Nov 29, 2011

Marinated Pork Slices Donburi - Hearty and Comforting

Post Thanksgiving shout out:
Are you tired of bird related dishes?
No more turkeys?

I'll never get tired of eating turkey. If the dish is good enough, I can munch on the same thing for up to one week, one whole week! Sadly though, I couldn't find any place that sell turkey before the holiday.

So what are we having tonight since no birds are involved?
How about marinated pork slices donburi?

Ingredients (2 to 3 portion)?

1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of mirin
2 teaspoons of Sriracha sauce or other types of chili sauce
Few drops of sesame oil

20 pork slices
1/2 onion
3 garlic cloves
3 fresh chili pepper
3 eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons of Japanese Tsuyu (soup base)
1 tablespoon of black bean soy sauce
Some olive oil
Some sea salt
Some freshly ground black pepper
Some steamed white rice
Some toasted sesame seeds
Some dried seaweed flakes


Combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well with pork slices,
Let it sit in room temperature for about 15 minutes -

Beat the eggs and set aside.

Peel the garlic and remove the stems from the fresh chilies,
Finely chop them together -  

Remove the outer brown layer from the onion and cut into thin slices,
Toss to the pan, drizzle some olive oil and turn to medium high heat,
Sprinkle some salt and pepper, cook till the onion turns translucent or even slighted browned on the edges.

Add in chopped garlic and chili pepper, cook till the aroma comes out but not burning the garlic.

Add in pork slices and give it a quick stir,
Cook till almost cooked through, pour in one tablespoon of tsuyu first along with one tablespoon of black bean soy sauce,
Mix well, taste the mixture see if one more tablespoon of tsuyu is needed,
It should be on the salty side since we gonna pour in beaten eggs and serve with rice later on.

Turn to high heat, almost to a boil,
Evenly pour in beaten eggs and turn off the heat immediately,
Gently stir up the mixture just a few times so that all the ingredients are coated with silky eggs.

Pour the sauce over steam white rice,
Sprinkle some sesame seeds and seaweed flakes before serving.

Such a hearty and comforting dish,
I'm very happy even without a turkey this year,
On a side note, this recipe was supposed for two people...but...but I ate them all in one hour...

*I have committed a sin*

Cindy's Rating: 8

Nov 23, 2011

Semi Instant Indonesian Rendang Beef Curry

Happy early turkey day!!

I was already late for the past Halloween holiday, therefore it's better to spread out my greetings as soon as possible.

This was supposed to be some kind of turkey related post, but sadly it's pretty tough to find a whole turkey here in Taiwan. Most Taiwanese prefer dark meat. As a result, even chicken breast is too dry for us, don't even thingk about extra lean turkey.

The only popular turkey dish, as least that's the only kind I found so far, is the shredded turkey over rice. In fact, it's so loved by Taiwanese, the rice has become one of the must-haves when visiting southern Taiwan. I promise, if I ever see turkey meat at my local grocery stores, my next post will be Taiwanese style shredded turkey rice.

Guess no big birds for me.
Instead, this year's Thanksgiving, I'm having Rendang beef curry -

Ingredients (2 to 3 portion)?

1 packet of Indonesian rendang curry paste
1 lb of beef cubes
1 to 2 sticks of carrot
1 can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of red curry paste
Some olive oil


I wish one day I'll learn how to make curry from the scratch, meaning selecting the herbs and spices, grinding/pounding, and transforming them into curry paste just like the one from the instant packet, or even better.

But before I master that skill, let's just try to stick with the instruction in the back -

I actually pre-cooked the beef cubes and carrot before making the curry because those ingredients take longer time to get that fork tender texture. If chicken is used, skip this step.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, toss in beef cubes,
Bring to a boil and cook for couple minutes till all the dirty bits come out,
Drain well and rinse the meat under running water.

Bring a pot of water to a boil again,
This time, we'll slowly cook the meat till almost tender and soft,
Add the beef cubes into the water,
Bring to a boil and just let it simmer for about 1 1/2 hours,
If carrot is used, you can also add peeled and diced carrot towards the end,
Once done, drain well and set aside.

Drizzle some olive oil to a big pan, turn to medium high heat,
Add in the curry paste and cook for about 30 seconds,
Be careful, the sauce might start flying everywhere,
I suggest using a deep pot or carrying a lid as your shield during this process.

Add in the beef cubes and carrot, cook for couple minutes,
Pour in coconut milk,
Bring to a boil and turn down the heat a bit,
Just let it simmer for another 30 minutes.

I also added additional 1 tablespoon of red curry paste for a heavier taste,
That's just for me, you can totally omit this step.

Curry is ready once the meat reaches your desired tenderness,
Recommend to serve with steam white rice.

While I'm enjoying my curry here, HAVE FUN eating all your turkey with gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, turkey soup, homemade bread, tons of cakes and cookies!!
( > ____.<)**

**jealousy kicks in**

Cindy's Rating: 6

Nov 15, 2011

Krung Siam - Las Vegas Chinatown

I can't even remember when was the last time I posted about restaurant reviews,
So why all the sudden...
Well, kind of embarrassed to tell, but I'm running out of homemade dishes and pictures to post!!

