Coming soon, I've put up a post on oxtail stew.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I was at a Korean restaurant a while ago and was served a delightful array of salad-looking appetizers with the soup I had ordered. My friend told me it was called kimchi. It was so delicious, I bought some from the store in the back of the restaurant.
The next thing I knew, my kimchi supply was gone. I had to do something, and because I enjoy trying to prepare new things, I thought I'd give kimchi a try. I found a recipe online to start with. The first batch was OK, but it was missing some things.
Over time, I started to figure out what was missing or what I had too much of. Aided by the palate of a Korean-American co-worker of mine (whose mom makes this stuff like it's going out of style), I believe I'm on my way to being accepted with open arms into Korean culture.
Now you can be too.
- 1 medium to large napa cabbage (about the size of a football)
- about 1/4 cup salt (and a bit extra for a brine)
- 1/4 cup red pepper flakes (NOT crushed red pepper powder)*
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- about 5 green onions
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (totally optional)
- about 1/8 cup sugar
- Chop the cabbage into pieces a bit larger than bite size. By the end, they will have shrunk. Use the whole thing. Place it all in a large bowl, with enough room to toss it.
- Dissolve some salt in a bowl of warm water. Pour over the cabbage and toss so that everything gets wet. Let sit at room temperature for about four hours.
- After your cabbage has reduced, wash it well.
- Mix the red pepper flakes with about 1/4 cup warm water. It should be pasty, not runny. Add the paste to the cabbage.
- Add the garlic, ginger, green onions, and sugar. The sugar helps the fermentation process. Your kimchi should not taste sweet in the end, so use some judgment on exactly how much sugar you use. If you’re using fish sauce, add it now too.
- Toss the mixture. Hands work best, but be careful. If you’ve got plastic gloves, use them. I learned the hard way that even if I think your hands are clean, hours later it still could burn my eyes.
- After it’s all mixed, bottle it up. I have a huge pickle jar I use, but several smaller ones will suffice. You should get a pretty substantial amount of kimchi out of this recipe. Close them up well and leave them out at room temperature for 24 hours to ferment.
Come on back after a while and let me know how you liked it!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
The "three piece chicken" reminds me of what good Chinese food was like; all elements that makes up Asian cooking are clearly presented with sweet, sour, salty, and subtle spices worked well to harmonized this dish. I have no idea however why it was called "three piece chicken", as the pieces are cut up into bite sizes. Maybe it's a loosely "English" name for something far more fierce and meaningful, like "Dragon of wisdom seas" or maybe they just simply cut small pieces of chicken out of three larger pieces. As I'm typing this, I'm beginning to lean towards the later.
So, this brings us to my "one pot chicken". Basically, I'm taking all the flavor profile that I found the "three piece chicken", deconstruct it, and cook it all in one big pot to save time. This is perhaps the easiest dish that I've made in a while. If you like good foods, and don't have a lot of time to make it, read on.
- chicken breast (cut into bite size)
- onion (cut into quarters)
- ginger (chopped finely)
- garlic (diced)
- soy sauce
- black peppers
- green onion
- corn starch
- chicken broth (or water, but use stock when you can)
- basil (chopped finely)
- celantro (chopped finely)
- Put everything into one large pot and put heat on medium to medium high; cook for about 20-30 mins. Make sure to stir occassionally, and add corn starch at towards the end to thicken the sauce. Add more soy sauce, sugar, and lime to taste, otherwise you're good to go. Serve with rice of course.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The fact the matter is, I’ve been eating, and eating well at that. Recently, I wanted to really cook some of the things that I really wanted to cook; using flavor profiles that I know has been proven to work to go about the business of making great foods. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to enjoy different types of ethnic foods, and will continue to explore all kinds of goodies, but sometimes, you just have to eat what you know is good.
Take “pork and rice” for example, very simple, very straightforward, and always comforting to have. The idea of this dish came from the fact that I simply didn’t have a lot of time to do the research required to make an authentic international dish. I’m sure most of you can relate to the hectic work schedule and having to wonder, “what’s for dinner?” For me, I like to think about “what’s for dinner” early in the morning so that I will have ample time to defrost proteins, to marinate something, or simply to know what I need to buy at the store in order to cook when I get home. If there’s one thing I hate most above all things is being hungry and not having a plan to resolve my hunger, bad things usually happens when it comes to that (I’m exaggerating here, I just get really bad headaches when I’m hungry).
