BBQ Chicken & BBQ Pork Fillings

The following recipe was used for my Steam Buns cooking class. You can read about my class and get other links to recipes HERE.

BBQ Chicken & BBQ Pork Fillings
1.5 cups shredded chicken or diced/shredded pork
1/2 -3/4 cup bbq sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons fried minced garlic
salt & white pepper to taste

Combine all the above ingredients.

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Things You Can Caramelize

What food comes to mind when you think of caramelizing? Let’s see… there’s onions, shallots, nuts, apples, creme brulee, etc. Have you ever considered tofu?

I know it’s a bit odd, but hear me out! Tofu is one of those foods that might require some extra coaxing for folks to try. But perhaps caramelizing them to give them more depth, flavor and color will help you to consider trying this recipe for Caramelized Tofu.

For lunch today we wanted to use up some bok choy and tofu we purchased last week. Thanks to my friend, Elly, she shared the site of 101 Cookbooks with me for a pancake recipe. On the same site, my eyes found this dish. I made some adaptations to use what I had on hand and overall, its a great way to use tofu. It made the tofu both sweet and salty – a great combination for most foods. To pair with this, I served it with steamed vegetable dumplings and a simple homemade ponzu sauce.


Here is my adaption of Caramelized Tofu with Bok Choy:

7 – 8 ounces extra-firm tofu cut into thin 1-inch segments
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
a couple sprays of cooking spray
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
3-4 baby bok choy , washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
salt & pepper to taste
few drops of sesame oil

Cook the tofu strips in large hot skillet (or pot) with a bit of salt and a sprays of cooking spray. Saute until slightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in sugar. Cook for another couple of minutes.

In the same pan, add a touch more sprays of cooking spray, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the chopped bok choy. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until softened.

Return the tofu to the pan with the bok choy and toss together with salt, pepper and sesame oil before serving.

Serves 2 – 3 as a main, 4 as a side

*I’m also submitting this to the Bookmarked Recipes blogging event, hosted by Ruth of Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments. This is a great weekly blogging event so join in the fun or check out the round up every Monday on Ruth’s site!*

The Nutty Tilapia…

If there is a recipe that I’ve been so delayed in making, it’s this one. Something always came up – dinner out, errands, laziness… But finally, tonight’s dinner will be the long awaited Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia. The last time I had prepared this was for my birthday luau about 3 months ago. We loved it back then that we wanted to make it again. This time, I served it with sesame bok choy and king oyster mushrooms. It’s light, flavorful and great for hot summer nights.

Here’s my recipe for Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia:
4 frozen tilapia fillets
1-2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup crushed macadamia nuts
1/2 panko breadcrumbs
salt & pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk eggs with water for egg wash.
In a shallow baking pan, combine the nuts, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper.
Dip each tilapia fillet in the eggwash and dredge in the nut/breadcrumb mixture until fully coated.
Plate coated fish on a plate and chill for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Place coated fish on a light greased baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Here’s my recipe for Baby Bok Choy & King Oyster Mushroom Saute:

3-4 baby bok choy bunches
1 1/2 cups king oyster mushrooms (or any kind of mushroom)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil

Heat large skillet or wok over high heat.
Meanwhile, prep your veggies by cutting bottoms of the bok choy and rinsing any debris between the stalks. Cut off the green tops and set aside.
For the mushrooms, slice them and if you prefer, remove stems.
When skilley or wok is hot, add oil to coat the bottom.
Add garlic, ginger and bok choy bottoms (not the green leafy tops!).
Stir until stalks are softened; then add mushrooms.
Stir until mushrooms start to brown and soften.
Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce and salt & pepper to taste.
Stir and then add bok choy greens.
Remove from heat, add sesame oil and toss until greens wilt.

*I’m also submitting this dish to the Original Recipes blogging event hosted by Lore of Culinarty. This is one of my fave blogging events each month because it showcases the creativity of so many bloggers. Check out the round up mid month!

Wasabi.. not only for Sushi!

In an attempt to use up some leftover wasabi, I decided to make a sushi inspired sauce combining wasabi and soy sauce. I call this, shrimp with wasabi soy noodles.Here’s my recipe:

1 lb large raw shrimp
1/2 package Shanghai egg noodles

2 cups water

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon wasabi
1 tablespoon sugar
splash of mirin
splash of sesame oil
1/2 cup julienned green beans
1 tablespoon slivered almonds

In a wok, add water & shrimp.

Cook shrimp until pink.
Add remaining ingredients except noodles, beans and almonds.
Allow shrimp to simmer and absorb flavors.
Remove shrimp and set aside.
Add noodles and cook until softened and sauce is absorbed.
Add beans and almonds; toss to coat.
Serve noodles with shrimps on the side.

BBQ in the Winter?

Yes… that’s right. We had BBQ for dinner! Not the traditional kind, but Korean BBQ. Specifically, I prepared kalbi.

Kalbi (or galbi) is a Korean dish made from beef short ribs, and sometimes pork ribs. Galbi literally means “rib” in Korean. It can be seasoned or unseasoned, and if seasoned variety, the ribs are marinated in a sauce made from fruit juice (usually Asian pear juice), rice wine, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and sugar. Most recipes contain these basic ingredients, although many variations exist, including clear marinades and spicier marinades.


For tonight, I decided to marinate the beef short ribs in soy sauce, rice vinegar, minced garlic, sesame oil, sugar and black pepper. I didn’t take any specific measurements for each of those ingredients, but you could try the “little bit of this, little bit of that” method.

In the bitter cold winds of Chicago, we grill in the winter using our panini press at our house… since we don’t believe in unitaskers! It came out succulent and perfectly seared. With the kalbi, I made sushi rice, seasoned with rice vinegar and a touch of sugar. Overall, our dinner was the next best thing to going to a Korean BBQ restaurant!

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Somen Since its So Cold!

Tonight we are having beef & broccoli with Japanese somen noodles. I also added some bamboo shoots for added color and texture. It hit the spot perfectly on such a cold night in Chicago.

Somen are thin, round, white noodles made from wheat flour and is similar to vermicelli. Strands of somen are generally found dried and often packaged in band tied bundles. It’s often served cold but is also added to soups. But for tonight, I decided it would compliment my beef & broccoli stir fry wonderfully… and it did!

Beef & Broccoli Somen Recipe:
1 lb beef chuck, sliced thin
2 tablespoons cornstarch
oil for browning beef
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 small onion, sliced
1 cup beef broth
1 lb fresh broccoli florets or frozen chopped broccoli
1 cup bamboo shoots
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce
garlic powder & black pepper to taste
small handful of somen noodles
water for boiling noodles
sesame oil (optional)
1. Toss sliced beef in the cornstarch and set aside.
2. In wide shallow pan, heat cooking oil and brown beef.
3. Add minced garlic and sliced onion.
4. When beef is completely browned, deglaze the pan with beef broth, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir to get all the brown bits from the bottom.
5. Season liquid to taste with garlic powder and black pepper.
6. Add broccoli and bamboo shoots; let simmer for about 10 minutes until cooked through.
7. Cook somen noodles in boiling water for 5-7 minutes; remove and drain.
8. Toss noodles in stir fry and add a few drops of sesame oil for added flavor/aroma.