While some residents of NYC were busy drinking margaritas in sombreros last Saturday there was another food event happening hidden below the Brooklyn-side of the Manhattan Bridge. The LUCKYRICE Night Market was part of the week-long LUCKYRICE Festival (May 1‑7th) hosted by LUCKYRICE, a media and marketing company whose motto is "If we are what we eat, we're all part Asian." LUCKYRICE specializes in bringing the diversity of Asian culture and cuisine to North American diners. In celebration of the festival’s third year, the 2012 LUCKYRICE Night Market paid homage to the unique experience of an Asian night market.
The festival organizers strived to “recreat[e] the celebratory chaos and delicious energy of the quintessential Asian night market.” Market-goers enjoyed street foods from every corner of Asia from Tai Pei to Kuala Lumpur. Smaller mom-and-pop restaurants as well as well-known Asian eateries from around the city dished out samples of a wide variety of traditional as well as interpretative Asian street foods. Some of the 30 restaurants participating in this year’s market were Qi, Room Service, Hundred Acres, and many more. Market-goers were also invited to go inside the market’s bar to enjoy custom cocktails designed specifically for the Night Market by Bombay Sapphire. Samples of Japanese sake and shochu, and Asian beer and wine were also featured inside the Night Market bar. While those in attendance ate their street foods LUCKYRICE’s favorite Chinatown rockers, The Notorious MSG and Brooklyn’s own, Late Cambrian played for the market-goers.
While at the festival, Joonbug enjoyed numerous interpretations of Asian street food, some familiar and some not so much, like the Sweetbread Kushiyaki with peperoncino togarashi (veal sweetbread skewers) served by Maialino (2 Lexington Avenue) that we were pleasantly surprised by. Who knew that the glands of veal would be so melt in your mouth delicious?
Here’s a list of our favorite foods we tried at the LUCKYRICE Night Market:
Braised Pork Belly: slow cooked with Taiwanese Five Spice, pickled mustard greens, crushed peanuts, and cilantro
Macao Trading Company (311 Church Street)
Cold Jellyfish Salad with spicy ginger and scallion relish
Delicatessen(54 Prince Street)
Foie gras and short rib dumpling in spiced oxtail consommé
Masak (433 East 13th Street)
Hen of the woods mushrooms, jicama spicy pulled pork, bok choy slaw, and curdo of arctic char
(Joseph Yoon is a private chef that specializes in catering and pop-up restaurant events)
Beef short ribs, carrots, red peppers, daikon, spinach, mung bean sprouts, scallions, and royal ferns over Korean rice with a red pepper and sesame sauce.
Compliments of Bombay Sapphire Gin you can make LUKCYRICE’s East Dragon Cocktail at home.
1 ½ parts Bombay Sapphire East Gin
1 part Fresh lemon juice
¾ part Cinnamon simple syrup*
Dash of Bittercube Bolivar Bitters
POM dragon fruit pomegranate juice
Dragon fruit slice
Add Bombay Sapphire East Gin, lemon juice, cinnamon simple syrup and dash of Bolivar Bitters to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain over cubed ice in a rocks glass. Top with a splash of POM dragon fruit pomegranate juice, and garnish with a dragon fruit slice.
*To create cinnamon simple syrup: Bring 1 cup of water to a simmer and whisk in 1 cup of raw sugar until it dissolves. Add 3 cinnamon sticks and let the syrup steep on low heat for ten minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and discard.
For more information about LUCKYRICE, their weekly e-newsletter dedicated to all things related to Asian cuisine, and all eight events that happened during the 2012 LUCKRICE FESTIVAL, please visit their website.