettuce offers much more than iceberg (Romaine is 17% protein and one head contains 4 1/2 times more vitamin A than a large carrot!). I’ve always added greens to Ava’s sandwiches, so it’s never been a struggle to “get” her to eat them. Sometimes it’s just easier to put them on the healthy path from the beginning, rather than try to correct bad habits later.

A Few Tips and Tricks:

  • We use thin breads a lot for Ava – at 5 years old, they’re a lot easier for her to handle. If you’re making lunch for an older child, try using a baguette or a croissant.
  • If you can’t find the tiny French yogurts, you can use regular yogurt – simply look for flavors like pear, peach, raspberry, or apricot. If the yogurt is too big to fit into your lunch container, simply spoon it in. Add some fresh berries on top for a nutritious boost!

 

Ava's Around the World LunchesWhy show you Ava’s lunch?

Ava’s Around the World Lunches began when I shared a few of Ava’s globally-inspired lunches on Instagram and Facebook. Turns out a lot of people are looking for lunch ideas – whether for school or work.

In this weekly column, I share one of our Around the World lunches with you. I give you tips, like where to find ingredients or possible substitutions. If you have ideas for lunches you’d like to see or challenges you need help dealing with, let me know in the comments!

 

Where in the world are all the vegetarians

Where in the world are all the vegetarians?

Where in the world are all the vegetarians

This post started innocently enough – I was curious where all the vegetarians were around the world. But once I went down the rabbit hole, I was lost for good.

Of the ten countries I was able to analyze, India takes the lead by a long, long shot. 31% vegetarian is amazing! And I wasn’t particularly surprised with the low results of Portugal and Spain (so many meat-heavy dishes there!). I thought Brazil’s would have been similar but it ranked quite high at 8%. Digging ever deeper, I found that the Brazilian city called Fortaleza is 13% vegetarian.

3 things to understand about vegetarian populations:

  • Individual cities within a country will skew more or less vegetarian, depending on the culture
  • The types of food a country loves will skew the results
  • Some people who identify as vegan also identify as vegetarian. Depending on how accurate the survey is, there’s a risk they might have been counted twice.

The huge frustration in my research.

I may have been able to cook food from every African country, but no thanks to the paltry information out there regarding these hidden gems. I ran into the same problem here. There’s remarkably little information available to be found about African vegetarians – every search I did came up blank. (If you have any, please pass it my way and I’ll make an updated infographic!).

Another shortcoming is in the results themselves: various studies often reveal disparaging percentages, depending on the interpretation of the word vegetarian (for more information, read on).

But it seems most can agree… here in the USA, we’re about 13% vegetarian.

World Vegetarian Day - percent of vegetarians in the US

A recipe for World Vegetarian Day

As you may know, I prescribe to Michael Pollan’s addage: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” After learning what famous vegetarian Mahatma Gandhi loved to eat, I created a celebration meal in his honor for this World Vegetarian Day (October 1). If you haven’t already checked it out, read on to see what his favorite dishes were and what beautiful soup we decided to try in celebration of World Vegetarian Day!

P.S. The good news is October 2nd is Gandhi’s birthday and the entire month of October is World Vegetarian awareness month, so there’ll be lots of opportunities to try his recipe or one of our hundreds of other vegetarian and vegan recipes.

Gandhi quote for world vegetarian day

 

Lemon Rasam - one of Gandhi's favorite recipes.

Celebrating World Vegetarian Day with Gandhi and Lemon Rasam

Lemon Rasam - one of Gandhi's favorite recipes.

In our house we live by Michael Pollan’s addage: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”  This week we’re going one step further, invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s strict vegetarian diet in honor of World Vegetarian Day (October 1st). While most people think of Gandhi as a famous pacifist, he also had a lot to say about eating a pant-based diet, led in great part by his compassion and respect for the lives of even the smallest creatures. Not one to mince words, Gandhi wasn’t afraid to puts his beliefs in black and white:

 No flocks that range the valley free
To slaughter I condemn
Taught by the power that pities me
I learn to pity them

- Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

Our daughter Ava has been eating mostly vegetarian for a while now, so she was particularly happy to celebrate World Vegetarian Day with a new-to-us dish.

recipe.Lemon.Rasam.img_6529

What to eat for World Vegetarian Day?

While we have hundreds of vegetarian and vegan recipes from around the world, I thought it’d be fun to try a dish Gandhi might have enjoyed during his lifetime. There’s quite a bit of information about his diet since he wrote extensively on the subject. According the Gandhi foundation and other sources, he generally avoided milk (except for goat milk later in life), partook in numerous raw meals, and (as a nationalist) had a soft spot for the cooking of his heritage (he was born in a small town called Porbandar in Gujarat, India).

Gandhi smiling at Birla House, Mumbai, August 1942. (Photographer unknown).

Gandhi smiling at Birla House, Mumbai, August 1942. (Photographer unknown).

For my research I looked to the Ganapati South Indian Kitchen, located in the UK. Ganapati is one of the few restaurants that specializes in serving up what are thought to be Gandhi’s favorites (along with some creative interpretation to allow for inaccessible ingredients). In fact, they have a special called the Mahatma Thali (a 12-item meal served on a banana leaf).

According to [Gandhi], a model meal for Indians should include goat milk, brown rice, dry cereals, seasonal raw fruits and vegetables, jaggery, pulses and pure ghee (in small portions).

The Mahatma Thali serves up everything from chutneys, pickles, and raw cabbage salads to curry, moong dal, red rice, and lemon rasam (a soup that can be seasoned many ways, including with lemon, as the owners suggest). More information about the restaurant and Gandhi’s favorite food is available in the Times of India, Mahatma on the Menu.

A recipe to clear the sinuses

After studying their menu I was inspired to serve lemon rasam to my family – a pure, brothy soup that’s perfect for the changing seasons and – thanks to the lemon, turmeric, and ginger – a highly restorative meal. Any illness you’re fighting should be tamed after a bowl or two of lemon rasam.

Lemon Rasam topping

Though distinctly seasoned with cumin, coriander and mustard seed, the juice of a whole lemon carries the high notes. To balance the staggering citrus be sure to add plenty of salt and as much chili pepper as you can stand. The spicier the Rasam, the healthier!

Rasam goes beautifully with long grain rice, like basmati. Though we were out of brown basmati and red rice – Gandhi would have preferred these… so if you have them, all the better.

Lemon Rasam

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1/3 cup yellow split peas (toor dal)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium tomato, diced
1-4 hot green chilies, sliced (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
One lemon, juiced
1 tsp salt

Garnish:

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
a couple teaspoons ghee or vegetable oil
cilantro leaves

Method:

Simmer the split peas along with 2 1/2 cups water and the turmeric in a covered pot until tender (30-45 minutes – times will vary depending on the age of the dried peas). Set aside.

Lemon Rasam - one of Gandhi's favorite recipes.

Meanwhile, add 1 cup water to a small pot, the diced tomato, the hot chilies, and fresh ginger. Simmer covered until the tomatoes are tender and the broth is fragrant – about 10 minutes.

Lemon Rasam - one of Gandhi's favorite recipes.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and season with salt. Add the reserved tomato and cooked split peas (and their broth) and remove from heat.

recipe.Lemon.Rasam.img_6461

In a small skillet, toast the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds in a little ghee or vegetable oil. When they pop, pour the mixture over the broth.

Lemon Rasam - one of Gandhi's favorite recipes.

Garnish with a generous handful of cilantro leaves and serve with rice.

Lemon Rasam - one of Gandhi's favorite recipes

Enjoy with a smile in your heart and love for life!

xxoo

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Celebrating World Vegetarian Day with Gandhi and Lemon Rasam
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Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only.

ethiopia.img_6419

The REAL reason why people put butter in their coffee

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

We just celebrated International Coffee Day on September 29 (though every day might as well be coffee day around here)! In honor of the holiday, I did a little digging into the origins of butter in coffee… a hot trend in the United States. At the end of this post, follow the link to try your own Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.

In Kate Bratskeir’s article entitled “Why People are Putting Butter in their Coffee”  a company by the name of Bulletproof is “credited for popularizing the concoction” (meaning butter in coffee). The article goes on to state the health benefits of adding butter to coffee – particularly how it stabilizes the caffeine hit for improved mental clarity and how it helps encourage weight loss.

I’m no scientist. And I don’t particularly want to weigh in on the debate of  whether or not butter can help you lose weight. I would, however, like to back up a moment and explore the idea of butter in coffee and who came up with the concept. I assure you it is not a 21st century coffee entrepreneur (albeit a kindhearted man who clearly cares enough to use good, organic beans and butter from grassfed cows). In fact, if you go to his web site, his inspiration comes somewhat circuitously from yak butter tea in Tibet.

“I learned about the power of butter at 18,000 feet of elevation near Mt. Kailash in Tibet.  I staggered into a guest house from the -10 degree weather and was literally rejuvenated by a creamy cup of yak butter tea.” – Dave Asprey

But when it comes to butter in *coffee*, the people who should be credited  are the Ethiopians.

How to roast your own beans for an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

A little History:

Coffee is thought to have originated in Yemen sometime during the 6th century. But it was shortly after the first coffee “cherries” were discovered in nearby Ethiopia during the 9th century that people began grinding the roasted beans and mixing them with ghee, which is a type of clarified butter. This made it easy to carry around the stimulant for quick caffeine-fixes.

Over time Ethiopians continued to add ghee to their brewed coffee, sometimes with spices or salt. Celebrity chefs like Marcus Samuelson and Andrew Zimmern have covered Ethiopia’s extensive coffee ceremony traditions in their recipes and on television. I had the opportunity to try Ethiopian-style coffee during the four years I spent cooking a meal from every country in the world.

After one taste I can attest: this centuries-old tradition is not going anywhere soon.

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Around the world lunch: South America

Ava’s South American Lunch

Around the world lunch: South America

This week Ava’s Around the World Lunch is inspired by the food of South America. I wanted something healthy and my daughter loves fun finger foods – so I put together an easy and nutritious Bolivian Avocado Salad, a sweet and salty Martin Fierro from Uruguay (made with quince paste and queso fresco cheese – both scored at the local Hispanic market), and homemade Apple Empanadas.

The apple empanadas were a direct inspiration from this week’s Around the World with Apples challenge, where I’ve invited you to try something new with apples! And I’ve been making some variation of the avocado salad for her lunches as far back as I can remember… so good.

A Few Tips and Tricks:

  • For little ones try cutting the avocado into cubes and serving the salad loose. Real talk: After taking this picture that’s exactly what I did for Ava – she’s in kindergarten after all!
  • In a hurry? Make the empanadas quick by using pre-made pie crust with our filling recipe! 
  • If you can’t find quince paste you can try guava paste. And if you can’t find either of those where you live I’m sure someone could also make an extra strong jello situation work… but then we’d be veering off into the land of “creative interpretation.”  

Ava's Around the World LunchesWhy show you Ava’s lunch?

The idea came about a few weeks ago when I shared a photo of Ava’s French lunch on Instagram; those of you who follow me there and on Facebook immediately requested more details! Now – I’m not going to say that Ava eats a global lunch every day of the week (even I have my limits) but about once a week we make an Around the World Lunch happen.

 

Around the world in apples

Around the world with Apples ~ Celebrating the first day of Autumn

Around the world in apples

When the air bites. When my cheeks turn pink.

These moments sing autumn.

But now that I live in Oklahoma the first day of fall – September 23 – is almost always balmy.

Sometimes it’s actually hot.

Which means Ava can do this:

Enjoying Fall

The only surefire way I know it’s autumn is to watch the apples. There’s nothing like the crisp taste of a freshly plucked apple enjoyed while still standing in the orchard. The fruit is almost chalky on the tongue, the skin tight, the flesh sweet. When apples spring to life like this… well, that’s how I know it is autumn.

As you fill your fruit basket with the season’s bounty, I invite you to play around with these apple recipes. They’re plucked from three continents and will make a great addition to your next around the world party or international night!

In fact, I’ll be making one or two of them this week myself! Join me on Instagram so we can share our adventures!

APPLE RECIPES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

1. Fig and Honey Apple Polenta Cake | Bustrengo (San Marino)

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> San Marino Fig and Honey Apple Polenta cake.

Bustrengo is a really special cake from a tiny country inside Italy (yes, you read that right – San Marino is located within the borders of Italy!). I promise your guests will have never tasted anything quite like it – from the polenta to the sweet figs and honey this dense cake has old world flavor. Best warm from the oven, one slice is sure to take the chill out of the air.  Best served with hot tea and a flurry of powdered sugar. Try the recipe.

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn.

2. Apple Pancakes (Latvia)

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> Latvian Apple Pancakes

Apple ‘pancakes’ are common throughout Europe. These ones are really more of a crepe and are best made with grated or very thinly sliced apples – the finer texture makes the thin treat moist and sweet. Fantastic with a dribble of syrup or honey and a smile! Try the recipe.

