spicy ginger pork and ramen noodles.

spicy ginger pork and ramen noodles.

Ok, yes, I got extremely lazy this time and chose the easy way out.  Pork meat already marinaded… as in.. the marinade sits in the pack with the raw pork… roll your eyes all you want but it looked like heaven to me. I haven’t done this in at least 10 years. I remember back in my microwave-dinner days discovering  Trader Joe’s. The dark ages, sure… but they had this carne asada deal that was: a . m .  a . z . i . n. g… in my memories it is amazing, like when you explain to a younger person how awesome that original tv show V was…… watch it now. Ok.. moving on. 

Overtime I got more a more interested in controlling more aspects of cooking including marinades and if you’ve been keeping up with this blog, that “interest” went well beyond marinades. But I couldn’t resist the convenience of grabbing a pack of pork with an extra ton of infused flavour and sear it and mix it with ramen noodles and a ton of chalula sauce. That right there pretty accurately describes what went down here.  I mean, why bother posting a recipe for stuff like this. Seriously all it takes is 3 ingredients, one pot and welcome to the jungle. Going wrong ain’t an option. 

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Deep fried shishamo

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Again I go MIA for a few weeks. The usual excuse: work gets in the way of me and the blog. I’ll eventually fix this situation but for now I can only work on my cooking/blogging with some restrictions and many interruptions. The good news: I relocated to LA and now I actually have a kitchen and all my kitchen gear out of storage. FINALLY. It’s awesome and the apartment gets a lot of sunlight which is a first. I can finally start doing more photography in natural light during the weekends. The other good news is that my new home is not even a block away from the awesome Marukai market on pico boulevard which leads me to…. shishamo. I had no idea what shishamo was until now. These beautiful sardine-looking fish are eaten whole after pan fried or deep fried. I didn’t use any batters but I think that’s my next shishamo project. They can make great appetizer or to garnish dishes. Their flavor has a ton of personality with sweet notes and a solid of presence. 

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Ramen Noodles : Sardines : Dried Anchovies : Sriracha : Quail Yolk

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Sometimes, you just throw whatever you find in the fridge in a pot and magical s%@# happens. THAT… happened to me last night. I didn’t bother checking seasoning or temperatures, pretty careless about the whole thing actually. I was just not in the OCD mood and literally threw this meal together last second almost angrily, well kinda, actually not angrily at all, I was in a pretty good mood.  But usually proceeding this way ends up in disaster. I got lucky this time I guess. Pinch of this and that,  boiled some water, 15 minutes later I was done.

L I B E R A T I N G.

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I guess that feeling went away right around the time I had to place that egg yolk on top of that noodle mound, whatever, it was fun too. Anyways, for this post I tried a few new things photography-wise. I just got a gopro camera and a Knog LED light bank for it. Gopros are these tiny basic looking cameras. They’re super powerful tho, serious high tech stuff. They’re literally a cubic inch in size. They can do a lot of things. Time lapse photography is one of them. Wish they could do dishes too. I posted one video here, compressing about one hour into 50 seconds ūüôā Also, I used that Knog LED light bank instead of my speedlite flashgun for the main photography. It was super fun and I hope you enjoy the pics and vid. Ah right, the food… here is the recipe!

 

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Ingredients (serves 2):

500g Dry or fresh ramen noodles, or any pasta you like.

Sauce:
1 can of sardines in tomato sauce and olive oil.
2 Tbsp of dried anchovies (Japanese ones rule)
2 Tbsp minced garlic (yep, that’s a lot of garlic, bring it on)
A bunch of marinated soybean sprouts.

Garnishes:

2 Quail egg yolks. Or chicken egg yolks, let’s not discriminate.
Sriracha sauce to taste.
1 Tbsp finely chopped chives or green onions.
4 water crackers, crumbled.

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Noodles. Cook these at the end. Get the water boiling at the beginning tho. By the time that water boils, the sauce (instructions below) should be pretty much done. Add some salt to the water. About a Tbsp per quart. When the water boils. Add the noodles and cook until ready. Some noodles will come with instructions, follow them… or… throw those away, the instructions I mean. Cook them until they are done and al dente. After 3-4 mins, start checking. Ramen noodles have the best al dente bite, love them. It’s probably better to rely on your own senses than on those instructions anyways.

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Sauce. Like I said. Throw those other ingredients together in a pot except for the garnishes. Add a couple of Tbsp of water in the pot over medium heat. Boil off that water. That water will just cook the garlic and blend all the flavours together. Remove from the heat, and make sure the sauce is saucy, add some water if too dry. Keep reducing if it is not. Add the rinsed noodles to the pot and mix well. Keep the pot on the stove for a couple more minutes to boil off any extra water added by the noodles if that’s the case. Remove from the heat, keep mixing. Plate the noodles. Add the garnishes. Done. Easy. Hope the weekend is going great. I’m about to eat the leftovers from this post right about now.

 

 

Spot Prawn Risotto : Happy Mother’s Day!

