Stir up dinner

Try these recipes adapted from popular Asian street food.

November 13, 2013 10:13
Filipina chef Vilma Magpantay

Filipina chef Vilma Magpantay. (photo credit: Anatoly Michaelo)


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Vilma Magpantay, a Filipina chef who worked in her family-owned restaurants in Manila, came to Israel 10 years ago and opened Dim Sum Station in Tel Aviv with local businessman Shalom Meidan.

The Asian restaurant, located on Yehuda Halevi Street, serves what can best be described as street food that can be found in markets throughout the Far East.

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Magpantay adapted a few of her most popular dishes, such as banana roti and chicken curry, which she says can easily be cooked and enjoyed at home.


Bean Noodles Salad (Anatoly Michaelo)

Ever wondered how to use mung bean noodles? Nowadays, you can find them in most supermarkets in the Asian section.

Sometimes referred to as cellophane noodles, they absorb the sauce or dressing and can be served cold in salads or in hot dishes.

✔ ¾ package Chinese sprouts
✔ 100 gr. cherry tomatoes
✔ Bean noodles
✔ 1 package baby leaves
✔ 1 basket champignon mushrooms
✔ 1 carrot
✔ 1 cucumber

For the dressing
✔ ¼ cup soy sauce
✔ 1½ Tbsp. sugar
✔ 1½ tsp. sesame oil

Soak the noodles in water overnight.

In a small pot, heat the soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar until sugar dissolves completely. Let cool.

Cut the tomatoes in half, cut the mushrooms into quarters, julienne the carrot and cucumber. Mix the leaves and vegetables in a large bowl. Add the noodles. Pour the cooled sauce and toss together.

Makes 6

✔ 1 kg. chicken breast, cut into small cubes
✔ ½ tsp. salt
✔ A handful of chopped cilantro, leaves only
✔ 300 gr. whole green beans (choose young and tender beans)
✔ ½ tsp. cumin
✔ ½ tsp. cinnamon
✔ ½ tsp. ground cardamom
✔ ½ tsp. ground black pepper
✔ 1 large red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
✔ 5 large garlic cloves, minced
✔ 2 chili peppers, chopped (or less if you prefer)
✔ 2 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ 1 can coconut milk
✔ 2 Tbsp. green curry paste (available in Asian shops)
✔ 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
✔ 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
✔ A handful roasted peanuts, crushed
✔ 1 green onion, chopped In a small bowl, mix together salt, cilantro, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper.

Rub the seasoning mixture into the chicken for 3 minutes until all the pieces are covered. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and chili, mix and transfer to a bowl.

Heat the skillet again over high heat and add the second Tbsp. oil. Place the ginger in the skillet and then the chicken. Fry, while mixing until all the chicken is completely done but not dry. Add the chicken to the bowl with the onions and chilies.

Pour the coconut milk into the same skillet and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until it reduces. After 5 minutes, add the peanut butter to the coconut milk and mix. Continue cooking; bring back the chicken, onion, chili and garlic, add the curry paste and toss for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and toss 2-3 more times and transfer to the serving bowl. Sprinkle more chopped cilantro, green onion and crushed peanuts on top. Serve with white rice.

Makes 8

Tofu and Cashew (Anatoly Michaelo)

✔ 2 cubes of tofu
✔ 100 gr. dry fungus mushrooms (available in Asian shops)
✔ 2 green bell peppers
✔ 1 large onion
✔ 100 gr. roasted cashew nuts
✔ 50 gr. fresh ginger, sliced or chopped
✔ 8 Tbsp. mushroom sauce (any you can find)
✔ 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
✔ 4 tsp. sugar
✔ 2 Tbsp. canola oil
✔ 4 cups rice
✔ 6 cups water Soak the mushrooms in water for 1 hour.

To prepare rice: Wash the rice in a sieve under running water. Pour the 6 cups of water into a pot, add the rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 12 minutes covered. Turn off heat and leave the lid on.

Cut the tofu and pepper into small cubes.

Chop the onion very small.

Add the oil to a wok or wide skillet, add the ginger and fry until it turns lighter in color. Add the onion and sauté until transparent. Add the tofu and pepper and continue to stir-fry. Remove mushrooms from water and slice. Add mushroom to the stir-fry. Add the mushroom sauce, sugar, cashew and sesame oil and fry, mixing for a few more minutes.

Serve the tofu over the white rice.

Makes 6

Banana roti (or loti) (Anatoly Michaelo)

✔ 1 cup flour
✔ ½ cup water
✔ 1 Tbsp. oil
✔ 6 peeled bananas, sliced into rounds
✔ Concentrated milk Mix the flour, water and oil in a large bowl. Knead and divide into 6 equal parts.

Roll each part into a very thin round. Fry the rounds with very little oil. Place banana rounds on top and fold the pastry to form an envelope. Turn and fry the other side.

Serve with concentrated milk.

Makes 2

Lychee drink (Anatoly Michaelo)

✔ 1 can lychees in syrup
✔ 2 cans coconut milk
✔ 1 cup ice

Mix the lychees, including the syrup, with the coconut milk. Add the ice, mix and serve.

The recipes and photos are courtesy of Vilma Magpantay, Dim Sum Station, 44 Yehuda Halevi Street, Tel Aviv, 077-234-4954

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