I started watching Kdramas again recently (Just started It's Okay to Not be Okay) and needed to eat something to satisfy the craving after watching the actors and actresses slurp on some hot kimchi stew hehe. I have always loved kimchi jigae and soondubu dishes because it is so easy to put together and also a great way to pack in plenty of veggies and leftovers.
One of my favorite ways to make it is to include soft tofu, fresh cabbage, kimchi, carrots, fish tofu and berkshire pork sausages ❤ We usually have fish tofu, fish balls, and the berkshire pork sausages in our freezer to cook with instant noodles or for hotpot night, so it's a great addition to kimchi stews and soups as well! It is so perfect and so spicy delicious for when it's cold out! Warms you right up from the inside out 🥵❤
A trick to make your broth have more depth of flavor is to add a spoon of white miso, or to make a dashi broth base. You can boil dried kelp and anchovies to achieve this from scratch, or a spoonful of instant dashi also works in a pinch. It adds an extra bit of umami to the soup that is deeper and more delicious than just adding salt!
It only took about 10-15 minutes or so for it to be ready to eat, super easy one pot meal, and can be easily made vegetarian if you take out the sausage/fish tofu I added.
KIMCHI TOFU STEW
Makes 2 servings.
-1 tbsp gochujang
- 1 tbsp miso
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- Gochugaru (1-2 tbsp) depending on how spicy you like it
- 1 cup kimchi
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-2 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 chopped carrot
- fish tofu (optional)
- berkshire sausages (optional)
- 1 box soft tofu
- 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
Just throw it all into a pot and boil together until the veggies are soft (to your liking). Would be awesome to eat with rice or if you are doing low carb, just eat it as is!
Hope you enjoy!
Until next time,
This chewy Korean rice cake dish is spicy, savory and sweet 😋 you can add anything you really want to it, but for this recipe I added some bean curd sticks, marinated chicken thigh and king oyster mushrooms 🍄The alarmingly red spicy gochujang sauce keeps you warm for sure, and I particularly love eating this dish on cold, rainy or wintery days. This dish goes well with Japanese or Korean Berkshire Pork Sausages, enoki mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms, spam, and more! Some folks also like to add ramen to it, making it a "rabokki" instead of "tteokbokki". It can get pretty spicy, but you can adjust the amount of gochugaru and gochujang and add more agave nectar or sugar for sweetness to balance it out for something more mild. I absolutely love the chewiness of the rice cake, and the fiery spicy sauce definitely wakes up the senses!
The Chinese equivalent of the Korean rice cake is usually more flat, oval shaped and is often eaten during holidays. I personally like the Korean rice cake more though, because the cylindrical shape gives it more of a delightful chew 😊
Here is my recipe (I also added a little bit of prickly ash oil for that spicy mala flavor ❤)
SPICY TTEOKBOKKI KOREAN RICE CAKE
• Korean Tteokbokki rice cake 1/4-1/3 bag
• 1 tbsp Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes/powder)
• 2 oz chicken thigh
• 1/2 cup julienned king oyster mushroom
• 1 oz bean curd sticks
• 2 tbsp gochujang
• 1 tbsp oyster sauce
• 2 tbsp agave nectar
• 1 tsp mala prickly ash oil
• 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
• 1/2 cup water
1. Cook garlic and chicken until cooked through. Add julienned king oyster mushrooms and bean curd sticks and mix.
2. Add rice cakes, 1/2 cup water, gochujang, oyster sauce. Add agave nectar and gochugaru to desired sweetness and spice level.
3. Mix well and let cook on medium high heat until sauce becomes thick and sticky, and the rice cakes are cooked to desired softness. Serve with some scallions on top. Enjoy!
Until next time,
I'm so excited to share my Dan Dan Noodle recipe with you today! This particular recipe features my handmade noodles recipe, but you can always use a dried or fresh noodle from the Asian market. Dan Dan noodles is a soupless, spicy, tangy Sichuan noodle dish with a nut-based sauce, usually either peanut or sesame. It is a popular street food, and is enjoyed with ground pork and veggies.
You can easily substitute the meat with a protein of your choosing too. For my recipe, I use ground pork mixed with sweet preserved Chinese radish, Chinese broccoli and some Korean kimchi. The radish is optional, but the sweetness, slight tang and crispness of the preserved radishes add a great variety of texture to the dish and complements the pork nicely. I absolutely love this sauce--the nuttiness of the peanut and sesame paste mixed with savory soy sauce, the slight acidity from black vinegar and the a heat kick from the chili flakes, chili oil and my favorite, the prickly ash oil--all mixed together, coats the noodles in a blanket of exciting flavors that dance in your mouth. Prickly ash oil is made from hua jiao pepper, a Sichuan peppercorn that mala Chinese dishes attribute their "numbing" qualities from.
