Recipe: Santa Fe Wraps

Be prepared, I may be bombing you folks with healthy recipes for a bit. Trying a new kick and hoping it continues to help me in this journey! Well, not when I go out…that’s when I reward myself. This is a judgement free zone okay? Anyway, here’s a super easy recipe I made the other day in my new air fryer. Did I share about that yet? I’ll try to do a post on it later. Super easy Santa Fe Wraps (yes from TikTok) that kids LOVED. Can’t go wrong there.

2 Cups of shredded chicken breast. Here’s what I do. I buy rotisserie chicken from Costco. Immediately shred all the chicken breast, shove it into a ziploc bag and throw it in the freezer. The chicken comes in handy for all kind recipes, my infamous pasta salad, chicken noodle soup and now this recipe! I don’t know if the chicken I had was 2 cups, I’m going to say it was more but it’s okay. Oh and then I just grind on the thighs/dark meat for dinner cause I am Asian and we have good taste.

1 can of black beans and 1 can of whole kernel corn, both drained. I used low sodium black beans. Do they have low sodium corn? I don’t know, I would use it if had.

One packet of taco seasoning, the one you use to fry up taco meat!

One bag of shredded Mexican cheese, I used a low fat one because this recipe already has plenty flavor so we just need this for the melty factor.

Roll it up and bake! I used an air fryer so I sprayed it with like a cooking spray (similar to Pam) and cook it seam down at 400°F for about 3 minutes, then flip them, spray and cook for another 3 minutes.

Santa Fe Wraps

Ingredients:
2 C of cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 can of low sodium black beans, drained
1 can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 8 oz. package of shredded Mexican cheese
1 oz. taco seasoning packet
1 package of flour tortillas (burrito size, comes in 10 per pack)

Cooking Spray (like Pam)

Instructions:
Mix all the ingredients together except the tortillas. Spoon mixture (about 3/4 C – 1 C) into tortilla and roll into a burrito.

Place burritos in air fryer in a single layer, seam side down. Spray with cooking spray. Bake for 3 minutes at 400°F. Flip burritos, spray cooking spray and bake for additional 3 minutes. Enjoy!

Mixed Plate Friday

How’s these loaded tots I made? I think I made this back during the super bowl weekend even though none of us watch the super bowl and this was really just an excuse to make junk food. I think I just baked the tater tots as instructed on the package and then add the toppings and threw it back in the oven for maybe 5 minutes to melt the cheese.

Top tray is thinly sliced beef cooked in Halm’s Hawaiian Bar-B-Que Sauce topped with some some shredded cheese. Second tray is topped with pulled pork I got from Sam’s Club, nacho cheese sauce and sliced fresh jalapenos. The first tray was the heavy favorite, can we be any more Asian? I guess kids aren’t huge fans of pulled pork, was eaten but slowly. Sigh…

Got these noodles at H-Mart a while back. Yes, I saw a video about it on TikTok and got super curious. I love a sauced noodle and these were wonderful. A bit pricey (think I paid $14) but so good. Love the texture of the noodles and the sauce. It is spicy (hello sichuan pepper) but I like the spice. I think since it is popular, H-Mart hiked the price up to almost $17. No thanks, I can wait for the price to go down again. This brand has other flavors too which taste good too so give it a try!

Just a funny follow-up post to my Gulick visits. Upon V’s recommendation, I just made these damn rolls myself. No need pay like almost $3 for HALF A ROLL. ANNND I gave myself two takuan sticks instead of one. Oh and added furikake. It was a very enjoyable week of lunches. I think this is one of the few dishes I can eat a lot of and never tire of. Weird right?

Recipe: Strawberry Roll Cake

Has my baking obsession gone down? Actually, it has. I didn’t bake a single thing or roll a single boba last weekend. My inspiration tapped out. But let’s not forget where the inspiration started, it was with a strawberry roll cake. Isn’t it funny? This type of cake is nothing I would have ever cared for maybe even a year back but for some odd reason, I really wanted to eat this. So, I made it following a Japanese recipe because once again, less sweet. Join me on this journey!

Gotta make my own strawberry jam for the cake! Hello!

