About Jeffrey Alford | Naomi Duguid

Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford are avid travelers, cooks, photographers, and writers who’ve worked together since meeting in Tibet in 1985. Their interest lies in understanding staple foods in their cultural context, and the duo were recently the subject of an award-winning documentary by Jacques Menard called “The Recipe Diaries.” They’ve coauthored half a dozen cookbooks, including Hot Sour Salty Sweet, a James Beard Cookbook of the Year. @naomiduguid @jeffreyalford

Szechuan spice-rubbed pork loin covered with ground Szechuan peppercorns, condiments on the side

Szechuan Spice-Rubbed Pork

For this embarrassingly easy roast, a tingling rub of Szechuan pepper, black pepper, and nutmeg (yes, nutmeg) coats pork butt or loin before it’s roasted to tender incredibleness.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee ~ Ca Phe Sua Da

A simple, satiating, summery Vietnamese tradition known as ca phe sua da, this seductive classic is simply coffee, ice, and sweet, sweet, sweetened condensed milk. Here’s how to succumb at home.

Pad Thai noodles, crunchy noodles. cucumber, bean sprouts, and lime wedges in a bowl, a bottle of chile-vinegar

Authentic Pad Thai

Unspeakably more nuanced than takeout Thai, these stir-fried noodles boast a sigh-inducing balance of salty, sour, and sweet. In other words, it’s the real deal.

A brown bowl filled with ginger and carrot stir-fry on a wooden mat.

Ginger and Carrot Stir-Fry

There’s nothing wallflowerish about this stir-fry, not with its gingery zing of tongue-tingling, sinus-clearing, tummy-settling ginger. Nothing at all.

Pomelo salad piled on a rectangular ceramic plate, with chopsticks and a bowl of dressing.

Pomelo Salad

The sweetly sour exuberance of this salad gives us a shivery chill that we crave nonstop—even in the dead of winter.

Thai Chile-Vinegar Sauce ~ Nam Som

A little tart, a little sweet, and a little hot, this Thai staple is both dipping and drizzling sauce. One taste and you’ll understand why it’s a classic.

Savory Bangkok Waffles

Bangkok Waffles with Dipping Sauce

These lacy Asian waffles are more like pancakes made with tiny shrimp, coconut milk, lime juice, and cilantro. The sauce adds a touch of saltiness and heat.