Category Archives: Asian

What it Wants

Red Curry Thai Soup

thai_green_curry

First Secret Recipe Club post of 2015!!!!  About a month ago, there was a request for someone to take over for a blogger in Group D that was no longer able to participate.  While it turns out she was partnered with me for the cookie exchange, I was able to adopt her “normal” blog: Life on Food.  I quickly identified three recipes that looked fantastic: Cream of Broccoli Soup, Skillet Lasagna, and Red Curry Soup.  In the end, the curry won out as it was so different than anything else I had tried out and with all the winter weather we’ve been having I needed something on the spicy side.  While Emily’s version features beef, I simply doubled all the other ingredients and used a thicker rice noodle.

 

What it Wants

Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb rice noodles
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15oz can coconut milk
  • 4 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp lemongrass
  • Basil

Instructions

  1. In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes and then add the sweet potatoes, cooking until just soft.
  2. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth, coconut milk, red curry paste, and lemon grass to pan simmering until the sweet potato is tender, around 8-10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and then stir in noodles and top with the fresh basil.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2015/01/what-it-wants.html

Emily was right on in saying that this is “a hot meal that warms you from the inside out” – and I’ve already made it again!  The trick with the noodles is to add them at the very last moment in order to keep them from soaking up all the broth.  However the broth is one that can’t be wasted so nothing really wrong with that happening.  Needless to say this was a fantastic dish and I can’t wait to pick up some more curry and make another batch.  The only hard part of this recipe was finding a curry paste that was free of shrimp – but in end was able to find some at Whole Foods.


If You Lead

Yoka-Soba

yoki_soba

Welcome to the FINAL Secret Recipe Club for 2014!  I can’t believe this year is almost over – it has flown by way faster than I thought possible.  While the year hasn’t been the best at times, I’ve come out of it stronger – or at least more determined than ever to succeed.  Enough about that, time to focus on the recipe!  This month I was assigned the Saturday Evening Pot which is run by a husband wife duo, which is rather awesome.   Their motto is “Faith, Family, Food: Flavors of a Fabulous Life” and fully covers everything they feature on their blog.  There are so many amazing recipes on their blog, some created by Chef John while others are ones sent in from friends all over the globe.  I was immediately drawn to their Okinawa Cooking Class recipe for Yoka Soba – minus the pork of course!  Instead I greatly increased the amount of vegetables already featured in the dish, to include adding in a second type of cabbage.

If You Lead

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 package soba noodles
  • 1 small green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 red cabage, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped white and greens
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the green pepper and shallots and cook for 5 minutes before adding the carrots. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles according to the package. Drain, and rinse with cold water and then set aside.
  3. Once the carrots are tender, add the white part of the scallions along with half of the cabbage. As the cabbage wilts, continue to add to the wok.
  4. Add the noodles along with the soy sauce and stir well. Season to taste with the black pepper then top with the scallion greens and the sesame seeds.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/12/if-you-lead.html

I also added some sesame seeds for a crunch, but that’s just me – they can easily be left out.  For those craving a meaty version, please check out the original recipe!  I also have a feeling tofu would work great, but still on a low-soy diet as we get ready for next round of fertility treatments.  In theory our transfer will be in a few weeks so will know if it worked sometime around the start of the year.  If it doesn’t work, then we’ll be going for a session every other month for essentially the entire year.  A lot to take in – but hopeful that 2015 will be our year!

In food news, there is a mini-SRC post coming up in two weeks so for those of you looking for something sweet  make sure to come back on the 15th!  The next “real” SRC post will be in early February, which seems so far off now but will be here in just a blink of an eye.


