Tag Archives: recipes

picture cook

Super cute cookbook (designed and illustrated by Katie Shelly) in the form of drawings…! ^_^
{Image & video via Katie Shelly: Picture Cook}

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cod teriyaki w/ ginger scallion noodles

{Image from Pick Yin}

Here’s another great noodles recipe for you this week {from Life is Great}.

Instead of re-posting the steps on my blog (like before), I’ve decided to let you check out the original recipe {and view more photos of this dish} for yourself.

Be prepared to drool. :-)

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udon noodle soup

Happy Friday!

If you live in Seattle (or somewhere else in the world) and the weather is still soooo cold in Spring–especially in the morning, here’s a hot and comforting noodle soup recipe for you to try this weekend (serves 1):

Udon Noodle Soup w/ Shrimp & Mushrooms

a few shiitake mushrooms
a few bunashimeji mushrooms
3-5 pieces of raw shrimp, peeled
2 nappa (the leaves)
1/4 onion, sliced
cilantro, chopped
green onion, sliced
a few sprigs of shingiku (garland chrysanthemum)
1 pack of udon noodles
dashi (one 4 grams package of dashi flavors 4 cups of water for stock)
4 cups of water
1 egg, beaten (optional)
ichimi pepper flakes

1. To make the stock, add about 1 tablespoon shoyu (adds saltiness) and mirin (adds sweetness) to the water.

Note: adjust the seasoning when you’re almost done, because the vegetables will add a lot to your stock. If you like the soup stronger, use a little less water. Or a little more dashi.

2. Add the mushrooms, onions, noodles, nappa and then the shrimps to the stock.

3. When the noodles boil, you can add a beaten egg. Let the egg sit in the pot for 20 to 30 seconds before giving it a light stir.

4. Add your quick cooking greens and stir gently.

5. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then turn off the heat.

***If you want miso flavoring or a miso broth, add the miso after turning off the heat.

Miso: mix about a tablespoon of miso with a little water to make it easier to mix into the broth.

Serve in a bowl and sprinkle some ichimi pepper. Enjoy!

{Image and recipe from FOODjimoto}

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scallion & ginger noodles

Happy Friday, everyone.

If you don’t know already…I’m not much of a cook. So I ALWAYS shy away from complicated recipes/dishes with a lot of ingredients. Maybe once I move back in with my mom, she can teach me her amazing cooking skills.

If you’re looking for something to make this weekend, try this really simple recipe in 5 easy steps:

Scallion & Ginger Noodles

15 oz dried yellow noodles (cooked from package instructions)
2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp sea salt
6–8 tbsp peanut oil

1. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok until smoking and remove from the heat.
2. Add in the ginger, garlic and scallions.
3. Give the mixture a quick stir and toss in the noodles.
4. Season the noodles with soy sauce and sea salt.
5. Serve warm (with your choice of toppings–in this case, a sunny-side up egg).*

*Serves 4

{Image and recipe from Angie of seasaltwithfood}

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By the way, today is the last day to make your purchase in my shop and have 30% of the sales go towards AmeriCares to help the Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims!

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a frog legs weekend

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, probably with more sun and warmth than us folks in Seattle!

Ever since I came back from Vietnam, I feel like my weekends have been more and more unproductive {but very relaxing}. Maybe I’m just preparing myself for ANOTHER move at the end of May, which basically means there’s going to be another big change in mine and N’s lifestyle.

So I didn’t get as much done as I thought/hoped I would. I did watch a very sweet and touching Italian movie Life is Beautiful, though. The main character really moved me, and watching him brought back memories of my dad {again}. But what doesn’t nowadays? Anyway, I highly recommend this movie for everyone. :-)

I also tried cooking with frog legs (albeit the recipe I found online turned out to be a not-so-great one) over the weekend. I wanted to fry the frozen frog legs I bought from the local Asian supermarket. Unfortunately, they only come frozen around here, so that was probably the first sign telling me it wasn’t going to be as good (also considering how tricky frog {legs} meat can be).

Marinade: flour, beaten eggs, chopped green onions + garlic, salt, pepper (sit for 1 hour)

Cooking: fried in oil until brown (in this case, I should have deep-fried the legs instead so the batter is evenly coated)

Results: the meat was a little tough and the batter marinade + frying method added no flavor or crispness to the legs.

I will have to try a different recipe next time! I still love frog legs, though. And I’ll always remember the best frog legs salad I’ve ever had in Vietnam several years ago.

