Jun 25, 2012

Mixer Upgrade - Homemade Egg Linguine

My last attempt for homemade noodles back in March was the turning point for my kitchen DIY journey. I didn't have a pasta roller back then, so the spinach noodles you saw were the result from my hard labor. Endless punching and rolling the dough plus measuring and cutting out the noodles one by one proved to be an extremely strenuous exercise. So I've decided to get myself a set of pasta rollers attached to my mixer.

The professional blades truly made my kitchen life easier. Now I can rely on the machine to roll the pasta dough into thin sheets, spaghetti shape, linguine shape, all with my own desired thickness. Here's my first testing result with egg linguine -

Ingredients (for 8 small bundles, about 4 to 5 portions)?

4 cups of all purpose flour plus extra for dusting
4 large eggs
1 tea spoon of extra virgin olive oil
Tiny pinch of sea salt


I simply grab the giant bowl for the stand mixer and pour 4 in cups of flour. Try to make a hole in the center and drizzle the olive oil.

Beat the 4 eggs together with a little bit of salt. Pour into the center of the flour well. Start with the center, gradually mix the wet ingredients together with the flour. Once the ingredients start to form a dough, attached the hook to the stand mixer and let the machine do the kneading work for about 6 minutes.

The dough should shape like a ball sticking onto the hook towards the end. Take a big wooden board and flour the surface. Transfer the dough onto the board and keep kneading for couple minutes by hand. Come on, even with the help of a mixer, it's fun to get our hands into the dough and feel its elastic texture!

Wrap the dough in plastic foil and rest for about 30 minutes before rolling out into pasta sheets and linguine.

Attach the pasta sheet roller to the mixer. Take a small portion from the pasta dough and feed through the roller. Start with the thickest setting and work your way to the desired thickness. I stopped at setting 4.

Sprinkle some flour to the pasta sheets. Switch the pasta sheet roller to linguine cutter. Feed the sheets through the cutter then you'll have evenly cut homemade linguine!

You can store them in Ziploc and freeze till later use. Remember to sprinkle some flour so the pasta won't stick to each other. Pasta roller/cutter well invested!

Jun 17, 2012

Soboro Don with Chinese Pickled Mustard Green and Sunny Side Up Egg

Soboro don is one of the traditional Japanese rice dishes. Just like curry or udon, Japanese families also make soboro often, usually served with other vegetables to balance the nutrition.

I borrowed the idea from the soboro rice served at Raku in Las Vegas, adding Chinese pickled mustard green on the side. Of course with my own twist and what's even better? Topped with sunny side up eggs with the yolks still runny!

Ingredients (for 3 to 4 portions)?

Ground chicken -
1 lb of ground chicken
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of tsuyu (the kind usually used as soup base for udon dishes)
1 tablespoon of mirin
2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
Some chicken oil

Pickled mustard green -
3 small bundles of Chinese pickled mustard green
2 fresh red chilies
2 garlic cloves
Some olive oil

Sunny side up egg -
2 eggs
Some olive oil
Some sea salt

Some steamed white rice


First thing first, what is Chinese pickled mustard green?

You can find it at Asian grocery stores or buy the already seasoned and chopped version at an Asian restaurant that sells beef noodles (pickled mustard green is usually served with this popular Taiwanese food). 

It requires some trial and error to make your own pickled mustard green. Basically you take the Chinese mustard green and slightly dry  the leaves under the sun before preserving in the container. During the process, heavy rocks are used in order to drive out the liquid to the bottom of the container. With series of chemical reactions, you'll get a pungent and sour tasting pickled veggie in the end. Enough said, it's easier to just get a pack from the grocery store.

Rinse the pickled mustard green under water, pat dry, and chop into small pieces. Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves. Remove the stems from the chilies and finely chop them.

Drizzle some olive oil till fully coat the bottom of the pan. Turn to medium heat and toss in the garlic and chilies. Cook just right before the garlic gets burned, you might need to turn down the heat a little bit to prevent fast burning. Add in chopped pickled mustard greens and cook for about 3 minutes.

This time I'm using it as a side for the soboro don. However, you can always mix in some ground pork instead and make this mustard green a different dish.

Now let's move on to the ground chicken. Drizzle some chicken oil to the pan. You can also substitute chicken oil with olive oil to save some troubles. Turn to medium high heat and add in grated ginger. Cook till the aroma comes out, about 20 seconds.