Whipping up the egg whites to make stiff peaks! Meringue!

Sift the dry ingredients and gently fold them into the batter…

Once again, I didn’t have the same size pans as the videos. Why is there so many different sized pans all over?? I used the typical baking sheets we have here.

Had a debate with my friend over putting down the jam first or the cream first. The videos I saw put the jam on first. Also, the cream I whipped up for this is too light to support jam being spread on top of it.

Oh yes, homemade whipped cream on top. My pretty…

Yikes, you see the crack don’t you? Why you looking down there for. Haha j/k! Some videos, these guys cut off the ends before assembling the cake. Hello, why are we wasting cake. I’m sure they eat the ends but I am okay with sacrificing beauty to eat this, ugly edges and all.

Not exactly a round roll…more oval. Haha it’s okay, it was my first time and maybe I added too much cream. I am still quite proud of this and it tasted great!

Don’t want to make your own? I don’t blame you. Here’s what I blame for starting my craze, I found this at Don Quijote Kaheka in their new fancy Japanese freezer section. This cake is SO good. So soft, not too sweet and perfect amount of strawberry taste. Highly recommend.

Strawberry Roll Cake

Ingredients 

Swiss Roll Cake:
5 egg yolk
Salt 1g
Sugar 50g
Cake flour 90g
Baking Powder 2g
Vegetable oil 50g 
Milk 50g
Meringue (5 egg white + Sugar 70g)

Strawberry Jam Filling:
10 oz (300g) strawberries, cut into smaller pieces
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 tbsp (15ml) water

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

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the strawberry jam filling. In a small saucepan put the strawberries, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Press the strawberries with the back of the spoon to speed up the process. Simmer until the mixture is thick, for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using.
  2. Add 5 egg yolks to a bowl, add salt and mix together. Add 50g sugar and mix with a hand mixer on medium-high until light and foamy. The mixture’s volume will increase and turn a pale yellow color, you should be able to create ribbons as you pull your beaters up. 
  3. In a separate bowl, place 5 egg whites and beat with a hand mixer on high. Add the 70g of sugar in threes (just don’t add the sugar all at once, add sugar in thirds after 2 minutes of beating). Beat until the mixture has stiff peaks, achieving meringue status (took me about 8 minutes).
  4. Add the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture and gently fold the mixture together.
  5. Sift the cake flour and baking powder into the batter and fold in until you no longer see white/flour streaks.
  6. Place vegetable oil and milk in a separate bowl. Add a bit of the cake batter into this bowl (about ½ C or so) and mix until fully incorporated. This step helps in getting the milk/oil mixture to better incorporate with the full batter.
  7. Add oil/milk/batter mixture back to the batter mixture and gently mix until incorporated.
  8. Add batter to a parchment lined pan (12″ x 17″) and spread evenly. Tap the pan onto a hard surface 2-3 times to knock out air bubbles.
  9. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 340°F for 30 minutes.
  10. As cake bakes, hand mix heavy cream and sugar together until it forms a whipped cream. Set aside.
  11. Remove cake from oven, immediately tap the pan on a hard surface 2-3 times again. This is to prevent the cake from shrinking.
  12. Turn out the cake onto a cooling rack and remove parchment paper to let cool. You can be fancy and cut off the edges if you like, I did not.
  13. Spread jam over the cake. Spread whipped cream over the jam layer. 
  14. Carefully roll the cake, place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. Slice and enjoy!

Recipe Inspiration:
Home Cooking Adventure (Strawberry Jam Recipe)
Cooking See (Basic Swiss Roll Recipe)

Dell’s Kitchen and Bakery – Honolulu , HI

Dell’s Kitchen and Bakery is an interesting name for a Japanese eatery, I wonder where the inspiration came from? They share the space with Mio Pastalogy which I am assuming is the same owner because I saw the worker run over to this side to help answer phones and they share a kitchen. They also have a great bakery in the shop with fresh baked Japanese pastries. Sorry I didn’t get pictures of my baked goods, I tried their spicy curry pan and regular an pan. So good. The curry pan was interesting because it’s almost like a hamburger curry inside. I’m used to curry with mainly veggies cooked to almost like a mush…so it was interesting. Both were very good and they are very generous with the fillings. Win!

