Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs 韓式烤牛小排

In the past whenever we had Korean barbecue for dinner, I always bought the marinade and kimchi in a jar. But after watching Korean TV drama “Crash Landing on You”, I was interested in making my own. So, I made Traditional Korean Kimchi, and this homemade Korean barbecue marinade. This marinade tastes so much better and flavorful than store bought brands, which are mostly soy sauce and sugar. It is very easy to make– just purée everything in a blender and done! My choice of meat was always beef short ribs, but one time I couldn’t find it at Costco so I used pork belly instead (skinless, slice into 1/4 or 1/3 inch thickness and 2 inch long). To my surprise it was the best Korean barbecue we had (the fat keep the meat juicy)! I am sure boneless chicken thighs will taste as good too.

Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs 韓式烤牛小排

Besides beef short ribs, skinless pork belly (shown above) is also excellent with this marinade.

Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs 韓式烤牛小排

Ingredients:

4.5 lbs thin cut beef short ribs (crossed cut)

Marinade sauce:
5 cloves garlic
2 inch ginger
1/2 Asian pear or brown pear– cored and peeled
8 tbsps soy sauce
5 tbsps brown sugar
2 tbsps gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste concentrate)
2 tbsps ground hot chili peppers (optional)
2 tbsps sesame oil

Method:

Purée all marinade ingredients in a blender, then marinate meat (be sure to coat well) for at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge. Char grilled. To eat, cut meat into pieces (remove bones). Put meat on a piece whole green lettuce leaf, adding sliced raw garlic, sliced jalapeño pepper and Korean chili paste if desired, wrap up and enjoy. Serve with steam rice.

Regina’s Note:

If pork belly is used, choose pork belly with even meat and fat layer. I like to buy it at Costco. In order to easily cut pork belly into thin slices (1/4 or 1/3 inch thickness), I let the meat defrost halfway, cut it into 2 inch blocks, then thin slice the meat. Keep an eye when grilling pork belly, because of its higher fat content and thin cut, your grill can easily catch a grease fire or burn the meat.

Aloha Hawaiian Quick Bread

Thanks to this quick bread, I finally got rid of the last (and sad) banana sitting on my kitchen counter, also cleaned out the coconut flakes and mango strips in my pantry… and my family will have breakfast on the table tomorrow morning. Win win for all!

Aloha Hawaiian Quick Bread

Aloha Hawaiian Quick Bread (adapted from This Farm Girl Cooks— Hawaiian Banana Bread with Coconut and Pineapples, makes one 8″ round quick bread)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter– soften
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs– room temperature
1 overripe banana
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice (do not drain juice)
3-4 dried mango strips– cut into small pieces
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes– toasted

Method:

  1. Grease bottom and side of a round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place oven rack at upper 1/3 position of the oven.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a different bowl, mash banana, then add in crushed pineapples (including juice) and chopped dried mango strips. Mix to combine.
  3. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Add in the fruit mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add in flour mixture in two batches. Mix until it just incorporate with no dry flour. Gently mix in toasted coconut flakes.
  5. Pour batter into cake pan, smooth the top. Sprinkle some extra coconut flakes on the top if desired. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from pan and transfer to cool on a cooling rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • I can definitely taste the coconut, but pineapple flavor is very subtle. Will dried pineapples (probably needs to reconstitute) or fresh pineapples work better? Maybe add more pineapples, and more mango too.

Traditional Korean Kimchi

Traditional Korean Kimchi

Traditional Korean Kimchi

Ingredients:
1 large Napa cabbage (3.5lbs)
1 carrot— julienne
1/2 daikon— julienne
Salt for sprinkle on cabbage, carrot and daikon
6 green onions— chopped
Small bundle (3-finger bundle portion) Chinese chives— chopped

Glutinous Rice Paste:
2 tbsps glutinous rice flour
4 tbsps water

Chili Paste Marinade:
1 bulb fresh garlic
1 inch ginger
1/2 Asian pear— peeled and cored
2 tbsps sugar
3 tbsps fish sauce
1 cup Korean ground chili (coarsely ground, NOT powder form)

Method:

  1. Prepare Napa cabbage: Remove outer leaves. Cut the bottom (stem area) ONLY then use hands to pull leaves apart. Make 4-6 wedges. Rinse, then sprinkle a thin layer of salt on each leaf. Place cabbage in a bucket with heavy weight on top to weight them down. Turning over every 30 or 60 mins, until the cabbage becomes very soft and wilted, and covered mostly in drawn liquid. It takes 6-8 hours. Meanwhile prepare other stuff.
  2. Prepare Carrots and Daikon: Combine carrots and daikon in a bowl. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt and use fingers to massage several times. Let it sit to draw out liquid, about 30 minutes. Rinse 2 times then squeeze/pat dry.
  3. Prepare glutinous rice paste: Combine glutinous rice flour and water in a small bowl, microwave 10-15 seconds, stir to a “glue paste”. Cool completely.
  4. Prepare Chili Paste Marinade: Add garlic, ginger, pear, sugar, fish sauce sugar in food processor, grind until fine. Add glutinous rice paste then mix well. Add in carrots, daikon, Chinese chives, green onion. Massage to mix well. Set aside.
  5. After cabbage has drawn out most liquid, rinse them off 3 times. Squeeze out extra water but not too dry. With core leaves face up, hand rub chili paste onto each leaf. Starting from outer leaf at the bottom, then work your way up to core leaf on the top. Wear gloves if needed and rub more on stem section. Fold in half and tuck inside a glass/ceramic container. Repeat with remaining cabbage. Make sure to press down tightly so no air is trapped underneath in order for proper fermentation. Cover, ferment at a cool place (room temperature) for 1- 1.5 day (longer on cooler weather) then move to fridge to continue fermentation at low temperature. Kimchi is ready in 5-7 days. Cut kimchi into pieces when served.

Regina’s Note:

  • Korean salted baby shrimps in brine is also typically used in making traditional Korean kimchi. SinceI hardly use it for other cooking purpose, I just skipped this ingredient . If you use salted shrimps, add in 1 tbsp together with ground chili, before glutinous rice paste).
  • If you have extra chili paste leftover, you can also use it to marinate cucumbers, which doesn’t require fermentation. The refreshing taste of cucumbers and the spicy chili paste flavor match very well.
  • I like to use glass or porcelain container for fermenting kimchi. Be sure to use a container with a tight seal lid (or plastic wrap container before covering with lid). Kimchi is delicious, but you don’t want your fridge to smell like kimchi.
  • You can eat kimchi immediately after marinating, but since it has not fermented yet so you’ll taste the freshness of raw cabbage taste instead of the tangy flavor. Even after you keep kimchi in the refrigerator, the fermentation will still continue (at a slower speed). The longer fermentation time the sour it is. Very old kimchi are too sour and usually used in cooking (kimchi fried rice, kimchi tofu soup etc.).
  • For kimchi making tutorial, I like to visit YouTube: Maangchi Traditional Kimchi, but her recipe portion is HUGE.
Lemon Almond Muffins

Lemon Almond Muffins

I love lemon, that’s one of discoveries about myself in recent years. I use lemon on a daily basis– starts with my warm lemon water in the morning, juice and zest for cooking and baking, scraps to rub my cutting board before washing it, then finally I cut into pieces and toss into the garbage disposal– giving out refreshing scent when it’s grinding…

Recently I was craving for very lemon-y baked goods, but all the ones I bought from stores failed me. So I searched up internet, then came out with my version. My inspiration came from a delicious lemon semolina cake that I had before. The lemon syrup really pops out the tangy flavor so don’t skip it. As a matter of fact, add more of it. NOT zesty enough? Add some lemon curd in the center of the muffins , either before baking or upon serving. Still want MORE? Fancy up with piped lemon butter cream or whipped cream then sprinkled with finely grated lemon zest… I promise you’ll be in Lemon Heaven~~~

Lemon Almond Muffins

Lemon Almond Muffins

Lemon Almond Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 3 lemons– finely grated
2 eggs– room temperature
3/4 cup plain yogurt– see note below
4 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter– melted

