Somen Salad

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Today was really hot, so I decided to make a salad for lunch. Now when I say salad, don’t think lettuce with this one. This is more of a “pasta salad” with somen noodles, a really thin Japanese noodle. I got this recipe from my mom because I loved it as a kid growing up. She always loathed making it because of all the cutting, but did it anyways because she knew how much I liked it. The recipe itself is super easy, its just slightly labor intensive when it comes to adding stuff, due to chopping and julienning. But if you have a peeler that juliennes like I do, then its pretty quick. I should get my mom one so that she can keep making this for me lol. Anyways, here it is.

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Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • 5-8 slices of deli ham, chopped (or some other kind of meat)
  • 2 eggs, fried, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, julienned
  • ~1 lb of somen noodles (the package I bought was 14oz)

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Instructions

  • Mix the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and ginger in a bowl and refrigerate
  • Boil the somen noodles until cooked (be aware, they cook fast), and then rinse with cold water (you want the noodles to be fairly cold when you eat)
  • Fry the 2 eggs
  • Chop/julienne the cucumbers, eggs, green onions, and ham
  • Add them to the noodles, pour the sauce over it, mix, and enjoy!

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Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

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Tonight I decided to make some shrimp lettuce wraps in order to use some left over vegetables from other meals.  I got the recipe from the Food Network and pretty much followed it all the way. This is a simple, tasty, and light dish, which makes for a good appetizer. I just wish they photographed better, but maybe the photography fail lies with me. Either way, here goes.

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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb medium fresh shrimp, chopped and deveined
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 5 oz water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, cored, cut in 1/2

Instructions

  • In a bowl, mix the lime juice, 2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, ginger, and garlic
  • Add the shrimp and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 min (I ended up doing all of this in a ziploc bag. Less dishes)
  • In a pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over med-high heat and then add the bell peppers, green onions, and water chestnuts stirring occasionally
  • Add the shrimp and the marinade and cook thoroughly until the shrimp are pink (~3 min)
  • Stir in the last 1tbsp of soy sauce
  • Spoon into the lettuce leaves and enjoy (I used a slotted spoon because the mix can get very watery and messy)
Before Shrimp

Before Shrimp

With Shrimp

With Shrimp

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Overall, it was pretty good and I would definitely make it again. Hope you like it too!

#NomNomNom Tag

Got mentioned on my comments by foodblog W in Wonderland about the Nom Nom Nom Tag. This tag was set up by feelgood-blog Team Confetti. These are food related questions so I figured I’d be up to the challenge, so here we go!

What do you like what everybody else despises (and the other way around) when it comes to food?

Hmmm, I actually think this is probably the hardest question because I don’t think there is really anything that I eat that other people are like wtf? seriously? I guess the closest thing would be chicken feet at dim sum restaurants.

On the other hand, I cannot stand mushrooms, but it seems like other people really love them.  It’s funny because I used to like them, but then around 7 years old, I couldn’t stand them.  Now it is a texture thing and if I feel them in my mouth I gag.  Can’t do it.

Hot_Sweet_&_Spicy_Chicken_Feet_(Dak_Ba

What do you often cook?

Meat. I often cook some type of meat, mostly steaks and chicken thighs.  Baking chicken thighs is super easy and I can just marinate them, pop them in the oven, and go do something else (generally not productive).  I have also been making a lot of salads recently though, which is more salad than I have ever eaten in my life.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Hmm, I am pretty much a Yelp troller.  With that being said I would probably say that my favorite restaurant is either Jiraffe in Santa Monica or Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe in Tahoe, CA.  For me, favorite restaurants is not always just about the food, but about the experience and I think these 2 were one of my favorite dining experiences.

If you were able to invent a sandwich, what would it be called and what would be on it?

