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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nature Inspired Recipe #4 : How to make Pandan Pancakes


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Pandan Pancakes with Mango Syrup

Estimated Servings: 5-6

Pancake Batter:

½ cup boiling water
2 pandan leaves
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pandan extract
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups milk
2 eggs

Mango Syrup:

½ cup cubed mangos
½ cup golden syrup

Blend pandan leaves and hot water until it turns the water green. Pour everything out into a filter and squeeze out all the juice. Finally set your green pandan juice aside.

In a large bowl add in all the dry ingredients for the pancake batter and stir them up to combine. In another bowl, pour the wet ingredients and mix them until well blended. Then add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir it up until it turns into a smooth batter. Place the batter in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes and in the meantime, let's make some mango syrup!

Warm the syrup on low heat until it thins up just a little bit. Remove it from the heat and add in the mango cubes. Mix it up to combine and then set the syrup aside.

Heat a pan to medium low heat and using a paper towel, wipe a small amount of oil onto the pan. Dollop on the batter into whatever size you'd like using a ladle. Then cook the pancake until you see bubbles form on the surface and the cooked side turns lightly golden brown. Then flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden brown. Repeat this process until you cook all of the batter. Finally pour some mango syrup on top of your pancake stacks and dig in!

***Pandan leaves can be found at the freezer section of an Asian grocery store.


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

Nature Inspired Recipe #3 : How to make Lotus Steamed Fried Rice



Estimated Servings: 4

½ cup cooked lotus seeds
5 diced shiitake mushrooms
½ cup edamame (a.k.a. soybeans)
½ cup diced carrots
4 cups cooked and chilled jasmine rice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 slices cooked lotus roots
2 fresh or dried lotus leaves
Water for steaming

Turn your stove onto medium high heat, add in 1 tablespoon of oil to a wok or frying pan and stir fry the vegetables until slightly softened. Remove the vegetables from pan and set aside to cool.

Add the remaining oil in the same pan that you cooked the vegetables in and stir fry the rice for about 3 minutes while breaking it up. Then season the rice with salt, pepper and soy sauce mixing it all up. Once the vegetables cool off, arrange the lotus root by putting the edamame and carrots into the holes. Next add the remaining vegetables to the rice and combine everything together. Turn off the heat and set the rice aside.

To prepare the lotus leaves, run them through warm water so that they become more pliable. Then place them in a large bowl, laying one lotus leaf inside the bowl followed by the other, putting the rough side of the leaf down first. Now scoop the fried rice into the leaf and fold the 2 lotus leaves to enclose the rice pressing it down firmly until flat. Bring a steamer full of water to a boil, and steam the lotus fried rice on high heat for about 5 minutes. Then remove it from the steamer carefully and allow it to cool down before handling.

With a sharp knife or scissors, carefully make long cuts on the first layer of lotus leaf from corner to corner criss-crossing each other, and then fold the four sections back. Next cut the inner leaf and fold those sections back until it looks like a blooming lotus flower exposing the rice.


****Cooked lotus seeds, edamame, and lotus roots can be found in the freezer section at an Asian grocery store and lotus leaves can be found at the dried foods section or produce section of an Asian grocery store.

Nature Inspired Recipe #2 : How to make Vegan Lettuce Wraps


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Vegan Lettuce Wraps

Estimated Servings: 4

Filling:

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup extra firm tofu crumbles
½ cup chopped water chestnuts
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons agave syrup
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha
16 large lettuce leaves

Garnishes:

½ cup grated carrots
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped fresh mint
½ cup chopped peanuts

To make the filling, turn your stove on medium heat and pour oil into a large wok or pan. Next add in the onion, ginger, lemongrass, and garlic, and cook until the onions begin to soften and everything gets fragrant. Then pour in the tofu and water chestnuts stir-frying it until heated through. Stir in soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sriracha and syrup and mix it until all the flavors are well distributed throughout the filling. Finally turn off the heat and set up your plate of lettuce leaves.


Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter and pour the filling into each lettuce leaf. Garnish the each lettuce leaf with all of the garnishes and serve immediately.

Nature Inspired Recipe #1 : How to make a Durian Smoothie


Ingredients & Directions for Durian Smoothie

Estimated Servings: 1

1 cup durian 
½ cup water
2 tablespoons condensed milk
1 cup ice
Whipped cream 
Cherry

Pour all of the ingredients in a blender except for the whipped cream and cherry and blend until smooth. Pour the smoothie into a glass and top with whipped cream and a cherry on top. 

***Durian can be found at an Asian grocery store either in the freezer section or in the produce section.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Vegan Curry Puffs


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Vegan Curry Puffs

Estimated Servings: 6-8 puffs

Step 1: Prepare the sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
½ teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Add all of the ingredients in this step in a bowl, mix it up, and set it aside.

Step 2: Make the filling

1 peeled and cubed Yukon Gold potato
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup peas
5 cups water

Add water, potatoes, and carrots to a small pot and turn your stove on medium high. Boil the potato and carrots for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat and soak them in the hot water for another 15 minutes or until they soften.  Next drain the potato and carrots. Then use a fork to mash them. Next turn your stove on medium heat and pour oil to a large pan. Now add the onions and garlic to the pan sautéing them until fragrant. Then add the mashed carrots and potatoes along with some peas cooking them for about one minute. Next pour in the sauce that was made earlier and mix it up with all of the vegetables. Cook the filling with the sauce for about 2 minutes or until the filling dries up. Finally allow the filling to cool completely.

Step 3: Stuff the puffs

1 package vegan pastry puff dough
¼ cup all-purpose flour

Flour your kitchen surface, place the dough on top, and cut the dough into even sized squares (3 in X 3 in). Place one tablespoon of the filling in the center of the dough piece and fold it over pinching the edges. Then seal the edges with a fork. Place the pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat this process with all of the other square pieces.

Step 4: Bake the puffs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then poke a hole in the center of the pastry and brush oil on the surface of all them. Bake the puffs for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow them to cool for about 2-3 minutes before serving.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn)

Estimated Servings: 30 rolls

Step 1: Cook Pork & Shrimp

½ pound pork shoulder
½ pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups water

Turn your stove on high heat to bring the water to a boil and add in the salt. When the water comes to a boil, add in the shrimp, reduce the heat to medium and allow the shrimp to simmer in the water for about 2-3 minutes or until pink and cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the water and set it aside to cool. Using the same water you cooked your shrimp, turn the heat on high, and add the pork. When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat down to medium low, and poach the pork for about 18-20 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through. While the pork is cooking, slice the shrimp in half, lengthwise and set it aside. Once the pork is cooked all the way through, allow it to cool, slice it up and set it aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Noodles

1 package vermicelli noodles
8 cups water

Turn the stove on medium high heat and bring the water to a boil. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook them according to the directions on the package. Finally, rinse and drain the noodles and then set them aside.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Chili garlic sauce
Crushed roasted peanuts

Turn the stove on medium heat and add in the oil and garlic into a small pot. Stir the garlic around in the pot until lightly golden brown and fragrant. Then pour in the water, sugar, Hoisin sauce and peanut butter, stirring everything around on low heat until smooth and shiny. Finally, turn off the heat, pour the sauce into a serving bowl and garnish with roasted crushed peanuts and chili garlic sauce on top.

Step 4: Roll the rolls

5 cups warm water
Green lettuce
Sliced cucumbers
Mint
Cilantro
Garlic chives

Dip the rice paper in warm water, shake off all the excess, and place it on a flat surface.  Now put vegetables, noodles, and herbs on one row in the center of the rice paper; the pork slices on the second row; and 3-4 shrimp halves on the third row (make sure the pink side of the shrimp is face down on the rice paper). Roll the rolls up tightly, folding in the 2 ends and before you get to the end, add in one strand of garlic chive and seal it tight. Repeat this process until you completed rolling all the spring rolls. Serve the spring rolls with the dipping sauce that you made earlier. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kimbap (김밥)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Kimbap - 김밥

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Cook the Eggs

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 large eggs

Beat your eggs and then set them aside. Next brush oil in a large frying pan, place the pan on a stove and turn your heat on medium low. Then pour the eggs into the pan and cook it on one side. When it is done cooking on one side, flip it over and cook the eggs on the other side. Remove it from the pan, allow it to cook and slice it up into thin strips.

