Okonomiyaki

This dish has been haunting me on social media so much that I had to make it. Never had it before. So I don’t know if it’s right but this is damn good eats. As my husband says, “what is this witchcraft?”

Okonomiyaki

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup Mountain Yam, peeled and grated to become a slime (just add the slime)
  • 3/4 dashi (3/4 water and 1 tsp instant dashi powder)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tempura scraps (I made tempura shrimp the night before and then while the oil was hot, drizzled tempura batter to create pea sized pieces, drain on paper towel)
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
  • Cooked corn
  • 8-10 thin slices of pork belly, cut in half lengthwise
  • Okonomiyaki sauce
  • Kewpie Mayo
  • Aonori powder
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Bonito flakes

Mix dry ingredients. Then add mt yam slime and dashi. Mix well and then store covered in the fridge. I left my batter over night but could be used with an hour.

When ready to cook, take batter out of fridge. Add eggs and mix. In a super large bowl, add 1/3 cabbage and mix. Keep adding batches of cabbage until it looks like most of the batter coats the cabbage and there’s a bit more between the pieces. Add the corn.

Heat non-stick pan over med/low heat. Add a bit of veggie oil and 4 slices of the pork belly overlapping each other. Dollop approx 2-2.5 cups of the cabbage mixture on top. Flatten a little with the spatula and push the sides of the cabbage mixture on the sides to form a circle. Cook for 6 mins. It should be golden brown on the bottom. Slide onto a plate. Then invert the pan on top of the plate and flip the cake back into the pan with the pork belly side now up. Flatten and shape back into a circle. Cook for another 6 mins.

Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining 5 cakes.

When ready to serve brush approx 2 TBSP of okonomiyaki sauce on top (pork side). Zigzag Mayo across top. Sprinkle aonori powder. Add green onions and top with a handful of bonito flakes.

Enjoy!!

Miso Eggplant

Do you ever crave eggplant? One of my friends back in the 90’s told me it had addictive properties (like nicotine, or something). I believed her. Less so now but I definitely crave it often. This recipe is a good alternative to the dips and addition to veggie stews.

It looks like a heap but it’s a damn good heap.

Miso Eggplant

Adapted from justonecookbook.com

  • 3-4 Japanese eggplant or 1 big one, sliced in half or quarters lengthwise
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 3 TBSP white miso
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP rice vinegar (mirin)
  • 1 TBSP water
  • White sesame seeds
  • Green onion, cut into 1/4” rounds
  • Shiso leaves, julienne

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat water. Mix with sugar, miso and vinegar. Set aside.

Cut meat side of sliced eggplant diagonally about of a third of the way to the skin. turn and cut again on the diagonal creating a cross cross pattern in the flesh. Be careful not to cut too far into the meat. This is so the flavors can get into the eggplant. Not to create little pieces.

Soak the eggplant in water for 10 mins. Then remove, give a little squeeze and dry with a paper towel.

Brush with sesame oil and place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15 mins.

Remove from oven and change oven to broil. Turn eggplant over and coat meat side with miso glaze.

Broil for 5-15 mins until golden brown.

Sprinkle with green onions, sesame seeds, shiso leaf and nori. Serve with rice and an egg or as a side dish. So delish!!

Made again so you can see it out of the oven with toppings added before it becomes a heap

Banana Pecan Crumble Muffins

We had some seriously ripe bananas that luckily made it to the weekend. The girls made these muffins with the bananas and they’re delicious. the muffin is super simple but the crumble takes it to the top. It is now a favorite muffin.

Banana Pecan Crumble Muffin

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 medium really ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Topping

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter

Preheat oven to 365 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients for muffins, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.

In another bowl, mash bananas. I left ours with a few chunks that made for yummy bits in the muffin. Add sugar, egg and butter. Mix well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Fill liners to approx 3/4 full with the muffin mix.

In a separate bowl, combine all the topping ingredients just until combined.

Top unbaked muffins with crumble.

Bake for 18 – 20 mins. Check if muffins are done by inserting a dry toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s ready to come out.

Let cool 10 mins and then enjoy with butter.

Broccoli Beef

People tend to think my kids are picky. I think they just like momma’s cooking (and carbs). Oh, and they go through phases. Well, Good news. They LOVED this.

Broccoli Beef

  • 2 thick NY steaks, sliced against the grain
  • 2 heads of broccoli, broken down
  • Sesame seeds
  • Veggie oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 6 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Make sure you start your rice because this is going to be quick.

