Kimchi Fried Rice

While studying and writing papers I was hankering for something easy and inexpensive to make. I had forgotten about the container of kimchi in the back of the refrigerator and stumbled across it just the other day. So I got to thinking that I should make something with the kimchi. Well I would have had it in a bowl of noodles, but I ran out of noodles a while ago. Instead there was a container of leftover rice and I figured why not combine the two. I was inspired to make this dish from watching Maangchi’s youtube video on Kimchi Fried Rice and just had to make it. But with a few changes.

Here are the ingredient needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/3 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1/4 cup Spam
  • 1/3 cup kimchi
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. plum sauce

Step 1: Rinse the frozen sweet peas to remove the ice; set aside.

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Step 2: Cut the Spam and kimchi into small pieces; set aside.

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Step 3: In a large pan, add 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil over high heat.

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Step 4: Add the egg and fry it to however you prefer it. (I like a slightly runny yolk, this way when I cut into the egg the yolk will give the dish a creamy texture.)

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Step 5: Remove the fried egg from the pan and onto the cutting board. (I accidentally broke the yolk, such a sad moment.)

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Step 6: In the same pan, add in the defrosted sweet peas, Spam, and kimchi and cook until heated through.

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Step 7: Add 1/4 cup of water and the rice.

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Step 8: Break the rice up with a spatula and again cook until heated through.

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Step 9: Add in 3-4 Tbsp. kimchi juice and stir to combine.

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Step 10: Add in the sesame oil and toss to combine.

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Step 11: Turn off the heat and add in the plum sauce and stir until well mixed.

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Step 12: Scoop into a large bowl and top it with the fried egg and serve. (I had to make this again the next day, but I added Emoki mushrooms.)

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Pumpkin Scones

Well Thanksgiving has passed and there are so many leftover ingredients that I have to use it some way or else it’ll end up being thrown away. So I thought maybe something for breakfast would work. A light treat that is simple to make and light on the wallet. Pumpkin scones could work since all the ingredients are from the leftover ingredients for my many desserts.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup butter, grated and chilled
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, chilled
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • (Optional: 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, and etc.) (Side note: if adding dried fruit add 1-2 tsp. of milk to the batter)
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar, garnish

Egg Wash

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  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. milk

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Step 2: In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice.

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Step 3: Add in the brown sugar and stir together.

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Step 4: Cut in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles course meal, about pea-sized.

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Step 5: (Optional: stir in the dried fruits and nuts)

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Step 6: In a small bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin puree, and cream.

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Step 7: While stir the butter mixture, slowly pour in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. (Bits of butter should be visible and almost all the flour is incorporated.)

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Step 8: Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

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Step 9: Work quickly while gently kneading the dough, by folding and pressing the dough until fairly smooth. (the dough will be sticky so don’t over knead)

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Step 10: Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and shape the dough pieces into balls.

Step 11: Shape dough balls into 4-inch rounds about 3/4-inch to 1-inch thickness.

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Step 12: Cut each round into 6 wedges and place onto the prepared baking sheet.

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Step 13: Brush each pieces with the egg wash and sprinkle on the raw sugar.

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Step 14: Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden and the cut sides look flaky and dry. (Should feel light and sounds almost hollow when tapped on the bottom.)

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Step 15: Cool completely on a wire rack.

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Honey Ginger Noodles

I know I haven’t posted in a month or so, but I’ve been super busy with life. So while I was taking a break from life and going out for dinner I came across something called “Soy Sauce Noodles”. I was intrigued and when I tasted it…YUM!! Wanting to remake it though was a whole other story. Some of the ingredients were a bit hard to come by in my small town. So I improvised instead and “MacGyvered” my own version of the recipe that is so much simpler and cheaper to make.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (preferably Korean, but I didn’t have any, if you have ground use only 1/4 tsp I didn’t and it was way to spicy.)
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds (I didn’t have any)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 (6oz.) pkg. chow mein noodles
  • 2 stalks of green onion, chopped (save 1/4 for garnish)
  • 1 Tbsp. red vinegar (optional)

Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, minced garlic, and honey. Taste to adjust.

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Step 2: In a medium pot of boiling water, blanch the chow mein noodles for 30-40 seconds.

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Step 3: Drain the noodles well and set aside. (Make sure you do this or else the noodles will stick to the pan)

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Step 4: In a large pan, heat up some oil over high heat. (Canola or vegetable oil)

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Step 5: Add the drained chow mein noodles and ginger into the pan. (I didn’t drain the noodles enough so they stuck to the pan)

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Step 6: Stir-fry for a 3-4 minutes.

Step 7: Add in the green onion and cook for 30 seconds.

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Step 8: Add in the sauce mixture and continue to stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. (The sauce will help loosen the stuck noodles)

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Step 9: Serve immediately with a quick garnish of the leftover green onion.

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Sweet Potato Rice

After the holidays there seems to be a surplus of sweet potatoes in the house and I can’t seem to figure out what to do with them all. Well other than to make desserts and such for the most part, but I found a recipe that used sweet potato in a different way, it’s called Sweet potato rice (Gogumabap). It is a healthy and filling dish.

