marinades

Broiled Honey Soy Salmon

Broiled Honey Soy Salmon

My absolute favorite way of preparing salmon is broiling. I only recently discovered this method over this past year or so. As my kitchen in my Hong Kong apartment is simply equipped with a hot plate, microwave, and toaster oven, I have really learned some new cooking techniques. For the first 4-6 months I had been living here, I didn't touch the toaster oven. I grew up with a toaster oven but we only really used it for well, toasting things. English Muffins, melting cheese, etc. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that a toaster oven can do everything a real oven can. Bake, roast, broil. It's incredible and the reason why there have been so many toaster oven recipes on the blog this year, lol! 

Broiling salmon sounds so...aggressive. However, once you've got the timing down pat, you are in for the flakiest, butteriest (is that a word?), moist, and tender salmon ever. The amount of time needed to broil a piece of salmon simply depends on its size (and thickness). I find that a normal fillet takes between 5-8 minutes. The finished fish will be firm but still bounce back to the touch. Any time I have broiled it beyond 8 minutes, the flesh will lean towards rubbery and over-cooked. Again, play with timing for yourself.

My favorite preparation for salmon is simply salt and pepper, and then served with tons of lemon juice after it's cooked. I feel like simple seasoning allows the real flavor of the fish to come out, especially when it's perfectly cooked. And of course, you need a ton of acid with fish. Today I'm sharing a simple classic marinade for salmon that you can enjoy with brown rice and veggies. Simply whisk it together and marinade the fish for at least half an hour. Of course, the longer the better. When it comes time to cook, prepare everything else in the meal first, since the fish will only take 5-8 minutes. You can prepare more marinade on the side, to warm and thicken for serving if you'd like. 

Beef Enoki Rolls

Beef Enoki Rolls

Ooooh these are little rolls of magic! Lately I've become obsessed with enoki mushrooms. The bouncy texture, how easy they are to cook, and the way they soak up whatever flavors surround them. They are dirt cheap, and you can toss them into virtually any dish. Growing up, I think I've only really eaten enoki mushrooms when I've gone out to eat hot pot with friends. I always enjoyed them, but they were definitely an afterthought. (Hello, beef!) Recently, however, I've been eating enoki with everything - stir fries, soup, noodle dishes, even salads. Their sweet, mellow flavor is so yum. 

I was inspired by these Japanese Beef Enoki Rolls that I had as part of a lunch set the other day, and couldn't get enough of them. They are simple to prepare and the marinade is actually super versatile and can be used for cooking other protein. Beef Enoki Rolls are tender, juicy, and almost taste like beef jerky - a harmonious blend of soy, ginger, garlic, sake, and sesame oil create an incredibly savory marinade for the thinly sliced beef. Soaking the enoki mushrooms in warm, salted water allows them to soften and gain some flavor. Finally all you've got to do is wrap small bundles of mushrooms in the marinaded beef and pan fry. Searing the meat takes a few minutes, and then you're in flavor heaven. Let's get cookin!

Lazy Chicken Wings for One

Lazy Chicken Wings for One

I'm going to let you in on one of my tried and true 'recipes', which is totally just a little trick I've been doing since high school whenever I'm really lazy and REALLY hungry. I love chicken wings - and here in Hong Kong, grocery stores sell bags of frozen mid-joint chicken wings. These are my favs - don't get me wrong, I like drumsticks too, but I really love just the wings. In my little HK kitchen, I don't have a proper oven (just a toaster oven). This method of cooking chicken wings on the stove-top is quick, fail-proof, and super flavorful. 

Sometimes you don't have time to go grocery shopping, but you can bet that there'll be some frozen chicken wings in your freezer. You can make these wings with virtually any sauce or marinade that you have in the kitchen, making this the perfect lazy meal! There are simply 2 steps, and 3 ingredients. Simmer the chicken in chicken broth until they're nice and plump (my trick to knowing when they're finished is when the blood clots come out :) and then tossing them in sauce in a skillet. 

Spiced Chicken with Creamy Chili Herb Sauce

Spiced Chicken with Creamy Chili Herb Sauce

You can never have enough chicken recipes in your arsenal! Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not too big on spicy food. But I love this recipe! Smoky, spiced chicken thighs are grilled and topped off with a bright, fresh sauce made of parsley, lime juice, jalapeño, and a drizzle of half-and-half for a little body. Both the spice rub and the herb sauce take minutes to whip up, so this is a great option for weeknights!  Let's get cookin!  

Vietnamese Pork Chops with Cantaloupe Basil Salad

Vietnamese Pork Chops with Cantaloupe Basil Salad

Vietnamese food is definitely something I crave often. Tons of fresh herbs, pickled veggies, and multiple layers of flavor are some of my favorite things about Vietnamese food. I would love to learn authentic recipes from someone one day! Today I’m sharing a fun and simple recipe that’s made with ingredients you might already have in your kitchen. If you don’t happen to eat pork, try this delicious marinade on chicken! This marinade works best overnight, so a quick tip is to throw it together while you’re cooking dinner the previous night and throw it in the fridge. This grilled pork turns out so tender and savory, which is accompanied by a sweet cantaloupe salad. Let’s get cookin! 

Baked Cilantro Lime Chicken

Baked Cilantro Lime Chicken

These suckers went fast in my house. A zesty marinade of lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper is a quick way to inject a ton of flavor into any cut of chicken. It’s baked in the oven, which helps cut down on extra oil, and comes out tender and juicy, ready to be finished off with fresh lime zest and chopped cilantro. Because this recipe is really for a simple marinade, it can be used to dress up chicken in almost any dish… chop it up for over a salad, serve it over pasta, rice, quinoa, or throw some pieces into some tacos for a fun weeknight meal. 

This marinade is made of ingredients that are super affordable, and often, all you need to head to the store for is for fresh limes and cilantro. Limes are often on sale at produce markets for fairly cheap prices - this week Safeway had them on sale at 3 for $0.99! You can use this marinade on any cut of chicken - breasts, thighs, or drumsticks. I prefer thighs, even though breasts are healthier and have more protein. If you’re just starting to play with different chicken recipes, I’d suggest cooking up some chicken thighs! You can hardly mess them up :) So let’s get cookin, this one’s a fun one.

Jack Daniels Marinated Flank Steak

Jack Daniels Marinated Flank Steak

Summer’s winding down, but here in San Francisco, it’s Indian Summer. The weather is beautiful and the overlap of really great postseason baseball and football season brings up a need for a great steak marinade! There are so many different ways to marinade beef. I wanted to put together a marinade that was made up of things that I already had around the house, and of course, a nice lil Jack Daniels marinade came to mind. Also, for those of you who want to achieve perfect grill marks, I taught myself to make a gif! See below!

I decided on a nice flank steak, which when marinaded and sliced really thinly against the grain, is wonderfully tender and flavorful. It’s best to let the meat marinade for a few hours to overnight. You can even use this on pork or chicken..or if you’re a vegetarian, try marinating some portobello mushrooms! Let’s get cookin :) 

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner, and that got me thinking about a ton of fun recipes for this weekend! Colorful, fresh ingredients make for delicious and vibrant looking meals. 

Trader Joe’s has a great Cilantro Lime dressing that is super tasty…but take one look at the nutrition facts and it’ll make you put it back on the shelf. How to get around this problem? Make it at home! 

My original intention for this vinaigrette was for crispy fish tacos (that’s up next!)…but it turned out so tasty that I've been dipping everything in it. Yum. Here we go! Super easy :)