Restaurant Recommendations from our Team Members
Celebrate Asian Heritage Month by trying a new food dish. There are so many unique and delicious options in BC that it can be hard to know where to start! So, we reached out to our team members from across the province and asked them to share some local favourites in their region. We’d love to hear from you too. If you have a personal favourite, post on social media and tag us on Facebook or at @bcaarewards on Instagram. Here are a few to try:
Photo: Bonjour Vietnam
Photo: Dolar Shop
Cantonese BBQ – HK BBQ Master (Richmond)
Japanese BBQ – Gyu-Kaku and Zakkushi Restaurant (Downtown Vancouver)
Taiwanese Bubble Tea at Milk and Sugar Café (Vancouver)
Pad Thai at Naka Thai Bistro (Langley)
Photo: Naka Thai Bistro
Photo: Nikkei Ramen
Family Recipes from our Team Members
If you're confident in the kitchen and looking to stretch your culinary muscles, try making a new dish at home. Here are a couple of family recipes from our team's kitchen to yours!
Che Ba Mau
Vietnamese Three Coloured Bean Dessert
1/2 cup split, hulled mung beans, soaked overnight
Pandan Jelly Layer:
1 tbsp agar agar powder
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups water
3 drops pandan flavouring
1/2 cup water
Sweet Coconut Cream:
1 can of coconut cream (alternatively, you can refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk, then take the thick cream)
2 tbsp sugar (you can add more if you'd like)
1 can red kidney beans, (try to find low sodium), rinsed very well and drained
2 cups shaved ice
- Soak the split, hulled mung beans (they're yellow) in about 4 cups of water overnight. Alternatively, you can just soak them for about 1 hour in warm water before you start making this dessert, it's better when soaked overnight though. Rinse and drain the next day.
- Using a steamer, arrange the mung beans on one of the perforated steam layers and steam over medium heat for about 20 or until they're very soft. If you prefer the soft, mung bean mash type texture, you could cook them in a pot in about 1 1/2 cups water until they're soft. You could then mash with a potato masher or hand blender until you get a thick texture (adding water as desired).
Pandan Jelly Layer:
- In a small pot over medium heat, combine agar agar powder, sugar, water and stir well until the agar has dissolved (the water will look clear). Stir in the pandan flavouring and then pour into a glass container (I typically use a glass pie pan or baking dish). Let cool and set completely in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- Once those are set, cut into jelly strips (about 1.5 inch long and maybe 1/4 thick). Set aside.
In a small pot (or alternatively the microwave), heat sugar and water until sugar is completely dissolved (water will look clear). Set aside to cool.
Sweet Coconut Cream:
Combine the coconut cream and sugar and heat until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
In a tall glass, add 2-3 tbsp of crushed or shaved ice, 2 heaping tbsp of the kidney beans, another 2 heaping tbsp of the mung beans, a layer of the pandan jelly, more shaved ice, and 3 tbsp each of the sugar syrup and sweetened coconut cream.
Punjabi Bhindi Sabzi
A classic Punjabi dish, bhindi sabzi (okra) is made in a tempering of onions and tomato
5 cups of chopped bhindi – approx 30-35 bhindi (see notes on cleaning & chopping!)
3 tbs mustard oil for frying bhindi (you may substitute with any high heat oil)
1 tbs ghee
1.5 tbs cumin seeds – jeera
1 cup chopped onion
1.5 cups of finely chopped tomatoes (I prefer to use Roma tomatoes)
4 cloves garlic chopped finely
2 inch piece of ginger chopped finely
1 green chili sliced finely (optional)
1 tbs coriander powder – dhaniya
1/2 tsp turmeric powder – haldi
1/2 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp dried mango powder – amchur (optional)
1 tsp garam masala powder
- Start by cleaning and chopping the bhindi.
- Fry the chopped bhindi in mustard oil, or the oil of your choice on medium to high heat, stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes. Remove the fried bhindi from the pan and spread them out on a plate or tray.
- Prepare the tadka. Add the ghee into a heavy bottomed pan and heat on medium high. Add cumin seeds and let them sputter for a minute (while stirring), then add the onions. Cook the onions down for 2-3 minutes, and then add the green chillies, garlic, and ginger. (If you would like more tips on preparing a tadka, check out this post)
- Now add the tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder and cook for 2 minutes. At this point you can add the salt and continue to cook the tadka down for an additional 4-6 minutes. The tadka is ready when the tomato mixture starts to pull away from the pan, and release oil.
- Once the tadka is done, add the fried bhindi into the pan and cook together for 2 minutes. (Do not cover with a lid!)
- Finish with garam masala, amchur (if using), and cilantro
- Serve with hot, fresh rotis!
Chinese MaPo Tofu
A popular Chinese spicy tofu dish from Sichuan Province
300 grams ground pork (you can substitute turkey, or use eggplant for a vegetarian option)
1 package soft or medium tofu cut into small cubes
1 tsp sesame oil
½ cup chicken stock
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp rooster hot sauce (or more as you like)
1 ½ tbsp corn starch
Chopped green onion
Rice for serving
- Heat up sesame oil in a frying pan.
- Add your pork (or alternative) and break it up as you cook.
- Add the oyster sauce and rooster hot sauce and mix well. Then add the chicken stock and let simmer for a couple of minutes until the pork is nearly cooked through.
- Add in tofu & stir fry all the ingredients together (note: add more chicken stock as needed if it’s sticking to the bottom).
- In a separate dish, mix the corn starch with ¼ cup warm water until you have a smooth paste. Add cornstarch mixture to the stir fry.
- Turn the heat to low & keep stirring ingredients until all are cooked through. The corn starch will thicken the sauce as it cooks.
- Add green onion once done & serve over rice.