sauces

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. 

Skinny Beef Stroganoff

Skinny Beef Stroganoff

The first time I ever had Beef Stroganoff was during lunchtime in middle school. I had tried a bite of my friend Ari's lunch and couldn't stop thinking about how delicious it was. You could say that I've been food obsessed since forever, haha :) I love the creamy, robust sauce that's jam-packed with tender mushrooms and beef, and how it clings to al dente egg noodles. It's the ultimate comfort food; the perfect dish to usher in cooler fall nights. This week I've taken the traditional recipe for Beef Stroganoff and made it a little lighter - a Skinny Stroganoff! Instead of using condensed soup and sour cream, we're going with Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt is an amazing substitute for tons of ingredients when it comes to cooking and baking, and it's a great trick to lighten up heavier dishes. 

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

This is a bright and zesty recipe to enjoy some of summer's best produce!! It can be enjoyed with chips as a dip, or eaten as a summer salad. Golden brown kernels of corn come together with tomatoes, creamy avocado, red onion for bite, black beans, and tons of fresh cilantro in minutes, and are tossed with the most amazing Honey Lime Vinaigrette. This combo is seriously delicious - the combination of lime juice, earthy, warm cumin, honey, and extra virgin olive oil is the absolute perfect way to bind these ingredients together. The best part is that the flavor of the dip gets better as it sits - so it's great to have out during an event, or to make ahead for lunch! Let's get cookin! 

Spring Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Spring Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Pasta salad is perfect for Springtime! This recipe is an easy and delicious way to stretch out fresh seafood. Tender orzo pasta, roasted salmon, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and salty feta are tossed with a zesty citrus dressing for a beautifully hearty salad. There's something about the texture of orzo pasta that makes me crave it all the time! This Spring salad is great for emptying the fridge - don't have asparagus? Use peas, spinach, or beans! Sub shrimp for salmon or leftover chicken and feel free to use Parmesan instead of Feta :) If you're cutting carbs, toss all these ingredients with crispy Romaine or kale. 

No Cook Japanese Cold Tofu with Sesame Dressing

No Cook Japanese Cold Tofu with Sesame Dressing

The weather is warming up, especially here in Hong Kong. It's 80 degrees in April here! This recipe for Japanese Cold Tofu with Sesame Dressing is quintessential for Spring/Summer. The best part is that this dish requires zero cooking. 

This is one of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful subtle flavor of tofu. Cold tofu can be enjoyed with a ton of different topping choices, including creamy sesame dressing, or a punchy mixture of scallions, fresh ginger, and soy sauce. In this recipe, I'll be using store-bought Japanese sesame dressing. I'll include the recipe for homemade dressing below, but sometimes it's simply easier to go pre-made! 

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen)

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen)

This dish is a great way to cool down in the Spring/Summer! Hiyashi Chuka can be made with a variety of toppings, but popular ones include: pickled ginger, cucumbers, ham, shrimp, strips of egg crepes, imitation crab, nori strips, wakame seaweed, and sesame seeds. Some other great ideas are carrots, shredded steamed chicken, and tomatoes! The options are endless, and the dressing is so yummy that it'll pull any combination together. This recipe is super simple - shred and julienne all your toppings, whisk up the dressing, and toss the chilled noodles together. You know how certain foods taste even better when eaten cold? The flavors of the sesame, soy, and rice vinegar dressing bring all the toppings to life :) Let's get cookin!

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!  

Classic Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken

Classic Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken

I love experimenting with fun, seasonal ingredients, but sometimes learning to make a classic is just as great. Pesto can be made with tons of different ingredients; it’s a game of mix and match. A great pesto only requires a few fresh ingredients. The most important part is using fresh basil (or your favorite herbs) and good quality extra virgin olive oil. 

This recipe is simple and delicious. Pesto is incredibly versatile - once you have a fresh batch, you can use it on way more than pasta! Make homemade pizza, eat it with eggs, spread it on bread or a sandwich, or use it as a salad dressing. This recipe is for a classic basil pesto. A quick pulse in a food processor and you have a fresh, garlicky sauce that is way better than a jar from the store. Let’s get cookin :)