Sep 29, 2007

Salad with a Japanese Touch

I love meat,
It'll be hard for me to eat a complete meal without any meat in it,
But somehow I'm craving for salad all the sudden (that probably happens twice a year),
What can I do?
Let's put tuna together with my greens then.


4 ohba leaves/perilla leaves (shredded)
1/2 pack of baby spinach
1 big cube of radish (grated)
1/2 orange zest
1/2 orange juice
Ponzu soy sauce
Tuna (the ones for sashimi)
Roasted sesame seeds


First soak the tuna in ponzu soy sauce for about ten minutes,
Prepare a hot skillet, put the tuna in and sear for about 10 seconds per side,
Remember the center has to remain its fresh pink color, don't overcook it.
Transfer to a cutting board and slice the fish along the lines.

In a small bowl, mix the grated radish together with 1/2 orange zest, 1/2 freshly squeezed orange juice, and about 2 tablespoons of ponzu soy sauce.

Get a big salad bowl, put in the pre-washed spinach, shredded ohba, salad dressing, and some roasted sesame seeds.
(You can find perilla/ohba leaves easily in a Japanese supermarket,
they said that this herb is good for fighting cold and sore throat,
I'm kinda sick at the moment...
Let's see if this thing will do me any good.)

Give it a toss.
Lay the seared tuna on top of the salad,
Spray more sesame seeds and drizzle some ponzu soy sauce,
Garnish with shredded perilla leaves.

I got my meat and fulfilled my cravings for salad at the same time.

Cindy's Rating: 7

Sep 26, 2007

Chocolat Roll from Hokkaido Festival ~ Mitsuwa Market Place

This is what I got from the Hokkaido Festival at Mitsuwa last weekend,
Everyday there was something special on sale,
Some cookies went from $1.89 to $1,
One big lunch box with 20 sushi costs less than $10,
They even had a live show of taking the whole tuna apart for sashimi.
In the area between the food court and the supermarket, there were some small stands,
They sold snacks, Japanese dango (snack balls mainly made of rice flour), cakes, tea, even seafood.
And I couldn't resist the temptation of getting this little cake-

It actually tastes pretty good,
Not too sweet, but yet pretty flavorful.
Especially the creamy part in the center,
I always eat around it and save the middle part last, then just swallow the whole thing at once.
Let's just pray that I can still buy it since the Hokkaido Festival had passed already.

Cindy's Rating: 6

Sep 25, 2007

Stadium Tavern in Downtown Fullerton

It took me and my friends a while to think about what to eat around Fullerton,
Finally we came up with this place,

Stadium Tavern-

I used to live around that place,
It's in the center of downtown Fullerton, close to Fullerton College, where all the bars and restaurants at.
Stadium Tavern is like a multi-function place,
They serve breakfast starting from 7 a.m. (if I remember it right), not mentioning lunch and late dinner,
It is also a sports bar with flat TVs hanging around.
Besides that, they have an outdoor patio right next to the street,
Customers usually sit there instead of the indoor seating,
I guess people watching is more interesting than TV starring.

Here's what I had the other day, Jambalaya-

Not that authentic, but flavor-wise, it was pretty good.
*I took out all the carrot strips though....I'm not a big fan of raw carrot strips....

Cindy's Rating: 5

My friends had..Portobello Mushroom Burger with Curly Fries-

I didn't try the burger, but the fries were pretty good,
Especially when you dip them in ranch and ketchup sauce.

Cindy's Rating: 6

Another friend had..Fettuccine with Chicken and White Wine Sauce-

Look more like Alfredo sauce to me.
Chicken's kind of dry, but overall the flavor was good.
All their pasta dishes came with two roasted bread, and they were gooooooood,
Crunchy on the sides, moist around the center.

Cindy's Rating: 6

This place is usually packed during the weekends and Wednesday nights,
If you live around the area,
Go take a walk around downtown Fullerton,
It's pretty happening,
Plus it's not a bad place for bar hopping (in OC).

Overall Rating: 6

Stadium Tavern
305 N. Harbor Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92832
(714) 447-4200

Sep 24, 2007

Message from The Other Side of The Globe

Suddenly saw this thing in my mailbox,
Can't describe how happy I was at the moment.

It's from my best friend in Taiwan,
She saw this randomly on a small street stand in Tam Shui.
This reminds her of the time where we used to hang out together.

I miss her a lot too..

Sep 22, 2007

How About Something Green In Your Lunch Plate?

