Snow Pea Stir-Fry for the New Year and Nemo

P2108624 copyI have stayed away from sharing stir-fry recipes because often I found them to be unvaried; add oil, garlic, vegetables, soy sauce, some sugar, and you’re done.  However, several months ago I went to Jade Garden, a Cantonese restaurant in Chinatown of Boston, and I couldn’t stop chowing their snow pea stir-fry.  I walked out of the restaurant with buttery-garlic lip gloss, and ever since I feel like karma has gotten back at me.  I can’t imitate that delicious sauce but this alternate recipe will suffice and will keep you satisfied.  Have you ever eaten snow pea leaves? I think they may be my favorite green leaf; it tastes like a mix of spinach and snap peas.  Sounds great, right?  I guess you have to try it yourself now.

Adapted from “Asian Vegetables” by Sara Deseran

2 Tbs sake
2 Tbs soy sauce (you can add more later if you think it’s necessary)
1/4 cup broth (vegetable, or seafood)
Dash of sugar
2 Tbs canola oil
3 Tbs garlic, finely chopped
1/2 Tbs ginger, chopped
1 lb pea leaves
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 4 tsp water
Note:  The measurements are rough guidelines so please add or take anything away according to your liking. 

1.  In a small bowl combine the sake, broth, soy sauce, and sugar.  Set aside.
2.  Heat wok over medium-high, and pour oil.
3.  Add garlic, ginger, and stir for about 15 seconds.
4.  Add the pea leaves and toss to coat with oil, garlic, and ginger.
5.  Raise heat to high and add sauce mixture.
6.  Stir-fry for 15 seconds, then cover and then cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until well wilted.
7.  Uncover, and add the cornstarch, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds until the sauce has thickened.  There should be a “glazed” look.

Does anyone else feel like Nemo took Chinese New Year’s thunder?  Here are some instagram pics that I took during the storm that you might enjoy.  Got any plans this weekend?  Weather permitting, we have a special birthday to celebrate.  Post soon to follow.  Have a great weekend!


Teriyaki Chicken Legs with Lotus Root

P2048581It’s been a year since we made these Superbowl scrumptious Quinoa Patties rooting for the New England Patriots, but this year we were cheering for Beyoncé — she redeemed herself from the lip-synched inauguration and made all the women (and men) in this nation fall in love with her again.  The power outage was the second most exciting moment.

Believe it or not the Superbowl serves traditional foods such as nachos, wings, pizza, and as a fun fact, Americans double their average daily consumption of snacks consuming more than 33 million pounds of goodies on this particular Sunday. Yeah, it’s a fatty day.  I made this easy chicken recipe a while back when I was living in Japan on farmland.  Lotus root are usually harvested in the fall but if you live in the Boston area you can head to Russo’s to find them year-round.  I LOVE this veggie and it’s always fun cooking with a new and unusual ingredient.  This dish is juicy, crunchy, and extremely flavorful with some asian flare.  Have a good Monday!
P2048567 P2048575

Vegetable Oil 1 Tbs
Chicken Legs 5 pieces
Salt and Pepper

Lotus root 1
Cooking sake 2Tbs
Soy Sauce 2 Tbs
Honey 1.5 Tbs
Orange 1/2
Butter 1/2 tbs

1.  Wash the legs and marinate with salt and pepper.  Let them sit for about 10 minutes.
2.  Peel the lotus root and cut them into even thin slices.
3.  On medium heat pour vegetable oil in pan.  Place chicken legs for about 4-5 minutes or until the skin on both sides are lightly brown.
4.  Make room on the pan and add another 1/2 TBS of vegetable oil.  Place lotus root and sauté them until brown on both sides.  Once done, take the lotus root out and set aside.
5.  Add 1 cup of water and simmer on low-medium heat for about 1 minute.
6.  Add sake, soy sauce, honey, and fresh orange juice and simmer for 10 minutes with cover.  Make sure to flip sides.
7.  When the liquid seems to have evaporated to 1/3, take the lid off and add the lotus root.  Simmer for another 10 minutes with the lid off.  Add butter and let it simmer for another 1 minute.

