May 30, 2023

Sour and Spicy Baby Napa Cabbage 酸辣娃娃菜

Baby napa cabbage, also known as "wawa choy," just like the name suggests, is the baby stage of napa cabbage. It's easier to prep with smaller and tender leaves, and usually sold in packages with four baby napa cabbages inside.

Due to baby napa cabbage's mild-tasting nature, it is often used in lighter seasoning dishes. However, let's give it a twist this time by making it sour and spicy, a good companion with steamed rice. 

Sour and spicy baby napa cabbage 酸辣娃娃菜 -

Sour and spicy baby napa cabbage


  • 8 baby napa cabbage
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilies
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons light-tasting oil
  • Some corn starch and water mixture


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder 


Trim-off the very bottom stems for the baby napa cabbage. Separate to individual leaves.

Baby napa cabbage

Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Scrape then fine chop the ginger. Destem and chop the scallion. Destem, seeded, then chop the red chilies.

Mix all the ingredients under the "sauce" section. Prepare a small portion of corn starch and water mixture on the side.

Drizzle two tablespoons of oil to the pan and turn to medium heat. Add in garlic, ginger, scallion, and chilies. Give it a quick stir and cook till aromatic but not burning the garlic bits.

Cooking the Asian aromatics

Add the baby napa cabbage and stir-fry till softened.

Stir-frying baby napa cabbage

Pour in the sauce mixture. Cook for about couple more minutes.

Cooking down baby napa cabbage

Switch to low heat. Taste and adjust if needed. Stir the corn starch and water mixture again making sure its evenly blended. Gradually pour down the corn starch and water mixture to the pan while stirring the baby napa cabbage at the same time. 

The stirring action will prevent clumping. Continue to pour down the corn starch and water mixture till it reaches desired consistency. It has to be slightly thickened but not too gooey. 

Sour and spicy baby napa cabbage

Plate and serve as it is.

Sour and spicy baby napa cabbage

Try to scoop two big spoonful on top of steamed white rice, if you like sour and spicy flavor profile, this recipe should be a winner too. 

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May 25, 2023

4 Ingredients Only Melon Pan Toast

Have you tried melon pan メロンパン before? How about Mexican concha? These two share many similarities. Look-wise, you'll mostly find shell-like pattern on a Mexican concha and criss-cross pattern on melon pan. 

But we're not making bread here today. Instead, let's cut down the workload and use store bought milk toast to create 4 ingredients only melon pan toast.

4 ingredients only melon pan toast - 

4 ingredients only melon pan toast

Ingredients (for two thick slices)?

  • 2 thick slices milk toast
  • 40 grams unsalted butter
  • 40 grams cake flour
  • 40 grams granulated sugar


Preheat the oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Thick milk toast

Make sure to use better quality thick toast, milky flavor would be your best option. Usually you can find very good milk toast at an Asian, to be exact Japanese bakery.

Use room temperature softened butter, add that to a bowl. Use a fork to press it down and spread out a little bit.

Add in granulated sugar and mix till blended. You can simply use the same fork all the way through, which is much easier to clean compared to mini whisk. 

Melon pan toast topping

Add in the cake flour and mix till blended again.

Spread the mixture on one side of the toast. It's optional if you would like to make criss-cross pattern on the toast using the back of the knife.

Criss-cross pattern on melon pan toast

Transfer the toast to the baking sheet and into the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or till the top turned slightly golden or lightly browned. 

Once ready, remove from heat and wait till cool-off before serving.

4 ingredients only melon pan toast

I like my melon pan toast on the extra baked side, which gives me an even grainier texture and crunchier bite on the edges. However, that means I'll lose the scored pattern due to extended baking time.

4 ingredients only melon pan toast

If you would like to keep the criss-cross pattern, don't leave the toast under the heat for too long. That way, you'll get a nice golden/yellowish melon pan toast in the end.