3. Apple Cake | Äppelkuch (Luxembourg)

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> Luxembourg's Apple Cake

Luxembourg may be a tiny country in Europe, but this tender cake is grand. Perhaps most surprising is the metamorphosis it undergoes while baking – the dense batter and cream base combine for perfect for a teatime pick-me-up. Try the recipe.

4. Apple Empanadas (South America | Argentina)

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> Empanadas

I like to think of these as South America’s answer to apple pie… but better in at least one way: I can eat at five. No way I could eat full-sized 5 apple pies! Included are careful instructions for repulging – don’t worry, that’s just the term for how they’re rolled! Try the recipe.

5. Polish Apple Pie | Szarlotka

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> Polish apple pie

This stacked dessert from eastern Europe would elevate any dinner party. The tender sour cream crust holds together well to make very neat slices once the “pie” cools. I like these room temperature with whipped cream and tea. Try the recipe.

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> Polish Apple Pie

6. All-American Apple Pie 

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> All-American Apple Pie

A childhood favorite from my own mother’s kitchen! While most apple pies in North America are made with Granny Smiths, I prefer sweeter specimens. Delish when balanced out with a good squeeze of lemon juice. What more can I say…this recipe is in constant rotation. Try the recipe.

7. Brandy Poached Apples (Firikia Glyko) – Cyprus

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> Apples poached in honey and spices.

A sweet mix of cinnamon, cloves and brandy infused into tender fruit … in Eastern European style! Perfect served hot, with large scoop of vanilla ice cream. (Be sure to drizzle the warm sauce over the ice cream).

And… psst… here’s a handy infographic for how to make it!

Around the World with Apples >>  Brandy Poached Apples from Cyprus

8. Wassail – Europe

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> Wassail

A traditional drink in the United Kingdom made with roasted apples, cider, oranges, cinnamon, and nutmeg. You can use hard cider to add a festive spirit! Try the recipe.

9. Danish Apple Cake | Æblekage

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> Danish Apple Cake

This Danish recipe comes from a reader’s mother – complete with nuts, apples, and warming spices. A breakfasty sort of treat. Try the recipe.

10. Wooden Spoon Applesauce – Liechtenstein

Around the world with apples: 10 recipes to welcome autumn >> Apple Sauce from Liechtenstein

And when all else fails? Make homemade applesauce like they do in Liechtenstein. Ripe apples will turn soft in no time- though firmer apples like Granny Smiths may take a bit more coaxing. Cinnamon is a must! Try the recipe.

11. Bonus! 

Rosh Hashanah Greetings

September 24th is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year… guess one way the holiday is celebrated? That’s right – with apples! The sweetened fruit signifies the intention for a sweet year. Awesome!

 

World Peace Day Recipe Challenge #EatInPeace #WorldPeaceDay #GlobalTableAdventure

Official World Peace Day Recipe

ava and the world GTE

Look up recipes for world peace and you’ll find one of two things – a moral diatribe or Dori Greenspan’s chocolate chip cookies. While the former is on point, and the latter is undeniably incredible, I’m looking for something a little more… grounded… in the holiday.

So I went back to the source for inspiration. Turns out the United Nations came up with “International Day of Peace” in 1981 and the first celebration occurred in 1982. Lots of people – myself included – simply call the September 21st holiday “World Peace Day.”

What’s World Peace Day all about?

World Peace Day is about having one day.

One day without weapons.

One day without killing.

One day of treating each other with compassion, kindness and humanity.

I get turkey fatigue on Thanksgiving and go chocolate bezerk on Valentine’s Day, but World Peace Day is one holiday I wish could last forever.

6,000 members of the Ithaca community form the world's largest human peace sign. Photo by Rebecca Eschler.

6,000 members of the Ithaca community form the world’s largest human peace sign. Photo by Rebecca Eschler.

OFFICIAL WORLD PEACE DAY RECIPE

Serves 7.25 Billion

Ingredients:

1 large heart
1 recipe from a country in conflict
7.25 billion friends

Method:

STEP 1

Imagine how mealtime would change in a world without war.

So much of war is outside of the average person’s control. Most people just want to wake up happy, healthy and able to feed their families. If they could concentrate on feeding their families without fear of air strikes or raids, there could be time for the simple joys of sitting and visiting together well after the last morsel is consumed.

They could #EatInPeace.

ava eats the world

STEP 2 

Make it age appropriate.

For some, sharing the basic culture of country without going into current events is the only age-appropriate way to teach young children about a country. Keep in mind, even if you aren’t talking politics with your youngest children, you are still laying the groundwork for peace and understanding simply by giving the country a place at your table!

“With Ukraine in the news so much, it is a perfect time to explore the country… It is also a perfect time for lessons with older children about current events and such. Since we do not let Hazel know about current events or watch the news, we looked at tradition, food and crafts…

I have always loved learning about different cultures and feel it is important for everyone to know a bit about other people in order for us to be able to get along… To introduce the countries I usually type the country name in the library search engine for children’s books and see what comes up.

Carrie, excerpts from Around the World in 12 Dishes.

syria.food.recipe.img_0263

Ava enjoys food from Syria

STEP 3

Cook a meal from a country in conflict.

By cooking countries in conflict, we can bring ourselves closer to their culture and see our global neighbors as real people, not just some news story. We can understand the peace they want and all people deserve.

“I like to think, actually I pray that my children will know a person is a person no matter where in the world they are. That bad things happen not because of a dot on a map, or a religion – but simply because bad things happen because of people who have bad ideas.”

Amanda from MarocMama

Think of it as any international night you might host for your family, but with a cause. To get started, take a look at the countries I’ve cooked map and select one whose struggles speak to you. There are over 650 recipes representing every country in the world for you to choose from!

Ava eats Afghanistan

Ava enjoys food from Afghanistan at 7 months old.

STEP 4

Take time during dinner to acknowledge or discuss whatever conflict you chose.

You will learn so much about the country over dinner – and perhaps more about your family. I was particularly touched by Farrah’s story – how her Uncle never would eat daal:

The first time I offered daal to him, he refused, saying he had eaten it every day of his 4 year imprisonment as a prisoner of war. That’s all he says. Despite my prodding, I haven’t gotten any more details from him. Here’s what I do know, though. During the Indo-Pak War of 1971, Bangladesh waged its own liberation war…

But there’s a happy ending: the family finally does sit down to share the daal. As they eat this simple dish they’d once avoided, the conversation flows – and the simple meal heals their painful memories:

My mom recounts tales of digging trenches and lying in them when they heard the sirens. She remembers that all the girls in the family learned to handle guns, and practiced emergency drills in case of invasion. All these stories come gushing forth over a bowl of daal, if you can believe that.