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parsley & pesto soba noodles

Parsley & Pesto Soba Noodles

12 oz dried soba noodles
¾ cup italian parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted (optional)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tbsp sesame oil
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp grape seed oil, or other neutral tasting oil

Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add soba noodles, stir as they soften, and bring water back up to a simmer (not a boil). Simmer for 6-7 minutes or according to package directions. Noodles should still have a slight firmness, and not be mushy. Strain soba and rinse well using the correct water temperature. If serving warm, rinse under hot water, if serving soba at room temperature, rinse under cold water.

While soba cooks, make parsley sauce. Combine parsley, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and grape seed oil in a food processor and blend ingredients together until smooth. Toss noodles with sauce and serve.*

*Serves approx. 4

NOTE: The sauce would also be great for dressing chicken, fish, or on salads. If you have raw pine nuts, to toast, heat a dry pan over medium heat, add pine nuts and toast until golden, shaking the pan frequently to help pine nuts toast evenly. Can be served at warm or at room temperature, depending on your preference. If serving warm, make sauce first.

{Image and recipe from Todd and Diane of White On Rice Couple}

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And please don’t forget to continue praying for Japan!

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rice noodle rolls w/ pork & mushrooms

If you like exploring new {noodles} recipes, try making this Vietnamese homemade rice noodle rolls. I’ve never made them because my aunt just makes them for us instead. =) And they’re so good! You can also substitute the pork filling with (minced) shrimp or other types of meat/mushrooms. My aunt usually makes the rolls with fried shallots topped with Vietnamese ham called cha lua, along with fresh herbs. Very simple, but very tasty.

This recipe comes from Luke Nguyen, an acclaimed Vietnamese-Australian chef and owner of Red Lantern in Sydney. I enjoy watching his cooking show, Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam, where he travels across the country to explore and cook local Vietnamese cuisine. He is also the co-founder of Little Lantern Foundation, a non-proft organization that helps disadvantaged and under-educated youths in central Vietnam improve their lives through vocational training programs in the restaurant, hospitality and tourism industry.

Rice Noodle Rolls Filled w/ Pork & Wood Ear Mushrooms

4 dried wood ear mushrooms
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 lb rice flour
1/4 tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 red asian shallots, diced
1/2 lb minced pork
1/2 tsp sugar
1 lb pork terrine, finely sliced
2 lebanese (short) cucumbers, sliced into batons
1 bunch fresh vietnamese mint, leaves plucked
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves plucked
1/2 lb mung bean sprouts
2 tbsp fried red asian shallots
1 cup fish sauce
2 bird’s eye chili, sliced

Put the mushrooms in a bowl, cover with water and soak for 20 minutes, then drain and slice thinly.

To make the batter, combine rice flour, tapioca flour and salt with 2 1/2 cup of cold water. Whisk until the flour dissolves and forms a smooth batter.

Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, then add 2 tbsp oil. Fry the garlic and shallots until fragrant, then add the pork, mushrooms, fish sauce, sugar, and pinch of salt and pepper. Stir-fry for 4 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Brush a round tray with oil and place beside the stove. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, and add enough oil to coat the base of the pan. Pour a small ladle-size (2 to 3 tbsp) batter into the pan, turning the pan in a circular motion to cover the base with a thin layer of batter. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 30 seconds.

Remove the lid and slide the thin noodle sheet onto your oiled tray. Scoop 1 tbsp pork mixture onto the noodle sheet, fold 2 sides in, then fold over to form a roll. Transfer to a plate. Repeat this process using the remaining batter and pork mixture, adding oil to the pan as necessary.

Top the rolls with pork terrine, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, fried shallots, and cucumber. Dress with fish sauce and serve with sliced chili.

{Image and recipe from Cooking Channel: Luke Nguyen}

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pad thai + happy friday

Happy friday, everyone!
Don’t forget to check out my shop on Etsy today!

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Yep, one of my favorite Thai dishes is pad thai. Preferably with tofu or shrimp. And 3 or 4 stars spicy–depending on the restaurant. We had some pad thai takeout the other night in Auburn, and it was actually decent + cheap. I feel like making pad thai is kind of tricky because of the noodles you’re working with and the right kind of sauce.

Well, I found a great recipe (below) that seems pretty close to the “right” pad thai you’ll get at authentic Thai restaurants. I think I’ll share this recipe with my mom as she’s been wanting to try making some at home.

