Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stir-Fried Shrimp and Cabbage

Today, I made a stir-fried of shrimp and cabbage with tofu and mushroom. I got the idea from Mark Bittman's recipe in NYTimes. Since I could not find fresh or frozen chestnuts, I used firm tofu and crimini mushroom instead. Although it seemed like there's a lot of prep work, I really love the result - a light and refreshing stir-fried dish.

1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 head of cabbage, shredded
1 package of firm tofu, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 package of sliced crimini mushroom
4 cloves of garlic , 2 sliced and 2 minced
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
12 large shrimp, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
salt and white pepper

  • Cook the shredded cabbage and sliced garlic with 1/8 cup of the vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium high heat, stirring until cabbage begins to brown.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water and tofu pieces and continue cooking for another 5-6 minutes until the tofu is cooked and the cabbage has softened. Remove and set aside.
  • Heat another 1/8 cup of oil in the pan and then add shrimp, minced garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt and white pepper. Cook until shrimp is just pink, remove and set aside.
  • Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan, cook the mushroom for 4-5 minutes until all mushroom juice has evaporated and season with a little bit of salt and white pepper
  • Return the cabbage and shrimp to the pan along with a couple tablespoons of water and the soy sauce. Cook, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pans. Drizzle with sesame oil, adjust seasoning and serve.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

R&G Lounge

Last night, I went to R&G Lounge with Danny, Mo-Fo and ShunBun after having a drink at Tunnel Top. I was supposed to go to the gym, have a good workout and eat salad at home but they twisted my arms so I had to oblige. =)

House Combination Chow Mein - Pan Fried Hong Kong Style

Ma Bo Tofu

R&G Special Beef

Water Spinach in Fermented Tofu Sauce

Friday, April 24, 2009

Blue Bottle Coffee

Compilation of pictures from my early and mid morning visits to Blue Bottle Coffee Cafe at the Mint Plaza in San Francisco in the past year or so with Danny, Mo-Fo, Porgy and ShunBun.

The coffee:

Breakfast food:
You can't get hot breakfast food until 8am. Before that, you can only get the brioche.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wheat Berry and Black Eyed Peas Salad

I had been thinking about whole grain salad lately ever since I had a bowl of wheat berries salad at Bocadillos a couple weeks ago. I love the texture and the taste of the wheat berries so I decided to make my own version of it. I love the fact that you can put in almost anything that you like. Here, I added black eyed peas, bell pepper, feta cheese and pine nuts. However, I should warn you that all those ingredients do add up ... so be careful because you don't want to end up with a salad big enough for a family of ten.

2 cups of wheat berries
1 cup of black eyed peas
1 shallot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 bunch of spearmint leaves, cut into strips
1 orange bell pepper, cut into small sized cubes
3 roasted red bell pepper, cut into medium sized cubes
1/4 lb of goat feta cheese
toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, toasted and grind
zest of 1 lemon

  • Wheat berries: soak for 8 hours, drain, simmer in a large pot with 7 cups of water and a bay leaf for 60 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking and to keep the grains plump
  • Black eyed peas: soak for 8 hours, drain, cook for 20 minutes in a medium pot with enough to cover the beans plus 2 inches, season with salt and pepper in the last 2 minutes of cooking, drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking
  • Stir fry the diced shallots in a small pan with a small amount of olive oil for approximately 3 minutes until translucent, add in the chopped garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant and set aside
  • In a large bowl, put in the cooked wheat berries, black eyed peas, shallots and garlic mix, strips of spearmint leaves, cube bell peppers, goat cheese, lemon zest, cumin seeds and goat cheese
  • Mix everything together lightly with spatula until well combined
  • Serve with or without the vinaigrette

The Vinaigrette:

1 shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of pepper

  • In a small bowl, mix the Dijon mustard, lemon juice and the diced shallots together
  • Drizzle an equal part of extra virgin olive oil into the bowl while whisking
  • Season with salt, sugar and pepper

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Pine Nuts


1 shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons of butter
Israeli couscous (I used the one from Trader Joe's, 1 box is about 1 1/3 cup)
1 3/4 cup of hot water (or chicken broth)
1 teaspoon salt
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1-2" strips
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley

  • In a medium sized pan over a medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the diced shallot until brown (5 minutes)
  • Add the couscous into the pan and brown for 5 minutes
  • Add in the hot water (or broth) and salt into the pan and bring back to boil
  • Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Add in the cut asparagus into the couscous, cover again and cook for another 5-6 minutes until the asparagus is done and couscous is cooked
  • Turn off the heat and stir-in the toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley
  • Serve as a main dish or a side dish

Monday, April 20, 2009

Simple Roasted Turkey Breast with Potatoes and Peas

A simple and healthy dinner.

turkey breast
baby potatoes
rosemary, (1 tablespoon, chopped)
olive oil
salt & pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Rinse the turkey breast with cold water and pat dry
  • Season the turkey breast liberally with salt & pepper and coat with olive oil
  • Cut the baby potatoes into quarters, rinse and pat dry
  • Toss the cut potatoes with olive oil, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper
  • Bake the turkey breast (covered with aluminum foil in the first 25 minutes) and potatoes for 45 minutes.
  • Trim the peas and blanch
  • Serve and enjoy

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brunch at Serpentine

I had a nice brunch with Craig, Mo-Fo duo and ShunBun. We were planning to go to Just For You Cafe but the wait time was over 1.5 hour so we decided to cross the street and checked out Serpentine.