Farrah, Global Advocate Jr.

Tip: If you’d like to start with something more tame because of young children, discuss challenges like extreme weather with your little ones. 

ukranian-menu

Beautiful food from Ukraine.

STEP 5

While eating talk about how to bring the world closer to peace.

It is not just enough to enjoy the food of anther culture – but also to talk with our hearts towards peace. Respect and kindness should rule the conversation, even if the tone is serious.

My husband remembers civil unrest when he lived in South Africa that would eventually lead to his family having to return to Germany. Our friends were raised by parents that survived the horrors of Nazi occupied Germany.

Talking about conflict can easily turn the mood somber, we all fell quiet for a moment as we took in everything we had just heard. But we decided to turn it around and toasted to “May the world one day figure out that life needs us all.”

Adriana, Changing Plate.

south-sudanese-menu

A traditional South Sudanese meal.

For all the families that tried it, this challenge was a wonderful, eye-opening experience.

So, you might be asking… now what?

Well…

World Peace Day Recipe Challenge #EatInPeace #WorldPeaceDay #GlobalTableAdventure

Now it’s YOUR turn… take the challenge!

You’ll be in great company – this summer I started a challenge on GOOD for people to cook food from a country in conflict. It quickly landed on the front page of the web site and got a lot of people talking.

I’d like to extend the challenge to you today.

Cook a meal from a country in conflict and share your experience.

Will you laugh? Will you cry? Who knows. But you WILL eat well.

#EatInPeace
#GlobalTableAdventure

#WorldPeaceDay

xxoo

Sasha & family

 

Happy Ethiopian New Year Greetings

Celebrating the Ethiopian New Year with Doro Wat

How to make Doro Wat for the Ethiopian New Year

There’s been a movement to make Enkutatash – a.k.a. Ethiopian New Year – as popular as St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo.  But instead of wearing green or dancing to a mariachi band you’re invited for a much simpler, down to earth sort of celebration.

Wear white.

Pick yellow daisies.

And enjoy traditional Ethiopian food.

Waaaay back when

“Enkutatash” literally stands for “gift of jewels.”

As the story goes, several thousand years ago the Queen of Sheba delivered more than 4.5 tons of gold and as many spices to King Solomon. King Solomon was quite the host as he, too, showered her with gifts:

The Queen of Sheba from medieval manuscript «Bellifortis» by Conrad Kyeser (c. 1405), Prague school.

The Queen of Sheba from medieval manuscript «Bellifortis» by Conrad Kyeser (c. 1405).

…in return, King Solomon had assembled an array of gifts for her arrival. Great caskets of sticky Nubian millet beer awaited her party.

The gifts were staked on mules outside Solomon’s palace, ready for her people to take to their camp and enjoy. Silks and linens from Gaza, Assyria, and Lebanon. Tapestry from Ma-Wara-Mnar. Dresses, sweet fruit from Iraq, Mongolistan winter melons. And basins of water from the spring at Siloe.

Following the queen’s arrival, Solomon gave her a luxurious apartment in a palace next to his, and provided her with fruits, rose trees, silks, linens, tapestries, and 11 bewitching garments for each day of her visit. Daily, he sent her (and her 350 servants) 45 sacks of flour, 10 oxen, 5 bulls, 50 sheep (in addition to goats, deer, cows, gazelles, and chicken), wine, honey, fried locusts, rich sweets, and 25 singing men and women. (Source)

 

 

That’s quite the haul!

(I particularly love the 25 singing men and women – imagine how great life would be if we had our own personal chorus?)

Upon the Queen of Sheba’s celebrated return to Ethiopia, her people showered her with even more jewels (to replace the ones she’d given away, of course).

When jewels and flowers collide

Today – in the spirit of the Queen – Ethiopians wear their best clothes on the New Year – typically a white dress or tunic with vivid embroidered trimmings. Gold bangles and necklaces rustle and jingle throughout the day.

Look at these stunners!

Ethiopian New Year Style. Photos by @pinkgypsy_ old_n_indaway and rachelmichellewarner

Ethiopian New Year Style. Photos by @pinkgypsy_, @old_n_indaway and @rachelmichellewarner

Clothes for Ethiopian New Year; Photo by @Magitareke on Instagram

Clothes for Ethiopian New Year; Photo by @Magitareke on Instagram

When to celebrate

The festival falls right after the rainy season ends – between September 11th and 12th (this year it falls on the 11th), making it a natural time to collect yellow daisies and long grasses. Children often carry these door to door. Families will spread the grasses on their floors, especially in remote areas, to help bring in the New Year.

Modern Traditions

In the simplest of celebrations people exchange flowers or, in more recent times, cards. But it is the food that cannot be missed. Animals are slaughtered (usually sheep or chicken), injera is cooked (and blessed), and then everyone enjoys lunch with the freshly prepared food.

Families and friends practice Gursha, or the act of feeding each other by hand. While it might feel extrememly personal to put your hand to someone’s mouth, Ethiopians would wonder if you hesitate…. Even among strangers, Gursha is a sign of trust no different than a handshake or hug.

Finally, at the end of the meal a traditional coffee ceremony is performed. Green coffee beans are roasted in front of the guests and everyone enjoys no less than the traditional three cups. Learn how to host your own coffee ceremony today!

And now… let’s eat!

Wot is the main course for the Ethopian New Year, usually made with lamb or chicken.

Today I offer Doro Wat (“doro” means chicken, “wat or “wot” means stew).

PRONOUNCE IT: Doro (rhymes with Zorro) and wet, like the rain.

The recipe is inspired by Marcus Samuelsson’s appearance on Martha Stewart and is a hybrid of several traditional recipes.

Ingredients for Doro Wat.

A real wat  uses about a 1/2 cup of berberé, the traditional East African spice blend of chili powder, fenugreek, ginger, cinnamon, and more. The blend is incredibly flavorful and HOT. The dish is nicely balanced, thanks to the brightness of fresh lemon juice and/or yogurt.

Feel free to modify the recipe as you’d like – but if you can handle some heat, I’d recommend leaving the recipe as-is!

