Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

beet hummus recipe

Combining two power foods; beets are high in vitamins and minerals, while chickpeas are high in zinc folate and protein.  This low fat, high energy dip is great as a light lunch or mid-day snack to keep you going through out the day without making you feel tired and sleepy after munching.

2 cloves of garlic
1/2 can of chickpeas
1 small beet
1/3 eggplant
1/3 red pepper
1.5 tbsp. lime juice
olive oil
chopped parsley
sea salt

Roast vegetables at 400 c until tender.  In a food processor, blend garlic, chick peas, eggplant and red pepper.  Slowly add olive oil through out the process and blend until smooth.  Add parsley, sea salt, and lime juice and pulse a few times.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sushi salad and Thai seafood salad recipe

Here's another delicious way to incorporate as much greens into your daily diet as possible.  I created this recipe out of my love for sushi and what's available in the fridge; mostly salad boxes.  What's great about this dish is you can still have the same satisfying flavours you love from eating sushi.  Only half of it is carbohydrates, so it will keep you full while the other half is raw green veg so it is lighter on calories and high in vitamins and nutrients.  Shiso, which can be found at Korean or Japanese grocery stores, is a great ingredient to use as it gives a pleasant minty kick .  You can pretty much tweak it and get creative by adding pretty much anything you want.  

1/2 cup cooked Japanese rice
6 large prawns
2 cups organic baby kale and arugula 
1/3 cup finely sliced onion
5 shiso leaves, finely chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 tbsp. tobiko (fish roe)
sesame seeds

2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. shoyu 
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
Japanese mayonaise 
toasted nori

Season rice with 2 tbsp. rice vinegar and 1 tsp. salt.  Poach prawn and cut into halves. In a separate bowl, combine kale, arugula, shiso, avocado, onion and add dressing to the salad.  Add rice and shrimp and mix the ingredients well.  You can opt out of drizzling yummy Japanese mayo on top as it is off the chart in calories.  As for me, it makes life wonderful so I used it.  Top with tobiko and sesame seeds.  If you have nori, that's a bonus.  It's like eating an unassembled maki.   Mix everything together again before and enjoy!

Thai seafood salad is very similar to a ceviche; acidic, heavy with herbs and raw ingredients, and the main focus is on showcasing the natural flavours.  Again, it's very low on carbs but can be satisfying and filling. Because of its zesty and refreshing characteristics, this dish would also make a great  as a summer dish.
1 tilapia fillet
4 large prawns
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp. chopped green onion
2 tbsp. cilantro
1/4 cup mint
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. sugar

Poach tilapia and shrimp for several minutes until cooked.  Careful not to overcook! Cut into bite sizes and plate.  Top seafood with herbs. In a small bowl, combine minced garlic, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar.  Season to taste.  Add red chilies if you want to make the dish even more exciting.  Drizzle sauce over the salad and serve.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Khao Tung Na Tung (minced pork and shrimp dip) recipe

Khao Tung Na Tung is one of the tastiest Thai appetizer in the realm of Thai cuisine (in my opinion).  Khao Tung refers to the deep fried rice crackers.  Na Tung is a part of the name that doesn't make any sense on its own. Literally, it means 'face up'.  Altogether, the name refers to a dip made with coconut milk simmered with spices, ground pork, shrimp and peanut served with fried rice crackers.   It's a harmony of savoury, coconut-peanutty flavour with a note of sweetness.  I've been so fond of the flavours and deprived from it that every single time I go back to Thailand, this dish was a must at every single Thai restaurant I visited.  I don't know why I never thought about learning how to make it until this very moment.  I guess because I thought the flavours were too complex that I'd ever be able to achieve it.  But one spontaneous night, I tried making it, and it was successful.  It didn't take me all night either.  The prep time was only 15 mins and cooking time was about less than half and hour.  I cheated with the rice cakes and bought packaged ones from Yaohan.  But that just made my life a whole lot easier.  The whole thing came together nicely as a dish.  So, if it was simple enough for me to freestyle my way through, it's only right I share the recipe of this wonderful dish everyone.

1 tbsp. finely minced garlic
1 dried chili
1 tbsp. coriander roots
1 tsp. black pepper
1 3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup ground pork
1/2 cup minced shrimp
1/4 cup ground peanut or cashew
2-3 tbsp. fish sauce
2-3 tbsp. sugar
1 shallot

Using a pestle and motar (the old school way), ground garlic, dried chili, corriander roots, black pepper into a smooth paste.  Don't have the tools? Blend the ingredients in a food processor.
Heat coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to boil.  Let simmer until the fats start to separate.  Add the mixture of spices and stir until mixed well.  Add ground pork and shrimp.  Simmer until cooked, make sure the meat doesn't clump together.  Add shallot and peanut or cashew.  Stir and let simmer.  Season with fish sauce and sugar.  It should taste savoury, nutty and a little sweet.  Once the mixture is mixed well together and it's tasting pretty good, it's ready! Turn off the heat, garnish with cilantro and serve with rice crackers.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Spinach beet salad recipe

My obsession with food comes in phases.  Last year, it was mentaiko, followed by obsessive use of truffle oil.  This summer, I'm aiming towards something a lot more healthy, beets! I love eating beets in restaurants and never tried it at home.  The sweet taste resembles corn and I just can't seem to get enough of it! Finally, I brought home 5 beets and cooked them all at once.  After eating too much junk food in the past while, it's probably a good idea to be eating a tub of beet salad tonight.  Here is a simple beet salad recipe I concocted.  It's really refreshing, low in calories yet filling and also high in nutrients as well.  

3 medium beets 
1/2 cup of grated daikon 
2 cups spinach
optional sunflower seeds or chopped nuts whichever kind you preferred 

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. raspberry vinaigrette
a pinch of hibiscus sea salt (or just regular salt)
1/2 tsp. of honey
a pinch of mixed Italian seasoning herbs

Wrap beets in foil and bake at 350 c for 1.5-2 hours until tender and cooked thoroughly.  Raw beets taste like raw potatoes blahhh..! Let cool and peel off the skin.  Julienne beets and combine with spinach and grated daikon in a salad bowl.

In a smaller bowl combine olive oil, raspberry vinegar, sea salt, honey and mixed seasoning herbs together and mix well.  Drizzle as you need and toss! Serve in a nice bowl.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lemongrass punch recipe

Today is a Thai New Year's day and I would like to share a simple, refreshing and distinctively Thai drink with you.  I have adapted this recipe from a seasonal drink from a restaurant in Thailand and it can easily be tweaked based on your liking.

So here's a short DIY:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Easy young coconut jelly recipe (วุ้นมะพร้าวอ่อน)

Taking a long vacation in Thailand gives me an opportunity to indulge in unlimited supply of fresh coconut water.  I recently fell in love with coconut jelly serves right in the shell.  It is simple, delicious, and has the natural refreshing flavour of the young coconut.  Agar powder is popular in Asian desserts and made from vegetable.  As a result, it thickens much faster and gives more crisp texture than gelatine.

1 young coconut
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp. agar powder
1 tsp. gelatin

Cut open the top part of the coconut and separate the juice into a separate pot and set at low heat.  Scrape the meat off the shell.  Add sugar, agar powder and gelatine to the liquid and gently stir.  The ingredients should be well dissolved together and has a slightly thicker consistency.  Turn off the heat and add coconut meat.  Quickly pour the mixture back into the coconut shell and let cool.  For better refreshment, chill in the refrigerator for about an hour and serve.

