Monday, December 31, 2007

I Ate What? 2007 Eating Out Roundup

While many of you are probably reflecting on what you've accomplished this year, I have no deep ruminations for you. Instead, how about reflecting on a year of eating out? Anyone else got any favorites to add to the list? Perfectly Sweet - Alhambra 1The prettiest. From Perfectly Sweet - Alhambra. Panda and Puppy Ramen 2The cutest. Puppy and panda-faced ramen. Pa Pa Walk 10The smelliest. Stinky tofu from Pa Pa Walk - San Gabriel. The funniest. Semen tea from 85 Degrees C Tea House in San Gabriel. Wing Hop Fung Traditional Chinese Medicine Luncheon 7The healthiest. Bird's nest from a Chinese herbal luncheon sponsored by Wing Hop Fung. Uzbekistan - Los Angeles 9The most exotic (in theory if not actuality). From Uzbekistan - Los Angeles. The weirdest. Frog fallopian tubes!!! I'm saving the explanation of this dish for my newest post in the new year. ;) Happy 2007 everyone! Here's to another year of great eats. ***** 1 year ago today, my unsophisticated wine palate and travel memories of Sirens Valley wine caves in Hungary.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sriracha Buffalo Wings

Sriracha Buffalo Wings 1

OK, this post was supposed to go up in time for ya'll's New Year's Eve parties, but you don't need a special occasion to eat these wings! In Buffalo, New York, where the wings were invented, the traditional preparation is to deep-fry the wings and toss them with a simple mixture of Fred's Red Hot Sauce and butter. And there's no better vinegary hot sauce, than the Vietnamese-American garlicky-spicy creation Huy Fong Foods, Inc.'s Sriracha chili hot sauce. Actually, they have their own recipe for hot wings, which is pretty much mine! Hmph! Well, I guess with such simple ingredients, there's not that much variation. :P

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Quan Hy Vietnamese Restaurant - Westminster (Little Saigon)

Quan Hy Vietnamese Restaurant is usually one of my top recommendations for non-Vietnamese who ask me where to go in Little Saigon. It's popular with Vietnamese too so you're not getting watered down fare.

Quan Hy Vietnamese Restaurant - Westminster (Little Saigon) 1

Sometimes it can be a bit much as this is "the" place to be seen in the Vietnamese community. Actually, when this location first opened up and hadn't generated as much publicity, my friend said her neighbor took all his dates here. And they were so pleasantly surprised by the decor and food that they came back... only to run into him on a date with some else. :P

My only complaint about Quan Hy is that the portions are rather small for the price. Not that it's expensive, mind you. You're looking at a $7-$8 range for most dishes, compared to $5-$6 at other places.

It's one of the "fancier" Vietnamese restaurants located in the "new-ish" T&K Plaza. Save room for dessert and go to Thach Che Hien Khanh located at the other end of the parking lot.

There's almost always a line.

The entryway has a very shallow koi pond and bridge.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Cinnamon and Coriander Chocolate?

Gingerbread chocolate, with crunchy gingerbread pieces. I can get with that. Winter Fruit and Nut ie. pear and apple, not that unusual either. But cinnamon coriander chocolate? Ack! I tasted the cinnamon, but the coriander was just soooo weird! Are you telling me the Swiss really eat this stuff?

I tried other flavors from this brand before - chili pepper, lemon and black pepper, and tiramisu.

Found for 99 cents at the Target after-Christmas sale.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sukju Namul (Korean Seasoned Mung Bean Sprouts)

I know I said enough of the Korean recipes for a while, but what can I say? That's what I had in the fridge.

The two trays of banh cuon (Vietnamese steamed rice noodle sheets stuffed with pork) that I bought for my dad's 60th birthday party also came with two big bags of mung bean sprouts. I knew we were gonna be fed a lot at my oldest uncle's Christmas party.

But after the birthday party and before the Christmas party, my cousins wanted to have dinner on Christmas Eve together. I really wasn't in the mood to deal with last-minute crowds at the grocery store, so what I had available were fixin's for a Korean dinner.

