Monthly Archives: January 2011

Yangnyeom Tongdak ( Korean seasoned fried chicken )

Earlier this afternoon i started making this fried chicken , i happened to get a good deal on chicken wings and chicken legs , so i grabbed both packages . And since i found the recipe from Maangchi , for this fried chicken , i was tempted to try it . No , it’s not hard , it’s just deep fried stuff and in my mind , deep frying stuff is always good and always makes my kitchen messy . But i did it anyway , i had a electric deep fryer at home , but it’s been in the storage and i would think if i used that i would have had to clean them really good first before using it .. So i stick with my original plan , using a pot to deep fry my chicken .

The recipe calls for potato starch in the batter , but i didn’t have potato starch , nor i could find it at the store , probably in korean market , but not the regular store . I think it was because the crunchiness , maybe it’ll give extra crunch . So i replaced it with corn starch , and it works just fine . When i made chicken with currant jelly , i have to deep fry the chicken also , but i use corn starch which makes the chicken super crunchy .

The seasoned fried chicken , in korean ‘ Yangnyeom Tongdak” i think i got it right LOL .. the chicken turned out to be delicious and finger lickin’ good , it’s sticky and crunchy ! Jay loves it , he said ” i can eat this korean fried chicken everyday ”

You will need :

about 3 lbs of chicken legs or chicken wings

1 tbsp. salt and 1 ground pepper

1/2 c. of cornstarch

1/4 c. sweet rice flour

1/4 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 beaten eggs

In a big mixing bowl , add in your chicken legs or wings , add the flour , and salt , pepper , mix it well . Add the beaten eggs , mix it well with your hands . In a big pot , add vegetable / canola / corn oil , to deep fry the chicken . Make sure you pour enough oil to submerge the chicken . Deep fry for 12 minutes for the first time , then take it out , and re-fried for another 12 minutes , for total 24 minutes . ( Double fry it to make sure it’s done and it’s crunchy ) Line a paper towel to absorb the grease once it’s done . Set aside .

The sauce :

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

4 cloves of garlic , minced

1/3 cup. ketchup

1/3 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup hot pepper paste ( gochujang )

1 tbsp. apple vinegar

In a big pot ( wok ) , heat oil , add garlic in the wok , then add ketchup , corn syrup and gochujang , apple vinegar , stir and mix well , medium low heat . Then once it’s mixed well , simmer the sauce for 7 minutes , watch so it doesn’t burn . Once it’s done , add the chicken legs / wings in there and make sure each piece covered evenly with the sauce . Sprinkle with sesame seed if u like .

Kim Chi

Today i finally braced myself to try to make kim chi . One of our friend , Sara , her husband loves kim chi , and i guess it’s because he used to live there once , no he’s not korean . Anyway , he had made kim chi before , and according to Sara , the kim chi , stunk up the house .. And since then i thought many many times .. but i decided no .. i am not going to make kim chi if it’s going to make the house so smelly .

But today , i thought … let’s just try it .. who cares anyway . I can always leave the kim chi to ferment in the garage , right ? it’s cold , so it’s going to be like a big fridge . So , after watching over andĀ  over how Maangchi , made kim chi . I followed her recipe to the T . Well except i skipped the raw squid in the kim chi .. and i half the recipe , since 10 lbs of cabbage sounds too much for the three of us , well make it two , since it’ll be only me and Jay who eat it .

Anyway , here is my kim chi

Updated , i just made another batch of kimchi for the 2nd time yesterday , and i made some adjustment to my personal taste . So i am going to share some pictures how i made them . This time i used about 6-7 lbs of napa cabbage to make this kimchi , and made about 3 containers of kimchi .

Star Anise Ginger Braised Whole Chicken

The other day i went to this spice place about 30 minutes from where i live , where you can buy spices as little as you need or as many as you need . Then i remembered that i need to get star anise , there was this dish from Simply Ming book that requires that . So tonight that’s what i cooked , i made chicken dish with star anise and ginger , and other root vegetables , the result .. the broth was OH MY .. it was so good !! Delicious and tasty .

So here is the star anise ginger braised whole chicken

Picture doesn’t do justice for this recipe ..

Here is the ingdredients you need :

1 -5 lb young chicken

3 celery stalks , chopped roughly

3 medium carrots , chopped roughly

2 medium onions , diced roughly

2 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

2 star anise

2 tbsp. of minced ginger

2 quarts of chicken stock

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1. In a large dutch pot , combine all ingredients together , submerge your chicken into the broth , everything should be well covered , if not , add more water . Do not forget to salt and pepper your chicken generously . Inside and outside .

2. Cover the pot , untit it starts boiling , bring it down to low heat , almost simmer , for 45 minutes to 1 hour . Turn the heat off , let it sit for 45 minutes to 1 more hour to cook til it’s done .

3. Serve with bowl of rice .

My mom’s tomato soup ( sup merah )

When i was younger , sup merah , or as i called it now , tomato soup , was one of my favorite . I didn’t get to eat them too often , mom used to make them for special occasion only , such as birthdays , christmas or new year , those kind of things . I wonder why she didn’t make this more often , but now come to think of it , probably because back then , it was too much work to make this kind of soup , although now , and esp. over here in States , everything is made easy for us . Back then probably my mom had to grate the tomatoes in order to get enough juice for a big pot of soup , then boil the whole chicken probably to get the meat , and not to mention extra trip to a good deli to get smoked ham and smoked tongue , and chopping all the vegetables .. Well that would take time ..

But to relive my mom’s special soup .. for me it didn’t take too much time at all . I did not need to grate a whole kilogram of tomatoes to get their juice , instead i used ready to use canned tomato juice , chopping carrot and celery wasn’t much of a big job either , as for the chicken , i don’t need to use a whole chicken , i used leftovers ham that we had over new year ,i put them in the freezer and i have beenĀ  using it for minestrone , fried rice and finally the last batch , would be going to the soup .

This soup is really nice , rich and sweet , served with homemade french baquette or throw in some croutons would make soup pretty filling . Here is the picture and the recipe .

Ingredients :

1 big can of tomato juice , store brand would work just fine

1 lb of boneless chicken breast or thigh

4 hot dogs

8 garlic cloves

4 shallots

3 medium carrots , chopped

2 stalks of celery , chopped

1/2 bag of frozen green beans or fresh if they’re in season

1tsp. nutmeg or more , adjust to your preference

chicken cubes

lots of sugar


cornstarch to thicken up the soup at the end .

1. Boil chicken until it’s done , throw in the hot dog , and let it cook while you prepare the vegetables .

2. In a different pot , heat oil , add shallots , garlic and nutmeg , cook 1-2 minutes , add the rest of the vegetables , cook 5-7 minutes , add about 3/4 of the tomato juice from the can , and add about 2 full ladles of chicken broth , throw in the chicken cube , ham , hot dog ,diced meat , into the pot . Add sugar , salt and pepper . Let it cook for a while , adjust the taste .

3. Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken the soup

You can serve this just as it is , or with bread , or with kue sus kering ( tiny choux pastry ) like this :

The recipe is just like you make choux pastry , except make small balls , very small ones , and bake at 425 F for about 15-17 minutes . They should be dry and crunchy for the soup.

Mixed Berries with Creme Anglaise on a pastry shell

Last night , i didn’t cook for dinner .. i wasn’t feeling that well . Our son , had a sleep over at grandparent’s house , we just threw in frozen pizza in the oven . I had this awful strep throat .. and it was my first time ever had it , it was so painful and miserable !! So , anyway , i felt better later on that night , and after having some pizza , i thought why not throwing in this easy dessert together and we can have them .

I have pastry shells on hand , which always comes in handy , you can make dessert or main dish . I also had this mixed berries .. i meant .. it would have been better if the berries are in season , but oh well for now frozen berries work just fine ! LOL ..

As for the creme anglaise , it is very easy to make , and quick ,it’s just it takes time to chill them . But anyway here is how it looks

You will need :

1 box of pastry shell , bake as directed . Remove from the cookie sheet and cut the middle out to make a hole that you will fill with the creme anglaise and berries .

1 frozen mixed berries , sprinkle with sugar , let it sit to thaw out

Creme Anglaise

Recipe for creme anglaise :

500 ml . milk ( i used 1 % milk )

3-4 tbsp. cornstarch

6 tbsp. sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. of vanilla extract , or 1/2 vanilla beans , scraped the seed

In a small pot , add the milk , mixed 3-4 tbsp. cornstarch with 2 tbsp. milk , using whisk , mix well . Add sugar , cook medium heat , keep whisking . Beat the egg yolks , when the milk mixture is heating up and steaming , add 2-3 tbsp. into the beaten egg yolks , pour them in a slow stream into the milk mixture while u keep whisking . The mixture should get thick and remove from the heat . Chill overnight , add 2 capful of rum when the mixture is already chilled .

Simple salad with homemade croutons

I usually buy croutons from the store , tonight when i was about to make salad , i just realized that we ran out of croutons , so i thought it shouldn’t be too hard to make , should it ?

