Posts tagged ‘asian’

November 25, 2010

The secret to fabulous fried rice:

Can I even call it a secret? I’ve probably only ever made fried rice twice in my life.

But I’ve eaten plenty. And I use to watch my mother make it all the time. So that counts, right?

Here’s some general tips and tricks:

  • use old left over rice. nobody likes soggy fried rice and that’s what you tend to end up with if you use fresh steamed. so you know that take out box full of hard, kernel-y left over rice you have in the back of your fridge? use it.
  • i dig a little whole in the center of the pan once i’m done frying the rice and pour the egg straight in. 1) because i’m lazy 2) because it coats the rice in lots of egg. makes for a more homogenous result.
  • do the same with green onion at the end. make a hole, add some oil, fry the minced green onion. mmm… smells good. then mix.
  • use salt instead of soy sauce. i like my flavors to come from my ingredients. not from a cup of soy sauce.
  • top with japanese sushi seasoning. this stuff is magical! i like the kind of pork sung in it.

terrible image, i know. you wanna buy me a camera?

anyway. if you don’t like it plain with just eggs and green onion (which is how my mother makes it most of the time) any sort of left over meat can be mixed in. i’m partial to salmon fried rice. i’ll even take away half your grilled salmon dinner and save it for my fried rice tomorrow and let you go hungry for the evening.

really. i will.

if you want an actual recipe, look it up online. the world wide web doesn’t need more How To’s on fried rice.

November 14, 2010

Korean Stir Fry

i had a hankering for jap chae. but seeing as i have no sweet potato noodles, a stir fry will have to do:


  • 1/2 lb sliced marbled beef*
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks of green onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 broccoli head, diced
  • 5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs  go chu jang (sweet & spicy korean chili paste)
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • beef broth

*i used half a package of hotpot beef from the chinese supermarket. super thin slices.


  1. mix soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste, pepper, and sugar in a small bowl.
  2. in a medium sized bowl, pour in half of the soy sauce mixture. dissolve cornstarch in mixture. marinate beef and set aside.
  3. wash and chop your veggies.
  4. heat vegetable oil in a hot nonstick pan (sesame oil has too low of a smoking point. i use it for its flavor and not for cooking.)
  5. brown beef quickly.  remove from pan.
  6. reheat pan. add onions and saute ~3 min. add minced garlic. (i usually from a little hole in the center of the pan, add a bit more oil, and fry the garlic until fragrant. then mix.)
  7. add broccoli and mushrooms. add enough beef broth to produce a bit of steam (1/4 cup..?), cover, reduce to medium, and steam ~3-5 min.
  8. remove cover, add carrots, stir and add more soy sauce mixture over veggies to taste.
  9. form a little hole in the center of the pan again, add a dash of oil, then fry green onions until fragrant. mix.
  10. finally, mix in beef. stir and remove from heat.
  11. sprinkle on sesame seeds and serve with rice! 
November 10, 2010

Massaman Curry!


  • 1lb beef, chuck
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 large japanese yam*
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 5+ tbs massaman curry paste (Mae Ploy)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1-2 tbs fish sauce
  • 2-3 tbs brown sugar
  • 3-5 pods cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • 0.5-1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cups beef broth

*can substitute with white potatoes (don’t use russet! will fall apart on you.) Japanese yams are not the same as Ube! They have a deep purple skin and a creamy white center. I like the subtle sweetness of the flesh and find it compliments the cinnamon/clove mixture well. these seem to cook faster than regular potatoes, so keep that in mind when substituting!


  1. preheat oven ~230F
  2. dice yams and onions into large cubes/squares. (matching the cuts of beef.)
  3. heat dutch oven, med/high. add a few tbs of vegetable oil and brown chuck on all sides. remove from pot into separate bowl.
  4. reduce heat to medium and add coconut milk (don’t want the heat too high or milk will curdle). add curry paste and mix constantly until homogenized. 2-3 minutes.
  5. return meat to pot, along with peanuts and enough broth to completely submerge the beef. keep in mind that you need enough liquid for the potatoes and onions later.
  6. add fish sauce, and other spices (i ground the cloves and cardamom in my spice grinder to a fine powder. i am way too lazy to empty out the seeds first…). tip: put spices in a small bowl, then introduce a few tbs of warm broth from the pot and dissolve until no lumps. then mix slowly back into pot.
  7. slide pot into oven, covered, for 2 hours.
  8. check: adjust to taste. too sour? add more sugar. too sweet? add more fish sauce or curry paste. etc. add more broth/water if running dry (i actually just filled the coconut milk cans with water and added that).
  9. meat by now should be at or just past the “tough” stage. a few more hours and it’ll reabsorb the moisture and get melt-in-your-mouth tender.
  10. add potatoes and onions.
  11. return to oven, covered, for another hour or two.
  12. you really cant over cook it. reheating it several times for leftovers is no problem. (:

