- The Vancouver area is home to some seriously good Asian food. In the neighboring suburb of Richmond, in particular, over 74% of residents are of Asian background. While the population in this area is majority Chinese and Taiwanese, the city’s culinary scene offers a tasty glimpse of the whole Asian continent. From solid sushi to hand pulled noodles to meltingly fresh tofu, a spin around these burbs might be the quickest ticket to Asia a North American can find.
- In both its Asian offerings and otherwise, the city does not sleep on its seafood. The Pacific offers a picturesque backdrop to the city and provides the plumpest oysters and snappiest fish.
- In addition to its Asian influence, the city pays homage to its indigenous background. In its buzzing restaurant scene, native ingredients like elk, berries and bannock incorporate into a modern cuisine all its own.
Merging all of its cultural influences, Vancouver does a hell of a job with salmon. From street stalls to home kitchens, you could eat salmon for every meal and still not try every unique preparation the city has to offer. Be sure to try salmon candy, a smoked preparation originated by Alaskan tribes as a method of preparation. Softer than fully smoked salmon, this dish seals salmon’s freshness with a sweet lacquered molasses glaze.
STEP AWAYYY FROM THE RESTAURANT:
Best place to eat as true Vancouverites do? Try the Richmond Night Market, where Asian specialties abound. For a small entry fee, you can watch all kinds of social groups in the wild– teenagers on their cell phones and parents introducing their kids to new tastes. The packed food stalls offer dishes from all over, without touristy polish– even though it’s been slightly commercialized over the past decade.
BRING IT HOME:
Japadog is one of the city’s most popular chains, and is a perfect example of the culinary merging the city embraces. Our home version uses store-bought hot dogs to let you focus on the fun, Asian-inspired toppings for a unique spin.
JAPADOG AT HOME
This recipe is inspired by Noriki Tamura. As a Japanese immigrant, Tamura opened up a series of Japadog carts in Vancouver that stole the city’s heart. Read more about his story here.
1 head napa cabbage, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 tbs. salt
1 bosc pear, grated
1 2-inch knob ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tbs. chili pepper flakes
1 tbs rice vinegar
2 tsp. fish sauce
2 tbs. Korean gojuchang (found in Asian markets)
Prep: Scrunch cabbage together with salt in a large colander. Let sit for 1 hour, massaging occasionally. Rinse cabbage under cool water and squeeze dry. Pat dry again with kitchen towel and transfer to large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Let stand for 2 hours. Serve immediately or transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
3/4 cup kewpie mayo (found in Asian markets)
2 tsp. lemon juice
6 tsp. Korean gojuchang (found in Asian markets)
Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Taste and add more gojuchang for a spicier mayo, if desired.
Hot Dogs and Assembly
6 high quality hot dogs, preferably all beef
1 tbs. sesame oil
6 milk buns (found in Asian markets) or brioche buns
6 strips seaweed
1/2 cup wasabi peas, coarsely chopped
In a medium skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add hot dogs and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until well browned and heated through. While hot dogs are cooking, cut strips of seaweed into thin 1/2 inch pieces. When cooked, transfer hot dogs to buns. Top with mayo, kimchee, seaweed strips, and wasabi peas. Serve immediately.