Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Shortcake

As I get older, I tend to favor less sweet things and that includes pastries. Have you noticed that Asian cakes and pastries are delicious without being sickeningly sweet? I enjoy that and well I need that too, gotta watch that sugar. Anyway, I drew inspiration from two different videos to make this cake – Korean and Japanese – best of both worlds!

The hack to cut parchment paper for a circular pan is insane. Do you folks know it? Believe me, it is so easy. If I can do it, you can do it. I suck at cutting circles. The way to do this is like fool proof! Refer to the Tasty Video link below with the recipe if you want to see the trick!

I gotta tell you guys, this is my second batter. I made the first one and messed it up majorly. I forgot the step to mix it for 8 minutes until the batter has thickened and like doubled in size. The cake came out flat like a pancake (hard like a hockey puck). Give me a break guys, this is the first time I made a cake from scratch (not from cake mix kine). Anyway, this is the second batter – I followed the instructions closely this time.

Yay! The cake came out perfect! I didn’t line the sides of the pan because I have a Springform pan. Ha, joke’s on me, it still stuck to the sides. Also, one of the videos instructions to cut the top part of the cake off. Like why? I guess it’s to make the pieces even? Well, I flipped the top part to be on the inside so I still get a flat top and no cake waste!

Just wanted to show you how the cake looks like inside. How’s the crumb structure? I don’t know, I just like watching Great British Bake-off a lot.

I had to make double the frosting recipe! It reflects in my written recipe. I also didn’t have the same size pan as the videos did…ugh! It’s okay, I made do. I think I whipped the cream a bit too much, it’s okay…adds texture to the cake. Just kidding, I won’t whip it as much next time, haha.

Fresh Strawberry Cake
(Strawberry Shortcake)

Ingredients 

190g Egg (4 large eggs)
130g Sugar 
13g Corn syrup
3g Vanilla extract
120g Cake flour 
33g Melted unsalted butter
53g Milk

500g Strawberry
Whipped cream (600g whipping cream + 60g sugar)

Sugar syrup (¼ C Sugar and ¼ C Water is more than enough)

9 inch springform cake pan

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 340°F.
  2. Add Eggs, Sugar, Corn Syrup and Vanilla Extract to bowl over hot water bath and whisk together until temperature of mixture hits 40°C.
  3. Remove bowl from hot water, use mixer to mix until fluffy (light yellow). You should be able to swirl a figure 8 and it stays for a bit (takes about 8 minutes with a hand mixer).
  4. Sift cake flour into batter and gently fold in.
  5. Melt butter and milk in the microwave until butter is melted (about 1 minute). Add a bit of batter into the butter/milk mixture and then add it to the batter.
  6. Line the cake pan with parchment paper, pour batter into the cake pan. Drop the pan twice from a relatively low height onto a hard surface, this helps to knock out any air bubbles.
  7. Place the cake pan into the preheated oven, bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick or skewer, poke center and if the stick comes out clean, it’s done!
  8. Cut fresh strawberries into a small dice, whip the heavy whipping cream and sugar together until it reaches a stiff peak (about 5 minutes). Combine with diced strawberries.
  9. Let the cake cool after baking, cut the cake into two pieces (two layers) right before you are ready to frost it.
  10. Apply sugar syrup to the first layer of the cake. Add frosting. 
  11. Place the second layer of the cake (brown or top side down – I was too lazy to cut the top part off but you can), add sugar syrup to the second layer of cake. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
  12. Decorate with fresh strawberries and blueberries on top to your liking!

Recipe Inspiration:
Cooking tree
Tasty

Bob’s Bar-B-Que – Honolulu, HI

Kalihi is my hood. Yet, I can only report that I’ve been to Bob’s maybe once? What is it? I don’t know. I know I hate their parking lot (though they have expanded it) and I guess I have never craved their food. Well, on this fateful day, I needed food but didn’t know what. I did have a hankering for teri cheeseburger (what is with me lately?) and I looked them up…and ask and you shall receive. How was it? Delicious. My brother tried their bacon cheeseburger and fell in love, I couldn’t believe it. I guess this is going to become a mainstay.

Bacon Cheeseburger Combo | $10.35
w/fries and large drink

Teri Cheeseburger | $4.60

Really good, it includes mayo and some lettuce. I don’t recall any tomato but who needs that? It was good! Hit the spot. I would get this again.

Polish Sausage w/Baked Beans | $11.50

Interesting combo. I saw a picture and it looked like chili so I wanted to try it. I can’t refuse sausage and beans (sorry for the imagery). Well I only had a few bites of this to try, gave the rest away (not cause it’s bad, it’s good and it was gobbled up!). Delicious. It comes with mac salad but they serve it on the side separately (environmentalists beware). I like that they serve the mac salad separate, no mixing! I think it’s a little pricey but look at the portion!!!