So, to make “pork and rice”, here are some of the things that you’ll need in order to be organized ahead of time and cook well:
- Pork (tenderloin works best)
- Brown sugar
- Garlic powder
- Sriracha sauce
- Capers (diced)
- Lime or lemon (anything sour really)
I found it to be delicious when I spooned some of the au jus (liquid or sauce that came from cooking the meat) onto the rice, then placed slices of pork on top. Best served with a side of broccoli or sauté green beans. Enjoy!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Here are a list of things that you'll need:
- Bread (Vietnamese/French style baguette works best
- Chili Peppers
- Green onion
- Diakon radish (cut into small strips)
- Carrots (cut into small strips)
- Lemon grass (finely diced)
- Soy sauce
- Black peppers
Marinating and cooking the pork:
Add finely diced lemon grass, lime, soy sauce, sugar, salt, black pepper into a bowl and mix it up until everything is dissolved; make sure you taste it before adding the mixture to the pork. I usually just marinate the pork overnight, but 3-4 hours would also do the trick. Cook the marinated pork in the oven at 375 degree for about 40 mins (depends on how big the pork is).
Making the pickled vegetable:
This is pretty simple to make. In a large bowl, add sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar, and warm water; you'll want to mix everything together until all the sugar dissolved. The taste of your pickle mix should be 40% sweet and 60% sour. Add diakon radish and carrot and mix well.
Putting it all together:
From here, just slice the pork and add all the veggies together to make a hoagie sandwich. You can add soy sauce and hot chili peppers if you like. Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
- Pork tenderloin (enough for 4 servings)
- Curry powder
- Garlic powder
- Five-spice powder or ngu vi huong (in Vietnamese), you can get it at any Asian grocery stores very cheaply
- Salt and pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Red wine
- Raspberry (get it fresh if you can, if not, get it in a jaw)
- Unsalted butter
- Sriracha sauce for some heat
- Green beans
- Chicken stock
- Red bell peppers (optional)
- Green onions (optional)
- Olive oil
This is the star of the show, so we'll spend the most amount of time here, prepping and cooking wise. First, you have to marinate the meat evenly with a dry rub consist of garlic powder, black pepper, salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, cumin, curry powder, and the five-spice powder. Don't be afraid to use your hands and really get to know the meat, making sure that the spices cover every inch of it. You should marinate this for about 8-12 hours; I just prepped it before bed and cook it the next day after work. Once you're ready to cook this, place it in the oven with a bit of chicken stock and cook for 1h and 20 mins at 400 degree.
This is a simple red wine reduction. First, sauté fresh garlic and onion until they're brown. Add the raspberry and red wine and lower the heat to simmer and reduce. What you're looking for is for the sauce to burn away most of the alcohol in the wine, leaving you with just a hint of alcohol and a ton of fruit flavors. Season with salt, pepper, lime, and lime zest.
I just like saying "couscous". This is the first time that I cooked couscous, and the process couldn't be easier. Again, start with your garlic and onion with a little bit of olive oil, and sauté them with chopped red bell peppers and green onions for about 1 min or 2. Add chicken stock to your pot and wait until it comes to a boil. Add the couscous and stir until it absorbs all the stock, this might take about 2-3 mins, add more stock if you find it a bit dry. What you're looking for here is a balance between moist and dry. Add butter to make it a bit creamier if you like; I did not (P90X!! The X stand for X on the excessive butter).
This is one of my favorite things to eat, and it's so simple and quick to make. Basically, you just want to sauté the green beans with garlic, olive oil, and butter for about 2-3 mins, and you're good to go. The trick here is to use a lot of garlic so that you really taste it in every bite.
Place the couscous at the bottom of the plate, then place a couple slices of pork tenderloin on top, drizzle some of the red wine sauce on it. Put the green beans on the side, and you're ready to enjoy your hard work.
This dish may seem like a lot of work, but once you do it, you'll realize that you everything cooks relatively quickly. The only thing that takes a while to cook is the pork, but that can't be help, nobody wants to eat raw pork :).