Friday, December 30, 2011

Hard-Boiled Eggs and Cucumber Salad with Thai Spicy ginger dressing

Since I have these entire ingredients already store in my fridge, it's easy for me to come up with the idea of making this salad with Thai spicy ginger dressing for a little C- booster pure over hard-boiled eggs for a little pick-me-up protein at this moment.  It’s perfect for a quick lunch and more fun than a usual lettuce and tomato salad with a dressing from a bottle.   This salad is so easy to make as long as you have all the ingredients in hand.   So, try it and have a little fun. It's so healthy!

What you need:
2 eggs hard boiled – cut into quarters
1-2 small Persian cucumber
1 medium tomato
1 small carrot shredded

For dressing:

2 small shallots finely chopped or red onion
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp palm sugar or sugar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 small chilies finely chopped
mix them all together and pure over eggs and cucumbers. Walla!

It would be more perfect with a glass of Thai Iced Tea Limenade aside!



Monday, December 12, 2011

Udon Noodles w/Shrimp and Veggies in Ginger Broth Soup

          I can actually say…this is the easiest dish that anyone can make - no fuss but a big rewarding, especially when you make it in the cold day.  It’s light yet comfy.  It’s simple and effortless yet so healthy. It’s a kind of dish that you can show off to someone that you are a real master chef when it comes to cooking.  No kidding, right?  All the ingredients I used for this soup can be substitute with whatever you like or as your convenient, no sweat please!  As of Udon noodles that I used, you can use egg noodles or even Linguini pasta if that you’d prefer.  And if you don't like or cannot eat shrimp or shellfish, use chicken or go meatless!  For Kabocha squash, again you can use butter squash or just skip it.  But I’m not recommended of skipping it because it will give your dish a pretty yellowish color, and more importantly, it’s good for you.  For the mushrooms, use any kinds you like.  And the daikon radish, well….you can skip it...what can I say...there’s no big deal if it’s inconvenient for you. But you can find it at most of Asian supermarket everywhere.  However, the real secret of this soup is  actually the ginger in the broth that gives you a distinctive taste of warm spice that will cozy you up in the cold day instantly!   It's perfect for those who are being sick causes by a bad weather or seasonal changes. It's the dish that you should be eating to get rid of the cold and to boost your soul up a little.   The truth is are always want to treat you body nice.  But remember to treat your soul nicer!

What you need: 3-4 servings

2 qt.  Vegetable stock or water

½ cup light soy sauce

¼ cup fresh ginger julienned

- 2 packages Japanese Udon noodles

-1 lb. medium shrimps cleaned and devein

- 1 cup kabocha squash cut into 1 in. pieces as pictured

- 1 cup mushrooms – any kind that you like

- 1 cup baby spinach

- 1 medium daikon radish cut into the bite size or as pictured

- White pepper powder or black pepper…doesn’t matter

How to:

1.  Add the first three ingredients into the pot over medium high heat.

2.  When it comes to the boiling, add kabocha squash and daikon radish and let them cook for 3 minutes. 

3.  Add mushrooms, shrimps and cook for 3 minutes.

4.  Add udon noodle and spinach, cook for another 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and add white pepper powder before serving. 


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chicken and Egg Stew in Chinese Five-Spice

The weather in L.A. is getting colder in December and what would be more perfect than a bowl of a comfy heart healthy soup like chicken stew.  For this dish, I adapted its recipe from Thai-Chinese cooking using Chinese five-spice that creates an earthy flavor and those spices can give a heat power that will help warm up our body in the cold weather instantly.  However, there are many steps involved in cooking this stew, but there also an easy way to do it with less hassle. Just like I say, "keep it simple."  And I promised after you have done this once, you will want to make it again and again and again. 

