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Black & Yellow

Maintaining Cultural Bonds Through Food

Chinese New Year is tomorrow! Happy Year Of The Ox! And Mardi Gras is next week. These two cultural holidays will likely look different, but it doesn’t have to taste different. Quarantine is the best time to learn family recipes or improve the family staples you cherish. On today’s episode, we are talking to cookbook author, Pat Tanumihardja, all about how to keep cultural bonds alive and thriving during quarantine. 

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Cardamom Banana Bread


1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup soft brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

1 cup mashed bananas (2 large)

2 teaspoons turbinado sugar (optional)



Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5x3” loaf pan liberally.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and beat well.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom in a medium bowl. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix into a thick batter. Fold in the banana.

Pour the batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar (to create a crackly crust), and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into its middle comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before releasing the bread from the pan.



Recipe from “Asian Pickles at Home” by Pat Tanumihardja, Rockridge Press 2020

Makes: 2 cups | Prep and Cook time: 5 minutes | Curing time: 1 hour

 1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup rice vinegar

2/3 cup water

1/4 cup granulated sugar

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

Pickling in soy sauce is one of the most basic Japanese pickling techniques. Soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar are mixed together to form the brine. Add-ins like mirin, garlic, or chiles are optional. I like to make this tasty side dish with Japanese mini mushrooms like enoki or shimeji (beechmushrooms), but for this recipe, I’ve used the easier-to-find shiitake. Feel free to use any type of mushroom you can get your hands on, from button to chanterelles.

1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, water, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves completely, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Transfer the mushrooms to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon. Let the brine cool, then pour over the mushrooms. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. These will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

 TRY IT WITH: These mushrooms are a delicious and nutritious addition to noodle or rice bowls or tossed into a salad.

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