Some mornings I wake up dreaming about Istanbul. Then I listen to this song. I think about this, this and this. That’s pretty much the only time it gets hard to go to work on a Sunday and work 16 hours.
Once a dosa fan, always a dosa fan. Masala dosa with sambar, coconut and tomato chutney. From Dosa Royale at Smorgasburg, Brooklyn, NYC. Always nice to run into South Indian food…
Octopus stuffed teriyaki balls! A pancake like batter cooked patiently on a concave griddle and formed into a ball with braised octopus. Topped with okonomi sauce and bonito flakes…
I went to Japadog this Saturday, right on St. Mark’s Place. It’s a good concept for fast food. I had my japadog with okonomi sauce, their house rendition of okonomiyaki into a sauce, nori chiffonade and bonito flakes.
Juicy pork sausage and the bonito flakes give this dog a poppin umami. Loved it.
Japadog, St. Mark’s Place, Manhattan
Ethiopian teff roll with stewed chicken! The teff roll is so silky and smooth…
That’s a Grumpy Russian with a pork schnitzel, Gorgonzola, and a lightly acidic slaw! The bun looks like a pretzel but it’s a sweet brioche… An all around balanced sandwich with a name that conveys attitude! This is good @ Schnitz’s NYC, Smorgasburg, Brooklyn (at Brooklyn Flea Williamsburg)
Fish canepes @ the Ferry Bulding Farmers Market in San Fransisco
King salmon, sturgeon, white salmon, and albacore tuna paired with a classic combination of cream cheese, dill, capers, onions, bell peppers, meyer lemons and arugula
First time eating sturgeon — never realized it was such a lean fish!
Rough chop kokorec / kokoretsi with oregano, crushed peppers and cumin
Kokorec is lamb small intestines wrapped around sweetbreads and slow-grilled to a crispy perfection. The textural gradient that leads to the melt in the mouth sweetbreads is fascinating. Varying degrees of crispiness on the intestine from the crispiest to the soft to the slightly chewy… and to the sweetbreads.
I cannot imagine a world without Kokorec.
Buyuk Postane Caddesi, Sirkeci, Istanbul
Another mussel classic — a diluted version of the homemade stuffed mussels of my family with no pine nuts, currants and dill but complete with a black peppery, cinnamony sweetness. A squeeze of lemon brings the whole thing together.
Balik Pazari,Beyoglu, Istanbul
What’s different about these deep fried kibbes is everything. The bulgur is fried to a perfect golden brown. The stuffing (with caramelized onions, garlic, walnuts, Aleppo peppers and ground beef) is light, flavorful, sweet, and comforting.
Sabirtasi is an ageold institution at the heart of Beyoglu, near Galata. They’ve been making these koftes the same way for decades!
Skewered, dusted with flour and deep fried, mussels are at the center of the Istanbul street food / after-party eating scene. The white ”tarator” sauce is a mixture of breadcrumbs, walnuts, lemon juice, vegetable oil, and garlic. The crispy fried mussels need to be consumed immediately after it’s been topped with the tarator sauce.
Balik Pazari, Taksim, Istanbul
Steaming burger buns doused with tomato sauce and more, stuffed with an elusive piece of beef burger strongly flavored with garlic. Arguably the epitome of Istanbul street food. I like mine with pickles.
Kizilkayalar, Taksim, Istanbul
The first thing I ate in Mumbai was a vada pav, and it shall be the last thing I eat until I return! Packed with flavor, puffy and slightly crispy on the outside… Doused with chutneys and stuffed into a soft bun. Oh, vada pav, my favorite Indian street food. You will be missed…
I’ve negotiated a stop at the Juhu Beach chaat stands before heading to the airport tomorrow night!
Photo near Crawford Market, Mumbai
Tawa pulao — Indian vegetable fried rice. That cast iron griddle is a tawa. Tawa pulao is not very common in Mumbai but it’s fun to indulge when you do run into it. This is essentially a stir fried rice. Pulaos come from the Middle East… and they go right in your tummy!
Near Crawford Market, Mumbai, India
In the absence of ovens, Thai cooks and street food vendors have become masters of slow cooking over coals. Scales-on, salt-crusted, lemongrass and chili stuffed fish; catfish with a sweet glaze!
The fish stays delicate without overcooking and the flavors infuse through the meat.
Sala Daeng, Suam Phlu and Yaowarat, Bangkok, Thailand