Apr 23, 2016

Not Tonkatsu, but Panko Crusted Fried Steak with Lemony Garlicky Sauce

Most people are probably more familiar with tonkatsu, a Japanese style breaded then deep fried pork cutlet. To make it more luxurious, let's swap out the pork with steak and serve with rice-killing lemony garlicky sauce.  

Panko crusted fried steak with lemony garlicky sauce -

Ingredients (for 1 to 2 portions)?

  • 0.5 lb steak
  • Some all purpose flour
  • Some panko or other types of flaky breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper
  • Some steamed white rice
  • Some salad (optional)


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon light/low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Cook some rice first to go along with the luscious medium rare fried steak. 

Remove the steak from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before frying. Heat up the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prepare a medium non-stick pot and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn to medium heat and add in two finely chopped garlic cloves. Stir and cook till the pieces are about to get burnt then pour in the light soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and sprinkle some black pepper.

Mix well and let the sauce reduce a little bit. Turn off the heat and add in the lemon zest -

If serving salad on the side, this sauce can act as dressing, saving some troubles fixing up new sauce for the leafy greens.

Set up an assembly station with three flat containers. One with all purpose flour and small pinch of salt mixture, one with beaten egg, and one with panko -

Coat the steak with seasoned flour first and tap away any excess powder. Dip the coated steak in beaten egg. Lastly, coat the steak with panko and gently press into the meat. 

Fry the steak using high heat, about one minute on each side depending on the thickness and preferred rareness of the beef. The one used here was fried two minutes for medium rare doneness.

Once ready, drain out excess oil and let the steak rest for 5 minutes before cutting into thick strips. 

Scoop some cooked rice onto the serving plate and arrange salad on the side. Transfer fried steak over and drizzle with lemony garlicky sauce -

Steak should take over the spotlight but somehow the garlicky sauce was even more seductive. As for the salad? It was mainly there to hinder the guilty feeling.   

Other steak recipes:

Apr 17, 2016

Relaxing Morning - Smoked Salmon and Soft Scrambled Eggs Croissant Sandwich

One of the neighborhood bakeries had a big sign showing newly released product - croissant made with Echire butter with a touch of fleur de sel. This top quality combo was too powerful that I just couldn't walked pass it without grabbing some home. 

Ate one and stored the rest of the croissants in the freezer. Surprising, the texture remained unchanged few days later after heating up in the oven. The already satisfying croissant turned into an even more fulfilling breakfast on one cozy morning.

Smoked salmon and soft scrambled eggs croissant sandwich -   

Ingredients (for two)?

  • 2 croissants
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise (Japanese kind preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • Small pinch sea salt
  • Some smoked salmon
  • Small amount lettuce


Heat up the croissants in the oven. Once ready, remove from heat and let the croissants cool down till ok to handle by hands. Slice the bread in half but leaving the very last end intact, meaning not fully slicing the bread all the way through.

Mix the mayonnaise and whole grain mustard in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on the inner sides of the croissants -

Carefully put the lettuce to the croissant sandwiches as the very top and bottom layers. Add some smoked salmon in between the two lettuce layers. 

Beat up two eggs along with a small pinch of salt. Prepare a non-stick pan and turn to medium heat. Add the butter and wait till it melts, pour in the egg mixture and keep stirring gently to prevent the bottom and edges from browning too fast. In fact, try not to brown the eggs at all. Lower the heat a little if needed. 

Keep stirring the mixture till the eggs start to curdle, kind of like fresh cottage cheese. Quickly remove from heat when the eggs are still slightly runny. Keep in mind that the residual heat will continue to cook and harden the eggs. Transfer the eggs onto a plate or add directly to the sandwich on top of smoked salmon and below the lettuce.

Leftover turkey or ham can be two other delicious alternatives. 

My house was filled with buttery and comforting aroma that morning. Simple pleasure.

Other sandwich recipes:

Apr 12, 2016

Rice Cooker Recipe - Japanese Style Steamed Rice with Shio Kombu (塩昆布の炊き込みご飯)

If you're familiar with Japanese food, then dried kelp/kombu shouldn't be a stranger since it's widely used in many Japanese dishes. Shio kombu/塩昆布, on the other hand, is thin strips of dried and salted kombu. While the regular large pieces of kombu can be quite tough in texture, shio kombu turns soft easily when in contact with moisture, and is often used as a condiment or seasoning.

