Lost Vegetarian Presents… Banh Canh Noodles at Bricolage

I love Vietnamese food, but there can be a lot of pitfalls for vegetarians. Even innocuous-sounding dishes may have a healthy sprinkle of fish sauce in them. At Bricolage in Park Slope, though, Chef Lien Lin has a number of great (fish sauce-free) vegetarian options like banh xeo (a crepe made with rice flour) and a veggie banh mi. Even better is the dish she made for us in the newest episode of Lost Vegetarian: banh canh noodles with tofu. The dish, which is meant to be eaten at room temperature, features a great mix of textures and flavors. The noodles, made with a mix of tapioca and rice flours, are dense and chewy, while the vegetables are crisp and light. The coconut-based sauce adds just the right amount of seasoning, offset by the bright acidity of the pickles.

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Scott Lindrup (http://www.scottlindrup.com/)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Bricolage — 162 5th Ave

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Red Hook Ball Field Vendors Are Back For 2016

The Red Hook Ball Field Vendors are back for a new season, earlier than ever. Although, as I wrote last year, the number of vendors has shrunk it’s still worth a trip out for some good food. My new favorite thing is a pupusa made of plantains, instead of the usual masa (corn) flour. It gets crisp and caramelized on the griddle, and the slight sweetness of the plantains matches well with the salsa roja and crema on top.

Red Hook Ball Field Vendors — 155 Bay St

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Smorgasburg Is Back In Prospect Park

Smorgasburg is back in Prospect Park, after spending the winter in Industry City. There’s been a lot of press around a certain dessert, though I don’t see the attraction. I’ve been a few times already this season, and my favorite thing so far has been the pholourie from Island Tingz — chewy, chickpea flour-based fritters topped with pepper sauce and tamarind.

There is one dessert worth checking out though, the banana pudding from Baonanas — I got a scoop each of matcha flavored and rosewater-lychee with strawberries. Super delicious.

Smorgasburg — check website for dates and locations

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Lost Vegetarian Presents… Sindhi Curry At Kailash Parbat

Until I sat down with Gary Mulchandani, at Kailash Parbat NY, to discuss filming this episode of Lost Vegetarian Presents I had never heard of Sindhi culture or Sindhi cuisine. Over the past few years the regional specifics of Chinese cuisine have been becoming more popular around NYC, but Indian cuisine hasn’t had the same thing happen. I vaguely knew there was a difference between northern and southern Indian cuisine, but the truth is I couldn’t tell you exactly what that difference was. There are thousands of cultures in India, all with their own identities. So it was a pleasure to learn about one of them, the Sindhi culture.

And yet as I watched Gary cook (he’s not one of the cooks at the restaurant, but part of his training to manage Kailash Parbat in NYC involved him learning how to make everything) it was something simple and familiar that made me take notice. The Sindhi curry starts with a specific technique in which gram (chickpea) flour is smoked slowly in oil. It was a technique that would be recognizable to anyone who has ever made a French roux; though I’m guessing the Sindhi version pre-dates the roux by a few thousand years.

Obviously a couple of conversations doesn’t make me an expert, and everyone’s family has a different recipe for Sindhi curry. I feel privileged to have gotten a glimpse into a culture I didn’t know anything about, and to be the recipient of Gary’s generosity.

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Matt Yule (https://www.youtube.com/user/YuleBrothers)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Kailash Parbat NY — 99 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

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Come On A Vegetarian Food Tour Of Jackson Heights!

Hi vegetarian food fans! I’ve teamed up with with Queens-based food writer and culinary tour guide Joe DiStefano of Chopsticks and Marrow for a vegetarian food tour in Jackson Heights. On Saturday May 14th we’ll be hitting up a ton of places and sampling a wide variety of foods from South Asian to South American. Please join us!

Buy tickets here!

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Lumpia Shack Snackbar At Berg’n

When I was doing the research into the Lumpia Shack episode of Lost Vegetarian I stopped by their Snackbar Location at Berg’n. I’d already tasted their (excellent) lumpia at Smorgasburg, but I wanted to try something else. And although Filipino food isn’t known for being particularly vegetarian friendly, at Lumpia Shack they make a point of having vegetarian versions of even the most meat-centric Filipino dishes. Case in point: sisig. Sisig is a dish usually made with various parts of the pig, including the face and internal organs. At Lumpia Shack they also offer a vegetarian version (it’s vegan without the egg) made with multiple types of seitan from Monk’s Meats. It’s a great dish, showcasing the vibrancy of Filipino food — the balance of spicy, sour from the ubiquitous Filipino fruit calamansi), salty, and sweet, as well as the interplay of temperatures (cold lettuce with hot cooked seitan) and textures (crisp pickled veggies and either rice or noodles). Yes, the mushroom lumpia are amazing, but the vegetarian sisig is great too.

Lumpia Shack Snackbar at Berg’n — 899 Bergen St

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Lost Vegetarian Presents… Grains Of The Day At Nha Minh

When I asked for suggestions about restaurants that might be good to feature on Lost Vegetarian, James Boo was quick to recommend Nha Minh, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bushwick. Chef/owner Fred Hua constructs these amazing create-your-own rice bowls, which are huge and filling but somehow light and energizing. He uses the best ingredients he can find and cooks them simply, and then everything is combined with a medley of rice, grains, and pickled veggies. Then you can top the bowl with a wide variety of delicious freshly-made sauces, with options like coffee hoisin and fermented black bean with tahini. In this episode, Hua makes a vegan, gluten free bowl topped with Barry’s Tempeh. I’ve been to Nha Minh twice now, and both times everything was excellent. Enjoy!

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Scott Lindrup (http://www.scottlindrup.com/)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Nha Minh — 485 Morgan Av

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