Fruitcakes aside, some of the best gifts are edible ones. This year, we’re making macarons and packaging them nicely for family and friends. But not everyone has the time make home made gifts so we came up with some food related gifts for the Asian food lover in your life.
Japanese Cooking Classes
If you know of a Japanese food lover in the greater Los Angeles or Orange County area, you’ll love the cooking classes at Japanese Food Story. In a cozy private kitchen loft in Downtown LA several times a month by Yoko Issasi, hosts a variety of classes emphasizing the rich culture and traditions of Japanese cuisine. Classes range from traditional home style Japanese food, holiday foods, sushi ettiquette, ramen broth and noodle making, and more. Perfect for a gift to yourself, a loved one, or even group and corporate events. Find out class schedule and information at http://japanesefoodstory.com
Redboat Fish Sauce
In the world of fish sauce, Red Boat fish sauce is equivalent to the Dom Perignon to the hundrends of brands fish sauces available. Anchovies in the highly regarded Phu Quoc islands of Vietnam is salted and aged in tropical wood barrels for over a year to extract fish sauce that’s golden, red, with a deep rich taste like none other. There is no added water, sugar, persatives or MSG like some brands. What you get is pure and wonderful umami and it’s all we use. Find the nearest retailer here.
Ayara Thai Sauces
Living near Thai town in Los Angeles, we’re lucky to enjoy authentic Thai flavors at our convenience. Sometimes though, it’s not possible and that’s where Ayara Thai Sauces come to the rescue. Ayara Thai is family run restaurant of Anna and Andy Asapahu that has bottled their family recipes for everyone to use. We love all the sauces but particularly love the pad thai sauce for a quick and authentic weekday stir fry. All their sauces use natural ingredients with no perservatives or MSG. We’ve eaten there and it’s essentially the same sauces they use in their restaurant, bottled and directly available to you. Find out how to get yours here.
Spring Roll Dipping Tray and brown rice Noodles and rice paper
Spring rolls are so quick, easy, and deliciously healthy. It’s our go to snack or appetizer in a multi-course meal such as ca nuong or nem nuong cuon. A rice paper dipping tray such as New Star International fits the bill perfectly, allowing us to store and dip the rice paper in a handsome and nonobtrusive way. No more big hot bowl of water and plate of rice paper taking up valuable table space. Purchase the New Star International Rice Paper / Egg Roll Water Bowl
While regular rice paper is fine and good, if you’re looking for a boost in flavor and nutritional value, check out Star Anise Food’s line of all natural brown rice paper and noodles. You can substitute this for any recipe call for rice paper or rice noodles. Find out where you can get Star Anise products here.
Cook Books: My Vietnam and Asian Dumplings
Now that you’re armed with some Asian pantry staples, what can you do with them? Here are two fabulous books that will make any Asian food lover jump for joy. For classic Vietnamese recipes showcasing the diversity of cuisines from the Mekong to Hanoi, check out Australian chef Luke Nguyen’s My Vietnam: Stories and Recipes. The stories and photos are simply stunning and contains both rare home style dishes as well as well known dishes.
Another great book from veteran cookbook author Andrea Nguyen, Asian Dumplings is the ultimate guide to dumpling delicacies of all varieties that are either wrapped, folded, pleated, and otherwise twisted. Thorough and well organized, the recipes will have you mastering new dishes and techniques that span across the entire Asian continent.
Mans Pans Wok Steamer
A gift guide for food lovers wouldn’t be complete without some cookware. We often keep frozen dumplings on hand for weekday dinners and so whether we steam or fry, the Manpans wok steamer is the perfect one stop shop. It’s PTFE free, PFOA free, toxin free and made in the good ol’ USA. We love the cool touch handle and it’s nonstick qualities. It’s a great versatile pan in any kitchen.
Socola Artisan Truffles
For that special someone, Socola chocolate truffles make a decadent gift. Award winning truffles from sisters, Wendy and Susan Lieu, are uniquely flavored by their heritage (think Vietnamese esspresso truffles and Sriracha truffles) as well as travels. A special holiday is also available in flavors of champagne, hazelnut praline, fresh mint, and pecan toffee. Yes, please. Order online from their website here.
Vietnamese themed food T-shirts and posters
Finally, we’ll be remiss to not to toot our own horn and remind you of our Vietnamese themed food gifts. From posters to shirts, display your love for Vietnamese food proudly either with a stunning poster or unique t-shirt. We offer free priority shipping on orders over $60. Check them out in our store and thank you for supporting this blog. Have a happy and safe holidays everyone!