Dining | Orange Coast Magazine
 

Global Diner: Bento Box

The concept of washoku—the harmony of food—is at the heart of Japanese cuisine. This cooking philosophy is designed to be both nutritionally fulfilling and aesthetically engaging: just the right balance of textures, flavors, colors, and smells. Outside of an elaborate multicourse kaiseki meal, the best and most accessible way to fall under the spell of washoku is with a bento box. Read more...

Global Diner: Ethiopian Combo Plate

There’s something magical about a good Ethiopian meal. The East African cuisine, after all, draws heavily upon the special alchemy of long-simmered stews known as wot, dishes that transform humble ingredients such as lentils and split peas into objects of almost luxurious richness. The best way to experience those flavors is a classic combination plate.
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Global Diner: Pozole

Every bowl of pozole is full of elemental pleasures: swollen kernels of hominy and hunks of fatty pork bobbing in rich, porky broth. A homey Mexican favorite, its origins trace to pre-Columbian traditions that have been refined, reimagined, and reborn over centuries. Read more...

The Global Diner: Fried Tofu

Tofu gets a bad rap, typically written off as bland, unappetizing blocks of soy protein. But with all its craggy little nooks, it’s the ideal sponge to absorb flavors. And when properly fried, it takes on a whole new dimension, as with several renditions from Southeast Asian cultures that have mastered tofu to golden, savory perfection. Read more...

The Global Diner: Vindaloo

India’s smallest state, Goa, is the birthplace of vindaloo. The dish is a beguiling mix of tangy, sweet, and spicy, and traditionally is made with pork steeped in vinegar, garlic, ginger, chilies, coriander, cumin, onions, mustard oil, and tamarind. Reinterpreted by the English, it has become one of the most fiery dishes on the menu at your favorite local Indian restaurant. Read more...

The Global Diner: Hu Tieu

There’s no dearth of delectable noodles in Asian cuisine—the options are vast and varied. Consider hu tieu. It’s Chinese. It’s Vietnamese. It’s Cambodian. You can eat it with broth. Or without. And, to add to the confusion, there are several styles of preparation and toppings. Read more...

Lomo Saltado

One of Peru’s most beloved dishes, lomo saltado, isn’t completely Peruvian. It’s a Chinese-influenced, wok-sauteed variation on the time-honored pairing of meat and potatoes. The dish comes with a punch of flavors: a dash of soy sauce, a splash of vinegar, tomatoes, red onions, strips of beef, and golden fries, all cooked together and served with a side of steamed rice. Boring meat-and-potatoes, this isn’t. Read more...

Goi Cuon

The Vietnamese goi cuon, or spring roll, is a satisfying marriage of textures and flavors—quite possibly the perfect hand-held meal. Fillings vary, usually a mixture of noodles, fresh herbs, and poached or grilled meats, all tightly wrapped in chewy, delicate rice paper. None is as popular as goi cuon nem nuong stuffed with chargrilled, marinated pork, fried egg roll skin, and fresh lettuces, mint, cucumber, and chive. Read more...

Italian Subs

They go by a slew of names—subs, hoagies, grinders, heros—but these classic Italian sandwiches are beloved no matter what you call them. Some fans prefer them sloppily overflowing with meatballs and tomato sauce; others search out neat stacks of fine imported salamis and cheeses. True, they were born on the East Coast, but the ones we return to in Orange County can hold their own. Here are the markets and delis that serve the best. Read more...

The Global Diner: Pupusas

It’s no wonder pupusas are El Salvador’s chief culinary export. One bite of these griddled discs of masa all but bursting with cheese, meat, or vegetables and you instantly forget any inane comparison to quesadillas or gorditas. Read more...
 
 
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