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September 23, 2010

Veggies and Steamed Egg in a Ginger Miso Sauce

sometimes when i cook, my main intent is to create something healthy and not tasty. this is not to say that i try to make it taste bAD… i just don’t try very hard to impart any particular flavor.

anyway. these are meals created out of necessity:  i just need something to eat for dinner, and living alone, without anyone to impress, i might as well make something quick, easy, and healthy. you cut back some oil here, some butter there, and the meal just isn’t going to be the same as if you prioritized taste over health.

or so i thought.

i know “good for you” and “tastes good” aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but when i don’t inTEND to create something particularly yummy and it turns OUT yummy, i find it is my duty to share it. 😀


  • 1 med head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, julienne
  • 3/4 pack of extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 green onion, chopped finely
  • soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 slice of ginger, julienne
  • 1 pack of dry miso soup mix (i had no miso paste and compromised)
  • chicken broth


  1. cube, dry, and marinate tofu in soy sauce.
  2. chop up veggies, set aside.
  3. lightly fry tofu in large nonstick pan/wok until golden brown. set aside.
  4. re-heat pan, saute garlic in a little bit of oil until fragrant.
  5. add in, mix, and saute veggies in following order: carrots, onions, broccoli.
  6. pour 1/2 cup of broth, toss in ginger, half a pack of miso powder, mix and cover. steam for 5 min.
  7. in a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs, mix in green onion and rest of the pack of miso powder.
  8. remove cover on veggies, salt to taste if needed, then pour in eggs on top. replace cover and steam until eggs are done (~3 min)
  9. remove from heat and serve!

edit: It wasn’t until after i finished consuming this concoction that i realized i drew my inspiration from a certain meal i had at Souen, an organic/microbiotic restaurant in NYC. look it up! good eats.

September 20, 2010

Pork Liver Stir Fry

I swear I’m becoming more domestic everyday.

And more absent minded as well, so it seems.

After reheating something in the microwave the other day, I set the plastic cover thing on the stove top, forgetting that I had just usED said stove top. Midway through eating my dinner the smell of burning plastic finally got my attention. Luckily enough I remembered a tip I read somewhere long ago that flash freezing melting plastic will pop it right off the hot surface. Dumped a bowl of ice cubes on it and voila! whaddya know. some sizzling, some popping, and a sheet of plastic really did just pop right off.

Go me.

now back to dinner.

my doctor says i’m anemic and need to eat more liver.  a good reason to stop putting off learning how to cook this gastronomical delight of an organ, no? (yea yea. some of you may disagree, but liver is AWESOME.)


  • 1 pork liver
  • 1 med zucchini, sliced
  • 1 med carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 med yellow onion, sliced flat
  • ginger, julienne
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 capfuls of rice wine
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • hoisin sauce
  • black pepper (optional)


  1. cut liver into thin, even slices
  2. dissolve corn starch in rice wine, soy sauce. add liver and ginger. set aside to marinate.
  3. heat wok or a large nonstick pan, add oil, fry garlic until fragrant.
  4. add carrots, saute 1-2 min, then add onions and zucchini. squeeze in some hoisin sauce and continue cooking until almost soft. empty into a bowl and set aside.
  5. reheat wok. add liver, quick sear until no longer pink. reintroduce veggies into pan. add more soy sauce (or hoisin if you prefer a sweeter taste) if needed, mix evenly until liver cooked through. remove and serve with rice (although i find veggies are a tastier and healthier alternative.) 
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September 18, 2010

Chicken Curry Noodles

I’m not normally one to brag, but man. i totally rocked this one. adapted from this awesome site.