I found this dish stay at home friendly because the sauce can be made from pantry items that you can stock up on and use for any Chinese/Asian dish, and the handmade noodles only involve 3 ingredients: flour, water and salt. Even if you don't have the specific veggie and ground pork, you can always pair the noodles with whatever you have on hand. Quarantine cooking really is like an episode of Chopped in the kitchen, make something out of what you got chefs!
After mixing the sauce, I place a dollop of it in the bottom of my serving bowl, add noodles and then add the toppings. Lastly, I garnish with sesame seeds and drizzle more chili oil and prickly ash oil on top! Honestly, it doesn't matter how you layer your ingredients, since you'll be mixing it all up to eat anyhow. To each their own!
Dan dan noodle sauce
Handmade noodles (2-3 servings) or store bought noodles of your preference
Put it all together
This is a great dish to assemble and enjoy, and I love that it can be prepared relatively quickly (unless you are making the handmade noodles, which takes a little more waiting time). For me, I always have soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine and assorted spices in stock since they are staples in our home, which makes this dish that much easier to make. Plus they are versatile and used in many other Asian dishes, so it's a win win for us! We hope you enjoy this noodle dish!
Lately, I've noticed that being in quarantine seems to be making everyone a little bit more creative in the kitchen, which is great! Perhaps out of necessity because we only have certain ingredients at home, or maybe because we're tired of eating the same things over and over. Either way, I am amazed and inspired by so many people posting their creations online.
Being in quarantine also means craving food that we don't regularly make at home, like fried chicken or like sushi and sashimi, which we normally eat out. But not having had sushi for a while and then going into quarantine, made us crave it big time. After all, we don't know when we will be able to go back to our favorite Japanese sushi restaurants! So while we were picking up groceries and essentials at Costco, we got a pack of farm raised Atlantic salmon for our poke bowl dinner.
And this is what I came up with. Drool worthy goodness. A salmon party in your mouth!
Now why Costco, you might ask? Is it safe? Is it sushi grade? Well the answer is that there will always be risk when eating raw fish, no matter where you buy it from. But of course, if you have access to sushi grade salmon, then go for it!
I and many other friends and family have regularly bought farm raised salmon from Costco for raw consumption and have never had any issues. We also eat it within the first two days of buying it, and any leftovers are cooked in other recipes or portioned out for the freezer to be cooked another time. If you are thinking of going to Costco for sushi night, I recommend this article from Sushi Modern as a guide for what to buy.
So after buying some farm raised Atlantic salmon from Costco, I set to work creating a hybrid dish that combines our favorite flavors from Hawaii and Japan. When we were in Hawaii, we got poke almost every other day! At restaurants, from ABC stores (they're like the equivalent of 7 Elevens but better!), and food trucks, everywhere! The fish was always fresh and the different versions were fun to explore. Our favorites were the oyster sauce pokes and the spicy salmon pokes! Our version in this recipe is a mix of sweet from the honey, saltiness from the soy and oyster sauce, heat from the spicy mayo and tang from the fresh lime juice melding perfectly together, sitting on top of a bed of seasoned sushi rice.
On top of our poke bowl we included strips of salmon seared with a blow torch. This was something we were inspired from watching sushi chefs lightly sear salmon nigiri before serving. The first time I remembered having it served this way was Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, a conveyor belt sushi place in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo. While conveyor sushi places tend to have a rep for having low quality fish or questionable freshness, Kura blew us away with their surprisingly sophisticated, creative and fresh offerings, with a la carte options delivered to you directly on a "bullet train" belt. When we first tried the seared salmon with mayo nigiri, it immediately became a favorite and if we didn't see it going past us on the belt, we would get direct orders to come to our table via bullet train. Somehow, searing it just makes the salmon feel extra soft and buttery, especially if you have a nice fatty cut of salmon! Adding the mayo on top just made it that much more creamy. So, with this in mind, we decided to torch sear our poke bowl salmon slices as well. Plus, the hubby loves to use the blowtorch any chance he gets. (He has claimed the blow torch and the grill his domain, lol.)
The sauce goes well with the rice and the salmon is just so, so good. Sprinkle some furikake and drizzle some Japanese kewpie mayo as a finishing touch and it is perfect! We hope you enjoy it!