Yakisoba | $10.00
sautéed pork and mixed veggies with Mio Pastalogy Spaghetti Pasta

I decided to get yakisoba for this meal. I don’t know why. Oh wait, I do. I also got two onigiris so I was trying to eat “light.” Who am I kidding? Anyway, this dish was really good. The homemade pasta is awesome, perfectly al dente. The pork, veggies and seasonings are on point. Only complaint? A bit greasy. As I ate through my noodles, I noticed a lot of oil at the bottom of the plate. So yeah, not exactly healthy. The cabbage salad is…not good. I’m sorry. I’m not a fan of the dressing they use (which I will assume is housemade) – it’s probably an olive oil vinegar based dressing. Something is missing in the dressing, a zing or citrus element. I didn’t finish it. Potato salad is a nice Japanese style and they add pickled veggies on top. The potato salad is good.

Nori/Shiso Chicken | $11.50
marinated chicken thigh, mochiko flour, nori and shiso

Here is what I should have got! And if I were to return here, I would get this. It’s a bit confusing, their online system only lists nori chicken…but then there are copies of their menu elsewhere that lists it as nori shiso chicken. We asked for nori shiso chicken and they said yes of course. Umm, I am still unclear if we got a nori shiso. I guess I couldn’t taste any shiso in the chicken. Not to say the chicken wasn’t good. It is oh so soft and flavorful and stuffed with something green (perhaps it’s nori, perhaps it’s shiso leaf? I don’t know). If it was shiso leaf, this was like least shiso flavored dish I have ever had. This like a delicious hybrid of karaage and mochiko chicken. Would recommend!

Kimchee Pork | $2.00
Mentaiko/Takana | $2.25

I am a sucker for onigiri. You know this. We got there right before 11 and that was perfect timing because that was when they put out their onigiri! Thank god. Why is it that dishes that are generally pretty easy to make…the best things to buy. Spam musubis…onigiri, etc. I enjoyed both! Kind of pricey so I don’t know if I would get it again (let’s be real, I probably will).

Guieb Cafe – Kalihi, HI

Been wanting to try Guieb Cafe for a while now, and I thought I was going to try it about 2 months ago but figured out I was in the wrong part of Kalihi. I have no idea why I imagined them there when I never knew where they were in the first place. Okay that was confusing. Guieb is located in the little strip mall that contains New Diner’s and The Old Saimin House. A pretty trendy brunch place located in a not so trendy area…so how was it?

Guieb Garlic Shrimp with Sautéed Vegetables and Brown Rice | $14.00 (+$1.00 Brown Rice)

Crab Cake Benedict with Sweet Potato Fries | $14.00
crab cake with avocado and hollandaise

This dish was enjoyed. The fries do not hold up in transport…but do sweet potatoes ever?

Guieb Garlic Shrimp with Crab Salad and White Rice | $14.00

Garlic shrimp wasn’t my dish but it was enjoyed! If you have a hankering for garlic shrimp and no wanna drive out to north shore (or H-Mart I guess), try it here!

Poi Mochi Waffles | $11.00
served with haupia sauce

LOL, waffles? Sorry I just have to laugh cause this is a singular waffle. Anyway, I was talking with someone on IG about mochi waffles and she is right, mochi waffles are not crispy. If you like crispy, you should not get this waffle. We did have access to a toaster oven so we crisped up the waffle a bit. The sauce is okay, a bit sweet. Was the waffle good? Ehh, like I said it wasn’t crispy and I usually like crispy waffles. It’s not worth $11 to me and I probably wouldn’t get it again.

Seared Cajun Ahi with White Rice and Crab Salad | $15.00
topped with honey wasabi aioli

Not my dish but was very much enjoyed by the diner. If you like truly seared ahi, this is the place to try! I thought the pinkness made it look like prime rib or something so I must just always be thinking about prime rib lol.

