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Archive for the ‘Salad, Dressing, Dip & Sauce’ Category

I made crab dip before, but I wasn’t quite happy with the taste– I was trying to replicate the baked crab dip at Horatio’s (A restaurant in San Leandro that has famous crab dip) but it tasted too tangy to me. Well, crab season is here again so I’m fine tuning the recipe. It’s much closer to Horatio’s and way better than my previous versions. This will be on my winter party food list when crab is in season. Yes, a keeper 🙂

Baked Dungeness Crab Dip

Baked Dungeness Crab Dip

Baked Dungeness Crab Dip (makes 1 appertizer serving)

Ingredients:

1 cooked Dungeness crab– pick out the meat
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic– chopped
1/2 cup onion– thinly sliced
2 stalks green onion– chopped
3/4 cup freshly shredded asiago cheese
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus extra

1 small container sour cream
2 tbsp mayonnaise

Seasoning to taste:
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp spicy mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Method:

  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan, sauté garlic and onion for a few minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Add all ingredients and sautéed onion in a mixing bowl. Mix with a spoon to combine. Pour mixture into a 9″ pie dish. Smooth the surface and sprinkle extra mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, until it’s bubbly and the top crust is golden brown. Serve hot with sliced bread or crackers.

Regina’s Note:

  • Crab: Dungeness crab meat taste better than canned crab meat. Picking the meat out takes some time but can be done 1-2 days ahead and kept chilled in fridge. For adventurous eaters, creamy yellowish crab brain inside the body shell (scoop out with a spoon and put in a separate container and keep chilled) can also be added for more flavor. When sautéing onion, add this creamy goodness to sauce pan and cook until the oil starts separating, stirring at all times. This will take a few minutes.
  • Mozzarella cheese: add more mozzarella cheese if you want more cheese stringy look, but not too much as it will change the texture of the dip.
  • Flavor: sugar is added to help bring out the sweetness of the crab meat, so it has a sweet taste along with savory. Do not add too much salt or the flavor will change.

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Thanks to my Bermese Chinese friend Amy, I get to try many kinds of delicious Bermese food, especially the ones you won’t even find in a Bermese restaurant. This spicy tomato sambal is just one of them. It looks very much like sambal chili sauce, except it’s mostly tomatoes. Amy told me that in Myamar, people eat it with fresh cucumber. I tried it and it was really good– the spiciness matches very well with the refreshing cucumber, kinda fire and ice in every bite. Besides cucumber, I think this sambal is also great on steamed rice, tortilla chips, keropok (shrimp or fish crackers), or even mee siput (Malaysian crispy noodle snack)!

Burmese Spicy Tomato Sambal 缅甸蕃茄辣酱

Burmese Spicy Tomato Sambal 缅甸蕃茄辣酱

Burmese Spicy Tomato Sambal Recipe 缅甸蕃茄辣酱 (yields 3–4 serving)

Ingredients:
3 lbs fresh over ripe tomatoes– cut into big chunks
3 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic– chopped
3 shallots– chopped
2 tbsp dried shrimps– soak briefly then chop
1 tbsp balachan
10 red jalapeno peppers– chopped
1/2 cup oil
salt to taste
1 cup chopped cilantro

Method:

  1. Put fresh and canned tomatoes in a food processor, pause blend briefly so that the tomatoes still have some texture. Set aside.
  2. In a deep pot pour in half of 1/2 cup of oil, and turn up to high heat. Fry garlic, shallots, dried shrimps and balachan until flavors come out. Add in peppers, fry for a few more minutes.
  3. Add in remaining half of the oil and tomatoes. Stir to mix well with a wooden spoon (you can leave the spoon in the pot the entire time without it getting hot). Uncovered, cook on high heat (stirring every 10 minutes or so) until the liquid reduces to 1/3 and the sauce thickens (this is a long process, it took me about 1.5 hours). At this point, keep a close eye on the sambal.
  4. Turn down heat to medium and stir frequently (about 5 minute interval, about 20-30 minutes total)) until the sambal thickens further (test: when you run the spoon across the bottom of the pot, the sambal doesn’t come together. Also, oil starts separated from tomatoes).
  5. Add cilantro and salt to taste. Stir a few times. Remove and cool completely before dividing into batches. Store in air tight containers, in the refrigerator. The sambal should keep for at least 10 days. To keep it longer store in the freezer.

Regina’s Note:

  • Just like regular sambal chili sauce, this tomato sambal can be kept frozen. I like to make extras, divide into small ziplog bags (air tight) and freeze for later use.

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“Rojak” is a Malaysian style salad mixed with a special sauce that made with shrimp paste and among other stuff. The ingredients for the salad itself are usually a combination of sliced fruits and vegetables. Because of added shrimp paste in the rojak sauce, some people may find rojak stinky and fishy, while others like myself think it’s delicious and addicting!

Malaysian Style Salad 'Rojak'

Malaysian Style Salad ‘Rojak’

Rojak Recipe– please note the following is only for ONE serving

Rojak Ingredients:
4-5 thin slices of fresh pineapple
4-5 thin slices of Asian pear/jicama
4-5 thin slices of cucumber
4-5 thin slices of tofu puff
4-5 thin slices of Chinese donut
a few blanched bean sprouts
a few cooked water spinach– cut into 1 inch length

Ground roasted peanuts for sprinkle on top

Rojak Sause (mix well, warm up slightly in microwave to help mixing if necessary):
1 tbsp shrimp paste– see picture below. Available in Asian grocery stores, under South East Asia food section
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp sambal chili (optional)
5 tbsp water

Method:

Toss all ingredients (except peanut sprinkles) in rojak sauce to coat well. Sprinkle ground peanuts and serve immediately.

