FROM THIS EPISODE
For Christine Zhang, Chinese New Year celebrations are not complete without dumplings, whole fish, chicken, pork, long noodles and sticky rice balls stuffed with sweet black sesame paste. Zhang and her colleagues at the LA Times have compiled their favorite Lunar New Year recipes in a nifty interactive post. If you'd rather go the vegetarian route, food writer Fuchsia Dunlop offers up ideas and techniques for how to prepare tofu, plus a recipe for Nanjing New Year's salad from her new cookbook, Land of Fish and Rice.
Music: "Flicker" by Porter Robinson and "Hwyl Fawr I Pawb" by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Chinese cuisine has a long and complicated history in the United States. In the 19th century, food helped Chinese immigrants find their footing on America's unfamiliar and discriminatory soil. Culinary historian Anne Mendelson surveys this journey in her new book, Chow Chop Suey.
Not up to cooking the Lunar New Year feast at home? LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold has got you covered. From long chewy Lanzhou-style hand-pulled noodles to fried lobster the size of a Spaniel floating in aromatics and chiles, here are Jonathan's suggestions for restaurants where you can usher in the Year of the Rooster. Find out more of what he'll be eating on the LA Times website.
Newport Seafood: 518 West Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, CA 91776 | (626) 289-5998; 18441 Colima Road, Rowland Heights, CA 91748 | (626) 839-1239; 50 North La Cienega Boulevard, No. 130, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 | (310) 855-0088
China Tasty: 1308 East Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91801 | (626) 457-8483
Din Tai Fung: 400 South Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007 | (626) 446-8588; 1108 South Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007 | (626) 574-7068; 177 Caruso Avenue, Glendale, CA 91210 | (818) 551-5561
Duck House: 501 South Atlantic Boulevard, Monterey Park, CA 91754 | (626) 284-3227
Hai Di Lao: 400 South Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007 | (626) 445-7232
Hunan Mao: 8728 Valley Boulevard, No. 101, Rosemead, CA 91770 | (626) 280-0588
J Zhou Oriental Cuisine: 2601 Park Avenue, Tustin, CA 92782 | (714) 258-8833
Photo of lobster with ginger and green onions courtesy of Newport Seafood.
Music: "Crack a Bottle" by Eminem (featuring Dr. Dre) and "Cumbia Do Donde" by Calexico
Persimmons are often given as good luck gifts this time of year. When raw and unripe, they practically beg you not to eat them, making your mouth feel like it's covered in a cashmere sweater. When ripe, persimmons are a mushy mess. Yet Sáša Woodruff reports that there is a way to turn the persimmon from dire to sublime. Learn more on the Good Food blog. Woodruff's piece comes to us thanks to KCRW's Independent Producer Project.
Music: "Días y Flores" by Silvio Rodríguez
Because they're easy to cultivate, dry well and are simple to transport, the affordable chile pepper and its profuse varieties have been what Judith Finlayson refers to as "gastronomic democratizers" since the days of Columbus. Finlayson is the author of The Chile Pepper Bible.
Music: "Punta Baja" by The Eliminators and "Theme: Deep Forest" by Earl Hines
At the Santa Monica Farmers Market this week, Laura Avery hears how to sprout an almond from Fat Uncle Farms vendor John Carpenter, and learns the difference between a pistachio and almond tree from the farm's Amanda Bergman. Sprouting almonds, Carpenter says, simulates nature. "Anytime you sprout an almond, you release a phytic acid in a seed. And that's kind of the way nature provides all the animals food, by sprouting and growing it into something in the next season."
Music: "Swing 39" by Django Reinhardt and "Blue Peanut" by The Mar-Keys
More From Good Food
2017's best cookbooks, holiday tea, and the wonders of panettone To help us gear up for the holidays, Celia Sack shares the best (and most giftable) cookbooks of 2017. Teri Gelber lights up while talking about holiday tea flavors. Jonathan Gold falls head-over-beans for Verlaine. In his latest book, David Lebovitz writes about what it’s like to build a Parisian home. We’ll talk about how these wildfires are affecting farmers. And according to chef Roy Shvartzapel, panettone isn’t just for Christmas anymore.
Music and wine, flavors of Istanbul, and Cronuts hit L.A. Time to explore some delicious intersections! Beastie Boy Mike D and sommelier Taylor Parsons collaborate on Hearth & Hound’s wine list. “Istanbul & Beyond” highlights the cultural, culinary diversity of Turkey. We wish the 7th Street Market a happy birthday. Jonathan Gold pairs work with play at Tacos y Mezcal. The natural meets the unnatural on our dinner tables. Dominique Ansel brings the Cronut craze to L.A.
Staying afloat in L.A.'s restaurant biz Opening and running a restaurant is a never-ending hustle and an unpredictable enterprise. A decade ago, Ohio State University researchers found that 6 out of 10 restaurants fail in their first year. More recent findings reveal the median lifespan of a restaurant in the western part of the US to be just 4½ years. We asked five restaurateurs to share their stories of life in the business.
The Thanksgiving show: Family and food This Thanksgiving we are talking about family. Chef Jacques Pepin learns something new when he cooks with his granddaughter. Miry’s List helps newly immigrated families feel safe in America. During a trip to Ireland, Evan spoke with Breda Burns about her mother’s beef stew. Finally, a Nashville writer who learned how to cook Sichuanese dishes to make her adopted daughter feel at home.