I grabbed about 4 slices of bread , cubed them , and then i mix some olive oil with salt , pepper and garlic powder , i mix the bread cubed in the olive oil , and then spread them on a cookie sheet , bake for 10 minutes at 400 F , the result ? Not too bad at all !!!

I am sure you can always mix your own spices instead of just salt and pepper , and i think it’ll be great too ! Just adjust it to your preference .

Linguine with spicy turkey sausage

Tonight i made this dish , original recipe calls for italian sausage , but since we’ve been trying to eat some healthy stuff , i ended up replacing the sausage with turkey sausage . I picked Jenny-O , hot italian turkey sausage . Turned out to be pretty delicious too , as for the linguine i stick with the regular , instead of the whole wheat , i got traumatized the last time i used whole wheat linguine because they get so dry , maybe i needed to cook them longer , but i don’t like overcooked pasta , we love al dente pasta . So anyway , i also added red bell pepper , and used a whole pint of grape tomatoes , i am sure you could add more than 1 pint , but i think that was enough for the whole pound of linguine that i made . Here is the picture and also the recipe for this simple and light pasta dish .

Ingredients :

1 lb of linguine

1 lb of italian hot turkey sausage , crumbled

olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

2 tsp. of ground red pepper

1/2 red bell pepper , roughly chopped

1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes

salt , pepper

1. Cook the linguine according to the direction on the box . Once it’s done reserve 1/2 up of starchy water from the pasta

2. In a skillet , add olive oil just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet , add the crumbled sausage , cook for 5 minutes until brown , add chopped garlic and bell pepper , cook 1-2 minutes . Add 1 pint of tomatoes , cover , cook for 10 minutes or until tomatoes burst out .

3. Smash the tomatoes with potato masher , add the ground red pepper , stir well , add the pasta a little bit at a time , mix well so the sauce will cover the pasta , add 1/2 cup of starchy water , mix well again , add salt pepper to taste .

Hummus Spread and Tuna Salad on Pita bread

As i ran through my recipe book few nights ago , i found this recipe , how to make hummus . I though it seems easy , and i couldn’t actually imagine the taste . I know how garbanzo / chick peas taste like , but mashed ? and mixed with lemon juice , garlic , and sesame paste ? I don’t even know how sesame paste taste like . However , i do know how sesame seed or sesame oil taste like .. LOL , I use that a lot in chinese / asian cooking . We love experimenting with food , we love trying new stuff .. we’ve had Japanese , Thai , Vietnamese , Korean , Indian , Italian , Mexican , American (obviously) , Indonesian , French cuisine . But .. middle eastern / Mediterranean ? I never had them before ..

So , to ease my curiosity , i put tahini aka sesame paste on my grocery list , unfortunately the grocery store we go to , only have this huge jar of sesame paste , and doesn’t look to appetizing since the oil already separate from the sesame paste itself .. I wondered if it’s getting too old and it’s been sitting on the shelf too long . Then it occured to me that we had a middle eastern restaurant near by , and it also has the grocery store .. of course carries middle eastern stuff . There we were , yesterday , walked into the middle eastern grocery store , me , asian chinese woman and my white caucasian husband , we never felt so out of place .. LOL .. just kidding .. but anyway .. we found what we’re looking for . Although they sell hummus in can , the ready made hummus , we didn’t buy it , because i wanted to make my own hummus .. and i needed to get tahini , sesame paste . We did ..

I tried it this afternoon for our lunch , it turned out to be very tasty , delicious .. with a lil kick since i added red ground pepper . But me and my husband loved it , we both never had hummus before , i served it as a spread on pita bread and i also made tuna salad , put them together , and it was yummy !! The hummus with pita bread only was already tasty enough .. but it’s a good combination with the salad .

Here is how to make hummus :

1 can of 15 oz garbanzo beans , drain and reserve the juice

1 juice of lemon ( i don’t add all the juice , but i add a little at a time as i pulse them , i don’t like anything too lemony )

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp. of table salt or 1 tsp. of kosher salt

1-2 tsp. of red ground pepper

1/3 cup of tahini or sesame paste ( look for this in middle eastern store )

In a bowl of processor , put all ingredients together , pulse , until it comes to a very smooth and moist consistency , adding the water that you reserved as you needed if it’s too thick .

Serve them on a pita bread , if you’d like to make the tuna salad , this is what you need :

14 oz of tuna in oil

1/4 cup of celery , chopped

3-4 tbsp. of yellow onion , chopped

2 tbsp. mayonaisse

1 tsp. dijon mustard

freshly ground black pepper

salt is optional , to me , the tuna is already salty i do not need to add more salt to it

Mix all ingredients until it’s all blended . Then to assemble , broil pita bread for a minute or 2 , take them out , cut into 4 equal pieces , spread the hummus , add the tuna salad . Enjoy !

PS : a friend of mine mentioned that she likes roasted red pepper hummus .. i thought why not trying it , by adding roasted red pepper to the original hummus .. i found recipe for that with a few changes i made

  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar roasted red peppers
  • little juice from lemon juice, adjust to your preference
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Use your food processor to make a smooth and creamy hummus .

Choux Pastry with Meat Filling ( kue sus isi ragout )

On my way home from the gym yesterday i thought about my mom , things that she often cooked for me when i was young . I remember she liked to cook ragout , i thought maybe i could always use ground chicken or turkey and the rest shouldn’t be too hard . It’s like making a pot pie filling , except it’s less rich . So , i grabbed what i needed , which was a package of lean ground turkey . My mom used to use ground beef for this , but in attempt to make it a little healthier for us , i chose ground turkey , lean one .

I made the choux pastry , just like normal , the way i make them for eclairs , or profitoles . Once it’s done ,i let it sit for few minutes , then cut them so i can add the fillings inside . I didn’t cut them all the way , just enough opening for the fillings .

Here is a recipe for the filling :

1 lb lean , ground turkey

1 onion , chopped

3 garlic cloves , minced

4-5 small carrots , or 3 medium carrots , chopped ( use food processor , will be quicker than chopping manually )

2 stalks of celery or green beans , chopped


salt pepper

1 cup of chicken broth

few tsp. of cornstach to thicken the sauce

1. In a skillet , heat vegetable oil , add the garlic , onion , saute for 2 minutes , add the rest of the vegetable saute for 5 minutes , add sugar , salt pepper , add the meat , nutmeg , add until meat is cooked well . Add the chicken broth a little at a time , keep stirring , add the cornstarch mixture ( mix cornstarch with water to make a paste ) , pour into the skillet while stirring , until sauce has thicken

For the choux pastry :

1 cup of water

1 stick of unsalted butter

3-4 eggs

2 tbsp. of sugar

1 tsp. of salt

1 cup of all purpose flour

1. In a small pot , add water , butter , salt and sugar , bring to boil . Add the flour all at once , stir until it’s all well mixed about 30 seconds ( remove from the heat while u do this ) put it back on the heat , stir for another 30 minutes to cook the flour

2. Pour the mixture into the mixer with paddle attachment , mix with high speed , add egg one at a time , sometimes u will need 4 eggs , but sometimes with 3 eggs it’s enough , as long as the batter will be falling off the paddle slowly , not too thin not too thick .

3. Drop a spoonful batter on to the parchment paper lined baking sheet , bake for 15 minutes at 425 F and turn down to 375 F , bake about 20 more minutes until it’s done . Do not open the door too often . .

BLT Sandwich with Sunny Side Egg

It’s just one of those nights , where you don’t feel like cooking because you’re too tired , you had too much thing going on .. and too cold to go outside to dine out .. That’s my night , i took a break from cooking , and choosing to fix myself a real quick dinner . My husband already took the pizza for his dinner , and my son also had the leftover pizza , for me ? Although my son said he would share his 3 pizza with me , i just don’t feel like eating pizza . Basically i am bored of pizza .. LOL ..

What sounded good ? Well i had bacon , i had egg , lettuce , and tomatoes in my fridge , why not making myself some simple everyday american sandwich , BLT Sandwich .. except to make it more hearty i added egg , not scrambled , but sunny side egg , with runny egg yolk .. my favorite kind of egg . I roasted the tomatoes for a little bit in the oven , i just nuked the bacon , it would have been better frying them on the skillet , but i didn’t feel like having too much mess to clean due to the popping of the fat . And then i made sunny side egg . Washed the lettuce , and voila .. it’s all done .. Super easy ..

You need :

2-3 slices of fried bacon , save the fat if you’re frying them on the skillet , use the fat to fry the egg

enough lettuce , wash well , and torn

1 roma tomatoes , sliced , and sprinkled with olive oil , garlic , salt and pepper , bake at 375 F for 7 minutes


1 egg, fry with the bacon fat , about 2-3 minutes until the white is settled .

to assemble your sandwich

toast the bread , spread mayonaisse on 1 side of the bread , top with bacon , lettuce and the tomatoes , and top with the sunny side egg , sprinle with salt and pepper .

