Asian Noodles with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tofu

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Sometimes I have problems with movies with subtitles.¬†Eat Drink Man Woman provided me some trouble in that regard with paying attention. I kept seeing food, but I hardly followed the story line. Because of that, I can’t tell you what the movie was about.

Why am I talking about the movie though? Because this month’s Food n’ Flix hosted by Kahakai Kitchen features this movie. To participate I made some Asianesque noodles. Perhaps not the most inspired dish this month, but at least I’m participating? That’s more than I can say from the last few months.

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Asian Noodles with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tofu

Ingredients
12 oz ramen noodles (without the spice packets)
12 oz firm tofu
2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3-inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tbsp mirin
4 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb asparagus, with fibrous ends removed cut into 3 inch pieces
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame seeds
pinch of red chili flakes

Directions

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet. Once sizzling hot, add the tofu and cook 2 minutes per side. Remove and place on a plate.

2. In a pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the ramen noodles and cook per package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. In the cast iron skillet, add some more oil. Add the mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the mirin on top. Pour into a large bowl.

4. Add some more oil to the skillet. Cook the green onions for 2 minutes and place in the large bowl with the mushrooms. Then cook the asparagus in the skillet for 2 minutes. Place in the large bowl.

5. Add the noodles, tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chili flakes to the vegetable mixture. Toss to combine.

* serves 4
* Besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is also shared with Delicious Dish Tuesday

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Steamed Buns

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The best way to put this, is that this was a huge experiment. It wasn’t exactly successful, but the end result was edible and flavorful.

Maybe I should have taken them out of these silly cupcake wrappers to photograph. Maybe I shouldn’t have snapped the picture quickly before chowing all these buns down. But I won’t live my life with too many maybes. ūüôā

This month’s movie for Food ‘n Flix was a movie I watched all the time in college, Kung Fu Panda hosted by girlichef. Why did I watch it a lot? I don’t know. I also watched Happy Feet a lot. My college movie tastes were more along the line of a 5-year old’s.

I shouldn’t have let my boyfriend have a say in the dish, because if it had been entirely up to me I would have made an Asian dish with peaches in it for the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom.

20101111134645!PeachTree

I didn’t do that though. Instead I made steamed buns that lacked the appropriate shape and were shoved into cupcake wrappers. Next time I’m making the calls without input from the peanut gallery.

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Steamed Buns
(source)

FOR THE DOUGH
500 gram all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
50 gram sugar
3 gram salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil

FOR THE STUFFING
1 1/2 lb ground beef (which you probably shouldn’t use like I did, because it’s greasy, use pork or turkey)
1/2 cup spinach, shredded
1 tbsp salt
5 green onions, diced
2 inch ginger, diced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp ground pepper

Directions

1. Combine the yeast with the lukewarm water to activate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a bread mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Attach the dough hook. Turn it on and slowly add the activated yeast and the milk. Then slowly add the vegetable oil.

3. Knead with the bread hook for 15 minutes. It should form a smooth, soft, non-sticky ball of dough. Add liquid or flour if the texture of the dough is too sticky or too dry.

4. Cover the bowl with plastic. Place somewhere warm and let the dough rest for an hour. The dough should double in size. Turn on the mixer again, allowing the dough to be kneaded for 5 more minutes.

5. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Mix 1 tbsp of salt with the spinach. Let sit for 20 minutes.

6. After 20 minutes, press any liquid out of the spinach. Add the remaining filling ingredients to the bowl and mix together with your hands. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

7. Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured surface. Divide the dough into four portions and roll each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

8. Cut each log into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Press the ball flat in your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a round flat circle, about 4 inches in diameter.

9. Place 1 tbsp of the filling in each piece. Wrap the bun by folding the edge counterclockwise until the bun is completely sealed.

10. Place the buns in a steamer on parchment paper (or uh, cupcake wrappers.) Cover and let sit for 45 minutes.

11. Steam the buns for 15 minutes over high heat. Turn off the heat and keep the buns covered for 5 minutes before removing from the steamer.

