Archive for October, 2015

Scallion Pancakes, a simple version – A small batch

scallion pancakes

I stumbled upon this full-batch version on while clicking around Pinterest. It’s not as flaky as the original version, but as the OP says, it’s easier on a weeknight. Here’s my version for one or two.

1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup chopped scallions (approximately 3)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch of salt
pinch of five spice powder
pinch of pepper
oil for frying

Mix flour, water, salt, pepper, spice powder, and sesame oil together well
use a whisk to make sure there are no lumps
set aside for a few minutes

Coat the bottom of a medium-size skillet with oil
Heat on high

Combine the scallions with flour mixture
when oil is hot, pour batter into skillet, moving it around to coat the bottom of the pan evenly

Cook pancake until well browned and flip to cook the other side
when second side is browned to your liking, remove from pan and let rest on a paper towel to drain while you make the dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar (since I don’t usually have Chinese chinkiang vinegar on hand, I use seasoned rice vinegar)
a drop of sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
sprinkling of scallions
sprinkling of chili flakes

Combine all ingredients

Cut the pancake into wedges and serve hot


October 24, 2015 at 2:55 pm Leave a comment

Bibimbap – A small batch


Dolsot bibimbap is a signature dish from Korea and impossible to find in the city I now call home. So, off I go to satisfy a craving… again. The recipe that follows is a reasonable ersatz version. Unfortunately I don’t have access to a Korean grandma to guide my way. There’s more than a few steps, though easy enough to accomplish, and I’ve simplified others. This dish can be served warm in a bowl, or in a stone bowl that’s been heated so the bottom layer of rice can very crispy. I don’t have a traditional Korean stone bowl, so I settled for my small cast-iron skillet which worked perfectly. This recipe makes enough for two servings.

The beef
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 tablespoon ginger, grated (or a 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onion, thinly sliced

Brown the meat in hot oil
add the rest of the ingredients
stir well to combine
turn off heat and set aside

The veggies
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 cup carrots, julienned
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil

All the vegetables need to be par boiled separately

Bring a large pot of water to boil and reduce to a simmer
place the vegetable in a large sieve
dunk the sieve and vegetable into the simmering water for 2 to 3 minutes

bibimbap beans

Par boil like this

Remove the sieve and vegetable from the water and set aside to cool on a plate
now do the next vegetable in the same fashion

Once all have been par boiled and cooled a bit, make the sauce by combining the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a bowl
dress each cooked vegetable separately and set aside

The last part (still with me?)
2 cups cooked rice
an egg
hot sauce

Heat oil in the cast iron skillet
add the rice to the hot pan
while the rice is sizzling away, fry an egg in another pan

Place the cooked meat and marinated vegetable on top of the rice
then the fried egg on top
a squirt of your favorite hot sauce

Actually any vegetable or mushroom will work, from what I used, to julienned zucchini and canned baby corn, to Shitake.

October 17, 2015 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

Shrimp and Pork Pot Stickers – A smaller batch


aka Gyoza, Dumplings, Mandoo, or Dim Sum

I find it odd that on the Central Coast of California, certain Asian ingredients are hard to find; including, but not limited to round dumpling wrappers. I was able to find the square ones and egg roll size, and I guess I could have just used a round cookie cutter on them. But I took the opportunity to expand my skill set and learn to make my own.

I followed the recipe and instructions for the wrappers at Just One Cook Book. Though you can find recipes and instructions all over the web. I did do a few things differently however: I didn’t sift the flour. I used my stand mixer to knead the dough. And I used a press to form the dumplings.

24 gyoza skins

8 ounces shrimp, shelled, deveined, and chopped
4 ounces pork, ground
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, grated
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
hot sauce to taste

Add one ounce kimchi, chopped and well drained

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Go ahead, use your hand

Place 1 teaspoon of the mixture in the middle of each wrapper
dampen wrapper edge with water, fold over, and form the edge into accordion pleats
or use this tool to make things a whole lot easier

Place the dumplings in a good-sized, lightly-oiled pan and sauté on medium heat until the bottoms are nicely browned

Add enough water to cover just the bottoms of the dumplings
cover pan and steam until the water cooks off
Serve hot with a dipping sauce

Dipping Sauce
Mix together equal parts soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and a few drops of hot sauce or red pepper flakes.

October 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

Green Papaya Salad – A small batch

papaya salad

aka Som Tum

I love green papaya salad. A while ago a friend posted his successful attempt and I thought I’d give it a go. But, honestly I was feeling more than a bit lazy, and not terribly inspired enough to retrieve, and then prepare a green papaya. My substitution is a bag of prepared broccoli slaw, found in your grocers produce section. Honestly not a bad swap out.

2 cups green papaya, julienned (or prepared broccoli slaw)
1/2 cup carrot, julienned or grated
a handful string beans, steamed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 small tomato, cut into wedges
a handful peanuts, chopped

2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, grated
a generous pinch of red pepper flakes

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing
add the veggies
toss well to combine
let sit for about 15-20 minutes, tossing occasionally

Serve garnished with a few cilantro leaves and the chopped peanuts

October 10, 2015 at 7:03 pm 1 comment

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