Recipe: Instant Ramen Hacks

Do I even have to preface these posts anymore? Yes, both hacks I am sharing are from TikTok. Both came out fine but nothing I would keep in my arsenal for future use, you know what I’m saying? Let’s goooo!

Hack #1

One Egg, Kewpie Mayo, Minced Garlic

Add the soup seasoning packet

Mix, mix, mix

In the meantime, cook and drain your ramen noodles. Add the hot boiling water to the mixture you just made…mix it as you add water. Add the noodles back in and voila, fake tonkatsu broth? Hahaha, okay so if you needed a way to make your instant ramen more fattening, here it is. Was it worth the extra calories? Edible but nothing special.

Hack #2

This time, you throw away the original seasoning packet (or save for something else), cook the noodles, drain and leave to the side. Then in a saucepan, you heat up butter, brown sugar, shoyu, minced garlic, red pepper flakes…

Add your noodles and mix…

Add an egg. I made three servings so here are three eggs. MIX.

Voila. Done. You can top with some fresh green onions and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning (which I left at work so I couldn’t do this). Well first, I added too much red pepper flakes (thought it said T, not t…so yeah). Was it good? Sure it was good. But I think if I’m going to eat a mixed noodle like this, I rather eat Indomie Mi Goreng (which is one of the best instant noodles ever made).

Maile’s Thai Bistro – Honolulu, HI

Always a bit hesitant when I have a review to write and it’s more on the blah side than on the praising side, but I figure you come to my blog for honesty and pictures so here we go. We were feeling Thai one weekend and decided to give Maile’s Thai a go, usually we go to smaller Thai restaurants and love it. How do I explain the feel I got from Maile’s, more commercialized? I guess I’m used to small mom and pop restaurants and this one felt a bit too fancy for my taste, and when it’s a fancy Asian restaurant, I get a bit hesitant about how good the food will be. I think you know where this is going…

Thai Fried Rice with Shrimp | $16.90
rice fried with egg, onions, and green onion in Thai spices

Can never go wrong with Thai fried rice. I loved this dish, it was definitely my favorite. I need to learn how to make my own Thai fried rice already.

Chicken Satay | $11.90
chicken breast kebobs marinated in curry spices, sautéed with coconut milk and served with peanut sauce (4 skewers)

Ehhh…chicken breast already throws me off. Is it usually done with chicken breast? I’m too much of a dark meat gal, this was okay but not great. Would not recommend.

Yellow Curry (Kaeng Leung) with Chicken | $14.90
house yellow curry sauce, coconut milk, potatoes, carrots and onions

Basic curry, edible but nothing special. Good enough to eat but wouldn’t get this again.

Thai Short Ribs | $15.90
cross cut beef short ribs marinated in a sweet soy ginger sauce grilled and finished with Chinese parsley and green onions

Not to say Koreans own short ribs but I was surprised to be a short ribs dish at this restaurant. Tasted good but it tasted like Teriyaki-ish, it was good but not Thai to me. Well why did we order it then? We just wanted meat okay? Was a good dish! Wish I had a bowl of rice with this.

Recipe: Nui Xào Bò (Vietnamese Macaroni)

Yes, another TikTok recipe but from a legit Vietnamese family so let’s not make fun. This was incredibly easy to make and SO good. The sauce is so nice and savory and OMG, did you know this trick? I’ve been cooking my pasta all wrong all my life. This recipe told me to boil up the water, add the pasta in and boil it on high for about 2 minutes and then shut off the heat and let the macaroni sit in the pot for about 12 minutes and it will cook perfectly. I placed the lid back onto the pot slightly ajar. Am I the only one who has “cooked” the pasta…like stand there and keep stirring and keep trying to make sure the water doesn’t boil over? Ridic! Anyway, I’m using this trick for all pasta now. I think spaghetti noodles can do with maybe 10-11 minutes of sitting. Ugh, so much easier.

Nui Xào Bò (Vietnamese Macaroni)

Ingredients:
1 lb of Macaroni (16 oz – 1 box)
2 T Oil
2 T butter (separated into 1 T pats)
1 T chicken bouillon (3 small cubes for me)
1 lb of meat, sliced thin (shabu shabu type) or ground beef
1 C green onions (cut into 2 inch strips)

Sauce: 
⅓ C Sugar
¼ C Oyster Sauce
¼ C Soy Sauce
½ C Dark Soy Sauce
Stir sauce ingredients and microwave in a microwave safe dish for one minute. Set aside.

Directions:
Mix chicken bouillon with meat and set aside. 

Cook macaroni according to package instructions. I boiled my macaroni for 2 minutes on high heat, shut off the heat, placed the lid (slightly ajar) on the pot and let the macaroni continue to cook in the residual heat for 12 minutes. Drain, set aside.