Pasta, the first thing that comes into my mind when I don't have a lot of time to cook (or in a lazy mood),
What can I say,
It's usually pretty simple, easy, and delicious,
How hard can it be to make a tasty pasta dish?
At least it won't go so wrong that you can't even swallow it.

So here it is. Spaghetti with shrimps and pesto sauce-

Ingredients (for one)?

Thin spaghetti
1 small box of basil (about one cup)
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1 shallot (chopped)
1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan
10 shrimps (peeled and deveined)
Extra virgin olive oil


First prepare a pot with water to cook the spaghetti,
Toss in the pasta when the water is boiling, along with a pinch of salt,
Cook according to the instruction on the box.

For the pine nuts,
I roast them in the oven till golden brown to bring out the flavor,
Set aside.

Prepare a food processor,
Add basil leaves, garlic cloves, roasted pine nuts, and some olive oil,
Blend till cooperated, add about 2 pinches of salt, some grated cheese, continue to blend for a few seconds.
Can you smell it? The fresh aroma just can't stop escaping from the food processor.
These green colored paste will serve as a key ingredient to keep your pasta moist and flavorful.

Prepare a skillet,
Drizzle some olive oil, pan fried the chopped shallot till slightly brown on the edges,
Toss in the shrimps and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the pesto sauce along with drained pasta,
Give it a toss,
What are you waiting for?
it's time to enjoy your healthy greenie spaghetti!

Cindy's Rating: 7

Sep 18, 2007

KFC's Portuguese Egg Tart - 肯德基蛋塔

Gift from heaven!

My friend gave me about 15 egg tarts a week ago,
Don't even look down on them,
They flied all the way across the Pacific Ocean to my friend's place, and then into my hand.
What's the best thing I can do to show my appreciation?
Finish them all!

How much I wish that KFC here sells those goodies,
The one in Taiwan not only sells original flavored egg tart,
They also carries caramel latte and maple egg tarts.
Ahhhh, I'm craving for it again just talking about it,
Let me go grab another one!

Cindy's Rating: 9

Sep 16, 2007

Homemade Dumplings. Overweight Dumplings.

Making dumplings might be a little bit troublesome as a dinner choice,
It requires a tremendous amount of work, such as washing vegetables, chopping ingredients, wrapping stuffing, and cleaning up.

Why not just pay a visit to the grocery store and pick among more than ten different brands in the fridge?
I can't. I just can't.
I'm spoiled by my mom's homemade dumplings,
Using all the top quality ingredients, each dumpling skin was stretched to 100% capacity in order to stuff everything inside.
I called it "overweight dumplings."

However, my mom is currently far far away in the other side of the Pacific ocean,
Now I have to depend on myself to make those fat dumplings by tracing memories.

Ingredients (For About 50 Dumplings)?

4 stalks of scallion (chopped)
1/2 cabbage (chopped)
1 ginger (grated)
1 pound of ground pork
20 medium size shrimps (chopped)
2 eggs
50 dumpling skin
Sesame oil
Roasted sesame seeds
Extra virgin olive oil
White pepper
1/2 cup of chicken stock


First we need to prepare all the ingredients, mix them well and transfer to the fridge overnight.
For the mixture, we need to stir fried the eggs first.
Beat two eggs and stir fried it in a pan with some olive oil till cooked.
Remember to chop it into small pieces with the spatula while cooking.

Next, we'll combine all the chopped ingredients together (eggs, cabbage, scallion, shrimps) along with the ground pork, grated ginger, 3 tablespoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of white pepper, 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seeds, and 1/2 cup of chicken stock.

Mix them well, cover with foil and into the fridge for at least 6 hours.
I usually leave it overnight.

Now it's the fun part-wrapping the dumplings.
I buy the dumpling skin instead of making it, which can be a big time saver.
After so many times of trial and error,
Buying a good dumpling skin can save a lot of energy.
Even though the price may be a little bit more expensive (usually no more than a dollar),
Trust me, it's definitely worth it.
The skin won't break easily, that means it'll stretch better if you attempt to stuff more ingredients in it, like my mom.

Simply scoop a small spoonful of the mixture into the center of the skin,
Wet half of the skin edge with water and press the sides together,
Just play with it and I believe you'll eventually get a feeling of how to make a perfect shaped dumpling.

This one...mmm.....the shape is not perfect, but at least it reached my goal, semi-overweight dumpling-

Still not as good as the one my mom made though,
Nothing beats mom's homemade food!

Suggestion for sauce:
Soy sauce, ponzu sauce, a little bit of chopped chilies, minced garlic, sesame oil, vinegar.
You have to mix and match to find out your own perfect combination!

Cindy's Rating: 7

Sep 14, 2007

Pink's Hot Dogs

What is it?

