A Hearty Winter Meal With Asian Allure

Chef Lon Symensma's culinary career began in an Iowa diner. Now he turns out modern Asian dishes at one of Manhattan's hottest restaurants, Buddakan.

We gave him forty dollars to prepare a three-course meal for four, and he came to demonstrate a one-pot, hearty winter meal featuring Asian flavors.

The menu: Steamed Cod Rolls with Cabbage, Ginger and Sizzling Scallion Oil; Clay Pot Chicken with Eggplant, Bamboo Shoots and Carrots; and Sticky Rice Pudding with White Chocolate.


Steamed Sea Bass Roll With Cabbage, Ginger, And Sizzling Scallion Oil
Serves 4

1 Tbl. Oyster Sauce
2 Tbls. Sugar
2 Tbls. Soy Sauce
1 Tbl. Rice Vinegar

Combine all and reserve.

1 Chilean Sea Bass (Halibut)
1 Tbl. Salt
8 Cabbage Leaves, blanched
2 Scallions, julienned (1-inch)
Ginger, julienned (1-inch)
1 Red Finger Chili, julienned
½ cup Vegetable Oil
4 Cilantro Leaves


Cut the sea bass into 8 batons, and season with salt. Roll each baton in a piece of cabbage leaf that has been blanched. Steam the rolls for five minutes until cooked through.

Top each roll with some scallion, ginger, and chili. Heat the oil in a pan until it is smoking, and spoon over the rolls to wilt the aromatics. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Clay Pot Chicken With Eggplant, Bamboo Shoots And Carrots
Serves 4

4 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skin on
4 Chicken Thighs, boneless, skin on
1 Tbl. Salt
1 Onion, diced
2 Tbls. Garlic, minced
½ cup Shaoxing Wine
1 qt. Chicken Stock
¼ cup Oyster Sauce
1 Tbl. Chili Bean Sauce
½ Eggplant, large dice
½ Bamboo Shoots, large dice
½ Carrots, large dice
½ Red Potatoes, large dice
1 Lime


Season the chicken breasts and thighs with salt. In a clay pot, sear the skin side of the chicken until golden brown.

Remove from the pot and add the onion, ginger and garlic. Saute until aromatic, then deglaze with the wine. Reduce by half and add remaining ingredients, placing the chicken on top. Cover and cook for 40 minutes at 350º. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Sticky Rice Pudding With White Chocolate
Serves 4

2 cups Milk
1 cup Sticky Rice
¼ cup Sugar
¼ tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbls. Sugar


Combine the first set of ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Once the milk has been absorbed by the rice, cool this mixture thoroughly.

Whip the heavy cream to a soft peak while sprinkling in the sugar. Fold the whipped cream into the rice mixture in two stages. Pour into a serving dish.

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at and