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  • The Anonymous Hungry Hippopotamus

Food For Thought: Cuban, Persian and Chinese

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Cooking is often an exercise in practicality for me. I have to eat, so I make something fast, familiar and simple and keep it moving. When I get in the cooking mood (usually brought on by curiosity+time+inspiration+company), I like to try cooking something that stretches me, and more importantly, blesses others. Food is definitely my love language.


Pollo a la Plancha (chicken marinated in garlic, sour orange juice, cumin, and oregano and then grilled), Collards a lo Cubano, Arroz y Frijoles Negros and Plátano Maduro Frito.


Inspired by Naan and Kabob, a small, unassuming, authentic Persian restaurant in a strip mall in Tustin, California, I decided to try to recreate some of my favorites there.

Cucumber salad with garden tomatoes, red onion, fresh parsley, dill and mint.

Hummus with olive oil and sumac.

I did not make the pita bread at home but I did give it a quick grill and brush it with olive oil. I picked this pita bread up from Oasis Market in Oakland, California. They make it fresh throughout the day.

Deconstructed Tahdig.

That is my diplomatic was of saying that the tahdig fell apart when I was flipping it out of the pan to plate it. This was my attempt to salvage it. After making it a second and third time, I got the hang of getting it out of the pan in one piece.

Kabob Koobideh (beef and lamb) and Jujeh (chicken) kabob with grilled onion and tomatoes.

I found that the trick to keeping the kabobs moist and delicious was to baste them with saffron butter throughout the grilling process.


Stir fried Bok Choy with braised Wood Ear mushrooms.

Slow cooked sticky ribs with scallions.

Jasmine rice

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