Step 2: Prepare the Rice

4 cups cooked short grain rice 
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Add all of the ingredients in this step to the rice and mix everything up using a slicing motion. Then set the rice aside.

Step 3: Slice the Meat & Vegetables

1 julienned carrot
1 julienned cucumber
4 yellow pickled radishes (danmuji)
2 crab sticks
4 sliced sticks Korean Ham 
½ cup cooked spinach
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Put the spinach in a large pan on medium heat and add in some water. Allow the spinach to wilt down and then squeeze all the liquid out until dry. Then turn your stove on medium heat and add in the oil to a pan. Now pour in the carrots and sauté them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Season the carrots with salt and pepper to your taste and then set them aside. Next slice all of your crab sticks lengthwise and then set them aside. Now turn your stove on medium heat and cook the Korean ham and crabsticks for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to bring out the flavors and then set them aside.

Step 4: Roll the Kimbap

4 sheets of seaweed laver
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Sesame seeds

When rolling the kimbap, wrap the bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap for easy clean up. Then place the mat on a flat surface. Place the seaweed laver on top of the mat, rough side up. Now spread the rice on top of the seaweed laver spreading it out to cover ¾ of the seaweed; this is so you can seal the kimbap at the end. Add all of the ingredients you prepared earlier in a thin row on one end of the seaweed and start rolling it up tightly. Use the bamboo mat to shape the kimbap as you are rolling it up. When you get to the end, brush the end of the kimbap with some water and secure it tightly. Brush the outside of the kimbap with sesame oil and then slice them up. Finally sprinkle the kimbap with sesame seeds before serving.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Orange Chicken

Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Orange Chicken

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Deep-fry chicken

5 cups vegetable oil
1 ½ pounds chicken breast chunks
1 egg
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Pour oil into a pot and turn your stove onto high heat. Then beat the egg and coat all the chicken pieces with the beaten egg. When you see little bubbles forming in the oil, dredge the chicken in the flour and place them in the oil, carefully. Deep fry the chicken for about 4-5 minute or until golden brown on the outside and fully cooked on the inside. Finally drain the cooked chicken on some paper towels and set them aside.

Step 2: Make the sauce

1 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced orange zest
½ teaspoon salt

Turn your stove on medium heat and pour the orange juice and sugar into a pot cooking them for about 10 minutes or until it reduces by half. Then add in the soy sauce, ginger, orange zest, and salt mixing everything until well combined. Finally remove the sauce from the heat and set it aside.

Step 3: Stir-fry chicken

1 teaspoon corn starch
3 tablespoons water 
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ginger strips

Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and then set it aside. Then turn your stove onto medium high heat and pour in the oil. Now add in the garlic and ginger, stir frying them until aromatic. Pour in the chicken and cook it for about 30 seconds until they are coated with the ginger and garlic. Next add in the sauce and corn starch mixture that was made earlier and continue to cook everything until the sauce thickens.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

Sesame seeds
Julianne green onions (white part only)
Orange slices 
Steamed rice

To serve this dish, put some cooked chicken on a serving plate and spoon over some of the sauce. Top the chicken with some sesame seeds and green onions. Garnish your pate with some orange slices and serve the chicken with a side of steamed rice.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vietnamese Chicken Salad (Gỏi Gà)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Vietnamese Chicken Salad (Gỏi Gà)

Estimated Servings: 4-5

Step 1: Prepare the cabbage

½ small head shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups water

In a large bowl of water, add in the salt and shredded cabbage. Then mix everything and allow the cabbage to soak in the salty water for about 30-40 minutes. Finally, rinse it, drain it and set it aside.

Step 2: Cook the chicken

1 large chicken breast
4 cups of water

Turn your stove on high heat and bring a small pot of water to a boil. When the water comes to a boil, add in the chicken and cook it for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Then transfer the cooked chicken on a plate and allow it to cool. When it is cool enough to handle, shred the chicken and set it aside.