Ingredients available on Amazon
 Organic Gelatin Powder 1.06oz

Special Sets : Brand Telephone Agar-Agar Powder Size 50 g. Made in Thailand UFC 10% OFF Refresh Coconut Water 500 ML (order 12 for trade outer)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Luxurious, and insanely delicious mocha truffle recipe

 I don't usually crave for sweets as much as I do for deep fried food.  When I do, I usually reach for dark chocolate which has more grown-up bitter taste and not overly sweet.  In small amounts, dark chocolate can be good for your health.  Flavonoids, compounds which gives the bitter flavour can be found in dark cocoa, have anti-oxidant properties that are beneficial to the body.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a truffle making class at Sukhothai Bangkok hotel lead by executive pastry chef Laurent Ganguillet.  I have learned some useful tips when it comes to making truffles from the expert himself and would like to share some tips with you all.  Chef used couverture which is high quality chocolate, containing more cocoa butter which gives it more sheen and creamy flavour.  

Here is a recipe I got from chef.

serving 50 pieces
250 ml heavy cream 35% fat content
150 g milk couverture
250 g dark couverture 58%
8 g coffee powder

Dark couverture

Cocoa powder

  • Roughly chop 2 kinds of chocolate and put them in a mixing bowl.  
  • Put heavy cream in cooking pot and bring them to boil.
  • Remove from heat and add coffee powder, stir well until dissolved.
  • Pour half of the cream onto chocolate and, using a whisk, start to mix slowly from the centre of the bowl.  The cream will emulsify as you keep mixing. Tip: if you notice the chocolate starts to thicken too quickly, put the mixing bowl over the cream bowl on the stove with the heat off.  
  • Add the remaining cream to chocolate and stir well to obtain smooth consistency.  Voila, ganache is created!

  • Let the ganache cool and crystallize at room temperature.  This takes about 12 hours.
  • To shape the truffles, put the ganache in the piping bag and pipe dots of ganache, the size of a cherry tomato on baking paper and let set.  Tip: It's important to touche the baking paper, and pipe vertically up without moving to create a round shape.  As you can see, I struggled as it was my first time.  It was harder than it looked! You can also pipe into cylindrical shape, or use 2 spoons to shape as well. 
  • Prepare cocoa powder by spreading 2 cm layer of cocoa powder on a large tray with a rim.
  • Melt some dark chocolate to 32 c and, with the help of forks, quickly roll the truffles one by one in the melted chocolate and then in the cocoa powder  to coat them nicely.
What a gong show there
  • Let set.
  • To remove the cocoa powder, put a small amount of truffles in a large strainer, and use a baker's brush to remove excess powder.  As you can see, I didn't have either available.  
And that's it! Your mocha truffles are ready to be enjoyed.  Mine didn't turn out pretty, but they tasted amazing... The ganache was velvety smooth, rich, dark, with a slight sweetness.  Here's a nicer picture of the truffles made by the professionals instead.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No brainer korean lettuce salad (Sangchu Geotjeori) recipe

I've been feeling real heavy from frequent feasting in the past few days.  I saw a small head of lettuce sitting in the fridge looking lonely and my first reaction was, "I'm going to make you into a caesar salad." After more consideration, I was looking for something that is a bit 'lighter', as in less calories.  Then, I remember chowing down on the lettuce salad frequently served at Korean restaurants which seemed pretty simple and I decided to try making it.

The result was pretty good and quite refreshing.  It made me miss eating korean barbecue meat.  My dressing has a lot of acidity from the vinegar and I used Thai chili flakes which were really spicy.  You can adjust the amount of seasoning to suit your taste.  It was super easy to make and only took less than 10 minutes.  You don't have to be a great cook to master this so please try it out!

1/2 lettuce
1 green onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. sugar or honey
1 tsp. chili flakes
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
My sloppy julienned green onion lol @^_^@

Rince and drain lettuce, then chop into smaller pieces.  Julienne green onion length wise so they are thin and shreddy looking.  In a small bowl combine all the remaining ingredients.  Drizzle the dressing over lettuce and green onion.  It is quite strong and acidic, so you may not end up using all of it.  Mix well and serve immediately.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Simple and comforting cream of corn soup recipe

Cream of corn is probably my favourite soup ever since I was young.  French onion soup comes a close second, but I have yet to try making that.  What's not to love about cream + corn? A cup of steaming corn soup is always soothing and enjoyable at anytime, any place.  With winter creeping in and I'm always getting sick, I find myself craving cream of corn soup more and more.

I've always relied on making cream of corn soup just by opening a can of Green Giant creamed corn and add milk, which is pretty simple.  But I recently refined the process just a little bit more and here it goes...  

2.5 tbsp. butter
2.5 tbsp. flour
500 ml milk
1 can sweet corn*
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch rosemary

*note: I highly recommend using Delmonte peaches & cream corn since it gives a really nice sweet flavour in the soup.  I also ended up using half because one can had too much corn >_<. 

In a large saucepan, melt butter and slowly mix in flour to make a roux.  After a few minutes, cnce a smooth paste is formed, slowly add milk.  Bring to boil and stir until the paste is dissolved and the liquid thickens.  If you want a thicker consistency, you can add 1/2 cup of cream or more flour.  Add sweet corn, season with salt and rosemary and reduce to simmer for about 5 minutes.  Keep stirring to prevent the film from forming. 

Season with black pepper and serve!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How I made crispy salmon and risotto with random items

Last weekend during an afternoon stroll at Steveston Fisherman's Wharf, we somehow caved in to buying an unbeatable deal of $10 for 3 whole pink salmon.  These fish were massive.  What's worse, after we got home, I had no idea how to properly fillet the fish.  It was a total nightmare for me and the fish.  I mean, I'm pretty sure I wasted a lot of the meat and punctured a lot of the good parts :(
What on earth are we doing?!!

I really wanted to create something sophisticated, like crispy salmon on a bed of risotto.  I peaked in the fridge and we had mostly asian ingredients in stock.  Go figure.  I didn't want to waste more trip running to the grocery store and decided to go against the rules by creating my own version of crispy salmon and risotto.  Along with the salmon, I found the following ingredients; snow pea leaves, long grain jasmine rice, white mushrooms, garlic, Knorr cubed chicken stock, onion, butter, and half a bottle of red wine.

I started off by sautéing chopped garlic and onion together until golden brown.  Then, I threw in a cup of uncooked rice and mix everything together.  After, I threw in a "splash" of red wine.  I knew I was supposed to use white, but :) ...

...just grabbing whatever was within reach..

I let the rice simmer in the wine before adding 1 tbsp. of butter.  Afterwards, I slowly added 2 cups of diluted Knorr stock about half cup at a time.  The tedious task of churning the rice until all the liquid evaporated would keep me occupied for the next hour *wipe sweats.

At the same moment, since I'm such a multi-tasker, I saute snow pea leaves with garlic and olive oil in a separate pan before transferring it into the saucepan of risotto.  Mushrooms were also added into the mix.  After an hour and a half of cooking, I finally reached my end point when my risotto was softened with creamy starch surrounding it.  I ended things off with some shaved aged Italian cheese (I forgot the name, but its very nutty with sharp flavours) and drops of truffle oil.

Now for cooking crispy salmon fillet, it was like a walk in the park after the risotto.  I seasoned the salmon with sea salt and black pepper before searing, skin side down, at a medium heat.  Once the salmon was 2/3rd cooked, I flipped it over (guilty, I peaked before it was 2/3rd cooked).  After a few moments, I took the salmon off the stove and served it on a bed of risotto.


Despite using non traditional Italian ingredients, the dish turned out successful.  The long grain white cooked much faster and not quite as bouncy in texture as the short grain arborio rice.  However, it wasn't soggy and not a complete fail.  So you can use it ONLY if you are left with no other substitutes.  I didn't need to add any salt to the risotto as the chicken stock already had plenty.  The snow pea leaves went nicely with the risotto, sort of similar to spinach but better.  The risotto was rustic with a creamy texture.  I was surprised by how much the flavours stayed true to its Italian origin.  The salmon fillet was flakey with crispy skin and fortunately, it didn't have any of the overwhelming fishy, salmon taste.