• 3 cups uncooked Japanese sushi rice
• 1/2 cup Sushi rice vinegar
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 2 tsp salt
Spicy Salmon Poke:
• fresh sushi grade salmon (we usually use Costco farm raised salmon and have never had issues with it) cubed to bite sized pieces
• 1 tbsp oyster sauce
• 1 tbsp lite soy sauce
• 1/2 juice squeezed from lime or lemon
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1.5 tbsp Japanese kewpie mayo
• .5 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce (I usually add more to mine because I like spicy, but just gradually add to your preference)
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 2 tbsp scallions
• 1/4 chopped red onion
• 1/2 avocado, cubed
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Seaweed furikake rice seasoning
• Salmon strips thinly sliced to top the bowl
• La-Yu chili oil to taste
1. Cube avocado and chop red onion. Cube the salmon and reserve slices of salmon to use for searing later. Mix the cubed salmon, cubed avocado and chopped red onion with all the salmon poke sauce and seasonings and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
2. Cook your sushi rice according to manufacturer instructions. Usually about 40-45 min in the rice cooker, about 20 minute on stove top.
3. When rice is ready, take it out and add sushi vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix well and let cool to room temp.
3. Fill your bowl with rice, add your salmon poke and top with salmon strips. Use a blow torch to sear the top. Shake some furikake seasoning on top of the salmon strips, some La-Yu chili oil (optional), then add some kewpie mayo for extra creaminess. Enjoy!
Growing up, my grandmother loved to cook fish, normally steamed as she enjoyed simple, healthy foods. Her dishes were never complicated, and her style of cooking often simply let the main ingredients shine without a fuss. Whether it was dried salted fish or fresh fish from the market, she would skillfully prepare it and steam the whole fish to perfection, topping it with ginger, scallions and my favorite seafood soy sauce.
Now when I eat Chinese style steamed fish, it brings back memories of my grandmother scooping a steamy bowl of fluffy white rice from her clay pot and spooning the seafood soy sauce from the side of the steamed fish dish onto my bowl of rice before handing it to me. The slightly sweet seafood soy sauce mixed with the freshly steamed juices of the fish was incredibly aromatic and was SO GOOD over rice. Honestly, I enjoyed eating plain white rice with the steamed fish sauce more than eating the fish itself as a kid. It was simple, but delicious.
Another favorite part about steamed fish? Eating the cheek of the fish, right below the eye. It was always the most tender piece of fish meat and something my grandmother and father always dug out for me or my sister to enjoy. It made me feel loved and special to be given the best part of the fish.
Wilson and I recently visited Shan Shan Noodles on Route 46 in Parsippany, NJ and we had ordered a steamed fish dish with chili peppers off their specials menu. Despite how full we were from our usual noodle orders, we somehow were able to try and eat the fish dish, and boy were we glad that we did. Immediately, we fell in love with the authentic, fresh flavors and the ease in eating the smooth, velvety flounder fish fillets without worrying about bones or skin. We loved that every bite was fish, and I especially loved the hint of heat from the chili peppers. The dish itself is not spicy so you could easily remove the chili peppers as well.
This recipe that I am sharing today is my take on the dish from Shan Shan Noodles, with some influence from my grandmother's cooking of steamed fish as well. Topped with chili peppers, ginger, scallion, shiitake mushrooms, fried garlic bits, prickly ash oil, seafood soy sauce and mirin, the steamed marinaded flounder filets are sweet with a slight kick from the chili pepper and mild "numbing" from the prickly ash oil. The shiitake mushrooms then add a bit of earthiness to the dish while the fried garlic bits provide a bit of texture and umami flavor boost.
• 2 fillets of flounder, cut into pieces
• 2 teaspoons white pepper
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 2 inch knob of ginger, slices thinly and julienned
• 2 scallions stalks, sliced finely
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons prickly ash oil
• 1 long chili pepper
• 1 tablespoon mirin
• 1 tablespoon of the seafood soy sauce
1. Slice the flounder fillets into sashimi sliced cuts, round 2-3 inches per slice. The should resemble small chicken tenders in size.
2. Place sliced flounder into a mixing bowl and add salt, white pepper, sesame oil, mirin, and cornstarch. Mix well until flounder is well coated.
3. Slice up the ginger and scallion into fine thin strips. Chop up the chili pepper and place half of the sliced ginger and scallion on a plate for the fish to steam on.
4. Place the fish slices onto the steam plate, feel free to sprinkle some ginger, scallion and chili pepper in between layers of fish if you are piling the fish into a smaller steaming plate or bowl. Lastly, place the steam fish plate into the steamer rack and steam for 15 minutes. The fish should be completely white and opaque, and easily forked apart to be cooked through.
5. When the fish is done steaming, remove from the steamer and top the fish with the seafood soy sauce, prickly ash oil and sprinkling of fried garlic bits. And that's it! Enjoy over a bowl of white rice and you're good to go!
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do. It's fresh, healthy, and also a great dish to serve to young ones (minus the chili pepper and prickly ash oil) because you don't have to worry about fish bones, and they'll enjoy the fish sauce over rice too!
Just a gal who loves to eat and cook ❤