Besides simple starches, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta-carotene (a provitamin A carotenoid), vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium. Pink, yellow and green varieties are also high in beta-carotene.

Perfect for the cold winters and tiring nights. Simple to make and inexpensive.

I will be combining two different recipes to make it as simple as possible. Gogumabap requires a pot or stone pot to cook the dish. Instead I will be using a rice cooker, like in Sweet Potatoes Rice (地瓜飯).

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 3 cups long grain rice
  • 2 sweet potatoes (washed, peeled, & cut 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 3 cups water/chicken broth/vegetable broth (or any type of combination)

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup green onion or Chinese garlic chives, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil (suppose to use 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, but didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less)
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar (optional)

Step 1: Wash the rice and rinse 2-3 times.

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Step 2: Fill the rice cooker according to the instructions of the model with water/broth combination.

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Step 3: Add sweet potatoes to the rice and begin rice cooker.

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Step 4: Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sauce ingredients until well mixed.

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Step 5: Serve sweet potato rice in a serving bowl and spoon the sauce on top.

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Notes: You can add a fried egg to add a protein to the dish.

Chicken Pot Pie

It’s now early autumn and raining constantly. I wanted to make something comforting and effortless. So I figured a chicken pot pie would do the trick. Finding a decent recipe was pretty simple, since the last time I had homemade chicken pot pie it was terrible. Sorry dad, but it was dry and salty. Spotting Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie episode it seemed pretty easy to make. With a few adjustments to suit my needs and such. I will also be showing you how to freeze this delicious chicken pot pies. Found the idea from The Kitchen. The containers that I will used are the Hefty 3ct EZ Foil Mini Loaf Pans.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 3-4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock/broth
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes (I used the powder version, 2 tsp.)
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, 1 stick (I added 1/2 stick as well)
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups carrots, diced, blanched for 5 minutes
  • 2-3 russet potatoes, diced, blanched for 10 minutes (I used red, but found it staying to firm when done baking)
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced, blanched for 5 minutes
  • 2 cups frozen peas, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly minced parsley
  • 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten

Step 1: Preheat the over to 350°F.

Step 2: Place the chicken breast on a baking sheet and rub the olive oil over them.

Step 3: Sprinkle generously with the salt and ground pepper.

Step 4: Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Step 5: Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Step 6: Cut the chicken breasts into large dices, about 4-6 cups.

Step 7: In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock.

Step 8: Dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock and simmer over low heat.

Step 9: In a large pot, melt the butter.

Step 10: Saute the onions over medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes, until onions are translucent.

Step 11: Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.

Step 12: Add in the hot chicken stock to the sauce.

Step 13: Simmer over low heat for 1 minute until it thickens.

Step 14: Add in 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. ground pepper, heavy cream, carrots, celery, potatoes, herbs, and cooked chicken. Mix well and remove from heat.

Step 15: Preheat the over to 375°F.

Step 16: Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick.

Step 17: Using foil containers to gauge size, cut pastry into rectangles, leaving enough space to fold over edges of containers, about 1/2-inch.

Step 18: Fill foil containers with chicken and vegetable mixture, all the way to the top. (Remove the bay leaf)

Step 19: Brush sides and edges of foil containers with egg-wash.

Step 20: Place pastry over foil containers and press edges so the egg mixture holds them against the sides. (If freezing, stop here, cover pies with foil and place in freezer. Start at step 21 when you take them out of the freezer.)

Step 21: Brush tops of pot pies with egg and cut several slits to allow steam to escape.

Step 22: Sprinkle tops with sea salt. (Optional)

Step 23: Place pies on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot. (I recommend the full hour because of the potatoes)

Baingan Bhartha (Eggplant)

I’ve always wanted to make Baingan Bhartha (Eggplant) ever since I had it once in the Indian restaurant a few months ago. So I looked long and hard for a recipe that could emulate the flavors.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 medium tomatoes (using Roma)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (I will be using red and yellow)
  • 1 green chili pepper, seeded (I will be using green bell pepper and adding some chili sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground peppercorn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)

Step 1: Preheat the oven’s broiler.

Step 2: Rub oil on the outside of the eggplant, or coat with cooking spray.

Step 3: Place under the broiler, and cook until the flesh is soft and the skin is blistering off, about 20-30 minutes. (Turn as needed for even cooking.)

Step 4: Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and scoop the flesh out of the skin. Discard the skin; chop up the flesh and set aside.

or

Step 1: Cook the whole eggplant (put it on a microwave safe dish) in microwave for 8 to 10 minutes until it is tender. If you are using an oven, preheat the oven at 400 degrees F and bake it for about 45 minutes turning the sides every fifteen minutes. Be sure to first put the eggplant in an oven safe shallow bowl or a cookie sheet.

Step 2: Let it cool and scoop out the flesh, then chop the eggplant in small pieces and keep aside.

Step 3: Blend together the tomatoes, ginger and green chili; set aside.

Step 4: Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.

