Winter Solstice is one of my favorite festivals. In fact, I love winter solstice more than I love Chinese New Year, which is very odd for an Asian. Winter solstice is also known as Dong Zhi festival, it is usually around December 22nd.
Traditionally, winter solstice is when all the family members will get together to make food, eating and spending time with each other. It had been a while since I last celebrated winter solstice with my family (more than 8 years to be exact). Glutinous rice balls – Tang Yuan symbolized reunion.
This dish symbolized reunion but I make this dish when I am homesick too. It reminds me of the time of my childhood. We were all so young but whenever my mom decided to make this, we would all drag ourselves out of bed no matter how early it is, we would help my mom roll the glutinous rice dough into these small little balls. Mom will then cook them up and served them as breakfast. Those were some great times.
2 cups of water
6-10 slices of ginger slice (about inch thick)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
Glutinous rice balls
2 1/2 cups of Glutinous rice flour
1 cup of water
2 cups of toasted peanut with skin removed
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Add in ginger slices and 2 cups of water in a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the stove after 20 minutes and let it cool before serving.
Combine the toasted peanut and brown sugar in a food processor or a blender and pulse them. I just pulsed it a couple times to make sure they are well combined, if you over pulsed them it will become a paste. Set the ground peanut aside for later use.
Place the rice flour in a large bowl, slowly add in warm water while stirring to form the dough. Knead the dough by hand after the dough has formed, you are all done when the dough doesn’t stick your hands. Make sure your dough is not too wet, or else it would not hold its shape. The consistency of the dough should be similar to play dough. You could also make the dough ahead of time, place the dough in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate it overnight.
Bring a pot of water to boil for boiling the glutinous rice balls.
Roll the dough into little spherical shape ball in between your palm. The size of the glutinous rice doesn’t really matter as long as they are consistent they will cook evenly.
Drop the rice balls into the pot of boiling water to cook them. Make sure you do not over crowded the pot so that all the rice balls can cook evenly.
As soon as the rice balls are floating in the pot of boiling water, transfer them into a bowl of cold water for about 2 minutes. The purpose of this step is to make sure they stop cooking so that they can maintain the springy texture.
Transfer the cooked rice balls into the cool ginger syrup, and it’s ready to serve
I like to serve the glutinous rice balls with syrup, and the ground peanut in another bowl. Sometimes I do like to add in the ground peanuts into the syrup too. This dish is pretty versatile, you can eat it however you want to. I hope you guys enjoy the dish that I love from my childhood as much as I love making this for you guys.
Summer time, watermelon time, am I right? When it comes to summer, watermelon is a must have for this household. While Victor was doing the grocery shopping this week, he came home with a gigantic watermelon. There is only so much the two of us can eat, so what about the leftover watermelon?
With Fourth of July coming up in the next few days, we all know we can’t have a Fourth of July party without a refreshing pitcher of watermelon smoothie. All of a sudden I have an idea, we can totally have some watermelon smoothie on a warm day like today. The best part about this recipe, it takes two ingredients and a blender with just two minutes to make. Of course, this is not a recipe specifically for the Fourth, but also any hot summer day.
I sliced up some watermelon and frozen kiwi that I have in my freezer, put them in my Ninja Professional Blender (BL610) and hit the power button. Do keep in mind that the slush tastes a lot better with chilled watermelon.
5 cups of sliced seedless watermelon
1 cup of ice cubes
mint leaves – optional
Combine sliced watermelon and ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth.
Top it off with some mint leaves if you like the minty fresh taste.
Viola, the whole process takes less than two minutes. You could also add some vodka if you fancy liquor in your smoothie. Let me know if you like the smoothie for a hot summer day.
Hope you guys enjoy the smoothie as mush as we did.
This Chinese style stuffed pepper is a Chinese dish that is primarily tofu, sometimes we would use vegetable such as eggplant, bitter melon or bell peppers. We would cut them up and filled them with ground meat and fish paste. This is a very common dish that you can find in Malaysia, it’s also a dish that you could whip up in less than 30 minute.
