The average New Yorker’s diet is nothing if not diverse; so why should we abandon our international aesthetic for Thanksgiving? Since “American” cuisine can apply to just about anything nowadays, we’ve channeled Asian inspiration for the following fashionable side dishes; Korean Kimchi Stuffing, Filipino Sweet Potato Lumpia, and Chinese Green Bean Casserole!
Korean Kimchi Stuffing
12 cups of day-old bread, cubed and lightly toasted
4 slices of slab bacon or pork belly, cut into small cubes
3 Asian (not Italian) eggplants, cut into small cubes (the Asian variation is long and skinny)
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups of cabbage kimchi, chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon gochujang
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 1/2 cups Korean anchovy (dashi) stock (available in Asian markets)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cubed bread in large bowl.
In a sauté pan, render the pork until crispy. Set aside pork, and pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
In the remaining fat in the pan, sauté the eggplant until soft and brown. Add in the green onions and chopped kimchi, and cook for another three minutes.
Whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, soy sauce and gochujang in a bowl.
Combine the pork and eggplant/kimchi mixture with the bread. Mix well. Add the egg mixture and the dashi stock.
Pour the stuffing in a 9” cake pan and bake, uncovered about 35-40 minutes until the top is nicely browned.
Chinese Green Bean Casserole
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of water
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of minced green onion
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
8 ounces of sliced Asian mushrooms, like oyster, enoki or shitake
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pound Chinese long beans, cut into 2-inch lengths and steamed until tender
1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
In a bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, and stir it into the oyster sauce mixture until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok until the oil shimmers, then toss the green onion and garlic in the hot oil until fragrant, about 20 seconds; stir in the mushrooms. Cook and stir until the mushrooms begin to shrink slightly. Sprinkle the mushrooms lightly with salt. Continue to cook the mushrooms, stirring often, until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Pour in the oyster sauce mixture, then stir until the sauce is thickened and coats the mushrooms, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Pour the thickened mushroom sauce over the green beans and toss to coat. Place in a greased baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.
Filipino Sweet Potato Lumpia with Cranberry Dipping Sauce
For the Lumpia
1½ cups of coconut milk
1 teaspoon of butter
5 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed and steamed until soft (or, if you can find them, the purple yams known as ube)
salt and pepper to taste
1 package of lumpia or spring roll wrappers
2 eggs, beaten
oil for deep frying
For the Sauce
1 cup of cranberry juice
½ cup of white vinegar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1-½ teaspoon of ground ginger
For the Lumpia: In a small sauce pan, add coconut milk and butter. Heat until butter melts.
Mash sweet potatoes with the coconut milk and butter mixture, making sure that the potatoes stay stiff and not too creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
Place a single sheet of the lumpia or spring roll wrapper on a flat, dry surface. Place three heaping tablespoons of the sweet potato filling diagonally near one corner of each wrapper, leaving a 1 1/2 inch space at both ends. Fold the side along the length of the filling over the filling, tuck in both ends, and roll neatly. Keep the roll tight as you assemble. Moisten the other side of the wrapper with beaten egg to seal the edge. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap to retain moisture.
Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry lumpia until golden brown, and cool and drain on a paper towel.
For the Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 1–2 minutes until thick. Serve alongside lumpia.