Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Teriyaki Turkey Banh Mi w/ Asian slaw and green-chili mayo

So one complication of growing up in an Indian household is sometimes older members of the family really like certain flavors - mainly Indian, spicy, curried and etc.

In my family, cuisines from Thailand, China and Mexico are loved greatly alongside specific Japanese foods - like teriyaki - no sushi for them. (note: I love sushi, so do my brothers and sometimes it makes us rather sad our family won't try a bite of spicy tuna.)

So when making a sandwich, we must find ways to satisfy this need for Asian flavors and after trying a Banh Mi sandwich at Baoguette, I knew I had to invent one myself - my family could enjoy too.

So here is a Teriyaki Turkey Meatball Banh Mi, with an Asian inspired slaw and green chili mayo.


  • 1 package of frozen turkey meatballs (you could make your own, but it's easier)
  • 1 bottle of Trader Joe's Soyaki sauce (could use regular teriyaki as well)
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced thinly into half moons
  • 1/2 of cabbage or iceberg lettuce head, shredded
  • 1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper (you want the sweetness), sliced thinly
  • 1/2 an English cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp. of oil
  • 1 tsp. of honey
  • 3 tbsp. of mayo
  • 1 green chili, chopped with seeds
  • 4 hearty rolls or baguettes, pictured is the focaccini from TJ's
  • black pepper to taste


  1. Place the 4 meatballs per person in a saucepan with the jar of soyaki. Heat over medium-low heat for 15-20 mins or until meatballs are heated through.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine lettuce or cabbage, bell peppers, onions and cucumbers. Toss with oil, red wine vinegar and honey. Add black pepper to taste.
  3. In another smaller bowl, combine mayo and chopped green chilis. Set aside.
  4. Toast rolls in over or toaster.
  5. When meatballs are heated through, take a roll and slather mayo on either side.
  6. Cut each meatball in half and place on on side of roll. 
  7. Top with slaw and cover with other half.

Serve: 4 to 5 people, Prep Time: 15 min., Cook Time: 20 mins.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Indian Spice Cupboard

After months of talking about how to cook Indian food, one thing I've failed to mention are the essential spices needed in any Indian food-lover's pantry.

The main spices one must always have are cumin, corriander, turmeric, red chili and garam masala. In most cases, Indian households have both whole and ground versions of each spice, although turmeric is only found in powder form.

Garam Masala is a special mix of a few Indian spices which is what creates a certain flavor. It literally translates to "hot mixture" and is used in both cooking and as a garnish. It has black & white peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, black cumin, cumin seeds, cinnamon; black, brown, & green cardamom, nutmeg, star anise and coriander seeds.

Some of these spices like cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise and bay leaves are also necessary in Indian spice cupboards.

Another used concoction is curry powder. However, unlike the mix of curry powder you can find in a grocery store, this isn't just curry leaves ground up.

It is this specific combination:

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 dried red chiles, broken in pieces, seeds discarded
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
Other spices to keep around are mango powder, used to sweeten dishes and add color, hing (which is like ground fennel, has a strong smell and tastes like leeks), fenugreek leaves or powder (which has a salty and bitter taste) saffron (expensive, used to color and flavor sauces, rice), allspice, mace, tamarind (sweet),  and mustard seeds.

As you can see there are many spices used in Indian cooking. The best thing to do is get them in their whole form and blend a small amount to use regularly when cooking. The spices in powder form lose flavor after about 6 months, while whole spices, if left in a cool, dark, dry area can last more than a year.

Have fun with the spices. Try them raw and see what they taste like and how adding them can change the depth of your dish.