All posts filed under: cooking

Guilt Free, Calorie Free (not quite but still): Quinoa Salad

After eating “dirty chips” (it’s basically nachos.  Potato chips are used instead of corn chips with pull pork, gorgonzola cheese and BBQ sauce) at Maison Tavern (nothing to mention here…I am not a big fan of this place) last night, my stomach has not been happy.  It was too late to regret it when I left the place. So here is my “feeling guilty” lunch.  I ate oranges and apple for breakfast and quinoa & arugula salad dressed with nutritious yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, white wine and salt for lunch.  This should even out 5,000 calories that I had last night, right (I am trying SO hard to feel better about myself)?  You all agree that I can consume more calories at tonight’s dinner since I was being good all day, don’t you? Happy Friday 🙂

Mother and Child over Rice: Oyako-don

Not human mother and child.  This is not going to be weird, spooky story at all. It’s one of many Japanese soul food dishes.  Oyako means “parent and child(ren).”  This dish is made with chicken and egg and that’s why it’s called “Oyako”-don.  Some Oyako-don restaurants are very serious about what they serve, like this very famous and beloved Oyako-don restaurant called Tamahide in Tokyo, established in 1760.  This is something my mom barely made when I was growing up.  I felt I was struck by thunder when my kindergarten class mate’s mom (our neighbor.  My mom and she were so close) made it for me one day.  Nostalgia… Oyako-don for 2:  Chicken (I used breast, cut in bite size), 1/2 x  onion, 2 x eggs, sugar, sake, mirin (sweet wine), soy sauce, dashi (bonito stock).  Mix all the liquids, then cook onions for a few minutes and then add chicken. Cook until chicken is tender.  Turn the heat off.  Then add beaten eggs and cook about 3 minutes with low heat or until eggs …

What is Hama Hama?: PNW Treasure

2-year residency in Atlanta, Georgia was quite tough for me.  It was challenging to find fresh and organic produce (maybe I was not looking hard enough?) and seafood!  Oh seafood…you have no idea how much I missed the fish market in Seattle when I was in ATL.  They are available there of course, but there is no denying that northern ocean water produces finer seafood, especially shellfish. This small vendor at the farmers market that I mentioned a couple times before in my blog offers seasonal shellfish.  This past Saturday, they had 2 kinds of clams (one of them is called Happy Clam!) and a variety of oysters.  The name of the vendor is “Hama Hama Oysters and they grow Hama Hama oysters at their farm.  Isn’t that such a fun sound, Hama Hama?  I just want to repeat saying that. http://hamahamaoysters.com/ I purchased one jar packed with 7 x medium size Hama Hama from granddaughter of the founder of this oyster farm in Lilliwaup, Washington near Olympic National Forrest.  It was shucked and packed …

Chopping Therapy: Prep for Gyoza

It really helps me when I have a bad day or I am upset about something.  Chopping vegetables is one of my meditation methods. When I was a young child, helping my mother and grandma in the kitchen was mandatory.  My mom started to let me use “old person’s kitchen knife” when I was 4.  I always wanted to sound like them.  They make this passionate, happy and fun sound of their knives hitting wooden cutting board with 100 miles per hour speed. When I have a rough day at work, I tend to choose a dish requires a lot of chopping.  Gyoza (dumpling) is one of them.  I have a fond memory of helping my mom to prepare and wrap gyoza.  You chop Chinese chives, garlic, ginger, napa cabbage and onion.  You chop them all as finely as you possibly can.  How fun does it sound?  I feel like I am getting high, just thinking about it.  I guess I am a creature who is easy to be pleased. This is my amusement and …

Color of Saffron: STAUB 22cm

I don’t like shopping really.  No, let me rephrase that.  I do not like shopping except for books, grocery and kitchen tools. Yesterday, this little but heavy box arrived at my cube at work.  I tried so hard not to show my excitement.  But it was really hard, Oh My God.  It was my Staub pot!  When I decided I was going to get rid of all tools, pots and pans that I was not in love with last year, I especially started to invest in pots and pans.  I contemplated for a LONG time, like 8 months.  Which one was better for me to get, Staub or Le Creuset (I am a thinker, what can I say)?  Finally I decided to get Staub and my first pot was Grenadine Round Cocotte 28cm.  It was a significant decision and I enjoy cooking even more because of Staub.  It is cast iron pot and it is heavy but what I love about this pot is the lid.  The lid closes very tightly and steams inside really …

Transformation of Two Beloved Birds: Road to Pho Ga from Free-Range Farm

So, there were two chickens, running around a field.  Being outside, eating healthy food and getting exercise builds nice muscles, especially on their thighs.  Also, with them running around freely, it makes them stress-free.  Well, maybe not completely “free” from stress but they have way less stress than caged ones. Those 2 birds ended up at my house and my dear friends and I enjoyed tasting them so much.  I oven-roasted them with winter vegetables (blogged on 1/17) and also consumed 4.5 bottles of red wine as well.  Next morning, as you can guess, we were not as happy as the night before due to dehydration and headache.  What does Asian mother say when you have hangover?  “Eat your noodle soup!” or “Eat your miso soup!” or “What an idiot!” I decided to follow my mom’s voice.  Noodle soup! Let’s use those birds then.  Carcasses into pot and shimmer for an hour, then add Royal Boat brand fish sauce and fresh squeezed lime juice.  There soup is ready.  Then cook rice noodle and add to …