The twins are graduating from kindergarten this week (Yikes! How did that happen?) and we’ve got recitals and all sorts of end of the year craziness happening so I was just thinking about something easy to make for dinner tonight. I don’t really have time to go to the grocery store and remembered that I have some salmon in the fridge that I’ll throw on the grill. But what about a side dish? This Japanese Stir-fried Veggie dish comes to mind and I can’t resist reposting it. It’s easy peasy because I have all the ingredients in my pantry and chances are you will too if you like to cook Asian food. Flavored with notes of soy, mirin, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic, this recipe pairs beautifully with any grilled seafood or meat. You can also toss in some tofu for a complete one-dish meal. Feel free to substitute the soy sauce with tamari (but use about half) if you’re on a gluten-free diet.
- Serves 3 to 4
- 1/3 cup lite soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 japanese eggplant, sliced diagonally into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup fresh shitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 ½ cups broccoli florets, blanched
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Make the stir-fry sauce: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and sesame oil until blended and sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and add the eggplant. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and red bell pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and sauté for 1 minute. Add the sauce mixture and toss to coat for 1 minute. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately with hot jasmine rice or brown rice.
Yup, that’s how we roll. Who doesn’t love California Roll? I still have friends in LA who are squeamish about raw fish (I know, how can this be?) but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love the sweet, fluffy, sticky, crunchy and salty goodness of a California Roll. One of my proudest moments was when my 5 year-old son Dylan chose California Roll over pizza at the food court. He can eat 12 pieces at a time and asked me last week why I never put the recipe on my blog. I broke out my sushi mat and put Dylan and his sister Becca to work. Not only is this a great healthy dinner or snack, kids have so much fun making their own creations. So this one’s for you, Dylan! While making sushi rolls seems complicated, it’s really very easy. You just need to know the basics and a few simple tips. If you want to splurge, use fresh lump crabmeat but crabsticks are fine for everyday dining. Squeeze some lemon juice on the avocado after it’s been cut to prevent it from browning.
First start with all of your ingredients ready to go. Cover your bamboo mat with a piece of plastic wrap and place the nori on top of the mat.
Wet your fingers and spread the sushi rice evenly over the nori.
Turn the sheet of nori over so that the rice side is down. Place 1/8 of the cucumber, avocado and crab sticks in the center of the sheet.
Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder. Sprinkle the roll with sesame seeds. Voila! You’re done. Now, just slice with a wet serrated knife and serve!
- 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
- 4 sheets nori
- sushi rice (recipe follows)
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchstick-size pieces
- 4 crabsticks, torn into pieces
- Pickled ginger
- Soy sauce
- Sushi Rice:
- 1 cup sushi or short grain rice
- 1 cup water, plus extra for rinsing rice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Make the sushi rice: Place the rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Swirl the rice in the water, pour off and repeat 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear.
- Place the rice and 1 cup of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds or bring the mixture to a simmer in a saucepan. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Cover a bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap. Cut nori sheets in half crosswise. Lay 1 sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the plastic covered mat. Wet your fingers with water and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds.
- Turn the sheet of nori over so that the rice side is down. Place 1/8 of the cucumber, avocado and crab sticks in the center of the sheet. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder. Pull away the mat and set aside. Repeat until all rolls are completed. Slice each roll into into six pieces using a wet serrated knife. Serve with ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.
Noodles have played an important role in the Chinese diet dating all the way back to the Han Dynasty 206 B.C. I mean, who doesn’t love noodles especially when they’re tossed with peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and some chile-garlic sauce? This recipe is sweet and nutty with a nice spicy kick. It’s super easy for a weeknight because you just toss in some shredded rotisserie chicken with whatever veggies you may have on hand. I used whole wheat pasta for this dish as a healthier option but you could use whatever spaghetti or linguini you’d like. I love the texture from crunchy peanut butter but feel free to use creamy if you prefer something smoother. Omit the chile-garlic sauce when cooking for young kids. Time saving tip: Buy pre-cut and cleaned veggies from the salad bar at your local grocery store.
- 2 cups fresh sliced veggies, such as broccoli florets, red bell pepper and carrots
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
- Steam mixed veggies until tender-crisp and set aside.
- Whisk peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce, garlic, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a large bowl.
- Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Rinse with cool water and drain. Add the reserved peanut sauce, veggies and shredded chicken. Toss to combine. Serve warm or chilled.
Growing up in the Midwest, most of my friends considered their mom’s meatloaf or pot roast to be the ultimate comfort food after a crummy day at school or losing a track meet (something that never applied to me because I was more of the marching band clarinet type rather than athlete type. I know, dork alert and one time at band camp…) In my house though, whenever I was feeling down or blue from the subzero temperatures during the winter, my mom would whip up her melt-in-your-mouth pepper steak for me. It’s tender and juicy and loaded with protein as well as vitamin c from the red bell pepper. Served over brown rice, this is an easy and healthy weeknight meal sure to put everyone in your family in a great mood. Dark soy sauce, also known as mushroom soy sauce, is sweeter and a bit thicker than regular soy sauce. It is sold at Asian markets. If you can’t find dark soy sauce then regular soy sauce is a fine substitute.
- 1 pound top sirloin steak or filet mignon, cut into 2-inch x 1/8-inch slices
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- dash white pepper
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Toss beef with the oil, cornstarch salt, soy sauce and white pepper.
- Mix the 1/4 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the sugar together until blended. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or skillet to medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Remove from wok.
