Tag Archives: cucumbers

Calamari That’s Spicy (But Not Really)

Another Thai adventure; here’s the ingredients:

  • Cleaned Squid, 2 lbs
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Garlic, 10 cloves, minced
  • Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
  • White pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • White wine, 4 tablespoons

The ingredients.

This was my first time cooking with squid, and it was fun. The first step is to create the marinade, by mixing all of the ingredients with the exception of the garnishes (cucumber and tomato) and the squid. When you do, it looks like this:


The marinade.

The squid itself requires a bit more work. This is what a mantle looks like:


The mantle.

After it’s been washed and whatnot, you should do a bunch of scoring – hatch marks diagonally in both directions. This will help soften the squid as it cooks, and allow the flavors of the marinade to more deeply penetrate and infuse the flesh.


The mantle, scored.

Then slice it up into strips or rings or whatever you like. You may also have some tentacle bits, as we did. Again, you’ll wash these.



Then add everything into the marinade and let it steep for at least 10 minutes.



Then stir-fry on the stove, in some oil (I separated the squid from the marinade because it was, after all, just a marinade).



When the squid is firm and curled, you’ll know you’re done cooking.


Curly bits.

Then garnish and you’re done. Yum!



Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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)

The ingredients.


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:


The shipping costs are exorbitant.

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


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.


Rice is expansionist.


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.


Not 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.


It may be good…


…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.


Soon to be…



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




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.


Cut it first.


Then spoon it out.

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


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.


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.


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’.


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.


The tuna roll.


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.


So much sushi!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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.


I love my rice cooker.

You may also want to prepare a few other ingredients.


The eggs.


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.


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.


Add the rice.


And then a few other things.

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


Thai chilies can be hot.


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.


Scallions are sometimes referred to as green onions.

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


Adding things, adding things.


Adding things, adding things.


I want to make this again now.

Then mix it together, and enjoy!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment