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!
On my quest to be a little more healthy, (and I say this very loosely), I was looking at my fridge and pantry with skepticism in trying to figure out how to make something healthy, yummy and satisfying. Sure, I know the healthiest way to eat is steaming lean proteins and vegetables, but doing so results in taking a trip down bland avenue and straight into flavorless town, and then subsequently me flipping a table from being h-angry.
I looked at a piece of fresh salmon in the fridge and thought, "Dear Salmon, how should you enter my belly?" How about a salmon rice bowl?
In Japanese, donburi, or more popularly known as "don" is essentially a bowl of rice topped with simmered veggies and or meat. It could be fish, pork, beef, chicken etc. Donburi is one of the easiest things to make as long as you have rice, and then you can top it with virtually anything—you can even use leftovers.
For this simple salmon brown rice bowl, the flavor profile is Asian (surprise!) and can be made in 15 minutes or less, including microwaving the packet of Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic. And here you've got yourself a quick, healthy and yummy meal. I first tried this brand of brown rice and quinoa during a Costco trip, where they were giving out free samples. I'm a sucker for free samples. Or free stuff. Yay~
Anyhow, I was so happy with how it came out! Plus, it's healthy and could be microwaved in 90 seconds, so I'm all for it. A package is two servings, so it was perfect for a dinner between myself and Wilson. It's so easy because this recipe just needs you to chop up the ingredients, mix in the flavors, sauté til cooked, and top off on rice. The sweet soy sauce in the dish makes it similar to salmon teriyaki, while the sweet thai chili sauce gives it a little extra spice and tang that reminds me of Thai fish dishes. Top it off with a poached egg yolk and some tobiko (Japanese word for flying fish roe) and it's ready to go. The texture of the rice and quinoa, along with the little salty tobiko popping in your mouth is fun and tasty, while the smooth egg yolk glosses and coats the salmon with a delicious richness that only eggs can do.
There's also something simple and comforting in eating rice with a runny egg and sweet soy sauce. My grandmother used to make that for me to eat and the egg yolk would envelope each and every grain of rice, while the sweet soy sauce gave the rice even more addictive, yummy flavor. It was a simple dish that didn't require much money or work, and my grandmother always made it with love.
So without further ado...Here's what you gotta do..
• 4-6 oz salmon fillet, cubed
• 1 tbsp chopped parsley
• 1 chopped scallions (about 1 tbsp)
• 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
• 1/2 tsp ginger powder
• 1/2 tbsp mirin
• 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce (I used Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce)
• 1 tbsp sesame oil
• 1 tbsp olive oil for cooking
• 1 tbsp Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
• 1 egg yolk
• tobiko (flying fish roe)
• Seeds of Change Garlic & Brown Rice Quinoa Packet
1. Cube your salmon into bite sized pieces, about 1/2" cubes. You want nice chunks that are meaty but not too large that it won't fit comfortably in your mouth haha. Also if you cut it too small, it will cook too quickly and dry out, leaving you with cardboard salmon over rice and not tender salmon nuggets.
2. In a bowl, combine the salmon, scallions, parsley, white pepper powder, ginger powder, mirin, sweet soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix well.
3. Heat your pan with some olive oil and pour in your salmon mixture. Sauté until cooked through, or when all sides of the salmon are an opaque pink/orange color.
4. Add the sweet Thai chili sauce and toss to coat. Pour into a separate bowl to stop the cooking process—if you leave it in the hot pan even with the fire turned off, the residual heat can continue to cook the salmon and dry it out.
5. Boil water and poach the egg yolk lightly.
6. Follow the instructions for microwaving the Seeds of Change Brown Rice & Quinoa packet. Open about 2 inches of the packet and microwave it for 90 seconds.
7. Spoon desired amount of rice and quinoa into your bowl and top with the cooked salmon, poached egg, tobiko, and sesame seeds. If you wanna get super fancy, toast your sesame seeds quickly in the pan before topping your salmon rice bowl for an extra bit of nuttiness.
And that's it! Simple, quick and easy. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, and that you explore making different donburi dishes on your own! With so many variations, the possibilities of toppings are endless!
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!
Mmmmmm lobster. *drools* I thought I'd share a recipe that is near and dear to my heart, Cantonese Lobster Salad! Now, it's really not quite...a true "salad" per se...as it's really not healthy for you whatsoever given the ingredients. Well except for the fruit. That makes me feel a little less guilty after eating a few bowls of it.
Did you know? Lobster used to be served as prison food in the early colonies and it wasn't until the early 1900s that it became popular. I'm so glad that humanity found a way to cook it and turn it into something delicious! To learn more about the history and how lobster turned into a delicacy, read this article by Matt Hershberger at Eat Sip Trip.
While I don't remember exactly when or how I first experienced eating lobster, I do remember it always being a special treat associated with my parents. My father would sometimes buy lobster and crab at the local market and steam it for us at home to eat. We'd dip it in butter as per the ol' American way, or my mom would make this delicious, garlic and vinegar soy sauce to dip lobster (or crab) in. Other times, the parents would bring back takeout from the city after work, typically a Cantonese style stir fried lobster with ginger and scallion, and we'd snack on the tasty morsels together at night.
Some of my favorite lobster memories though, involved Cantonese lobster salad. The lobster salad would come out on a large platter, on top of a bed of lettuce or sliced orange garnish. Cantonese style lobster salad is a mayo based salad with assorted fruit and lobster. It's a simple dish but incredibly nostalgic, yummy and refreshing as it's served cold. We typically enjoyed it as one of the starter dishes to a Chinese banquet--usually a special occasion like a wedding or family reunion of some sort, so always a happy memory for me.
Sometimes we add potato or boiled egg to add more substance to the "salad", but it's just fine without as well, and is more "light." Some people like to use a mixture of sour cream and mayo, but since we're "trying" to be healthy, I've subbed greek yogurt instead. It really tastes very similar, and if anything, it makes everything so much more creamy and yummy.
• 2 cups lobster meat (freshly steamed and shells removed)
• 1 cup cantaloupe chunks
• 1 cup seedless green grapes
• 1 cup canned longan fruit (fresh is great if you have it available)
• 1 cup Korean pear chunks
• 1/2 cup light mayo
• 1/2 cup kewpie mayo
• 1/2 cup greek yogurt
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
• 1 tablespoon honey
• salt to taste
1. MIX ALL THE THINGS! DONE. (well, steam the lobster, de-shell it and chop into bite size pieces. Wash and cut all your fruit into bite sized pieces.)
2. EAT ALL THE THINGS! DONE.
Honestly it's the most simple recipe, ever. As are most salads, I should hope. After the initial prepwork, just put all of it in to a bowl, mix and season to taste.
Make sure the lobster you are using is steamed and removed from the shell. To steam, about 8 minutes for 3/4 to 1 pound lobsters, about 10 minutes for 1 to 1 1/4 pound lobsters, and about 11 minutes for 1 1/2 to 2 pound lobsters.
Make sure the chunks are bite sized so it's easy to get a fork full of different fruits and lobster meat, and enjoy!
Just a girl, her husband and two dogs who love food ♥❤🐶👫🐶❤♥