Shrimp paste for the Malaysian Rojak sauce

Shrimp paste for the Malaysian Rojak sauce

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Malaysian Rojak Sauce

Malaysian Rojak Sauce

Malaysian Rojak Sause

Ingredients:
1 tbsp shrimp paste– see picture below. Available in Asian grocery stores, under South East Asia food section
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or tamarind juice
1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp sambal chili
4-5 tbsp water

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and microwave to warm up slightly. Mix well and toss with other rojak ingredients (pineapples, cucumber, jicama, bean sprouts, water spinach, Chinese donut, tofu puffs etc…)

Malaysian style shrimp paste

Malaysian style shrimp paste

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Our good friends Lance and Tina gave us some really big juicy tomatoes from their backyard, so I turned those tomatoes into marinara sauce because we use marinara sauce a lot when we prepare pasta dishes. The cooking process is not complicated, but just long so the liquid evaporates and the sauce thickens. For me it took me about 1.5 hours to cook the sauce, not too bad because I didn’t have to stay and stir the sauce constantly. I was busy preparing other food ingredients for lunch/dinner, and the next thing I knew the sauce was about done!

Home Made Marinara Sauce

Home Made Marinara Sauce

Home Made Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:
5 lbs really ripe tomatoes
3 cloves garlic– chopped
1 small onion– chopped
1/8 tsp crushed red chili flakes
salt to taste

Method:

  1. Prepare tomatoes: remove the stem part, make a cross cut at the bottom. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or until the skin starts to peel off. Drain tomatoes and remove the skins. Put in a food processor and pulse chop tomatoes. Save the juice.
  2. Heat a deep pot on high heat and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil. Saute garlic and onion until aromatic. Stir in red chili flakes, tomatoes and juice. Cook on high heat for several minutes. Turn down to medium, and continue cooking until about 1/3 of the sauce left. Stir the sauce occasionally. Add salt to taste. When the sauce cools completely, it can be bagged into batches and kept frozen until ready to use.

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Nam Yee Sauce 南乳醤

Nam Yee Sauce 南乳醤

This sauce is what I used for basting my nam yee roasted spare ribs, but I think it’s also good on grilled chicken wings…

Nam Yee Sauce 南乳醤 Recipe (this recipe makes enough basting sauce for 3 lbs of meat)

Ingredients:
3 tbsp maltose
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 cube nam yee– mashed
4 tbsp nam yee liquid (the liquid in which nam yee soaked in the jar)

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, stir to blend well on medium heat until  it turns bubbly. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool. The sauce will thicken when it cools.

Regina’s Note:

  • This sauce can be made ahead of time, and stored in the fridge for at least several weeks.
Nam Yee Roasted Spare Ribs 南乳烧排骨

Nam Yee Roasted Spare Ribs 南乳烧排骨

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My MIL is visiting us during spring break. So when I went shopping at Costco last week I got a tub of hand picked Dungeness crab meat; thinking to make something crabby because she likes crab. Then I remember the famous crab dip at Horatio’s– it was so rich, creamy and delicious that I can never forget. So I decided to replicate the flavor.

This is my second time making crab dip. My first crab dip few years back, although wowed by my guests, was not exactly what I was expecting– it just didn’t taste like Horatio’s at all. People who have been to Horatio’s try to replicate the flavor but none has success. I thought I might have most ingredients, and here comes my experiment…

The verdict: Compared to my first trial which I used pepper jack cheese, this time around the dip tastes a lot better and more like Horatio’s version– creamy and rich, and not tangy. I didn’t use marinated artichoke hearts though (Horatio’s got artichoke hearts in the dip). I sliced some torta sandwich rolls from Costco and made some garlic crostini to serve the dip. My MIL likes it very much. She even asks for the recipe. This recipe is a keeper until I crack down Horatio’s secret ingredients (especially the cheese they use…):-)

Dungeness Crab Dip

Dungeness Crab Dip

Crab Dip Recipe (please note this is for a large portion enough for a party appetizer, but you can scale down for smaller serving)

Ingredients:
1/4 medium onion– chopped
3 cloves garlic– chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb Dungeness crab lump meat, free of shells
2 cup shredded Italian five cheese mix, plus more for sprinkling
6 oz champagne aged Cheddar Cheese– grated– see note below
5 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
6 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

garlic crostini– recipe follows

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a big sauce pan, melt butter and saute onion and garlic over medium heat until aromatic. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the sauce pan, mix gently to combine. Transfer to a oven safe bowl or deep dish container (I used Pyrex glass casserole). Sprinkle more five cheese mix on the top. Bake for 30 minutes. Then turn to broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown the top (always keep an eye on the food when you are broiling, don’t turn away and do something else). Serve hot with garlic crostini.

Garlic Crostini Recipe:

Ingredients:
4 torta sandwich rolls (I bought from Costco)– slice into 1/2 inch thin
extra virgin olive oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange slice breads on a large baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, then salt and pepper. Turn the breads over and do the same. Bake 3-4 minutes on each side of the bread, or until light golden brown.
  2. Remove from the oven, and rub garlic on each side of crostini.

Regina’s Note:

  • Champgne aged Cheddar cheese: I used this cheese because I just happened to have it (got it from Costco), but regular aged cheddar cheese should be fine too. I won’t go for sharp Cheddar because the flavor might be too strong for the dip.

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