People lining up like a Chinese Great Wall for hot dogs?
Are you insane?
Not mentioning the end of the line is like way over there in the back of the parking lot.

One hour and ten minutes was the exact time where I first sat my foot on the parking lot, till my growling stomach received the first bite of heaven.
It might sound crazy, but Pink's Hot Dog is something that definitely worth waiting for.

Maybe I'm not persuasive enough, how can you trust a little food monger who said the hot dogs here are awesome,
So I found some back-ups on the wall to serve as my spokesperson-

Let me show you the food so you can get a better idea of what I'm talking about-

Mullholland Drive Dog
(10 inches hot dog topped with grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, nacho cheese and bacon),
The Planet Hollywood Dog
(Polish dog topped with grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, bacon and cheese),
Chili Cheese Fries,
Onion Rings with homemade Bar B Q Sauce.

I don't think any ordinary dogs can beat that!
Especially the Polish dog, you can choose between regular or spicy, of course I picked the spicy one.
Man it was spicy, if Food Monger says it's spicy, it's fiery!

Pink's Hot Dogs has been in the business since 1939,
I wasn't even born yet,
Despite the time has changed, I believe the flavor just getting better and better,
Come try it yourself!

What? You don't wanna stand in the line for hot dogs?
Just stop by either early in the morning (after 9:30 a.m.) or late at night (around 2 or 3 a.m.),
You might be lucky finding yourself waiting for less than 30 minutes for these goodies.

Overall Rating: 8

Pink's Hot Dogs
709 N. La Brea Blvd (Intersection: Melrose and N. La Brea Blvd)
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 931-4223

Sep 12, 2007

Mmmmm.....Chocolate Cake!


1 1/2 sticks of butter
200g of dark chocolate (I used 100g 70% and 100g 65%)
8 oz of sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of all purpose flour

For Garnish:

1 scoop of vanilla bean ice cream
Some fresh mixed berries


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt the chocolate and butter together.
For me, I prepare a pot with hot water, then I place a bowl on top of it.
And I melt my chocolate and butter slowly in the bowl with medium low heat on the stove.
Of course you can simply use the microwave, but remember to set the time short, and stir it regularly otherwise it's gonna burn with that radiation power.

Whisk the sugar and flour together in another bowl.

Pour in the chocolate and butter mixture along with the vanilla extract and whisk till well blended.
Now slowly add the eggs one by one while whisking at the same time.

While the whole thing is fully combined together, pour into an 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper on the bottom.
Bake for about 25 minutes, let it cool for about one hour and it's ready to serve.
Of course you can also transfer that to the fridge and chill overnight before serving.
But I like to eat my chocolate cake warm with vanilla ice cream melting on the top!

Garnish with some fresh berries if desired.
Ganache makes a good sauce for this wonderful cake too,
Just simply melt the same portion of dark chocolate and whipping cream together then you'll have it.

Cindy's Rating: 7

Sep 11, 2007

Steamed Egg with Ground Pork Topping

This dish was actually pretty challenging for me since I don't have any proper kitchenware to make steamed food.
Amazingly, I assembled a cooking device by using a big stewing pot, one ramekin, and a baking dish.
The ramekin served as the base inside the frying pan,
And of course the baking dish became my giant lid that prevent the heat to slip off.
Here you go, one giant homemade steaming kitchenware.
What a genius.
Don't try this at home though.

Steamed Egg with Ground Pork Topping-


6 eggs
1 cup of chicken stock
1 cup of water
About 2 handful of ground pork (slightly less than one pound)
3 medium shallot (diced)
Soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Brown sugar
Extra virgin olive oil


Beat together the eggs, one cup of chicken stock, and one cup of water till well blended.
Add about two pinches of salt into the mixture and stir well.
Steam it for about 20 minutes, or until the middle part is cooked through.

Prepare a frying pan, drizzle some olive oil and toss in the chopped shallots.
Cook till slightly brown on the edges, about 2 minutes,
Add the ground pork. Cook for another 2 minutes,
Now we pour about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and some freshly ground pepper.
Just keep cooking till all the sauce is fully absorbed by the pork.

When the steamed egg is ready, simply spray the ground pork on the top,
You won't believe how silky the steamed egg is, along with flavored pork,
Ahhhhh, give me more rice!

Cindy's Rating: 7

Sep 10, 2007

So This Is What I've Been Doing These Days

I haven't really update my blog for a while,
Where was I?
I was having lots of fun hanging out with Long Long, my lovely sista visiting from Taiwan.
Sadly, she's on the plane home at this moment,
I feel something's missing....don't know when I'll see her again...

During the past few days, we've been to Ventura, Hollywood, Orange County, and so on,
Here are some of the scenic pictures where we left our footprints on.

Huntington Beach-

Redondo Beach with Our Friend's Butt-

Getty Center-

Universal City Walk-

And of Course, One Giant Meal Everyday-

Girls Picture (Teresa, Me, Long Long)-

I wish you a safe flight home and hopefully I can see you in March.
Miss you!

Sep 7, 2007

Braised Short Ribs


6 pork short ribs
4 garlic cloves
3-4 tablespoons of honey
3-4 tablespoons of soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons of Chinese black vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Drizzle some olive oil in the skillet and wait until it's hot.
Sear both sides of the ribs till slightly brown color.

Transfer the ribs into a pot,
Pour in about 2 to 3 cups of water, garlic cloves, honey, soy sauce, black vinegar, and some freshly ground black pepper.
Bring to a boil.
Now turn to low heat and cover the pot with the lid, cook for about one hour.
Open the lid and turn the heat up a little bit, cook until the sauce is all absorbed by the ribs.

This dish is so easy to make and no hassle at all,
I didn't even use a single knife or cutting board for these delicious ribs.
Plus the meat was so tender that it comes right out of the bones,

Cindy's Rating: 7

Sep 6, 2007

Crunchy on the Outside, Soft on the Inside.

I feel like I haven't really been posting my homemade food for a while,
As you know, I've been taking my friends from Taiwan around for the past few days,
And I'm proud of myself that I can still managed a way to update my blog in between the gaps.

Today they gave me a break, asked me to stay home and rest,
Tomorrow they're thinking about going to the beach,
So I figure I should make some kind of snack for my friends to nibble on while enjoying the California ocean breeze.

One of the Classic American Desserts for My Taiwanese Friends-


6 oz of non sweetened chocolate
2 sticks of butter
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of salt

How? (adapted from

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a baking pan beforehand.

First melt the butter and chocolate until they fully combined together.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar till slightly fluffy with yellow creamy color.
Pour in the chocolate/butter mixture along with the vanilla extract and salt.
Mix them well then sift the flour in, keep mixing.

Now pour the mixture into the pan, make sure the top is even out,
In to the oven for about 35 minutes to 40 minutes depending on how crunchy you like for those yummy brownies.

Now I only need to pray that my friends will like those small bites tomorrow.

Cindy's Rating: 6

Sep 4, 2007

Koba Tofu Grill

Koba is probably my favorite soon dubu restaurant in Irvine,
The top spot was held by Irvine Tofu House, the one on Jeffery, in the same plaza of Yogurtland,
But the last experience there wasn't too pleasant.

Let me tell you the story.
I went there around 2 p.m., in one of these hot summer afternoon,
The AC wasn't on, and I had to peek around to find my waitress, no one was in the front, none, zero, nada.
And while I was trying to enjoy my meal and sweating at the same time,
Few unwanted guests were around our table too, those little flying creatures.
So I made up my mind that I'll never come back again.
I can't stand swinging my hand and trying to eat at the same time.

Good thing that I discovered Koba-

And no way you can find flies there, it was nice and clean-

Koba's Banchan (little dishes)-

The only thing I'll miss the most from Irvine Tofu House is probably their stewed potato,
How much I wish Koba serves that as one of their banchan also.

My Oyster Soon Dubu-

Look how fat that oyster is.

I also tried my friend's ham and sausage soon dubu,
The ham was surprisingly smooth, the texture was really creamy.
I couldn't figure out why, maybe because of the fat?
I don't know, but at least I know that it was Goooooood!

God I'm hungry.
Cindy's Rating: 7

Koba Tofu Grill
14370 Culver Drive, Suite J
Irvine, CA 92604

(949) 262-0261

Sep 2, 2007

This is What I Get for Waking Up Early

Saturday morning, I mean early morning,
My alarm just couldn't stop bugging me since 6:30 a.m.
So I dragged my legs to the bathroom, got myself ready, packed for a little bit,
And here I am Mission Beach!

After One Hour and Thirty Minutes Drive-

It felt so good laying under the sun after soaking in the ocean,
*Even though I accidentally drank some extremely salty sea water,

While my friends were out surfing, there's this little game going on in my head,
I dug a deep hole, but what for?
Hiding my friend's shoes of course.



Man am I good!
And the consequence followed soon after they discovered my evil trick,
I spent a good amount of time digging because my sandals miraculously disappeared in front of my presence.

What comes around goes around.