Archive for March, 2014

Tomato egg

Tomato egg makes for a quick but satisfying lunch or dinner. Recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 oz. fresh tomato (cut into thin wedges)
  • 1 teaspoon shaoxing wine (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or light soy sauce
  • 3 dashes white pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Some chopped scallions


Break the eggs into a bowl and use chopsticks to beat the eggs until they break thoroughly. Add salt or light soy sauce, sesame oil, shaoxing wine, white pepper powder, and lightly beat to blend well. Set aside.

Heat up a wok with 2 tablespoons cooking oil. Add the egg mixture into the wok, and use your spatula to spread the eggs. Keep stirring until the eggs form lumps. Gently break the lumps into smaller pieces. As soon as the eggs are cooked, dish out and set aside.

Clean the wok and heat it up again with 1 tablespoon cooking oil. Drop the tomato wedges into the wok and do a few quick stirs. Add sugar and water into the tomatoes. Cover it with the lid and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Transfer the eggs and chopped scallions into the tomatoes, stir-fry for 30 seconds or so, dish out and serve immediately.


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I’ve been loving plain popcorn sprinkled with white truffle oil, Lawry’s seasoning salt, and freshly cracked black pepper as a low-cal but satisfyingly salty midnight snack. After a quick google search, I found some other recipes I’ve love to try out. I like that butter can be used to make the truffle oil last longer since it’s the priciest ingredient in the recipe.

Original recipes found here.


From Origin 
1/2 cup (125 mL) popping corn

1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil

3 tbsp (45 mL) white truffle butter or unsalted butter, melted

3 tbsp (45 mL) white truffle oil

1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or other parmesan cheese + more for garnish

1 tsp (5 mL) truffle salt, or to taste

In large, deep pot over high heat, combine popping corn and canola oil. Cover. When popcorn starts popping, shake the pot (wearing oven mitts) on or just above the burner until popping subsides. You should have about 12 cups (3L) of popcorn. Transfer to large bowl.

In small bowl, combine butter and truffle oil. Pour over popcorn; toss well. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) cheese and salt. Toss again.

Serve warm garnished with more cheese.

Makes about 12 cups (3L).


Adapted from the Popcorn Board (popcorn.org).
1/2 cup (125 mL) popping corn

1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil

Finely grated zest + juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp (2 mL) kosher salt, or to taste

1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter, melted

1 tbsp (15 mL) Sriracha hot sauce

In large, deep pot over high heat, combine popcorn kernels and oil. Cover. When popcorn starts popping, shake the pot (wearing oven mitts) on or just over the burner until popping subsides. You should have about 12 cups (3L) of popcorn. Transfer to large bowl.

Sprinkle with lime zest and salt.

In small bowl, stir together melted butter, Sriracha and lime juice. Drizzle over popcorn and toss.

Makes about 12 cups (3L).


Adapted from a Grace Parsi recipe in Food & Wine. For a shortcut, buy a shaker of seaweed, sesame and chili (furikake) from Japanese stores or health food stores.
1 sheet nori (roasted, dried seaweed), crumbled

1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds

1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) shichimi togarashi (Japanese chili mix) or pure chili powder

1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) kosher salt

1/2 cup (125 mL) popping corn

1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil

2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, melted

In mini food processor, pulse nori, sesame seeds, togarashi or chili and salt into fine powder.

In large, deep pot over high heat, combine popcorn kernels and oil. Cover. When popcorn starts popping, shake the pot (wearing oven mitts) on or just above burner until popping subsides. You should have about 12 cups (3L) of popcorn. Transfer to large bowl. Toss with melted butter and nori mixture.

Makes about 12 cups (3L).

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I was looking for a no-fuss basic brownie mix made with cocoa rather than melted chocolate because the former is way easier than the latter. This Smitten Kitchen recipe was the best I found. Plus, it tastes DELICIOUS with Samoas tucked inside! This is an excellent way to use up stale Samoas.

From Smitten Kitchen, who adapted a recipe from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet

Makes 16 larger or 25 smaller brownies


  • 10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 grams, though some brands may weigh more) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt, as I used)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (75 grams) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)


  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smooths out once the eggs and flour are added.
  3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
  5. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

My notes

  1. I melted the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. If adding cookies, use 1 cup sugar to account for the sugar in the cookies. I place 9 cookies in the batter before baking. The coconut in the Samos get nice and toasty, while the mint from the Thin Mints disperses into the batter.

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Zha Jiang Mien

My  husband’s father is from San Dong, in northern China, a region famous for its unique Korean-Chinese blending of foods. This is his version of zha jiang mien, which was known to me as jja jiang myun because of my Korean father.




  • 4 onions, diced
  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 2-6 oz cans sweet bean sauce (see photo below)
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • cornstarch


  1. Heat up a large wok over medium-high heat. Add a handful of the diced onion and stir to coat the pan with onion.
  2. Add the ground pork. Stir/smash constantly to break up the chunks of meat.
  3. Add soy sauce for coloring. The meat should be a light to medium brown. Keep cooking until the liquid from the pork is reabsorbed or evaporates.
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. Add onion and cook until onion becomes soft and translucent.
  6. Add sweet bean sauce and stir to combine.
  7. In a small bowl, mix ~1 tbsp cornstarch with enough water to dissolve it. Add the mixture to the pork. Bring to a boil and then let simmer.
  8. Serve over noodles (I use dried san dong noodles) with julienned cucumbers. For a lower calorie option, serve over soft block of tofu. If you don’t have cucumbers, a bed of spinach works nicely as well.


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One of my mom’s childhood classics was “spaghetti sauce,” by which she meant marinara with meatballs. She used to swear by Costco-sized bottles of Prego but soon learned that she had more control over the final outcome with cans of crushed tomatoes.


  • 2-28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1-16 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 3 onions (I used yellow), diced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • garlic, diced
  • pepper
  • fresh basil


  1. Combine ground meats in a large bowl. Mix in soy sauce, garlic, and pepper. Lightly mix in oats.
  2. In a large saucepan on medium high heat, cook tomato paste and garlic for 2 minutes or until raw taste goes away.
  3. Add onions and stir so that the mixture doesn’t burn.
  4. Turn off heat. Mix in crushed tomatoes and pepper. (At this point, my mom would add dried oregano and basil.)
  5. Form meat mixture into meatball size of your choice. Add the meatballs into the sauce.
  6. Bring the sauce up to a boil, lower the heat, and let simmer for up to 6 hours.
  7. Stir in fresh basil when ready to serve.

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I found this David Lebovitz granola recipe from 2009 after being inspired by a birthday gift of homemade granola. Aptly titled by Mr. Lebovitz, this truly is the best granola recipe I’ve ever tried: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/10/granola-recipe/

Here is my adapted recipe, which makes ~8 cups of granola:


  • 2 1/2 cups (225g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cup (125g) nuts, coarsely chopped (I used 1 cup almonds and 1/2 cup pecans)
  • 3/8 cup (50g) untoasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/8 cup (90g) unsweetened applesauce (or another unsweetened fruit puree)
  • 1/4 cup (80g) honey
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300F (150C).
  2. In a very large bowl, mix together the flaked grains or oats, nuts, sesame seeds, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Microwave the oil and honey for 15 seconds to melt it. Mix in the fruit puree.
  4. Mix the fruit mixture into the dry ingredients until thoroughly dispersed, then divide and spread the mixture evenly on two baking sheets. (If you have ones with sides, often called jelly-roll pans, use them.)
  5. Bake the granola for about 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until the granola is deep golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven, then cool completely. Toss in the dried fruit.

Store the granola in a large, airtight container. It will keep for up to one month.

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