Dale Talde’s Cultural Fusion

Asian-American Cover and Bao-ed Lobster
Photography by William Hereford
Dale Talde

Photography by William Hereford

Dale Talde’s long-awaited debut cookbook Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from the Philippines to Brooklyn  brings culinary fusion, a dash of culture, and a peppering of irreverent humor to the table. Born to Filipino parents and raised in Chicago, Dale’s culinary perspective is far from common. With a palate that craves both his mother’s sour fish head soup and good old American tater tots, plus a personality as unique as his recipes,the Top Chef  favorite and restaurateur makes for a colorful narrator. Dale shares his story–from growing up with pig heads in the oven to owning multiple restaurants–and his passion for creating one-of-a-kind dishes throughout the colorful pages of Asian-American. From takes on his favorite junk foods (Pepperoni-Pizza “Very Warm” Pockets, anyone?) to plates that give a nod to his Asian background, like Black Pepper-Caramel Beef with Basil and Bean Sprouts, Dale offers readers the chance to dive into the world of cultural fusion without the necessity of hard-to-find ingredients and inflexible technique. Featuring 75 recipes, narratives filled with brash humor and attitude, and photography to inspire even the most hesitant home cook, Asian-American, written with J.J. Goode, is a cookbook that truly stands apart. We were able to get Dale’s recipe for Bao-ed Lobster in Warm Chile Butter. Check it out below! You can enter to win Asian-American and three other amazing reads in our November/December Books We Are Loving Giveaway before December 17!

Dale’s Notes: “I have no loyalties when it comes to lobster rolls. If you pile sweet chunks of crustacean on a bun, I’m sold. Yet there’s something about the Connecticut style—warm, buttery lobster as opposed to the chilled mayo-coated Maine style—that gets me particularly amped. Purists, look away: I use scallion, cilantro, and Sriracha in my version. For anyone who thinks Sriracha is played out, I dare you to taste what happens when it gets mellowed with butter and brightened with lemon juice. Chinese steamed bao buns provide a slightly sweet, doughy backdrop similar to the classic split-top bun.”

Bao-ed Lobster in Warm Chile Butter
Makes 6 buns
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  1. 6 fresh or frozen Chinese buns (aka gua bao, folded buns, or steamed sandwiches)
  2. 1 stick (¼ pound) unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
  3. ¼ cup Sriracha
  4. ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  5. ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  6. 10 ounces cooked lobster meat (from two 1½-pound lobsters), chopped into bite-size chunks (2 cups)
  7. 1 generous tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  8. 1 generous tablespoon thinly sliced scallions
  9. 1 generous tablespoon loosely packed cilantro leaves
  1. Right before you serve, arrange the buns on a plate, cover them with damp paper towels, and microwave, flipping once, about 1 minute.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in the Sriracha, chile flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to low, add the lobster, and stir occasionally just until the lobster is hot all the way through, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, scallions, and cilantro. Season to taste with more salt and lemon juice. Cover to keep it warm.
  4. Remove the buns from the parchment and put them on a plate. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lobster meat to the bao buns, spoon on as much of the sauce as you’d like, and eat.
  1. Excerpted from the book ASIAN-AMERICAN by Dale Talde with JJ Goode. Copyright © 2015 by Dale Talde, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.
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 You can follow Dale on Twitter at @DaleTalde, on Instagram at @daletalde, and on Facebook at Dale Talde.