Friday, August 31, 2012

Kimchi Fried Rice

This kimchi fried rice was a great way to use up some of my last batch of (slightly weird) kimchi. It has the satisfying textures of fried rice, but with a sour kick. I think that cooking the kimchi negates much of its nutritional value, though.

Kimchi Fried Rice

several c chopped kimchi, with the juice set aside
several c cooked white rice
bite-sized, cooked/blanched veggies (I used peas and carrots)
toppings, like scallions, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sriracha

1. Saute kimchi until soft and fragrant. Add a little more oil, and add in the cooked rice, cooking until parts get chewy and/or crispy. Add a little bit of kimchi juice while cooking.
2. Stir in other veggies, then remove from heat and serve hot with toppings.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Coconut Oil

This recipe from 101 cookbooks was really good, and I'm not sure why; it was so simple.

Cooking curry powder in coconut oil and then mixing it with coconut milk produced some science-experiment-like results:

Besides using coconut oil instead of butter, I changed nothing about this recipe. It is so interesting, and so satisfying. It will definitely be my new go-to lentil soup recipe.

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Coconut Oil

2 TB coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
5 1/2 c vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 c green lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 TB coconut oil
1 TB curry powder
1/2 c coconut milk
sea salt

1. Combine the 2 TB coconut oil, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large soup pot over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the onions soften, a couple minutes. Add the vegetable broth and lentils and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender. This usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, but can take as long as 50 minutes.
2. In the meantime, warm the other 3 TB coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it brown. When it starts to smell nutty and fragrant, stir in the curry powder and sauté until the spices are fragrant, less than a minute. When the lentils are finished cooking, remove from the heat, stir in the coconut milk and 1/4 tsp salt, and puree with an immersion blender. You can leave the soup a bit chunky if you like, or puree until it is perfectly smooth.
3. Stir in half of the spiced oil, taste, and add more salt, if needed, typically a couple of teaspoons if you used water instead of a salted broth. Serve drizzled with the remaining spice butter. Serves 4 to 6.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Eat/Drink

Back in LA. after some amazing Midwestern adventures.


It appears to have finally cooled down here on the West Coast, but here are a few things I made back when it was swelteringly hot.

 Agua fresca, inspired by some had at brunch at mohawk bend: watermelon pieces marinated in vodka, then mushed with fresh mint, simple syrup, and seltzer water.

One of many cold noodle salads, inspired by tangy tahini noodles, cold noodles with nori, laziness, and the heat. This one had fried eggplant and celery in addition to the usual culprits of carrots, peas, tempeh, and a dressing of garlic, canola and sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sriracha.

Components of the old standby marinated broccoli lentil salad. For the past few weeks, it was so hot, that just a cold salad or two in the fridge was all I wanted/needed to cook/eat for days.

Much more soon!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Crunchy Pirates / Shojin-Inspired Dinner Party

A longtime fan of Shojin's "Pirates of the Crunchy" roll, I attempted to recreate it in my own kitchen.

I think I got pretty close, although vegan mayo still freaks me out a bit...

(scroll down for the complete menu from this dinner party)

Crunchy Pirates Roll
(inspired by shojin)

for sushi roll:
nori sheets
mixture of brown and white short-grain rice, fully cooked and seasoned with rice vinegar, salt and sugar
cucumber, peeled and cut into small and very long rectangular prisms
for topping:
vegan mayo (I used spectrum light canola mayo)
tempeh, steamed and finely crumbled
rice crispies

1. Make cucumber-rice sushi rolls.  Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
2. Mix all the topping ingredients.  Do not add the rice crispies until you are ready to assemble, serve, and eat; they get soggy within minutes.  Top each piece of roll with a generous dollop, and serve immediately.


The complete menu:
  • Crunchy Pirates Rolls
  • Ramen with not-chicken stock, served with sesame oil, scallions, and chili oil as garnishes
  • Tempura mushrooms (I made this recipe, but this one is much better) with dipping sauce
  • Steamed kale salad with edamame and shredded carrots; dressing consisted of rice vinegar, lime juice, canola oil, sesame oil, wasabi, tamari, and sesame seeds (see also this kale salad)

Sesame Kale Salad with Carrots and Edamame

Noodle Bounty

After a dinner at Shojin--one of my absolute favorite restaurants in LA--Devon and I explored the Little Tokyo Mall.

"4 flavors in one!"

We eventually made it to Woori Market, where we found:

...and finally... noodles!

$6 for 1.3 kilos of soba noodles!

And also I found these at Jon's ($0.33 per package):

Friday, August 3, 2012

Produce / Jam

Summer is so delicious.  I've been getting little harvests from Sina's garden, and these heirloom tomatoes were one of the best.

Also, from the supermarket:  Strange greens.  I thought they were a kind of watercress, but they were very mild.  I didn't know what to do with them, so I just put some olive oil and lemon juice on them and ate them like a salad green.

I also picked up some tiny sour grapes, since they were very cute and $0.99/lb.

Inspired by a distant memory of gooseberry jam from when I lived in England, I ended up making jam out of these sour little grapes: approximately 1.75 c grapes, 1/2 c water, and 6 TB sugar, pinch cinnamon, simmered for a long while. Still quite tart, but nice-- like an apple pie made with green apples.