Tag Archives: asian

Cold Asian Salads 2 Ways! Soba Noodles with Edamame and Ginger-Honey-Soy Dressing and Cucumber Sesame Salad.

That title was a mouthful! Summer was taking its time to leave us this year…not I’m complaining! I love the warm weather! So I treated myself to a refreshing lunch of cold soba noodles with edamame in a spicy honey-ginger-soy dressing with a side of cucumber sesame salad. The cucumber salad was so pretty! I used a peeler to make delicate little strips. It’s great to make ahead and stays well! The noodles were also super easy to make and would make an excellent side dish or light lunch when entertaining. Trust me, your guests will love it!

The kind of soba noodles I used was King Soba noodles with organic sweet potato and buckwheat. Soba noodles are japanese noodles made from buckwheat, which is a high-nutrient carb that scores low on the glycemic index.  I chose this particular buckwheat noodle mainly for the color, I felt it would contrast nicely with the edamame, cilantro and scallions, but any type of soba noodle will work.

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Honey-Ginger-Soy Soba Noodle Salad

You will need:

  • Soba noodles: They come tied up, you can use 2 bunches
  • Edamame
  • Carrot sticks (Or coarsely grated carrot)
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Dressing: Honey, ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sriracha
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

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Directions

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil
  2. Once it comes to a boil, dump the noodles in and let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  3. Check to see, to make sure it doesn’t get too starchy. It should not be al dente.
  4. Drain the noodles and submerge them in a bowl of cold water. With your hands, gently rub the noodles to remove the starch. This will help prevent it from clumping.
    • This is a really good blog post that shows how to prepare soba noodles step-by-step.
  5. In a blender, add about a 3/4 inch nub of ginger, skin removed, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, a squirt of sriracha . Blend until smooth.
  6. Taste, and add water depending on  how strong the flavor is. Add ginger for more spiciness, add honey for more sweetness.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine soba noodles with 1/2 cup edamame, a handful of carrot sticks,  and the sauce. Mix well.
  8. Serve and garnish with  4 scallions, chopped, cilantro and sesame seeds.

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Cold Cucumber Salad

dsc_0005This recipe is super simple!

  1. Cut 1 English cucumber in half length-wise.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler peel the skin, and remove the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Continue peeling the cucumber so it falls in delicate, strips.
  4. Do the same with 1 carrot
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 tbsp rice vinegar  and 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1-2 tsp sugar. Add a few chilli flakes for flavor and salt to taste. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.
  6. Pour the mixture over the salad. This can be served immediately, or later. The flavor seeps in  more the longer you wait. It’s so delicious I can’t wait for you to try!

This recipe yields 2 servings. double for a larger quantity.

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Quick and Easy Japanese Eggplant in a Green Curry Sauce

I’m not much of an eggplant person. I’ve learned to like it more over the years, but it will never be my go-to choice. But I was at the farmers market the other day and I saw these beautifully vibrant purple japanese eggplants. Japanese eggplants have a tougher, less mushy consistency. They hold their shape well and go great with asian dishes. I decided to make a quick and easy green curry. Quite honestly, this recipe is quick! I find that most of my cooking time is used with prep. In this dish I only used eggplant, and some shallots and red pepper. I served it with Trader Joe’s quick-cooking brown rice.  I was super excited to use my fresh thai basil that I have growing out on the balcony as a garnish. It was delicious! If you don’t have thai basil, you can use cilantro or regular basil. This dish was a true testament to the fact that a healthy meal can be done from start to finish in under 20 minutes.

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You will Need:

  • 2 Japanese Eggplants
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a small nub of ginger (optional)
  • Green Curry Paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Soy sauce
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Thai basil (optional)

To prepare:

  1. Cut the eggplants in half length-wise. Then cut them on the bias, meaning at a diagonal so you get nice little pretty angled pieces. DSC_0032
  2. Next, chop the garlic, shallots, and slice the red pepper.
  3. In a wok, heat some oil, add the garlic and shallots and stir.
  4. Add in the eggplants and saute for 5 minutes on high heat.
  5. Add in the red peppers and stir.
  6. After 2-3 minutes, add 1 can of coconut milk, a dash of soy sauce and a pinch of sugar. Take a tablespoon of green curry paste and dissolve this in the milk. You can optionally grate some ginger over the top for added flavor at this stage.
  7. Reduce the flame to medium and allow the curry to simmer for another 5 minutes, adding water as necessary, depending on how you like it. The eggplants are cooked when they are no longer white, but have a more eggplanty color.
  8. Taste the  curry and make sure it has enough salt.
  9. Sprinkle some chopped or julienned thai basil over the top and serve with steaming brown rice!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes.

