Mar 29, 2015

Let's Team Up - Cauliflower and Broccoli Stir Fry

I've been eating like a queen lately, from last post's mayonnaise shrimp to seared duck breast with creamy corn mashed potatoes, not mentioning the sinful meal of SRF rib eye steak with poached egg all for myself. Perhaps it's time for a healthier recipe, a Chinese stir fry will do.

Cauliflower and broccoli stir fry -

Ingredients -

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons of dried shrimp
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 to 5 red chilies
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper


Gently rinse the the dried shrimp then soak them in room temperature water for 10 to minutes. Once the shrimp softens, drain well and pat dry using a kitchen towel. Finely chop the shrimp.

Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Discard the chili stems and slice the chilies diagonally. Break the cauliflower and broccoli into smaller pieces. Do not toss away the stems. Simple peel away the outer fibrous layer and dice the center section. 

Drizzle some oil into a pan and bring to medium heat. Add in the dried shrimp along with salt and pepper. Cook till the oil starts to bubble.

Toss in garlic and chilies, cook for another 30 seconds. Bring to medium high heat. 

Add in the cauliflower and broccoli. Stir fry and pour in the light soy sauce from the sides of the pan when the florets are almost ready. Few more stirs to make sure all the seasonings are mixed well before transferring onto a serving dish.

It's not a light and simple veggie stir fry recipe. Instead, the flavors were enhanced or more so intensified using dried shrimp, lots of garlic and chilies. Come on, after mayo shrimps, seared duck breast, and steak, at least give me some sort of in-between dishes before I jump back to the easy seasoning meals. 

In case you're more curious about the mayo shrimp, duck breast, and steak that I was talking about:

Mar 24, 2015

Just Something Delicious for Myself: Open Faced Sandwich with Mayonnaise Shrimp and Avocado

Taking good care of myself.

Open faced sandwich with mayonnaise shrimp and avocado - 

Ingredients (serving for 1~2 portion)?

  • 8 medium shrimps (deveined, peeled)
  • 2 thick milk toasts 
  • Some mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Sriracha
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 lemon zest and juice
  • Small pinch of smoked paprika
  • Small pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Some chopped scallion
  • Some salt
  • Tiny pinch of black pepper


Heat up the toasts in the oven till the edges turn slightly crunchy. Finely chop the scallion and set aside for later use.

Bring the water to a boil and add in the shrimps. The shrimps get cooked fairly fast, should be less than one minute. Even a little bit underdone is fine since the remaining heat will finish cooking the shrimps.

Wait till the shrimps cool down a little then chop them into bite size pieces. Transfer to a big bowl. Also add in the mayonnaise, 2/3 of the chopped scallion, Sriracha, and small pinch of salt. Mix well.

Scoop out the avocado and transfer to a big bowl. Mix in lemon juice, lemon zest, tiny pinches of salt and pepper, and small pinch of smoked paprika.

Transfer the toasts to a serving plate and top with avocado mixture. Scoop some mayonnaise shrimp over. Garnish with remaining chopped scallion and cayenne pepper.

Served immediately, otherwise the moisture will gradually soak into the toast. It's better to eat it while the edges still remain crunchy.

Even though I finished the whole thing by myself, but the portion is definitely enough for two adults. 

Food therapy para mi.

Other sandwich recipe:

Mar 16, 2015

Seared Duck Breast with Simple Balsamic Dressing, Served with Creamy Corn Mashed Potatoes

Perfectly seared duck resting on a bed of creamy corn mashed potatoes with elegant fig sauce drizzled all over - not. I did imagine, even actually tried to make a fancy sauce using dried figs and red wine. Something went wrong during the process and I just couldn't pour any of that weird tasting juice over my precious duck breasts. 

Luckily the all faithful balsamic vinegar has always been watching over me in the pantry. Quickly pulled out that bottle and whipped up an emergency dressing for the duck breasts. Life saver.

Seared duck breast with simple balsamic dressing, served with creamy corn mashed potatoes -

Ingredients (for 2)?

  • 2 duck breasts
  • Some sea salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 small can of corn
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter 
  • Small pinch of salt

  • 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup


Let's start with corn mashed potatoes.

Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut into cubes and steam till the potatoes have softened. Test with a fork or chopstick if unsure. The potatoes are ready if it can be poked right into the center easily. Remove from heat and let it sit in room temperature for about 5 minutes so the steamy heat and moisture get to evaporate before blending with other ingredients.

Transfer the potato cubes into a food processor. Add in the butter and give it a few pulses. Add in 1 small can of corn, drained. Also add in the heavy whipping cream, grated Parmesan, butter, and small pinch of salt. Blend till smooth. Adjust the texture with more cream for a thinner consistency, or use more grated cheese for a thicker version.

Score the duck breast skin and season both sides with salt and pepper. Sear the breasts skin side down first using medium heat. There's no need to add any oil to the pan, you'll be amazed to see how much fat will be rendered after searing the skin. 

