Thursday, March 7, 2013

Past Creations

I found these pictures while I was cleaning out my laptop and realized that I never got a chance to post them up. they are!! Hope some of you can relate to these home-cooked meals.

Qaub...Hmong papaya salad!! Spicy, sour, salty, and sweet...
a lethal combination. My absolute favorite!!
Quab with Khob Poob...Papaya salad with noodles...
can't eat papaya salad without the noodles!

Hot Fruit Beef Jerky snack....sweet and spicy asian beef jerky.

Qaub...papaya salad. Who doesn't like?! This is obviously a Hmong dish that is common in every household. Easy to make and simple to customize. There are many ingredients to this dish but the basic ingredients are green papaya, garlic, tomatoes, lime, peanuts, chili peppers, tamarind juice, and crab paste.

A childhood snack! I haven't had these since I was 10 years old and was lucky enough to have found some in Chinatown in Hawaii. I bought all that was left (3 bags) and the originals. My husband never had them, but he says it's okay for a first timer. He wasn't use to it because it has a sweet and spicy taste. It wasn't the beef jerky that he was use to. It's more juicy than dry unlike American beef jerky. I loved it! Reminds me of when I was little and I would go to the Vietnamese store with my parents in our hometown. I crave for some, but Chinatown is too crowded for me and then there's the traffic too. A must try if you ever come across it.

Pho dub/black noodles...a common Hmong dish
Pho Dub (as my mom calls it) is basically translated to black noodles. It is made with Korean black noodles and stir fried with bamboo shoots, pork, mushrooms, and cilantro. I like to add other vegetables such as carrots or daikons. It's main sauce is oyster sauce, but I like to add soy sauce and sesame oil. It's very delicious to eat warm or cold. This dish brings back memories of being back at home with families at gatherings.

Inspired by the tradtional stuffed pepper....
Hmong Stuffed Pepper
My asian version of a stuffed pepper with a fried egg on top. What makes it Hmong is the ingredients used. The stuffing was made from beef, rice, and noodles with oyster sauce, sweet dark soy sauce, and magi sauce. Topped with an egg (I prefer more cooked than raw).
Hmong Suffed Pepper with fried egg...
so asian!

My baked eggroll cups....the healthy version of an eggroll

Traditional eggrolls, but healthier. I used the eggroll wrappings to form a cup in my muffin pan. I added more eggs to the eggroll mixture than normal so that it can also keep the eggroll moist. I then brushed the edge of the wrappers with an egg wash for the golden brown color. It tasted the same except some of the top noodles were very crispy (which I liked). Had no problem with this still had the crunch, the taste, the same ingredients, but without the deep frying. So much healthier!

Traditional ham....with a pineapple glaze!!
I believe I made this for Christmas one time along with my baked eggrolls (as you can see in the background). It's a traditional ham with a pineapple glaze made from pineapple juice and honey. Nothing too special about it except that it tasted so delicious (I'm not a fan of ham). Had sweet ham at a friend's house and fell in love with the sweet and salty taste of sweet ham. It was my first homecooked ham and wasn't my last.

Korean rice cakes....ttoboki with beef
It's not a secret that I love spicy food. I basically add sriracha sauce to all my meals. Had my first ttoboki in Hawaii at a Korean restaurant. I've always wanted to try it because of the korean dramas. This dish is seen a lot in the dramas because it's a street food. It's easy to make so it's easy to serve. The basic ingredients are the hot pepper paste, honey or something sweet, soy sauce, and fish cakes (I used beef for substitution). Not a fan of fish cakes? You can leave it out. I love the texture of the chewy rice cakes and the spicy and sweet sauce. This is my kind of soul food!

Ttoboki with fried that's asian!

Okay, so I have a tendency of adding a fried egg to everything. Obviously I had to put a fried egg on ttoboki. GENIOUS!! It was a brilliant idea. My husband, who wasn't a fan of ttoboki because of its spiciness, preferred the fried egg with it. The runny eggyolk made it less spicier for him. This is obviously nothing new, but a must try when making ttoboki. 
My open face banh mi sandwhich with a fried egg....totally asian!

Never had a banh mi sandwich? Go try it then!! I make mines at home...saved myself a ton of money plus I get to have more than just one. Of course, I had to add the fried egg so I made it into an open-face sandwich. You can definitely sandwiched the two, but that'll be too big for me. This consist of a thin layer of mayo, pickled daikon and carrots, steamed pork (under the egg), cilantro (which I ran out of), and a fried egg. Nothing special, but a new twist to the usual.

Colorful tapioca pearls for Nab Vam...
Hmong sweet tapioca pearl soup/drink

Nab Vam is perfect for a hot day so living in Hawaii, you got to have it. The store versions didn't taste like home so I made my own....of course, in big batches. I made them with the bright colors of red, green, and yellow (street-light colors). Heat up the coconut milk with a little bit of honey and made the sugar syrup with white and brown sugar. Also add a few drops of Jasmine essence and pandan essence for smell. I usually add fruits such as melon balls, mango chunks, palm sugars, and coconut jelly, but I went with the basics this time.

Before mixing....I just love the colors!!
After mixing it vibrant!

