Of all the various Asian fried rolls I’ve ever eaten, cha gio is the best in terms of taste and texture, hands down. There is just something serendipitous about the interplay between the flavors of the filling ingredients: the taro, the freshly ground pepper, the fish sauce, and of course, the pork and shrimp. Texture-wise,… Continue reading Cha Gio / Nem Ran / Vietnamese Fried Rolls
This ubiquitous, must-have sauce unifies the different flavors in many a Vietnamese dish and makes the entire composition come together and “pop.” Nuoc cham can effortlessly pull together a dish, making it a godsend for anyone looking to get breakfast/lunch/dinner on the table ASAP. I have a small airtight container of this stuff in my… Continue reading Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Basic Dipping Sauce)
I sometimes forget that not everyone grew up eating this kind of yummy food. For the record, “Lung Kow” is not a brand name. This term, like “vermicelli,” describes this type of fine, yet resilient, noodle. Bean thread noodles, lung kow noodles, cellophane noodles, glass noodles, and vermicelli are often used interchangeably when describing this… Continue reading Ingredient Spotlight: Pagoda Bean Thread Noodles
Hippo Flatbread, my contribution to the world’s repertoire of flatbread, is rich and buttery in flavor, even if it is gluten-free and free of dairy, egg, sesame, peanuts, and all tree-nuts except for coconut. The texture is satisfying: soft and warm on the inside with a bottom and edges that are crisped just so. Eat this flatbread with dal, stews, curries, and grilled meats and veggies. Or, spread on Sunbutter and allergen-free jam for a gluten- and allergen-free pb&j sandwich. Personally, I like it best eaten plain.
This was my son’s birthday cake this year. I was so happy he loved it!!! 🙂 An old-fashioned term, “spider” refers to a cast iron skillet, which I use to make this cake; spiders are not an ingredient. 🙂 Pineapple Upside Down Cake is probably one of the best known spider cakes baked today. The… Continue reading Chocolate Craze Spider Cake
Yup, you read right — gumbo with tofu. Now before ya’ll get started with me, let me start off by saying that if you’re allergic to soy, if tofu isn’t your thing, or if you believe in all that crazy hype about soy being bad for you, please, by all means, leave out the tofu.… Continue reading Chicken Tofu Gumbo Ya Ya
Tasty, easy, and fast, “Catfish” Tofu — which contains no catfish — is my primary go-to dish on nights when I’m too tired to do anything but am having one of those gotta-get-dinner-on-the-table-NOW-or-else-hungry-toddler-is-gonna-have-a-meltdown nights.
I vividly remember the first time I had hash browns. My Aunt Rose had taken my mom, my brothers, and her daughter, my cousin Sabrina, to Hobo Joe’s, a chain eatery that no longer exists in Los Angeles. Aunt Rose ordered hash browns, and my, they were dee-lightful! The texture was light, ever so slightly… Continue reading Hobo Joe Hash Browns
I love this sausage recipe, which comes from Jeff Smith’s wonderful cookbook, The Frugal Gourmet, a companion to his PBS cooking show, which I grew up watching. I use this sausage primarily as a pizza topping, but it would be great over rice, in a red sauce — whatever strikes your fancy. The above is… Continue reading Italian Sausage
FYI: I’m in the middle of updating this recipe. I’ve had too many disasters, so consider this recipe problematic prone for now. Will post again as soon as I can get it right and duplicate good results reliably. Thanks! This dish relies on annatto seeds, not tomato, for its distinctive orange-redness and smoky, earthy… Continue reading Chamorro Red Rice