I was surprised by how much I like the 101 Easy Asian Recipes book that was published by Lucky Peach last year. I am ambivalent about the magazine, in which I find both brilliance and bro-ness, but the book doesn’t have any of the tone-baggage that the magazine sometimes suffers from. As the title promises, it is a collection of genuinely easy to prepare Asian recipes. The authors (“Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach”) gave themselves two rules when creating recipes for the book, no deep frying and no recipes containing sub-recipes (as in, a recipe that requires you to execute multiple other recipes to complete). It is informative and breezy. I especially like the guide to ingredients at the front of the book. It is the kind of book I will cook from a lot. In fact, I already have and have liked every recipe I tried.
I especially like this simple celery salad that is easy to prepare and a nice compliment to a main course, especially a heavy, meaty one. It is fresh and spicy and keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. I also like this recipe because it encouraged me to get a jar of spicy chili crisp (the lid of which is pictured above—I love her attitude problem), which is a condiment that I now hope to always have in my fridge.
Spicy Cold Celery (from Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon spicy chili crisp or chili oil
- 4-5 large celery stalks, sliced thinly on an angle (about 2 1/2 cups)
Stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar, and chili crisp is a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Add the celery and toss to coat it in the dressing. Let stand for a few minutes before eating. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, so you might as well make a double batch.