Heat a pan with 2 T of oil. Add cooked macaroni, 7 T of the sauce and 1 T of butter, mix. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat pan with remaining 1 T butter, add meat and 1 C of green onions and cook for 2 minutes (or until meat is cooked through). Add macaroni and mix well, add more sauce if desired.

Notes:
The sauce ingredients make a LOT. I think it could be enough for 3 recipes

Mixed Plate Friday

Time for another edition of Mixed Plate Friday with your host Jenny (maybe?). Just some random thoughts and pictures.

Yeah another TikTok thing. I hate cooking bacon on the stove top and I’ve seen recipes telling you to bake the bacon. Cool. Well this TikTok trend told you to twist the bacon up and bake, it achieves the perfect balance between crispy and chewy and you still get to like lose the fat as it seeps out through cooking.

Here’s the after photo, I’ll let you judge for yourself if you wanna do this or not. There were good comments on this one.

Along with that meal, I made eggs and rice. And of course the eggs were cooked in bacon grease, come on. But my all time favorite? Longanisa sausage. Oh so good. Pretty easy to cook too! I pick up a pack from Don Quijote every now and then if I want a treat.

Okazuya Pac | $13.25
Zippy’s rendition of popular Okazuya Plate. Fried Noodles, Hot Dog, Corned Beef Hash, Hoki and Fried Chicken.

Jumping off of the okazuya post I did the other week, I got all excited when Zippy’s started offering an Okazuya Pac this month. Oops, I think today will be the last day you can get this.

Let me save you the trouble, I don’t think it’s worth it. I don’t know if you can tell but this pack is actually in one of their like mini plate containers, this is not a full plate. The chicken was dry as all heck and it’s just not worth $13.25 to me. I think I was also salty cause I ordered an Apple Napple and got Ube Napple and didn’t know until I got home. Ugh.

A little experiment I made last week. Bought cone sushi wrappers, boiled up some somen noodles that I dressed with Gyotaku Wafu Dressing. I then topped it with tuna mayo (kewpie mayo), chopped up ocean salad and chopped up taegu to throw on top. I really enjoyed this dish. I wanted to use a more savory dressing (wafu dressing versus oriental dressing) for the somen noodles cause there’s already sweetness in the cone sushi wrapper and ocean salad. One feedback I received was that the noodles could use more dressing…I actually liked it this way and it passed the kids taste test with flying colors. Would make again!

Recipe: Yakiniku Fried Rice

Yes guys, it’s another TikTok recipe post. Kind of a short lived trend and I think this recipe was just alright, nothing special but not bad either. You know how can tell it’s not that great, when the kids no like gobble it down. To me it was good! I just can’t eat all that rice…it’s too much!

Looks good ah? Not practical at all. This is merely for looks. This is not a good way to cook the meat, lol.

After you cook the meat a bit, add two pats of butter, can of corn and green onions. Mix it all together and then add store-bought yakiniku sauce. I got mine from Don Quijote. If you are curious which one, let me know and I will add a picture of it.

Okay, I guess I lied because I’m not really typing out a full recipe. You can see the ingredients all in the pictures and it’s really just throwing them all together and then eating. It’s the yakiniku sauce that makes all the difference. Pretty easy thing to throw together and tastes pretty good.

Papa Kurt’s – Honolulu, HI

Been wanting to try Papa Kurt’s ever since they opened and was excited to get the chance this past week! We had a few folks show up for in-person work so we took advantage and ordered out! The only disappointing thing? They didn’t have teri sticks or bentos…which their website lists but menu doesn’t. Perhaps this is a temporary change due to Covid? Anyhow, they only do takeout during lunch time and they have a nifty online ordering system!

Bottom Left: Ahi Burger | $9.00
Top Center: Teri Burger | $6.00 + $1.00 (Teri Sauce and Cheese)
Bottom Center: Teri Burger Deluxe | $6.00 + $1.00 (Teri Sauce and Cheese) + $1.00 (Deluxe (Tomato, Lettuce and Grilled Onions)
Top Right: Teri (No Cheese) Deluxe Burger | $6.00 + $1.00 (Teri Sauce No Cheese) + $1.00 (Deluxe Tomato, Lettuce and Grilled Onions)

**The soup containers were for the saimin orders.

My burger was the teri burger deluxe, was good! Actually, my coworker split her ahi burger with me so I had half/half. The ahi burger was good too! Not at all dry, I think they cut up the ahi into almost a fish paste so it was very moist mixed in with veggies, had a ginger seasoning. Glad I got to try it but I would probably stick to my teri burger if I ordered again from here.

Fries | $3.50 each

I didn’t order fries myself but got to nibble on some from a coworker. They do a really good job of seasoning and frying up these fries. How do they do it? They stayed crispy for hours, forreal. If you like crispy fries, get these.

