In my younger days, I had the privilege of having a traveling work visa to the UK. It truly is a brilliant way for people to travel. It allowed me to go to other countries and work, get established in an area and really get to know it. I could see all the museums, go to the Cathedrals, plays, ballets, parks and sights, but do it in a way that wasn’t overwhelming since I didn’t have the regular time constraints of someone who didn’t live there.
Some of my best traveling memories were of the new friends I made and the learning experiences we shared. I learned to stay away from street vendors where I got repeat food poisoning. I learned that some of the best art exhibits were to be found in the lesser known galleries such as the one I saw by Nan Goldin. But not surprising some of my most vivid memories are attached to the smells and tastes of London. Some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had was in London, which may come as no surprise to those of you that have been there.
Often after work we would head out for a late night dinner. Since most places closed down (pubs and restaurants) by 11, we had to be creative about where we could find food (street vendors excluded!). To top it all off, the majority of the food establishments operated under a restaurant license, which means they couldn’t serve alcohol after 11pm.
So how does one enjoy a pint or a glass of wine with dinner after working a 10 hour day on the feet? Head to China town. The smart business owners increased their revenue by being open late to the tens of thousands of industry workers all looking for food. Many establishments would mask their alcohol sales by serving them in tea pots! It was hilarious. We drank our beer or wine from little Asian tea cups poured discreetly by a tea pot. Now a tea pot only holds 1 pint. Not a lot, but heck, they had found a way to please their clients.
No matter how precious that memory is and how many laughs we shared over the realization that all the tea pots in the dining room did not hold tea but beer, my strongest memories where of the duck tacos they served. They were my absolute favorite. I’ve never had anything like it since, although I have enjoyed some variations of it. Maybe they never had a hope since they didn’t serve my beer in a tea pot?
Over the course of the week, I’m making Duck Tacos “a la brisket”, Asian style Brisket Tostados and Brisket Bun Thit. Stay tuned for the Asian inspired recipes that will be leaking out over the course of a week. But they will all start with Asian Braised Brisket by Rachel at Coconut and Lime. By the way, the tacos turned out delicious. Go ahead and enjoy!
Asian Brisket Tacos
- Corn Tortillas
Asian Braised Brisket
Daikon and Carrot Relish (recipe below)
Pepper and Cucumber Salsa (recipe below)
In a heavy pan heat tortillas and keep warm by wrapping them in a tea towel or tortilla warmer if you have one. Layer the ingredients first, starting with lettuce, then shredded brisket, a thin layer of Daikon relish and, finally, pepper cucumber salsa.
Daikon Carrot Relish
Yes it smells a little like farts but tastes delicious.
- 2 cups grated daikon
1 cup grated carrot
- 2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp Honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Pepper Cucumber Salsa
- 1 orange pepper diced (red or yellow would work fine too)
1 cup of diced cucumber
2 finely sliced green onion
1 handful of chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp of coriander chutney (careful with this one. It’s spicy!)
juice of 1/2 a lime or 1 Tbsp
Mix all these ingredients together until well combined. Add Salt and pepper to taste and chutney as needed.
Asian Style Mini Tostados
- Asian Brisket
To make the wonton crisps, preheat oven to 425 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lay the wonton wrappers in a single layer on the parchment paper and bake for 5-7 minutes or until crispy (The larger wrappers take a little longer, but I used the small ones here. Be careful they burn quickly!). To make this lovely appy or treat, put a thin layer of pea shoots or sprouts at the bottom, then warm brisket and finely grated carrot. The flavors are simple and tasty. Each baked wonton wrapper packs a whopping 10 calories! Sweet! Any leftover wonton wrapper’s can be stored in a ziplock bag. They’ll keep for several days.