Scoop out some excess oil if the breasts appear to be soaking in fat during the searing process. Takes about 3 to 5 minutes for the skin side. Flip over and sear the meaty part, about 1 to 2 minutes or till it turns slightly browned. You can continue to spoon some fat over the top section of the breasts while searing at the same time. 

If using smaller duck breast or prefer a rarer taste, simply let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Otherwise, you can finish the cooking process by transferring the breasts onto a baking dish. Into a 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Once ready, remove from heat and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing. 

Store the rendered fat in the fridge for other dishes. Stir fry veggies or the all time favorite duck fat fries are two delicious options.

Use a smaller pot and pour in 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar along with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. Reduce till 1/2 or till desired thickness.

Scoop some creamy corn mashed potatoes onto a plate. Carefully arrange the duck breast slices then drizzle some life saver balsamic dressing.

I also made roasted root vegetables and broccoli soup to complete the meal.

Lamb chops can be a great substitution for the duck breasts. Can't find both? Try deboned chicken thigh steaks.

Other semi-fancy meal recipe:
Scallops sashimi with kumquat juice, shiso, and fleur de sel
Steak with arugula salad
Oven roasted sword fish fillet with some smoked paprika infused garlic aioli sauce
Salad with smoked duck breast, dried cranberries, and fresh citrus
Spicy uni pasta with a touch of Sriracha and kumquat juice 

Mar 8, 2015

Self Indulgence - SRF Rib Eye Steak with Daikon Oroshi Donburi

One more Snake River Farms steak hiding in the freezer and it was meant for my dad. Oops..sorry.

SRF rib eye steak with daikon oroshi donburi -


(Recipe for one, but use more rice and two eggs instead if cooking for two)

  • 1 rib eye steak
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion
  • 1 poached egg
  • Some steamed white rice
  • Some sea salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper
  • Some olive oil


  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 1 tablespoon of grated daikon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Japanese tsuyu (or light soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of hot water
  • 2 red chilies


If the steak was stored in the freezer, make sure it has been fully defrosted in the fridge overnight. Let the steak rest in room temperature for about 10~15 minutes before cooking. 

Season both sides of the steak with a little bit of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper -

Brush a little bit of olive oil to the grill pan and turn to medium high heat. Transfer the steak over after the temperature has risen. Do not move the steak around before the bottom part has turned slightly browned. Flip to the other side and cook till desired rareness. Once ready, remove from heat and let the steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing into bite size cubes.

Grate the middle part of the daikon and mix with freshly squeezed juice from two lemon wedges, 1 1/2 tablespoons of Japanese tsuyu, 1 tablespoon of hot water, and 2 finely chopped red chilies. 

You can make a poached egg by using the traditional stirring the hot water/rice vinegar mixture way. However, if not too familiar with this technique, perhaps an egg poaching tool or with the help of cling foil might be two better options. 

To assemble the donburi, scoop some steamed white rice to a serving bowl, top with steak cubes, pour the daikon oroshi sauce, carefully transfer the poached egg to the center, and lastly garnish with some chopped scallion -

You can always substitute poached egg with easier to make sunny side up. However, I think the softer texture from the poached egg white works better for this recipe.

Dad, if you ever come across this post in the future, I hope the fridge has already been restocked with quality steaks and perhaps a bottle of whisky on the side to express my sincere apologies. 

Other steak recipe:

Mar 2, 2015

Maruhide Uni Club - Mouthful of Santa Barbara Uni for a Bargained Price

Maruhide has been in the manufacturing and processing business for more than 3 decades. Right after the start of the retail restaurant, its fame has grown wider mostly due to bargained price uni.

You can learn all about Maruhide and lines of sea urchin products on their website. Meanwhile, here're some of the pictures from my lunch dining experiences. 

Click on the image for an enlarged view -

Asahi beer $3 -

Salad that comes with the chirashi -

Bread -

Sea cucumber Carpaccio $11.8 -

You can also choose either tuna, salmon, or scallop for the Carpaccio. 

Bottom: crispy green salad $7.8. Top: marinated sea urchin with squid roll $6.5 -

Didn't realize that the Carpaccio comes with a plateful of leafy greens, otherwise I would have never ordered the crispy salad. 

Marinated uni is not as common as the fresh counterpart here in CA. As a result, ordering a roll is a good way to see if the flavors are as attractive as fresh uni. If you ended up loving marinated uni, Maruhide sells bottles with different seasonings ranging from olive oil, chili, squid, yuzu & chili, and original that you can take home with.

Sea urchin cream pasta $13.8 -

The uni pasta from EMC in Los Angeles tastes way better.

Soup -

Nigiyaga bowl $19.8 -

Overall, the price is pretty good considering the amount of fresh seafood you get. Taste-wise, it's neighter outstanding nor different from other similar restaurants. However, if you're craving for some Santa Barbara uni, Maruhide would be a money saving place to go for.

Cindy's Rating: 6 (good quantity but taste-wise not so memorable quality)

Maruhide Uni Club 丸秀
2130 West Redondo Beach Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504
(310) 323-2864

Business Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 
Lunch 11:30 a.m. ~ 2 p.m.
Dinner 5:30 p.m. ~ 10 p.m.