Add in ground chicken and give it a quick stir. Add in the remaining seasonings for the ground chicken and cook till all the sauce has been fully absorbed by the meat. Remember to do the taste test and see if more soy sauce is needed.

Drizzle some oil into another pan to cook the sunny side up eggs. I also sprinkled some sea salt on top of the eggs to brighten up the flavor.

To assemble the dish, scoop some steamed white rice into a bowl. Add the ground chicken in the middle and carefully add the pickled mustard green on the edge. I trimmed the sunny side up egg and transfer it to the center of the ground chicken.

Such a comforting meal. Thanks Raku for the inspiration!

Jun 11, 2012

Bread Pudding with Mixed Berries and Coconut Milk

Bread pudding is one of the best ways to use up day old bread. Brioche or any kind of croissant-like pastries both bake very well for this homey treat. However, this time I'm using honey toast from a well-known bakery in Taiwan (Nogami).

Nogami makes honey toast with different type of honey depending on the season. It's not overly sweet and has an elegant flowery aroma. I rarely eat the toast by itself, but I literally finished one slice right after I got the toast while still walking on the street from the bakery to my public transportation. Yes, it's that good!

Since my bread pudding started out with such a high quality ingredient, I believe no matter what I do, the end result will turn out pretty good as well.

Bread pudding with mixed berries and coconut milk -

Ingredients (for 3 small ones)?

3 slices of honey toast
2 eggs
1 cup of mixed berries
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of honey
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Some melted butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take 3 small ramekins and brush the insides with some melted butter to prevent sticking.

Tear off 3 slices of honey toasts and evenly pack them into the ramekins. Toast shapes and sizes do not need to be the same -

Take a big bowl and add in the following ingredients: 2 eggs, granulated sugar, heavy whipping cream, coconut milk, honey, and vanilla extract. Whisk everything till fully incorporated. Evenly pour into each ramekins.

Make sure every toast pieces soak up the mixture before baking. I also added some frozen mixed berries on top.

Into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

I tend to leave the toast edges on the top and the soft part in the center. That way you'll get a crunchy bite on the top and fluffy texture on the bottom.

Perhaps next time I'll use day old brioche for chocolate bread pudding. By the way, you know what's my favorite bread pudding in the whole wide world? The chocolate bread pudding from Extraordinary Dessert in San Diego, CA! Drooling!

*I'll re-write a post for Extraordinary Dessert after my next visit.

Jun 7, 2012

Seared Steak with Spicy Sacha Sauce

I've got this steak sitting in the fridge for a while. Usually for steak, I'll cook it within two days of purchase, especially for top quality kinds. But the one I got here is just a regular piece of steak meat. So instead of toning down my seasonings, why not go all out and turn it into a very strong and tasty dish?

Seared steak with spicy Sacha sauce -

Ingredients (for one steak)?

1 big steak
5 garlic cloves
3 fresh chili peppers
1/3 onion
Some sea salt
Some freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of Sacha sauce
2 tablespoons of hot water
1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine
Some olive oil
Some Sichuan peppercorn oil


Remember to leave the steak at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. In the meantime, season both sides with just a little bit of sea salt and regular amount of freshly ground black pepper.

Peel and slice the onion. Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Remove the stems from the chilies and chop into tiny bits.

Drizzle some olive oil onto a grill pan and turn to high heat. Once heated up, transfer the steak over and sear for about 2 to 3 minutes on each sides. Time varies depending on the thickness of the meat and desired rareness. Once done, remove from heat and cover with aluminum foil, let it rest for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, take a pan and drizzle some olive oil. Turn to medium high heat and toss in sliced onion. Sprinkle some salt and pepper, cook till the onion turns translucent. Add the garlic and chilies, cook till the aroma comes out or just till the garlic is about to get burned.

Add the Sacha sauce, soy sauce, cooking wine, and hot water into the pan and give the mixture a quick stir. Cook till the sauce has been reduced by 1/3 then pour over our seared steak.

Drizzle some Sichuan peppercorn oil before serving to brighten up the aroma.

I've had steaks with all types of seasonings and dressings ranging from simple fleur de sel all the way up to brandy cream sauce, but never this spicy and garlicky Chinese Sacha sauce. Trust me, it's actually quite satisfying. Words of advice, eat it with some steam white rice otherwise you might get punched from by the spiciness from those powerful chilies.