Lemon syrup:
Juice of 1 lemon (about 5 tbsps)
3-5 tbsps sugar– depending on tanginess of lemon juice, adjust accordingly

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Line muffin molds with cup liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in sugar, almond meal and lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour in melted butter, whisk again until all combined and smooth.
  4. Pour wet mixture into flour mixture. Use a spatula fold in the batter until it just combines together. Do not over work.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin molds. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, until the top is golden brown and muffin top springs back when lightly pressed.
  6. Remove muffins from muffin molds and transfer to a cooling rack. Use a skewer to poke several holes on muffin tops.
  7. Prepare lemon syrup: boil lemon juice and sugar in a small sauce pan on low heat, until sugar dissolves and syrup slightly thickens to a shiny stage.
  8. Carefully spoon lemon syrup onto the muffin tops. Do it slowly so the syrup seeps into the cracks and toothpick holes. You can also swirl muffin tops in the lemon syrup if there is leftover syrup. Served warm.

Regina’s Note:

  • Plain yogurt: can be replaced with sour cream.
  • Lemon syrup really brings out the tangy lemon flavor so don’t skip it. Another add-on is lemon butter cream/whipped cream on top of muffins
  • For a really lemon-y flavor from inside the muffins, fill muffin molds with batter to half way, add a tsp of lemon curd in the center, then fill with batter to the top. You can also, upon serving, cut muffins horizontally in half, and spread lemon curd in between.
Caesar Salad DressingCaesar Salad Dressing

My family loves Caesar Salad. I can’t believe I had not made my own Caesar salad dressing all these years. The store bought version was either too salty, or too tangy, or too thick, hardly any anchovy taste…

The dressing is very easy to make, just put everything in food processor and done! This recipe I got from Once Upon A Chef is very simple. Like the author said, “… rich and creamy… It’s not overly garlicky or fishy– it’s just right.” I made some modifications to the recipe but overall still in the loop. The dressing still tastes finger licking GOOD….

Caesar Salad DressingCaesar Salad Dressing

Caesar Salad Dressing (adapted from Once Upon A Chef, yields 1 1/3 cups)

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 anchovy strips, roughly cut into pieces
2 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce– see note below
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Put all ingredients in a food processor, blend until well combined. Keep dressing in a clean glass jar, and use clean spoon to take out dressing each time.

Regina’s Note:

  • Worcestershire sauce: I don’t use it so I don’t have it at home. My substitute is chinese black rice vinegar, which is tangy with a sweetness to it. Regular vinegar will be too tart.
  • Prepare the dressing in advance will bring out the flavor of anchovy later.
  • The more cheese you add the thicker the dressing.
  • The author said dressing will keep for about a week in the fridge, but my dressing was still good until we finished it (3 weeks maybe?). Just use a clean spoon each time when you take dressing out of the glass jar.
Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream

Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream

This cake roll is light and refreshing thanks to the lemon whipped cream filling. I find the rolling part is fun. If rolling up the large cake size is too intimidating for you, cut the sheet cake in half then roll them up separately. This way it’ll be much easier to handle, plus you’ll have two cake rolls instead of one!
Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream

Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream

Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream (makes 16-18 slices, 1-inch thickness each)

Ingredients:

Egg yolk mixture:
7 egg yolks
4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 5 tbsp cake flour
4 tsp hot water

Egg white mixture:
7 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 tbsp sugar

Lemon Whipped Cream (whip cream and powder sugar first, add lemon juice then whip a little more to blend. Can be made ahead and keep chill in the fridge ):
1 cup whipping cream
5-6 tbsp powder sugar
4-5 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method:

