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Sweet and Sour Seitan

3 Jan

One of my favorite meal growing up was sweet and sour meatballs. My mom used a recipe from the original orange Betty Crocker (you know the one, your mom had it too.) I love adapting old recipes, so here’s my version.

I use seitan instead of meatballs, but you could easily substitute tofu. Feel free to add different veggies, but the pineapple is essential.

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Dukbokki with Vegetables

1 Dec

One day while doing our biweekly grocery shopping, my husband came across rice cakes in the freezer section at one of our stops. He made a comment about how he remembered eating them after school at a friend’s house growing up. He said they were in an orange sauce and I remembered seeing a recipe on I Eat Food for something similar.

Fortunately it wasn’t hard to find gochujang, however I’ve had difficulty locating vegetarian fish sauce. Normally dukbokki has fish cakes added, although I think it’s delicious without them, I originally tried cooking dashi in the water for a fishy taste. It didn’t add enough flavor for me to do regularly, but if you need to get that fishy flavor, try using dashi stock.

Dukbokki with Vegetables

I’ve discovered that this is best if the rice cakes are just slightly undercooked, so be careful with your cooking times. Gochujang can be found in most stores with a decent ethnic aisle, but it might be labeled “sweet and spicy korean sauce.” It’s seriously good stuff, it’s tasty on a lot of different foods, so if you end up with a giant container of it, it doesn’t have to go to waste. Use it in place of ketchup for dipping or in recipes.

Dukbokki

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Mapo Eggplant

3 Nov

This could easily be called sichuan eggplant, but I prefer to think of it as mapo eggplant, as that’s what inspired the recipe. I’ve expressed how much I love mapo tofu in my previous post and this dish runs a close second. I came up with this to use up our abundance of eggplant in our garden this year; my desire for spicy foods prevailed over  traditional dishes like moussaka.

The eggplant gets a perfect soft and chewy texture when fried, and soaks up the sauce perfectly. I use mushrooms and seitan to mimic the pork in traditional mapo tofu and add some green onions for color. I usually grind my own sichuan peppercorns and make my own chili oil, but you don’t have to go through all that effort if you can buy them both. The fermented black beans and chili bean paste are key in this recipe; you can make it without them, but they add a depth you can’t get without them.

Mapo Eggplant

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Fried Rice

1 Nov

I’ve previously talked about my employment at a popular Asian restaurant that shall remain nameless (hint:you find it in most rest areas across the country and it features a bear in its name.) I spent my first few weeks there solely making fried rice, which is a lot more complicated in large amounts than it seems. I never tried their fried rice, because it contained chicken broth, but I started replicating the recipe at home with great success.

The key to good fried rice is old rice, high heat and a well seasoned wok. It’s going to be really hard to achieve the latter two on a home stovetop, because most people don’t have restaurant style burners. Bearing that in mind, you can still make some pretty tasty rice. I use dark soy sauce because it gives the rice that rich, dark brown color. Feel free to use regular soy sauce, just increase the amount you use.

I love having a big bowl of this in my fridge, I sneak bites of cold rice throughout the day. It’s one of my ultimate comfort foods, especially with chili sauce or teriyaki sauce on the side.

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Chickpeas and Eggplant in Red Curry Peanut Sauce

14 Oct

Thai curry is a pretty common go to in our household – just a few ingredients and you have a rich, filling meal. This recipe features my favorite vegetables, eggplant and mushrooms, but I often use anything in the refrigerator that needs to get eaten.

I started adding peanut butter recently, as we both love peanut noodles, and we really like it. It’s just as good without the peanut butter, so feel free to leave it out. Try to use a natural version if you can; the flavor and texture is better. I also use coconut oil, because I’m addicted to the stuff, but any neutral oil will work. I used Black Beauty eggplant,  because that’s what is growing in our garden, but if you use Asian eggplant, there’s no need to salt. Chickpeas are my current protein of choice, but tofu, seitan, or tempeh are all equally good here.

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Spicy Thai Noodles

14 Dec

I love spicy foods almost as much as I love sushi. I pinned this recipe about two weeks ago on Pinterest and I have already made it twice this week. The first time it was too spicy, but I really think I nailed it the second time around. I made a few changes, including adding ginger and more vegetables, but feel free to make your own substitutions.

Or, see my updated recipe here!!

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Thai Peanut Noodles

27 Nov

I’m a huge proponent of cheap and fast lunches. Especially right now, when we’ve been away and our pantry is the only stocked area of the kitchen. (I currently only have fruit, juice, and a giant jar of pickles in my refrigerator.) Fortunately, I do have plenty of pasta and peanut butter.

This only took me about 10 minutes to make, but apparently the noodles soak up the sauce, making any leftovers very dry. I will just save the sauce and noodles separately next time I make it.

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Miso Soup

26 Nov

After a full weekend of indulging at Thanksgiving, all I wanted was something light and brothy last night. I have two cans of no-chicken noodle soup around, but miso soup sounded so much more delicious.

Sometimes when I get a stomach ache I like to make a quick version with just vegetable broth and miso, but since I had time, I simmered the kombu to make a vegan dashi stock, which adds more flavor and depth to the soup. I also used some thinly slice nori, since I didn’t have wakame to add to the soup. I prefer wakame, because it unfurls and is softer, so if you can find it, definitely use it. I also added shiitake mushrooms back into the soup after making the stock, but they are completely optional. Button mushrooms would be nice too.

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Japanese Pan Noodles

16 Nov

A while ago I worked right next to a Noodles and Company-it was less than a two minute walk away. I was such a regular there they had my order memorized-Japanese Pan Noodles with extra sauce and extra extra extra cilantro.

Yes, I really do like cilantro that much. Unfortunately, my local market didn’t have any fresh cilantro today, so I had to do without.

The original recipe calls for udon noodles, which you can find fresh at some Asian markets. I’ve also found some in soup packages at my local grocery store-they look a bit like this. I substituted rice noodles, but if you can find udon noodles, feel free to use them.

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Homemade Sushi

13 Nov Homemade Sushi

I fell in love with sushi years ago. I was lucky enough to be given a rolling mat and the beginning ingredients when I was 16 and I’ve been making it at home ever since. I recently learned how to do an inside out roll and I wanted to share. Things you will need:

  • Rice cooker
  • Rolling mat
  • Saran wrap/cling wrap
  • Nori sheets
  • Short grain white rice
  • Rice vinegar
  • White sugar
  • Avocado, cucumber, green onion, carrots, etc. for filling
  • Sesame seeds
  • Gari(pickled ginger) and wasabi for garnish *you can find these is most large grocery stores

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