• Diana Chan grills a homemade Laotian sausage. (Andrew Dorn)Source: Andrew Dorn
Asia Unplated follows Diana Chan as she explores the fresh, aromatic flavours of Asia.
By
12 Jan 2021 - 5:12 PM  UPDATED 4 Feb 2021 - 10:43 AM

--- Diana Chan is bringing the wonder of Asian cuisine to your homes in the second series of Asia Unplated with Diana Chan, Thursdays at 8pm from 28 January, 2021 on SBS Food and streaming on SBS On Demand. ---

 

Asia Unplated with Diana Chan is back in 2021 with a brand-new second season. Each episode in this 10-part series focuses on a different cuisine, showcasing a variety of traditional and modern dishes from a range of Asian nations. 

Diana cooks up simple but authentic, home-style Asian dishes.  She also invites friends and special guests into the kitchen to show us their favourite recipes and chat about the unique cooking styles and rich food histories of their favourite Asian cuisines.

 

Episode 1 | Filipino

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 28 January, 2021 on SBS Food

Diana is joined by Chef Ross Magnaye who shares his favourite meal Filipino pork and chicken adobo. Ross stays in the kitchen and continues to share his passion and knowledge for Filipino food while Diana prepares sinuglaw, a dish that is often considered to be the marriage of two contrasting dishes, crispy grilled pork and citrusy fish ceviche. Jacob Leung (author and cook) joins Diana for dessert with a dish called Brazo de Mercedes, a sweet meringue roll filled with a rich custard.

RECIPES
Pork belly with ceviche (Sinuglaw)

Sinuglaw Sinuglaw, a Filipino of grilled pork belly and fish ceviche, brings together two popular cooking methods: sinugba, to grill; and kinilaw, to pickle in vinegar or citrus. These two very different dishes come together in a harmonious explosion of flavours.

Filipino pork and chicken adobo

Fry up any leftovers of this tasty braise til crispy and you'll have what's known in the Philippines as adobo flakes.

Filipino roll cake (Brazo de Mercedes)

Filipino cuisine has an impressive lineup of cakes, and Brazo de Mercedes is no exception: a roll cake made from fluffy meringue, with a centre of rich egg yolk-based custard.

Episode 2 | Cambodian

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 4 February, 2021 on SBS Food

Cambodian cuisine can be overlooked in Australia so Diana enlists the help of chef Jerry Mai (chef and owner behind restaurants Pho Nom, Annam and now Bia Hoi) to explore the vibrant flavours that are integral to Cambodian cooking. Together they prepare a popular breakfast dish nam banh chok- a fish curry vermicelli noodle dish. Diana celebrates Cambodian cuisine with Kampot pepper vongole, showcasing the rare and unique Cambodian pepper. Diana also prepares nhoam krauch thlong, a pomelo salad with prawns, that like all Cambodian food perfectly balances salty, sweet, spicy and sour.

RECIPES
Fish curry vermicelli noodle soup (num banh chok)

At breakfast time in Cambodia, you'll find locals starting the day with the same colourful bowl of noodles, num banh chok. This revitalising dish varies across the country, and this version is one of the most popular: rice noodles topped with fish curry, served with crisp raw vegetables and vibrant herbs.

Pomelo salad with prawns (nhoam krauch thlong)

In place of vegetables, this salad brings together pomelo segments, prawns, herbs and nuts in a lively combination. It’s a refreshing salad that's perfect for steamy days and balmy evenings.

Kampot pepper vongole

For an aromatic twist on Italian spaghetti alle vongole, this version gets Cambodian kampot pepper added into the pan as the vongole cook. The peppercorns bring their characteristic bursts of spicy, fruity notes.

Episode 3 | Malaysian

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 11 February, 2021 on SBS Food

Diana seeks inspiration from her Malaysian roots, conjuring the sights and smells of food stalls from her childhood. Jacob Leung shares his tips to perfect fried rice at home with his 'mum’s Malaysian fried rice.' Diana is joined by her cousin, Karen Chan, as they explore the traditional flavours used in Nonya cooking in her authentic Nonya laska lemak. Diana prepares her sweet and spicy mee goreng mamak, a dish inspired by the popular mamak stalls where young adults often buy delicious and affordable food.

