1:03 PM / Sunday October 2, 2022

17 Jul 2020

Flavor Fusion: Update summer classics with Asian-inspired flair

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July 17, 2020 Category: Food And Beverage Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Spicy Steak and Broccoli


A distinctive and unexpected ingredient like rice vinegar is an easy way to bring faraway flavors to your favorite summer dishes. This pantry staple adds an Asian-inspired flavor to recipes of all kinds, from marinades to high-end meals.

Explore a new way to enjoy steak this summer with a recipe for zesty, marinated beef paired with crisp broccolini and peppers to give a familiar dish a fresh makeover using flavors from another origin. Give fajitas an Asian makeover with shrimp seared in a decadent hoisin-ginger sauce or try a fresh take on a crunchy salad with this Mexican-meets-Asian layered approach that’s perfect for lunch.

Include seasonal produce like cucumbers, bell peppers and tomatoes to enhance your summer flavor fusions. Pantry staples like black beans and canned corn also offer accessible ways to make elevated summer classics. 

Capture Asian flavors with ingredients like NAKANO Rice Vinegar, which has perfected its rice vinegars over eight generations to offer unique and delicious flavors perfect for making mouthwatering Asian-inspired recipes at home. 

Find more flavorful ways to put an Asian twist on your summer dishes at:

Pro flavor-fusion tips

• The key to a successful stir-fry is to use high heat to quickly cook meats and vegetables in stages without overcrowding the pan. This ensures that veggies stay slightly crisp, and meats develop a delicious sear instead of steaming.

• Avocado oil has one of the highest smoke points, making it a great choice for high-heat cooking like stir-frying. 

• Hoisin sauce, which you can find in the Asian section of most grocery stores, is used frequently in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. It’s a salty, fermented soybean paste often combined with garlic, chiles and five-spice powder, which adds a sweet, umami-rich, aromatic flavor to the dish. 

• Shishito peppers are slender, mild, green Japanese peppers available in the produce section of well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets. If shishito peppers are unavailable, substitute with multicolored mini peppers. 

• To accommodate those who love a lot of spice and those who prefer less spice, serve mild-to-medium-spicy foods with additional chili sauce on the side. 

• Swap out heavy, high-calorie salad dressings for a splash of additional flavor with NAKANO rice vinegar.

Spicy Steak and Broccoli

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

1 beef tenderloin (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided

2 cups multicolored, mini sweet peppers, cut into thin rings

¼ pound broccolini, cut into 3-inch sections

2 large shallots, chopped

1/4 cup NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon sambal oelek (Asian-chili garlic sauce) or sriracha

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

In medium bowl, combine beef, soy sauce, cornstarch, black pepper and garlic powder.

In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add peppers, broccolini and shallots; cook 3 minutes, or until tender crisp. Transfer to clean bowl.

In same skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half of beef in single layer. Cook undisturbed 2 minutes, or until bottoms are browned. Stir. Cook 1 minute, or until outer surfaces are no longer pink. Transfer to bowl with vegetables. Repeat with remaining oil and beef. Return beef and vegetables to skillet over medium-high heat. 

In small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, sambal oelek, salt and ginger. Add mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.

Sizzling Shrimp Fajita Stir-Fry

Sizzling Shrimp Fajita Stir-Fry

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

1 1/2 pounds large, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (21-25 shrimp total)

2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided

1/4 cup NAKANO Roasted Garlic Rice Vinegar

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 red onion, cut into thin slivers

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1/2 pound Shishito peppers, stemmed

6 warmed corn or flour tortillas

1/2 cup finely shredded red cabbage

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

In medium bowl, combine shrimp, 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons cornstarch; let stand 5 minutes to marinate. 

In separate bowl, whisk remaining soy sauce, remaining cornstarch, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce and ginger until blended.

In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half of shrimp; cook 1 minute on each side. Transfer to clean bowl; repeat with remaining shrimp. Wipe out skillet with paper towel.

In same pan, heat remaining oil until shimmering. Add red onion, bell pepper and Shishito peppers. Cook, stirring, 2-4 minutes until peppers begin to blister. Add vinegar mixture; cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Add shrimp to pan. Cook, tossing well until shrimp and vegetables are coated with sauce. 

Fill tortillas with shrimp mixture, cabbage and green onions.

Glass Jar Layered Taco Salad

Glass Jar Layered Taco Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

1/2 avocado

1/4 teaspoon serrano pepper

1 tablespoon cilantro

2 tablespoons NAKANO Organic Seasoned Rice Vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup corn

1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded

1/2 cup jicama, diced

1/2 cup black beans, rinsed

1/2 cup shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup extra-firm tofu, diced

1/2 cup corn chips, crushed

1/2 cup spinach

1 tablespoon queso fresco

In bowl, mash avocado and add serrano pepper, cilantro, rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice and salt. Stir to combine.

Build salad in layers of corn, cabbage, jicama, black beans, cabbage, tomatoes, tofu, corn chips, spinach and queso fresco while adding drizzles of dressing between layers.

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