Heat pan on medium high and add a tablespoon or so of oil. Cook broccoli until bright green. Set aside.

Increase heat on pan to high heat. Add a tablespoon or so of oil. Brown the beef. Note: dont overcook and Don’t over crowd the pan. This was about 3 batches for the pan I have. I just added each batch to the broccoli bowl that was set aside. I cooked the beef until medium rare.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.

Add the broccoli and beef back to the pan with the sauce and cook for about 3 mins or until the sauce thickens a bit. It should just stick to the back of a spoon.

Test for pepper. Add some sesame seeds. Serve over rice with some siracha for added deliciousness. Enjoy!

Blue Bayou Gumbo – Attempt #1

We had the best time at Disneyland. Now that I’m home, I’m missing the food so bad. We were lucky enough to get reservations at The Blue Bayou one day and enjoyed the gumbo and 2 glasses of Pinot Noir. So, why not try to recreate it – missing the boats rolling by.

Funny side note, I thought this was too blonde since it was so dark eating in Pirates. But this was almost as good.

PS I made a second attempt at making this recipe but had to double it for family pre-thanksgiving. It came out great doubling the recipe. I just needed more chicken broth in the end to thin it out a bit. I used 2 whole box containers.

Gumbo

Serves 4

  • 1 smoked andouille sausage, sliced
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (I used purple)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen cut okra
  • 1 tsp Gumbo File (can omit if you don’t find it)

First make the roux. Take your time. This is where the love gets added. Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium low heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk. It’ll look like a paste and then start to look like a thick pale sauce. Increase the heat to medium and constantly whisk until in begins to look the color of peanut butter. Then it should start to turn toward the color of hot cocoa (note, I got too impatient to wait and ended when it looked like caramel). This should take approx 30 – 45 mins if you’re cooking on med low. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wash the pot.

Reheat the pot over medium heat. Add 1 TBPS olive oil and add sausage. Cook for 3 mins. Add celery, onions, bell pepper, garlic and cook for another 5 mins.

Add onion powder, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. Add chicken, tomato and 1 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 10 mins.

Slowly mix 1 1/4 cup of chicken broth into the roux. Add the roux, okra, gumbo file and chili powder. Cook for 5 mins until the okra is hot.

Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve over rice. Enjoy!!!

Trader Joe’s Thai Yellow Curry

I recently discovered Trader Joe’s bottled Thai yellow curry sauce. It’s really good and comforting. It’s definitely not YaYa’s curry. It tastes a bit more like Japanese curry. But it’s damn good.

I made it traditional style with chicken and potatoes (I didn’t have bamboo shoots). Basically, I put 1 and a half chicken breast, cubed and 4 medium red potatoes cut into 1/4s in a pot with the sauce and cooked it until the potatoes were soft. Next time, I might wait until the last 15 mins to put in the chicken so it remains tender.

And while I was prepping it, I had too much chicken (that other half). So I popped the cubed, raw chicken pieces in with 3 TBSP of the sauce in a Tupperware and left it in the fridge.

I just pulled it out, skewered it and threw it in a 350 degree oven for 20 mins. What? Satay anyone? I should’ve left more sauce on when I baked it. But it’s so good too.

Get yourself to a TJs and buy this sauce, Trader Joe’s Thai yellow curry. And pick yourself up some orange chicken too.

Jalapeño Poppers, Baked

Made these for the 4th of July and am looking for a BBQ event to bring them to so I can side swipe a few between drinks. It’s the perfect “over served” food. Bacon-y, kinda spicy, cheesey. Sooo good. In fact, I bet we could doctor them up to look Halloween-y. Ok. Time for some creativity, ya’ll. Whatchya got? P.S. The mix is damn good on toast under some avocado sliced.

  • 12 jalapeños, half and seeded
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 head roasted garlic (optional)
  • 10 stalks of chives, cut into 1/4” lengths
  • 6 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled

Move rack to middle of oven. Line baking pan with foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Make filling by mixing all but 3 TBSP of the crumbled bacon. Cut jalapeños, deseed and demembrane.

Use a spoon to fill the filling into the jalapeño halves. Try to keep them upright (sometimes that requires leaning one up on the other-don’t worry though, they’re ok sharing space).

Cook for 20-25 mins or until bubbly. Sprinkle remaining bacon on top (I actually pressed the bacon into the jalapeños).

