Monthly Archives: August 2016

Thai Pork Omelet

This was an okay dish – nothing particularly earth-shattering, but definitely a different kind of omelet, and easy to make. The ingredients were:

  • pork, minced/ground, 1 pound
  • fish sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • eggs, 4
  • scallions, chopped, 1/2 cup
  • Maggi seasoning, 2 teaspoons
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The ingredients.

The first step is scrambling the eggs, like so:

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Like so.

Then, add everything else in – all the other ingredients:

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Everything else.

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Yes, even the pork.

Then, spoon portions into a pan with hot oil, and cook. Like any other omelet, this may be a test of your flipping skills.

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Bigger & thicker omelets take longer to cook.

And then, you’re done. Enjoy! This dish will make several omelets.

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The omelet in question.

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Cashew Chicken

This dish was surprisingly flavorful and tasty. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken, 2 lbs
  • Garlic, 8 cloves, minced
  • Bell pepper, 2, sliced
  • Scallion, bunch, diced
  • Cashew nuts, 1 cup, unsalted
  • Mushrooms, 1 package, sliced
  • Fish sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • Oyster sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • White pepper, 1 tsp
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The ingredients.

The first step is to cut the chicken into thin slices. This may be easier when it’s semi-frozen; here I’m slicing chicken thighs:

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Slice the chicken.

Next, begin cooking the chicken in your pan of choice; I used a wok, as well as some coconut oil.

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Cook the chicken.

As it cooks, you should begin adding some of the other ingredients: the garlic, the sugar, the pepper, and the fish sauce and oyster sauce.

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Season the chicken.

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Sauce the chicken.

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Cook the chicken some more.

When the chicken is cooked, you can begin adding the vegetables: the pepper, the mushrooms, the scallions and (if you’ve decided to use any – I recommend it) the hot pepper.

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Veg the chicken.

When you’ve cooked the vegetables to your desired texture, add in the cashew nuts, cook for another minute or two, and then you’re done!

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Cashew the chicken – and then eat the chicken.

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Red Curry Chicken

As we speak (as it were) I’m eating this, and it’s delicious. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken, 2 lbs
  • Red Curry Paste, 4 tablespoons
  • Coconut Milk, 2 cans
  • Mushrooms, one carton, sliced
  • Thai Eggplant, 4-5, cut into wedges
  • Thai Basil, one bunch
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves, 5 “double” leaves
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Bamboo Shoots, one can
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The ingredients.

You may remember that we made the red curry paste before; follow the link to find out how. And as for the rest, a few of the ingredients are harder to come by.

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Thai basil.

Thai basil adds an “herbal-licorice” flavor that’s different than the traditional Italian sweet basil. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find it at your local grocer, or if not, at a specialty Asian market, as I did.

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Kaffir lime leaves.

Kaffir lime leaves also add a distinctive flavor, but they’re tough to eat – so you may want to set them aside as you eat a dish like this one. And, again, they can be harder to come by. I’ve found one Asian market in the DC area that carries them; you can also order them on Amazon. I keep my spare leaves in the freezer for future use.

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Thai eggplant.

Finally, Thai eggplant obviously differ from the large purple eggplant you normally find at the grocery store. They’re much smaller and themselves can come in different varieties. Again, I found these at an Asian supermarket.

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Coconut milk and curry paste.

Once you have all the ingredients, making the recipe itself is incredibly simple. First, heat the curry paste and a can of coconut milk until boiling.

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Adding the chicken.

Then add the chicken, and cook until the chicken is nearly done.

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Adding the veggies.

Then add the veggies – the bamboo, mushrooms, and eggplant – as well as the sugar and fish sauce.

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Adding the leaves.

Finally, when the veggies are cooked to your desired level of tenderness, add in the Kaffir lime leaves and the basil, as well as the last can of coconut milk. Mix it all together, bring to a boil again, and then you’re done. Enjoy!

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Beef & Beans

To make this dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Ground beef, 2 pounds
  • Bell peppers, 2, sliced
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
  • Green beans, 1-2 pounds, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • Fish sauce, 3/4 cup
  • Red curry paste, 4 teaspoons
  • White pepper (4 tsp)
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Thai chili peppers (optional)
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The ingredients.

As you might expect, the first step is to cook the beef. Do so with the garlic in some oil, and saute until the meat is complete. Whether or not to remove the fat is up to you.

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This is your brain.

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This is your brain on drugs.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the beans. This is what mine looked like.

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Any questions? …Bueller? Bueller?