RECIPES
Mum’s Malaysian fried rice

This recipe was given to Jacob Leung by his mother, who adds curry leaves, kecap manis and fried garlic for a distinctly Malay touch.

Curry laksa (Nyonya laksa lemak)

In the diverse laksa family tree, nyonya laksa lemak is distinguished by its rich broth of coconut milk that’s combined with a deeply aromatic spice paste. This sweet and spicy brew is typically filled with a bounty of seafood, tofu and chicken.

Mamak-style fried noodles (mee goreng mamak)

Mee goreng are the fried yellow noodles eaten commonly in Malaysia; in this popular version, found in mamaks (open-air eateries), the noodles are tossed through a rich sauce of kecap manis and tomato ketchup, as well as potato, fried tofu, calamari and egg. 

Nyonya laksa lemak

Episode 4 | Indonesian

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 18 February, 2021 on SBS Food

Diana prepares an Indonesian street food favourite perkedel jagung - crispy, deep fried corn fritters. Mike Reid (chef) joins Diana to share his love for Indonesian food with a recipe for a popular Indonesian dish, sate babi. Jerry Mai then showcases Indonesian spices with her Balinese grilled chicken and coconut sambal. Diana finishes the theme with a traditional sweet dessert bubur sumsum - a coconut rice porridge. 

RECIPES
Pork satay (sate babi)

When barbecue season hits, you'll want to have these juicy skewers in your repertoire. Minced pork is blended with a fragrant marinade, then shaped and grilled and served with a peanut-coconut milk sauce.

Corn fritters (perkedel jagung)

These crisp, golden bundles burst with the sweetness and brightness of fresh corn, and are perfect for casual bites when entertaining.

Coconut rice pudding (bubur sumsum)

Soft and sweet, this Indonesian coconut milk-based dessert is infused with the slightly floral and grassy aroma of pandan. 

Balinese grilled chicken and coconut sambal

Introducing your new go-to grilled chicken recipe… First, the chicken is doused in a fragrant paste of turmeric, garlic, kecap manis and more; then, it’s grilled to charcoal-kissed perfection and served with a refreshing coconut sambal.

Episode 5 | Sri Lankan

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 25 February, 2021 on SBS Food

As one of the worlds biggest coconut producers, coconut is a staple ingredient in Sri Lankan cuisine. Prominent chef Adam D'Sylva (Tonka and Coda) shares his smoked trout salad with coconut sambol and pomelo, a light dish that’s big on flavour. Jerry Mai prepares a crab curry, with a rich coconut base showcasing popular Sri Lankan spices. For dessert Diana makes watalappan, a baked coconut custard, sweetened with kithul jaggery, a beloved Sri Lankan staple. 

RECIPES
Watalappan

Spices like cardamom, nutmeg and cloves bring an enchanting edge to this custardy coconut milk cake.

Smoked trout salad, coconut sambal and pomelo

Served alongside rice or grilled meats, as an entree or a side, this well-balanced salad brings colour and vibrance to the table.

Crab curry with naan

This is a cooking-from-scratch recipe: you’ll make a fresh curry paste, cook a whole crab, and – optional, but recommended – make fresh naan to soak it all up.

Episode 6 | Chinese

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 4 March, 2021 on SBS Food

Chinese cuisine is flavourful and diverse. Diana shows how easy it is to make a Yum Cha favourite at home as she prepares sesame balls with red bean paste filling. Master Chef alumni and friend, Karlie Verkerk, shares her recipe for three cup chicken - san bei ji - a simple, homestyle Chinese dish. Jacob Leung also joins Diana in the kitchen to prepare a citrusy and aromatic dish of soy, orange and Chinese five-spice braised duck.

RECIPES
Three cup chicken (san bei ji)

The bold flavours of this chicken stir-fry will keep you coming back for more.

Soy, orange and Chinese five-spice duck

This nourishing bowl is filled with rice, tender five spiced-rubbed duck, and a rich sauce based on Oolong tea. The aromatic combination is balanced with steamed greens.

Sesame balls with red bean paste filling (jian dui)

These plump, donut-like sweets are just the thing you need with a fresh cup of tea. 