The secret ingredient for this dish is fish paste. Back in Malaysia, my grandmother would usually get up early in the morning to go to the wet market to get fresh mackerel from the fishmonger. She would bring an entire mackerel home and slowly fillet them so that she could turn them into a paste. This is actually a very labor intensive dish back home. Fortunately for us, if you lived in the states, you could substitute fresh fish paste with fish paste emulsion. They usually come in frozen form, you can find them in any Asian store. I personally like to thaw my fish paste emulsion in the fridge overnight before I use it the next day. This recipe requires the fish paste to bind the ground meat before stuffing it in the vegetables or tofu.
Other than fish paste emulsion I like to mix in ground chicken breast. My grandmother prefer pork, but I like the taste of chicken much better. In this particular recipe I use ground chicken breast instead of ground pork.
1 container of fish paste emulsion
1 ground chicken breast ( or ground pork if you prefer)
6 Poblano peppers (We picked this type of pepper because they are milder as compare to Serrano peppers. Of course, another factor is they are bigger than Serrano pepper, you could stuff them easily.
1 stalk of green onion
1 tbsp of ground white pepper
2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of sesame oil
Cleaned the peppers and remove all the seeds before making a slit on the peppers for the stuffing. (I like to cut off the top of the peppers for easy stuffing.)
Mix the ground chicken breast and fish paste emulsion in a large bowl. Add in the ground white pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil and green onion into the fish paste mixture and mix well.
Stuff the mixture into the peppers but make sure you do not over stuffed them.
Place the stuffed pepper on the frying pan and sear the outside of the peppers. ( You do not need to cook the stuffing all the way through)
After a good searing, place all the stuffed peppers in a steam-able dish and steam it for 10 minutes. (I generally put 1 tbsp of oyster sauce and 1 tbsp of soy sauce on the peppers before I put it in the steamer.)
Enjoy this quick and easy Chinese style stuffed peppers. You can either eat them as they are or serve them with rice. I hope you guys enjoyed the food as much as we enjoyed making them.
Let’s talk about crêpes today. What about them? Who doesn’t like a little French pastry for breakfast? I still remember a bunch of friends and I used to head to the mall that was right behind our college to grab these delicious suckers. I don’t know why are they so addictive, or rather how. One thing I do know is, they are super easy to make. Just a couple ingredients and a blender, then we are all set to make breakfast.
Here I have a recipe that is really quick and easy. I like to prepare the batter the night before as you know I am the kind of person that gets really hungry after a good nights sleep. Breakfast is not something that I would skip, it doesn’t matter if I only have 5 minutes, I will still have a slice of toast and my cup of coffee.
In one of the conversation I had with my sister recently she mentioned that she was trying to make a crêpe cake. So this two ways crêpe came across my mind, and I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I can make these for breakfast and they only take a couple minutes? You could also make these crêpe with a savory twist if you would like. I personally prefer them with jams, nutella or cream cheese.
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
2 1/2 tbsp of sugar in the raw
1 tsp of vanilla extract (you could also substitute with vanilla beans)
3 tablespoon of melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan
Combined all the ingredients in a blender, blend for 20 seconds.
Store the crêpe batter in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight (of course I preferred overnight).
Heat up a small non-stick pan, with some butter, just enough to coat the pan.
Pour a ladder full of batter into the center of the pan, and swirl quickly to make sure the batter spread as evenly as possible to cover the pan.
Cook the crêpe for about 30 seconds before flipping it.
Cook the other side for about 20 seconds and lay it flat on a dish to let it cool before spreading the jam/ cream cheese.
I hope you guys enjoy the crêpe recipe as much as I do. Let me know if you guys have something in mind that you would me to make. I am always open to suggestions.
I have heard a tons of great things about juicing. Juicing is an easier way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet, but on the other hand, you don’t get a lot of fiber that is in the fruits and vegetables. Juicing machines usually extract the juice and leave behind all the pulp, that being said you left all the fiber behind. In addition to that, juicers can be pretty expensive as compare to a blender.
As I mentioned before, juicers are much more expensive than a bender. I spent about two weeks doing research about juicers and blenders. Knowing me, I ended up with a blender, I got my Ninja Professional Blender (BL610) from Amazon while they were on sale. Now that we have the blender, what kind of smoothie should we make? I saw a bag of frozen antioxidant blend berries that I picked up when we were at Costco two weeks ago.
I decided to try out the blender on Sunday morning. What’s better than starting the day with a vitamin C smoothie and a slice of toast?
1 cup of Sunrise Growers Organic Antioxidant Blend
1 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of kale
1 Fuji apple
Place all the ingredients in the blender and hit the power button. Blend all the ingredients on high for two minutes.
Viola, another smoothie recipe that can be done in one step. My philosophy is, healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Sometimes a simple recipe like this could be just what you need to stay healthy.
I have been living in Michigan for almost 8 years, I have also been to Chicago more times than I can count. Recently when my brother visited us in December, we had to drop him off at Chicago airport. This is when we found the Super H-mart, the store is huge, you can find a variety of Asian food with a focus on Korean food in the store, even things that you believe is impossible to find in the United States. I can’t believe I did not know about this place for the longest time. Anyway, long story short, I was really excited about this place, I was like a kid in the candy store.
While we were walking around this store, the was a Korean lady standing by one of the booth handing out samples. I had one of those and I was sold, it was a clear broth with udon and nothing else, it was amazing. I grabbed a couple bottles of the soup base, we have been making a lot more udon these days. Did I mention this recipe take less than 5 minutes? Let’s get into the ingredients and instructions before we go way off topic.
1/2 cup of dried bonito/ anchory soup base (substitute with your own favorite soup base or chicken stock)
4 cups of water
8 oz. of frozen udon noodles
1/2 cup of vegetable of your choice
1/2 cup of shrimp
Add 1/2 cup of soup base and 4 cups of water into a small pot. Bring the soup to a boil before adding in the frozen udon noodles.
Turn the heat to medium low before adding the frozen udon noodles into the soup. At the same time, add in the shrimp and the vegetable and cook them for 4 minutes.
Heat up some oil in a small frying pan and make a fried egg like you normally would.
Put the noodles in a bowl and top it off with the fried egg, and the dish is ready to be served.
This recipe doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. As long as you have the soup base and the udon noodles, you may add in any leftovers you have in your refrigerator, and viola, you have your dinner for the night.
One of my new resolutions is to eat healthier. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our lifestyle, sometime we neglect the little things like eating healthier. This year I started with a small goal, I have been telling myself I need to eat healthier and head to the gym more often.
It’s pretty hard to find the motivation to be as active as I would like in this cold weather. Michigan weather changes in minutes, it could be sunny out there this minute but the next will be snowing again. I am going to be honest, I have not been going to the gym as often as I would like but diet-wise, both of us have been pretty good about that. We have been eating pretty clean on a regular basis, but we do have cheat days here and there. I am a firm believer of you are what you eat.
Alright, back to today’s recipe. We are going to talk about my breakfast recipe for the coming week. A couple of my friends been posting photos about what they eat for breakfast. I have been thinking what else could I make that’s super quick and easy. I came up with this chia breakfast bowl idea. This recipe seriously takes no time, but did I mention it looks and tastes awesome. I rolled out of bed and made this breakfast bowl while I was waiting for my coffee. I hope that caught your attention. Enjoy the recipe below!
1/2 cup of Chobani Blueberry Greek yogurt (or your favorite type of yogurt)
1/3 cup of frozen berries or tropical fruits
1/3 of rehydrated chia seeds
1/3 of honey, almond & chia granola or your preferred granola
Combined the greek yogurt and rehydrated chia seeds in a bowl and top it up with frozen berries and granola.
Viola, this is the easiest ONE STEP recipe. Enjoy!
My boyfriend used to work in a Thai restaurant, but for some reason he has a soft spot for this Vietnamese Spring rolls. Who doesn’t like a spring roll that is actually made with fresh ingredients. We do not have a lot of farmers market around here in Michigan, but when we do we love to head over there and get some fresh ingredients. You can also get these ingredients in a local supermarket or your local fresh market.