Not sure what I’d call it, but it would definitely have pastrami it. I am a huge sucker for pastrami. It would be on rye bread and have melted gruyere cheese, pickles, and a garlic aioli.  Nothing fancy, but just stuffed full of pastrami and flavor. Pastramamama!

katzs-deli-pastrami-sandwich

Share a useful cooking tip:

This may seem unfair and unfeasible to most, but have someone else wash your dishes. At my apartment, we have a deal where I cook, and either Jenn or my sister cleans the dishes. This works out for everyone since each person gets to do what they prefer, and let me tell you….it’s wonderful.

What’s on your food backing bucket list?

Smoked BBQ, Creme Brûlée, drinks, and I’m sure there are a lot of others, but I just can’t think of them right now

What would you rather do: cooking your own meals, ordering food or having dinner?

Like W in Wonderland, if money was no object, I’d eat out for dinner every night. I love to dine out for the whole ambiance plus the good food.  But, alas I am poor, so I will cook my own meals, which is something I also really like doing anyways.

Are you allergic?

Nope, not to anything that I know of at least.

What’s your food obsession right now?

I don’t really have a food obsession right now.  I guess my obsession is always barbeque, always looking for good bbq.  But cooking wise, it’s anything I havn’t tried before I guess.

bubbasBrisket

What’s your favourite desert?

Ice cream.  Followed by souffles, creme brûlées, and cheesecakes.

Hopefully you guys learned something new about me. Now here are my tags:

1. Andrea from Cooking with a Wallflower – Jenn and I have been following Andrea’s blog since we first started blogging. She’s also based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has really great, simple recipes. She also has some cool DIY projects that Jenn wishes she can do.

2. Alice from alifemoment – We’ve also been following Alice’s blog recently. She has quite a range of delicious recipes and has awesome presentation. She is also as pizza obsessed as Jenn is.

3. All of you guys! Please comment below and tell us what are some of your favorite dishes, obsessions, and about your food personality.

Hawaiian Poke Salad with Wonton Chips

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So last week Jenn asks me if I have ever had Poke Salad. Being Asian and a sushi/sashimi lover, I thought that was a weird question, because of course I have. And my awesome reaction was “Yeah, hasn’t everyone?”. Apparently not….awkward… Anyways, she said she wanted to try it, and I told her to order it whenever she goes out again. But then we figured it would be better if I just made it and we put it up on here, so here it is.

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Ingredients

  • Ahi Tuna (1-2lbs)
  • 3 Green Onions chopped
  • 1 White/Red Onion julienned
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • Chili Flakes to taste
  • Wonton Skins (thick)

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Instructions

  • Cut the Ahi into small cubes (1/2 inch), put in bowl, and refrigerate for ~30 min
  • Mix the onions, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili flakes in a bowl
  • Refrigerate the mix for ~30 min
  • Deep fry the wonton skins until crisp and golden brown
  • Take the 2 bowls out of the refrigerator and mix the tuna into the sauce
  • Serve with the fried wonton skins

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I topped it with a seaweed salad I got from a local Asian market for color.

Roasted Tomato Spaghetti

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So I was trolling Yahoo! Food and came across this recipe for a slow roasted tomato sauce. With nothing better to make, I decided to try it. I realized half way through that I had no meat to pair with it, and was super close to running to the market to pick up something, but ended up doing something more unbelievable…leaving it a vegetarian meal. Both proud and disappointed at the same time, this meal was decent, but not what I expected. I followed the recipe exactly, but it ended up being a little too sweet for my taste (maybe less balsamic next time), or adding meat (the salt from meat would probably even it out).

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions

  • Mix tomatoes and garlic in a baking dish
  • Mix EVOO, balsamic, thyme, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl
  • Pour mix over the tomatoes
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour

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So after they were baked/roasted, I honestly did not know what to do with them. I tried to break the tomatoes and mix them to make a sauce, but while the tomatoes broke, the skins didn’t really reduce. So I ended up putting a few of the tomatoes in the food processor and pulsing it a bit to make a sauce that I could mix with my spaghetti. Overall, it was like I said earlier – not what I expected, but I would definitely try it again with a few adjustments.