  • 1 lb chicken, cubed
  • 1 med sweet yellow onion
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup flour (i used oat flour)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 five oz can coconut milk
  • 2 servings of noodles (i used korean egg noodles. chewier.)
  • 2 limes
  • 2 hard boiled eggs


  1. mix soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, tumeric, paprika and coat chicken evenly. set aside
  2. saute onions in 3 quart pot until soft and translucent. *
  3. add chicken, stir and cook until pink not visible.
  4. add coconut milk and broth, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer ~15 min
  5. spoon some hot broth into bowl of flour, mix until pasty consistency, then slowly incorporate it back into the pot. bring up to med heat and cook ~10 until soup thickens. reduce to simmer once thick.
  6. while waiting for the soup to thicken, bring another pot of water to a boil, cook noodles per instructions
  7. place noodles in serving bowls, top with soup, a squeeze of fresh lime, and a hard boiled egg. serve!

*i find adding a bit of broth quickens this process.

August 29, 2010

Basil Eggplant Tofu Stir Fry – Take II

i’ve forgotten how complicated making chinese food is.

due to the limitations of Juanfi’s kitchen, i traded my usual stir fry dinners this summer for western fare. less grease and smoke produced, and much less counter/prep space needed.

just to ease my way back in to chinese cooking, i re-attempted one of my previous creations:


  1. 1 large eggplant
  2. 1 pack firm tofu
  3. 1/2 large bell pepper (1/4 red + 1/4 yellow = pretty dish)
  4. 3 tbs minced garlic
  5. hoisen sauce
  6. soy sauce
  7. 1 tbs garlic chili sauce
  8. sesame oil
  9. regular cooking oil (lower smoking point. use this for frying.)
  10. large batch of basil leaves
  11. chicken stock


  1. drain and halve tofu block to 2 flat rectangles. press between paper towels, 2 on top and 2 on bottom. drained tofu soaks up marinade like a SPONGE, so says alton brown. (this really worked!)
  2. marinade in soy sauce, garlic, whatever pleases you. set aside.
  3. chop eggplant into same size squares as tofu.
  4. mince garlic.
  5. de-stem basil


  1. heat wok/large non-stick pan ’til smokin’ hot. add lots of vegetable oil. fry tofu until browned.
  2. remove tofu and set on paper towel lined rack to drain. drain pan of most of the oil, leaving only enough oil to stir fry the rest of the ingredients.
  3. heat pan again. add minced garlic and stir fry until fragrant.
  4. dump in eggplant, stir a few times, pour in half a cup or so of chicken stock (just enough to cover bottom of the pan) and cover for a few minutes until eggplant is soft.
  5. remove cover and add bell peppers (i dont like my bell peppers soggy so i add them at the end)
  6. squeeze in hoisen sauce (in circular motion around pan, 3x), and 1 tbs chili sauce. 1 tbs sesame oil, stir to distribute.
  7. add basil, stir fry until liquid is absorbed and basil looks cooked. (add more chicken stock if too dry and basil not cooking)
  8. serve.
July 22, 2010

Sesame Peanut Pasta 涼麵

no pics today. sleepy. just jotting down recipe so i remember it. not copied from any one source. this is from much research and compiling many recipes to suit own tastes.



  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra crunchy PB
  • 3 tbs soy sauce (or about one part soy sauce, 3 parts PB)
  • 2 tbs tahini paste
  • 2 -3 tbs agave nectar (thinner, blends better than honey)
  • 1 tbs chinese vinegar (or other vinegar. not balsamic)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, roasted in toaster oven and minced (raw = too sharp)
  • 1 chili pepper (seeds)


  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb chicken thigh
  • 1 batch (3 cm diameter?) linguini (i like spinach!)
  • 1/2 small cucumber, sliced thin
  • equal amounts of carrots (4 baby carrots), julienne
  • 1 green onion stalk, sliced thin
  • other option for toppings: eggs, beaten, pan fried as thin omelet, then slice into strips


  1. cut chicken into strips (easier if still slightly frozen)
  2. boil 1 inch of stock in pot, put chicken in, simmer.
  3. set aside when cooked.
  4. mix all ingredients for sauce
  5. add 1-2 tbs hot stock to melt/blend ingredients.
  6. cook pasta in salted water. drain, toss in ice cubes to cool to room temp.
  7. add chicken pieces and sliced cucumber + carrots, etc
  8. mix with sauce
  9. top with handful of green onions.
  10. serve room temp.