Episode 7 | Laotian

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 11 March, 2021 on SBS Food

Laotian cuisine is packed with bold, balanced flavours. Reflective of surrounding countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, Laotian food also shares a balance of spicy, sour and sweet, however, it is relatively unknown to many Australians. Diana showcases sticky rice, a staple ingredient in Laotian cooking as she shares one of her favourite street food snacks khao jee (grilled sticky rice with egg). Diana explores popular flavours in Laos in a spicy pork sausage sai oua, packed with vibrant herbs and spices. Diana is also joined in the kitchen by Jerry Mai who prepares salt-crust grilled fish: a whole snapper filled with aromatics that celebrates Laos’s fresh and vibrant flavours. 

RECIPES
Northern Thai sausage (sai oua)

These aromatic Thai sausages come with a sauce punchy enough to keep them in line. 

Laotian grilled rice skewers (khao jee)

Skewers of pork or chicken mince might be more widely known, but these skewers wrapped with freshly cooked rice are just as soft and smoky-flavoured.

Whole snapper baked in a salt crust with saffron mayonaise

Baking fish within a salt crust traps the natural flavours inside - perfect with the homemade saffron mayo.

Episode 8 | South Indian

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 18 March, 2021 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 Southern India. To celebrate South India, Jacob Leung prepares red onion bhaji with yoghurt dipping sauce, his favourite street food snack. Sarah Todd joins Diana to share her recipe for Kerala-style crispy prawns, a dish she fell in love with while opening a restaurant in India. Diana creates a fragrant vegetarian dish tadka dal, a lentil-based dal topped with tempered herbs and spices. 

RECIPES
Kerala-style crispy prawns

These tender and flavourful prawns will win hearts.

Red onion bhaji with yoghurt dipping sauce

Chickpea flour gives these onion bhaji a crisp, earthy edge. They're great served as a snack, or an entree, with a cooling yoghurt dipping sauce. 

Tadka dal

This comforting, aromatic dal will stand alone as a main dish – or you can add it to your next curry spread.  

Episode 9 | Thai

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 25 March, 2021 on SBS Food

Diana explores the balance of salty, sweet and sour flavours that is fundamental in Thai cuisine. Chef Adam D’Sylva first celebrates this harmony of flavours by making a refreshing dish, seared tuna with nahm jim. Diana then showcases a popular Thai dish of beef massaman curry.  Jacob Leung finishes by preparing a fragrant and smoky Thai beef salad called nam tok with sticky rice powder.

RECIPES
Beef massaman curry

Massaman curry brings together an incredible blend of Indian and Thai flavours. It's complex and deep, yet mild in spice, and is a favourite around the world. 

Seared tuna with nahm jim

This fresh and fragrant salad makes an ideal summer starter, or a light meal paired with steamed rice. The homemade dressings add an enchanting punch of flavours.

Thai beef salad with sticky rice powder (nam tok)

These chargrilled beef skewers are perfect for a quick dinner. The balance of sweet, salty, smoky and sour is all soaked up by roasted rice powder (khao khua).

Episode 10 | Vietnamese

Airs 8:00pm Thursday 1 April, 2021 on SBS Food

Diana delves into the vibrant and fresh flavours of Vietnamese cooking. With the expertise of her flatmate Khanh Ong (owner of the George on Collins) the pair creates cha gio re which is similar to a spring roll but with a delicate, lace-like exterior. Diana shares a simple yet elegant dish banh beo which are delicate, steamed rice cakes that are sure to impress. Jerry Mai also joins Diana to share her expertise in Vietnamese cooking. Jerry demonstrates how easy it is to make your own rice noodles at home which she serves as part of bun cha Hanoi, made of smoky grilled pork patties, with rice noodles, pickled vegetables and an abundance of fresh herbs.

RECIPES
Savoury steamed rice cakes (bánh bèo)

These chewy little steamed rice cakes are a special snack in Vietnam's city of Huế as it's where they originated. Nowadays they're a popular street food enjoyed across the country.

Seafood spring roll (chả giò rế)

The pastry 'lace' of these spring rolls creates a crisp and intriguing texture against the fragrant pork mince and plump, soft prawn filling. 

Bun cha Hanoi

This specialty dish of Hanoi is a satisfying combination of grilled pork belly and pork mince patties served with an abundance of fresh herbs and a punchy dressing. You can cut corners if you need to and use store-bought rice noodles.