What you need:

1 qt – water
2 tbsp – Chinese five-spice blend powder or so called “Pa-loh”
8 pieces – chicken legs or tight or wing whichever you preferred
4 eggs – hard boiled
2 tbsp – sweet dark soy sauce or black soy sauce for the color
2 tbsp – soy sauce
1 tbsp – brown sugar
1 small chopped onion
1 bunch chopped cilantro leaves and save the stem bottom part and cut it in 2 inches length.
**roasted garlic and white pepper powder
**Blanched Chinese broccoli or broccoli or cabbage whatever you like
**Cooked spinach noodles or rice noodle or jasmine rice

How to:

1.  Put Chinese five-spice blend powder into chicken legs and set it aside for 2 minutes.
2.  Water into the pot over medium to high heat.  When it comes to boiling, add chicken legs and   cook for about 7 minutes. 
3.  Low the heat to medium and add sweet dark soy sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, chopped onions, cilantro stems, and hard boiled eggs.
4.  Let it continues cooking in the low to medium heat for about 25 minutes with lid half covered.  But it has to be checking continuously to prevent it’s boiling over.
5.  Serve this chicken stew over spinach noodles – like I did – or serve it soup less over cooked brown Jasmine rice for healthier version if you prefer and garnish with roasted garlic and chopped cilantro.
I hope you enjoy it like I do!  ^___^

Monday, December 5, 2011

Salmon Croquettes and simple Thai cucumber salad

           I have to admit that this is my first time making Salmon Croquettes.  All of the recipes I have seen ,and been looking and searching, most of them have include melted butter and mayonnaise that help, for my understanding, keep the fish moist after frying.  But I don’t really want either butter or mayonnaise which I believe the fish cake would turn out too soggy inside.  So I skipped like a smart ars girl who knows it all!  But hey! The finishing product was surprisingly good especially having them with Thai cucumber salad with the crunchy of crushed peanut that it is usually served with Spicy Thai fish cake in Thai restaurants.  Hmmm… I think I might make Spicy Thai fish cake next time.  But instead of serving with Thai cucumber salad, I think I will serve it with mango salsa to spice it up even more.  What do you think? 

What you need: making 5 patties

1 cup cooked Red Salmon
1 egg
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbs. red onion chopped
2 tbs. mashed garbanzo beans
2 tbs. chopped red bell peppers
¼ cups chopped parsley
2 tbs. lemon juice
Canola oil for frying

How to:

1.  Put all the ingredients, except canola oil, into a bowl and mix well.  Form the fish mixture in small patties and let the entire ingredient to communicate to each other and chill out in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  
2.  Put about 4 tablespoon into the pan over medium high heat. When the oil starts to get a drizzle effect, carefully place the patties and fry until the patties turn to crispy golden brown.

For cucumber salad: 
2 medium pickling cucumber cut in half and slice
3 small shallots finely chopped
¼ cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Chopped cilantro
¼ cup of crushed roasted peanuts  
- Combine rice or white vinegar with water and sugar and cook in low heat for a few minute or until sugar is dissolved then set aside to let it cool down a bit. 
- Combine cucumber, shallots, and cilantro into a bowl and pour vinegar mixture over and stir.  Sprinkle crushed roasted peanuts before serving.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Shrimps and Asparagus Stir-Fly in Red Chili Paste

Red chili paste is widely used in Thai food such as red curry soup, fish cake, or for quick stir-fry.  The ingredients of basic red chili paste include red chilies, garlic, shallots, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, and a pinch of sea salt.  I remember helping my dad pounding chili paste with a granite mortar and pestle that was so heavy for a 9 years old girl while he was preparing meat and telling me all the techniques I should know about cooking with chili paste, or sometimes just stories of what was happening at his sugarcane plantation.  And I'm not joking, he cooked with chili paste a lot! I guessed he liked spicy food and that how I get that from. I love spicy food, too.  But since I moved to the U.S,, I found myself a little difficult to find all the ingredients I need to make chili paste especially kaffir lime leaf and fresh galangal.  It takes me for a while to find out where I can find what I need.  Therefore, I don't have a heavy mortar and pestle with me so I use a food processor to make chili paste...huh..easy does it!

This quick and easy dish can be served as a one dish fast food for both at lunch time and dinner.  If you have all the ingredient ready, it only takes about 10 minute to make. 

Shrimps and Asparagus stir-fry in Red Curry Paste over jasmine rice

What you need: 2-3 servings
1 lb. fresh shrimps
1 bunch asparagus
1 tbsp chili paste
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 medium chopped red bell pepper
2 leaves finely chopped kaffir lime leaf or if it unavailable you can just use basil leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
- canola oil for cooking
- cooked jasmine rice

How to:
- Add about 3 tbsp canola oil into a wok in medium to high heat.  when the oil is getting hot, add chili paste and stir it all around quickly.
- Add shrimps and onion stir for about 5-7 minutes and then add asparagus and red bell pepper, stir.
- Add sugar and fish sauce and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked through.  If the wok gets too dry, add a little bit of water, a few tablespoon at a time.
- Turn off the heat and add kaffir lime leaf or chopped basil leaves at the end
- Serve immediately over cooked jasmine rice.