Pim’s Pad Thai

vegetable oil (for frying)
12 oz. chicken (2 oz. per serving)
4 cloves (10g) minced garlic (about 1/2+ clove per serving)
sauce (see below) (about 1/4 cup per serving)
1 lb. (500g) rice noodles, soaked in warm water to soften (but not too soft)
6 eggs (1 egg per serving)
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (4-6 shrimp per serving)
1 cup (155g) ground peanuts (1-2 tbsps per serving)
3-4 cups bean sprouts (1/2 cup per serving)
1/2 cup (75g) pickled turnips, chopped (1+ tbsp per serving)
1 cup garlic chives or green onions, chopped (2 tbsps per serving)
more sprouts (garnish)
fresh limes (garnish)

1/2 cup (130g) tamarind paste
1/2 cup (120g) fish sauce
1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar
1 tbsp (9g) chili powder (to taste)

Over a low flame, heat the tamarind, fish sauce, and brown sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the chili powder a teaspoon at a time to desired spiciness. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Turn off the heat (keep sauce warm).

The key is to cook up 1-2 servings at a time! Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in wok or large frying pan over high heat.

Add 2 ounces of chicken and stir-fry until it is half cooked. Add 1-2 tablespoons of sauce, and a pinch of garlic. Stir around and add about 2 cups of loosely packed (for me, a big handful) of rice noodles plus 1/4 cup of sauce to the pan and stir vigorously until the noodles soften. If it dries out, you can add some water. Push the noodles to the side and crack an egg into the pan. Let the egg cook for 10 seconds and then toss the noodles and egg together in the pan.

Drop 4-6 shrimp, a couple of tablespoons of ground peanuts, a heaping tablespoon of turnip, and 1/2 cup of sprouts into the pan. Stir fry until the shrimp are just cooked (very fast – about a minute).

Toss in the green onions or garlic chives and remove from heat. Serve hot with more sprouts, ground peanuts, and lime wedges for garnish.

{Image and recipe above from use real butter}
{Original recipe from chez pim}

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soba salad w/ eggplant

Soba Noodles Salad w/ Roasted Eggplant
Serves 1

1 medium eggplant, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 bundle of soba noodles
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp peanut oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp clear rice wine
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Place the diced eggplant in a bowl, toss with salt and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes to leach out water and bitterness before roasting. Rinse shortly under cold water, drain and pat dry with paper towel.

2. Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the eggplant on a baking sheet and toss with some sesame oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Take the baking sheet out of the oven after 15 minutes and push around the eggplant so that they bake evenly.

3. While the eggplant is baking, heat the sesame seeds in a wide frying pan over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove them when they darken and become fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, and let them cool.

4. Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Once the noodles are cooked, rinse them under cold water and drain well. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with 1 tsp of oil to prevent noodles from sticking.

5. With a knife, mash the garlic and salt into a paste. In a small bowl, combine the garlic paste, ginger, soya sauce, sugar and rice wine and whisk until blended.

6. Add the roasted eggplant to the bowl with noodles, combine with the dressing and toasted sesame seeds. Toss well and garnish with chopped cilantro.

{Image and recipe from Šárka of Cook Your Dream}

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kimchi ramyeon

One of my blog-related goals this year is to have more posts about food at least once a week, especially of noodles dishes since I just love eating them so much.

Here’s one for this week. Enjoy!

Kimchi Ramyeon
Serves 2

for soup
3 cups tonkotsu stock
1 tablespoon Korean soy sauce for soup (국간장 – gukganjang)
1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes (고추가루 – gochugaru)
2 teaspoon Korean soybean paste (된장 – doenjang)
1 teaspoon Korean chili paste (고추장 – gochujang)
2 shiitake mushrooms sliced
2 cloves of garlic finely grated

for kimchi stir fry
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 ounces thinly sliced pork belly
1/2 cup well-fermented kimchi, chopped
2 handful bean spouts
2 teaspoons gochujang
1 teaspoon soy sauce

for black garlic oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
5 cloves of garlic grated

for serving
1 teaspoon cripsy shallots (deep fried minced shallots)
3 scallions (shredded and soaked in a large bowl of ice water for 30 minutes before being drained)
1/2 batch homemade ramen noodles

1. To make the black garlic oil, add the sesame oil into a small saucepan along with the grated garlic. Put the pan over medium low heat and let the garlic cook stirring occasionally until it is very dark brown. When the garlic is very dark, turn the heat down to low and let it cook until it is black. As soon as it hits black, turn off the heat and transfer the hot oil and garlic to a heatproof bowl. Let this mixture cool down completely. Add the cooled oil to a blender or food processor and blitz until there are no visible garlic particles left and the oil is uniformly black. It will taste burnt and slightly bitter, but this is okay as you only add a little bit to each bowl. Put it the oil in a container and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

2. To make the ramyeon soup, add the tonkotsu stock, gukganjang, gochugaru, doenjang, gochujang, shitake mushrooms and garlic into a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Aside from the mushrooms, you don’t really need cook anything in the soup, so after it comes to a simmer turn down the heat until the noodles and kimchi stir-fry are ready.

3. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil and the pork belly and fry until the pork is browned. Add the kimchi and bean sprouts and stir-fry until the bean sprouts are cooked and the kimchi is heated through. Add the gochujang and soy sauce and continue frying until the sauce has coated the kimchi and pork.

4. To serve, put a serving of cooked noodles into 2 bowls. Split the soup between the two bowl. Sprinkle each bowl of ramyeon with the crispy shallots. Top with the kimchi stir-fry. Put a mound of shredded scallions on top, and drizzle a teaspoon of black garlic oil onto each bowl. Eat immediately or the noodles will get soft.

{Image and recipe from Marc Matsumoto of No Recipes}

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Two of my favorite things to eat: tofu and noodles.

My first time frying tofu {with flour, garlic and jalapenos}. They’re similar to my salt and pepper chicken, sans the salt and pepper. Because I love tofu so much, the dish still tasted good {with or without a sauce like dashi} even though I should have shaken off the excess flour and left the pieces in the frying pan longer to make them crispier.

Next, I made chilled {wide} egg noodles tossed in sesame oil, crab, jalapenos and purple cabbage. The sauce is made from soy sauce, sugar, and chili paste. A bit too spicy because of the chili, but for a 5 minute dish, I’m satisfied!

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salt and pepper chicken wings


2 lbs chicken wings
1/4 cup of flour
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 diced jalapenos
3 cloves of diced garlic


Season the chicken wings with salt, white pepper, and black pepper. Lightly dredge in flour. If the wings aren’t seasoned enough at this stage, you can season them more after cooking.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken wings and brown on all sides. Cover the pan and let the chicken wings cook over medium low to medium heat. If the pan gets too dry add a little water. Cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the cover and begin to crisp up the chicken again. The chicken wings are fully cooked when no blood coming out of the bones, juices are clear, and the internal temperature 180 degrees F. Remove the chicken wings to a rack to keep them crispy.

Drain the fat from the pan, reserving about 1 – 2 tablespoons. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the garlic slices and cook until they start to turn a little golden. Add the diced jalapenos and saute briefly. Toss in the chicken wings. Transfer to a platter and serve. Add more pepper and salt if it needed.

Recipe courtesy of Nook & Pantry.

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almost there

Chicken drumsticks marinated two ways with: soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, rosemary, and various spices. Crab salad with homemade dressing: vinaigrette, extra virgin olive oil, and sesame oil. Thin spaghetti noodles cooked in butter, garlic, and cilantro.

Just two more weeks and I’ll be in Europe for the first time ever. The excitement didn’t last long after finding out I’ll be going over there for work. But as each week ends and a new one begins, it’s slowly bubbling up again as I get closer and closer to departure. Not to mention I will be turning 25 somewhere in mid-air between the US and Ireland..!

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Pesto pasta salad

One of my all-time favorite dishes to eat is this pesto pasta salad. It’s versatile and can be served as a side dish or a meal all its own. I usually have cucumbers, bell peppers, shrimp, cherry tomatoes, chicken,and/or onions. The pesto should be homemade as it will taste better {of course}, but since I don’t have a blender I always have to buy it at the store. I usually use rotini pasta, but that’s also up to you. Bowtie, penne, or thin spaghetti is also a good substitute.

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i love cold noodles

My own take of Hiyashi chuka {Japanese-style chilled ramen noodles served with lots of toppings}. Instead of using ramen noodles, which I didn’t have any, I improvised with thin spaghetti noodles. Not too shabby for a first attempt!


3 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili oil (optional)

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improvised spring rolls

I was craving for spring rolls last night and didn’t have all the right ingredients, so I made them with whatever I had in the in fridge anyway. The rolls weren’t as good, but my craving was satisfied after dinner.


large rice noodles
fresh cilantro
boiled shrimp
sauteed bell peppers (in oyster sauce)

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scallops with corn & scallion salad

One of my absolutely favorite seafood to eat is giant sea scallops. I can never get enough of them, and they’re just as versatile as shrimps when it comes to cooking. I found this recipe on The Hot Plate and may just give it a try this weekend.


