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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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.

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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.

Juicy Burgers

After having a quick burger at Five Guys Burgers and Fries I really began craving for a burger. Now I’ve never made a burger before, so this will be something new to learn. I’ve been watching some cooking shows and daytime shows on burgers for the last few days and I think I finally figured out how to make a decent burger.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 lb. fresh ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup diced onion

Step 1: In a large bowl, add all the ingredients.

Step 2: Mix the ingredients until combined, but don’t over mix the ground beef.

Step 3: Dived the ground beef into 4 portions and mold them into a round patty.

Step 4: In a preheated large pan over medium heat, add the patties and cook burgers until well browned, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 5: Flip burgers and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside; about 3-4 minutes.(Can add cheese right after flipping the burger, and cover to allow the steam to melt the cheese.)

Step 7: Serve on hamburger buns.

Toppings:

  • Chopped lettuce
  • Tomato slices
  • Onion slices
  • Ketchup
  • Yellow mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pickles
  • Relish
  • BBQ sauce
  • Etc.

Turkey Artichoke Panini

While cruising around town I got pretty hungry and I stopped at Panera’s to try their turkey artichoke panini. I thought it was the greatest thing invented. Well that was until I tried another version at a local cafe. It blew my mind. The layers of simple, but flavorful ingredients really caught my attention. Though the downside was that the cafe closed before 3pm so I seemed to miss the time. I have been craving for an turkey artichoke panini for a good month now. So I will be making my version of it, without a panini press, although I did want to use my waffle iron, but it’s to small. Note: I bought all the ingredients at Sam’s Club.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 ciabatta roll
  • 2 Tbsp. spinach artichoke dip
  • 3-4 slices of tomatoes
  • 2 oz. deli sliced turkey

Step 1: Slice the ciabatta roll in half

Step 2: Spread the spinach artichoke dip onto the bottom half of the roll.

Step 3: Layer on the turkey and tomato slices.

Step 4: Close the sandwich.

Step 5: Heat up a pan over medium heat and place the sandwich into it.

Step 6: Take a heavy pan and press it down on the sandwich

Step 7: Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until browned

Step 8: Flip sandwich and repeat until browned and the cheese is melted.

Stir-Fried Gochujang

Finding myself surrounded with containers of Gochujang, is a savory and pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt, and not really sure what to do with it all. I was tired of making bibimbap, a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. It can be served either cold or hot. So I figured I could make the gochujang into a stir fry.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2/3 cup Gochugang
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 cup ground pork or beef
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp. water

Sauce

  • 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. mirin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • ground black pepper

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce; set aside.

Step 2: Rinse the ground meat in cold water.

Step 3: Add the ground meat to the sauce and allow it to marinate for 5 minutes.

Step 4: In a large pan, add the sesame oil over medium heat.

Step 5: Add in the meat and stir well until no more pink is showing.

Step 6: Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir well.

Step 7: Cook for 3 minutes and remove from heat.

Step 8: Serve hot over rice and topped with vegetables. (I found it a bit salty to me, so next time I’m going to add some sugar)

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