Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jung (Sticky Rice)

My mom taught me how to do this recipe, over 25 years ago, so this is a tribute to you, Mom! It took me all day, but I was so excited and so proud that I could do this, remembering back from my childhood, and trying to do it just like Mom did.

Vietnamese or Thailand Sticky Rice
Bamboo leaves
Chinese sausage
Red beans
Black eye peas
Dry shitake mushroom
Green onions
Chinese 5 spice
Vegetable oil
Strings (for tying)
It takes some practise to get this done. However, it is fun to make Jung with friends, neighbours and family members. Will show it on my video.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Catfish's Meow

Interestingly enough, I guess since I'm the leftover makeover, out of 4 dishes that I served at a party, the one that I turned into a Leftover Makeover was the biggest hit of all. They had some leftover catfish, and I know that when catfish is made right, it can be very good. Try this recipe, and you will have your guests meowing for more!

4-5 Fillet Catfish (any kind of fish if fine)
Half Carrots (juliened)
2 stalk Green onions (chopped)
1 teaspoon Hot Sauce or Sri Racha
2 tablespoon Fish sauce
2 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Water
1 teaspoon smashed garlic
1/2 Onions (sliced)
Salt and Pepper
1. Heat the non-stick saucepan with 3-4 tablespoon Vegetable oil, medium to high heat.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on to the fish and then seared half cook (want to get the little crust)
3. Take out the half done fish.
4. Add sliced onions and carrots, caramelised it, then add garlic.
5. Add fish sauce, rice vinegar, water, hot sauce and sugar, reduce this sauce. (taste it first)
(Tips: if too sour, add sugar and if too sweet, add vinegar and water. If too salty, add sugar, vinegar and water)
6. Add back the fish and green onions, to mix with the reduced sauce.
7. Eat with steam rice.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tofu Curry

Again, you see I'm doing a curry. A curry can be with anything: meat, chicken, vegetables. This time, since I was serving with other meat dishes, I balanced it out with a vegetarian curry.

1 can Coconut Milk
2 tablespoon Yellow Curry Paste (Thailand)
1/2 cup Chopped Onions
2 stalks smashed lemongrass
1 tablespoon Fish sauce
2 tablespoon Vegetable oil
Salt and Sugar to taste
1 packet Soft Tofu (cut into cubes)
1 bunch Asparagus
1 zuchini (cut into cubes)
few Cherry tomatoes (cut halves)
1. Use a 8" pot or bigger to cook this curry and put medium heat.
2. Caramelised the chopped onions with the vegetable oil.
3. Add in curry paste and lemon grass together, stir fried a little until the oil changes its color to yellow.
4. Add zuchini, asparagus and tomatoes. Stir for a minute or two.
5. Add in the coconut milk, fish sauce and tofu. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add salt and sugar to taste, should be a little sweeter side but maintain the creaminess of the coconut milk. Garnish with cilantro.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

5 Spice Chicken

I was making a 4 course dinner at our friend Carmen's house. 5 spice chicken is a common asian dish I've made. It's always good to have a mainstay, something you've made many times before for a party, something you can count on, that you know will be good. Then make a few new dishes, so you can be creative and keep pushing yourself. This way, you know there will be something good and something different.

6 pcs Chicken thigh
2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice (can get at the Asian market)
3 tablespoon Regular Soy sauce
2 tablespoon Sake or wine
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoon Sugar
1. Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients for 1 hour or 2
2. Arrange on a rack and let it air dry a little (30 minutes at least)
3. Pop it in the oven of 350-400 F, at least 35 minutes. Check regularly.
4. Remember to keep the marinade (sauce). To make it, reduce the sauce on a pan at medium heat. Add some crushed peppers or adobo sauce or chilli sauce for a kick.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Citrus Cabbage Salad

Again, balance out two different tastes. I wanted to add sour to a cabbage salad with lemon, so then add sugar to balance it out.

4 lemons

Lemon Rind







Soon to come

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spicing Up Anything

Adding something to a store bought food makes it your dish. In this case, I was at our friend Carmen's house in seattle. She had bought some salmon pate that was very good, but I wanted to add to it, so I added:

Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Salt

1 tsp Crushed Peppercorn

a few stalks chopped Cilantro

a few stalks chopped Parsley

- I brushed the olive oil over some crostini

- Toasted the Crostini in the oven

- Then added the salt, peppercorn, cilantro and parsley to the pate

- Spread the mixture over the toasted crostini

Done! Serve this at a party and you've saved yourself a ton of time.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kumquat Salmon

Don't be afraid to mix fruits with seafood. It is a delicious way to make boring salmon become a show stopper. With this recipe, I used both pineapples and kumquats, for a healthy unique meal.





Balsamic Vinegar




Soon to come

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pineapple Curry

Curry's quickly becoming my new favorite cuisine. You can do anything you want with it. I mean without using Coconut Milk. This time I wanted to make it a little sweeter, with pineapple. The pineapple balanced out the shrimp perfectly. Also to use the old peanuts you have in the closet. Try to roast them in the oven again before use. I actually used the pineapple which has been sitting at the table for awhile. Or you have leftover cut pineapple in a container in the fridge.

6-7 Shrimps (shelled)
1 cup Pineapple (cubed)
1 teaspoon smashed garlic
2 Tablespoon Red curry paste (Thailand)
2-3 cups Water (depends on how dilute you want your curry to be)
1/2 cup Crushed peanuts
3 tablespoon Vegetable oil
Salt and sugar to taste
1. Heat a pot with vegetable oil at medium heat.
2. Add garlic and curry paste together, stir for few seconds.
3. Add water and pineapple and boil it for 2 minutes.
4. Salt and sugar to taste.
5. Add in the shrimps and crushed peanuts. Cook for 1 minute.
6. Good to eat with Basmati rice.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Homemade Beignnet

It was great going to New Orleans and trying the Creole and Cajun food. Everyone told me I had to go to Cafe Du Monde and have a beignnet and a cup of coffee. I thought, first of all, that it was very interesting, that it wasn't New Orleans natives that were working in the restaurant, actually everyone was Vietnamese. The beignnet was fluffy and full of powdered sugar. I knew instantly I could make my own. So this is my version:


Phyllo dough

Coconut flakes

Brown sugar

Powdered sugar

This is very simple very easy, so when you want a little taste of New Orleans, make a batch of these.