Strawberry Buckwheat Pancake with toasted walnuts, whipped cream and maple syrup (to share...)

Savory bread pudding with Zoe's smoked ham, swiss cheese, sage, roasted onion and green salad

Fritata with fontina cheese, asparagus, roasted red pepper & caper relish, arugula and crispy potatoes

Fried oyster and egg benedict with bernaise sauce, corn bread and crispy potatoes

Baked eggs with black eyed peas, spring onion, green garlic, baby spinach, herb & grana padano cream and corn bread

Flannel hash of prather ranch beef brisket with chiogga beets, crispy potatoes, horseradish crème fraiche, poached eggs and grilled ny rye

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Composting Class and then Dim Sum

Today, I went across the bay the Alameda to take a composting class organized by Alameda County Waste Management Authority with Mo-Fo duo and ShunBun. It was a very informative and useful class. I had been thinking about having a worm composting bin on the balcony since I read these two DIY articles: Cheap and Easy Worm Bin and NYC Compost Project.

Our instructor, Robin.

Mo-Fo duo hecking out the indigenous plants...

After that, we went to have dimsum at Alameda's East Ocean Seafood Restaurant.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Crocker Galleria Farmer's Market

My ritual on Thursdays... going to the Crocker Galleria Farmer's Market to get some vegetables, fruits, and sometimes pastries. Love the friendly people from Happy Boys Farm and the stand who sells Asian vegetables.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Last night, I made Hainanese Chicken Rice which is considered the national dish of Singapore using the recipe from Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything. It's a 'simple' dish of poached chicken and white rice cooked in chicken broth.

1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons of grated garlic
1 big knob of ginger, grated finely
1/4 cup peanut oil or neutral foil (I used canola oil)
2 cups white (jasmine) rice
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
Ginger-Scallion sauce (recipe to follow)
Chopped fresh scallion or cilantro leaves for garnish

  • Put about 4 inches of water in a large pot over high heat
  • Run the inside and outside of chicken with salt and half of the garlic and ginger
  • When the water boils, put the chicken in the pot; it should just submerged (if necessary, add water)
  • Return to boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and let the bird remain in the water for 1 hour, covered
  • The meat should be opaque all the way to the bones; if not, return to pot to a boil and cover again for another 5 - 10 minutes
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside
  • Put the oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • When hot, add the remaining garlic and ginger, stirrin occasionally, until the garlic begins to brown and becomes fragrant, about 2 - 3 minutes
  • Add the rice and stir, then add 4 cups of the stock; bring to a boil again
  • Adjust the heat to a simmer so that the mixture bubbles gently but steadily, cover
  • Cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid (~20 minutes)
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (optional) and rub with sesame oil
  • Drizzle some of the Ginger Scallion sauce over it, serve over the rice and sprinkle with scallion or cilantro
  • You can also serve serve the (heated) stock with some scallion in a small bowl on the side

Ginger Scallion Sauce

1/4 cup minced (or grated) fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped scallion
1 or 2 clove garlic, grated
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut oil or neutral oil (I used canola oil)

  • Mix the ginger, scallion, garlic and salt together in a heatproof bowl
  • Put the oil in a small saucepan or skillet over high heat until smoking
  • Carefully pour the hot oil over the ginger scallion mixture (Note: it will sizzle a lot)
  • Mix well and serve or refrigrate for up to 3 days

Monday, April 6, 2009

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wibowo and I made our famous Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies using Blue Bottle Coffee.

We did two batches: the first went straight into the oven, the other was baked after we refrigerated the dough for 12 hours (thank you New York Times for the suggestion). After a blind taste test, the second batch (the one on the left) was a clear winner. Had the perfect texture and was still moist in the center. Just the way I like it!

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (at room temperature)
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground Blue Bottle Coffee
1 bag of chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven at 300F
  • Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground coffee)
  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  • Beat in egg and vanilla extract
  • Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in 2 phases
  • Mix all together at slow speed
  • Add in chocolate chips and mix with spatula
  • Bake for 16 mins for more moist (chewier) cookies or 18 mins for crunchier ones
-- Porgy, Guest Contributor

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Miso Soup

A healthy and light dinner: Miso soup served over steam rice.

1/2 cup Miso paste
6 cups water
3 stalks chopped green onion
10 sliced shitake mushroom
1/2 block of white tofu, cut into small cubes
2 handful of spinach

  • In a large pot over high heat, boil water
  • When the water starts to boil, lower the heat to medium
  • Put in the miso paste, mushroom and tofu
  • Bring to boil again
  • Put in the green onion and spinach
  • Turn off the heat
  • Serve over steam (white) rice

Bob's Donuts

Late night snacks at Bob's Donut &Pastry Shop.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cranberry Orange Scones

Today, I made Cranberry Orange Scones using Ina Garten's recipe. Since I don't want to make too many scones, I cut the recipe in-half but I still kept the amount of cranberry the same and I used zests of one orange and one Meyer lemon.


2 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoons kosher salt
zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
3/8 pound (1.5 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/8 cup raw (turbinado sugar) for sprinkling
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 1 tablespoons
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In the bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, 1/8 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and half of the zest.
  • Add the cold butter and mix with a hand mixer until the butter is the size of peas.
  • Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture and mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy and sticky.
  • Combine the dried cranberries, the rest of the zest and 1/8 cup of flour, add to the dough, and fold in until blended.
  • Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and knead the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough.
  • Roll the dough into a log and cut triangles of dough.
  • Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or silpat.
  • Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with raw sugar, and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked.
  • The scones will be firm to the touch.
  • Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.