Adobo Fried Rice Omelette Combo with Sweet Longanisa | $12.00

This is a surprising choice for me. Kind of a plain dish to try when they have some fancy stuff. I don’t know, I just felt like fried rice. Their adobo fried rice is good, they have nice chunks of pork belly adobo in it so it wasn’t at all dry like I was expecting. The egg on top is like overcooked to the max, so thin and dry. Ugh. And I couldn’t finish the dish so when I reheated the next day, felt like I was eating sand paper. And you can never go wrong with longanisa. I would get this dish again if I was feeling like adobo fried rice, tasted good. Oh but wait, I got super thirsty after lunch which is a sign of MSG. Just a warning.

Recipe: Vietnamese Fried Rice (Cơm Chiên)

I have always loved Vietnamese or Thai fried rice, I find them to be so flavorful and always wondered how they make it. I don’t use MSG in foods (well not straight up MSG anyway) so when I found this recipe and saw how easy it was…I had to make it! How was it? BIG SUCCESS. I already want to make more to eat more but while I am Chinese, I think there should be a limitation on how much Chinese sausage I consume in a single month.

Jasmine rice ready to cook with soy sauce and chicken bouillon

I only have bouillon cubes and didn’t break them up good enough. It’s okay, it makes the rice look cool.

Here’s an interesting step. 6 egg yolks, oyster sauce, green onions and cooked chinese sausage (forgot to add it in the beginning) in a bowl…waiting for the rice…

LOL here is the Chinese sausage that I boiled and chopped

Here it is! All mixed in together in the bowl…this is precooked! See the first picture if you want to see it in wok action! Heat up some butter and garlic in your wok and then add this mixture in until the fried rice is nice and crispy. Add more oyster sauce as desired. Absolutely delicious. But I wonder if I find it so delectable because of the lup cheong (chinese sausage). Well the point is, it is good.

Vietnamese Fried Rice (Cơm Chiên)

3 C Jasmine Rice
3 T Soy Sauce
3 t Chicken Bouillon (I used 3 small cubes)
1/2 package lup cheong (Chinese sausage) – about 3-4 sausages
6 egg yolks
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 T Oyster Sauce
2 T Butter
1/2 C Green onion, chopped

Wash jasmine rice and place in rice cooker with appropriate water (fill to the 3 line), add soy sauce and chicken bouillon. Cook the rice.

Boil or steam lup cheong for about 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and chop up, set aside.

Mix egg yolks, green onions, 2 T oyster sauce and lup cheong together in a big bowl. Add cooked rice to mixture and fold in. The rice can be made ahead and cold for this step!

In a wok, heat up butter and garlic over medium high heat. Add the rice mixture in and cook until browned and nice and crispy! Add 1 T of oyster sauce (more if you want) and top with more green onions (if you want), mix and enjoy!

Recipe from: foodwithsoy

Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Boba

Reminder, I made two different boba recipes in ONE day because I am crazy. If you missed it, here is the brown sugar boba recipe. This time, I made strawberry boba from scratch and yes, it is made from fresh strawberries. Inspiration from TikTok (duh). How was it? Well, even though I had to make fresh strawberry puree for this, you can’t really taste any strawberry in the boba…it’s mainly for the color. I made fresh strawberry milk to accompany the boba. I’m not doing this again. But here goes:

Fresh Strawberry Puree

Adding tapioca starch to start forming the dough…

The beautiful pink dough ready to be rolled!

Get enough tapioca starch or what? Almost looks like mochi balls…refrain from eating…

Strawberry Boba boiling up…no forget, they expand! These balls ain’t fitting through no boba straws…

Ready for consumption!

Strawberry Boba

Strawberry Boba Ingredients:
½ Cup Fresh Strawberries, diced
2 T Sugar
2 T Water
1-2 T Honey

Strawberry Boba Instructions:

