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Meet the cooks and foods of Southeast Asia.

More than spicy exotic flavors give Southeast Asian foods their appeal. Lightness, crisp fresh vegetables, provocative seasonings, and the interplay of textures all combine to win Western fans.

Our own enthusiasm, first sparked by visits to Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, and Malaysia, has been reinforced by eating in Southeast Asian restaurants recently opened by the large influx of immigrants in this country.

We've also visited with transplanted Southeast Asians from Seattle to San Diego, who prepared favorite dishes to share. They showed us how and where to shop, how to adapt our ingredients when theirs aren't available. The result: a series of intriguing sampler menus that introduce you to the foods of Southeast Asia, with recipes made feasible for Western cooks and kitchens.

Many of the ingredients are already familiar. Some we know from Mexican and Chinese cooking, though they have a different dimension when handled in the Southeast Asian way.

Because Southeast Asians are from the same general geographic area, they share many of the same basic foods and seasonings. These may be called by different names or used in different ways, but they're essentially interchangeable from one country to another. (See page 128 for more details on basic ingredients.)

Some Asian markets here can supply imported ingredients. But readily available alternatives can also produce delicious results and give you a satisfying impression of the real thing.

Don't be put off if our recipes look complex. If they seem long, it's because we're careful to suggest workable substitutions wherever possible. Spices are often used generously.

Cooking techniques are ones you already know: stir-frying, grilling, steaming, simmering, sauteeing, and frying. Asians use woks, but a frying pan will do. A heavy mortar and pestle are standard equipment in most Asian kitchens: pounding breaks fibers to release and blend flavors. A food processor can substitute, though it tends to cut instead of crush.

Traditionally, all the courses are set out at once. You take some of each food on your plate, playing flavors against each other. The meal uses rice as a neutral background.

Fresh pineapples, mangoes, papayas, bananas, and less common fruits are often served for dessert. You might want to try imported canned or frozen fruits from the region such as longans, rambutans--sweet, juicy, pearly-white spheres similar to lichees--and yellow jackfruit.

Beer or iced tea go well as a beverage.

To start your food tour of the Pacific, you might begin with Thai appetizers for a first course or small party. For an outing, pack the Filipino picnic. When you need a light supper, try the tart Cambodian soup. On a mild evening, serve a Vietnamese or Laotian supper on the patio. For a dinner party, choose the burmese noodle buffet, Indonesian rice table, or Malaysian curry.

Menu 1: Thai appetizers with sauces

Stylish and bold, Thai cuisine teases the palate with intriguing textures, temperatures, and flavors. The highly seasoned fish patties are served with a cool, tart-sweet cucumber sauce. Chicken wings traditionally are boned and stuffed with a pork filling, but we skip this step because the boning takes practice. We present the fried wings, unstuffed, with sweet-sour garlic sauce.

Patties are made with fresh fish paste that can be purchased from Oriental fish markets. If you can't get it, grind fish fillets and season with spicy red curry paste from an Asian store (or make your own). Leftover paste can be used to season stir-fry dishes, curries, and meat marinades. Thai Fish Patties with Cucumber Sauce (Tord man)

1 pound fresh fish paste (or 1 lb. lean mild fish fillets such as rockfish or bass)

1-1/2 tablespoons purchased or homemade red curry paste (recipe follows)

1 or 2 eggs

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed

Salad oil


Cucumber sauce (recipe follows)

Mix the fish paste (if using fish fillets, cut into chunks and whirl to a paste in a food processor or force through the fine blade of a food chopper until finely ground) with the curry paste, egg (use 2 eggs if you make your own fish paste), sugar, and cornstarch until well blended. Stir in peas.

In a deep 10- to 12-inch frying pan or 3- to 4-quart pan, heat about 1-1/2 inches salad oil to 350[deg.] on a thermometer. Drop 5 to 8 rounded teaspoonfuls of the fish mixture into the oil; cook, turning, until fish is golden on all sides and opaque in thickest part when cut, about 1 minute. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Place in 200[deg.] oven to keep warm while frying remaining fish.

Sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve with cucumber sauce. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill. To reheat, bake in a single layer in a 350[deg.] oven until hot, about 8 minutes.) Makes 36, enough for 6 to 8 servings.--Chutarat Kocourek, Cupertino, Calif.

Red curry paste. In a food processor or blender, combine 6 tablespoons chopped fresh or dry lemon grass or 1 tablespoon dry ground lemon grass (or 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel) and 12 slices dry galangal, crush (or 1 tablespoon ground laos or 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger); whirl until finely ground. Add 6 tablespoons each cayenne and minced shallot, 2 tablespoons ground coriander, 1-1/2 teaspoons shrimp paste (or anchovy paste), 12 cloves garlic (coarsely chopped), and 1/4 cup salad oil; whirl until smooth. Use, or cover and chill up to 1 month. Makes 3/4 cup.

Cucumber sauce. In a 1- to 2-quart pan, combine 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Let cool. Cut 1 large cucumber in quarters lengthwise, then thinly slice. Stir cucumber with sugar mixture; pour into serving dish. Top with 3 tablespoons finely chopped salted roasted peanuts and 1 fresh small hot chili (about 2-in. size), thinly sliced (or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper paste or crushed dried hot red chilies). Fried Chicken Wings with Garlic Sauce

12 chicken wings (2 to 2-1/2 lbs.)

Salad oil

2 eggs

All-purpose flour

Garlic sauce (recipe follows)

Cut meatiest part of chicken wing off at first joint. In a deep 10- to 12-inch frying pan, heat about 1-1/2 inches oil to 350[deg.] on a thermometer. Pat moisture off both sections of wings. In a shallow pan, beat eggs. Dip chicken in egg, then in flour to coat. Fry 4 to 6 pieces at a time, turning until golden, about 5 minutes. Lift out and drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a 200[deg.] oven. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill. Reheat, uncovered, in a single layer in a 400[deg.] oven until hot, 15 to 20 minutes.)

For a lacy garnish, drizzle any leftover beaten egg into hot oil. Fry just until golden, about 30 seconds. Lift out with a slotted spoon and lay on wings. Serve wings to dip into garlic sauce. Makes 6 appetizer servings.

Garlic sauce. In a 1- to 2-quart pan, stir together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 15 cloves garlic, crushed. Cover and simmer until garlic is translucent, about 10 minutes. Mix 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch with 2 teaspoons water. Stir into garlic mixture; cook, stirring until it boils.

In a blender or food processor, combine garlic mixture, 8 more cloves garlic, 1 fresh hot chili (3-in. size), cut up; whirl until pureed. Use at room temperature. Makes about 1 cup.

Menu 2: Filipino picnic tray

Filipino cooks use much garlic and onion. They punctuate flavors with salty soy, fish sauce, or shrimp paste and with tangy vinegar. They use black pepper but avoid fiery chilies. A mild vinegar made from the juice of palm goes into many dishes.

This picnic goes in one big flat basket. Wrapped in banana leaves, the foods stay fresh and moist. You line the basket or tray with banana leaves (or order ti leaves from the florist). Mound on leaves the cooked rice, salty-sweet pork lightly cured with saltpeter (available in Filipino markets), salad, and shrimp. Then top with more leaves, weighted around the rim with a selection of fruits for dessert. Filipino Tray Picnic

1 medium-size onion, thinly sliced



1 pound large (10 to 30 per lb.) shrimp (optional)

1 to 1-1/2 pounds spinach, washed and stems removed

1 pound fresh, refrigerated, or thawed frozen banana leaves (or ti leaves)

6 to 8 cups hot cooked rice

Pork slices with soy and vinegar (recipe follows)

3 medium-size tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup palm vinegar (or 1/4 cup each cider vinegar and water)

About 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar

Small bananas, mangoes, papayas, oranges

Soak onion in about 1 quart cold water with 1 teaspoon salt for 30 minutes; drain. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring about 2 quarts water to boiling. Drop shrimp into the boiling water; simmer gently until shrimp are pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and immerse in cold water to cool quickly; drain.

Put spinach in the boiling water until limp, about 1 minute. Drain and immerse in cold water to cool; drain.

Separate banana leaves and rinse. Glide each piece over an electric or gas burner set on high heat and keep turning until entire leaf looks polished; set aside. (Ti leaves do not need heating.) With 3/4 of the leaves, line a large round tray--typically bamboo, 18 to 24 inches in diameter. (With ti leaves, line tray with plastic wrap first to prevent leaking.) Mound rice in center. Arrange pork slices, with their juices, over rice. Ring the rice with sliced onion, shrimp, spinach, and tomatoes.

Mix together vinegar and sugar; drizzle over vegetables and shrimp. Cover with remaining banana leaves and place a selection of fruits around rim. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.--Nana Luz, Stanford, Calif., and Zenaida Mallari, Menlo Park, Calif.

Pork slices with soy and vinegar (Tocino). Trim excess fat off 2 to 2-1/2 pounds boneless lean pork such as butt or shoulder. Cut meat into 1/4-inch-thick slices, each 2 to 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. In a bowl, mix 2 large cloves garlic, minced or mashed; 1/2 cup palm vinegar (or 1/4 cup each cider vinegar and water); 1/2 cup soy sauce; 1/2 teaspoon each pepper and salt-peter (optional); and 1/4 cup sugar. Add pork, cover, and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.

In a 12- to 14-inch frying pan (preferably one with a nonstick coating), heat 1 tablespoon salad oil over medium heat. Remove about 1/2 of the pork from marinade, drain briefly, and arrange in a single layer in pan. Cook, turning as needed, until juices evaporte, 8 to 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until meat is well browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Repeat, browning remaining meat and adding more salad oil to pan, if needed. Makes about 6 servings.

Menu 3: Cambodian soup supper

Foods and flavors preferred by Cambodians are most like those of Thailand and Laos, with a hint of Chinese influence. Most cooking is done in a wok, and cooks use originality combining ingredients and seasonings. This main-dish soup is typical of an everyday meal.

Cambodian Sour Beef Soup Hot Cooked Rice Platter of Raw Vegetables

Refreshing and light, this soup makes a simple supper. Cook the rice, then start the soup. Meanwhile, you can prepare a platter of raw vegetables to nibble on during the meal. You might select sliced cucumbers, leaf lettuce, whole green onions, radishes. Cambodian Sour Beef Soup

2 stalks fresh or dry lemon grass (or yellow part of peel from 2 lemons)

12 slices dry galangal (or 12 thin slices fresh ginger, each about the size of a quarter)

6 whole dry tamarind pods (each 4 to 5 in. long) or 1/2 cup tamarind pulp (or 1/2 cup cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons sugar)


1-1/2 pounds boneless lean beef, such as chuck or top round, about 1 inch thick

1 large head garlic (20 to 25 cloves), peeled

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce)

1 teaspoon Chinese shrimp sauce (or anchovy paste)

2 large shallots (or small onions), cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1/2 pound Chinese long beans or regular green beans, ends and strings removed, cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths

Crushed dried hot red chilies

Rinse lemon grass and galangal well. If dry, soak in warm water to cover until soft, about 20 minutes. Discard shells and fibrous strands from tamarind pods. Soak pulp and seeds in 2 cups hot water until soft, about 30 minutes. Work flesh free from seeds, breaking up flesh. Pour through a wire sieve, discarding seeds and any fibrous mateial; reserve liquid.

Trim fat off meat, then cut it across the grain into 1/8-inch slices about 1-1/2 inches long. With a mortar and pestle, mash garlic (or finely chop with a knife).

In a 4- to 5-quart pan or wok, combine meat, garlic, turmeric, sugar, fish sauce, and shrimp sauce; mix well. Place over medium-high heat and stir until meat juices evaporate and meat starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Add 3-1/2 cups water (if using vinegar, use 4-1/2 cups water) and tamarind liquid to meat. Drain and tie lemon grass (cut up) and galangal loosely in a piece of cheesecloth and set in soup. Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 40 minutes.

Add shallots and beans, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender to bite, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove lemon grass and galangal. Add red chilies to taste. Mases 6 servings.--Sarem Sar, San francisco.

Menu 4: Burmese noodle party buffet

The Burmese use lots of onion, garlic, and ginger but surprisingly few spices. Brothy soups, curries, hot chili condiments, and raw and cooked vegetables are mainstays of home cooking.

This one-dish specialty is perfect for a make-ahead buffet. It begins with a rather simple chicken curry. You start with a mixture of onion, ginger, and garlic that is slowly cooked with coconut milk, then thickened with ground split peas.

Burmese Chicken Curry Boiled Noodles Condiments

Each guest assembles his own serving, spooning the curry over noodles, then topping it with a choice of condiments--fried crushed red chilies, hard-cooked eggs, fresh cilantro, green onions, lemon wedges, and crispy noodles. The result is a delicious melange of flavors and textures. Burmese Chicken Curry (Kyaukswe)

3/4 cup yellow split peas

1-1/2 cups water

1/2 cup salad oil

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

3 large onions, chopped

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 tablespoons finely chopped or crushed fresh ginger

1 teaspoon cayenne

2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

6 whole chicken breasts (about 6 lbs.), skinned, boned, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips, about 3 inches long

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick (2-in. size)

2 quarts regular-strength chicken broth

1-1/2 cups coconut milk (see page 228)

Fish sauce or salt

Boiled noodles (directions follow)

Condiments (suggestions follow)

In a blender, whirl split peas until finely ground. Mix with water. Set aside.

Place oil in an 8- to 10-quart pan and set over low heat. When oil is warm, stir in turmeric and cook about 1 minute (do not allow to burn). Add onion; stir occasionally until it is very limp but not browned, about 20 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, cayenne, curry powder, and cumin; cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add chicken, bay, and cinnamon.

Stir chicken until it is coated with spice mixture. Add broth. Stir split pea mixture into broth along with coconut milk. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until broth thickens, about 30 minutes. Add fish sauce to taste. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to 1 day; reheat, covered, over low heat.)

Let guests spoon curry over noodles, then choose condiments. Serves 10 to 12.

Boiled noodles. In an 8- to 10-quart pan, bring 4 to 5 quarts water to boil. Add 2 pounds dry Chinese noodles (or vermicelli); cook until tender to bite, 6 to 9 minutes. Drain. Rinse with warm water, drain, and mix with 1/4 cup salad oil. Serve at room temperature. (If done ahead, cover and let stand up to 2 hours.)

Condiments. Fried chilies; in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan, cook 1-1/2 tablespoons crushed dried hot red chilies and 2 teaspoons salad oil over low heat, stirring often, until chilies begin to brown, about 3 minutes; serve at room temperature. Fresh cilantro leaves, about 2 cups. Thinly sliced green onions, 2 cups. Hard-cooked eggs; shell 6 and thinly slice. Canned crisp-fried chow mein noodles, 2 to 3 cups. Lemons, 2; cut into small wedges.

Menu 5: Indonesian rice table

The islands of Indonesia produce a wealth of spices, and a complex cuisine has developed around their use.

Rice is the center of every meal. Side dishes, in a range of flavors from hot and spicy to sweet and mild, are eaten with the rice. Dutch colonists coined the word rijsttafel, which literally means rice table; they made the rice-table meal into a feast that could include 50 side dishes.

But it can also be far simpler, as in the following menu for a small dinner party, a more modest sampling of Indonesian dishes. Pass pepper paste at the table.

When all the dishes are offered, this rice table will serve 8 to 10. Prepared individually, each recipe serves 6.

Prawn Crackers

Yellow Rice (see page 236) or

Hot Cooked Rice

Corn Fritters Spiced Coconut

Beef or Pork Skewers

Peanut Sauce

Tomato and Cucumber Slices

Green Beans with Tofu

Red Pepper Paste (Hot Chili)

An extra pair of hands makes this menu easy to put together. The prawn crackers, peanut sauce, spiced coconut, and fritters can all be prepared a day ahead. In the morning, marinate meat and cut tomatoes and cucumbers. Shortly before serving, cook rice, grill meat skewers, stir-fry beans with fried tofu chunks, and reheat peanut sauce and fritters. Prawn crackers

In a work or 5- to 6-quart pan, heat 2 to 3 inches salad oil to 375[deg.] on a thermometer. Put in large prawn crackers (2- by 7-in. rectangles), 1 at a time; when cracker rises to surface, push it down in oil with a slotted spoon until it turns golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve, or store airtight at room temperature, up to 1 day. You need 1 per serving. Corn Fritters (Perkedel djagung)

About 6 large ears corn, husked

1/4 to 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and finely chopped

1 egg

1 green onion, finely chopped

1/2 medium-size onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minched or pressed

1/4 cup finely chopped leaves of celery or fresh cilantro

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon sugar

About 1 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Salad oil

Cut corn off cob, then scrape cob with knife to remove pub and milk; you should have 4 cups in all. Whirl half at a time in a food processor or in a blender, stirring often, until creamy with pieces of coarsely chopped corn; pour into a bowl. Add shrimp, egg, green onion, onion, garlic, leaves, pepper, coriander, sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup of the flour. Set aside for about 10 minutes.

In a work or deep 2- to 3-quart pan, heat 2 inches salad oil to 325[deg.] on a thermometer. Scoop up batter by the rounded tablespoon and carefully drop into oil; test one first. If fritter falls apart, stir flour into batter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fritter holds together. Cook 4 or 5 at a time. As fritters come to surface, turn as needed until evenly brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat to cook remaining fritters, skimming out browned bits as they form.

Serve fritters warm or at room temperature. (You can cover and chill up to 1 day; reheat, uncovered, in a single layer in a 350[deg.] oven until warm, about 10 minutes.) Makes about 3-1/2 dozen, 6 to 10 servings. Spiced Coconut (Serunding)

2 tablespoons salad oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 or 3 dry kaffir lime leaves or fresh citrus leaves, rinsed (optional)

1-1/2 cups unsweetened dry shredded coconut

1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice


In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, combine oil, onion, and garlic; stir over low heat until onion is soft. Stir in coriander, cumin, lime leaves, coconut, peanuts, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, until coconut is evenly toasted, about 15 minutes; add salt to taste. Cool and serve. (If made ahead, store in a tightly covered container up to 1 week.) Makes 2 to 2-1/2 cups, 6 to 10 servings. Indonesian Beef or Pork Skewers (Sate)

1-1/2 pounds boneless lean beef sirloin or boneless lean pork butt

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

2 tablespoons dark or regular

Chinse soy sauce or regular soy sauce

1 tablespoon salad oil

1 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground coriander

Basting sauce (recipe follows)

Peanut sauce (recipe follows)

Cut meat into 3/4-inch cubes. In a bowl, mix meat with garlic, soy, oil, cumin, and coriander. Chill, covered, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

String meat on slender wooden skewers, placing about 4 pieces on each stick. Grill about 4 inches above a solid bed of hot coals, turning often until well browned, about 10 minutes for medium-rare beef, 15 minutes for pork. About 3 minutes before meat is done, brush all over with basting sauce. Serve with peanut sauce. Makes 6 to 10 servings.

Basting sauce. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons lemon juice with 2 tablespoons dark Chinese soy sauce (or regular soy) and 1/4 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground coriander. (If made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days.)

Peanut sauce. In a 2- to 2-1/2-quart pan, combine 1 cup water, 2/3 cup peanut butter, and 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and mix in 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon dark Chinese or regular soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper paste (hot chili) or crushed dried hot red chilies. Serve hot. (If made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days. To reheat, stir over low heat until hot, adding more water, if needed, to restore to the original consistency.) Makes 2 cups.

Menu 6: Vietnamese patio supper

Delicate flavors and a light touch with oil make Vietnamese food the nouvelle cuisine of the East. Nuoc nam, their version of fish sauce, is combined with garlic, lime, chili, and sugar as a seasoning sauce, which is usually present on the table. A platter of fresh raw greens such as lettuce, cilantro, and mint is offered with most meals.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Skewered Pork and Onion

Seasoning Sauce

Sprigs of Mint and Cilantro

Lettuce Leaves

Hot Cooked Rice

Try this menu as a patio meal. While you are grilling the pork, your guests can help themselves to the refreshing mint-and-chicken salad to eat on crisp shrimp chips. The pork can be marinated in advance, then barbecued shortly before you're ready to serve. Serve the spicy seasoning sauce alongside. Vietnamese Chicken Salad (Goi ga va banh phong tom)

1 medium-size onion, thinly sliced

3 tablespoon each sugar and white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salad oil

About 3 dozen small oval dry shrimp chips or prawn crackers (2-in. size)

2 tablespoons each fish sauce (or soy sauce) and lime juice

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

1 quart finely shredded cabbage

2 cups shredded carrot

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, cut into thin shreds

In a bowl, mix together onion, sugar, vinegar, and pepper. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.

Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart pan, heat about 1 inch oil to 350[deg.] on a thermometer. Add 3 or 4 shrimp chips and cook just until they're puffy, only a few seconds. Remove and drain chips on paper towels. (If made ahead, store the chips airtight up to 1 day.)

Mix marinated onion mixture with fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and 1/4 cup salad oil. Add cabbage, carrot, and chicken; mix together, put in serving dish, and sprinkle with mint.

To eat, spoon some of the salad onto a chip. Makes 8 to 10 appetizer servings. Vietnamese Skewered Pork and Onion (Thit heo nuong)

2-1/2 to 3 pounds boneless pork loin or leg

Lemon grass marinade (recipe follows)

1 large onion

Seasoning sauce (recipe follows)

Cut pork across the grain into about 3/16-inch slices. Cut slices into roughly 2-inch squares. Coat the pork with lemon grass marinade.

Cut the onion in about 1-inch squares and separate layers. Place an onion piece in the center of meat square, wrap meat around onion to enclose, then insert a slender wooden skewer through layers of meat and onion. Repeat, putting 4 to 6 bundles on each skewer. Roll up meat pieces too small to wrap around onion, and also place on skewers. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Cook on a grill about 4 inches above a solid bed of hot coals, turning as needed to brown all sides, until meat is no longer pink when cut, about 15 minutes. Serve with seasoning sauce to spoon over each portion. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Lemon grass marinade. In a food processor or blender, combine 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh or dry (soaked in hot water for 30 minutes) lemon grass (or 1-1/2 tablespoons dry ground lemon grass or 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel); 1 medium-size onion, cut in chunks; 3 to 4 cloves garlic; 3 tablespoons sugar; 2 tablespoons salted roasted peanuts; 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce); 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper; and 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice (or 1/4 teaspon each ground cinnamon,
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