Enjoy with our Homemade Injera recipe (whose sour flavor is fantastic with doro wat)… or serve with rice for an easy, non-traditional option.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

4 red onions
3 large cloves crushed garlic
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup clarified butter or ghee
1/2 cup homemade berberé
1-2 cups water (as needed)
2 – 2.25 lbs chicken pieces (legs and thighs, skin removed)
salt, to taste (about 1 tablespoon)

Finishing:

4-6 hardboiled eggs
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 lemon
plain yogurt, as desired

Method:

Onions are the real star of this dish! You need 4 – which is a lot!

The perfect time to pull out your food processor, if you have one.

How to make Doro Wat

Peel and cut the onions in 1-inch hunks. Toss into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape once or twice if needed. Alternatively cut them by hand.

How to finely chop onions for Doro Wat

Cook onions in a dry pot over high heat until they start to stick to the pan. This stage should take 20-30 minutes.

How to make Doro Wat

Add the garlic and ginger and cook another 10-15 min until brown. Gradually reduce the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Here’s what the onions looked like when I added the ghee along with the homemade berberé.

recipe.ethiopian.chicken.img_6374

Cook 5 minutes, until the spices bloom in the ghee. It will look like dark chocolate:

recipe.ethiopian.chicken.img_6379

Finally, add the water and chicken.  Cover tightly and simmer gently until tender (a good 45 minutes). Thin with a little water if necessary and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. I used about 1 1/2 cups water total.

While the Wat cooks, hardboil the eggs. Cut decorative wedges in the egg if desired.

How to decorate hard boiled eggs for doro wat.

Finish the wat off with a sprinkle of cardamom and half the lemon, juiced. Cut the remaining lemon in wedges and serve on the side. A few spoonfuls of plain yogurt makes for a nice, cooling accompaniment to the spicy stew.

This is one of those messy foods that tastes as good as it doesn’t look. There’s spice, yes, but there’s also complexity from the sweet onion, and richness from the ghee.

Enjoy with your hands, and practice gursha if you’d like!

Doro Wat recipe

Enjoy and Happy Enkutatash!

P.S. For your little ones who are brave enough to try this dish: try the technique I learned from Bhutan: give them the food, but wipe off the hot stuff first. (In Bhutan mothers will do this for their babies with their mouths!)

recipe.ethiopian.chicken.img_6417

In this case I added the hard-boiled eggs to the sauce, then wiped off most of the onion mixture. The flavor and some heat will still be there (below you can see it stained the egg), but the kiddos can handle this more tame rendition. If the heat is still too much, make sure there’s some plain yogurt and milk nearby!

recipe.ethiopian.chicken.img_6420

Happy Ethiopian New Year Greetings

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Wot is the main course for the Ethopian New Year, usually made with lamb or chicken. Today I offer Doro Wat (“doro” means chicken, “wat or “wot” means stew). PRONOUNCE IT: Doro (rhymes with Zorro) and wet, like the rain. Enjoy with our Homemade Injera recipe (whose sour flavor is fantastic with doro wat)… or serve with rice for an easy, non-traditional option.Celebrating the Ethiopian New Year with Doro Wat
Servings Prep Time
4-6people 15minutes
Cook Time
1 1/2hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6people 15minutes
Cook Time
1 1/2hours
Ingredients
Finishing:
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut the onions in 1-inch hunks. Toss into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape once or twice if needed. Alternatively cut them by hand.
  2. Cook onions in a dry pot over high heat until they start to stick to the pan. This stage should take 20-30 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook another 10-15 min until brown. Gradually reduce the heat as necessary to prevent burning.
  4. Cook 5 minutes, until the spices bloom in the ghee. It will look like dark chocolate.
  5. Finally, add the water and chicken. Cover tightly and simmer gently until tender (a good 45 minutes). Thin with a little water if necessary and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. I used about 1 1/2 cups water total.
  6. While the Wat cooks, hardboil the eggs. Cut decorative wedges in the egg if desired.
  7. Finish the wat off with a sprinkle of cardamom and half the lemon, juiced. Cut the remaining lemon in wedges and serve on the side. A few spoonfuls of plain yogurt makes for a nice, cooling accompaniment to the spicy stew. This is one of those messy foods that tastes as good as it doesn’t look. There’s spice, yes, but there’s also complexity from the sweet onion, and richness from the ghee. Enjoy with your hands!
Recipe Notes

A real wat  uses about a 1/2 cup of berberé, the traditional East African spice blend of chili powder, fenugreek, ginger, cinnamon, and more. The blend is incredibly flavorful and HOT. The dish is nicely balanced, thanks to the brightness of fresh lemon juice and/or yogurt. Feel free to modify the recipe as you’d like – but if you can handle some heat, I’d recommend leaving the recipe as-is!

Source:

Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only.

recipe.Fattoush.img_6214

Fattoush, a Levantene Salad for Kahlil Gibran

How to make Fattoush

“The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding
… the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.”

- Kahlil Gibran

The best teachers’ lessons stay relevant long after their deaths. Such is the case with the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931). Often, when I’m at a loss for what to do, I’ll pick up his book The Prophet.

Despite living a nearly hundred years ago, his wisdom still disarms me.

Kahil Gibran Quote: ""And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart, 'Your seeds shall live in my body, And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart, And your fragrance shall be my breath, And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.'"

That’s just one of his many beautiful lines.

I love the idea that the fresh produce we eat not only becomes a part of us, but improves us – brings us to life. The work of modern nutritionists back up Gibran – this is not just poetry, it’s science.

How to make Fattoush

So this week I’m making him a salad.

A salad enjoyed in his corner of the world (Gibran was born in Lebanon and, even after living in the United States, chose to be buried in Lebanon). Here’s the museum they built in his honor:

Kahlil Gibran Museum

Gibran Museum, located in Bsharri, Lebanon. Photo by Xtcrider.

This salad celebrates his teachings … and the bittersweet fact that Ava is in kindergarten this year, learning in leaps and bounds (she had her first Chinese class the other day!). 

Ava goes back to school

Such a big girl! 

(sob)

Apparently Gibran waited years before he shared his manuscript with his publisher; he wanted it to make sure every word was just right. What a glory to know we have his best words at our fingertips.

A recipe for Fattoush

I chose a salad called Fattoush to thank him – a happy combination of toasted pita, rough-chopped salad bits - cucumber, lettuce, green onion (or red), the last of the gorgeous summer tomatoes – and I toss them with fresh herbs  (mint and parsley really pop). Variations include feta and olives. The dressing is a bright lemon garlic affair, with ground sumac for a tart garnish.