* makes about 24 buns

Stir-Fried Beef with Mint

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This month for Cooking with Herbs, I opted to make a stir-fry. For February we were challenged to make something either romantic (for Valentine’s Day) or Chinese for Chinese New Year. I decided to make a stir-fry to celebrate the Lunar New Year. I grew up in San Francisco and went to a predominantly Chinese school. I loved Chinese New Year, for the red envelopes filled with money. I really could use one of those now . . . Filled with¬†lots of money!

Anyway, this stir-fry features beef, mint, garlic, and onion. I love stir-fry for their simplicity and quickness. A meal ready in under 20 minutes is always nice.

Stir-Fried Beef with Mint

Ingredients
1 lb skirt steak, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp crushed red chili peppers
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped

Directions

1. Put the red chili, garlic, and onion together in a cup. Mush together to make something resembling a paste.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok. Once hot, add the onion mixture. Cook the mixture until it turns golden brown.

3. Add the beef. Cook the beef until it’s no longer pink.

4. Add the fish sauce, sugar, water, and mint. Cook for several minutes, stirring consistently, until the liquid becomes thick.

5. Serve over rice.

* serves 4
* besides Cooking with Herbs, this recipe is being shared with #FoodieFriday , Foodie Friday, & Tasty Tuesdays

Pork Chops Chinese-Style

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We truly went random this month at Dom’s Random Recipes. The random number generator told me that #8 was the cookbook to choose. #8 on my shelf was a book I got for free called¬†Wok Cookery¬†by Ceil Dyer. I had not used this cookbook yet – for one big reason. I do not own a wok. I really want a wok, but I have not purchased one (for no good reason.) Even sitting here, having cooked from¬†Wok Cookery, I still do not own a wok. I just made it work with what I did own. After digging through my cooking collection I opted to use my double broiler. I’ve never thought to do meat in it before. It worked perfectly.

I did not let the pork chop marinate as long as I was instructed. I mean, I had all day. I could have. But I didn’t actually¬†read the recipe until I was going to make it. I ended up marinating the pork for about 30 minutes. I’m sure the additional time would have made these even better, but I’m not complaining. The flavor was great. They were very tender. And served on top of a big mound of fried rice, I was pretty happy.

I’m not going to include the fried rice recipe, because.. It’s fried rice. But just in case you’re curious, it has onions, garlic, red bell pepper, corn, green onions, cashews, and soy sauce in it.

randomrecipes2

Pork Chops Chinese-Style

Ingredients
4 boneless pork chops, trimmed
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chili sauce
3/4 cup white wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Directions

1. Place pork chops in a shallow dish. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the pork. Turn the chops several times and pierce the pork chops with a fork. Let marinate at room temperature for 2 or 3 hours (or a half hour if you’re like me.)

2. Fill a double broiler with water. Bring to a simmer. Place the pork chops on the top part of the double broiler. Cover and steam for 1 hour.

* serves 4
* Besides Random Recipes, this is shared with Mix It Up Monday

Faux Tom Yum Soup

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This month at Cooking Around the World we’re heading to Thailand. My google-fu suggested I make Tom Yum Soup. I agreed.

Now . . . I live in a very Asian area. I very easily could have gotten all the ingredients I needed to make this authentic. But I just don’t have money to be spending on ingredients I don’t use frequently. So I subbed and I skipped and I made a soup with too many noodles (oops!) But you know, it doesn’t matter. It still tasted delicious.

If you want the authentic recipe go to the source. If you want mine . . . well, it’s below.

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Faux Tom Yum Soup
(source)

Ingredients
1 package soba noodles
2 1/2 cups water
1 stalk lemongrass
1 tomato, chopped
12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
3 tbsp lime juice

Directions

1. Cook the noodles to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. In a pot bring the water to a boil. Add the lemongrass, tomato, shrimp, mushrooms, and chili garlic sauce. Boil until the shrimp is cooked all the way through. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. Stir together.

3. Pour the broth over the noodles. Toss the noodles into the sauce.

* serves 2
* Besides Cooking Around The World, this is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

 

Tempura Sushi Salad

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This month the movie at Food ‘n Flix was very different than the one I hosted last month. Instead of a French dystopian movie, this month’s movie is a documentary about a Japanese sushi chef. Camilla is our host this month, having picked this documentary with its beautiful shots of sushi.