Step 5: Add the red bell pepper, onion, and garlic; cook and stir until tender, or until golden brown.

Step 6: Add the cumin seeds, and let them crackle for a few seconds and turn golden brown. (Be careful not to burn them.) *you may want to heat a bit more oil in the pan before doing this.

Step 7: Stir in the tomato and peas, and season with turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook and stir for a few minutes or until the tomato puree has begun to separate from the oil.

Step 8: Add eggplant over medium heat, keep stirring the eggplant and mashing the eggplant as it cooks; 8-10 minutes.

Step 9: Add the garam masala and cilantro.

Step 10: Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve with a side of naan. (Side note: It taste best the next day.)

Spam Musubi

While watching the show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” I came across Spam Musubi from Mana Bu’s. I just had to recreate it. Since I didn’t want to go the conventional route and make it with the traditional mold. I will be recreating the version on the show, which is similar to an onigiri. Here is a review of Mana Bu’s Musubi.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 canned Spam (any flavor you would like to use)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin(I didn’t have any so I will be making a substitute)
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3-4 cups of cooked Japanese short grain rice
  • sheets of nori (for sushi making)

Step 1: Slice the Spam into 1/2 inch slices.

Step 2: Brown the Spam in a skillet over high heat until both sides are browned.

Step 3: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, water, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

Step 4: Once the Spam is done browning, turn the heat down to low and pour in the sauce mix.

Step 5: Simmer the sauce gently for 20-30 minutes, the sauce will have thicken as well.

Step 6: Once the sauce thickens, take the pan off the heat and set aside. (I will be cutting them in half to fit into the onigiri shape)

Step 7: Wet your clean hands with cold water sprinkle with salt.

Step 8: Take 1/2 cup of the rice and place on one hand. (I couldn’t take pictures for steps 8-12, my hands were covered in water, rice, and nori)

Step 9: Make a dent in the middle of the rice with your other hand.

Step 10: Place in 1 piece of the Spam in the dent.

Step 11: Working rapidly, wrap the rice around the filling, and form into a ball. To make the traditional triangular shape, cup your hand sharply to form each corner, and keep turning it until you are happy with the shape. (I recommend using a mold, it was really difficult keeping it in a triangle shape.)

Step 12: Wrap the musubi with 1-2 strips of nori seaweed.

Beef Bowls

While living in Miami I had tried my very first beef bowl and it blew my mind. I just had to make some. So I will be attempting to recreate a traditional beef bowl today.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 5oz. thinly sliced beef (I will be using veal, didn’t slice it thin enough)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 oz. (2 tsp.) ginger root, grated
  • 2 servings of rice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sake
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water

Step 1: In a large pan, add in the onion and hot water and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Allow to boil for 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft.

Step 3: Add the sake, sugar, salt, soy sauce, ginger and beef; stir, cover, and boil for 8-10 minutes over medium heat.

Step 4: Taste and add more sugar and/or soy sauce if needed.

Step 5: Serve over the steamed rice.

Notes: Leftover broth can be used for dipping.

Iced Coffee

After a night filled with films and junk food I really needed a pick me up in the morning. But since it’s now the summer time and I couldn’t stand the thought of drinking something even warm I figured why not iced coffee. And not just any old iced coffee, I wanted to make a Vietnamese iced coffee. Really easy and few ingredients to it. The great thing about this drink is that it is just as good when hot. This version isn’t as sweet as the traditional version, but I prefer it this way.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 cup freshly brewed dark roast coffee (I will be using Seattle’s Best Level 5: Purple Bag)
  • 2-3 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk (Chilled in the refrigerator)
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Step 1: Spoon the sweetened condensed milk into 1 heat proof glass cup.

Step 2: Pour 1 cup of fresh coffee into the glass. (I recommend pouring it down the back of a spoon to reduce shifting the milk.)

Step 3: Top glass with 4 ice cubes each and stir together with a long-handled spoon.

Note: I like to add a dollop of freshly whipped cream to make it into a latte.

Cookie Dough Truffles

While watching “Paula’s Best Dishes” I saw an episode where she make cookie dough truffles. And what perfect timing this was for me. I was trying to figure out what to make for a girl’s night-in party and this seemed just right. I will be using my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, but removing a few ingredients from that recipe.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 pkg. semisweet baker’s chocolate

Step 1: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt; set aside.

Step 2: In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until well blended.

Step 3: Beat in the vanilla extract and water until light and creamy.

Step 4: Mix in the flour mixture until just blended.

Step 5: Stir in the miniature semisweet chocolate chips.

Step 6: Scoop out 1 Tbsp of dough and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. (Lightly flour fingers to keep from sticking to dough)

Step 7: Refrigerate dough balls for 2 hours.

Step 8: Melt baker’s chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. (I recommend checking out my Easy Truffles for steps 8-10)

Step 9: Using 2 forks, dip each chilled dough ball into the chocolate and coat it in the melted chocolate.

Step 10: Place back onto the baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 11: Store in an air tight container.

Note: As a side treat I will be adding some Nutella in the center of some of the cookie dough ball before chilling them.

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