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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Vietnamese Noodles with Pork and Shrimp (Mì Quảng)

Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Mì Quảng - Quảng Style Noodle with Pork and Shrimp

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Make the noodles

1 package Mì Quảng noodles
8 cups water

For this recipe, you can either use Mì Quảng noodles but if you cannot find these noodles, you can make your own by cooking flat rice noodles and cook it with 1 teaspoon of turmeric. To cook the Mì Quảng noodles, turn your stove on high heat and bring the water to a boil. Then add in the noodles and cook them according to the directions on the package. Finally rinse and drain the noodles and set them aside.

Step 2: Prepare pork & shrimp

1 pound sliced pork shoulder
½ pound deveined shrimp
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced onion
2 tablespoons Mì Quảng seasoning
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon paprika

In a bowl, add ½ teaspoon of garlic, ½ teaspoon of onion, Mì Quảng seasoning, salt, pepper, fish sauce, and pork and mix them up. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Next turn your stove on medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil to a large pan. When the oil gets hot, add in the onions and garlic and cook them until fragrant. Then add in the marinated pork and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through. Pour it on a plate and set it aside.

Using the same pan your sautéed the pork in, add 1 tablespoon of oil, turn your stove on medium heat, and pour in the shrimp and paprika in the pan. Toss the shrimp and paprika together for about 2 minutes or until fully cooked. Then remove it from the heat and set it aside.

***If you do not have Mì Quảng seasoning, mix 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons sugar.

Step 3: Cook the broth

7 cups chicken broth
¼ cup dried shrimp
7 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
2 ounces rock sugar

Add all of the ingredients in this step to a large pot and turn your stove on high heat. Then cover the pot with a lid and allow the broth to come to a boil. Once it is boiling add the pork and then turn the stove down to medium. Allow the broth to simmer for about 10 minutes and then add in the shrimp. Finally cook the broth for an additional 2-3 minutes until the broth turns into a red color.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

Bean sprouts
Perilla leaves
Mint leaves
Lime wedges
Chopped cilantro
Thinly sliced green onions
Crushed roasted peanuts
Black sesame rice crackers

Break up the rice crackers and microwave them for 30 seconds to 1 minute until they puff up. To assemble the dish, add the cooked noodles into a serving bowl. Then place the shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and herbs on top of the noodles. Next pour in the broth and top everything with crushed peanuts, green onions and some rice crackers. Before eating squeeze in some lime juice.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tiramisu Cupcakes for Christmas!


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Tiramisu Cupcakes

Estimated Servings: 12 cupcakes

Step 1: Prepare the cream

4 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
¼ teaspoon dark rum

Add egg yolks and sugar in a mixer, turn it to a high setting, and mix it for 5-6 minutes or until creamy. Then turn off the mixer and add in the mascarpone cheese and then turn it back on medium speed and mix for about a minute or until well blended. Next, add in the vanilla extract and rum and mix for about 3-4 minutes or until well incorporated. Finally refrigerate this mixture for 6 hours to overnight.

Step 2: Bake the cupcakes

1 package white cake mix
3 egg whites
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place cupcake liners into muffin tin and then preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Next pour the cake mix into a sifter and sift it into a bowl. Then pour in the egg whites, water, oil, and cake mix into a mixer. Turn the mixer on low speed and mix everything for about 4-5 minutes or until mixture is smooth. Then pour this mixture into the cupcake liners ¾ full. Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes or until they puff up and are golden brown on top. To make sure they are baked completely, poke a toothpick in the center of a cupcake and if it comes out clean, then they are done. Then take the cupcakes out of the oven and allow them cool completely before frosting.

Step 3: Make coffee rum

1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon instant coffee
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon dark rum

Dissolve the instant coffee in the hot water. Then add the sugar and rum into the coffee and mix them until the sugar completely dissolves. Then set it aside.

Step 4: Assemble dessert

1 cup cocoa powder
2 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
Strawberries

For the whipped cream, pour 2 cups of heavy cream into a mixer bowl and turn it on medium speed mixing it for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Then turn off the mixer and add ½ cup of powdered sugar. Next turn the mixer back on medium and mix it for about 1 minute to dissolve the sugar. Then add in vanilla extract and combine it with the cream for another 2-3 minutes or until the vanilla is well incorporated and the cream form stiff peaks.

