Sunday, January 27, 2013

vietnamese lemongrass porkchop with vietnamese dipping sauce

Today was an extremely busy day for me. Even though I finished my grocery shopping early at 9:30 am, I had other things I needed to get done by today. My new cabinet.

Yesterday, my bf and I went to Ikea. We finally got a new cabinet for our dining room. See the pictures below. So my project today was to organize the dining room and kitchen. I am so happy with the cabinet, it has plenty of storage and it’s nice to look at too J.


During the time my bf was assembling the cabinet, I took the time to start on the marinade for this pork chop recipe. It was delicious and that is why I am posting this recipe. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Pork Chop (adapted from Viet World Kitchen)

  • 4 pork chops, bone-in, about 1 inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons garlic
  • 3 tablespoons shallot
  • 1 1/2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Using a mini food processor, pulse the sugar, garlic, shallot, and lemongrass to a mince-like texture. Add the pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce, and oil, and process to combine well.

Place the pork chops in a large zip-lock bag, and pour the marinade to coat. Squish the marinade around to coat the pork chops evenly. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to 24 hours. Allow the pork chops to rest at room temperature, about 30-45 minutes, before grilling.

Over medium-high heat, pan fried the pork chops 2-3 minutes each side.

Serve with brown rice, cucumber and vietnamese dipping sauce.

Roasted Whole Chicken

Wow! I had never cooked a whole chicken before. Do not shy away from cooking this chicken, it's huge I know, but it's EASY! A whole organic free-range chicken for just $10. It does not get any better than that...oh does! My friend, this chicken is the most moist delicious chicken I ever had, and I made it!  My boyfriend is requesting me to make this once a week, but I think it's way too much chicken for us. Next time, I will freeze the rest and you can use left over chicken to make tacos, soups, sandwiches, enchiladas, salads, fried rice, the ideas are endless . Please please try this. You will not be disappointed.

  • 4 lb Organic free-range brine chicken (without giblets)
  • 1/4 cup soften butter
  • 1 lemon juice (1/4 cup) and zest (about 1-2 tsp lemon zest)
  • 1/3 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 3 TBSP pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 onion. chopped into 4 cubes

Preheat the oven at 220°C – 425°F.Have your ingredients ready. Soften the butter in the microwave and then add the lemon zest in the butter. Mix all the dry ingredients from garlic powder to the thyme.
 Place the chicken in a roasting pan and the chopped onions around the chicken.Take a butter knife and slide it underneath the skin from the chicken breast, we are loosely seperating the breast meat and the skin. Apply the butter generously underneath the skin (between the breast meat and skin), then apply it all around the chicken, and then apply the dry ingredients all over the chicken. Lastly, pour the lemon juice all over the chicken.
Roast in a preheated oven at 220°C – 425°F for the first 15 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 180°C – 350°F and roast for a further 12-15 minutes per 450 grams – 1 pound. Your chicken will be ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F – 84°C (or when the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken between the leg and thigh).

Let it rest for approximately 30 minutes covered loosely in foil before serving it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2 ingredient pancake

2 ingredient Healthy Pancakes (gluten, grain and dairy free, no added sugar)
This was a simple and delicious pancake recipe. When I was making the batter, I was a little skeptical about it because the batter was really wet, but when I pan fried it on my cast iron pan, it really did shape up like a pancake. Amazing with what you can do with 2 ingredients.

Basic Batter:
  • 1 large banana, mashed (should be around 1/3 to 1/2 cup when mashed)
  • 2 eggs
optional add ins:
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder (I strongly advised to add this)
  • 2 tbsp nut butter, pb2/peanut flour, almond flour or coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Peel and mash the banana, stir in the egg. Mix in any of the add ins that you want.
  • Heat a non stick skillet and lightly spray with oil. Tun the heat down to medium-low.
  • Pour a circle of batter into the pan (I used about 2 tbsp of batter per pancake). Cook until golden brown on the underside (around 1 minute) , then use a metal spatula to flip and cook until golden brown on the other side (30 seconds to 1 minute). Serve warm with whatever you want. I like mine just the way it is..simple but delicious.

Hot and Sour Soup

I am so sorry that I’ve been absent for such a long time from blogging. It’s not that I have not been cooking, I was overwhelm with school, homework, projects, long hours at work, and on top of that taking care of Yogi and the bf.

It’s been so stressful that at one point I got really sick. All I wanted was something warm or hot in my tummy. Since I was not feeling too well, I had lack of energy, so I was looking for something that was fast and simple. I made hot and sour soup for the first time. If you have all your ingredients in hand, this is very easy to make.

As always, you can always substitute the ingredients to make it your own. You can use vegetable stock to make it vegetarian, or tamari to make it soy-free. However, please do not substitute with black pepper; white pepper makes a big difference in this soup.


  • 6 dried Chinese black fungus
  • 6 dried wood ear, black, cloud, straw, or shiitake mushrooms, or one bunch of fresh enoki mushrooms
  • 5 dried lily buds (found at the Asian market)
  • One can of bamboo shoots ( thinly sliced into strips)
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (use gluten-free broth for gluten-free version)
  • 1/2 block of soft tofu, diced into small cubes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of finely ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili oil (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)


1 Pour boiling water over the mushrooms until the mushrooms are covered and allow them to soak for 20 minutes, turning the mushrooms over occasionally. It may not seem like a lot but they will grow quite a bit. After soaking remove any woody ends with a knife. Cut mushrooms into strips. Reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid and mix with the cornstarch. (If using fresh enoki mushrooms set aside as they do not need to soak).

2 Pour boiling water over the lily buds until covered and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Cut the buds crosswise then tear them up into a few bunches.

3 Mix the vinegars and soy sauce together and set aside. Open the can of bamboo shoots, drain well, and cut the shoots lengthwise into strips.

4 Place the chicken broth into a bot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tofu, mushrooms, lily buds, bamboo shoots, vinegar mixture, and cornstarch mixture. Mix and bring back to a boil. Once it comes to a boil remove from heat. While stirring the soup slowly pour the egg into the broth in a small steam while stirring the soup allowing the egg to instantly cook and feather into the soup.

5 Add the scallions, white pepper, sesame oil, and chili oil if using. Taste and adjust white pepper, vinegar, and salt to taste. Add cilantro to garnish and for added flavor. Serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 4