Tag Archives: Asian-Inspired

Pan-Fried Baby Bok Choy

30 Apr

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A quick, easy preparation that yields delicious results.

Time: 10 minutes              Serves: 2

Ingredients


  • 2-3 heads baby Bok Choy, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

How to make it


  • Heat oils in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add bok choy cut sides down. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine sriracha, tamari, and honey. Add to bok choy during the last minute of cooking.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle sesame seeds over top.

Sesame Cucumber Salad

20 Apr

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Light, refreshing and healthy. This salad is great addition to any meal.

Time: 10 minutes              Serves: 2

Ingredients


  • 2-3 small Persian or Japanese cucumbers
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

How to make it


  • Slice the cucumbers lengthwise using a vegetable peeler, or widthwise into very thin coins.
  • Combine vinegar, sugar, and oil in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Mix well to incorporate.
  • Add cucumbers and sesame seeds and toss well.

Garlic Ginger Tuna Croquettes

19 Apr

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Today is National Garlic Day, so let’s celebrate! These croquettes are full of flavor and freshness, a great way to wake up canned tuna. Brown Rice Snaps add great flavor and texture, as well as being gluten-free to make them versatile. Also would make great appetizers, just make them smaller.

Time: 25 minutes              Serves: 3

Ingredients


  • 2 5oz. cans tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup crushed Baked Brown Rice Snaps w/Tamari and Sesame, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • olive oil and sesame oil for cooking
  • green onion tops, sliced – for garnish

How to make it


  • Combine tuna, 1/4 cup crushed crackers, egg, green onion, garlic, lime juice, ginger, Sriracha, salt, pepper, mustard, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl. Mix to well to incorporate.
  • Divide mixture into 6 portions. Shape into patties. Dredge in remaining crushed rackers.
  • Heat oils in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
  • Garnish with green onions. Serve with Sesame Cucumber Salad.

Brown Beech Mushrooms and Chicken Stir-Fry

16 Apr

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This stir-fry lends itself to the firm texture and nutty flavor of brown beech mushrooms. Adapted from a recipe I found in “Gochiso: Ultimate Japanese Gourment Magazine” from 2012.

Time: 25 minutes              Serves: 2

Ingredients


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets – about 4 oz. each
  • 1/2 tsp tamari/soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 150g package brown beech mushrooms, separated and ends trimmed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • green onion tops, thinly sliced

How to make it


  • Cut chicken into chunks.
  • In a medium-sized non-reactive bowl, combine tamari/soy, sesame oil, pepper, cornstarch, and sugar. Whisk to incorporate.
  • Add chicken to bowl and marinate on counter for 15 minutes, or covered in fridge overnight.
  • Heat wok or saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl in vegetable oil. Add chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until nearly cooked through. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and ginger. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add mushrooms, oyster sauce and red pepper flakes. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook for 30 seconds. Garnish with sliced green onions.
  • I served this over steamed brown rice with pan roasted baby bok choy (recipe to follow).lunapic_13661275073099_5

Pineapple “Fried” Rice

17 Jan

Leftover pineapple inspired me to create this dish. It has a great balance of flavors and textures. I served it with teriyaki-marinated roasted chicken thighs.

Time: 25 minutes              Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • cooking spray
  • 2 eggs, whisked in a bowl with s+p to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used Canola)s
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed & halved
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice (I used Basmati) – leftover 1-2 days is best
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • sesame oil, to taste
  • soy sauce, to taste
  • rice vinegar, to taste
  • ground sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1 green onion, trimmed & sliced thinly on an angle

How to make it


  • Prepare a small skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium. Add eggs and cook until set, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook another 1 minute, or until done through. Set on cutting board to cool. Once cool, roll up and slice in thin strips.
  • Heat veg oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add carrots and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, peas, and sprouts. Cook about another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender crisp.
  • Add rice, egg, and pineapple. Season with sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a bit of s&p (less is more to start). Mix to incorporate, cook to heat through – about 3-5 minutes. Add more seasoning if needed.
  • Garnish with sliced green onion to serve.

Pork & Veggie Stir Fry

15 Jan

A delicious, healthy meal on your table before Chinese take-out can get there. Change this up according to the ingredients you have on hand, easily customizable.

Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 4 oz. rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/3 cup water, stock, or wine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 12 oz. pork tenderloin cut into 1-2 inch chunks
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed & halved
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (button/shiitake/baby bella)
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini
  • 2-4 green onions, white/light green & green parts sliced & separated

How to make it


  • Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain & set aside. (I ran mine under cold water so they wouldn’t stick together too much – gasp! – but also tossing bit a splash of toasted sesame oil would work.)
  • Combine cornstarch, sugar, red pepper flakes, water and soy sauce in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat oils in a large skillet or wok over medium-high. Add ginger, garlic, and pork. Cook for 3 minutes then stir and add carrots. Cook another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, snap peas, zucchini and white/light green parts of green onions. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring. Add soy sauce mixture and rice noodles, tossing to coat. Cover and cook another 3-5 minutes until sauce has thickened.
  • Garnish with green onions.