If anyone knows sushi, it’s Jiro. But frankly, this movie didn’t inspire me to make sushi – it terrified me. I’ve never done it before, so I knew any attempt from me would be laughable. I can just see it. It’s embarrassing even in my head. Maybe one day I’ll try sushi, but then not document my failure, because who wants everyone to see that? Being that Jiro is a huge perfectionist, I think he would have appreciated my refrain from trying to participate in his art.

In the film, Yamamoto tells us that there are five attributes of a great chef:

1. Take your work seriously
2. Aspire to improve
3. Maintain cleanliness
4. Be a better leader than a collaborator
5. Be passionate about your work

I am not a cook. I am an amateur that cooks for myself and my boyfriend. I enjoy food, but I am no cook. But I find these attributes so important to employ in all fields of work, to be a good lawyer I’ll need many of those traits as well. The only that might not quite apply is 4, because I think leaders also need to collaborate, but those five attributes can be applied to more than just cooks.

Be passionate.

Anyway, because I did not feel inspired to make sushi, I took it and ran with it a bit. I decided I’d use all the things I love in sushi and make a salad. Though I actually really love raw tuna in my sushi (along with other raw fish,) I’m not sure of where I could get fish fresh enough to eat raw and I didn’t want to chance severe sickness. I instead made tempura with shrimp and green beans. Considering my¬†favorite sushi roll is the spider roll (with fried soft shell crab, yumm!) making tempura for my sushi salad seemed appropriate.

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Join us at Food ‘n Flix, get inspired, be passionate.

Tempura Sushi Salad

Ingredients
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt, divided
8 shrimp, peeled and deveined
a handful of green beans with the ends snapped off
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup ice water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup shortening, divided
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup cooked rice
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 sheet nori, cut into strips
1 avocado, diced

Directions

1. Marinate the shrimp in the white wine and 1/4 tsp of salt for 20 minutes.

2. Mix together flour, ice water, cornstarch, egg yolk, sugar, 1 tsp of the shortening, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Once well mixed, coat the shrimp and the green beans with the batter.

3. Heat the shortening in a cast iron skillet or a wok. Once hot add the shrimp and the green beans, in batches, a few at a time. Cook the shrimp about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Flip and cook for about 3 more minutes on the other side. Continue until all the shrimp and green beans are fried. Let drain on a paper towel.

4. Put your salad together in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of rice in each bowl. Surround with the cucumber and carrot pieces. Top with half of the tempura per bowl. Top with avocado and nori.

(serve with soy sauce if you want some!)

* serves 2
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is shared with #FoodieFriday & Foodie Friday

Three Cup Chicken

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This week’s kitchen traveling adventure took me to Taiwan. If you love Chinese food, you will love Taiwanese food. Essentially the difference is that Taiwanese food adds some local Taiwanese flair using local ingredients.

In my International Law class last semester we actually talked quite a bit about Taiwan. Though I’m considering Taiwan its own country for purposes of my food travels, Taiwan actually is not considered a sovereign nation in international matters and instead is considered part of the People’s Republic of China (Taiwan is formally known as the Republic of China.) I’m sure the reason for the similar foods is due to these cultural identities and the¬†international¬†view of Taiwan’s and China’s relationship.

Now that I’ve given you a mini-lesson the big of the day is: I’m done with law school!!! Well, that’s hoping I passed everything.. But done for now!

And in other other news, I forgot to photograph this dish after the basil was added as garnish.

Three Cup Chicken
(source)

Ingredients
4 chicken drumsticks, skinned with the meat cut off and cut into chunks
3 slices ginger, peeled
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white wine
Thai basil, chopped
1/2 tbsp baking soda

Directions

1. Sprinkle the chicken with the baking soda. Set aside for 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes has passed, wash the baking soda off the chicken, making sure to get it all off.

2. In a skillet (I used my cast iron) heat the sesame oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant. Add in the chicken and stir around a few times. Add the soy sauce and white wine and continue to stir-fry. Cover the chicken and on low bring the liquid to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the basil and stir into the chicken. Serve over rice.