- Add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat. Add peppers and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and heat to boiling. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry until thickened. Add the reserve beef and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Serve immediately with steaming hot jasmine rice.
Looking to put the POW in your Kung Pao? Look no further because my simple vegetarian take on this classic Szechuan recipe is loaded with yummy flavors from the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, srircha and Chinese rice wine and some POWerful protein from the tofu and peanuts. For a vegan version, just replace the soy sauce with tamari. If you prefer it less spicy then replace the srircha with dried Chinese chili peppers or chilies de arbol. Stir-fry the chiles with the garlic and toss everything else in. I love to serve this over some steaming hot brown jasmine rice or quinoa. It pairs nicely with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
- stir-fry sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry cooking sherry
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon srircha sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups diced firm tofu, drained and patted dry with paper towel
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 2 finely chopped green onions plus more for garnish
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
- Combine stir-fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tofu and and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the stir-fry sauce and cook for 1 minute, tossing to coat. Add the peanuts and green onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Garnish with more green onions and peanuts and serve immediately with hot, steaming jasmine rice.
Has Spring finally sprung? While it’s been in the 90’s in Los Angeles, I know some peeps are still dealing with snow! Yikes! This appetizer always makes me feel light and springy. It’s also easy to handle one of these babies while holding a glass of bubbly in your other hand. The crispness of the wonton chip along with the tender and fresh coolness of the ahi tuna are a dynamic duo and instant crowd pleaser! This couldn’t be easier to make and it’s super fast. Plus, a little tuna goes a long way.
- 10 wonton wrappers, cut into quarters
- oil for frying
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha (Asian chili sauce)
- 8 ounces sushi grade ahi tuna, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- toasted sesame seeds
- Heat oil in a deep skillet or wok to 375 degrees. Fry wonton skins until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, sesame oil and srircha sauce. Add the tuna and toss to coat.
- Spoon tuna onto wonton crisps and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
My friend and fellow food blogger Erika Kerekes recently launched a line of amazing tangy gourmet sauces called Not Ketchup. They’re made with fruit – like cherries, blueberries and dates – instead of tomatoes as well savory spices and cider vinegar to give it a tart kick. One taste and I was hooked. I’ve tried it on burgers and sandwiches and couldn’t wait to experiment with it in the kitchen.
My favorite flavor is cherry chipotle and thought it would pair well with the exotic Asian spices found in 5-spice powder (star anise, cloves, cinnamon, szechuan peppercorn and fennel). The blend turned out to be a delicious and easy marinade for beef skewers. The smokiness of the chipotle mixed with the tangy cherries and complex Asian spices was incredibly yummy. My whole family loved it and I can’t wait to make it again! Click here to order Not Ketchup or find out where to buy it if you live in Los Angeles or Orange County.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs boneless beef rib-eye or top sirloin, cut across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 cup Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle Sauce
- 1 tablespoon 5-spice powder
- 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water at least 20 minutes
- Combine the cherry chipotle sauce and 5-spice powder in a small bowl until well blended.
- Place slices in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour the sauce mixture over slices, and mix well. Refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight.
- Thread beef onto skewers.
- Prepare a grill for high heat cooking. Brush the grill grate with oil. Grill the skewers, turning once, until the beef is browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with a side of Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle sauce.
Whether or not you’re into March Madness or basketball at all for that matter, you’ll go MAD for these sweet and spicy Honey Srircha Chicken Wings. We just served them at a March Madness party we had and these wings flew off the platter. Srircha sauce is made with chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. It is spicy but not crazy hot so you can serve this to everyone in the family. I love this recipe because spicy Srircha is mixed with honey for a hot, sweet, sticky and salty taste sensation. The wings are flash fried before being tossed in the sauce adding a subtle crunchy texture sublimely coated with this addictive glaze. Why serve the same-old, same-old Buffalo or BBQ chicken wings when you can shake things up with these babies? I guarantee this recipe will bring MAD love to your next party…Score!
- Chicken wings:
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon World Market Chinese five spice powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch white pepper
- oil for deep frying
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, five spice powder, salt and pepper. Place chicken wings in a large bowl and toss in the flour mixture until they are evenly coated.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or a deep skillet to 375°. The oil should be just enough to cover wings entirely. Fry the coated wings in hot oil for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer onto a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the honey, Sriracha, soy sauce and lime juice and stir until the mixture bubbles gently. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce over the wings in a large bowl and toss to coat.
- Place the wings on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Drizzle with more honey before serving if desired.
I’ve really been craving these Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles lately so I couldn’t resist reposting this easy, fast and delicious recipe. These noodles are awesome because you can throw in any veggie you like and any leftover meat (like the roast chicken from dinner last night) for an easy breezy one pot meal. Follow the recipe as is and you’ve got a fast and fresh vegan feast. Coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, red curry paste and srircha sauce are blended together to create the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy flavors. This dish is great served warm or chilled. Substitute the fettucine with rice noodles and use gluten free soy sauce for a tasty gluten-free meal.
- 8 ounces dried fettucini
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 teaspoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon Srircha
- ½ cup blanched snow peas, julienned
- ½ cup carrot, cut into matchsticks
- Crushed roasted peanuts for garnish
- Boil the pasta according to package directions. Rinse, drain and set aside.
- Heat the peanut butter, coconut milk, water, red curry paste, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and crushed red pepper over medium-low heat in a saucepan until the mixture begins to simmer, stirring constantly. Add the snow peas and carrots and stir for 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the reserve pasta and toss until pasta is coated. Garnish with crushed peanuts.