Diana Chan and guests explore regional Asian cuisines across Australia in the new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan. Catch it on SBS Food, and later on SBS on Demand.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 19 December, 2019 on SBS Food
The series is off to an energetic start as Diana delves into the vibrant and healthy flavours of Vietnamese cooking. With the expertise of her flatmate Khanh Ong (owner of the George on Collins) the pair creates chargrilled parcels of fragrant beef wrapped in betel leaves called ba la lot. For dessert, Diana surprises Khanh with his favourite Vietnamese ice cream snack called kem chuoi. Diana is also joined in the kitchen by Jerry Mai (chef and owner behind restaurants Pho Nom, Annam and Bia Hoi) who demonstrates how to make banh khot - mini rice pancakes that are best served with freshly brewed Vietnamese beer, of course.
These simple, tropical-tasting frozen bars are perfect for summer months: fresh banana sandwiched between coconut milk, sprinkled with peanuts and coconut.
Crisp little bowls are made with a turmeric-laced pancake batter and filled with fresh, lively flavours of Vietnam. They're a popular street snack in Southern regions.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 26 December, 2019 on SBS Food
Thai food is on the menu so Diana enlists the help of mentor and Thai food enthusiast, Gary Mehigan, who is an expert at striking the balance of salty, sweet and sour. After sampling Gary’s refreshing prawn larb, Diana explores the varieties of fresh Asian herbs at the Springvale market, before heading back to the kitchen to recreate a delicious dish she sampled on a recent trip Thai yellow crab curry with vermicelli noodles. To finish, Diana cooks a moreish Thai appetizer of grilled pork neck known as nahm jim jaew.
Tender pieces of blue swimmer crab add extra luxury and lightness to this fragrant Thai yellow curry.
This salad take on prawn larb salad is brimming with fresh and vibrant Thai flavours. Perfect for a healthy, light meal on a hot day.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 2 January, 2020 on SBS Food
Diana shares her recipe for okonomiyaki; a Japanese cabbage pancake. Next stop she meets Andy Restein, owner and chef at Mr. Miyagi, a popular Melbourne restaurant that offers a modern take on traditional Japanese food. Back in the kitchen Diana is joined by executive chef Daisuke Miyake of Shinoki restaurant to cook kaburamushi, a dish of steamed turnip with snapper. Diana decides to cook nasu dengaku or miso baked eggplant, to celebrate iconic Japanese umami flavour.
Okonomiyaki is a classic dish sold at yatai (Japanese street food vendors) throughout the country, a savoury pancake filled with shredded cabbage and topped with an array of umami-rich condiments.
This sweet and salty miso glaze caramelises as the eggplant cooks, creating an irresistible vegetable dish.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 9 January, 2020 on SBS Food
India is a wide-ranging country where cooking varies from region to region, so Diana decides to focus on the foods of North India. Inspired by rich curries and fragrant spices, Diana cooks a traditional lamb korma. Prominent chef Adam D'Sylva (Tonka and Coda) shares his Bengali fish curry recipe with Diana. For something sweet, Diana cooks a rice pudding with fragrant northern Indian spices called kheer.
Korma is a mild curry from the North of India, where meat is cooked in a sauce of yoghurt, nuts and spices. It's irresistibly creamy and comforting.
Kheer is a popular Indian milk pudding made from either rice, wheat, tapioca, vermicelli, or sweet corn and topped dried fruit and nuts. This is a vegan-friendly version.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 16 January, 2020 on SBS Food
This episode celebrates Cantonese cooking, beginning in one of Melbourne’s most iconic restaurants, Flower Drum, in the heart of Chinatown. MasterChef alumni and friend, Karlie Verkerk, shares her recipe dim sum dessert favourite, mango pudding. For the main course, Diana creates a Cantonese home-style favourite, pak cham kai (translated as white cut chicken), by poaching a whole chicken in a pot with aromatics and topping with infused oil.
Poaching very gently is the secret to super tender and juicy chicken. This Cantonese classic can be served as part of a banquet meal but is just as good over noodles or rice with some steamed veg.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 23 January, 2020 on SBS Food
Singaporean cuisine is widely influenced by several cultural groups that make up the population. MasterChef winner Sashi Cheliah who grew up in Singapore shares his quick and easy briyani recipe to start things off. Next up is the famous Singaporean fish head curry, which has mixed Indian and Chinese influences. Inspired by the diverse cultures of Singaporean street food, Diana cooks one of her favourite hawker style dishes, hokkien mee, a simple noodle dish created using homemade prawn stock.
Ok so Sashi Cheliah's quick and easy biryani still has a few steps to work through but they're crucial if you want to enjoy the real thing.
This is no regular noodle stir-fry, it's one reinforced with the deep flavours of a broth made from pork bones and prawn shells.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 30 January, 2020 on SBS Food
Korean food is fast becoming a staple cuisine in Australia, particularly fried chicken and Korean BBQ - but there is so much more to explore. Charlie Carrington (chef and owner of Atlas Dining) shows Diana how to ferment kimchi before cooking up a beef bulgogi, a dish of delicious marinated beef cooked at high heat and topped with quintessential Korean condiments. Diana then makes a vegetarian version of bibimbap - a versatile and wholesome mixed rice dish full of vibrant flavours.
Kimchi is a classic Korean pickle that can be made from just about any vegetable. This one uses wombok (Chinese cabbage) and is pungent and addictive.
This nourishing bowl of vegetable-based goodness can be whipped up in just 20 minutes.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 6 February, 2020 on SBS Food
From rendang to satay and nasi goreng, the flavours of Indonesia are well loved across Australia. Diana decides to showcase her favourite spicy Indonesian relish, sambal matah, on top of a glorious whole snapper grilled in banana leaves. Jess Lemon, who knows Indonesian cuisine back to front, shares one of her best street food snacks, gado gado, before getting a little fancy for dessert with a dish called dury wat, which showcases the unique Indonesian fruit, durian.
The recipe will make more sambal than you need for the grilled fish, but they'll keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a couple of weeks and you can prepare them well ahead of time.
This salad brims with treasures: boiled egg, fried tofu, potatoes, fried prawn crackers - topped off with a creamy peanut sauce.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 13 February, 2020 on SBS Food
Southern Indian cooking is distinctly influenced by the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables found in the region. Sarah Todd’s love of Indian cuisine has led her to open up restaurants in Goa and Mumbai (documented on television series My Restaurant in India, SBS). Sarah starts with vindaloo pork ribs topped with Goan bhelpuri – a spiced puff rice snack - before cooking a vegetarian baked cauliflower with pineapple sansav. Diana finishes the episode with a traditional dessert called sweet appam filled with carmelised banana – the perfect snack on a balmy afternoon.
Made from a batter of fermented rice, coconut and yeast, these traditional Southern Indian pancakes are light and crisp. Although usually savoury, these are a sweet version that is a fun dessert or sweet brunch twist.
This is no ordinary side dish. The combination of juicy cauliflower, sweet-and-sour tamarind and pineapple, plus freshly made masala spice mix will hypnotise you into making it many times over.
Airs 8:00pm Thursday 20 February, 2020 on SBS Food
Diana seeks inspiration from her Malaysian roots, conjuring the sights and smells of food stalls from her childhood. She invites two guests to demonstrate some of the different cultures that influence Malayasian cooking, from Nyonya home cooking to traditional Malay. Cookbook author Clarissa Weerasena recreates Nyonya fishcakes, a popular snack that is reminiscent of her childhood.
Many Australians are familiar with laksa, but Irna Mysara (of Sijori Malay Eatery) shows how varied traditional Malaysian laksa can be with laksa Johor that uses spaghetti noodles and has a dry sauce. Late afternoon is time for sweet snacks in Malaysia and Diana shares her take on fried desserts with keria churros made of sweet potato.
'Nyonya' cuisine is a hybrid of Chinese and Malay flavours. These fish cakes are a perfect example, infused with the taste and soul of both cultures.
Legend has it the old King of Johor traveled to Italy and fell in love with spaghetti. He brought it back to Malaysia and had his royal chefs create a sort of gravy to accompany it, creating laksa Johor.
Catch Diana Chan and friends cooking and eating their way across Asia in Australia in the brand-new series, Asia Uplated with Diana Chan. Airs on SBS Food at 8pm Thursdays from 19 December 2019 to 20 February 2020, or catch up on SBS On Demand.