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!
Today we're talking Spicy Cajun Shrimp, folks! This Cajun Shrimp recipe is inspired by the flavors of The Boiling Crab's "The Whole Shabang" shrimp. Since the first time I ate at The Boiling Crab with my sister and her husband, I have been going back again and again whenever I visit Alhambra to indulge in at least 1-2 pounds of shrimp with the whole shabang sauce. Forget the crawfish, shrimp is where the party's at! Besides, crawfish has less meat, and takes so much more work to eat! Whatever it was, I loved that it was spicy, buttery, garlicky, and it tasted so good with shrimp and bread. Plus, slurping out the insides of the shrimp head was the absolute best.
Now since I live on the East Coast, there weren't a whole lot of places locally where I could enjoy those addictive whole shabang flavors that I so craved. Flying to LA was my only shot at stuffing my face with that delicious shrimp. But then, a couple years ago, Wilson discovered a restaurant in New York called The Boil with similar flavor profiles as our experience with The Boiling Crab. And it was awesome! Flavors were great and seafood was fresh. We loved it!
But being in New Jersey, driving 40 minutes to the city, dealing with the usual impatient, poorly tempered city goers (myself included) and/or locals, bumper to bumper traffic, hunting for parking, and then waiting on the ungodly line that forms outside the popular restaurant, can sometimes feel....like a very LONG....albeit bothersome trip.
After coming back from Cali, I've looked up copycat recipes for the Whole Shabang sauce and have tried to replicate it ourselves a few times. The recipes that we followed in the past were great and tasted good, but I was always appalled at the amount of butter that went into the dish. I just figured, well, if you want it to taste good, you gotta add that butter, right? I know, it makes every dish taste good. Fat in general is awesome. But, since we are "trying" to be more healthy, we try our best to find substitutes, use alternative cooking methods like baking rather frying, or just use less of the unhealthy ingredient.
We bought 2 pounds of fresh, head on shrimp from the local asian market and were trying to think of how to cook up the little guys for dinner. We both agreed that one of the best ways to preserve the sweetness of the shrimp was to steam it, and as we were talking, the lightbulb in my head went ding! "Let's make something like the Whole Shabang shrimp, you know, from Boiling Crab!" Working with ingredients I had in my seasoning cabinet, using less butter and adding in some fresh produce, I went to work making a slightly "healthier" cajun shrimp dish, but with whole shabang flair!
I added tomato, green bell pepper and red onion to the mix, emulating the Asian style shrimp stir fry dishes I grew up with. I was crossing my fingers and hoping the flavors would come out as well as they did in my head while throwing this meal together, but it came out really well
The sauce was delicious and didn't feel too oily or heavy, and the steamed shrimp was sweet even under the spice. We toasted up some of our favorite Pepperidge Farm Garlic Texas Toast and dipping the garlic bread into the spicy, garlicky sauce really hit the spot. We set up dinner in our living room coffee table with a large bowl for shrimp shells, some paper towels, hand wipes, and hungry, hungry hippo appetites. We watched a movie while peeling and eating the shrimp, licking our saucy fingers and dipping the garlic bread into the flavor puddles of sauce. Nothing like chowing down and getting your hands dirty with someone you love, hehe. 💖 I've made this recipe a couple times more after that initial "experiment" and it has been great each time, so it's definitely tested and true. This recipe might not be an exact replica of the Whole Shabang from The Boiling Crab or the Boil, but it sure is delicious and addictive!
We hope you enjoy this delicious cajun (asian-style?) shrimp recipe. It's the perfect date night in for seafood lovers or friends! Don't forget to get some kind of bread to sop up all that yummy sauce!
To be honest, my experience with Indian cuisine goes only so far as dishes that are popular in America--Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken, Tandoori meats, Roti, Naan bread, Curry, etc. I definitely can't claim to be very knowledgeable when it comes to Indian cuisine, and I have to admit that because of my inexperience with it, I've been scared to try new dishes in authentic Indian restaurants because I like to stay in my comfort zone of what I do know and recognize on the menu. That being said, I am very blessed to work with people from different cultures and my coworker Urvi brought in this tasty Indian snack called Sev Puri, or Chaat to share with us at work. The second I put the Puri chip into my mouth, I knew I had to get my hands on the recipe! The moment I swallowed, I put my hand on Urvi's arm and said, 'Please teach me how to make this!!'
It was so delicious that I wanted to learn to make it at home too, like all the time. The flavors of this Sev Puri Chaat recipe are incredibly fresh and simply bursting with flavors and textures. Crispy, tangy, sweet and has a hint of spice (dependent on how much pepper powder you put in it). From the first bite, this snack will take you on an adventure through flavor town and *sings* a whole new world...a new fantastic point of view...
If you've never had Chaat, the only way I know how to describe it is an Indian version of nachos topped with salsa. However, because there is no cheese, the dish is much more light, and therefore so very easy to eat lots of! (Not that you should eat too much of anything, but it's not as heavy and greasy as nachos with cheese and all the fixings). Urvi graciously welcomed me into her home and allowed me to film her showing me how to make the Sev Puri. I was happy to learn that the ingredients were all relatively inexpensive and are easy to find in any Indian supermarket. (I look forward to making a trip to an Indian supermarket soon!) Furthermore, the recipe was mostly assembly work so it was pretty quick to put together.
She also explained the different kinds of spices typically found in Indian kitchens and even showed me her expansive spice cabinet! It was very impressive, and definitely something I need to take notes on in organizing my own spice cabinets!
Isn't this spice box pretty? Apparently it's very common in Indian kitchens. Almost looks like an artists' paint palette!
After we were done filming, and I got a belly full of delicious Sev Puri Chaat (along with a take home baggy for Wilson to try...and for me to ultimately eat all of...shhhh!), Urvi showed me the rest of her beautiful home and even showed me the personal praying temple in her room. I didn't take a picture of it, but she had pictures of all the different Gods that she and her husband worship in the Hindu religion. It was very interesting to learn about, and both the imagery, stories, and ornate details in the little praying temple's architecture was amazing to see. The experience of learning another culture's food and hearing Urvi's stories were so fascinating, and beautiful to say the least. I felt so lucky and grateful to Urvi for welcoming me into her home, her kitchen, and teaching me so much about herself and her culture!
In any case, here is the awesome recipe that you really have to try! There aren't any measurements for the toppings since it really depends on how much you yourself want to eat and your own preferences. So top away!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! I can't wait to make this again!
In honor of National Wing Day, we wanted to make some killer wings to celebrate on the day of. But, what we wanted to eat for dinner.. was noodles. Who says we can't have both? We decided to experiment and mashed the two together and are happy to present the SAMYANG RAMEN WINGS!! Crispy, Crispy noodley wings.
Since the Samyang Ramen noodles are a Korean brand, of course our wings had to be the Korean style double fried wings!
The wings came out feeling very similar to the crunchy, candylike textures of Korean fried chicken wings like BonChon, and the spicy flavor was unmistakably that of the Samyang hot chicken ramen. It was a happy marriage of ramen and wing night! The corn syrup and brown sugar will help dial down the heat a lot, but if it's still too spicy for you, feel free to put less of the Samyang sauce or put more sugar. Up to you! If you're up to the challenge, don't put the brown sugar at all...we pray for your butthole. 🙏🌶🌶🌶🔥🔥🔥
• 12-15 wings
• 1/2 tbsp fine sea salt
• 1/2 tbsp black pepper
• 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
• 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
• Canola, peanut, or any kind of frying oil - enough to fill pot so that wings can float freely
• 3 packages of Samyang Extra Spicy Roasted Chicken Ramen - BUY THE 5 PACK HERE
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup potato starch
• 2 tbsp oil
• 2 tbsp minced garlic
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup corn syrup or rice syrup (We used Karo Dark Corn Syrup)
1. Rinse the wings and dry to remove excess water. (Water will cause the frying oil to splash)
2.Season with salt, pepper, minced ginger and sesame oil.
3. Let the wings marinate for 30 minutes, while you prep your dipping stations. Heat up your frying oil.
4. Crush 1-2 packages of uncooked noodles using a rolling pin, hammer, or your fist. Pieces should be small, roughly 1/4 inch or less, but not quite to the point of powder. We just smashed all of the noodles in the bag with a rolling pin until well crushed.
5. Using a food processor, powderize about 1/3-1/2 of the crushed, uncooked noodles. (Be sure to pulse, as dry materials in a processor tends to heat up). Combine this with your potato flour.
6. Whisk 3 eggs until smooth.
7. Evenly coat each wing with the flour mixture. Then dip each with the egg until evenly spread, and finally coat with the crushed noodles. Set aside. These should be done one at a time, like a production line so the wings don't spend too much time sitting in any one station.
8. Once all the wings are ready, check your oil for temperature. It should be around 375F degrees, but for those of us who don't have a kitchen thermometer, a wooden chopstick can be used to guesstimate. If the chopstick starts to bubble, it is hot enough to cook with. (Something I learned from my parents).
9. Submerge the wings into the oil one by one. Make sure there is enough oil for the wings to float without touching each other for a nice even fry. If there isn't enough oil, any wing resting on the bottom of the pot/pan will likely burn. Wings should fry for 12 minutes, or until internal temperature of 165F degrees.
10. Remove the wings from the oil onto a rack so any excess oil can drip off. Do not set on a flat surface as the oil will puddle and soak back into the wings.
11. Prepare the sauce. Pour about 2 tbsp oil into a deep set pan and heat. Add garlic, corn syrup, the three SAMYANG ramen sauce packets, and brown sugar. Mix until thick.
12. Once the sauce is complete, return wings into frying oil for 3 minutes. Then take it out and place them onto the rack. Allow any excess oil to drip off.
13. Dip, drizzle, coat, shower, or however you prefer to sauce your wings.
14. Make sure you eat some before serving, who knows how long they'll survive. Serve whatever is left!
We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! The wings definitely packed a punch in the spice department and is best enjoyed with a cold beer. Crunch away on these juicy, spicy, crispy wings during a party, for dinner, or when you're craving both ramen and wings at the same time! Happy National Wing Day!
Just a girl, her husband and two dogs who love food ♥❤🐶👫🐶❤♥