This casual beauty is enjoyed throughout the Middle East, especially in Lebanon, Syria (and now… in our little corner of Tulsa, Oklahoma), making dinnertime fresh and cool.

How to make Fattoush Dressing

TIP: In a hurry? Buy pita chips at the store to make an already quick meal lightening fast!

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

juice of 2 lemons, seeds removed but not strained
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
pepper

For the salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, torn or sliced
1 cucumber, sliced in quarter moons
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup mint leaves, torn
1/2 cup parsley leaves, torn
1 green pepper, chopped
6 green onions, sliced

For the garnishes:

2 pieces of pita bread toasted and broken into small pieces
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
salt

feta, to taste (optional)
black olives (optional)
Ground sumac for dusting (optional)

Method:

For the salad dressing:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar and mix thoroughly.

How to make Fattoush Dressing

Salad dressing for fattoush

Prepare the pita chips

Toast the whole pita in a frying pan over medium-low heat until crisp.  When cool break into pieces and place in a medium bowl; pour oil over and toss to coat. Season pita to taste with salt.

Toasting pita chips for Fattoush

Assemble the salad:

Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss with salad dressing to taste (I used about half of it). Add the pita chips and any desired garnishes (or set the garnishes out on the table in small bowls so the guests can choose what they’d like).

I like to serve fattoush on a large platter instead of a bowl – it makes for a pretty presentation and somehow makes the meal feel as grand as it should.

In no time you’ll go from this…

How to make Fattoush

 

… to this:
How to make Fattoush

Smiles all around!

How to make Fattoush

Enjoy!

And thanks, Mr. Gibran!

Kahlil Gibran as an adult, a youth, and with his family (standing on the left of his father).

Kahlil Gibran as an adult, a youth, and with his family (standing on the left of his father).

Kahlil Gibran quote

40 DRINKS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Celebrate Labor Day with 40 Cold Drinks from around the world

40 COLD DRINKS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

 

IMG_0788_HsmHi friends!

When someone asks how you are doing, do you reply “Oh, SO busy”? I recently read that being ‘busy’ is the new norm. Turns out that’s how many people are measuring their self worth and even asserting their status as an “important” person.

Ugg.

This makes labor day an even more important holiday in my book.  A time to slow down, enjoy the bounty the world has to offer, and just… be… with your family and friends. I’ve compiled 40 cold drinks from your global neighbors for you to enjoy this weekend (perhaps not all at once, eh?).

Bonus challenge?

Vow not to say you’re busy for the entire month of September.
Even if you are. #letsbanbusy
xxoo Sasha

NOTE: These recipes are enjoyed in their particular countries, but not necessarily exclusive to the countries.

 

Cold drinks from Africa

The African drinks we’ve tried on our cooking adventure include a lot of fresh, tropical fruits like mango, pineapple and papaya. There’s also a good deal of ginger (think ginger beer and ginger tea), hibiscus, and earthy spices like cinnamon. All of these ingredients grow easily in Africa. The most unusual drink by far has to be the “burnt” rice tea, made with toasted leftover rice in Madagascar. A real curiosity that’s sure to fascinate your loved ones.

 

African drink recipes (from upper left to bottom right)


Vanilla Ginger Bissap
 | Mali
West-African Inspired Watermelon Lemonade | Ghana
Chapman Cocktail | Nigeria
“Burnt” Rice Tea (Ranovola) | Madagascar
Mango Daiquiris | Cameroon
Swahili Ginger n’ Milk Tea | Mozambique
Coconut Milkshake | Cape Verde
Lemon Ginger Tea (Gingembre) | The Gambia
Spiced Papaya Milk | Chad
Iced Hibiscus Drink with Pineapple (Bissap a la Bonne Dame) | Burkina Faso
Not pictured: Coconut Milk Chiller | Cape Verde

.

Cold drinks from Asia

Asia is an enormous continent which extends from the Arabian peninsula, through eastern Russia, all the way east towards Japan. We were lucky enough to try cold drinks available representative of this variety. Anything with rosewater or orange blossom water is interesting (When I first tried it I thought it was like drinking perfume, but now the floral note is a household favorite). Kids will love the drinks with unusual textures (like tapioca pearls or jello in the glass – so fun!).

 

Asian drink recipes (from upper left to bottom right)


Masala Chai (Spiced tea with milk)
 | India
Israeli Juice (Lemon-Limeade with fresh mint) | Israel
Tapioca & Jello Sipper | Sago at Gulaman | Philippines
Rosewater Lemonade | Oman
Orange Blossom Juice | UAE
Lomi Lomi | Maldives
Not pictured: Espresso Jello with Evaporated Milk | Japan

.

Cold drinks from Europe

I’m not sure what happened with the European drinks we sampled – but there’s a lot more boozy drinks in this list – everything from the Lithuanian Honey Spirits (take it from me: make them now for Christmas gifts later), to the quirky concoction called Bambus, made with red wine and coca cola (apparently a great way to use up sub-par wine)!

 

European drink recipes (from upper left to bottom right)


Iced Fruit Drink (Kompot)
 | Bulgaria
Honey Spirits (Krupnikas) | Lithuania
Sangria | Spain
Finnish Blueberry Milk | Finland
Bambus (Celebration Drink) | Croatia

.

Cold drinks from North America

Here’s another grouping that makes me smile – all sorts of fresh fruit, sparkling flavors, and certainly more than a little bit of “punch.” One of my favorites is also Jimmy Buffet’s favorite – the spiked Coconut Water, but I’ll take a Killer Bee or Strawberry Horchata any day of the week. The strangest one of all is definitely the grapefruit and avocado smoothie… the creamy avocado gives the drink body (and does a body good)!

 

North American drink recipes  (from upper left to bottom right)


Spiked Coconut Water
 |Barbados
Pineapple Horchata | Nicaragua
Sparkling Grapefruit Breeze | Antigua & Barbuda
Caribbean Rum Punch | Grenada & beyond
Mojito | Cuba
Killer Bee Cocktail with Black Pepper & Nutmeg | Saint Kitts and Nevis
Strawberry Almond Horchata | Mexico
Sorrel Drink | Jamaica
Grapefruit & Avocado Smoothie | Dominica
Bahama Mama | Bahamas

.

Cold drinks from Oceania

These are such fun! The Recycled Iced Coffee has the most interesting background (locals they really do sell them from shacks in recycled water bottles and other plastic containers!), while the ‘Otai and Papaya sipper are nearly impossible to put down. Seriously.