Makes 3-4 servings.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry

I’m back and at it with posting! Sorry for the very long respite. I worked to re-vamp this blog and create a new layout. Let me know what you think! Here’s a recipe I’ve been meaning to post for a few months now. Since thanksgiving, actually! At thanksgiving, we decided against the traditional fare, and opted for an asian-themed thanksgiving. Naturally, coconut milk-based curry was on the menu! This weekend we were slammed with a mountain of snow. This recipe is perfect for cozying up on the couch. This recipe is mild, but has a nice warm kick from the spices and ginger. Enjoy it served piping hot basmati rice with peas and cumin.

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You will Need:

  • Half a small head of cauliflower (I used the bagged Trader Joes cut cauliflower)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Red Bell pepper
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Curry powder (My favorite is from Trader Joes, and contains cumin, turmeric, coriander, chile pepper, mustard, cardamom, ginger, cloves nutmeg, red pepper, cinnamon, black pepper, saffron)
  • Cilantro
  • 1 can of Coconut milk
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

To Prepare:

Step 1: Roast the veggies

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  1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut sweet potato and cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
  2. Coat the veggies with some light oil, like grapeseed or olive, and sprinkle some curry powder on it. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Roast for 15-20 minutes until fork tender.

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Step 2:

  1. In a skillet or wok, heat a few tsps of oil.  Add 1/2 medium onion, sliced or 1 small onion, sliced. half a red pepper and half an orange pepper
  2. Grate 1 clove of garlic and about 1/2 inch nub of ginger (1 tsp)
  3. Add 1 tbsp curry powder, stir. You can add additional turmeric if you would like the color to be more yellow.
  4. When veggies are softened, add 1 can coconut milk and 1 can of water.
  5. Mix well, allow to simmer for a few minutes and season well with salt.
  6. Add roasted veggies, mix, simmer for 1 minute and remove from flame.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and Serve with hot rice!

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This recipe yields 4 servings. Prep time is 20 mins, cook time 15 minutes.

 

 

Beat the Heat with Cold Peanut Soba Noodles with Cucumber and Scallions

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This is one of my favorite dishes. It is really easy to make and it is great to entertain with too. In many restaurants they serve it cold as an appetizer. For this recipe I used soba noodles, which is made with buckwheat flour.  The dish is easy to make, using a sauce peanut butter, tamari, rice vinegar and cayenne pepper.  You mix it all together with some cold cucumbers, scallions and fresh cilantro and you a refreshing meal!

Health Stuff

Buckwheat is an extremely healthy food and if you are not using it in your diet you should be! It is gluten-free and packed with essential nutrients like manganese, magnesium and copper. The nutrients in buckwheat help with blood sugar control and studies have found that people who consume soba noodles have a lowered risk of developing cholesterol problems.  The noodles also cook quicker than egg noodles or pasta.

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You will need:

  • Soba noodles (you can find these in the asian section of any grocery store. The brand I used is called Wel Pac)
  • Crunchy unsalted peanut butter. (Try to use good peanut butter, not Jif)
  • Rice Vinegar (If you don’t have this, try lemon juice)
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Half an English cucumber, seeded, peeled and sliced into small pieces
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Scallions, chopped

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To Prepare:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of  peanut butter, with 2-3 even tablespoons of rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon of Tamari, or soy sauce.

2. Whisk this sauce until  it is smooth and creamy. Add some warm water to loosen up the peanut butter. Taste the sauce! Add more of each ingredient to your taste. Tis is very important because each person has different tastes, some like it more salty, so add more soy sauce, some like it more tangy, so add more vinegar. But the important thing is to make sure the sauce is smooth enough to coat the noodles. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper at the end.

3. Make sure the veg are prepped. Chop a bunch of scallions, cut up some cilantro (I don’t like to finely chop this for this recipe, let the leaves show nicely throughout), and peel, seed and slice an english cucumber.

4. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in the soba noodles. The packet comes with 3 bunches of soba noodles. I used one for 2 servings. Cook for about 4 minutes. Drain and transfer the noodles to the mixing bowl to mix together with the sauce.