It’s like molten lava coming out of the oven. Use all the impulse control power you have to wait 10 mins until trying one. Trust me. Then enjoy!!

Shanghai Lumpia

I went to make Lola Momma’s lumpia recipe and did a quick search to find the ingredients. What? Nothing found. How have I never put the recipe in here? Welp, I winged it because she was asleep since she’s in the PI and we’re in the US and it was a midday project. Everyone says I did it. And the photo is proof that it was good. We couldn’t even get a pic, they went so fast.

Ate them before we could get a photo
Too much filling in this one by a third.

Mix all the filling ingredients together until well incorporated. It should no longer look like separate ingredients but more like a paste.

Set up your rolling station. You will need a bowl of water, a cutting board to roll on, a plate for lumpia you’ll fry, a couple of ziplock bags for lumpia you’ll freeze. A paper towel for any wiping and great music. (Lola Momma suggests a piping bag for the mix but I haven’t tried it yet)

After the filling is mixed and you’re set up at your rolling station, it’s time to get your wrappers ready.

The wrappers like to stick together. Pull apart a stack. Sometimes the edges are really stuck or kinda hard. I just trim off all the hard edges on the stack. Then I cut the wrappers in half.

Pull off individual wrappers. It’s important to cover the wrappers you’re not using with a damp towel so they don’t get dry.

Put about a half inch wide of filling across the bottom of the wrapper. Roll it up trying to avoid air bubbles. Wet the sealing end of the wrapper with water using your finger dipped in the bowl. Once rolled, cut the lumpia in half.

Freeze some (making sure they’re not touching until frozen). Fry others.

Enjoy with sweet spicy dipping sauce.

Chicken Adobo

Pure comfort in a bowl. Paired with Mom’s pancit and it’s the holidays in February! I made this on a Sunday and it fed us a couple more times for lunch and dinner. And, I’m already craving it again!

Chicken Adobo

  • 6 full chicken legs, skin removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water (if needed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP whole peppercorns
  • 2TBSP canola oil

Heat oil in pot over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 mins or just until fragrant and slightly tender.

Add chicken legs, soy sauce, bay leaves and peppercorns. Legs should be at least halfway submerged under the sauce. You can add a little water if needed or more of the soy sauce and vinegar if you need more than a little bit of sauce.

Bring to boil. Then, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is falling off the bone (being sure to flip the legs every 20 mins).

Pull legs out of sauce once tender and shred with a fork. Put chicken back in sauce and serve with rice. (Legs don’t have to be shredded but it allows the sauce to get all up in the chicken.)

Enjoy!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Have you watched The Chef Show with Jon Favreau and Roy Choi? They’re adorable- kinda like an old married couple talking about experiences and eating amazing comforting food.

Well, I finally made the spaghetti and meatballs from the “Roy’s Italian Cuisine” episode and it’s soooooooo good. This will be a go to for a very long time.

This is one of those recipes you need to prep for. So, go roast a head of garlic and pick up the ingredients (including ordering some fennel pollen – really, you need this in your spice collection)

Roy Choi’s (Adapted) Spaghetti and Meatballs

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground meat (70/30 if you can get it)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 1/2 garlic head, roasted
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped then blended in the blender with 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp fennel pollen
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

Sauce

  • 1 large can san marzano whole tomatoes
  • Shiitake mushrooms (two handfuls)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • A head of garlic, cloves deskinned
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 375.

Put 1/4 cup of sauce oil into a small sauce pan. Set on medium low heat and add the garlic cloves from the sauce ingredients. Let that simmer on low until the garlic cloves get soft and golden brown. Takes about 15-20 mins.

Put the water and shiitake mushrooms in a small pot. Let simmer on low for 20 mins.

Mix everything from the meatball ingredient list together except 1 T of the olive oil in a bowl.

Pan fry a bit of the meatball mixture until cooked so you can taste for salt. Adjust seasoning if needed in the meatballs.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or douse the sheet with some oil.

Roll the meatballs into 2”-2.5” diameter balls. And place on sheet.

Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake for 20-22 mins. They should be medium rare.

While meatballs are cooking, add the garlic that’s been simmering in the oil (not the oil) to a medium pot. Add 1 cup of the mushroom broth and the tomatoes. Simmer on low for 40 mins or until slightly reduced.

Blend the sauce in the pot and taste for salt.

Take meatballs out and add some to the sauce for added deliciousness.

Cook a pot of spaghetti. Serve with sauce and meatballs. Top with Parmesan and enjoy!