First of all, I have to blame it to the weather.
It's been raining here 24/7.  Unwilling to go out to replenish my fridge, I've been eating the same thing day after day, which leads to no new recipes to share.

But I did make something new,
Even thought it was just a simple grape juice, but was one hella yummy juice,
So what happened?
The whole bottle was gulped down by a greedy girl me?? in 5 minutes...
It was already hours after when I realized I forgot to take a picture...
You guys don't wanna see a blog update without pictures right?

All I have left are the pictures taken during my last Vegas trip,
Bear with me, I promise next time something yummy will be up here winking at you!

Krung Siam -

Located just outside of Las Vegas strip,
Krung Siam is a sizeable Thai restaurant completes with a bar and live band performance during the weekends.

For people planning to visit Vegas on a budget, it'll be a brilliant idea to dine somewhere outside the strip once a while. Otherwise be prepared to wait in a long line just for a bowl of $$$ noodles.

Chinatown can be a good place for your culinary adventure. Just 5 minutes driving distance from Vegas, you'll find tons of cuisines including Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, etc in the neighborhood - all for a decent price.

Thai Pond -

"Flavorful clear chicken broth soup with mushrooms, carrots, napa cabbage, onions, garnished with cilantro."

Roast Duck Curry -

"Roast duck simmered in red curry paste in coconut milk with pineapples, sweet peas & carrot, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers & sweet basil leaves."

Green Curry -

"Simmered in green curry paste in coconut milk with bamboo shoots, bell peppers, sweet basil, sweet peas & carrot."

For most dishes, you get to choose the meat (chicken, beef, shrimps, etc) being cooked,
On top of that, you get to select to serve with either brown rice or white rice,
Interestingly, usually only more Americanized Asian restaurants will give you the option of brown rice, and that's what attracted me to dine there, just for the brown rice.

So you figured?
Krung Siam is that Americanized Thai restaurant,
Compared to authentic Thai food, I think Krung Siam's dishes come with lighter flavors, meaning less kick from the spices.
The price is slightly higher too, about $10 per dish, but still way cheaper than Vegas food.

I guess it'll be a better idea to eat here when the restaurant is hosting a live band performance, then it'll totally worth the price!

Cindy's Rating: 5 

Krung Siam
3755 Spring Mountain Road
Las Vegas, NV 89102
(702) 735 - 9485

Nov 8, 2011

Japanese Style Dan Dan Noodles - 日式芝麻担担麵

I got this bottle of sesame sauce from a Japanese grocery store the other day -

Unlike traditional Chinese sesame sauce, the Japanese version yields a more liquid texture with lighter taste. I think it'll be a perfect condiment as soup base or dipping sauce. Read on to see how I transformed this sauce into a comforting lunch!

Japanese Style Dan Dan Noodles - 日式芝麻担担麵

Ingredients (for two)?

3 cups of pork bone or chicken stock
1/2 cup of Japanese sesame sauce
1 tablespoon of homemade chili sauce (my dad made it!)

1 lb of ground pork
5 garlic cloves
3 fresh red chilies
1 stalk of scallion
1 1/2 tablespoon of Hatcho miso 八丁味噌 (or any other type of red miso)
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Some olive oil
Some salt
Some freshly ground black pepper

2 portions of ramen noodles
1 small cucumber
Some toasted black and white sesame seeds
Some Sichuan peppercorn chili oil


Let's start with ground pork.

Peel and finely chop the garlic, finely chop the chili pepper and scallion,
Drizzle enough olive oil to evenly coat the pan, turn to medium high heat, toss in chopped garlic, chilies, and scallion,
Sprinkle some salt and pepper, give it a quick stir, cook till the aroma comes out but not burning the garlic.

Add in ground pork along with soy cause and Hatcho miso,
Mix well, cook till all the juice has been reduced, remove from heat for later use.

If you don't feel like dan dan noodles, this stir fry ground pork still serves as a perfect side dish for dry noodles or rice. Maybe even better if you add a sunny side up egg on top!

To make the soup, simply whisk all the ingredients in a medium pot while heating it up,
You can adjust the portion for chili sauce depend on how much heat can you tolerate (evil grin)*

As for the cucumber, just julienne it and store in the fridge while waiting for other parts to be ready,
It'll be a nice hot and cold contrast when serving the dish.

Prepare a pot of water to cook the ramen noodles,
In the meantime, scoop in some soup into a big bowl (or two),
Once the noodles are done, drain well and transfer to the bowl,
Then we top it with generous portion of stir fry ground pork,
Lastly, some very cold julienned cucumber, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds, and drizzle some Sichuan peppercorn oil all around to add more kick to the dish -

Don't be picky about my fat cucumber strips!
I'm very bad at julienning vegetables, especially carrot,
Fat cucumber strips or bloody finger, pick one!

Cindy's Rating: 8