  1. Line a large baking pan (12″ x 17″ x 1″) with parchment paper. Position oven rack at upper half of the oven (about 1/3 to the oven top). Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Add egg yolks to a large mixing bowl. Use a ballon whisk to break the yolks before adding sugar (this will prevent sugar from sticking to the surface of the yolks and ensure dissolving of sugar). Whisk vigorously until it turns fluffy, pale yellow looking and increases in volume, several minutes.
  3. Add oil, milk and salt. Whisk again to blend well.
  4. Sift in cake flour in 3 batches. After each addition, whisk to combine until no dry flour and the batter is smooth. Use ballon whisk to scrap off flour on the side of the bowl. Add hot water and mix well.
  5. Whip egg whites in a separate clean mixing bowl on high speed, until bubbles are small and no visible clear egg whites. Add cream of tartar and continue whipping on high speed until the mixture turns white completely. Add in sugar, one tbsp at a time, and use a spatula to scrap down the bowl. Continue whipping on high speed to a “sheen” stage, then reduce to low speed for another 1-2 minutes (to remove any big bubbles, thus produces a more delicate fine texture). The egg whites is ready when it has a soft peak (soft curl at the tip when lifted the whisk).
  6. Gently fold in 1/3 of whipped egg whites to the yolk mixture, turning the bowl while folding in the egg whites, until all blended. Do not over work or you will burst all the air bubbles and result in dense cake. Gently fold in another 1/3 of egg whites. The batter should be lighter now. Pour yolk mixture to egg whites bowl. Fold in gently until all incorporated.
  7. Pour batter onto baking pan ad spread evenly with a spatula. Slightly drop pan on a surface a couple of times to remove any big bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.
  8. Remove cake from the oven, then slightly drop pan a couple times. Transfer cake with parchment paper onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. Prepare a sheet of parchment paper larger than the cake size. Put it on top of cake then flip cake upside down. Carefully peel off the liner paper. Spread lemon whipped cream evenly on the cake, then roll up like a jelly roll lengthwise. Wrap up the roll with the large parchment paper and chill for at least 2 hours. Make sure the seal side faced down.
  10. Cut cake roll to 1-inch thickness and serve. Sprinkle powder sugar if desired.

Pecan Macaroons

I hardly eat or use pecans in my baking, maybe because my impression of it stays in sticky pecan pie, which is awfully sweet to me. A while ago I tried out a bakery in Castro Valley called Karin Johnson, and bought a couple of pecan macaroons due to rave reviews on Yelp. Those small size pecan macaroons were not cheap, and they also changed my mind on pecans. The macaroons were chewy, and full of pecan flavor. Too sweet? Very much so! However, I liked the pecan flavor that much that I was willing to give in to the awfully sweetness (which is not a typical me), nibbling the macaroons a little at a time.

I guess I like pecan more than I expected– enough so for me to search up pecan macaroons recipes online at a later time. I looked at all the foodie pictures online and the range is wide. Finally I had my eye on this recipe by deb’s pots— it’s the closest to what I had from Karin Johnson. I bought pecans. I kept the online recipe opened on my iPad for months. But pecan macaroons never happened in my kitchen, not until Christmas time annual new cookie tryout. You see, the timing was finally right— I had egg whites leftovers from making my Christmas tiramisu giveaway, and I didn’t have to look further for new cookie tryout (which is a thing for me!) for our Christmas bake at home.

Pecan Macaroons

Pecan Macaroons

Pecan Macaroons, a bite into chewy pecan heaven.

Pecan Macaroons, a bite into chewy pecan heaven.

Pecan Macaroons– adapted from Pecan Macaroons by deb’s pots (makes 50 pieces)

Ingredients:
6 cups pecans– lightly toasted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)– see note below
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Grind pecans in a food processor for 1 minute. Add in sugar and process until all blended. Add in egg whites, vanilla extract and salt. Process until mass forms around the blade.
  3. Use a small ice cream scoop, scoop batter (tablespoonful, leveled) onto lined baking pan, leaving 1 inch apart. Bake for 25 minutes, turning halfway of necessary (depending on your oven). Let macaroons cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • Sugar: The amount of sugar is kept the same even I doubled the amount of pecans from the original recipe. The macaroons were still sweet, but not over the border. Next time I’ll try cut it down to 1/3 cup.
  • Egg whites: I suggest not to add in all egg whites at once. The batter should be thick enough (like a thick pecan paste) to form a shape without spreading out too much. Don’t worry if your batter turns out too runny, just add more grind pecans (1 cup at a time) until it reaches the right consistency.