Similarly, Americans’ longstanding affection for Chinese and Japanese cuisines has spread, most recently to Korea, whose influence has been seen in the famous Kogi Korean taco truck in Los Angeles and its countless knockoffs, as well as dishes such as apple kimchi with the soft Middle Eastern cheese labneh — a fusion of two trendy cuisines — not to mention the lettuce-wrapped meat, or ssam, at Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York City.
This spring, Chip Ulbrich, executiveof South City Kitchen in Atlanta predicts new variations on kimchi, including pickled Vidalia onion greens with green garlic, two other items Ulbrich sees popping up this spring.
But Korean cuisine is a relative newcomer to the American culinary dialogue. Southeast Asian food, mostly from Thailand and Vietnam, but also from Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, is better established.
“We are seeing great success this spring with spicy, bold flavors found in our Bangkok green curry entrée, and Vietnamese pho rice Noodle soup,” said Randy Murphy, chief executive chef of 13-unit Mama Fu’s, based in Austin, Texas. “Both of these entrees are being featured on our spring Black Market Menu, which is a secret collection of off-menu exclusives, changed seasonally.”
Marc Taft, chef and owner ofand the Egg in Marietta, Ga., is using a house-made Sriracha mayonnaise for his version of a Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich, which also contains housemade braised pork belly and pickled vegetables.