There is one ingredient for the sauce I am not sure where you can get your hands on, my boyfriend actually bought it when he was in Wisconsin. I finished an entire jar of the almond butter from Yumbutter. I love the almond/ peanute butter from Yumbutter, I spread it on my toast, I also included them in some of my cooking. They are just so versatile, and of course they are super yummy too. Hence the name, YUMBUTTER! I will include a link in the ingredients section of where you can get the spicy thai peanut butter with cayenne, tumeric anc cumin. In addition, I also like to dip the spring rolls in a wasabi/soy sauce mixture just to change things up as well as add a kick.
1 cup of julliened carrots
1 cup of shrimp
1 cup of cucumber slices
A stalk Romaine lettuce
A pack of rice paper
2 tbsp of Spicy thai peanut butter (alternatively you can use regular peanut butter, add some siracha and soy sauce to taste)
1 tbsp of water (if the sauce is too thick for your liking you may use 2 tbsp of water)
A dash of fish sauce
Clean, peel and cook your shrimp in boiling water with some salt for about 3 minutes. Set aside for later use.
Start by rehydrating the rice paper in a bowl of warm of water until soften. You should be able to tell when they are soften you will be able to bend them and use it as a wrapper.
Lay the rice paper flat on a plate or a board of some sort. Arrange your fillings of the spring rolls starting with the lettuce at the bottom. Add a handful of carrots and two slices of cucumber. Lastly, add in your cooked shrimps.
Fold the left and right side of the wrap inward, then tightly roll the rice paper forward, to make sure that all the ingredients stayed in the wrapper.
Repeat with the above steps until you run out of fillings to wrap.
For the sauce, combined the spicy thai peanut butter with water and add a dash of fish sauce. Mixed all the ingredients together and stir well before serving.
I do not feel guilty after eating 6 of these puppies. They taste so good and they are pretty healthy in my opinion, or at the very least better than the deep fried version. Enjoy them on a warm summer day or a cold night.
What’s the quickest and the simpliest dish you think you can make? To me, that would be fried rice, it requires the least amount of ingredients, and the least amount of time. This dish probably took me 10 minutes to throw it all together.
I remember mom used to make fried rice when she doesn’t know what to do with the leftover white rice. Kimchi friend rice is something that I am obsessed with at the moment.
1 cup of Kimchi
1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups of cooked white rice
2 large eggs
1 tbsp of soy sauce
Chop up the kimchi, make sure you squeeze out the juices from the kimchi.
Combined the juices from the Kimchi and soy sauce, set aside for later use.
Heat oil up in a large frying pan, scramble the egg, and add in the frozen mixed vegetable.
Add in the kimchi with the egg and frozen vegetables until the kimchi is caramelized.
Add in the rice and stir fry with the rest of the ingredients in the frying pan.
Finally, add in the soy sauce and the juices from Kimchi, tossing the fried rice occasionally to make sure the rice is not in clumps.
When the friend rice is done top it up with an over easy egg.
Some of you might think that this dish would be too spicy for little kids. If that’s the case, you could reduced the amount of Kimchi being used.
This is a salad that was inspired by the summer time. When I was still a student in the summertime a couple of friends and I loved to head to Panera and have a light salad for lunch before we buried ourselves in our research again. We would always sit outside of the store, that’s how much we enjoyed the summer. Fuji Apple Chicken salad from Panera is the salad that I always go back to, no matter how many times I keep telling myself I need to try something else the next time I go to Panera.
Now that we are all done with graduate school, and started working in the real world. I finally realized that I can actually gather all the ingredients and make it at home especially after discovering that you can buy the Fuji apple vinaigrette dressing from Target or Meijer. It’s not only a pretty quick and easy salad to put together, it’s also super colorful and light just like the summer time.
1 cup of regular cabbage (shredded)
1 cup of purple cabbage (shredded)
1 cup of shredded kale
1 large Fuji apple (julienne)
1 large riped mango (diced)
Fuji apple vinaigrette
1/4 cup of sesame seed
Combined both types of cabbages, kale, apple and mango in a big dish.
Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with dressing, toss to coat.
Top it off with grilled chicken and some sesame seed.
Easy three steps for this light summer salad. Anybody can make this dish as long as you have all the ingredients. I guarantee you, after making it at home you will not want to spent 10 dollars for a bowl of salad again. Enjoy the colorful salad, hopefully summer is going to be here very soon.
My boyfriend and I both have full time jobs. We are the kind of couple that like to bring our lunch/ dinner to work if we can, not only does it save money, but we do get tired eating out every day, and what we make at home better caters to our tastes. In addition, there aren’t many food choices in Kalamazoo, unless you are willing to have fast food every single day. To me, there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of steaming hot noodles, especially on a cold day. Since it’s not practical to bring a container full of soup and noodles, I am willing to compromise, I am fine with a bowl of hearty Yakiudon. Yakiudon uses thick udon noodles typically put into a soup but instead is stir fried into this delicious little dish.
1/2 cup of shrimp, shell and tail removed
1 cup of bean sprouts
2 bricks of frozen udon
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame paste
1/2 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 pack of bonito shaving (optional)
Blanch the frozen udon in a pot of boiling water for a minute to make sure that all the noodles are seperated. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside for the stir fry.
Combine soy sauce, sesame paste, and oyster sauce with two tablespoons of hot water. Set aside for later use.
Heat up the frying pan with small amount of oil, add the eggs and make sure you scramble it while cooking it. Stir fry the eggs, shrimps and bean sprouts until the shrimps are cooked.
Drained the udon, and add it into the stir fry. Combined all the ingredients together in the frying pan, and add the sauces. Make sure you turn down the heat to medium low, so that you don’t burn the udon noodles.
Season with salt and white pepper to your own taste.
Serve on a plate and add some bonito shaving if you would like.
With a full schedule, this is our version of Yakiudon with a little twist. It’s not something real fancy but it tastes pretty good, and the most important thing is, this recipe is really quick and easy. If I can make this, I am sure all of you can cook this at home.
One of the hearty breakfast that I love especially on the weekends when you actually have more time to prepare food is porridge. Typically, you would make porridge with oats and milk or water, but in this recipe, we are making the asian style porridge which required rice and water or chicken stock. This asian style porridge takes a little longer to cook as compared to the regular oats and milk.
Porridge is usually served as a light meal such as breakfast. This porridge was made from boiling rice in water or chicken stock. The porridge is left simmer in the stock/ water until it becomes a creamy texture. We often have porridge with Chinese cruller, it adds a little crunch to the creaminess of the porridge.
1/2 cup of diced chicken breast
1/2 cup or white jasmine rice
2 cups of chicken stock or water
2 tbsp of diced fresh ginger
1 peeled century eggs
pinch of salt and ground white pepper
Rinsed the white jasmine rice and while bringing the chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot. ( you will need a big enough pot to hold all the ingredients while not exceeding two thirds of the pot’s volume.)
Once the chicken stock it boiling, uncover the pot, add in the jasmine rice. When the rice and the stock started boiling, turn down the heat to low, add in the diced ginger and chicken breast.
Let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Season with a little salt and ground white pepper before serving.
This is a dish that you should serve it hot, it tastes a lot better when it’s hot. Enjoy your breakfast on a cold Sunday.
As a lot of you might already know, breakfast is essential to start off the day. I have a couple new year resolutions, and one of them being eating healthy. In Michigan you will have more cold months, and during these cold months, I recently found a healthy way to have my breakfast. I dug out the container of steel cut Irish oatmeal that I bought from Costco a couple of months ago. I used to eat oatmeal on a daily basis when the weather was warmer and you can get berries everywhere.
Long story short, couple days ago, I started cooking my steel cut irish oat in almond milk. I cooked it for about five minutes, add in some chia seeds. As soon as the mixture thickens up, stir in some honey and you’re good to go. I personally like to top it up with some granola with some frozen berries. Honestly, it’s so easy and it’s so so good, I have this oatmeal for snacks too.