I made a batch of venison bulgogi (Korean marinated meat) and some banh xeo-ish pajeon (Vietnamese crepe-ish Korean pancake). I already had baechu kimchee (Korean pickled napa cabbage) in the fridge. And of course, those two big bags of mung bean sprouts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Oldest Uncle's Christmas Party

Here are my oh so colorful Shanghai-style sticky rice siu mai dumplings again. I was making them to bring to my oldest uncle's Christmas party.

Hehe, I know I have readers who like seeing all the foods at my family get-togethers. Works for me. I get another post out of it, with minimal writing. ;)

Let's see, starting clockwise from the rice cooker with Hainanese chicken rice, my dumplings, roasted potatoes, salami and cheese appetizers, lotus root salad, tortillas and spinach dip with chesnuts (the younger '88's addition), dinner rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy.

From the far side, egg rolls, Hainanese chicken to go with the chicken rice, two kinds of soup (the chafing dish holds my favorite sup mang cua (Vietnamese crabmeat and asparagus soup), and pesto pasta with pinenuts.

Apple pie, apple tart, and fresh guavas from the garden.

Pork loin.

And roast beef.
Enjoy! I know I did. :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Shanghai-style Sticky Rice Siu Mai Dumplings

Merry Christmas dear readers! Here's a little "present" for you. :)

Shanghai-style Sticky Rice Siu Mai 1

Aren't they cute? While I was more familiar with ground pork siu mai dumplings at dim sum restaurants, a while back Amy of Nook & Pantry had made Shanghai-style sticky rice siu mai dumplings. They were so darling that I knew I would attempt to make them at some point.

And so it was that on Christmas day, I was floundering for ideas on what to post. I figured tying a chive leaf around each dumpling would make them look like little "presents." This all came together very quickly and easily due to my tried-and-tested method of lazy cooking. ;)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tiramisu with Japanese Matcha Green Tea

I made it too easy to guess what this is huh? Doesn't it look like an alien landscape, all weirdly green?

After discovering how quick and easy it was to make tiramisu, I decided to try making a matcha green tea tiramisu. The version I had at Italian Tomato was actually not that spectacular - not much green tea flavor and rather dry. And in looking at the photo again, I think my green tea tiramisu looks tastier! :) Lil' sis kept urging me not to do it because she remembered not being impressed with their green tea tiramisu either. But I promised her I'd make a normal one just in case. As it turned out, we ate all of the cake and regular tiramisu and there was just a small portion of this left. Two of my cousins had dibs on the leftovers.

I like my green tea bold in flavor, no subtlety here. The green tea is very bitter so I was worried about how it'd turn out, but the sweetness of the whipped cream evened it out. If you want to drink the leftover green tea, I'd advise adding lots and lots of sugar.

Tiramisu with Japanese Matcha Green Tea

For a 2-quart-sized bowl, you'll need:

2 cups matcha green tea, dissolve 2 tblsp matcha green tea powder in 2 cups hot water
1 16-oz package Sara Lee poundcake, or 1 package of ladyfingers
1 to 1 1/2 cups whipped cream (If buying packaged, allow to soften to room temperature before using and decrease sugar to 1/4 cup.)
1/2 cup sugar (1/4 cup sugar if using packaged whipped cream, since it's already pre-sweetened.)
1 8-oz container mascarpone cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
matcha green tea powder for dusting

Boil 2 cups water and add 2 tblsp green tea powder. Stir and let cool in fridge.

Whip cream. A 1 pint container should give you enough whipped cream for this recipe. Or do what I did and buy 1 quart, and turn the remaining whipped cream into butter. Set aside.

Spoon about 3 tblsp of whipped cream into a bowl of the mascarpone cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. If you're using packaged whipped cream, decrease sugar to 1/4 cup, unless you have a really sweet tooth. Beat the mascarpone, sugar, 3 tblsp of whipped cream, and 1 tsp vanilla extract until softened.

Then with a spatula, gently blend 1 cup of whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Taste and add up to another 1/2 cup until it's to your liking.

Now you're ready to start assembling.

