Oct 27, 2023

Scallion Oil Noodles for One 蔥油拌麵

Usually I would just mix together three simple Asian seasonings when putting up a quick noodles meal for myself. These three seasonings are soy sauce, sesame oil, and black vinegar, perhaps a bit chili sauce for an extra kick. But once in a blue moon I'm like why not step it up a notch! I want something fancier, something much more flavorful this time. So here it is, my single serving scallion oil noodles.

Scallion oil noodles -

Scallion oil noodles for one

Ingredients (for one serving)?

  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 150 grams thin Asian wheat based noodles
  • 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons black vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce


Destem the scallion and chop some green parts for garnish. As for the remaining section, slice into thin strips. It doesn't have to be very nicely sliced since we're going to sear them later.

Chopped scallion and scallion strips

Bring out a medium pot and drizzle 2 tablespoons of neutral oil. I used rice bran oil. Switch to medium heat and add in the scallion strips. Continue to sear the scallion till they start to turn dry on some parts.

Searing scallion strips

Change to low heat to prevent oil splashing while we add the seasonings. So from here, let's add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce, 2 teaspoon of black vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of chili sauce. Mix till blended then switch off the heat.

Seasoning seared scallion strips in oil

Taste and adjust accordingly. The sauce should be on the saltier side since we're going to mix in the noodles soon after. Once the flavor is checked, pour that to serving bowl.

Have another medium pot filled with water. Wait till the water starts to boil then add in thin Asian noodles. The dried version can be easily found in Asian grocery stores. I can also get fresh kind here in Taiwan's traditional market. Cook till the noodles reach desired texture, drain then transfer to the serving bowl.

Cooking thin Asian wheat based noodles

Mix till evenly blended, then garnish with chopped scallion on top. The noodles are fully coated with the flavorful scallion oil, not only making it a smooth slurp, but also filled with scallion aroma. 

Scallion oil noodles for one

There's not much extra stuff that I need to clean afterwards compared to my usual basic dry noodles meal, so that's one more point to this scallion oil noodles recipe. And the most important thing is that the upgraded single serving noodles truly delivered. Cravings satisfied and definitely left with a happy tummy. 

Extended reading:

Oct 21, 2023

Worcestershire Sauce Stamina Stir-Fry with Chinese Chives and Pork Belly

Chinese chives are not for everyone I guess, at least Mister wasn't a big fan due to its garlicky and mouth-lingering taste. However, seasoning does make a difference. Thanks to the Worcestershire sauce and lots of coarse black pepper, he actually enjoyed it. I even received praise from this dish.

So maybe it's safe to say that if you have someone who doesn't fall for Chinese chives at home, perhaps this recipe will change their mind a bit. Not completely converting them to team Chinese chives, but at least gain more acceptance to it.

Worcestershire sauce stamina stir-fry with Chinese chives and pork belly - 

Worcestershire sauce stamina stir-fry with Chinese chives and pork belly


  • 380 grams pork belly chunks
  • 2 handful/about 2 loosely-packed cups bean sprouts
  • 1 small bundle Chinese chives
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Some coarse black pepper


Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Pick-out the stems from the bean spouts. Trim-off the stems for the Chinese chives and slice the remaining to shorter sections. Slice the pork belly to chunky medium bite size pieces.

Chunky pork belly

Bring out a pan and drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Switch to medium heat and add in the garlic slices. Sear till slightly golden but not burnt. 

Add in pork chunks along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of coarse black pepper. Mix a little and cook till both sides of the pork get a nice golden sear.

Searing pork belly chunks

Transfer bean sprouts and Chinese chives over. Stir-fry for about one minute. You can switch to high heat if feeling confident enough to work under fast-cooking time frame. In that case, adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

Cooking bean sprouts and Chinese chives

Add 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and stir-fry for about a minute, or cook till the sauce has been reduced by half.

Plate and crack some more black pepper all over.

Worcestershire sauce stamina stir-fry with Chinese chives and pork belly

I think the savory yet slightly sour touch from the Worcestershire helped in reducing the somewhat strong-tasting Chinese chives, that's why Mister was ok with it. On top of that, I cooked the veggies till fully wilted, but still retained a bit crunchiness for the bean sprouts. That paired with a big mouthful of chunky pork belly was quite satisfying.  

Extended reading:

Oct 15, 2023

Spice-Crusted Roasted Salmon Fillets

Just love salmon. It's so meaty and versatile, and most importantly, it's very hard to fail a salmon recipe. As easy as simple salt and pepper, this fish is already tasty enough with just a couple basic seasonings. 

Or if you go to the complex route like the following recipe, frankly speaking, you can literally mix and match all sorts of spices and the result should still be on the delicious side.

Spice-crusted roasted salmon fillets - 

Spice-crusted roasted salmon fillets

Ingredients (for 4 fillets)?

  • 4 pieces salmon fillets
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow lemon
  • Some olive oil

Spice mix:

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with foil. Slice the lemon to wedges.

Remove the salmon fillets from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. You can simply put the salmon on top of the foil on the baking sheet. 

Mix all the ingredients listed under the "spice mix" section then rub it all over the salmon fillets. Make sure all sides, not just top and bottom, are coated with the spice mix.

Rubbing salmon fillets with spice mix

Space out the salmon on the baking sheet and drizzle some olive oil over. Place one tablespoon of butter on top of each salmon fillet.

Butter on top of salmon fillet

Into the oven for 15 minutes. Check on the fish and see if it needs couple more minutes in the oven. If unsure, you can simply roast the fish a bit longer as long as the spices are not burnt.

Spice-crusted roasted salmon fillets

Once ready, remove the baking sheet from the oven and place some lemon wedges on the side. Squeeze the lemon right before serving, it'll provide a refreshing touch to the spice-crusted fish.

Spice-crusted roasted salmon fillets

You can serve the fillets alongside some hearty salad, ideally the kind with boiled potatoes. Per my case, I prepped some steamed rice and stir-fried leafy greens instead. Remember what I said about salmon being versatile in the beginning? See how such fish turned out so well no matter it's being served as a western or Asian meal. 

Other salmon recipes:

Oct 9, 2023

Cucumber Pork Stir-Fry with Sesame Oil and Black Pepper

A little bit of sesame oil goes a long way. Recently I've been fond of using sesame oil for stir-fry dishes. Note that there are many types of sesame oil, but for stir-fry purposes, sometimes I try to use the lighter-color version to avoid the heavy sticky mouthfeel in the end. You can still use the denser kind for stir-fry, but leave that for stronger-tasting dishes such as three cup chicken or braised chicken in sesame oil soup.

Cucumber pork stir-fry with sesame oil and black pepper - 

Cucumber pork stir-fry with sesame oil and black pepper


  • 3 skinny cucumbers
  • 245 grams pork belly slices
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon double condensed Japanese tsuyu
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely grind black pepper


Slice the pork belly to shorter pieces if needed. Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Trim-off the ends of cucumbers and section the remaining part. Slap or crush the cucumber with the side of the knife in order to create some cracks. Do not completely destroy the cucumber sections, more so just break them slightly. The cracks will trap-in more seasonings and result in a much more flavorful cucumbers in the end.

Smashed cucumber sections

Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to a pan and switch to medium heat. Add in chopped garlic along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely grind black pepper. Stir-fry till aromatic but not burn the garlics.

Cooking chopped garlics till aromatic

Add the pork and cook till the oil starts to render.

Searing pork belly slices

Transfer cucumbers over and give it a quick mix. Cook for one more minute. Add 1 tablespoon of Japanese tsuyu and 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar. Taste and adjust if needed. Once checked, plate and serve.

Cucumber pork stir-fry with sesame oil and black pepper

I used double condensed Japanese tsuyu. However, you might find that there are many versions of Japanese tsuyu on the market like triple condensed or even quadruple condensed. I would suggest getting the double or triple kinds since the flavors are easier to adjust while used in other dishes.

Cucumber pork stir-fry with sesame oil and black pepper

If you're using saltier Japanese tsuyu for this recipe, simply reduce the amount used. You can always taste and add more if needed towards the end. Also make sure to use coarsely grind black pepper, we are looking for that stronger spicy kick when biting into the peppercorns. The aroma is unmatchable compared to the fine ground black pepper.

Think of it, I think I haven't been using fine ground black pepper for ages. The coarsely grind version is just so much better, at least in all the dishes I've been cooking.

Other cucumber recipes:

Oct 3, 2023

Dairy-Free Chorizo and Colorful Bell Pepper Orzo

Orzo is so easy to work with! Recently I've been in favor of cooking orzo compared to other types of pasta. The main reason is that for most of my orzo meals, there's no need to precook such kind of pasta. All I have to do it simply cook the orzo together with the sauce, and it only takes about 15 minutes to do so.

That means less stuff to wash. No big pot of water to boil the orzo nor the strainer. Just one big Dutch oven can get all the jobs done!

Dairy-free chorizo and colorful bell pepper orzo - 

Dairy-free chorizo and colorful bell pepper orzo

Ingredients (about 5 to 6 portions)?

  • 500 grams orzo
  • 500 grams/about 5 chorizo
  • 400 grams/1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper 
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 purple/red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small box baby salad greens (I used arugula)
  • 1 small bundle parsley
  • 800 milliliter chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper


Peel and dice the onion. Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem and remove the pits for all the bell peppers then cut into cubes. Finely chop the parsley. Remove the casing from the chorizo.

Ingredients for dairy-free orzo

Use a Dutch oven or a big pot, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and switch to medium heat. Add in diced onion along with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix and cook till the onion about to turn brown on the edges.

Cooking diced purple onion

Add in the chorizo and break them into smaller pieces with a spatula. Cook till the meat starts to change color and some red fat starts to render.

Cooking chorizo and purple onion

Add in all the chopped bell peppers together with chopped garlic. Continue to cook for about a minute.

Cooking ingredients for dairy-free orzo

Pour in canned tomatoes along with its juice. Mix till evenly blended. Pour in the orzo and mix till evenly blended again.

Making dairy-free orzo with chorizo and colorful bell pepper

Pour in 800ml of chicken stock. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to keep it at a light bubbling stage. Continue to cook for about 12 minutes. Remember to stir the mixture once a while, especially the bottom to prevent sticking.

Making dairy-free chorizo and colorful bell pepper orzo

Add in chopped parsley and mix till blended. Continue to cook few more minutes. Mine took about 3 minutes more. You can double check by tasting the orzo, see if it reaches your desired doneness. Note that if the mixture appears too dry but the orzo is not done yet, add more liquid to prevent from drying on the bottom. 

Give it a quick taste and adjust accordingly. I actually added a bit more salt, but it depends especially the chorizo we used varies. Once the flavor has been checked, plate and crack more black pepper throughout. Also top the orzo with some baby greens.

Dairy-free chorizo and colorful bell pepper orzo

Arugula seems like a good fit. It has a minor bitter taste that can help in balance-off the heavy-tasting seasonings. More so a refreshing break in-between.

Dairy-free chorizo and colorful bell pepper orzo

On a final note, I especially mentioned that it's a "dairy-free" orzo recipe because for the most of the orzo recipes online, they all contain some sort of diary. Let it be milk, cream, butter, or cheese. That's why I want to emphasize what makes this recipe stands out - "dairy-free." And no yumminess was comprimised during the making of this recipe.  

Other recipes using chorizo: