TODAY Food Editor
In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Duck Mustard Wraps from Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge in San Francisco, Calif.
Here's a light recipe that just might remind you of warm spring days. The Chinese five-spice mixture is a necessity, so don't skimp on this! It's a wondrous staple of Chinese cooking that contains five different flavors — sour, bitter, sweet, pungent or hot and spicy, and salty. A typical blend for this five-spice mix is composed of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechwan peppercorn. Sometimes it'll even have cassia, ginger, nutmeg or licorice. Feel free to experiment with the different varieties. It's best to go to an Asian market for the mixture so you'll pay less for a better quality blend. The duck in this recipe from Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge is steeped in a rich sauce with the spices and cooked for a few hours in a technique called “flavor potting.” The time is well worth it when you take a bit of the Duck Mustard Wrap.
Chef Tammy Huynh
PfalsefalseAbout the chef: Born in the coastal city of Vung Tau, Vietnam, Tammy Huynh often returns to Southeast Asia to shop at the local markets, finding new ingredients to inspire pan-Asian dishes at both her restaurants, Tamarine in Palo Alto, Calif., and Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge in San Francisco.
Huynh studied biochemistry at the University of California at Davis and earned a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.. Her love of cooking and experimenting with food prompted her to leave her pharmacy practice and thus she began her culinary career in 1996.
Huynh's love for cooking began with her mother, Chac Do, a single mother of seven who worked as a seafood exporter back in Vung Tau. Upon arriving in America, Huynh's mother adapted her vast culinary repertoire to local American ingredients, while at the same time teaching Tammy the classic Vietnamese culinary tradition.
Huynh's classic technique and contemporary cooking style converge with her passion for wine at Bong Su to create an experience that is vibrantly alive. Currently, in addition to overseeing the kitchens at Tamarine and Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge, she also continues to work with the Vung Tau Restaraunts, started by her mother.
Duck Mustard Wraps is served at Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge for $9. The recipe is for a serving size of eight as an appetizer and two as a main dish.
Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge
311 Third Street
San Francisco, California 94107
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.