Wonton Min | $13.00

I had to try their saimin and actually, their won ton too! I’m a sucker for dumplings, what can I say? They pack your noodles and soup separate. I really like their saimin, and you know what else? I appreciate the attention they pay to each topping. The choy sum was cooked perfectly al dente so I know they cooked it separate and took care in it. The char siu tasted great and I enjoyed the homemade wonton a lot. The soup…very strong dried shrimp taste, in a good way! I enjoyed it! Would order again.

Recipe: Seitan

Have you folks ever heard of Seitan? It’s basically gluten and has been used to create the meat alternative in many dishes. My familiarity with it stems from small kid days through Jai. I think gluten has always been my favorite component of jai, I just never knew what it was and always assumed it was a form of tofu. Well there was a very short lived trend on TikTok the other week where people were making seitan out of flour, water and a few spices. I was intrigued. It’s an interesting process, you first mix flour and enough water to form a dough. Let it sit…then rinse the dough ball. You are literally washing away all the flour and what you’re left with is just the gluten. In the end, you end up with these lumps of gluten that you can shred apart that looks like shredded chicken! Do you agree? Peep the picture above.

This is the big ball of dough I had after I washed it in water. It’s just so interesting!

I think I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika…I think that’s it.

Gotta let it rest again after adding the seasoning.

I separated the big ball into smaller chunks that I tied into knots and pan fried…

Ooh look at that color…

Oops, think I got a bit too much color on this side. This is after both sides are browned, you add the broth of your choice and braise them…

After braising, check out how big they get!

Looks pretty “meaty” yeah? Tastes pretty good too! I think it can definitely be used as a good meat substitute.

Jenny’s Seitan

2 lb organic bread flour (found at Whole Foods) or 5.5 C of bread flour
2 C of water (I actually used 2.5 C and it was too much)
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder
Smoked Paprika
6 C of Broth (Veggie, Beef, Chicken, whatever you prefer)

Instructions:

Mix flour and water until it forms a dough. Let sit under a towel for an hour.

Rinse dough under water and knead until water becomes a light rice water color.

Added 7 cranks each of salt and pepper, and then 1 T each of garlic powder and smoked paprika. Knead seasoning into gluten and rest for another hour (no towel needed).

Separate into smaller balls, I knotted each ball to help create more texture. I pan fried the dough balls to get some color and then added about 6 cups of vegetable broth and brought it to a boil. I then lowered the heat to a low simmer and continued to braise for an hour.

Remove from heat and let it cool, you can slice the seitan or shred like I did!

Connoisserus Veg’s Seitan Recipe

Chengdu Taste – Honolulu, HI

I posted a review of Chengdu Taste in 2019 but decided to do an updated post for now! Still a great restaurant and I am sure glad they have adapted to the pandemic. I have ordered take out and dined in during this time and they have a great website (though it seems to be best used on mobile) they are using for both take-out and in-dining, pictures with every menu item! Why all restaurants don’t do this is beyond me. Let’s get to the food!

Flavored Spicy Beef Noodle | $11.99

Tender Chicken with Double Chili Pepper | $16.99

Looks super spicy, is it? I can’t say it is TOO spicy, the chicken is nice and tender like the title says. I mean don’t order this if you can’t handle spicy, just look at the name of the dish! I think it’s delicious.

Special Red Tofu with Intestines and Beef Tripe | $19.99

Ooooh this is a newer dish I tried recently and I loved it. I love intestines and it’s just swimming in hot chili oil goodness. Can you see some other things? Pig’s blood…SPAM…I love this kine dish.

Toothpick Lamb with Cumin | $18.99

One of my favorites, delicious! And yes, there is a toothpick on every single piece of lamb. Do I really need the toothpicks in this dish? No, I would order it to eat without the toothpicks.

Wonton with Red Chili Sauce | $10.99

They have two versions, this one and one with the szechuan numbing pepper sauce. I’ve tried both and I rather keep sensation in my mouth so I order this one.

The next series of photos are how they serve their dishes for take-out! Happy to say their portions remain the same.

Kung Pao Chicken | $15.99

Twice Cooked Pork | $15.99

Spicy Crawfish | $19.99

Toothpick Lamb with Cumin | $18.99

Special Shrimp with Fries | $21.99

Don’t even ask. Let’s just say we have kids in the dining group, hence this order. It was okay but…shrimp and french fries? Hahaha

Chengdu Style Fried Rice | $10.99

I said this in my previous post, this dish is a must order each time I go. I still can’t seem to get a consistent order…sometimes it’s super good and sometimes it’s just alright. What is it?? Anyway, it’s never been bad so that’s why you can order it. Give this place a try!