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A very simple recipe, probably the only tricky bit is finding these amazing prawns. In Vancouver you buy them live just like lobsters. And they do taste similar to lobster and with a similar texture as well, really sweet and tender. They’re incredible. Of course, using any other shrimp would do, but I wanted to feature spot prawns from British Columbia in this post as well as some asian ingredients to mix things up a bit. Hope you enjoy it.

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Ingredients (makes 4 appetizer portions):

Prawns:

4 spot prawns
2 Tbsp vegetable oil or grape seed oil.
Salt to taste

Risotto:

1 cup of sushi rice
1 cup of seafood stock
1 cup of water
1/4 cup mirin wine
1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp rice vinegar (Add more to taste)
3/4 cup water + plus more if needed
2 garlic cloves minced
1 or 2 green onions, the white part, thinly sliced
4 shrimp heads cooked (form the same 4 prawns mentioned above)
Sea salt to taste

Garnish:

Black pepper
Green onions, the green part, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Sea Salt

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1. The prawns. On high heat on a cast iron or stainless steel pan, add some vegetable oil and wait until it ripples. Sear the shrimp for a a couple of minutes on each side. You can flambé with vermouth and salt straight on the pan. Remove the shrimp. Reserve the pan juices if any to be added to the risotto.

2. The risotto. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Add the rice and the onions and sauté until the some of the rice starts turning golden. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add the liquids except for the heavy cream. Simmer for about 30 mins. Stir occasionally making sure nothing burns at the bottom. Squeeze the juice of the 4 cooked shrimp heads into the risotto.  Keep stirring and reducing until creamy. Remove from the heat.

3. Julienne the green parts of the green onions and place in a bowl with hot tap water to soften them and make them more pliable. Scoop the risotto on a plate. Peel the shrimp body but leave the tail on. Place the body and head next to the risotto scoop. Bunch up the julienned green onions and rest that over the risotto. Finish with some black pepper and olive oil.

Happy Mothers Day! Hope you all had something really delicious to eat and a great sunday! Until the next one!

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Geoduck Sashimi : Green Onions : Shanxi Vinegar : Chili Oil

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Geoduck. I wish it looked more like a duck, seriously. The process of cleaning and prepping this giant clam is probably what an alien dissection must be like. Its appearance resembles, well… I don’t need¬†to get all explicit here, the photos tell the story pretty well… But let’s talk about the positive aspects of¬†this ugly fellow, or the one aspect that makes this thing totally worth experiencing. It’s simply delicious. The price is ridiculous though. About $30 per pound, and they are around 3 pounds on average, but pretty good¬†yield. One geoduck can make 5-6 appetizer size portions. Requires no cooking and no seasoning. A wonderful savory flavor and awesome¬†texture.

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Geoduck can be hard to find and can be seen on menus at some high-end restaurants. Here in Vancouver, I found live geoducks at the t&t supermarket¬† which isn’t a surprise. If¬†edible, they’ll have it. It’s an insane and wonderful place. Ok, my favorite cooking season of the year is here and this is probably not the right¬†recipe to kick it off with but I work with what I have! There will be stews and roasts coming up soon for sure. Time for some geoduck action! (that just sounds wrong…)

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Ingredients (6 appetizer servings):

1 live and fresh geoduck
1 bunch of green onions or chives
Shanti vinegar or tamari and rice vinegar
Chili oil
lemon juice

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The preparation is rather simple. Just boil water in a big pot and ready up an ice bath. Plunge the geoduck in the boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove with tongs. Plunge the geoduck in the ice water immediately. And it’s done. This is the simplest way to instantly kill the clam and loosen the tough skin that covers it. Crack the shell open, and using a sharp knife remove the clam from the shell. Pull the skin off. Here’s a video that shows the whole process if you’re interested.

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You can slice the geoduck and plate it at this point. And that’s basically it!!. Until the next one!

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The International Summer Night Market in Richmond

The International Summer Night Market in Richmond.

It’s been a few months since my last post. It has been a very hot summer here in Vancouver and perhaps that had to do with my¬†not keeping up with cooking or mainly the blogging aspect of that. The cooking hasn’t stopped ¬†and¬†neither has taking photos or¬†learning new things in the kitchen though, but finding the energy to gather photos and notes.. and do the write ups…¬†and post has been a little difficult (not to mention that I’ve been absolutely obsessed with¬†chess lately). I’m working on a few new recipes, which I will be posting soon. Last sunday, I visited a very interesting place. The International Summer Night Market in Richmond.

 

There were about 200 ¬†food stands (maybe I’m exaggerating but it felt like there were millions of them) and anything imaginably edible being cooked. The food was phenomenal and the place was packed. ¬†I particularly enjoyed the amount of seafood and fish being prepared. The most popular stand in the whole place though was the “rotato”¬†stand. I wish I had taken a photo of it, but it was impossible to get near this thing without getting hurt by the hungry hordes. And if you haven’t seen a rotato¬†(which I hadn’t until then) ¬†It’s basically… potato chips.I love it. Here are some of the photos I managed to take without dropping my phone in a vat of frying oil. It almost happened a couple times actually. ¬†Here’s a link in case anyone is interested in learning more about this market: ¬†http://www.summernightmarket.com

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