May 18, 2023

Smashed Potato Pizza with Pepperoni and Mozzarella

It's a slightly different route away from the popular individual smashed potato pizza, but more like a "conglomerate" version of it. What binds these potatoes together are the melted cheese on top. You can be creative with the toppings, but the classic pepperoni paired with marinara sauce and red chili flakes never disappoints. 

Smashed potato pizza with pepperoni and mozzarella - 

Smashed potato pizza with pepperoni and mozzarella


  • 10 medium small potatoes
  • 10 to 12 slices pepperoni
  • 1 pack/at least 150 grams shredded mozzarella
  • Some marinara sauce
  • Some olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some red chili flakes


Prepare a medium/large pot of water and add in the potatoes. 

Potatoes for the smashed potato pizza

Just like cooking pasta, we need to add few pinches of salt here too. Bring the pot to a boil then adjust the heat to keep it at a light bubbling stage. Cook till the potatoes are fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Drain and pat dry. Set aside till cool enough to handle by hand.

Water-boiled small potatoes

Preheat the oven to 395 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Score the potatoes with a criss-cross pattern, which will make them easier to smash shortly. Transfer these potatoes to the baking sheet. Perhaps place a small sheet of parchment on top of the potato then grab a flat bottom glass to smash it down. The parchment paper acts as a barrier preventing the smashed potatoes sticking onto the glass.

Repeat till all the potatoes have been smashed. Arrange the smashed potatoes to one big rectangular shape, like a Detroit-style pizza. Even though the melted cheese will bind the potatoes together, but still make sure there're no gaps in between.

Smashed potatoes

Brush the potato surface with olive oil and sprinkle some salt all over. Into the oven for 20~25 minutes, or till the edges turn golden brown. Mine took about 20 minutes.

Baked smashed potatoes

Take out the baking sheet. Spoon enough marinara sauce over the smashed potatoes. I used sweet basil flavored pasta sauce, you can pick whichever red sauce variety of your liking here. Sprinkle generous amount of shredded mozzarella then evenly arrange pepperoni slices on top.

Making smashed potato pizza

Back to the oven and bake till the cheese melts, perhaps slightly burnt on the edge of some pepperoni slices. 

Once ready, remove from heat and sprinkle some red chili flakes. Tabasco sauce should work wonders here too.

Smashed potato pizza with pepperoni and mozzarella

Some like the edge with crispier potato skin, I on the other hand prefer the center with extra soft potatoes and oozing cheese. 

Smashed potato pizza with pepperoni and mozzarella

Like that.

Smashed potato pizza with pepperoni and mozzarella

You can make ahead and store them in the fridge or even in the freezer. Just pop the whole thing in the oven and slowly heat it up when the need arises. Perhaps serve alongside with some salad greens to make it a more balanced meal.   

May 12, 2023

Simple but Indulgent - Chili Garlic Noodles for One

Every time when I see instant noodles on the shelf, I mean the better air-fried kind that usually comes with one or two packets of premix sauce, I thought to myself "why buying this when I can easily put together quality dry noodles with better ingredients?"

Especially for simple flavors, like soy sauce and scallion, sweet and sour sesame, or spicy chili oil, etc. If you happen to have a few staple Asian seasonings, you can easily mix and match while the noodles are cooking and a satisfying meal can be done in five minutes.

However, I do understand that not everyone is born with culinary hands, nor accumulated enough experiences around the kitchen yet, so such products do have some benefits. But if you're up for a challenge, here's one slightly upgraded dry noodles recipe that you can try it out at home. 

Chili garlic noodles - 

Chili garlic noodles for one

Ingredients (one serving)?

  • 1 serving ramen noodles
  • 2 tablespoons light-tasting oil
  • 2 garlic cloves/about 1 loosely-packed tbsp chopped
  • 2 strings scallions/about 2 loosely-packed tbsps chopped
  • 1 large shallot/about 2 loosely-packed tbsps chopped
  • 1 small bundle cilantro/about 1 loosely-packed tbsp chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons black vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil


Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Peel and chop the shallot. Chop the scallion and cilantro.

Add the following ingredients to a serving bowl - chopped garlic, chopped shallots, chopped scallion, dried red chili flakes, black vinegar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, granulated sugar, and sesame oil. Total nine items.

Ingredients for chili garlic noodles

Take a small pot and drizzle two tablespoons of light-tasting oil. Turn to medium or medium high heat. Wait till the oil gets really hot then carefully pour it right over the serving bowl. The ingredients inside will start sizzling and releasing some of the aroma.

Sizzling oil pouring down the ingredients for chili garlic noodles

Bring another medium pot of water to a boil. Cook the ramen or noodles of your choice till preferred texture. Once ready, drain well and transfer to the serving bowl.

Mix till evenly blended with the seasonings. You can either mix in the cilantro or sprinkle on top as garnish.

Chili garlic noodles for one

If prepping all these chopped ingredients look too troublesome for you, here's what you need to quickly put together a well-flavored dry noodles. The three key seasonings are soy sauce, black vinegar, and sesame oil. Just mix and match based on your own preference.

Chili garlic noodles for one

You can also add a few touches such as soy sauce paste, oyster sauce, chili oil, sugar, etc. However, if you're not that experienced, just stick with the three key seasonings. Use more soy sauce as the base. The amount of black vinegar used depends on how much you like that acidity touch. And a few drops of sesame oil for the final aroma boost. 

The entire cooking time shouldn't be too far-off compared to making instant noodles, and you've got something healthier to enjoy with. Next time you're doing grocery shopping, perhaps skip the instant kind and stock up few packs of Asian plain noodles instead. 


May 6, 2023

Scrambled Eggs with Colorful Bell Peppers and Asian Seasonings

As a kid, I didn't care for bell peppers that much, unless it was slightly charred on a pizza. Years passed, I found myself starting to incorporate colorful bell peppers to home-cooking. Partly due to its vibrant colors, but the most part is that I've grown to like it.

Bell peppers are actually quite mild compared to other vegetables, and what I love the most is that they are so juicy. Every time when I tried to cut into bell peppers, I can feel the juice splashing here and there. Using bell peppers, especially colorful bell peppers in various dishes not only make a pretty presentation, but also provide a touch of refreshing crunch. 

Here's one example using colorful bell peppers in an Asian stir-fry recipe. I've also included my earlier post in the end for another colorful bell pepper stir-fry with steak.

Scrambled eggs with colorful bell peppers and Asian seasonings -

Scrambled eggs with colorful bell peppers and Asian seasonings


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons light-tasting cooking oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauce - 

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder


Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem and pitted both bell peppers then cut into medium cubes. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Take another bowl and mix in all the ingredients under the "sauce" section.

Chopped bell peppers

Use a non-stick pan, drizzle two tablespoons of light-tasting cooking oil and switch to medium heat. Once warmed, pour in beaten egg and leave it untouched for a short moment. When the bottom starts to set, use a spatula to gently move the eggs around. 

Chunky scrambled eggs

We are aiming for bigger pieces of scrambled eggs, so don't over-mix it when the egg starts to coagulate. Scoop out the lightly scrambled eggs and set aside for later use.

Drizzle two more tablespoons of light-tasting cooking oil to the same pan. Turn to medium high heat and wait till it warms up. Add in chopped garlic and stir-fry till aromatic.

Add in both bell peppers along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Give it a quick stir-fry.

Stir-frying bell peppers

Add the scrambled eggs back in and mix till evenly blended.

Scrambling eggs with bell peppers

Pour the sauce mixture to the pan and stir till incorporated. Switch to high heat to slightly reduce the sauce. It doesn't have to be dry, we're simply aiming for slightly condensed flavor.

Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Otherwise this recipe should be ready to plate and serve.  

Scrambled eggs with colorful bell peppers and Asian seasonings

Even though the name says "pepper" for the bell peppers and we've also used a tiny bit of white pepper powder for the aroma, this dish is not spicy at all.

Scrambled eggs with colorful bell peppers and Asian seasonings

However, if you prefer some heat, adding one or two chopped red chilies to the stir-fry sounds like a good idea. 

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