Cut the poundcake into 1-inch wide strips. Using chopsticks, or your fingers, dip the poundcake into the green tea. I like my tiramisu very moist so I make sure all sides of the poundcake are covered. Lay the pieces until the bottom of the bowl is covered. Add a layer of the mascarpone/whipped cream mixture. Sprinkle a light layer of green tea powder. Add another layer of the tea-soaked poundcake. Then another layer of the mascarpone/whipped cream.

Dust with matcha green tea on top.

Chill in fridge at least an hour before serving.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Seaworld Seafood Restaurant BBQ & Dim Sum To Go - Rosemead

As I said, I've stopped off at Seaworld Seafood Restaurant BBQ & Dim Sum To Go in Rosemead twice now for my brother's wedding and my dad's 60th birthday party. It's a separate entrance, just to the left of the restaurant's main door. It's great for when I want restaurant-quality dim sum for take out.

Mmm. Roast ducks displayed in the window. One duck is $12.95. Right now this is my favorite roast duck to-go place. The marinade has a slight honey flavor, not dark and soy saucy like Sam Woo's.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Dad's 60th Birthday Party

Sorry the pictures are so blurry. I was standing at the top of the staircase and zooming in so you could get a sense of the whole length of the table, or rather two long and one round table placed end to end. This is how it's been like for the past few holiday parties, but this time, we were celebrating my dad's 60th birthday. I previously wrote about why lil' sis and I are such daddy's girls.

Close-ups of the food below.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Chili Sauce)

Aji Chili Sauce 4

I am so, so susceptible to food cravings. After reading Dylan of Eat, Drink, and Be Merry's post about Pollo A La Brasa's wood-fired chicken with a photo of their aji verde (Peruvian green chili sauce), I had to have some then and there. Since it was at least a half hour's drive in either direction to the closest Peruvian restaurant, I set out to make my own.

I figured Alejandro of Peru Food would have a recipe and sure enough I found his green Peruvian hot sauce. His recipe included just the basics -- cilantro leaves, jalapenos, salt, oil, and garlic. I wanted my sauce to be a bit creamier and thicker so I added mayonnaise. If you want to be really authentic though, substitute the amount of mayonnaise in my recipe with oil and keep blending until the oil becomes "mayonnaise."

The aji pepper is a type of Peruvian chili pepper, but the word is also used in parts of South America for all peppers. Since I couldn't find aji peppers here, I substituted with jalapenos. I also tossed in several other varieties of chili peppers just for fun. Obviously, adjust the amount of chili depending on your spicy tolerance.

For some reason, when I ate this right away, it had a nice spicy burn on my tongue. But left overnight, it just became a mild green sauce. As it's a sauce, I'm just giving estimations to start with. Add more mayonnaise or oil to adjust creaminess and thickness until it's to your liking.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Shortbread Cookies with Lavender

So after discovering how very yummy and easy it was to make shortbread cookies, I decided to add a bit of lavender. It worked so well with lavender biscuits (the American kind), that I already knew it'd be a success. I made these in bar and round cookie form. But I think the texture is much better in bar form. Or I guess, I could have made the round cookies thicker... Shortbread Cookies with Lavender For 1 dozen cookies, you'll need: 1 cup flour 1 stick butter, about 1/2 cup, softened at room temperature Slightly less than 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (I find 1/4 cup too little, 1/3 a tad too sweet, so slightly less than 1/3 it is. Unless you have a sweeter tooth than mine.) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp lavender seeds Leave the butter out at room temperature until softened. Beat slightly less than 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract into the butter until creamy. Add in 1 cup flour and 1 tsp lavender and mix thoroughly. The mixture will be very loose and powdery but just keep kneading it in the bowl until it comes together. Should take just a few minutes. Press into a greased 8x8-inch pan. Prick with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes. When you take the cookies out of the oven, immediately slice the shortbread into bars while it's still soft. Let cool and break apart. If you don't like the shape of the bars, you can also bake them into a circle and slice into wedges. Or form small balls and flatten into traditional round cookie shapes. Enjoy! My other cookie recipes: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Chocolate Ginger Cookies So Easy Even a 2-year-old Can Make Them Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies Meyer Lemon Shortbread Bars Shortbread Cookies with Brown Sugar Slightly Spiced (Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg) Molasses Cookies ***** 1 year ago today, coconut flan with step-by-step photo instructions.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shortbread Cookies with Brown Sugar

I used to stuff my suitcase with boxes of Walkers shortbread cookies every time I passed through the U.K. These days you can find them in most stores for pretty much the same price or even cheaper so they weren't such a novelty anymore. And then of course, enter the blog. I wanted to make my own. Shortbread cookies got their name because of the "short" crumbly texture. A quick Google search came up with this recipe from Allrecipes. I liked that there were just three ingredients - flour, sugar, butter. But 2 cups of butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 4 1/2 cups of flour. Eek! I don't need to make 4 dozen cookies. Just 1 dozen will do. :) The brown sugar really does make a difference in this recipe. I find brown sugar less sweet than white sugar, with a deeper flavor. Shortbread Cookies with Brown Sugar Adapted from Allrecipes For 1 dozen cookies, you'll need: 1 cup flour 1 stick butter, about 1/2 cup, softened at room temperature Slightly less than 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (I find 1/4 cup too little, 1/3 a tad too sweet, so slightly less than 1/3 it is. Unless you have a sweeter tooth than mine.) 1 tsp vanilla extract Leave the butter out at room temperature until softened. Beat slightly less than 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract into the butter until creamy. Add in 1 cup flour and mix thoroughly. The mixture will be very loose and powdery but just keep kneading it in the bowl until it comes together. Should take just a few minutes. Press into a greased 8x8-inch pan. Prick with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes. When you take the cookies out of the oven, immediately slice the shortbread into bars while it's still soft. Let cool and break apart. If you don't like the shape of the bars, you can also bake them into a circle and slice into wedges. Or form small balls and flatten into traditional round cookie shapes. Enjoy! My other cookie recipes: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Chocolate Ginger Cookies So Easy Even a 2-year-old Can Make Them Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies Meyer Lemon Shortbread Bars Shortbread Cookies with Lavender Slightly Spiced (Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg) Molasses Cookies ***** 1 year ago today, I lamented about the kilt shortage in Scotland and showed you what Scotsmen really wear underneath their kilts. WARNING: View with caution! ;)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Latkes (Jewish Potato Pancakes)

I realize that Hanukkah has already passed but hey, I'm not Jewish so I think it's OK that I'm not eating Jewish foods on the proper days. :P

(As an aside, I'm not Christian either so in the spirit of celebrating the "holidays," I did send out Hanukkah cards a few years back. My friends who are used to my sense of the absurd chuckled over that one. :P )

Anyway, I had recently made latkes (Jewish potato pancakes) and totally forgot about it until I saw Kirk of Mmm-yoso's post about his missus's request for them. My latkes recipe is pretty similar to what he used, minus the matzo meal.

Latkes (Jewish Potato Pancakes)
Adapted from Jewish Holiday Style by Rita Milos Brownstein

For half a dozen 4-inch latkes, you'll need:
4 medium potatoes, grated
1 small onion, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 egg
oil for frying

While you're peeling the potatoes, put the peeled ones in a bowl of heavily salted water to keep them white. Then grate 4 medium-sized potatoes and 1 small onion on the large holes. Put the grated potatoes into a colander with a deep plate or bowl underneath it to catch excess water and starch.

When the potatoes and onion are completely grated, add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper and toss until thoroughly mixed. Then press into the colander or squeeze with your hands to eliminate excess water. Don't throw out the extra water in the bowl just yet.

Put the grated potatoes and onion into a bowl and add in 1 egg and mix thoroughly. By this time, the excess starch will have settled at the bottom of the bowl that was underneath the colander. Drain out the excess water, and add the potato starch into the grated potato mixture.

Form into 4-inch wide patties, pressing firmly to remove still any more excess liquid, and pan-fry on medium-high heat until golden. Let them drain on brown paper bags to retain crispness.

Traditionally, latkes are served with sour cream or apple sauce. I *gasp* eat mine with ketchup. :)


Who else made latkes?
Kirk of Mmm-yoso made latkes with matzo meal.

1 year ago today, I gave you my recipe for salt and pepper lemon baked chicken and began laying out my sushi and dim sum quilt.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I Go Cuckoo for Cocoa!