Optional:  You can sprinkle orange zest and parsley for garnish.

Salad in a Pouch-Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Peanut Sauce

Salad in a Pouch-Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Peanut Sauce

For those salad haters (or lovers) out there, Vietnamese Spring Rolls has come to the rescue. This is basically a salad in a pouch-finger food on the go.  There are no standard ingredients for these rolls, and they can be … Continue reading

Spicy Almond Butter Noodles

Spicy Almond Butter Noodles

This dish is a take on the traditional Thai peanut noodle, but since I was out of peanut butter I decided to give almond butter a go – and it worked wonderfully. I found the almond butter to be better … Continue reading

Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry

I love curry. What can be better than a slew of veggies all mixed up in a spicy sauce? For those of us dining on a budget, I find that curries are a perfect way to serve frozen vegetables. For … Continue reading

Rice Balls

Happy Birthday Anne!!!   It was hard coming up with the perfect dish for your big birthday, but I decided to go with rice balls!  I know how much you love the plain flavor, so for your dinner party tonight I’m making you nostalgic for the time when we traveled around Japan together…plain, tuna, and to keep the tradition going, a surprise ball filled with wasabi.
Yield:  14 Rice Balls

3 cups brown or white rice (short grain)
1 can of tuna
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 stick celery
1/8 red raw onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
Wasabi (optional)

1.  Chop celery and red onion into small pieces and mix with tuna.  Squeeze mayonnaise to your liking and add lemon juice.

2.  You can either either use saran wrap or your bare hands to form triangular shape.
Saran Wrap:  Place pinch of salt on SW, dip hand in water, and grab rice.
Bare Hands:  Dip hands in water, rub pinch of salt, and grab rice

3.  SW:  Put some rice down on the saran wrap and make a small indent for the tuna.
BH:  Put some rice on your hand and make a small indent for the tuna.

4.  Cover the tuna with a little bit of rice and it’s time to mold!

5.  If you are holding the rice in your left hand, use your index and middle finger of your right hand to mold the rice into a triangle, with the left hand’s support.  If the rice is sticking everywhere, dip your hands in more water and salt to use as glue.

5.  There you have it, your surprise balls!

More Photos from the Night

Our lovely assortment of food.

Happy Birthday Anne!
You got the beets!

Vegetable Miso Soup

Vegetable Miso Soup

Served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, miso soup is the cereal of Japan-but no additive sugar and much healthier!  Make the miso broth and you can add almost any kind of vegetable to satisfy your palate.  In the past I’ve … Continue reading

Vegetable Khao Soi

I once spent one glorious week traveling through northern Thailand. Our main mode of transit up there in the mountains was hitch-hiking, and our main form of sustenance was this delicious soup. Our first encounter with this godly concoction, was when a man we were getting a ride from insisted on dropping us of a particular restaurant famous for its Khao Soi. From there on out we were hooked. I likely had 2 bowls a day for a week, and as I previously mentioned, it was a glorious week.

This soup is traditionally made with chicken, this time I took a stab at making a vegan version, packed-full of veggies.

2-3 carrots, chopped
1 bundle of asparagus
3 Zucchinis
1 cup chopped broccoli
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt Red pepper flakes and or Cayenne (to taste)
1 tsp ground ginger juice from½ lime can of unsweetened coconut milk
1.5 cups broth of your choosing
2 tbs. soy sauce 3 + (to taste) tbs red curry paste
½ pound egg noodles or udon noodles

2 shallots
⅓ cup chopped green onion crispy fried noodles
⅓ cup chopped cilantro

1. Saute garlic in a large pot in cooking oil.
2. Add veggies and cook on medium-high heat until they are soft.
3. Add red curry past to the mixture.
4. Add the coconut milk, broth, turmeric, soy sauce, red chili pepper, ground ginger, sugar and salt and stir well.
5. Bring heat to boil and then reduce to medium and let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
6. In a separate pot, cook noodles in boiling water
7. Drain the noodles and add them to the vegetable mixture.
8. Spritz with lime.
10. Ladle soup into bowls and cover with the raw shallots, green onions, cilantro, and the crispy fried noodles.
11. Enjoy!

What it looks like pre-garnish