 

Oceanic drink recipes (from upper left to bottom right)


“Recycled” Iced Coffee
 | Nauru
Coconut Watermelon Refresher | ‘Otai | Tonga
Pineapple Papaya Coco Sipper | Micronesia

.

SOUTH AMERICAN DRINKS

South America knows what’s what… but perhaps this list is not what you may have expected. The fruit salad looking drink is as awesome as the coca cola infused ice coffee (I mean, how could it not be?!). Perhaps most interesting, however, is the Lemongrass Dawet – originally a drink from Asia but that has been popularized in Suriname. I dare say, the USA is not the only melting pot!

 

South American drink recipes (from upper left to bottom right)


Colombian Oatmeal Smoothie (Avena)
 | Colombia
Iced Brazilian Mocha-Cola | Brazil
Lemongrass Dawet | Suriname
Venezuelan Fruit Punch | Tizana | Venezuela

.

P.S. Here’s something for those of you looking to grill this Labor Day: 21 of the World’s Best Grilled Eats!

The-world's-best-grilled-recipes

Cold soup recipes from around the world.

Chill out with 7 cold soups from around the world

7 Cold soup recipes from around the world.

A few things have changed since the early days of this blog (namely the photography), but one thing is certain: I love a good, chilled soup in the summer. Here are seven awesome cold soup recipes from around the world that aren’t gazpacho – because, my goodness, there are other cold soups besides gazpacho! So, without further ado, summer’s almost over – let’s skip the heat and chill out.

1. Mul Naengmyeon | Korea [Recipe]

Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles (Mul-naengmyeon) | 7 cold soups from around the world

This Korean recipe is the most recent addition to our collection – a soup so cold, it is actually served with ice. It’s claim to fame? The balance of flavor between earthy buckwheat noodles spicy cucumber, sweet Asian pear, and tart vinegar.

The best part? This soup is DIY, so everyone can add exactly what they like (and leave out the rest) – perfect for picky eaters who want to stovetop travel to Korea!

Mount Bukhansan (북한산) seen from Shinseondae (신선대) Peak observation area. Photo by Kellnerp.

Mount Bukhansan (북한산) seen from Shinseondae (신선대) Peak observation area. Photo by Kellnerp.

2. Rye Bread Soup with Homemade Rhubarb Raisins | Iceland [Recipe]

 

Rye Bread Soup Recipe | Iceland | 7 Cold soup recipes from around the world.

A soup made with bread? Yup. It’s thick, heavy on the rye, and just odd enough to get table conversation going. While traditionally served hot, Brauðsúpadc makes quite an interesting cold soup. My favorite part has to be the “raisin topping” made from sun dried rhubarb – so easy and fun! You make them in the oven or – if it’s super hot where you live – you can literally dry them in the sun. Fun for the whole family!

It’s just the kind of soup to turn heads.

Just ask this horse.

An Icelandic horse near Krýsuvík. Photo by Andreas Tille.

An Icelandic horse near Krýsuvík. Photo by Andreas Tille.

3. Tart Rhubarb Soup | Iceland [Recipe]

 

Tart Rhubarb Soup Recipe | Iceland | 7 Cold soup recipes from around the world.

Speaking of rhubarb, this soup just might be the happy offspring of rhubarb and lemonade. The puree is tart in a sparkly sort of way, rounded out with a touch of sweetness. Want to make a good thing even better? Give each bowlful a soft spoon of whipped cream on top.

It’ll taste the way this feels:

Sunset at Goðafoss in Winter, Iceland. Photo by Andreas Tille.

Sunset at Goðafoss in Winter, Iceland. Photo by Andreas Tille.

4. Chilled Cherry Soup | Hungary [Recipe]

 

Chilled Cherry Soup | Hungary | 7 Cold soup recipes from around the world.

This cherrylicious soup is one of my favorites. Sure, I’m part Hungarian, but even if I weren’t the combination of cherries, wine and cinnamon is… ridiculous. In the best possible way. You can use fresh tart cherries or jarred – but be sure to top each bowl the Hungarian way: with sour cream. The richness is the perfect foil to the fruity soup. Perhaps it might be fun to enjoy while contemplating the work of Hungarian artist József Rippl-Rónai (1861–1927) – a sour cherry tree!

Sour Cherry Tree in Blossom (1909). Photo by

Sour Cherry Tree in Blossom (1909). Painting by József Rippl-Rónai (1861–1927)

 

5. Coco-Mango Soup | Guyana [Recipe]

 

Coco-Mango Soup | Guyana | 7 Cold soup recipes from around the world.

This might be my favorite of the cold soups – simply puree fresh mango with coconut milk, yogurt, and honey…. until satin-smooth… top with coconut chips. I mean… what’s not to love?! Still not sure? It takes like… 10 minutes to whip together. Talk about an entertainers dream!

Thanks for this mango landing, Guyana!

Here’s another mango landing from Guyana to enjoy while we eat:

Pontoon Crossing at Mango Landing Essequibo River.

Pontoon Crossing at Mango Landing Essequibo River. Photo by Nick Taylor.

6. Chilled Cucumber Soup – Tarator | Bulgaria [Recipe]

 

Chilled Cucumber Soup - Tarator | 7 Cold soup recipes from around the world.

Tarator is a lovely surprise – fresh cucumbers and yogurt with a dollop of dill. A great big bite of delicious beloved throughout much of Eastern Europe but prepared when we cooked Bulgaria!

All in all, a great recipe that tastes like… a true Bulgarian beauty almost as great as this vista:

The Black sea coast near Chernomorets. Photo by Evgord.

The Black sea coast near Chernomorets. Photo by Evgord.

7. Borscht | Eastern Europe [Recipe]

 

Borscht | 7 Cold soup recipes from around the world.

Oh, look at this photo! Have faith ye new food blogger! Keep snapping those pictures. It took me four years of trial and error to put photos like this in the past. As for the soup? This one is as good cold as it is hot. We’re talking beets, cabbage, potatoes, and more.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

We tried it for Belarus where… apparently…

Swans on the beach beside the Dryviaty tourist centre near Braslaŭ, Belarus. Photo by Andrej Kuźniečyk.

Swans on the beach beside the Dryviaty tourist centre near Braslaŭ, Belarus. Photo by Andrej Kuźniečyk.

this swan lives…

As with the previous soup – you’ll find variations on this recipe throughout eastern Europe and central Asia.