When your meat is ready, add in everything else – the veggies, the spices, the curry paste, all of it.

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Adding stuff.

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Adding stuff.

And then cook and mix until your veggies are at the desired level of crispiness/tenderness. Enjoy!

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The finished product. You may also want to add some water along the way if you prefer a dish that’s less dry.

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Now what do you do with it?

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Curried Shrimp

This dish was tasty. The ingredients were:

  • Shrimp, 1 pound (can be salad shrimp; they needn’t be large)
  • Onion, 1, sliced
  • Red and Green Bell Pepper, 1 each, sliced
  • Thai basil, 1 bag
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, minced
  • Sugar, 3 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • Oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Curry powder, 4 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

This was so easy to make. In fact, you may spend the most time simply preparing the ingredients. Like so, with the peppers and onions:

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Sliced.

Thai basil isn’t like regular basil. Substituting the latter for the former doesn’t really work. But if you have an Asian market nearby, you can look for fresh Thai basil there. It looks like this:

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Thai basil.

As far as the cooking goes, start with the shrimp and garlic in the oil, and saute for a minute or two. You want the shrimp heated up, but remember: it’s already been cooked (it likely says so on the bag). Cooking it for too long will turn it to mush.

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Start with the shrimp and garlic.

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Adding the sugar, dish sauce, oyster sauce.

Then, add everything else.

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Adding the veggies.

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Adding the curry powder.

Cook until the veggies are crunchy or soft enough for your taste, and you’re done.

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Eat it!

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Sushi!

I love sushi. It’s so delicious, but I rarely have it because (a) I rarely go out to eat, and (b) sushi is often so expensive that I rarely get it, even when I do go out.

So why not make it myself? I’d always wanted to.

So I gave it a try. The ingredients for the rice are:

  • Sushi rice (1 cup)
  • Water (2 cups)
  • Rice wine vinegar (3 Tbsp)
  • Sugar (2 Tbsp)
  • Salt (1/2 tsp)

And for the spicy sauce:

  • Mayonnaise (1 tbsp)
  • Sriracha (1 tsp)
  • Lemon juice (1 tsp)
  • Sesame oil (1/2 tsp)

And for the rest:

  • Nori (dried seaweed)
  • Chopped veggies of your choice (I used carrot, cucumber, and avocado)
  • Meat of your choice (I used smoked salmon and tuna)
  • Accessories of your choosing (I used soy sauce and pickled ginger)
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The ingredients.

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The “accessories.”

Let’s start with the rice. You don’t want to use just any kind of rice. Instead, you’ll find rice that’s grown on the moon especially for use in sushi. Like so:

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The shipping costs are exorbitant.

First, as with any rice, you’ll want to rinse it or wash it.

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This method works.

Then add the rice and the water and bring to a boil. At that point, reduce the heat to low, cover your pot, and cook until the water is absorbed by the rice (as rice is wont to do) – about 15 minutes or so.

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Rice is expansionist.

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Don’t forget to cover your pot.

This is when you’ll want to mix a few ingredients in another pan, over heat. Specifically the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the white granules are dissolved, then cool in the fridge until your rice is ready.

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Not dissolved.

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Dissolved.

When your rice is done, add the vinegar mixture and stir. But not too much – you don’t want to overmix and turn everything to mush. Your rice may appear wet, but don’t worry – as you stir, you’ll release some of the steam, and the rice will become drier and, as you may have anticipated, sticky.

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It may be good…

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…but now it’s better.

With that out of the way, let’s focus on the spicy sauce next. It’s quite simple to make. Add all the spicy sauce ingredients together, and mix.

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Soon to be…

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…mixed!

Then, mix the sauce with whatever you want to make spicy. For instance smoked salmon, or chunks of tuna.

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Salmon.

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Spicy tuna!

The next step is preparing the rest of your ingredients. In particular, you may benefit from this avocado-slicing tip: slice it first, and then, using a spoon, dig it out of the shell.

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Cut it first.

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Then spoon it out.

If you made my veggie choices, you’ll end up with a set of ingredients like so:

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Yum yum.

Now, the nori is key. If you don’t have an Asian market nearby (or don’t have access to the internet) this may be hard to find. They’re basically seaweed wraps, and delicious all on their own.

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The nori.

If you have a sushi mat, bully for you – you may find the assembly process a lot easier than I did. If not, then you can do what I did – which, in the end, was to use the assistance of a plastic wrap.

In any case, the first step is to tear the sheet of nori in half. Make sure you beak the longer side. If yours doesn’t break easily or cleanly, you may end up doing what I did: simply using scissors.

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Preparing the nori.

Then, with the assistance of a bowl of warm water, you can begin spreading the sticky rice on the nori. Why the water? You’ll see. It’s not called sticky rice for nothin’.

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Spreading the rice.

Now, to be fair, there are different ways of spreading the rice. I put mine on the outside of the roll; in some ways that’s harder. I spread it on the rougher side of the nori, leaving the smoother surface for the ingredients inside. Here, you can see the spicy tuna roll (with carrot, cucumber, and tuna) and the salmon roll (with salmon, avocado, and carrot). But one of the nice things about doing it yourself is that you can add in whatever you like.

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The tuna roll.

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The salmon roll.

Then, simply slice – first in half, and then in either three or four pieces for each half, depending on your preference – and enjoy.

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So much sushi!

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Crab Fried Rice

Oh my goodness, this was good. The ingredients:

  • Crab meat, 1-2 cups
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • Maggi seasoning, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 3/8 cup
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • 1 diced scallion
  • 1-2 sliced tomatoes
  • 1 sliced cucumber, peeled
  • 5 thai chilies, diced (this is hot. You may prefer fewer)
  • cilantro leaves to taste
  • lemon juice to taste
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The ingredients.

Your first step really should be to start the rice, since it can take a while. I use a rice cooker, but you do you.

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I love my rice cooker.

You may also want to prepare a few other ingredients.

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The eggs.

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The crab. You may want to sort through this just to make sure there’s no shell in it.

I used a wok, because its size was so well-suited to the volume of the dish, but you don’t have to. In any case, heat some oil in the wok and stir-fry the crab, garlic, and eggs together until the eggs have been cooked.

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Apply heat.

Next, add a few other things: the cooked rice, the Maggi seasoning, the fish sauce, and the sugar. Mix it all together and cook until everything is hot.

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Add the rice.

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And then a few other things.

Next, add the lemon juice (to taste) and the thai chili peppers (to taste).

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Thai chilies can be hot.

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But tasty, though.

The rest of the ingredients don’t need to cook thoroughly – in fact having them relatively uncooked (even cold) can be kind of nice. Especially if you added a lot of chili heat, as I did.

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Scallions are sometimes referred to as green onions.

So go ahead and add the scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro.

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Adding things, adding things.

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Adding things, adding things.

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I want to make this again now.

Then mix it together, and enjoy!

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Chicken Jalfrezi

Yes, I know – it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. But not because I’ve stopped cooking! Instead it’s because I recently moved to a new house and got a new job, and food blogging – much as I love it – had been set to the side. Meanwhile I’ve been accumulating photos and recipes, and now that I have the time, I’ll start posting them.

I love Jalfrezi. This version isn’t quite as good as the ones I’ve had at the restaurant, but still – it was pretty good. The ingredients:

  • Chicken Thighs, 6-8, chunked
  • Bell Peppers, 4 (different colors make a prettier dish), chopped
  • Onion, 1, chunked
  • Chilies, 4, sliced
  • Tomatoes, 6 or so, chopped
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, sliced
  • Garam Masala, 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds, 2 tsp
  • Salt, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Tumeric, 1/2 tsp
  • Oil (I prefer coconut)
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The ingredients

The first step is simple: you cook things. More specifically, you add 1 tsp of cumin seeds, the sliced chilies, and the sliced garlic to a pan with some oil and fry them until they’ve become lightly browned. Like so:

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Cooking things

The next step is simple: you cook some more things. More specifically, you add 1 tsp of the salt, the tumeric, and most of the chopped tomatoes (4 or so). Let them feel the wrath of your iron pan. You want the tomatoes to begin to break down, divulge their information, and form a gravy.

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Cooking more things.

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More things cooking.

Like so. The best way to do so is to let them cook on low heat, while covering your pan.This would also be a good time to add your chicken and let it cook for a while.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in another pan and fry 1 tsp of those cumin seeds on medium-high heat for 30-60 seconds. They should turn a deeper shade of brown, become more fragrant, and beg for mercy. Don’t give them any.

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So much cooking.

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When will it end?

Then add the chunked bell pepper and onion you’ve created, as well as the remaining chopped tomato. I like large chunks, partially because you want them to retain some of their crispiness in the dish. This is also the time to add the rest of your salt and the garam masala.

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Wait for it…

When they’ve cooked enough to leave them crispy enough to satisfy your preferences enough, add them in to the main pan with your chicken and gravy.

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Okay, now.

And you’re done!

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