Counting Seconds

Plov: Vegetarian Style

Plov

Sometimes I make a dish with no idea what is going to happen at the end – to include if it will even be edible.  I had heard of Plov before, thanks to Silk Road Bistro, but wanted to make it more of a main dish without the standard lamb.   Lots of googling gave me a good list of vegetables to start with: carrots, onions, and garlic  – along with the addition of some variety of currant.  When it came to the main protein all I knew is that I didn’t want to go with tofu, I wanted something with a firm bite to it as a contrast to the soft vegetables.  I decided to go with chickpeas since their origins in Turkey led me to believe they would have easily spread to the Central Asia region that I was focusing on for this dish.

Counting Seconds

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 1 minute before adding the onion and garlic.
  2. Continue cooking the onion and garlic for 15 minutes, the onion should start to caramelize and the garlic should be a rich golden color. Add the rice and stir, until coated in the oil then add the water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil then cover and turn heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then add the chickpeas and recover.
  4. Cook for a final 5 minutes then stir in the cranberries and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/counting-seconds.html

Another thanks to /r/52weeksofcooking for sending me on another delicious food journey – I’ve learned so much in doing these weekly challenges and can’t wait til the next one! Though of all the dishes I’ve made for this challenge, this one is easily in the top 5 as the ingredients are all standard ones making it super easy to prepare.  Ever since Wegmans added cranberries to their bulk food section I’ve had a fresh supply in my pantry – and while they aren’t burberries they are delicious.

Be Unforgettable

Vegetable Pancit

Pancit

One thing I love about blog challenges is that they push me out of my comfort zone, on the flip side one thing I hate about blog challenges is how they push me out of my comfort zone.  When I saw the theme for /52weeksofcooking was Filipino I was once again thrown for a loop – but unlike other challenges were I was totally in the dark at least this time I had some friends who could help out.  After crowd sourcing ideas and recipes, I decided to make a vegetarian variation of Pancit – a dish I had heard of but never experienced.  Traditionally this dish features one of the white meats and while I debated adding tofu I decided to stick with the normal vegetables featured in the dish just in MUCH larger amounts.

Be Unforgettable

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 scallions, cut half way up the green
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 lb napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 lb red cabbage, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 lb thin rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large work or sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and white part of the scallions. Cook for 7 minutes, and then add the broccoli and carrots. Continue cooking for 5 minutes before slowly adding in the cabbage, being careful to not crowd the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring to prevent sticking.
  2. Meanwhile bring a pan of water to a boil and cook the rice noodles per instructions on bag (or box). Once cooked rinse with cold water and set aside.
  3. Add the cooked noodles to the vegetables and stir in the teriyaki, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Toss well then top with the green part of the scallions.
  4. Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/07/be-unforgettable.html

I was blown away but how flavorful this dish was, especially considering how quickly it came together.   Based on the fact he took his chopsticks directly to the pot I think it’s safe to say my other half also greatly enjoyed this dish!  Next time I might leave out the teriyaki sauce since the recipes I found online were rather split on including it – but it was a nice addition to the dish!   Looking forward to seeing where /52weeksofcooking sends me next!

Down to Earth

Spicy Chili Carrots 

Chili Carrots

Before leaving Virginia, we were able to visit a top restaurant in the Potomac area – and with that enjoy some Korean Cajun fusion.  One of the snack items on the menu were these incredible firecracker carrots, they had just the right amount of sweet and spice with a bit of crunch.  Ever since that meal I’ve been trying to figure out how to recreate it, adding this spice and that in an attempt to find that perfect balance.

Spicy Chili Carrots

Serves 4-6, as a side

Ingredients

  • 2 lb carrots, peeled and cut in to 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp siracha

Instructions

  1. Place the cut carrots in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and salt.
  2. Remove to a large skillet over medium heat, then add the ginger along with the brown sugar. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the siracha, then cover, and turn heat as low as it goes. Cook for 10 minutes, or until carrots are slightly tender. Add more siracha as desired.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/03/down-to-earth.html

While I’m not 100% confident this is the exact recipe, it’s probably as close as I’m going to get without someone on the kitchen staff giving away secrets.  Regardless, they are deliciously amazing and went perfectly with the Sweet Potato Lentil Burgers I made the other week.