Have you ever heard a chef talk about the first time they tasted one of their favorite dishes, ingredients or flavor combinations?
The best thing about it is that they don’t want to simply describe it, they feel the need to share it, to recreate that experience for you. Call it a love language, call it a need to make an impression, call it what you will, just call it your good fortune.
This week’s collaboration with Diep Tran (the chef/owner of the now closed but much missed Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, food writer and restaurant workers’ rights advocate) comes in the form of a coconut fish curry called bún kèn. This is the dish Diep first tasted on the streets of Southern Vietnam while researching “The Red Boat Fish Sauce Cookbook.” This is the taste she couldn’t shake, and had to recreate. This labor of love is built on layers of flavor, starting with a fish stock (I’m already in) that's infused with an aromatic curry paste rich with turmeric, cilantro root, lemongrass, and coconut cream. You finish the dish by heating it, cooking local halibut and/or wild shrimp in it, then ladling it over rice noodles and topping it with fresh herbs and vegetables (from the box) and a drizzle of Diep's coconut nuoc chăm (that comes with it.)
We’re also bringing back an old Farm to Curb family favorite. Our bold, sweet and tangy Korean-style Gochujang chicken is spatchcocked, marinated, and ready for you to grill or roast. Make it a meal with a pot of Koshihikari rice and our ready-to-eat marinated kale, crisp cucumber salad and/or garlicky Shiitake mushrooms. If you like kimchi, Gimmedat’s napa cabbage kimchis are special, small-batch ferments. We’ll also provide a recipe for kimchi fried rice. And there will be spinach, carrots, and other vegetables in the produce box to turn into California banchan (Korean-inspired side dishes that we’ll provide recipes for.)
For other proteins for you to cook at home, we have Wagyu Denver steaks and Peads and Barnetts’ pork chops and local Meiji tofu, all of which would be delicious served with your “koreafornian” meals.
Back by popular demand, we’re restocking the freezer with ramen kits and handmade dumplings. We find Kenchan’s version of the ultimate Japanese comfort food perfectly easy (kits come frozen, and all you need to do is cook the noodles, whisk hot water into the broth concentrate and assemble) yet impressively authentic. We’re offering their traditional pork tonkatsu and vegan ginger garlic shio ramens, plus there’ll be scallions in the box for garnish. And we’re making the trek to Hui Tou Xiang dumpling workshop in San Gabriel for pork xiao long bao (soup) dumplings and vegetable potstickers. To add to your ramen or dip your dumplings, we have Gimmedat’s superior chili crisp.
And for something sweet to start or finish your day, we’ve got our favorite granola from our favorite employee owned bakery.