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
Joël Robuchon, restaurant lines, and Jonathan Gold on N.W.A. This week the world lost its most highly decorated chef, Joël Robuchon. Chef Ludo Lefebvre recalls lessons he learned at the hands of this master. We also revisit Evan Kleiman and Jonathan Gold’s 2014 visit to Robuchon’s Vegas restaurant. Jean Trinh investigates how some diners in LA can stand waiting two or more hours in line. Finally, we recall Jonathan Gold’s coverage of the influential rap group N.W.A.
Omega-3s, 'Downtime' with the Redzepis, and zucchini ice cream Paul Greenberg discusses what the Omega-3 boom means for our planet and lives. Nadine Redzepi talks about cooking for culinary giants like her husband Rene Redzepi in ‘Downtime.’ Crafting a menu takes more than exceptional produce, says writer Diana Henry. Also, a tour and history of LA’s pan dulce scene. Plus: ‘City of Gold’ director remembers Jonathan Gold’s 1992 piece on the LA riots.
Remembering Jonathan Gold (1960-2018) There’s a Jonathan Gold-sized hole in the heart of Los Angeles. The Pulitzer-winning LA Times food critic died on July 21, prompting an outpouring of grief and love from around the world. For this special tribute, we gathered the voices of colleagues, friends, chefs, and listeners to celebrate the man who taught us how to eat and live in LA. We dedicate this show to our former colleague of 20 years.
BONUS: Classic Jonathan Gold on KCRW In this bonus episode, we're resharing some of the late Jonathan Gold's classic segments on KCRW from over the past 20 years. These conversations had a tremendous impact on LA’s dining scene, helping Angelenos to get out of their silos to explore new neighborhoods and cuisines.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Joël Robuchon: My introduction to the refined world of luxury fine dining In 2014, Evan Kleiman took a road trip to Las Vegas with Jonathan Gold. The highlight of the trip by far was an opulent dinner at Joël Robuchon in the MGM Grand: the most luxurious meal she had ever experienced up until that point. In honor of the legendary French chef Joël Robuchon who passed away this week, we’re resharing Evan’s 2014 reflection on that unforgettable meal. Read More
Getting Fresh with Salt & Straw’s Tyler Malek Market Report producer Joseph Stone caught up with Salt & Straw’s Tyler Malek at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market to talk about the wonderful world of ice cream. Read More
¡Pasar el café! Nostalgia sparks new twists on pan dulce classics in L.A. With apologies to the New York Times, bakeries aren’t exactly a new thing in LA. Pan dulce has been quietly flourishing here for decades. Conchas, quesadillas, and orejas may be unfamiliar to many, but they’re treasured in LA’s Latino communities. Audrey Ngo reports. Read More