I know I'm always saying how I have the best blogging buddies, but I do! I do!

Recently, Nikki Polani made half a dozen different batches of cookies for the holidays and asked me if I'd like some cocoa. Would I? She didn't have to ask twice!

I love getting boxes from the post office, even better when I know the box has cocoa inside! You can't tell from the photo but this container is huge!

I had this earmarked for a very special recipe to try out, but couldn't wait and recently used it in another batch of tiramisu. The cocoa made the tiramisu extra delish and my cousins finished off the whole bowl.

Thanks again Nikki Polani! :)

1 year ago today, a piping hot bowl of pho from Pho Ha Vietnamese Restaurant in Pomona totally hit the spot.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Presenting... My Sushi and Dim Sum Quilt

The recent cold blast finally spurred me to finish quilting my sushi and dim sum quilt.
Presenting... My Sushi and Dim Sum Quilt 1
It's the largest quilt I've made to date - twin-sized at 76 inches wide and 84 inches long, but large enough to cover my full-size bed. Made up of leftover fabric from pajama pants I made five years ago. Interspersed with plain cream-colored blocks and sashes so the focus would be on the green and blue blocks. I found a nice cream-colored queen-size sheet with pale blues and greens that seemed to coordinate with the sushi and dim sum blocks. I cut strips from that sheet to create the border and keystone blocks. I like how the slight bit of color in the keystone blocks served to break up the all-cream-colored parts, but weren't bold enough to overpower the sushi and dim sum prints.
Presenting... My Sushi and Dim Sum Quilt 2
I quilted very large stitches on both sides of the seams.
Presenting... My Sushi and Dim Sum Quilt 3
Presenting... My Sushi and Dim Sum Quilt 4
See? The border fabric sort of matches? And it only cost me $3 for the sheet, which I used to cover the whole back. The sushi and dim sum fabrics were leftovers. I had two kinds of cream colored fabric, a plain one and a cream-on-cream embroidered one. Both were free from my mom's stash. And I used a 40% off coupon for the batting. So all-in-all, this quilt cost me less than $10 total in materials. Not a bad way to use up leftover fabric. This is the first time I put on a binding, and I like how "finished" it looks.
Presenting... My Sushi and Dim Sum Quilt 5
Here's what the back side looks like.
Presenting... My Sushi and Dim Sum Quilt 6
It's pretty lightweight so more of a summer quilt, so lil' sis has been sleeping underneath this quilt and a flannel one. C'mon, why don't you start quilting too. :) ***** 1 year ago today, lil' sis's Chinese Sunbonnet Sue quilt and I started this sushi and dim sum quilt. Go see lil' sis's quilt and pay her lots of compliments! :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Colors Year-Round

Christmas Colors Year-Round
I've shown you photos of the geraniums on my doorstep before. And even though they've been there for the past eight months, I guess because it's the holidays, my oldest uncle finally noticed them. Red and green. Happy Holidays everyone! ***** 1 year ago today, I finally got around to writing an "About this blog" post.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bulgogi Burger

OK, last Korean recipe post for a while. This photo's been sitting in my queue for about four months! There's nothing more quintessentially American than the hamburger, but I happened to have extra marinade leftover from a batch of bulgogi/kalbi (Korean marinated beef and short ribs). So I just added the marinade into the meat and was pleasantly surprised by the results. I'd suggest you do the same, but if you're intent on making just this, I've included my marinade recipe below. Bulgogi Burger You'll need: 2 pounds ground beef ¼ cup soy sauce 1 tablespoon sesame oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoon rice wine 1 tsp black pepper 2 tsp salt 1 pear or apple, pureed 1 onion, sliced and sauteed Add all the marinade ingredients into the beef. Shape into patties. Grill. Serve with sauteed onions. Of course, you can't serve a bulgogi burger without kimchee. :) Enjoy! ***** 1 year ago today, I finished my apple tree quilt.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Banh Xeo-ish Pajeon? Or Pajeon-ish Banh Xeo? (Vietnamese Crepe-ish Korean Pancake? Or Korean Pancake-ish Vietnamese Crepe?)

The seafood pancake you see at the edge of the table in my homemade Korean barbecue was actually a happy invention created from what I had available in the pantry. I was going to make it with regular flour, like I normally do, but my friend said her Korean family laughed at her when she did that and insisted she use a mix. Well, I didn't have any Korean pajeon mix, and you know how I feel about giving out recipes from a mix... However, I did have a bag of banh xeo (Vietnamese savory crepes) mix. Again, not that I would give you a recipe for something from a mix. It's just convenient sometimes when I'm making it at home. My friend said the Korean mix has beef powder and other seasonings. Banh xeo mix is rice flour and turmeric so not even the same thing at all... Anyway, during the dinner, my Korean friends wouldn't touch the pancake because they said it was too pretty to eat. They said their mothers would save the pretty food for guests and they ate the mistakes. Huh! Good thing I don't have a Korean mom. What I do have is a Vietnamese mom who's a bit of a perfectionist in the kitchen...but at least I got to eat pretty food! Anyway, anyway, the result was that using rice flour along with regular all-purpose flour gave a lighter version to the usual pajeon I make. The bit of turmeric and coconut milk added a nice Vietnamese twist. But the best part is making a Korean pajeon is much simpler than making a Vietnamese banh xeo. So this recipe gives me a bit of the taste without the hassle of trying to make a crispy thin crepe and adding the ingredients one at a time. See my recipe for kimchee pajeon (Korean kimchee pancake) with photo instructions on how to flip it. Banh Xeo-ish Pajeon? Or Pajeon-ish Banh Xeo? (Vietnamese Crepe-ish Korean Pancake? Or Korean Pancake-ish Vietnamese Crepe?) For about 4 pan-sized pancakes, you'll need: 1/2 cup rice flour 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (I prefer Chaokoh brand.) 1 can water (Fill the can with water to get out the last of the coconut milk.) As much shrimp as you'd like, shelled, deveined, and sliced in half. I used about a dozen? As much pork as you'd like, sliced into 1/2 x 2 inch strips. You can use regular pork, or daeji bulgogi (Korean spicy pork), or even bacon. 3 green onions, sliced into diagonal strips 1 cup bean sprouts, washed and drained 1 egg Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly. The batter should be about pancake consistency, add flour or water if necessary to thicken or loosen the batter if needed. In a pan on medium-high heat, add a few drizzles of sesame oil. Pour in enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with lid and let the pancake set. This should take about five minutes. Flip the pancake with a spatula, or using my method of sliding the pancake onto a plate with the uncooked side up, placing the pan on top, and upending the whole thing until the uncooked side is on the bottom. Cut into wedges. Serve with a dipping sauce of sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fried Rice with Kimchee and Spam

I had big plans after we finished eating all the meat to add rice and leftover panchan to the griddle and make kimchee fried rice ala Seol Ak San-style. Unfortunately, my rice cooker was acting up and it just wouldn't cook the rice! :( So yes, the basics for the top photo is to toss rice and leftover panchan on the griddle and mix it all up. The rice will then soak up the meat juices. Mmm. But if you're not going all out for a homemade Korean barbecue and are just hankering for some kimchee fried rice, here's my quickie version. Read my fried rice with Chinese sausage and mixed frozen vegetables for fried rice basics such as why leftover rice is best. Why Spam you ask? Did you know after the U.S. and its territories, South Korea is the world's largest consumer of Spam? This photo is just the basics, rice, kimchee, and Spam. Fried Rice with Kimchee and Spam You'll need: 2 cups of leftover rice, or make fresh rice but lower the water by about half a cup to cut down on the moisture content. 1 cup Napa cabbage kimchee 2-3 eggs, scrambled or use my scrambled egg omelet technique 1 can of Spam, cut into large chunks In a wok on high heat, add in eggs and swirl around in the wok until a thin omelet is formed and the eggs are cooked. Scrape the eggs out and set aside. Add in Spam chunks and saute until the edges are crispy. Add in rice and kimchee and saute until evenly mixed. Taste and add kimchee juices if needed, but be careful not to add too much or else it'll make the rice soggy. When the fried rice is to your liking, add the eggs back in (this is so the eggs don't become soggy) and mix thoroughly. Enjoy! My other fried rice recipes: Com Chien Toi Trung (Vietnamese Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs) Fried Rice with Apples and Cubed Beef Fried Rice with Bacon, Corn, Eggs, and Green Onions Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage, Eggs, and Lettuce Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage, Mixed Frozen Vegetables, and Eggs Fried Rice with Hot Dogs, Eggs, and Ketchup Fried Rice with Pineapples Fried Rice with Pork, Corn, and a Ladle of Ramen Broth Fried Rice Yang Chow-Style

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Soon Dubu Kimchi Chigae (Korean Soft Tofu Kimchee Stew)

This recipe is so simple it doesn't even really require a recipe. I prefer to make this when I already have a batch of either beef or pork bulgogi at the ready so that there's already seasoning. Add in the kimchee and I rarely need to add anything besides extra chili for the kick. Just toss all the ingredients together until the meat is cooked. :P

Monday, December 10, 2007

Daeji Bulgogi (Korean Spicy Pork)

Daeji Bulgogi (Korean Spicy Pork) 1
Daeji Bulgogi (Korean Spicy Pork)

2 pounds thinly sliced pork 1/4 cup soy sauce 1 tbsp sesame oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsps brown sugar 2 tbsp rice wine, or any white wine 1 tsp black pepper 2 tsp salt 1 tblsp gochujang (Korean chili paste), or more depending on taste 1 pear or apple, pureed, which acts to tenderize the meat 1 onion, sliced 2 green onions, sliced Slice the meat as thinly as possible. One trick is to put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes to half-freeze it for ease in slicing. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and add meat to marinade mixture. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. Pan-fry or grill.

Daeji Bulgogi (Korean Spicy Pork) 2
Of course, you can't eat the spicy pork bulgogi alone. Eat it with some panchan (Korean side dishes). From left to right: Soon Dubu Kimchee Chigae (Korean Soft Tofu Kimchee Soup), dubu chorim (Korean fried tofu with soy sauce), kong namul (Korean seasoned soy bean sprouts), bok choy kimchee (Korean pickled bok choy), or gaennip kimchee (Korean pickled sesame/shiso/perilla leaves). Enjoy!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Kimchee Pancake)

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Pancake) 1

Remember when I made that batch of Napa Cabbage Kimchee that I said there were several ways you could cook with it too? Cooking with kimchee is one way to salvage a batch that may be overly salted or fermented.

I like making pajeon (Korean savory pancakes) when I'm near the end of my jar because I also pour all the extra kimchee juices and make it slightly spicy. You can eat this as a meal, or cut into slices and serve it as panchan (Korean side dishes). My recipe is super-simple, so this is more about the technique I use to flip the pancake.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

Brr!!! It's been raining off and on for the past few days and the weather dipped into the 50s. The 50s folks! When did I become such a wimpy SoCal girl? :P

I was chatting online with Norwegian cousin the other day and mentioned how cold it was. I mean, I've had to put on toe socks and turn on the heat. So she offered to buy me a ticket to visit her in Norway where the temperature was -1 degree Celsius. Umm, yeah, OK, maybe we don't have it so bad after all. :P

These are the only snowflakes you'll be seeing around here!

One benefit of the weather keeping me indoors is that I've been doing a little reorganization around here. Tipped off by Oanh of Halfway to Ca Mau and Saigon, I made a nifty new label cloud. Scroll down and take a look. Do you like it? Or do you prefer the old category list? Please let me know what works for you. The cloud reduces the length of my sidebar. Although the size of each category is supposed to reflect how many postings I have, the old list had the actual number of postings. Let me know which one is more useful. Or if you don't use it at all, I'll leave the cloud since it shortens the sidebar and I like the look. :P Go here if you want to make a label cloud of your own. The directions made it quite easy to cut and paste. Thanks Phydeaux3!

I've now created sub-categories for my most popular cooking and eating out cuisines, namely Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean food. So that should make it easier for those of you who wish to scroll through either/or without having to look at both. Of course, clicking on just the ethnic cuisine tag will still show you both recipes and restaurants.