5. When the noodles have cooled enough, add in the cold ingredients and mix well.

6. Chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator and serve!

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Servings: This recipe makes enough for 2 as I made this for me and my roommate. Increase the quantities for larger groups.

Vietnamese Rainbow Summer Rolls

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Looking for a fun activity with friends? These summer rolls just may be it! I absolutely LOVE vietnamese summer rolls, they are so fresh, colofrul and healthy. Especially for the summer when you don’t really want hot food. Me and my roommate Julia made them together, which was really fun, because it takes some work! I added red peppers and purple cabbage to make them into “rainbow rolls” All in all it has every major food group–protein, carbs, veggies, fats. And it also is really nice you are entertaining. The recipe  itself doesn’t take much effort but the technique is what takes effort. I served them either with a sesame sauce or a peanut dipping sauce. My personal preference was the peanut sauce!  I hope you enjoy a fun afternoon of summer roll wrapping!

You Will Need:

DSC_0335-Fillings: 

  • Red pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • Grated carrot
  • Thinly sliced cucumber
  • lettuce
  • purple cabbage
  • Toasted extra firm tofu
  • Scallions
  • Herbs of choice: mint, cilantro or basil

-Rice paper wrappers

-Hot Water

-A Plate

-Plenty of Counter Space

Step 1: Prep Veggies

Cut the veggies into bite sized pieces and arrange them so they are easy to stuff. You can choose whatever toppings you like.

Step 2: Get Rice Paper Ready

The rice papers will be sold dry, you will need a kettle filled with warm water nearby. To roll the wrappers, fill a plate or saucepan with hot water and soak the rice paper wrappers in it for just a few seconds. Remove the wrappers right before they become soft, as they soften up on the counter afterwards. It might take a couple tries to get the right texture. Too soft or too hard will be difficult to roll.

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Step 3:   Start Rolling! 

The best way to do this is to have everything in front of you ready to go. I roll my summer rolls on  a cutting board. As soon as you lift the rice paper from the hot water lay it down flat on the cutting board. Take a tiny bit of each stuffing and lay it tight and condensed in the center of the rice paper. Then I roll the right side overthe center, tightly packing in the veggies. Once the right side is under the veggies, fold in the top and bottom edges. Then roll over towards the left to complete the summer rolls. Sorry that I don’t have a diagram, but hope the picture below helps! I also squirt a little lime juice in each wrapper just for extra flavor. 🙂 Delicious!FullSizeRender

Sesame Sauce:

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp water

Directions: Mix em up and serve!

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Peanut Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • Warm water
  • Cayenne pepper

Directions: Mix the ingredients together, adding warm water so it blends nicely. Sprinkle in a little bit of cayenne pepper. Serve chilled.

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“Superfood” Veggie Asian Brown Rice Bowl

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The weather outside is dreary, snowy and frightfully cold! I’m on a mission to eat healthier this winter, but it’s impossible to get myself to have a salad when the weather is like this, so I roasted up some veggies–brussel sprouts, kale, red onion, butternut squash, portabella mushroom, tofu and served it over steaming hot brown rice with a soy-sesame-ginger honey glaze. The red onion isn’t exactly a superfood, but it tastes so sweet and caramelized paired with the portabella. This recipe is mostly prep time (chopping veggies, making rice etc), and it is very difficult to go wrong here. So comforting and packed with vitamins and nutritiousness!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 heads portabella mushroom
  • 1 red onion cut into large slices
  • about 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • a handful of kale, chopped
  • 10-12 brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 block Baked or dry fried tofu, cut into  cubes
  • Honey
  • Fresh ginger
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Sriracha
  • Fresh ginger

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Coat veggies in a bit of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and drizzle some sesame oil on top and spread them out on a baking tray. The kale does not need much cooking time otherwise it will turn into  chips and the tofu has already been cooked so just needs to be warmed up at the end. Reserve these two for later.
  3. Bake the veggies 20 minutes. Remove the tray and add the tofu  and kale. Coat the kale in a bit of olive oil.
  4. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with brown rice topped with glaze

For the glaze:

  1. In a saucepan whisk together4 tbsp soy sauce, 5 tbsp water, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp sriracha sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil and grate 1/2 inch  nub of ginger into it.
  2. Bring to simmer on medium heat
  3. Drizzle over veggies

Serves 4

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