I was quite happy with the way it turned out and my diners were also impressed, though it would be quite sometime before I recreate this dish again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Butternut squash soup recipe

Today I am sharing a simple recipe for making a hearty, velvety butternut squash soup that tastes as delicious as at the restaurants.  I think you will love the delicate and natural flavour of butternut squash that really come through in the soup.  Butternut squash is also a very nutritious fruit (I feel weird writing that, but they are because they have seeds), containing high amounts of beta-cerotene, potassium, fiber, Vitamin A, B6 and C.

1 butternut squash
1/3 julienned onion
500 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp. butter
250 ml milk
salt and pepper
olive oil or truffle oil
heavy cream or creme fraiche to garnish

Cut up butternut squash, peel and seeded.  In a large pot, melt butter and sauté onion until softened.  Add butternut squash and chicken stock.  Bring to boil until softened.  In a blender, puree the mixture together. Transfer the mixture back into the pot.  Add milk and stir the soup.  Add salt to taste.  Leave to simmer at low heat for about 20-30 minutes.  The longer you leave the soup to simmer, the more velvety smooth it becomes.  Drizzle with olive or truffle oil and cream and serve immediately.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

EGGcellent, simple, delicious egg recipes!

Good Morning, 
This weekend, I tried to expand my horizon and on a mission to train myself to create my interpretation of perfectly cooked eggs, firm white but with runny yolky centre.  I grew up eating only cooked eggs and always detested the taste and texture of runny yolk.  It would be another 15 years until my palette started to mature and really appreciate the creaminess of the egg yolk, not to mention it's jam-packed with nutrients.  The epiphany reminds me of a scene from Julie & Julia when Julie tried an egg for the first time.

Like Julie, from past experiences, my biggest downfall in cooking eggs was overcooking them and breaking the yolk.  So, I went to Gordon Ramsay for recipes and guidance on simple ways to poach eggs in hopes he won't swear at me.  

Prociutto and egg open sandwich recipe 
4 servings
4 French baguette slices
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. butter
a dash of salt
vegetable spread
spring mix salad
50 g prociutto
4 eggs

Mix butter, garlic and salt.  Spread over the bread and toast in the oven until crispy.  Spread vegetable spread on the toasts and layer with spring mix salad and prociutto slices.  

How to poach an egg
The best poached eggs I had in restaurants resembled whipped mozzarella balls.  Although the procedure of dropping an egg in boiling water is plain simple, but trying to get it to the right texture isn't.  Gordon Ramsay has a great tip on how to pach an egg like a pro and the trick is to create a whirlpool of boiling water and dropping the egg in ice water. I gotta admit that I'm no champion in scooping out delicate eggs and it took me many times to make just one that looked remotely decent.  Lay the egg on top of the prociutto and gently dab on a dollop of pesto and season with salt and pepper.  Voila! the sandwich is ready to be enjoyed.

A delicate sac of deliciousness

Eggs Florentine recipe (as adapted from Gordon Ramsay's cookbook)
I don't know how the rest feels about Gordon Ramsay, but I find his cooking tips and recipes are easy to understand and follow.  I haven't tried a lot of the recipes from his cookbook but I have other ones in mind that I'd like to explore and create my own versions.  I like the concept of shirred eggs, or baked eggs, because it is there is no other procedure to cook the egg than cracking it and put it in the oven.  The crucial point is not to overcooking the egg and taking out at the right time.  I was very happy with the result.  Everything was still in tact and the egg white was cooked, yet very soft almost pudding like, while the egg yolk still oozed out the way it was intended to.  

2 servings
2 cups spinach
2 eggs
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. creme fraiche (I settled with cream)
2-4 slices of procuitto or ham
salt and pepper

In a skillet, melt butter and saute spinach until wilted.  In 2 small baking bowls, divide the spinach evenly.  Layer with prociutto or ham. Optional, as an extra treat and added calories, I grated emmental  before finishing by cracking an egg on top.  Add a splash of cream around the egg, (or creme fraiche if you can find or make some).  Season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees.  Check up on the progress often after 10 minutes so you don't over cook the eggs!

Before the oven
Finishing result!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Meat & Bread inspired porchetta sandwich

Being at school and 2 minutes away from Meat & Bread make it very difficult to constantly not think about their famous, juicy, crispy porchetta sandwich.  While I had lost the battle with temptation a few times and ran across the street for my roast pork fix, I took the idea home to try to recreate that similar experience from my own kitchen.  Living in Richmond, finding porchetta at a specialty store is not easy.  Finding chinese barbecue meat, however, is more than convenient.  This time, I settled for the chinese version of porchetta, siew yuk, which is close enough that they may as well be siblings.  The meat is salty with bits of fat with thick, crispy skin.  The more well-known place to find crispy roast pork would be at Parker Place (I don't know the name, but there's always a line up).  This recipe takes little effort and very easy!  I'm sure the meat lovers will really enjoy this.  The resulting creation has similar savoury, crunchy, fatty texture, which would definitely satisfy your appetite.

1/2 cup roasted pork cut into smaller pieces
2 whole wheat flatbread (or any type of bread preferred), buttered
chili sauce
dijion mustard

Unless the roasted pork are fresh from the shop, you may want to pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes to make sure the skin is golden crispy.  The skin is pretty much the core of this sandwich. Toast the flatbread with buttered sides down in a skellet until golden, and set aside.  Stuff the flatbread with roasted pork, add dollops of pesto, dijion mustard, and chili sauce.  Serve with soup or a side of salad.

So simple, quick and delicious!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pep's original beachside hamburger patty recipe



My sister's hamburger patties were a hit at our last beach barbecue outing.  They were flavourful and didn't require any sauce.  Thus, it didn't take long for the whole batch to disappear.  The main concept is for the patties carry a lot of Asian flared flavors. Also, most of the patties need eggs as binding agent, but that's not Pep's style.

Ingredients (the basic bare minimum):
3 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
a dash of black pepper
3 cloves finely crushed garlic (til almost pasty)

note* Peps advises her followers to be creative with seasoning ingredients.

In a large bowl, mix all the seasoning and ground beef together.  Knead the ground beef until the the seasoning and the meat mesh together as one particle.  You won't need an egg to bind everything together.  Form patties and refrigerate overnight.

Instead of hamburger patties, these babies can also be transformed into jumbo meatballs drenched in marinara sauce, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and fresh basil.  Or Japanese hamburg style served with steamed vegetables, steak sauce and rice. Mmmm!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thai chicken curry recipe with a lot of love

Although this adapted green curry recipe may not be as refined as the previous recipe which was made from scratch, you may find this one to be less time consuming and convenient to make at anytime of day.  I much more prefer the use of dark meat over white because it absorbs more flavours and do not often become tough and rubbery if overcooked.  After gathering all the ingredients together, the rest is just throwing everything in the pot and leave to simmer.

50 g Mae Ploy green curry paste
300 g chicken (dark meat with skin and bones on)
1 can coconut milk (top creamy part separated)
1/2 cup Green Giant mixed vegetables 
1/2 cup snap peas (or any other type of vegetables)
1/4 cup sweet basil
seasoning to taste, about 1-2 tbsp. fish sauce, 1-2 tbsp. sugar

In a large pot at medium heat, saute green curry paste with chicken for 5-7 minutes (add a tbsp. of cooking oil if the chicken sticks to pot).  Add the top creamy part of the coconut milk, saute until it is completely mixed with curry paste.  Add the rest of the coconut milk and vegetables.  Bring to boil, then slowly add water.  Add sweet basil and season with fish sauce (or salt) and sugar.  Leave to simmer for at least 35-45 minutes until the fat from coconut milk starts to separate.  Remember, the longer time you leave the curry to simmer, the better it will taste!

Once the curry is ready, serve the curry with sculpted jasmine rice just to make life more interesting :)!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Enjoying spring with bukkake udon

After a long cold winter, spring has slowly made its weird here.  Still feeling a bit under the weather, my food craving lately became quite complex.  I wanted something comforting, but I wanted to steer clear of the winter-theme selections.  It's time for something new, fresh, different.