* serves 2
* shared with Tasteful Tuesday & Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Spicy Asian Hamburger

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Final number one is out of the way. I have three finals and a paper until I’ll no longer be a law student, but will start studying for the bar exam instead. I guess that’s still sort of a law student though, isn’t it? I probably should be studying for my exam for tomorrow, but I feel sort of brain dead after the one I had today.

On Sunday of this week I made this delicious hamburger. Infused with Asian flavors, this made such a great meal. And instead of serving it just with french fries, I roasted some asparagus as well and tossed the french fries and the asparagus in Argyle Street Asian Blend, which I had received from a Foodie Pen Pals some months back. And instead of ketchup for the fries, I mixed up some sriacha, mayonnaise,  and ketchup which also was the spread on the burger. Both the fries and the asparagus tasted good with the dip.

All in all, this was a very satisfying meal!

Spicy Asian Hamburger
(source)

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil
all-purpose flour (for dusting)
4 hamburger buns
2 green onions, roughly chopped
1 tomato, sliced
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp sriacha

Directions

1. In a large bowl combine the ground beef, garlic, ginger, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, and egg. Mix together with your hands. Shape the mixture into four patties and dust with flour.

2. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil. Once hot add the patties. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side.

3. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and sriacha.

4. Toast the buns. Spread each bun with some of the sriacha spread. Place a burger on each bun and top with tomato. Cover with other half of the bun.

* serves 4
* Shared with Kahakai Kitchen’s Souper Sundays, Wednesday Whatsits, Cast Party Wednesday, & The Busy Bees

Yakisoba

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This month Chris asked us bloggers to join him on a trip to Japan. I sometimes wish Chris’s travels with us were real. My brother’s been to Japan three times. I’m sure if he ate my dinner he would have turned his nose up and claimed it not to be Japanese enough. I’m not claiming it’s super authentic either. I had to make several substitutions that probably minimized it’s Japanese value because I couldn’t justify buying sake (rice wine) or mirin (a sweeter rice wine) for cooking this dish. I had some sake and had to toss it because it was way too old. I just can’t justify buying ingredients I don’t use frequently. So I used white wine instead.

I probably should have just taken a picture of the Japanese curry and the tonksatsu that we had for lunch at the Japanese restaurant. ūüėČ

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Yakisoba
(the more authentic recipe)

Ingredients
6 oz dried chow mein noodles
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz pork chop, cut into small chunks
2 oz cabbage, shredded
2 oz carrot, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp white wine
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sesame oil

Directions

1. Cook the noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet or wok and add the oil. Add the garlic and stir, cooking until brown. Add the pork and stir a few times.  Next add the cabbage, carrots, and onions. Stir a few more times. Add the noodles and the remaining ingredients. Stir fry until the vegetables are cooked and the noodles are warmed through.

* serves 2
* Besides Bloggers Around The World, I’m sharing this dish with Foodie Friends Friday, Foodie Friday,¬†Weekend Potluck, & Foodie Friday

Sesame-Crusted Fried Chicken

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I love Asian-inspired food. While I love going out and having Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc. etc., I also really like making dishes that are vaguely Asian, but obviously not traditionally using the ingredients. This particular dinner made perfect use of my cast iron skillet which I received for my birthday back in December. I almost forgot I had it and I almost cooked the chicken in the stainless steal skillets I use, but I am so happy I remembered I owned cast iron. Seriously, I doubt my chicken could have gotten so crispy and brown while not sticking if I had made it in anything else.

What are your favorite ways to use your cast iron?
What recipes do you rely on your cast iron when making?

Sesame-Crusted Fried Chicken
(source)

Ingredients
1 egg white
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into strips
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Directions

1. Put the egg white in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish combine the sesame seeds with the bread crumbs.

2. Pat your chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper. Dip in the egg yolk and then dredge in the bread crumbs.

3. Heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil in a cast iron skillet. Once hot add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes per side.

4. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the skillet and keep warm. Whisk together 1 tbsp sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ground ginger in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces.

* serves 4
* shared with See Ya In The Gumbo