This Go-To Dish from San Francisco restaurateur Charles Phan of Slanted Door, Out the Door, and Heaven’s Dog could be an umami icon: Salty fish over flavorful ground pork and ginger sticks epitomizes the idea of savory. Pair it with steamed rice and sautéed bok choy.
What to buy: Phan uses salted mackerel, which can be found at many Asian (particularly Chinese) markets either in the frozen section or packed in oil on the shelf. If you cannot find salted mackerel, Phan suggests using any salted fish, called haam yee or hom yu at Chinese grocers. Salted anchovies or sardines, available at most grocery stores, also make good substitutes for salted mackerel.
Special equipment: If you don’t have a large wok and/or a large bamboo steamer, create your own steamer: Take two 24-inch-long pieces of aluminum foil and loosely roll and crumple each one widthwise into a 1-inch-thick piece. Form each piece into an S shape and place both in a large frying pan or a large straight-sided pan with a tightfitting lid. Add an inch of water and bring it to a simmer. Proceed with the recipe, placing the heatproof dish on top of the foil coils rather than in a bamboo steamer.