Smothered Chicken with Mushrooms and Bacon Brussels Sprout

Tonight i decided to make a new dish , from a cooking book i just bought few days ago . It’s from one of the contestant on the tv cooking show . Was not too sure about how this dish turns out , although the picture looks great , but from the ingredients i was kinda doubting it . Not much of anything at all , but i was wrong , it turned out to be really delicious . The sauce was good , even my 6 years old was agreeing with me how delicious it was .Although i didn’t exactly followed the direction , i replaced some of the seasonings .. and it was good .

Here is the recipe :

2 lbs of boneless , skinless chicken thigh

1/2 tsp. each of smoked paprika , garlic powder

sea salt and black pepper

1 cup of all purpose flour

Mix all the dry ingredients in a pie plate , using your fingers to make sure they mix well . Dredge the chicken onto the flour , shake excess flour , Heat a skillet with olive oil , brown the chicken on both side about 5 minutes on each . Set aside .

1 medium onion, chopped

1 package of baby bella mushroom

2 cups of chicken broth

salt and pepper

In the same skillet , add 1 tbsp. olive oil , add the onions and mushrooms , cook until onions are soft about 5 minutes . Add the chicken broth , boil then simmer , and return the chicken into the skillet , let it cook until sauce thicken , if it’s not thick enough just add enough cornstarch to thick them .

4 slices of bacon , cut into 1 inch strips

1 shallots , sliced

1 lb of brussels sprouts ( washed and cleaned and removed all the yellow dead leaves , cut into 2 lengthwise )

In a different skillet , fry the bacon , for bout 2-3 minutes , add the shallots , until it caramelized , removed with slotted spoon . Add the brussels sprout with the flat end facing the skillet , let it cook until it’s a lil brown , toss and cook few more minutes until it’s tender enough , do not overcook , it’ll be become too soggy .

To serve over jasmine rice , put the chicken with the sauce , topped with brussels sprout with bacons .

Creme Brulee

On new year’s eve i decided to make creme brulee to close our new year’s eve dinner . It was one of Jay’s favorite dessert , he had mentioned so many times , since i haven’t been making it for a while … the last time i made it probably around easter or earlier than that . So i thought .. well why not giving the man a treat .. so i did . Creme Brulee is so easy to make , water bath is a must , to make sure the milk / cream doesn’t curdle . And you have to have ramekins with this dessert , or else it’d be a little bit hard to make . Other than that , creme brulee is easy and the finishing of this dessert is pretty cool , as long as you have torch .. you can show your guest you can play with fire safely too LOL .. The torch helps to burn the sugar , i guess you can always use broiler , but too risky to me . i think investing on kitchen torch is a good idea if you like creme brulee ! The burnt sugar is the best part of this dish LOL

Chocolate Vanilla Pudding with Vla Custard and Longan Fruits

Back when i was in Indonesia , one my aunt was famous with all her skills with pudding and its kind . Let’s just say she’s really good with pudding , all kinds of pudding and vla , i call her ” the master ” LOL ..

So , i also learned from her a while back ago how to make fruit cocktail pudding , mind you , this is not american style pudding , where they jiggles and has no shape . This is Indonesian style pudding , with the powder made from seaweed . Don’t freak out !! It’s really delicious , not only delicious it is super healthy because it has tons of fiber in it . So , if you want to stay healthy , don’t worry too much about eating pudding will make you gain weight , well unless you make the pudding with milk and eating them with vla custard ( sort of like creme anglaise ) . The powder usually just cooked with water and sugar , you can use very low amount of sugar or to your taste .. whatever .. it is good . If you want a richer taste , of course like me you would choose milk instead of water .. and i added some chocolate in here . Anyway .. here is a recipe for the vla custard , and for the pudding , you should be able to follow the direction from the packaging .

I used Swallow brand agar agar powder , for as long as i live this is the only brand i know LOL .

And here is my chocolate vanilla pudding with vla custard served with longan fruits

For the vla custard :

500 ml milk

6 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

2 egg yolks

In a small pan , mix milk , sugar . In a small cup , mix cornstarch with a little bit of milk from the pan , once it’s all dissolve , pour the cornstarch mix into the milk mixture , cook on a med low heat . Meanwhile , beat egg yolks , once the milk mixture becomes hot enough , but not boiling , add the milk mixture 1 tbsp. each time to the egg yolk , mix it well each time , add 2-3 more tbsp. until egg yolks become thinner in consistency .

With the stove still going on the milk mixture , add the egg yolk mixture with constant stream into the milk mixture while whisking it vigorously ( if not , u will have scramble eggs ) . Cook until the mixture have thicken , remove from heat and cool in the refridgerate , once it’s cool enough , add rum .

Note : Here is another picture of pudding i’ve made