I’ve Been Making Asian Nachos for Years—and Now Everybody Wants Them
Asian Nachos are now a big Pinterest trend (told you). Here’s the best way to make them at home. You’ll thank us, we promise!
We come across a lot of food trends—yes, like the currently hot Asian nachos. It’s our job to go through them and use years of cooking and eating expertise to determine what’s best for you. Like a good friend vetting your dates, we swipe left or right accordingly so you don’t have to. Some trends we dismiss sight unseen, others quickly become loves of a lifetime. And then there are the ones we've been talking about for years.
WATCH: Sweet Potato Totcho Nachos
See, I have this intense feeling that you and Asian nachos were M.F.E.O. (that's made for each other) and with Superbowl LII rapidly approaching it’s really important that you try them. Soon. This weekend even. Why bother with all those other predictable nachos when you could have something creative? Something spicy? I promise they're in your best interest. Note: While I did develop a very excellent recipe for Asian Nachos a few years back I promise the internet police (and former editors) that I did not peek at the original for details. That said, here is the best Asian nachos recipe to make right now:
1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil (truth: this is not totally necessary, just makes for easy cleanup) and preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Arrange a single layer of tortilla chips on the prepared sheet. Don’t go piling on the chips just yet: one of the keys to great nachos is a layered approach. You will use restraint and leave no chip uncovered.
3. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add a pound of ground beef or pork (even turkey or crumbled tofu will work), a few cloves of finely chopped garlic, and a tablespoon or two of chopped fresh ginger. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is nicely browned and crispy in spots. When I say browned and crispy I mean browned and crispy, not just cooked through, there’s a difference. Keep cooking, and add a little more oil to the skillet if things aren’t sizzling. Your patience will be rewarded.
4. Add a few shakes of soy sauce, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and, if you want it hot, a sliced fresh Serrano or jalapeño chile. Taste and see how you like it, add a little more of anything you might desire. Even though soy is salty you'll probably want to season with salt and pepper. But you did that already, right? Good. Set the meat aside. Literally. Just leave it in the skillet and push it to the back burner.
5. Top your base layer of chips with about 4 ounces (or 1 cup) of shredded white cheddar and/or Monterey jack cheese. Personally, I like a combo—cheddar for its piquant flavor, the jack for it’s gooey melting properties.
6. Evenly distribute half of your meat mixture over the chips and cheese on the bottom layer then top with another 4 ounces of cheese. Add another layer of chips, the rest of your meat mixture, and another 4 ounces of cheese. The cheese placement is strategic, helping to anchor meat to chips and top layer to bottom layer so be thoughtful about it.
7. Transfer your loaded baking sheet to the oven and bake until the cheese is really melted and bubbly and the chips just start to turn golden on the edges, about 10 minutes. Don't rush this. There's nothing more sad than finding a chip with unmelted cheese hiding on the bottom layer.
8. While the nachos are in the oven, slice some scallions, some more chiles if you like, and wash a handful of cilantro. Scatter all these goodies on top of the nachos, add dollops of Sambal or a zig-zag of Sriracha, and a smattering of toasted sesame seeds. Eat, live happily ever after, and thank me later.