For the chocolate frosting, sift 3 cups of powdered sugar with 2/3 cups of cocoa powder into a bowl. Next add the butter, half of the sugar cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream into a mixer and mix them on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until they are well combined. Then turn off the mixer and add the rest of the sugar cocoa powder and the last 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix them on medium speed for 2 minutes or until creamy and shiny.

Using a sharp paring knife, cut a cone off the tops of all the cupcakes. Then slice off the pointy end of the cone, leaving just a circular base. Next pour the coffee rum mixture into all the cupcakes and spoon the mascarpone cream in the center of each cupcake. Then top them with the circular base and spread the chocolate frosting on the tops of all the cupcakes.


You can decorate the cupcakes in 2 different ways. The first way is piping whipped cream on top of the chocolate frosting and dust cocoa powder on top. The way to decorate them and get into the holiday spirit is add a strawberry on center of the cupcakes and use the whipped cream to decorate it like a Santa hat.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bò Kho)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Bò Kho - Vietnamese Beef Stew

Estimated Servings: 4-5

Step 1: Marinate the beef

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 ½ pounds beef stew beef
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoon Bò Kho seasoning
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 tablespoons fish sauce

In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients in this step to the beef and mix it up to coat the beef with the marinade. Then cover the bowl with a lid and allow the beef to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.

Step 2: Sauté the beef

2 cups carrot chunks
1 medium sliced yellow onion
2 sticks lemongrass
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cut the lemongrass sticks in half and set them aside. Then pour oil to a large pot and turn your stove on medium high heat. Next add in the onions and cook them until softened. Then pour in the beef and brown them on all sides, which will take about 5 minutes. Now add in the carrots and lemongrass and mix it up with the beef. Cook everything for about a minute, stirring it around, to allow the flavors to combine.

Step 3: Stew the stew

1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 can coco soda
3 cups water
2 tablespoons coconut milk
2 star anise

Once the beef is brown on all sides add the coco soda, water and coconut milk and allow everything to come to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium and add in the vinegar, salt, and star anise. Next, cover the pot with a lid and allow the stew to cook on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes or until the beef and carrots are completely tender.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

French bread
Cooked rice noodles
Thai basil
Lime wedges
Chopped cilantro
Chopped green onions
Jalapeno slices


This beef stew can be served in 2 ways. It can be eaten with French bread or rice noodles. If eaten with rice noodles, garnish the stew with the herbs, onions and jalapeno slices.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Steamed Pork Buns (Bánh Bao)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Bánh Bao -- Vietnamese Pork Steamed Buns

Kitchen Equipment used in this Video

Portable gas cooker: http://amzn.to/2ox0xLQ
Clear bowls: http://amzn.to/2nAy4Um
Cooking gloves: http://amzn.to/2mcNotv
Stainless steel pot: http://amzn.to/2p4NIeC
Parchment paper: http://amzn.to/2nwxObA

Estimated Servings: 10 steam buns

Step 1: Make the Dough

1 cup milk

*******To make 2 cups of self-rising flour, mix 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 teaspoons baking powder together.

Pour all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. Create a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients and add in the milk and vegetable oil. Bring the wet and dry ingredients together until a ball of dough is formed. Then cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rise for 1 hour or longer.

Step 2: Prepare the Stuffing

2 pounds ground pork
½ cup chopped yellow onion
¼ cup chopped brown mushroom

Slice the Chinese sausage at a diagonal into 1 inch slices. Then microwave the sausage for about 10-20 seconds to render the fat and then set it aside. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pork and mix well. Then set this mixture aside.

Step 3: Boil the Eggs

8 cups water

In a small pot, add the eggs and water. Then place the pot on high heat and allow the water to come to a boil. Allow the eggs to cook in the boiling water for about 10 minutes then turn off your heat and allow the eggs to sit in the water for another 10 minutes. Use your pot’s lid as a barrier to pour the water out. Then rinse your eggs with cold water so you can handle them and start peeling away. Finally cut the eggs in half and then set them aside.

Step 4: Assemble the Buns


Flour your kitchen surface and pour the dough out. Knead dough it for about 15 minutes until it becomes smooth. Form a log with the dough and cut the dough into even pieces. Cover the pieces with a moist towel and set them aside.

Fill the bottom compartment of your steamer ¾ of the way up with water and add in the vinegar. Place the bottom part of the steamer on top of a high heat stove. Cover the bottom steamer with a lid and wait for it to steam up.

In the meantime, take one of the dough pieces and roll it out with a rolling pin making sure that the sides are thinner than the center. Then roll the stuffing in a ball and place it in the middle of the dough. Add the egg on top and the Chinese sausage on the sides. Fold and pinch the sides and towards the end, twist the top to seal the bun. Then place the bun on top of a paper circle. Repeat the process until all the buns are complete. Steam the buns for about 15-20 minutes or until the center is completely cooked and the outside of the buns are nice and fluffy!


Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Honey Walnut Shrimp


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Honey Walnut Shrimp

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Prepare the walnuts

1/2 cup walnut halves 
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water

Turned your stove on medium heat, add in the butter, and allow it to melt completely. Then pour in your walnuts to coat them with the melted butter and then set the nuts aside. Pour water and brown sugar into a small pot or pan and turn your stove on medium heat. Stir everything around until it turns into thick caramel. Then pour in the buttered walnuts and coat them with the caramel. Allow the nuts to boil in the caramel for about 5 minutes; then turn off the heat and pour the nuts onto a pan covered with parchment paper. Place the nuts in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to cool and harden.

Step 2: Fry the shrimp

1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp 
1 egg 
1/2 cup corn starch
2 cups vegetable oil
Beat the egg in a large bowl, add in the shrimp and coat them with the beaten egg. Pour oil into a pot and turn your stove on high heat. When the oil is hot, dredge the shrimp in the corn starch and carefully drop it into the oil. Fry the shrimp in the hot oil for about 5 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown and fully cooked on the inside. Finally remove the shrimp from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain.

Step 3: Make the sauce

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon condensed milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and coat them with the creamy sauce.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

Lettuce
Sesame seeds
Steamed rice


Transfer the shrimp into a serving bowl on top of a bed of lettuce and then top that with the candied walnuts. Sprinkle everything with some sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dorayaki (どら焼き)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Dorayaki - どら焼き

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Make the Batter

4 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons water

Add the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix them up. In a separate bowl, add in the eggs, honey and sugar and whisk them until well combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and blend them together. Then add water to the batter and mix it up until smooth. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before cooking.

Step 2: Cook the Dorayaki

½ teaspoon vegetable oil

Pour oil on a paper towel and wipe it on a non-stick pan. The pan should be slightly oiled but the oil should not be visible. Then place the pan on a stove and turn it on medium heat. With a small ladle, pour the batter on the center of the pan creating a circle. When you see the surface of the batter start to bubble, flip it over and cook it on the other side until golden brown. Transfer the cooked dorayaki to a plate and repeat this process until you cook all of the batter.

Step 3: Slice the Fruit

1 banana
½ cup strawberries

Peel the banana and slice them into ½ inch slices. Then remove the tops from the strawberries and cut them up making sure that they are all the same size. Then set all of the fruits aside.

Step 4: Put it Together

4 tablespoons Nutella

Spread the Nutella on one dorayaki and place one banana slice in the middle. Then place the strawberry slice all around the banana slice. Finally place a dorayaki on top like a sandwich.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Vegan Pho (Phở Chay)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Phở Chay -- Vegan Noodle Soup

Estimated Servings: 4-5

Step 1: Stir-fry vegan beef

1 cup dried vegan beef slices
1 cup thawed vegan beef balls
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon 5 spice powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Slice the vegan balls in half and set them aside. Add salt to a large bowl of water and soak the vegan slices in the water for about 30 minutes or until they expand and soften. Then rinse the slices, squeeze out the water and put them in a bowl along with the sliced vegan balls. Next add all of the seasonings (salt, pepper, spice powder, soy sauce) to the vegan slices and vegan balls and mix well. Then turn your stove on medium heat and pour oil in a large pan. Add the seasoned vegan slices and vegan balls to the pan and stir fry them until heated through. Finally remove them from the heat and set them aside.

Step 2: Make the broth

3 inch piece of ginger
1 small peeled onion
1 whole cinnamon stick
5 star anise
1/3 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
5 cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 small sliced daikon
1 large sliced carrot
1 cup brown mushrooms
32 ounce vegetable broth
12 cups water
2 ounce rock sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Cut a slit in the ginger and microwave it with the onion for 3 minutes. While the onion and ginger are roasting in the microwave, break up the cinnamon stick and put it in a small pan along with the rest of the spices (star anise, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, black peppercorn). Pour the spices in a small pan and turn your stove on medium heat. Toast the spices for about 3 minutes, stirring them around, or until fragrant. Then turn off the heat and pour the spices in a tea infuser. Next add the microwaved onion, ginger, spice ball, carrots, daikon, mushrooms, broth, water, rock sugar and salt to a large pot and place it on a high heat stove. Cover the pot with a lid and allow it to come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid.

Step 3: Cook the noodles

8 cups water
1 package Phở noodles

Pour water into a pot and turn your heat on high. When the water comes to a boil, add in the noodles and cook them according to the directions on the package. Then rinse and drain the noodles and set them aside.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
Sliced red onions
Thai basil
Bean sprouts
Lime wedges
Jalapeno peppers
Sriracha & Hoisin sauce

Add noodles, vegan balls, vegan slices, vegetables and herbs to a serving bowl. Then pour the broth over everything. Before eating, squeeze in some lime juice and add in the sauces.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

How a Chocolate Soufflé Can Make Your Day!



Every once in a while, such as today, I crave something decadent and chocolaty. The first thing that comes to my mind is a light puffy chocolate soufflé. Now don't be scared just because you hear the word soufflé. Although it sounds like something fancy and difficult to make, it's actually pretty simple to prepare. Here's a quick and easy recipe that is sure to please with ease.
Chocolate Soufflé
Servings: 6
Ingredients:

7 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus for preparing the molds
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons warm prepared coffee
½ cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
8 large egg whites, room temperature
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Confectioners' sugar
Raspberries or strawberries for garnish
Directions:
1.    To prepare the ramekins, brush six (6 ounce) ramekins with soft butter coating them with granulated sugar afterwards. Place all the ramekins in the freezer to set (about 4-8 hours).

2.    Set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 400°F.

3.    Place the saucepan filled with an inch of water on top of your stove bringing the water to a slow simmer. Put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl placing it on top of the saucepan stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Then remove the chocolate/butter mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow the mixture to cool.

4.    In a stand mixer combine the egg yolks and coffee beating them until frothy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of sugar while beating this mixture until ribbons form. This should take about 5 minutes. Lightly fold the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture. Make sure to rinse the bowl well to beat the egg white next.

5.    Put the egg whites in the clean stand mixer bowl and add in the lemon juice. Beat this mixture until frothy. Then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar beating this mixture on high. Make sure to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

6.    Quickly fold in one third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten it up. Then fold in the remaining egg white until everything is blended.

7.    Remove the ramekins from the freezer and gently ladle the soufflé mixture into the ramekins making sure level off the surface with a straight edge, scraping any excess extra back into the bowl. Then place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until soufflés rise 1 1/2 inches from the ramekins. Remove the ramekins from the oven, dusts with confectioners' sugar, and garnish with raspberries or strawberries. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thịt Kho Tàu)

Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Thịt Kho Tàu - Caramelized Pork and Eggs

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Marinate the pork

1 ½ pounds pork loin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped red onions

Cut the pork into 1 inch chunks and place them into a large bowl. Add all of the ingredients in this step to the pork, mix it up, and cover everything with plastic wrap. Then marinate the pork in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes.

Step 2: Boil the eggs

3 cups water
6 large eggs

Pour water into a small pot and turn your stove on high heat. When the water comes to a boil, carefully add in the eggs, without splashing any hot water on yourself, and cook the eggs for 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for another 10 minutes. Use your pot’s lid as barrier to pour the water out and then rinse the eggs with cold water so that you can handle them. Peel all the eggs and set them aside.

Step 3: Cook pork & eggs

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped red onions
12 ounces coco soda
1 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar

Turn your stove on medium high heat and pour oil into a pot. Then add in the ginger, garlic, and onion cooking them until fragrant. Next add the marinated pork and coat it with all of the ginger, garlic and onion. Then pour in the coco soda and add the eggs making sure to submerge them in the liquid distributing them evenly throughout the pot. Then pour in some water, turn the stove down to medium low, and allow everything to simmer while you make the caramel. Pour a small ladle of the liquid from the pork and eggs in a small pan. Then add in the sugar and turn your stove on medium. Now continuously stir the sugar in the liquid until it turns into a light golden brown caramel. Then pour the caramel into the pot of pork and eggs. When the pork and eggs comes to a boil, turn your stove down to low, cover the pot with a lid, and allow everything to cook for another 20-25 minutes or until the pork is tender.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

2 sticks green onions
Pickled mustard greens
Sliced cucumbers
Steamed rice

Plate the pork and eggs on a serving dish making sure to pour the sauce on top. Then cut the green onions at a diagonal and sprinkle it on top of the pork and eggs. Serve this dish with steamed rice, pickled mustard greens and sliced cucumber.