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Staff Writer

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April 2, 2013
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Fusion cuisine mixes it up

Fusion cuisine (the mixing of ingredients and techniques from one or more distinct styles), has been around forever. Travel and the sharing of foods and recipes have insured this from the dawn of man.

Our ongoing urge to move and share pushes new trends in fusion to break ground almost as seasonally as the crops they are based on.

While Rome, Paris, New York and other great world capitals have had their moments in the culinary sun, Los Angeles has surely been a leader in fusion cuisine — especially Asian fusion.

Chefs exposed to the many Pacific rim cuisines that bubble and pop to life in this Asian cultural cauldron get creative and suddenly you find Korean pork burritos flying out of food trucks on Melrose and Vine.

Then there’s Kung Pao pastrami and kimchee-bacon-chorizo paella.

While we don’t have the ethnic diversity of L.A. here in Nevada County, we do have sophisticated people who travel and enjoy Asian foods, so I’ve been thinking it’s time to bring this bold, creative food scene to the foothills.

It seems like a natural fit because at The Old 5Mile House we’re used to coming up with new specials from different regions of the world each month and we’re comfortable getting creative.

Some of the exciting dishes we have come up with are Caesar salad with tandoori chicken, spicy black bean clams, monk’s hat shrimp pot stickers, miso seared salmon and KFC, (Korean fried cauliflower).

I love Italian pesto, so I thought why not make a pesto with Thai basil? I blended Thai basil, ginger, garlic, lemon grass, coconut milk and peanuts in the blender — and wow!

Then we sear some large prawns and flambé them with our own lemon grass infused vodka. They go on top of noodles tossed with the Thai pesto and voila — you have a glorious example of Asian fusion.

One of my favorite Chinese stir-fry dishes is Mongolian Beef. For a luscious twist on this classic, we are doing Mongolian short ribs: boneless short ribs braised to silky tenderness and served up with the Mongolian sauce, stir-fried onions, green onions and rice - deluxe...delish.

Asian fusion is not really that new, but I can guarantee you that you’ve never had our exciting renditions before. They are fresh, creative expressions worthy of the L.A. scene — without the traffic. Only in April. Only @the5.

Robert Smith is the chef owner of the Old 5Mile House where they serve roadhouse food from around the world.


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The Union Updated Apr 2, 2013 07:16PM Published Apr 2, 2013 04:24PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.