Some of the popular recipes using shio kombu are cold dishes, stir fry veggies, rice balls, and even pasta. As for now, let's start with this no fuss steamed rice recipe.

Japanese style steamed rice with shio kombu -

Ingredients (3 to 4 portions)?

  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed shio kombu
  • 1/2 small carrot
  • 1 sheet fried tofu skin (soft kind)
  • 1/4 cup broad beans (can be substitute with edamame or other types of green peas)
  • 1 small pack shimeji mushroom


Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add in the soft fried tofu skin, just a quick dip. Drain and pat dry the tofu skin with a kitchen towel. Use the same pot and bring some more water to a boil, blanch the beans then set aside for later use. Slice the tofu skin into shorter strips. Peel and cut the carrot into thin strips. Discard the shimeji mushroom stems and separate into individual strips -

If the shio kombu seems pretty long in length, give it a few chops or cut with scissor -

Prepare the uncooked white rice, gently wash it if needed. Add two cups of rice and two cups of water to a rice cooker. Top the rice with carrot, tofu skin, mushrooms, and lastly, the shio kombu. Press the start button and just let the rice cooker does its job, can't get any easier - 

The veggies might appear too much at first, but it'll all wilted down after steaming. Once ready, gently fold the ingredients so the veggies and rice incorporate together. Add the blanched beans on top before serving -

The salt on the kombu does most of the seasoning, since it supposed to be a light and healthy dish. You can serve the rice with pickled vegetables. Grilled fish/pork in miso sauce and baked salted salmon are some other delicious matches.

One best thing about this recipe - easy cleaning. No oil splashing in the kitchen and no heavy residual smell to worry about. 

Other Asian rice recipes:

Apr 5, 2016

Grilled Shrimp Quesadilla with Spicy Homemade Salsa - Carne Asada Seasoning Also Works Well on Seafood

My friend got me a bottle of carne asada seasoning from the states. Usually carne asada is meant for steak, however, after trying it on this grilled shrimp quesadilla recipe, it's proven that carne asada seasoning can also be a great helper when preparing seafood. A very flavorful one.

Grilled shrimp quesadilla with spicy homemade salsa -

Ingredients (makes one full round-sized serving)?

For the salsa:

  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Some lemon juice (depending on preference but no more than 1/2 lemon)


  • 2 medium/large tortillas
  • 12 medium shrimps (peeled, deveined)
  • 1 teaspoon carne asada seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar and mozzarella (Mexican cheese blend works even better)
  • Some cayenne pepper


Marinate peeled, deveined shrimps with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of carne asada seasoning for about 10 minutes -

If the weather is too hot, it's better to cover the container with a lid or foil and let the shrimps marinate in the fridge instead.

Prepare a big bowl, add in seeded and cubed tomato, about one cup. Also add in peeled and cubed onion, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro, 1 1/2 tablespoons of finely chopped pickled jalapeño, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, zest of one lemon, and some lemon juice -

Mix well and give it a quick taste, adjust the flavor with salt and lemon juice per your liking. Don't over salt the salsa since carne asada seasoning and cheese also contain certain amount of salt.

Brush olive oil to the grill pan and turn to high heat. Once the surface gets hot enough, grill the shrimps till both sides change color. Rather slightly undercooked the shrimps instead of well done because the remaining heat will continue the cooking process even after removing the shrimps from the pan. 

When the shrimps are ready, remove from heat and let them cool down. Chop into smaller pieces and set aside for later use.

Lay one tortilla onto a non-stick flat-surfaced pan and turn to medium heat. Evenly lay the chopped shrimps all over and sprinkle generous amount of shredded cheese mix -

Top with the other tortilla and slightly pressing it down. Once the bottom heats up, carefully flip the tortilla to cook the other side. Continue to press it so the melted cheese can better bind two tortillas together. 

One safer way to flip the tortillas is by covering the pan with a big plate. Turn both the pan and the plate upside down so the tortilla now falls onto the plate. Carefully slide the tortilla back to the pan to heat up the other side.

So now tortilla turned quesadilla. Transfer the quesadilla onto a plate or a big cutting board and cut into triangular pieces. 

Dust with cayenne pepper and serve with spicy and tangy homemade salsa. 

Of course you can swap out the shrimps and use what carne asada was meant for - steak, but I actually really enjoyed that crustacean aroma together with strong carne asada flavor. The creaminess from the melted cheese also helped a little soothing the burning sensation from the jalapeño salsa and the spiciness from the carne asada seasoning. 

It was a good burn. 

Other Similar Recipes: