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June 05, 2012

Eat with Your Hands

Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

Zakary Pelaccio gets it. From Chickenbone Café to Fatty ’Cue, he melds flavors as a gifted sculptor molds a slab of clay into a beautiful piece of pottery. His genius is in seamlessly capturing and blending flavor profiles. Whether the dish is originally Italian or Malaysian, his interpretation always tastes just right. In his cookbook, “Eat With Your Hands,” he shares over 125 recipes, including some of his most popular dishes at Fatty Crab — chili crab and crispy pork and watermelon salad. “Eat with Your Hands” is a celebration of Pelaccio’s style of comfort food and his rocker spirit. He also suggests what to listen to and drink with each dish. If you like Malaysian food, you know that it involves using a lot of ingredients and spices, so there’s no doubt that the recipes in this cookbook are more challenging than what you might be used to. I’ve chosen some basic recipes as samples: two versions of chili sauce, braised pork belly and fried pork belly with chili lime sauce (which requires the braised pork belly).