Pssst… How are you keeping cold this summer? I invite you to try one of these soups and tag me on instagram (@globaltable) or use #GlobalTableAdventure to share your feast. I so LOVE seeing what you all are up to!

recipe.Iced.Korean.Buckwheat.Noodles.img_6295

Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles | Mul-naengmyeon

Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles | Mul-naengmyeon

Perhaps you’ve had chilled soup, but have you ever had soup on ice?

Korean naengmyeon is just that – a brothy, noodle soup topped with spicy cucumber, Asian pear, daikon radish, hard-boiled egg, and ice. While the soup starts out mild in flavor, adding vinegar, mustard oil (or paste), and even a spoonful of kimchee takes the soup to a whole new flavor profile – the catch is this seasoning is usually done at the table, so everyone can control how their naengmyeon tastes.

Do you want it spicy? Sour? Heavy on the pear? The choice is yours.

Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles | Mul-naengmyeon

Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles | Mul-naengmyeon

Have you ever had Asian pear?

I love Ava’s face, here! She wasn’t sure about the Asian pear, but ended up eating nearly an entire pear herself by the end of dinner. While you could substitute bosc pears or just leave them off, crisp Asian pears are incredibly floral as compared to standard pears… they remind me a lot of star fruit in that way.

Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles | Mul-naengmyeon

Tips:

– I made my own seasoned broth, adding dried mushrooms and kelp powder, but if you’re in a hurry you could just use regular beef broth and call it a day. Doing this would make this a super fast weeknight meal.

– I got all the ingredients for this soup at my grocery store – the noodles and kelp powder were on the international aisle, the kimchee was refrigerated, and the daikon and asian pear were in the produce section.

– Try not to cut your noodles – slurping them whole is considered good luck. When purchasing the noodles, look for a combination of buckwheat and sweet potato flour – they provide the characteristic chewy/snap that makes the dish so fun to eat. In a pinch, regular buckwheat noodles can be substituted.

– You really don’t need all the toppings – that’s up to you. The key is to have fun and let your personality shine!

"Holding a drinking party" (transliteration:Jusa geobae) from Hyewon pungsokdo by 19th-century Korean painter, Hyewon. Original stored at Gansong Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea.

“Holding a drinking party” (transliteration:Jusa geobae) from Hyewon pungsokdo by 19th-century Korean painter, Hyewon. Original stored at Gansong Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea.

Serves 4

Ingredients

one 9-ounce package Buckwheat noodles
crushed ice

For the broth:

2 quarts beef broth
1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
1-2 teaspoons kelp powder
salt

Toppings:

4 hard boiled eggs
1 cucumber, seeds removed and cut into sticks
1 small daikon radish
1 Asian or bosc pear, cut into sticks, optional
sugar
rice vinegar
salt
ground chili flakes, to taste (optional)
kimchee (optional)

Garnishes:

mustard or sesame oil
rice vinegar

Method:

Add the dried mushrooms and kelp powder to the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, until flavorful. Refrigerate until cold (go ahead and leave the mushrooms to steep longer). After chilling give the broth a taste – cold food loses some flavor – you may need to add some seasoning.

Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles | Mul-naengmyeon

Meanwhile:

Prepare the cucumber and daikon radish garnishes. Place each in their own bowl and add the sugar, salt, and vinegar, starting with 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Keep adding the sugar and vinegar until you get the sweet/tang you are looking for. I like somewhere between 1 and 2 teaspoons of vinegar and half as much sugar.  I generally go with about 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Add chili flakes to the cucumbers until they are spicy enough for your tastes (I liked a half teaspoon, for medium burn).

Slice up the pear right before serving or slice ahead and store in lemon water so the fruit doesn’t brown.

Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles | Mul-naengmyeon

Next:

Cook the buckwheat noodles and rinse well (you’re looking to cool them down and rinse off the starch so they won’t be gummy).

To serve:

Divide the noodles among 4 bowls.

Ladle on the chilled broth, ice, and toppings, as desired. Season with vinegar (I like a lot!) and mustard oil or paste (I like a few drops).

Eat!!

Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles | Mul-naengmyeon

Enjoy with a view of the flowers of Korea…

 

The Flower Village of Paju City by Ben Hur.

The Flower Village of Paju City by Ben Hur.

… What a dream!

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Korean naengmyeon is just that – a brothy, noodle soup topped with spicy cucumber, Asian pear, daikon radish, hard-boiled egg, and ice. While the soup starts out mild in flavor, adding vinegar, mustard oil (or paste), and even a spoonful of kimchee takes the soup to a whole new flavor profile – the catch is this seasoning is usually done at the table, so everyone can control how their naengmyeon tastes. Do you want it spicy? Sour? Heavy on the pear? The choice is yours.Iced Korean Buckwheat Noodles | Mul-naengmyeon
Servings
4people
Servings
4people
Ingredients
For the broth
Toppings
Instructions
  1. Add the dried mushrooms and kelp powder to the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, until flavorful. Refrigerate until cold (go ahead and leave the mushrooms to steep longer). After chilling give the broth a taste – cold food loses some flavor – you may need to add some seasoning.
  2. Meanwhile: Prepare the cucumber and daikon radish garnishes. Place each in their own bowl and add the sugar, salt, and vinegar, starting with 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Keep adding the sugar and vinegar until you get the sweet/tang you are looking for. I like somewhere between 1 and 2 teaspoons of vinegar and half as much sugar. I generally go with about 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Add chili flakes to the cucumbers until they are spicy enough for your tastes (I liked a half teaspoon, for medium burn). Slice up the pear right before serving or slice ahead and store in lemon water so the fruit doesn’t brown.
  4. Next: Cook the buckwheat noodles and rinse well (you’re looking to cool them down and rinse off the starch so they won’t be gummy).
  5. To serve: Divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Ladle on the chilled broth, ice, and toppings, as desired. Season with vinegar (I like a lot!) and mustard oil or paste (I like a few drops).
Recipe Notes

Tips:

– I made my own seasoned broth, adding dried mushrooms and kelp powder, but if you’re in a hurry you could just use regular beef broth and call it a day. Doing this would make this a super fast weeknight meal.

– I got all the ingredients for this soup at my grocery store – the noodles and kelp powder were on the international aisle, the kimchee was refrigerated, and the daikon and asian pear were in the produce section.

– Try not to cut your noodles – slurping them whole is considered good luck. When purchasing the noodles, look for a combination of buckwheat and sweet potato flour – they provide the characteristic chewy/snap that makes the dish so fun to eat. In a pinch, regular buckwheat noodles can be substituted.

– You really don’t need all the toppings – that’s up to you. The key is to have fun and let your personality shine!

Source:

Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only.