Archive for the ‘Asian’ Category

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Sriracha Soy Chex Mix

The other day I was walking through Costco (no story starts that way and doesn’t end without spending $100) and I saw this on the end cap.

“Make Chex Party Mix. What a good idea” (I am so easily influenced, sigh).

I haven’t made Chex Mix in years (and years and years) and, I was hosting a party where I knew snack mix would be a welcome addition. I like the traditional Chex Mix recipe well enough, but I’m not a huge fan of pretzels and I wanted something a little spicier. So, I decided to switch it up a little (or a lot as it turns out). The idea of using Sriracha as the heat in my mix popped into my head, which then led me to add some other Asian flavors. Although the mix takes a little while in the oven it comes together very quickly.

Here’s the ingredients:


First, melt the butter in the microwave (or on the stovetop) and then stir the seasoning ingredients into the melted butter. Give the butter a little taste at this point and add more sriracha if you like.


Put the cereals and the toasted almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, pour the seasoned butter over top …


… then use a spatula to stir and distribute the seasonings throughout the cereals.


Place the sheet in a 250 degree oven and bake for one hour, stirring the mix every 15 minutes. Let cool completely and then enjoy!


Salty and spicy (and mildly addictive), all my guests raved about my mix. Try it as an addition to your next party. You’ll be glad you did.

Sriracha Soy Chex Mix
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
Make this recipe gluten-free by omitting the wheat Chex and increasing the amount of rice and corn Chex to 4½ cups each.
  • 3 cups wheat Chex cereal
  • 3 cups rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups corn Chex cereal
  • 1½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 6 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon hoisen sauce
  • 2-3 teaspoons sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in microwave or saucepan. Stir in remaining seasoning ingredients.
  3. Place the cereals and almonds on a large rimmed baking sheet. Pour the seasoned butter over and stir well to distribute seasonings.
  4. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely. Store in airtight container.


Friday, November 12th, 2010

Red Curry Fried Rice

There are times during the year when it is hard for me to get in the kitchen and cook. Often this happens for me in the weeks just preceding Thanksgiving. This year is no exception.

Right now I am being pulled in so many directions. Business is busy with clients and scheduling Thanksgiving prep (but there is always room for another client or two). Training for this years Lavaman Triathlon has just started, and with that, my Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundrasing has started as well. I had the bright idea to sell pies for Thanksgiving (donating the proceeds to LLS) and the response has been overwhelming (for which I am grateful). Last weekend I made 19 pies, This weekend I will be making at least 26 (orders are still coming in today). To top all that off, our dog Jones had to have surgery last week so quite a bit of time has been dedicated to his recovery.

I have so much to do, I can’t decide where to start. Right now, if it doesn’t have a deadline, it just isn’t going to get done.

With so much time spent in the kitchen for my clients and with the making of many pies, cooking for pleasure has, sadly, gone out the window. Right now, I am cooking just to eat. However, I am not without cravings. Spicy food is my comfort food right now (well that, and cookies). Fried rice is a quick to cook meal and the addition of the curry sauce made it spicy enough to fit the bill. Plus, it used leftovers from two other meals as well as a baby bok choy that was starting to wilt.


Here’s the ingredients.

Oil should really be in this picture too, because it is essential to the process. The leftovers I speak of are the rice (leftover from a simple beans and rice meal) and half a can of coconut milk (left from a lovely curried squash soup, which I will be blogging soon). I almost always make extra rice when I cook it at home. It is such an easy go to for the start of a great meal. It’s important to use cold rice to make fried rice, it helps to separate the individual grains of rice.

It’s also important to have everything ready to go, veggies chopped, sauce mixed, before you start cooking. The cooking process goes faster than you think.

I used a wok to make this meal. However, it can certainly be made in a large skillet or frying pan. The only reason I even own a wok is because my dad bought it, never used it, so then it was passed to me.


Start by heating a little oil in the wok. While it heats, beat an egg or two (I used a duck egg because I love them, but any old egg would do) then add it to the oil.

Keep it moving to scramble it. It will cook pretty quick so keep your eye on it.

Once it is cooked take it out of the wok.

Add a little more oil to the wok. Once it is hot, add the chopped bok choy stems and fry them for about a minute.

Next, add the chinese pork and fry that for a minute. Keep it moving.

Finally add the peas and the bok choy leaves. Fry the whole shebang until everything is just warmed through.

Then take that out of the pan.

Add a little more oil to the pan and once it’s hot, add the rice.

Once the rice is hot, add the vegetables back to the mix,

And then the sauce (which I had stirred together before I started cooking).

Warm it through and then stir in the egg and chives. Done and done.

This is not your traditional fried rice since it has a sauce but I love the creamy texture it gives to the dish. It’s also a lovely one dish meal, protein, starch and vegetable all in one. For me, this could have been a little spicier (though the husband said it was just fine) but it was nothing a little Sriracha couldn’t fix.


Serves 2 generously with leftovers

If you don’t have (or don’t like) the vegetables that I’ve used, use whatever you happen to have around. Just start with the vegetables that require the longest cooking time, and add the vegetables that require less cooking as you progress.

1 cup coconut milk
2-3 Tablespoons red curry paste
2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup corn or vegetable oil
1 duck egg or 2 chicken eggs, beaten
1 baby bok choy, stems and leaves chopped separately
6 ounces Chinese barbecued pork, chopped
3/4 cup frozen peas
3 cups cooked white or brown rice
1/2 cup chives, chopped

Stir together coconut milk, red curry paste and soy sauce. Taste for spiciness and saltiness and add more curry paste or soy sauce if desired. Set aside.

Heat a wok or frying pan and add 1 Tablespoon oil. When it is very hot, add the egg and scramble until they are cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside

Return the wok to the heat and add 1 Tablespoon oil to the pan. Fry the meat and vegetables starting with the bok choy stems, followed by the barbecued pork, peas and bok choy leaves, cooking for about a minute between each addition. Once the vegetable are soft and the meat is heated through, remove from pan and set aside.

Return the wok to the heat and add 1 Tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the rice and heat it until it is warmed through, about a minute, stirring to make sure thatit doesn’t stick and to break up any clumps.

Add the sauce and continue to cook until it is warmed through. Stir in the egg and chives. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Momofuku’s Pork Belly

Farmers markets mean more than just fruit and vegetables. On a recent trip to the Bellevue Farmers Market I saw fresh-baked bread, hand-made pasta, fish, oysters, pasture-raised beef, pork and chicken, cheese and free-range eggs (including my new favorite thing, duck eggs). It’s easy to make a meal out of products from the farmers market (and you can usually find dessert too).

I had a limited amount of cash on me, so I had to really focus-down my list of what I wanted. I bought some basics (leeks, carrots and potatoes), a few heirloom tomatoes from the seconds bin (they’re not as pretty but they still taste great), dragon’s tongue beans, a dozen duck eggs and a nice piece of pork belly.

Having never cooked pork belly myself I decided to do a little research. I found several accepted methods including braising the belly, making confit with it (which sounded kind of crazy since pork belly is really fatty and confit means that the meat is cooked submerged in fat) and roasting.

I saw lots of mentions of David Chang’s Pork Belly. As I had recently picked up his Momofuku cookbook I decided to turn to it for a recipe (an aside, if you are averse to bad language this is not the cookbook for you). The thing is, he has three recipes for pork belly in the book. One of them is a long cook time in a low oven. The other two recipes called for starting in a high heat oven to brown the belly followed by additional cook time at a low temperature. The disadvantage of this second method is that a lot of the fat in the belly is lost and the piece of meat shrinks by almost half. However, the idea of a nicely browned piece of unctuous pork belly outweighed that disadvantage.

I’m not a fan of posting recipes from another chef’s cookbook, so I won’t be posting a recipe here (but if you are an adept Google user you can probably find it). I used the recipe on page 50.

I started with this beautiful piece of pork belly. The piece came with the skin on so my first task was to remove it.

Next I rubbed the belly with a mixture of salt and sugar.

I covered the belly with plastic wrap and popped it in the fridge. After 6 hours a little liquid had collected in the pan so I poured it out as directed. Now here is where I would make a little change to Chang’s recipe. In the future, I would rinse the extra sugar and salt out of the bottom of the pan before I started the pork in the oven. In ended up burning and … well, you’ll see.

I popped the belly in a hot oven. After a half hour I basted the top of the pork with some of the drippings, then again after an hour.

At this point I turned the oven way down and put the belly back in, cooking it for another hour, until it was soft (like a pillow) when I poked it. Now see all that burned stuff around the edges? I’m pretty sure that if I had rinsed the extra salt/sugar combination out of the bottom of the pan that burned on (really hard to clean off) crud wouldn’t have been there.

I let this cool completely, wrapped it up in plastic wrap and then put it in the fridge. In order for the pork belly to be easy to cut it needs to be chilled overnight. I had also read about pressing the pork while it was in the fridge overnight so that the slices would be even so I did that too (I just covered it with a baking sheet and put a few heavy cans on top).

The next night I cut the belly into slices 1/2-inch thick and about 2 inches long. I warmed them up in a single layer in a frying pan for just a couple of minutes, until the belly was warmed through.

I served the belly with stir-fried ramen noodles (with a few carrots thrown in for good measure) tossed with Chang’s delicious ginger scallion sauce and a couple of quick pickles.

We had friends over for dinner to enjoy the beauty that is pork belly. Everything was a huge hit. The only thing left when we were done was a few of the pickles.

We ended the meal with a bowl full of chilled rambutan.

My friend described the pork belly as caramelized and I think that description fits perfectly. The pork belly was lovely on it’s own, but even better when combined with the ramen and sauce.

I will definitely be cooking from the Momofuku cookbook again, delicious!

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Bad Blogger, with Good Reason

Lately I’ve been a bad blogger, but I’ve had good reason. Last week as part of my fundraising for my Team in Training event and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society I threw a Hawaiian Feast. I spent a fairly sizable amount of time menu planning, finding door prize donors, creating gift certificates, coordinating volunteers, making signs, etc. It was more work than I imagined (but in the end it was totally worth it). This left me with little energy for cooking much less blogging.

The menu for the feast consisted of lots of yummy traditional Hawaiian food. Here’s what I prepared (with the help of some great volunteers):

Spam Musubi (think sushi but with fried spam instead of fish)
Ahi Poke (pronounced po-kay)
Kalua Pork
Chicken Luau
White Rice
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad (trust me, it’s different from mainland macaroni salad)
Tropical Fruit
Cupcakes (from New York Cupcakes, delicious)

I also made Haupia which is a coconut milk pudding/gelatin concoction, but it never set so I couldn’t serve it.

My favorites from the night were the Kalua Pork and the Ahi Poke. I thought I would pass along the recipes.

Traditionally at a luau the Kalua Pork would be a whole pig, cooked all day in an underground imu. Obviously that is not practical for most cooks. I used pork shoulder which is not only cheap, but also very tasty. This recipe is from Epicurious.

Kalua Pork

5 pound boneless pork butt roast
2 Tablespoon Hawaiian sea salt or course sea salt
3 frozen banana leaves, thawed
4 cup Water

2 cup water
2 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt or course sea salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Using small sharp knife, cut 1/4-inch-deep slits 1 inch apart all over pork roast. Rub 2 tablespoons sea salt all over pork. Unfold 1 banana leaf on work surface and place pork roast atop leaf. Fold up leaf around pork, enclosing completely. Repeat wrapping pork in remaining 2 banana leaves, 1 at a time.

Tie with kitchen string to secure, then wrap roast in foil. Place pork in roasting pan; pour 4 cups water into pan.

Roast pork in oven until very tender when pierced with fork, about 5 hours. Unwrap pork and cool slightly. Shred pork and place in large bowl.

Bring remaining 2 cups water and remaining 2 teaspoons salt to boil in small saucepan. Add liquid smoke; pour over pork and stir to blend. Let stand 10 minutes to allow liquid to flavor pork. Serve.

Ingredient tip: Hawaiian alaea sea salt is available at specialty foods stores and online from Hawaii Specialty Salt Company at Banana leaves are available at Asian markets and Latin markets. Liquid smoke is a smoke-flavored liquid seasoning available at many supermarkets and specialty foods stores.

My other favorite from the night was the Ahi Poke. There are lots of different recipes around for Poke, but the one I used came from a blog called Chaos in the Kitchen. Click the link to see her beautiful poke photo (which in the end was a large part of the reason I chose that recipe). I used frozen Ahi Tuna (QFC had donated a gift card for me to use for the event and frozen was all they had) and it actually turned out great (and was substantially less expensive than fresh would have been). I cut the tuna into 1/2 squares while it was still partially frozen which made it really easy to do. My version of the recipe makes 12-16 appetizer size servings.

Hawaiian Poke

16 ounce sushi-grade tuna
1/2 sweet or red onion, julienned
2 green onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
2 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoon black sesame seeds (or toasted)

Combine onion, green onion, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame seeds and oil in a bowl.

Add bite sized pieces of tuna, mix well.

Chill the mixture for 15 minutes before serving so flavors can mix. Check for salt before serving, the soy sauce can be pretty salty without needing any additional salt.

Now that my event is in the books I can get back to blogging. I picked up my CSA box yesterday and I’ve already got some ideas brewing about what to make. A new entry will be coming soon, I promise.

P.S. I raised $706 for LLS with the Hawaiian Feast. A little less than I was hoping for, but not too bad. The thing that really touched me was the willingness of my friends to give of their time and talents to help make my event a success. Some friends gave amazing door prizes, others spent hours in the kitchen helping me prep and serve, another spent the evening as our DJ (setting an awesome tropical mood) and a few helped collect money at the door, sell raffle tickets and bar tend. I could not have had a successful event without all of their help.

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Asian-Grilled Chicken with Stir-Fried Vegetables

It has been a very busy week for me and I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit of a lazy chef this week. Today was my at-home paperwork day (and triathlon training rest day) so I had more energy for cooking tonight.

After a quick perusal of the crisper drawer I was rewarded with shitake mushrooms, a whole bunch of green veggies (including a zucchini that had seen better days that went in the bin rather then the meal) and in the meat drawer some chicken. I decided to put a quick marinade on the chicken and stir-fry some veggies.

Here’s the ingredients for the chicken:

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
a healthy squeeze of sriracha
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts

I combined all the marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag. Then I trimmed my chicken and cut each breast in half horizontally so that they were thinner and would cook faster. I set this aside which I worked on the veggies.

After about 15 minutes I removed the chicken from the marinade (reserving it for later), dried them well with paper towels then tossed them on my hot grill. When it was done I set it aside to rest covered with foil while I cooked the veggies.

Here’s the ingredients for the veggies:

On the left are the veggies to top the chicken on the right are the veggies for under the chicken (that will make more sense later).

8 or so shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup dry sherry

1 shallot, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
12 sprigs asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch spinach

In a small saucepan I warmed the sesame oil and then added the mushrooms and green onions to saute.

When they were just about cooked through I added the sherry and then put it back on the heat and let it cook until the pan was almost dry.

While this was cooking I added just a little more sesame oil to a large saute pan then tossed in the shallots, green onions and asparagus. When the veggies were cooked almost through I added the reserved marinade (making sure that it boiled for at least a minute since it had raw chicken in it) and then the spinach.

Now I was ready to plate. I made a little bed of rice, then topped that with the stir-fried asparagus combo, then topped that with grilled chicken, then topped that with the shitake mushrooms.

How was it? Well I think I would give this dish a solid “B”. It could have used more garlic, especially in the mushrooms, a little soy sauce wouldn’t have hurt anything (but their was none in the pantry) and I could have been a little more heavy handed with the sriracha. For the most part the husband enjoyed it too, but I did get a “was there spinach in this” when we were done. I can’t get anything past him.

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Ramen and Bok Choy with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Tonight I took a look in the crisper drawer and came up with bok choy. Bok choy led me to think of Asian food. Thoughts of Asian food led to peanut sauce. And so on…

Here’s the ingredients:

5 cloves garlic
3/4 cup peanut butter
4 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon sriracha (or more, or less)
4 Tablespoon hot water (not pictured)

2 blocks of ramen noodles, without the nasty seasoning packets (don’t judge, they’re cheap, they cook in three minutes and they’re tasty)
1 cup frozen peas
4 small carrots, diced
1 bunch baby bok choy (about half of them chopped)

1/4 cup peanuts, chopped (also not pictured, a last minute addition)

I started by putting some water on to boil. In the meantime I got out the food processor and whirred together all of the peanut sauce ingredients (the first 8 listed, garlic through hot water). You could add more or less water, depending on how thick you want the sauce to be.

One the water was boiling I tossed in the ramen noodles, peas and carrots, then added a steam pan above the water with the bok choy. I let the noodles boil and the ramen steam for three minutes. I drained the noodles then tossed the chopped bok choy, noodles, carrots and peas together with about 3/4 of the peanut sauce. I put this into my serving dish, added the whole bok choy and then put the remaining sauce and the chopped peanuts on top.

This was super easy (it took less than a half hour to cook) and really tasty. The husband even said “this is really tasty” without even being prompted for comments. I would make this again in a heartbeat. I think it would be good with some chicken or shrimp in it too, but sometimes it’s good to go vegetarian.

About Me

I'm a personal chef living happily with her picky-eater (but willing to try anything) husband, neurotic black lab and a red heeler puppy.

I watch way too much TV and enjoy hip-hop more than any reasonable grown-up should.

I'm an avid swimmer and sometime triathlete (whenever I'm not nursing an injury).

Find out more about me here.

About This Blog

I started this blog at a time when my personal chef business was quite slow and I needed to keep my mind busy and my skills sharp. But now, business is booming so I've had to put the blog on the back burner. So, no new recipes for now, but please enjoy my archives.

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