Step 3: Make the dressing

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup warm water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce
¼ cup julienned carrots
½ teaspoon chopped Thai chilies
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Turn your stove on medium high heat and add in some oil, garlic and shallots into a small pan. Fry the garlic and shallots until lightly golden brown and fragrant. Then drain the garlic and shallots through a strainer to separate them from the oil. Pour the sugar, water, lemon juice, fish sauce, carrots, chilies, salt, and pepper into the bowl of garlic-shallot oil and whisk everything up to make the dressing and then set it aside.

***Reserve the fried garlic and shallots for the salad topping.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

Vietnamese coriander (rau răm)
Mint leaves
Cilantro
Chopped roasted peanuts

Pour the dressing on top of the cabbage and mix it up well. Then add in the chicken and toss it with the cabbage and dressing. Top the salad with Vietnamese coriander, mint leaves, cilantro, roasted peanuts and fried garlic and shallots.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

How to Make Thai Iced Tea (Thai Tea Boba / Bubble Tea)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Thai Iced Tea (Thai Tea Boba / Bubble Tea)

Estimated Servings: 1

Step 1: Make the syrup

1 cup water
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey

To make the syrup, pour the water in a small pot or pan and turn your stove on medium high. Then add in all the sugars and honey stirring everything together until the sugars completely dissolve. Cook the syrup for about five minutes on medium high heat and then allow it to cool down for about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the tapioca

4 cups of water
½ cup tapioca pearls

Turn the stove on high heat and bring the water to a boil.  When the water comes to a boil, add in the tapioca pearls and allow them to cook for about 15 minutes or until they float on top of the boiling water. Then  turn off the stove, put a lid on the pot and allow the pearls to sit in the hot water for another 15 minutes or until they are plump and soft. Next, drain the pearls and rinse them under cold running water. Finally add the pearls in the syrup that was made earlier to preserve and sweeten them.

Step 3: Brew the tea

2 cups of water
¼ cup Thai tea
1 tablespoon sugar

Turn your stove on high heat and bring the water to a boil. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat, add in the tea and let it seep for about 3-5 minutes or until it turns the water into a bright orange color. Strain and filter the tea into a container; then add in the sugar and stir it until it dissolves. Finally allow the tea to cool in the refrigerator until it is ready to serve.

Step 4: Assemble the drink

1 tablespoon whole milk
2 tablespoons condensed milk
Ice

Pour the condense milk into the bottom of the glass, add in the tea and mix them up until well combined. Then pour in the tapioca pearls, ice, whole milk, and serve the drink with a large bubble tea straw.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup (Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang - Noodles with Shrimp, Pork and Chicken

Estimated Servings: 4-5

Step 1: Make the broth

16 cups water
2 ½ tablespoons salt
2 ounces rock sugar
1 peeled onion
2 pounds chicken
½ pound pork loin
1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
½ cup dried shrimp
1 dried squid
3 tablespoons fish sauce

Add chicken, salt, pork loin, rock sugar, dried shrimp, and water into a large pot. Then place the pot on your stove and turn the heat on medium high, cover the pot with a lid, and allow the broth to come to a boil. In the meantime, microwave the onion and squid for 2-3 minutes and add them to the broth. Once the broth comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and let the broth simmer for about 10 minutes. Then skim the scum off of the top of the broth until the broth is clear. Put the lid back on the pot and allow the broth to simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the chicken and pork are fully cooked. Next remove the chicken and pork from the broth and allow it to cool off. Separate the chicken meat from the bones and add the bones back into the broth making sure to discard any of the small bones. Cook the bones in the broth for another 10 minutes on medium low heat and then turn the heat on high. When the broth comes to a boil, add in the shrimp and cook it for about 2-3 minute or until they are fully cooked and pink. Then remove the shrimp from the broth and set it aside. Finally turn off the heat and add in the fish sauce.

Step 2: Cook the noodles

1 package tapioca noodles (hủ tiếu dai)
8 cups water

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Then rinse and drain the noodles and set them aside.

Step 3. Prep the meats

1 tablespoon cooking oil
½ pound ground pork
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
1 teaspoon red pepper powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 pound pork liver (optional)
8 cups water (optional)

When the pork and chicken have cooled, slice them up into thin slices; then set them aside. Next turn your stove on medium high heat and add the oil, lemongrass and garlic to a small pan. Stir the lemongrass and garlic around cooking them until fragrant. Then add in the ground pork and break it up. Next, pour in the red pepper powder mixing it up with the pork and cook it all the way through. Then season the pork with salt and pepper to your taste and set it aside.

Optional: Turn your stove on medium heat and bring some water to a boil. Then add in the pork liver and allow it to cook for about 15 minutes or until the liver feels firm and is completely cooked on the inside. Remove it from the heat and put it in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Then slice it up thinly and set it aside.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

¼ cup fried shallots
1 cup cooked quail eggs
Crushed peanuts
Chopped Chinese celery
Chopped chives
Chopped green onions
Cilantro
Crown daisies
Bean sprouts
Pickled chili peppers
Lime wedges

Add some cooked noodles and meats in a large bowl. Then garnish with the herbs, vegetables, peanuts, fried shallots, and chili peppers. Pour in the broth and top it with green onions, cilantro and lime juice.

**** If you like to eat this noodle dry, you can use the optional sauce for the noodles and serve this with the broth on the side.


Optional sauce: Mix 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce, 1 tsp. oyster sauce, 1 tsp. red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. sugar and pour over the noodles

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Sauce


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Sauce

Estimated Servings: 20 chicken skewers

Step 1: Marinate the chicken

2 pounds chicken breast strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon crushed coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon massaman curry paste
¼ cup coconut milk

Add all of the ingredients into a large bowl except for the chicken, and mix well. Then add the chicken to the marinade making sure that all of the chicken pieces are completely coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes or more in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Make peanut sauce

1 teaspoon massaman curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind juice
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon paprika powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup coconut milk
Crushed peanuts

Turn your stove on medium heat and add all of the ingredients in this step into a small pot. Stir everything together until well combined and smooth. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and top it with crushed peanuts.

Step 3: Prepare cucumber sauce

½ cup vinegar
½ cup sugar
Chopped Thai chilies
Diced cucumbers
Diced red onions

Turn your stove on medium low and add the vinegar and sugar into a small pot or pan. Stir everything around until the sugar dissolves in the vinegar. Then pour the vinegar mixture into a container and add the onions, chili and cumbers. Mix everything well and transfer into a serving bowl.

Step 4: Cook the chicken

Water to soak skewers


Soak the skewer in some water for about 30 minutes. Then thread the marinated chicken strips onto your soaked skewers. Make sure to add oil or cooking spray on your cooking surface. Cook the chicken on a grill or grill pan on medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side making sure you brush some additional marinade as you are turning them. The chicken satay should have grill marks on the outside and are completely cooked on the inside. Serve the chicken satay with the sauces made earlier.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to make Steamed Rice Cakes – COW CAKE (Bánh Bò)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Bánh Bò - Cow Cakes

Kitchen Equipment used in this Video

Portable gas cooker: http://amzn.to/2ox0xLQ  
Clear bowls: http://amzn.to/2nAy4Um  
Glass food storage: http://amzn.to/2oe4Ajh
Stainless steel pot:  http://amzn.to/2p4NIeC
Measuring cup: http://amzn.to/2niHwi5  
Small white bowls: http://amzn.to/2p5ydCv  
Rectangle plate: http://amzn.to/2oSW1Jt

Estimated Servings: 30 small cakes

Step 1: Prepare flour mix

1 ¼ cups water

When making steamed rice cakes start off with by pouring all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix them together. Then cover the mixture and set it aside to let it rest for 1-2 hours.

Step 2: Make sweet cream

¼ cup water

Add all your ingredients in a small pot and turn your stove on medium low. Then stir all of the ingredients together until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove the mixture from the heat when it is warm but not boiling. Finally allow it to cool off completely at room temperature.

Step 3: Color the cows


Pour the sweet cream into the flour mixture and mix it up. Then divide the mixture into however many colors you would like your cow cakes to be. Add your food colors into the different containers and stir them up. Finally allow them to rest for 1 hour before steaming.

Step 4: Steam the cakes

Water for steaming

Make sure to fill the bottom compartment of your steamer with water ¾ of the way up. Place the top compartment over the bottom compartment and add the small bowls or a muffin tin on the top compartment of your steamer. Cover your steamer with a lid and turn your stove on high. When the water comes to a boil and steams up, pour the colorful mixture in the bowls or muffin tin. Cover the steamer with a lid and steam the cakes for about 10-15 minutes or until they are spongy, fluffy and the tops erupt.

***IMPORTANT: Make sure to wipe the water off your steamer lid every 2-3 minutes of steaming to prevent it from falling into your cakes or tie a kitchen towel on the inside of your lid to absorb the water. This will prevent your cakes from being too wet and having the wrong consistency.

Enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Bubble Tea (Cà Phê Sữa Đá)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Vietnamese Coffee - Bubble Tea - Ca Phe Sua Da

Step 1: Make the syrup

1 cup water
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey

To make the syrup, pour the water in a small pot or pan and turn the heat on medium high. Then add in all your sugars and honey stirring everything together until the sugars completely dissolve. Cook the syrup for about five minutes on medium high heat and then allow it to cool down for about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the tapioca

4 cups of water
½ cup tapioca pearls

Turn the stove on high heat and bring the water to a boil.  When the water comes to a boil, add in the tapioca pearls and allow them to cook for about 15 minutes or until they float on top of the boiling water. Then  turn off the stove, put a lid on the pot and allow the pearls to sit in the hot water for another 15 minutes or until they are plump and soft. Next, drain the pearls and rinse them under cold running water. Finally add the pearls in the syrup that was made earlier to preserve and sweeten them.

Step 3: Brew the coffee

2 tablespoons Vietnamese ground coffee
½ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons condensed milk

Pour condensed milk into a glass. Then add the ground coffee in the Vietnamese coffee press and screw the top of the press tightly. Place the coffee press on top of the glass of condensed milk, pour the hot water in the press and allow the coffee to drip into the glass.

Step 4: Assemble the drink

1 tablespoon sugar
Ice

Pour the sugar in the brewed coffee and mix everything well. Then add in the tapioca pearls and ice and serve it with a large bubble tea straw.

**You can purchase ground Vietnamese coffee and coffee press (filter) online or at an Asian supermarket

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pad Thai


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Pad Thai

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Prepare the noodles

1 package of rice noodles
8 cups warm water

Soak the noodles in warm water for about 15-20 minutes or until the noodles are soft.

Step 2: Make the sauce

½ cup tamarind liquid
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
½ cup palm sugar
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce

Turn your stove on medium heat and add the palm sugar and water into a small pot or pan. Carefully stir the sugar around to break it up and allow it to complete dissolve in the water. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour in the tamarind liquid, oyster sauce, and fish sauce mixing everything well. Cook the sauce until slightly thickened, remove it from the heat and strain out all of crystallized sugar pieces. Finally stir the garlic chili sauce and set everything aside.

Step 3: Cook Pad Thai

4 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
½ cup cubed firm tofu 
¼ cup small dried shrimp
1/3 pound cubed chicken breast
1/3 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
½ cup chopped garlic chives
½ cup bean sprouts

Put the dried shrimp in a food processor and chop it up into a fine consistency. Then turn your stove on high heat and add in 2 tablespoons of oil, shallots, garlic, dried shrimp, tofu and chicken into a large wok or pan. Stir fry the tofu and chicken for about 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the tofu is lightly golden brown. Then add in the shrimp and cook it for about 2-3 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Now pour everything into a bowl and set it aside. Next turn your stove on high heat and add in 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan you cooked the tofu and meats in. Add the noodles to the pan and pour in half of the sauce you prepared earlier. Stir fry the noodles until they are coated with the sauce. Now add in some water 1 tablespoon at a time to the noodles until they are your desired consistency. Push the noodles to the side of the pan and crack your eggs in the center of the pan. Then scramble the eggs and mix them up with the noodles. Next, add in the cooked shrimp, chicken, tofu and the other half of the sauce to the noodles and toss everything until well combined. Finally add the chives and bean sprouts at the very last minute and toss it with the noodles.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

½ cup bean sprouts 
½ cup chopped garlic chives
½ cup chopped roasted peanuts
Lime wedges


Arrange the noodles on a serving plate and top it off with some chives, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Before eating, squeeze in some lime juice.