Lost Vegetarian Presents… Banh Canh Noodles At Bricolage

I love Vietnamese food, but there can be a lot of pitfalls for vegetarians. Even innocuous-sounding dishes may have a healthy sprinkle of fish sauce in them. At Bricolage in Park Slope, though, Chef Lien Lin has a number of great (fish sauce-free) vegetarian options like banh xeo (a crepe made with rice flour) and a veggie banh mi. Even better is the dish she made for us in the newest episode of Lost Vegetarian: banh canh noodles with tofu. The dish, which is meant to be eaten at room temperature, features a great mix of textures and flavors. The noodles, made with a mix of tapioca and rice flours, are dense and chewy, while the vegetables are crisp and light. The coconut-based sauce adds just the right amount of seasoning, offset by the bright acidity of the pickles.

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Scott Lindrup (http://www.scottlindrup.com/)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Bricolage — 162 5th Ave

Lost Vegetarian Presents… Sindhi Curry At Kailash Parbat

Until I sat down with Gary Mulchandani, at Kailash Parbat NY, to discuss filming this episode of Lost Vegetarian Presents I had never heard of Sindhi culture or Sindhi cuisine. Over the past few years the regional specifics of Chinese cuisine have been becoming more popular around NYC, but Indian cuisine hasn’t had the same thing happen. I vaguely knew there was a difference between northern and southern Indian cuisine, but the truth is I couldn’t tell you exactly what that difference was. There are thousands of cultures in India, all with their own identities. So it was a pleasure to learn about one of them, the Sindhi culture.

And yet as I watched Gary cook (he’s not one of the cooks at the restaurant, but part of his training to manage Kailash Parbat in NYC involved him learning how to make everything) it was something simple and familiar that made me take notice. The Sindhi curry starts with a specific technique in which gram (chickpea) flour is smoked slowly in oil. It was a technique that would be recognizable to anyone who has ever made a French roux; though I’m guessing the Sindhi version pre-dates the roux by a few thousand years.

Obviously a couple of conversations doesn’t make me an expert, and everyone’s family has a different recipe for Sindhi curry. I feel privileged to have gotten a glimpse into a culture I didn’t know anything about, and to be the recipient of Gary’s generosity.

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Matt Yule (https://www.youtube.com/user/YuleBrothers)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Kailash Parbat NY — 99 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

Lost Vegetarian Presents… Grains of the Day at Nha Minh

When I asked for suggestions about restaurants that might be good to feature on Lost Vegetarian, James Boo was quick to recommend Nha Minh, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bushwick. Chef/owner Fred Hua constructs these amazing create-your-own rice bowls, which are huge and filling but somehow light and energizing. He uses the best ingredients he can find and cooks them simply, and then everything is combined with a medley of rice, grains, and pickled veggies. Then you can top the bowl with a wide variety of delicious freshly-made sauces, with options like coffee hoisin and fermented black bean with tahini. In this episode, Hua makes a vegan, gluten free bowl topped with Barry’s Tempeh. I’ve been to Nha Minh twice now, and both times everything was excellent. Enjoy!

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Scott Lindrup (http://www.scottlindrup.com/)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Nha Minh — 485 Morgan Av

Lost Vegetarian Presents… Mushroom Flatbread At Bar Bolinas

When Donny told me he was asking Chef Nate Smith to participate in the Lost Vegetarian project I was excited. I was familiar with his food from his first restaurant, Allswell, and was eager to try the California-inspired cuisine he is serving up at his second restaurant. Bar Bolinas has an interesting menu; in Smith’s words it’s meant to be casual, fun, street food-style. Smith is also one of the nicest chefs I’ve ever met, and his commitment to supporting local farms and using the best ingredients make his food something special. In this episode of Lost Vegetarian he makes his mushroom flatbread, a seemingly simple dish elevated by the top-end ingredients. From the house-made sourdough flatbread to the mushrooms roasted with house-dried oregano, the dish is definitely more than the sum of its parts. Enjoy!

Bar Bolinas — 455 Myrtle Ave

Lost Vegetarian Presents… Nutrela With Bell Peppers At Punda Tibetan Restaurant

I first came across nutrela, a dried soy product, while I was traveling in Nepal, and that’s where chef Tenzing Tsering came across it as well. Pre-cooked Nutrela has, I think, something of an image problem. In fact I think it looks a little like dry dog food. But when cooked properly, as Tsering does here, it’s delicious and quite beautiful. Despite the simplicity of the finished dish here it was amazingly rich, and my favorite of all of the many dishes that Tsering cooked for us that day. And he cooked us a lot of food. This project has introduced me to many wonderful and generous chefs, but I have to say that Tsering may be one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. He genuinely cares about people and sees feeding people as an act of community service. When the food is as good and as fresh as his, it’s hard to argue with.

In addition to my usual collaborators — Donny Tsang and Scott Lindrup with cameras, and Bayard Russell providing music — I want to thank Jeff Orlick for recommending Chef Tsering and Punda Tibetan Restaurant to me.

Punda Tibetan Restaurant — 3935 47th Ave, Sunnyside

Lost Vegetarian Presents… Truffled Adobo Mushroom Lumpia At Lumpia Shack

I first tasted these lumpia at Smorgasburg last year, and I was blown away by how good they were. Filipino food isn’t known for being vegetarian-friendly, and yet at Lumpia Shack they have plenty of vegetarian (and even vegan) options. In this episode of “Lost Vegetarian Presents…” Lumpia Shack chef and owner Neil Syham talks about why he has so many vegetarian dishes, making the lumpia, and waiting for Filipino food to break through to the mainstream. Enjoy!

Lost Vegetarian Presents… In Ricotta Da Vegan At Paulie Gee’s

Regular readers of this blog may know that Paulie Gee’s serves some of my favorite pizzas in all of NYC. What you may not know is that Paul has an extensive vegan menu, with some really incredible pies. In this new episode of Lost Vegetarian Presents, Paul walks us through making his In Ricotta Da Vegan pie, talks about why he has so many vegan options, and wonders why customers thank him. Click the like button if you enjoy the video!

Paulie Gee’s — 60 Greenpoint Ave