Kimchi burritos

Here it is… my round-eye bastardized version of my friend Jamie’s kimchi burritos.  Hers still put mine to absolute shame, though.  Mainly because it’s hard to find good quality asian ingredients here.  She lives in Irvine and has an insane amount of asian markets to choose from; korean markets, japanese markets, etc.  Here?  We have an asian market.  In Plano.  I used to go weekly but now it’s a 40 minute drive, so I only go once a month or so to stock up on a gallon of soy sauce, 10lb bag of botan rice, and kimchi (of which they only have one kind.  Jamie’s korean market has like 20.  bitch.)

ANYWAY.

Marinade (adapted from Jamiesan’s Spam Musubi marinade)

  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bunch of scallions diced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger shredded
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 1 serrano pepper minced (if you don’t like spicy don’t use this)
  • a pound or so meat cut into 1″ (bite sized) pieces.  I’ve been using boneless, skinless chicken thighs lately, but that’s because I’ve been avoiding red meat.  I do love short rib though.  Short rib is freaking good.
  1. In a medium sized bowl mix soy sauce, sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. add garlic, scallions, ginger, pepper, and sesame seed oil to the marinade and stir to mix together.
  3. either add the meat in the bowl and let marinate, or pour it all in a large ziploc bag to marinate.
  4. let marinate for a few hours.  I’ll let it go anywhere from 2-3 hours to overnight.
  5. stir fry until done (alternatively you could leave the meat whole and grill it; that’s pretty tasty too)

Burritos

Make some rice (I have a rice cooker so all I do is add water, rice, and push a button).

I have two ways of doing the burritos themselves: the full-on version and the quick and easy version.  The full-on version involves chopping up some kimchi, scallions, ginger, and garlic and then adding it to rice in a hot pan with some soy sauce and sesame oil and making a quick version of kimchi fried rice.  The easy version (when I’m lazy) is just to use the rice as is.  Slap some rice, meat, and kimchi on a tortilla.  Roll it up.  Eat it.  Then repeat because one is NEVER enough.

Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tom Kha Gai soup

My local Thai place makes a really fab Tom Kha Gai, but I hate having to pay $9 for it.  I found this recipe and thought I’d give it a go, and WOW!  Tasty!!  Grossman loooooved it, too.  Granted, it’s not the healthiest meal ever what with the coconut milk and all, but it’s not like I’m having it every day (although I’d really really like to).  I think that next time I’ll add a little more lime juice and maybe some chili garlic paste to give it a little kick.

Tom Kha Gai

Ingredients

  • 1  can (14 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1  can (14 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6  quarter-size slices fresh ginger
  • 1  stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in 1-in. pieces
  • 1  pound  boned, skinned chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-in. chunks
  • 1  cup  sliced mushrooms
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
  • 1  tablespoon  Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla)
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  Thai chili paste
  • 1/4  cup  fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4  cup  fresh cilantro

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lemongrass and bring to boil over high heat. Add chicken, mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili paste. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is firm and opaque, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard lemongrass. Garnish servings with basil and cilantro.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
357 (63% from fat)
Protein:
29g
Fat:
25g (sat 19)
Carbohydrate:
7.2g
Fiber:
0.5g
Sodium:
484mg
Cholesterol:
79mg
Published in: on April 1, 2009 at 2:06 am  Comments (1)  
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Thai Noodle Salad w/ Tofu

For as much as I love Asian food, I really don’t like tofu.  I keep trying it though, because I’m optimistic that one day I’ll get what Jamiesan and Grossman see in it.  Actually, I take that back.  There’s a noodle/tofu dish at a Thai place in LA that I absolutely loved, but that’s because the tofu didn’t feel like tofu (or at least what most tofus feel like).  See, it’s not really about the taste for me, it’s a texture thing.

Anyway, long story short, I saw this recipe in Cooking Light and thought I’d give it a whirl since we’re trying to be healthier.  As it turns out, this was really really good!  I used extra-firm tofu instead of firm, and I didn’t press it or marinate it for as long as the recipe requires because I’m lame and didn’t actually read the directions till I got home and then I was all “30 minutes?! what the hell?!” and “2 hours!!  Fuck!  Well, we’re gonna wing it”.  But even with my pressing of only 15 minutes and marinating for only 30, it turned out great!  It’s similar to the Vietnamese Noodles, but it has a slightly different flavor profile.  Also?  It’s spicy, and I only used about half of the recommended chili garlic sauce.

