A Top Chef on the Power of Asian Cooking

A Top Chef on the Power of Asian Cooking
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A Top Chef on the Power of Asian Cooking

Check out this slideshow to learn cooking tips from Top Chef's Josie Smith-Malave.

Image Credit: David Moir, Bravo

Don't Rush It

"I think the biggest mistake [people make in the kitchen] is that everyone rushes their food," says Josie Smith-Malave. Many people don't realize that if you are trying to sear something, the pan has to be hot. You have to turn the dial above "medium," especially when working off an electric burner which takes a bit longer than a gas-burning stove. If you start cooking before your pan is hot enough, you "are just steaming [your] food," she says. "Patience is so key in cooking."

When it comes to deciding when your food is done, Smith-Malave recommends letting it be just a little longer than you'd expect. "Smell the food, look at the food; you have to use all of your senses when you are cooking."

Image Credit: David Moir, Bravo

Experiment with Ginger and Chilies

"I love ginger," says the cheftestant. "It is so great for you, it is peppery, it has a nice amount of acid, it has a unique flavor and it adds a freshness to food." Smith-Malave also recommends playing around with cilantro and scallions which are also great for you and chilies which "get your blood pumping."

Image Credit: David Moir, Bravo

Give Asian (especially Filipino) Cuisine a Try

"Asian cuisine is probably one of the fastest cuisines you can put together," she explains. "You can charge it with plenty of bold flavors, and you can do it and cook everything in a very short amount of time. It is still delicious, authentic and beautiful."

The chef, who is part Italian, Puerto Rican and Filipino, finds that Filipino cuisine is the most under-represented in the U.S. In her experience, you can find home-style Filipino restaurants but Filipino eateries that are truly "elevated" and few and far between.

Check out some of our favorite Asian recipes to follow.

Image Credit: David Moir, Bravo

Grilled Eggplant with Ginger Sauce

Dress up tender Asian eggplant with a vibrant fresh-ginger sauce that would also be wonderful with steamed fish or poached chicken.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Eggplant with Ginger Sauce

Seared Tuna Steaks with Citrusy Soy Sauce

Amp up your tuna by adding a zesty citrus soy sauce.

Get the Recipe: Seared Tuna Steaks with Citrusy Soy Sauce

Crisp Asian Salmon with Bok Choy and Rice Noodles

Enhance broth with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and garlic and use white-rice noodles instead of black (they're easier to find). Cook the noodles briefly to keep their texture firm.

Get the Recipe: Crisp Asian Salmon with Bok Choy and Rice Noodles

Sesame Roasted Mushrooms & Scallions

Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of mushrooms. Here they are paired with full-flavored sesame oil, ginger, garlic and scallions. Using a variety of mixed mushrooms makes this dish special (and delicious). Serve with Ginger-Steamed Fish with Troy's Hana-Style Sauce and rice noodles.

Get the Recipe: Sesame Roasted Mushrooms & Scallions


San Francisco-based chef Josie Smith-Malave packed her knives this week on Bravo's Top Chef: Seattle. This was Smith-Malave's second time around on the hit reality series and she admits that she learned a great deal between the two seasons. "I've grown since the last time [I appeared] on the show," says Smith-Malave. "This season, I brought to the table a lot of the things I learned: Not just cooking styles but execution and being able to finish a challenge. Execution is key."

We sat down with the chef to learn her top cooking tips. Check out the slideshow above to learn what type of cuisine can get you in and out of the kitchen quickly, which type we don't see enough of in the US and more!

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