Saturday, April 26, 2014

Baby Bok Choy Kimchi

When I went to a Korean BBQ buffet, there was one vegetable kimchi that I really liked and that was bok choy kimchi.  I was surprised at how good it tasted and I always want to make it in the back of my mind. This is a short cut version as no glutinous rice paste was used as well as no food processor.  So, no onion, no apple and no pear.  As you know, I am famous for the short-cut version.  However, adding fruit and onion would provide additional sweetness to the dish.  I heard that the glutinous rice paste is to give the kimchi extra shine.  Anyway, I am too lazy to make those today so I am settle with this.

Verdict:  I would try adding an apple or sweet pear next time.  I bet it would taste better with the additional sweetness from the fruit.  I would probably use 1 Tbsp. of fish sauce first and if it is not salty enough, at least you can add more and season to taste.  Otherwise, if it is too salty, then it would be harder to adjust, just have to eat it with lots of rice.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Homemade Strawberries Jam without Pectin

Hey, it's Spring, with the abundance of cheap strawberries on sale, what are you going to do with it?  You can make strawberry jam that last through the summer!  I used to spend a ton on organic jam but not anymore!  I have learned to make my own jam by following the simple rule of 1 lb.of fruit to 1 lb. of sugar (almost 2 cups).   However, I do cut down on the sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit, not a whole lot but some since we need the sugar to preserve the jam.  If you click under my label on Jam/Preserve, I have since made kaya (Malaysian coconut jam), clementine marmalade, orange marmalade, pear jam, blueberry jam, blackberry jam and raspberry jam.  Now adding to the collection is strawberry jam!  I should stick to 2 lb. of strawberries next time, since it was my first attempt, I have no clue how much it will yield.

3 lb. of fresh strawberries yield almost 7 jars of strawberry jams for me.  Sweet and oh so yummy!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easy Stir-fried Celery

This dish was created because I needed a vegetable side dish for my Korean dinner and my refrigerator only had an organic celery and a tiny bit of cabbage.  So, I picked up the celery, thinly sliced it and started working through the recipe while stir-frying it and doing the taste test.  I added black sesame seeds for the color contrast and the celery was crunchy.  I am quite happy with the result and would certainly make this when I am out of other green vegetable again!

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Version of Vietnamese Dessert

We loved Vietnamese dessert.  Often time when we went up to Denver, we would go to a Vietnamese bakery shop to buy some of the kuih (Asian steamed cake), "tofu fah" and cups of sweet dessert like the above.  It came with several variety and it was hard to pick a favorite, but often time I would pick one loaded with beans, sweet potato, sago and taro.  I don't know how they really make theirs but I know it is sweet and covered with coconut milk.

This is my version and it tasted just like the one sold at the store.  It is not difficult to make but involved a few steps like cooking the tapioca pearls or strips first and steaming the sweet potato or taro if used.  Then, you just mix it all together and place into an individual serving bowl or cup and refrigerate until serving.  It is best eaten on the same day as the tapioca strips might harden when kept in the fridge for too long.  If you make this, please feedback to me ya!  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Assam Sambal Prawns

We loved nasi lemak or Malaysian coconut rice.  One of the dishes I missed the most when I first came to the U.S. would be nasi lemak.  In my 20s and totally a newbie in cooking, I thought nasi lemak was very hard to make.  It was like eating it would only happen in my dream.  Then one day, a friend taught me how to make it and I was really surprised at how easy it was to make one.  I remembered I once made some nasi lemak and asked my husband to bring it to his school to share with his Malaysian male friends and how happy and thankful they were.

For this nasi lemak, I added turmeric powder thus the yellow color (Since the curcumin in turmeric is good for us so I wanted to incorporate it more into our diet).  The recipe I am sharing here is the assam sambal prawns as I bought some medium size shrimps and I wanted to make a dish that pair well with it.  I was referring this recipe to Nonya Flavours Cookbook and will be sharing the cookbook recipe with some of my changes.  I wonder why the photo in that cookbook looks so oily and red whereas mine looks completely different?

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Stir-fried Shredded Potatoes (Kamja Bokkeum)

Frankly I have no idea whether this is originally a Chinese dish or a Korean dish.  We were served a big tray of this shredded potatoes in a Chinese New Year party that we attended.  I was seriously surprised that a dish that looked so unappealing and plain can be so tasty.  I didn't even want to try it at first but I told myself that I have to try every dish there and be adventurous.  I tried it and couldn't help but went back for a second!  Interestingly this dish is also served as a banchan in Korean restaurants.  Evy fell in love with this banchan and I wished I know how to make it.  I always looking for easy banchan to serve with my Korean meal, but I think nothing is easy when you have to make a few in a day.  Anyway, this is my version and it tasted a little bit different and I have no idea why, do you think they par-boiled the shredded potatoes first? Outcome is all of us loved this plain potato dish and that's what matter most.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Mexican Squash Pancake (Jeon)

When I starts, I couldn't stop!  I have been cooking tons of Korean side dishes lately and I have no idea what's gotten into me.  I made this to bring to a Korean friend's house and just so happen that she was making the exact same thing!!  Down to the same Mexican squash!!  Talk about coincident as zucchini pancake is more common.  I bought this because I have no idea whether the store that sells the zucchini is GMO or non-GMO unless I buy organic, so I picked Mexican squash instead.  I couldn't tell the difference between these two anyway except one is dark green in color.  This is one popular Korean side dish and serve on special festivals.  It is not hard to make at all just the pan-frying part is a bit troublesome.  We all loved this so next time I would have to train my Evy to make this!