12 large sea scallops
4 – ½ inch sliced spicy pancetta, diced
5 ears of corn
10 scallions, dark green parts sliced diagonally and set aside (leave white and light green intact)
3 tbsp chives, finely chopped
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper


1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
½ jalapeno, seeded
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey


1. Make the dressing by blitzing basil, jalapeno, lime, white wine vinegar, honey, olive oil and salt in a food processor. Tip: If you don’t have a food processor just make sure that the jalapeno is minced and that the basil is finely chopped and whisk all the ingredients together.

2. Remove scallops from fridge, layer between paper towel and return to fridge until ready to use.

3. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, to over medium-high heat. Add diced pancetta and cook until golden brown and fat has rendered, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat grill or BBQ to high heat.

4. Rub the corn and remaining white/light green scallion stems with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill corn 4 minutes per side until lightly charred and cooked, about 16 minutes total, and scallions 2 minutes per side, about 4 minutes total.

5. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and place in a medium mixing bowl with chopped dark green scallion and chives. Pour fat into a bowl and reserve. Add one tbsp pancetta fat to the skillet and heat over high until just smoking. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add the first 6 scallops and sear until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes depending on their size. Flip and continue searing until golden. Set aside on a heated plate and repeat with the remaining 6 scallops. Meanwhile, slice the corn of the cob and chop grilled scallions.

6. Add corn and scallions to the mixing bowl with the pancetta. Toss with all but 3 tbsp dressing.

7. Divide the grilled corn salad between four plates. Top with 3 scallops each, and drizzle remaining dressing over scallops. Garnish with freshly ground pepper.

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whiskers and beef

Every time I look at Link, he’s missing a whisker. As of last night, the picture below is what his face looks like: his right cheek and left eyebrow (which is hard to tell from the picture) are missing a whole lot of hair. I can’t help but laugh every time I look at him while he stares at me, probably wondering what’s going on. He won’t be attracting any female feline with this uneven facial hair, but he’s still very adorable.

My second night of getting back to cooking again. This time it’s a twist on Bo Luc Lac, which is a Vietnamese name for beef steak cubes. I marinated the beef in oyster sauce, minced garlic, salt, and ground pepper. The veggies (asparagus, onions, and bell peppers) were stir-fried with leftover sauce from the beef.

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Reflecting on the previous year, it seems as though 2009 was the fastest year of my life. Of course, at the end of every year, I tend to think that way, but really, last year deserves to be at the top of the list. It was only spring when I got engaged and shortly after that, I finally moved out and have been living happily with my fiance. Now it’s January of 2010. Though I only had those two biggest events happened, I would happily think back on other smaller ones that also took place in 2009. The year did take a bad turn and ended horribly, but we’ve made peace with that somehow. Now we wait patiently for a big U-turn down this new road to make things better again.

And as Monk would probably say for this year, it’s an even number 10. I stopped trying list resolutions for each new year, and instead, I think about the life goals I want to work on in a broader sense. I’ll always have lists of things to do tomorrow, next week, in a couple months, or by the end of the year. All those little things I accomplished will eventually bring me closer to my goals. It goes without saying that this is another year of new uncertainties, adventures, risks, mistakes, excitement, and most importantly, new memories.

                                                                               … … …

One of my favorite fish to cook and eat is Tilapia because their meat is tender and has a subtle sweet taste to it. I usually grill this fish on a shallow frying pan until it’s slightly brown to get that crispiness layer on the outside, then adding the meal with different side dishes each time, including rice. I also discovered that topping the fish off with a dab of cocktail sauce mixed with horseradish is surprisingly delicious!

Grilled Tilapia w/ Asparagus and Rice

1 tsp olive oil
a pinch of minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
ground pepper
1 tsp cocktail sauce
1 tsp cream horseradish
1/2 cup of cut asparagus
a few slices of red onions
2 stalks of green onions, cut
1 fillet of tilapia
1 cup of steamed rice

1. Cook rice in a rice cooker or steamer.
2. Sprinkle a little salt and ground pepper on both sides of the fillet before frying
3. Heat frying pan until hot, then add 1/2 olive oil
4. Cook fillet on the frying pan on medium-high heat until each side is slightly brown
5. Remove fillet from frying pan
6. Add the rest of the olive oil on the pan, along with the minced garlic
7. Saute the oil for about 30 seconds, then add asparagus and onions
8. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes
9. Put everything on the plate and add your cocktail sauce and cream horseradish.

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