Thai Noodle Salad w/ Sauteed Tofu

Ingredients

  • 3/4  pound  firm water-packed tofu, drained  (I used extra-firm)
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice  (I used from a bottle because I’m lame)
  • 1  tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  chili garlic sauce  (I used about 2 tsp.)
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  grated peeled fresh ginger (hello, from a jar)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  tablespoon  peanut oil (I used olive oil.  sue me.)
  • Noodles:
  • 3/4  pound  uncooked rice vermicelli
  • Dressing:
  • 1/4  cup  fresh lime juice
  • 3  tablespoons  chili garlic sauce (I used about half that)
  • 2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  peanut oil (olive again)
  • 1  tablespoon  Thai fish sauce
  • 2  teaspoons  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper  (I just used a few sprinkles)
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • 2  cups  thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • 1  cup  shredded carrot
  • 1/2  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt

Preparation

1. To prepare tofu, cut tofu into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange tofu slices in a single layer on several layers of paper towels. Top with several more layers of paper towels; top with a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan. Let stand 30 minutes. Remove tofu from paper towels; cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Combine tofu, 2 tablespoons juice, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate at room temperature 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, swirling to coat; heat 30 seconds. Remove tofu from bag; discard marinade. Add tofu to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until crisp, carefully turning to brown all sides. Remove from heat.

3. To prepare noodles, while tofu marinates, place vermicelli in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain well. Set noodles aside.

4. To prepare dressing, combine 1/4 cup juice and next 8 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon red pepper), stirring with a whisk.

5. Combine vermicelli, lettuce, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing; toss well to combine. Top with tofu.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
336 (26% from fat)
Fat:
9.8g (sat 1.5g,mono 5g,poly 2.8g)
Protein:
10.3g
Carbohydrate:
57.2g
Fiber:
2.4g
Cholesterol:
0.0mg
Iron:
2.5mg
Sodium:
794mg
Calcium:
132mg

As a side note, I prepare my noodles differently.  I boil them for 2-3 minutes and then rinse them for a couple of minutes with cold water.  I’ve tried the “put them in a bowl w/ boiling water” thing, and I think that they kind of turn out gummy.  Just my own preference though.

Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 3:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Soba Noodles with Chicken

Grossman and I are trying to eat healthier (the Red Velvet Cupcakes and butter has kind of made us soft and lumpy), so I thought I’d try a new recipe.  I had some soba noodles on hand so last night I gave them a go.

Soba Noodles with Chicken

2 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 T. honey
Rice vinegar to taste
Sesame Oil (a few shakes)
3 or 4  boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 package of soba noodles
1 qt low-sodium chicken broth
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
4 or 5 scallions, minced
Pickled ginger (optional)

Combine 1 1/2 T soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and sesame oil in a bowl and mix well.  Add in the chicken thighs.  Let them marinate for about 10 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the thighs and marinade.  Saute for about 5-6 minutes till done.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot.

While that’s coming up to a boil, make the broth.  Combine the chicken broth, 1 T. soy sauce, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Get it to an almost-but-not-quite-boiling point and keep it there.

While the broth is “simmering”, add a few pinches of salt to the boing water and then add in the soba noodles.  Cook for about 5 minutes or till al dente.  Drain and rinse under cold water.

Assemble!  Put some noodles in a bowl, put some chicken on top, sprinkle with mung beans, scallions, and ginger, and ladle some broth over it all.  Eat!

Just a note, Grossman wasn’t a huge fan of the soba noodles.  I liked it, but I like him more, so next time I’ll do rice vermicelli instead of soba.

Also, the chicken with the marinade was good eatin’.  It would be really good served with rice or on top of a salad.  We had a lot of noodles left over so I’m going to try a cold soba noodle salad thing today.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 1:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Vietnamese Cold Noodle Salad

This is one of my favorite dishes ever, and since moving away from Los Angeles in 2006, one I’ve had to learn how to make on my own. See, when we lived in LA, we’d just jet on over to this place around the corner called Le Saigon and order “two #8s and a 13” and blissfully indulge. And yes, there are some Vietnamese places here in TX, but so far none of them have lived up to our Le Saigon standards. What can I say, we were spoiled. So one day I decided to scour the net for THE recipe.

Lo and behold, I found one! It took some doctoring, but it turns out, I can make it and it’s dang tasty! To make it taste like it does at Le Saigon, I used less fish sauce and garlic in the Nuac Cham, cooked the noodles a bit longer, and added more lettuce, cilantro, and cucumber.

Recently, I got the Best International Recipe Cookbook and discovered that they also have a recipe for Vietnamese Cold Noodle Salad, so I thought I’d give it a go tonight.

The verdict is in: When making a Vietnamese dish, it’s probably best to actually trust the recipe from a Vietnamese person and not the recipe from a bow-tie wearing round-eye. This one was FAR too limey for my taste, the fish sauce to garlic ratio was kind of off, and the brown sugar in the marinade was a bit cloying.

Of course, according to Cook’s Illustrated, their recipe is perfect in every way, is better than that of any Asian person, and I’m not allowed under any circumstance to modify it. Just ask them! This blog has turned me off of them completely, and I will never buy another of their books or magazines. I always thought Chris Kimball was a pompous prick, and that just confirms it for me.

Published in: on July 27, 2008 at 1:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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