Lap Chong...chinese sweet sausage
Last but not least, my favorite kind of asian sausage. Lap chong or Chinese sausage is different from American sausage besides the fact that it's Chinese. Lap Chong is much fattier and greasier which makes it more rich in flavor. It has a hint of sweetness and saltiness that is combined perfectly together. My favorite ways to cook them is steaming, deep frying, and stir frying them. I love to steam them ontop of my rice so that the rich-flavored-oily-juice can fall onto my rice while it's cooking. I also deep fry (as if there's not enough oil in it) by itself because it's something I grew up eating. The skin gets nice and crispy and there's a burst of oil when you take the first bite. I love it!! I also stir fry the sausages with vegetables, noodles, and everything else. It is a must try and it will definitely not disappoint.

Friday, February 22, 2013

What little time I have

I've been super busy with life...literally. I don't even have time for my family and friends any more. Unfortunately, I will be moving out of Hawaii. But, fear not, my next location will be another great journey in life. The good news is that I'm done with my classes for now, but the bad news is that I have lots and lots of packing to do. However, I found what little time I had to cook and feed my stomach. This is over the course of a few months. written recipes to post. Enjoy!!

Left: My favorite kind of eggroll....healthier kind. Cabbage rolls! Same process and method as regular eggrolls except rolled in cabbabe leaves and steamed. Smothered in my spicy red hot Thai chili sauce. Delicioius!!

Right: When my mom visited, we made two trays full of cabbage rolls for my husband. He loves cabbage rolls..more than me! He especially loves it with a peanut sauce. My mom's home-made cabbage rolls are delicioius...plain, but brings back childhood memories. I miss my mom!
Left: Some friends of mine were having a picnic at the beach. My friend Debbie is pregnant and she wanted to try my caprese bagel sandwhich. I made it for her and, luckily I did because we didn't have charcoal to start the grill. Well, I ran out of bagels, but still had the tomatoes, bacon, basil, and mozzarella cheese. So I turned it into a salad. My husban plated it nicely for me but it's drizzled with a little bit of olive-lemon salad dressing. Very delicious and lite...a new twist to the regular caprese appetizers.

Right: Valentine's day. Didn't give each other anything special....nothing special left to give since we have everything special already in our lives. He still got me roses and cards and balloons. We went out for a nice family dinner and then shopping for fun. It was a nice, relaxing Valentine's. I made strawberry cupcakes (boxed) with a home-made raspberry cream cheese and for decorations, I made hearts out of sugar. Nothing too special about this recipe, but I thought it looked nice.
Left: Here is steamed shark wrapped in banana leaf on a bed of carmalized vegies. Made for my father who had never had shark and shark meat was sold plenty at our grocery store. My husband also loves shark and so we bought plenty. I had a sauce to go with it, but it's not in this picture. It does not have a fishy taste. It has a clean fish taste and very easy on the tongue too. Delicious!! I will miss it!!

Right: Hmong steamed flounder with eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini. The sauce is a soy sauce base. Nothing really unique about this recipe...just traditional Hmong style-ish. This was made for my parents when they visited. My dad loves fish and so my husband bought flounders to impress him hahaha. I'm not a fan at picking bones, but this was very delicious too. The tomaotes and cilantro really brought out the freshness of the fish.

 Left: Recognize the picture? My husband loved the steamed shark so much that he wanted me to make it again for him. Instead of steaming the shark this time, I pan fried it. I also added saffron rice to the dish just for color. This picture has the sauce with soy sauce as a base drizzled over it. It brought the right amount of salt content and flavor.
 Right: I made a double-layer white cake with mango curd for dessert when my parents came to visit. My mom doesn't really like cake that are too sweet so I chose a white cake, eliminating the egg yolks. I used the egg yolks to make the mango curd which was fruity and not as sweet. I made the frosting from scratch eliminating most of the sugar because it would've been too sweet for my mother. She loved it! She wished she could have all her cakes like this. It wasn't too sweet for her and tasted lighter than usual cakes. I'm glad it was a success!
 Left: Seared shark fillets on a bed of sauteed asparagus drizzled in a mango sauce. This sounds like a sweet dish because of the mango sauce, but it was actually a nice compliment to the asparagus and shark fillets. My husband loved this dish and I thought it was actually quite delicious with the sweet and savory sauce. I had left over mango puree so I thought a mango sauce would be new. Plus, I love the color on the plate. Beautiful!
Right: This is a dish you've all seen before...plenty in my blog. Pho! Hmong peope love Pho and home-made pho are the best!! Nothing new, but I was just craving for a bowl of hot and spicy noodle soup. I can never get enough Pho. I just recently made Pho a few days ago and mastered the rich broth...FINALLY!!! The key is the type of meat used in the broth...and I cannot give out my little secret.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I was excited to start this blog and ready to introduce people to what I know. However, along the way, things piled up on my schedule and my son got older. I am not a college student trying to ace all her classes. That demands a lot of my time to focus on my books. My son is also 2 years old who also demands all of my time to play with him. On top of that, my husband still demands for my affection. I have found myself with too much to do and little time to keep up with this blog. So.....I won't be posting up any more recipes. Whenever I cook, I'll take a picture and post it up for show.

I'm sad that it has come to an end for me, but there's still many more years for me to continue towards my passion. I will always be cooking and experimenting and one day hope to have my own restaurant. But for now, I have to do what I need to do to get there. It's been fun....time to move on!!

I leave you all with some of my favorite dishes......toodles!!


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