Japanese Shiitake & Vegetable Rice (Takikomi Gohan)
Dashi gives this vegetable rice recipe its savory depth. Rinsing the rice may seem like an extraneous step but it removes some of the surface starch for fluffier rice. And soaking the rice in seasoned dashi before cooking infuses the dish with more flavor.
Baked Fish & Kale Lavash Wraps
Controlling moisture is key to avoiding soggy lavash in this recipe, so be sure to squeeze as much liquid from the greens as possible. Look for lavash with large sandwich wraps at the grocery store. We prefer the flakier texture of rectangular lavash--the round ones are more like big flour tortillas and bake up a little gummy.
Sichuan Fava Bean, Pea Sprout & Radish Salad
This fresh and spicy salad features fava beans, which besides adding heft to this radish salad are a main ingredient in the iconic chili bean paste of Sichuan province. Look for frozen favas with Hispanic foods or in the freezer section in your supermarket. If you want an even more substantial salad, just double the sauce and add cooked sweet potato glass noodles.
Strawberry & Bean Sprout Salad with Spiced Potatoes
This combo may seem wild, but trust us--it works. Indian-American chef and cookbook author Raghavan Iyer developed it to have everything he thinks a perfect recipe should: a balance of heat, sweetness, a little pucker and a hit of salt combined with a tango of textures.
Egyptian Lentils, Rice & Pasta (Koshari)
This kitchen-sink of a vegetarian dish was most likely invented in Egypt in the mid-1800s when Cairo was a major multicultural trade port, which could explain the similarities to Italian spaghetti as well as the Indian rice-and-lentil comfort food khichdi. Three toppings--a spicy tomato sauce (shatta), crispy onions and a garlicky vinegar (dakka)--are added to the koshari before serving, but in Cairo most people like them in separate bowls so they can season their bites one at a time. (Recipe adapted from Zooba Restaurant.)