Discover! AsiaTown

September 9, 2012

chinatown1jpg-75ee1a75466f943a Although the street sign along Superior may read ‘ChinaTown’ and vacant, industrial lofts dominate the streetscape, AsiaTown is a true gem of a Cleveland neighborhood with diverse offerings.

The first two M+artys (meeting + party, a new networking concept for small businesses and their supporters launched this year in Cleveland) were held in the AsiaTown Center plaza this past Spring. The Center also plays host to numerous festivals and openings, including a photography exhibit debuting this Friday featuring the family of a friend of mine, Lisa Wong.

IMG-20120903-01307 Of course, the real draw year-round is the super market, where you can find inexpensive, delicious taro filled sesame buns and vegetables like bok choy  changsha squidand chinese eggplant.

Last weekend, after a scintillating trip to Toronto and the best dumplings in this Hemisphere (read about all the adventures here!), Stephen and I were inspired to create an ethnic meal of our own, above.

changsha eggplant With a recipe in tow for Sichuan Style Eggplant (I lived in Changsha, capital of the Hunan province, where I had the most amazing garlic smothered eggplant and squid and where spicy food is also king. If you’re interested in reading an article about eating ‘beyond white rice’, which I wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Travel Section after my first stint in China, click here!), we took to Asia Food Co. and began a very atypical grocery searching trip!

seaweed In Toronto we dined on seawood, right, a myriad of dumplings and scrumptious eggplant. Stephen had never had the vegetable and fell head over heals for the melt-in-your mouth dish so naturally, this dish was a first priority, but when we saw the leafy bok choy and piles of seaweed begging to be tossed on a stove, we couldn’t resist!

The meal was so delicious we vowed to create Steve’s World Cuisine, a concept IMG-20120903-01295restaurant that may or may not exist for my own personal gain 😉

If you endeavor to make such a scrumptious meal on your own, do go to AsiaTown and pick up some authentic Sichuan Peppercorn, chili paste and fresh ginger and of course eggplant!

***THE RECIPE IN PHOTOGRAPHS***

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chili paste and ginger

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Bok Choy and Ginger

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  seaweed, chili paste and garlic

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The yummiest eggplant this side of the Pacific!!!!

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