Soba Noodle Bowl With Crispy Tofu

8 Jan

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A delicious, flavorful bowl of goodness! The sauce has a great balance of sweet, tangy, savory, and spicy flavors and clings to the crispy tofu. Feel free to change up the vegetables to suit your tastes or what you have on hand.

Time: 30 minutes            Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 8 oz. soba noodles
  • Tofu


  • 15 oz. extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Sauce


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp sriracha or to taste
  • Vegetables


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • thumb of ginger, grated or minced
  • 5 green onions, sliced – white & light green parts separated from dark green
  • 5 oz. baby spinach leaves
  • 4 oz. pea shoots, roughly chopped – set a bit aside for garnish
  • For Serving


  • Gomasio (sea salt, seaweed, and sesame seeds)
  • lime wedges, for serving – optional

How to make it


  • Cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Be sure not to overcook and place in an ice water bath to stop cooking. Drain & set aside.
  • Tofu


  • Place tofu between two pieces of paper towel, then wrap in a dish towel. Place a plate weighed down with a couple cans of vegetables to press excess moisture out.
  • Cut into 1/2 in thick slices – rectangles or triangles are fine.
  • Place cornstarch in a pie plate or similar. Coat each piece of tofu with cornstarch and shake off excess.
  • In a large skillet, heat oils over medium-high heat. Add coated pieces of tofu and cook until lightly golden brown on each side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  • Sauce


  • Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and mix well to incorporate.
  • Vegetables


  • In a large skillet or wok, heat oils over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until tender and moisture has released and cooked off.
  • Add garlic, ginger, and white & light green parts of green onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add spinach and sprouts, stir, and cook just until wilted.
  • Add sauce, crispy tofu, and cooked soba noodles. Stir and continue to cook just until heated through.
  • For Serving


  • Divide into individual bowls and garnish with dark green parts of green onion and reserved pea shoots. Sprinkle with Gomasio and garnish with lime wedges.

Baked Crab Rangoon

29 Nov

My favorite appetizer to order from Chinese restaurants is crab rangoon. Most of the time they are disappointing with too much cream cheese and not enough crab. Plus, they’re deep-fried so must remain a once-in-a-while treat. Shangri-La here in Detroit makes really good ones but I decided to go the baked route so I could enjoy them more often. Creamy, crabby, flavorful inside with a nice crisp layer of won ton crust on the outside.

Time: 45 minutes            Services: 30 pieces

Ingredients


  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened (may use reduced fat)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 4.25 oz. can crab meat, drained (I used Trader Joe’s brand @ $1.99 & was impressed at the flavor & quality)
  • 30 won ton wrappers
  • cornstarch + water

How to make it


  • Combine yogurt, cream cheese, green onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Worcestershire, sugar, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Fold in crab.
  • Combine a bit of corn starch with cold water in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray paper with cooking spray.
  • Lay out 4 won ton wrappers at a time. Place about 2 tsp filling into center of each. Wet edges with corn starch paste. Fold wonton wrapper over filling, creating a triangle shape. Press down edges and seal tightly, removing any air pockets. Set aside and repeat until all filling is used.
  • Place rangoons onto prepared baking sheets. Spray liberally with cooking spray. Place in oven and bake for 7 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 5-7 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
  • I served these with a Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce I purchased from Trader Joe’s.

Faux Pho Noodle Bowl

26 Nov

I purchased a package of Vietnamese chicken sausage from the local Corridor Sausage Co. here in Detroit and was inspired to make this dish. You can purchase the sausages through their website and they are well worth it!

Time: 30 minutes               Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 1 quart Vegetarian Pho soup base (Pacific brand Organic soup starters)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 red onion, halved and sliced thinly – divided
  • 3 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • about 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 8 oz. thick rice noodles (pad thai noodles)
  • 1 pound Vietnamese chicken sausage
  • For Garnish


  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • Sriracha
  • fish sauce/soy sauce
  • 2 fresh serrano or jalapenos, thinly sliced

How to make it


  • Pour soup base and stock into a medium stock pot. Bring to a boil. Add half of sliced red onion, garlic, ginger and lemon juice. Reduce to simmer.
  • Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked, drop in an ice bath to stop cooking process. Set aside.
  • While noodles cook, heat broiling pan under broiler at 425F.
  • Place sausages on broiler pan about 4 inches from heating element. Cook for 4 minutes. Pierce each in several places with a sharp knife. Cook an additional 2 minutes, then turn, pierce other side and cook for an additional 6 minutes.
  • Transfer sausage to cutting board and slice in diagonal pieces once cool enough to handle.
  • To serve, divide noodles between 4 large bowls. Divide broth between bowls. Top each with sausage slices.
  • Put remaining sliced red onion in a small bowl (ramekins are perfect). Place mung beans in a small bowl. Place each herb in its own small bowl, as well as green onions, and peppers. Place garnish bowls/ ramekins on a large plate or serving tray and encourage diners to customize their Pho as desired.
  • Serve with chopsticks, fork, and large soup spoon.