Enjoy!    ^__^

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stir-Fry ground chicken with mushroom and bell pepper...

I came home from work one day, late and hungry! So, I went straight to the fridge to check out for something I could make. I saw a package of ground chicken!  Hmmmm....what sounds good?  And here I go, let's make stir fry chicken over jasmine rice.  It's a one dish dinner (or sometimes for lunch) that quick and easy yet so simple to make. 
Chopping and cooking time is just about 20 minutes, yep! That's it!

What you need for 2-3 servings: 
1 lb/package ground chicken
1 medium yellow bell pepper-sliced
2 medium jalapenos-sliced
1 small onion-sliced
2 cloves of garlic-minced
1 cup chopped mushrooms - I used Shimeji mushrooms
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp canola oil
chopped green onion or scallion and thin sliced ginger
with a pan over medium-high heat, add oil, garlic, chopped onion and stir a bit until fragrant.  Add ground chicken and stir.  Add sliced bell pepper, jalapenos, mushroom, ginger and oyster sauce, sugar and stir all the ingredients together to cook through.  Turn off the heat and add chopped scallion and you are done!
served over Jasmine rice or brown rice and add some green like blanched broccoli if you like.  




Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winter Melon with Salmon Curry

One of my colleagues at work brought a small Winter Melon to show me and was saying that his (Asian) neighbor gave him but he didn’t know what it was.  I told him of how he can cook with Winter Melon – It can be stir-fry or make soup.  But seems like he wasn’t sure or he’s just simply not convinced about what I’ve told him!  So, he gave it to me, and of course, I am pretty much familiar to Winter Melon and know exactly what to do with it. And here is the result.  Quick and easy – nothing is complicated.

Winter Melon with Salmon Curry
Winter melon cut in chunk
Salmon cut in pieces
2 tbsp Red Curry paste
1 8oz can coconut milk
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 medium jalapeno chili sliced and Thai Basil

1. Pour half a can of coconut milk into the wok or pot or pan – or whatever you have – on the medium heat.
2. When coconut milk start the bubbles, add red curry paste, stir and mix well together
3. Add the rest of coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients, except Thai basil
4. Cover the wok or pot or pan but stir occasionally to prevent the bottom getting burn.
It will take about 5-7 minutes until everything is cooked well.  Turn off the heat and add Thai basil.  Serve on top of white or brown rice or noodles as your desire. 


Friday, November 11, 2011

Lucky Rice Soup on 11.11.11

It's 11.11.11 and it's supposed to be a lucky date, day, and year - whatever it is, I just go with the flow!  So, I woke up with the feeling lucky(yeah right!) and this rice soup is the result.  Here is the simple recipe that you too and make it easily,  Nothing is complicated!

For 3-4 serving-depends on how hungre you are

1 1/2 cups leftover cooked Jasmine rice
1 cup ground turkey or Jimmy Dean's sausage
3 cans chicken stock
1 cup cabbage slice
1 cup carrots chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 cup mushroom chopped
3 tablespoons thinly slice fresh ginger
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
*white pepper powder
*chopped cilantro or green onion, eggs(optional) 
 *toasted garlic(optional)

1. Put chicken stock, chopped carrots, chopped celery into the pot on the medium-high heat.  When it's boiling, add the ground turkey by making it a little bite size.  Then add soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. However, if you used  the Jimmy Dean sausage, be careful about the saltiness before adding soy sauce and salt because Jimmy Dean sausage has already been seasoning.
2.  Add cooked rice, ginger, and mushroom and let it continues to cook for about 3-5 minutes.
3. Add chopped cilantro or green onion and turn off the heat - and you done!
Serve with toasted garlic on top!  add poached egg if you like.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's have a cuppa tea....

Since this is my first post, I will have to think about what is coming up for my next post.  Let's have a cup of hot green tea, sitback, and relax. 
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