  1. Add strawberries, sugar and water to a microwave safe bowl/cup. Microwave for 1 minute (I microwaved about 1.5 minutes). 
  2. Strain strawberry mixture through a sieve to get rid of the pulp. Cool for 3 minutes.
  3. Add in 3T of tapioca starch into the mixture and mix through.
  4. Continue to microwave mixture for 1 minute (in 15 second intervals), it took me 1 min 15 sec. You are looking for a thickened and very sticky mixture. Cool for 3 minutes.
  5. Add 1 C of Tapioca Starch and knead through. 
  6. Roll into little balls, add additional tapioca starch for dusting if needed.
  7. Heat water in a pot and add the tapioca balls into the pot. Immediately stir the balls in the pot to prevent them from sticking to each other and to the bottom of the pan. It will take about 30 seconds for the balls to free float to the top of the surface on its own. 
  8. Boil on medium-high for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, keep lid on pot and let the tapioca balls sit for an additional 20 minutes. 
  9. Drain tapioca and place in a bowl, add 1-2 T of honey to sweeten balls and keep sitting in a syrup.

Strawberry Milk Ingredients:
16 strawberries 
60g sugar
500ml milk

Strawberry Milk Instructions:

  1. Wash strawberries, cut 8 strawberries in half and crush them in the pot (I used a potato masher), add sugar and heat on medium heat for 2-3 minutes
  2. Remove from heat and let mixture cool down.
  3. Dice remaining 8 strawberries. 
  4. Place the strawberry syrup, diced strawberries and milk in a bottle and mix/shake. Ready to go!

Recipe Inspiration: Strawberry Milk

Mixed Plate Friday

You folks ever been to Superb Sushi? Little take-out sushi joint on North King Street. Love their poke bowls and sushi offerings, they’ve adjusted to the pandemic and basically offer a take-out window where their door used to be so you don’t have to go inside…which is good because inside is basically their kitchen (lol). Here’s what we got on a recent trip.

Poke Shell (6 pcs) | $10.00

I think if you saw this on the menu, you would wonder what the heck is that? Thank god for Yelp – it’s spicy tuna cone sushi. Love the tempura crispies and fresh green onions on top. It’s a great dish, go for em!

Futomaki Unagi (8 pcs) | $7.00

Sorry, I ate a piece before I took the picture cause I was just HANGRY. I love their futomaki, it’s a dollar less if you get the oshinko (verus unagi). I felt like being high class so I went for the unagi, get so much things in the roll that it’s not like the unagi is super notice-able. No regrets and tasted great.

What do we have next? A visit to Gulick Delicatessen again. Nothing like going up to the front counter ready to order a single plate for lunch…and going a little too crazy that the lady has to bust out another box to fit all the food. Great job Jenny. Don’t order while hungry. No worries, I didn’t eat this all for one meal (but did all in one day, sue me).

I know, I know. That’s a lot of food. I’m so dumb.

From top left: Garlic Chicken ($3.60), Konbu Maki ($3.05), Egg ($2.65), Chow Mein ($2.95)

The garlic chicken is better than I expected, I never ordered before! Good! Konbu maki is good but expensive. The egg is good! I liked that it was savory and not sweet and people might not like this but I liked that the egg was small kine runny still so it was not at all dry, chow mein also better than I expected!

Tuna Musubi ($2.75) and Spam Musubi ($1.99)

I get these two all the time so it’s good. Why don’t I just make my own yeah? Ehh…I guess we can say that about a lot of things.

Angelo Pietro – Honolulu, HI

I had a hankering for some fusion pasta this week so you know where you gotta go, Angelo Pietro! I made my reservation pretty early in the week and then realized it was on the Saturday of graduation weekend. Good thing I made it early, I think they were pretty booked solid that night. I don’t come here often but boy was service…fast. I don’t mean that in a good way this time. The waiter couldn’t be bothered with us (it was only two of us). They have a happy hour special from 4-6pm for their appetizers, $6! The way it’s listed on the menu, it says, “Raw Potato Salad, Mozzarella Sticks, Calamari Rings” – all in a single line! Makes it look like you get all three. No, it’s $6 each. This is on their temporary paper menu, I think the way they show it on their regular menu is much more clear. Anyway, when I tried to order it (the number 6), the waiter cuts me off and says they don’t have that. Umm…I’m pointing at the menu and look perplexed. He sees what I’m pointing at and says oh, okay yes we have that. Okay like, guys, no other menu items have numbers on it so I don’t know what they don’t have.

Anyway, we got the raw potato salad within 5 minutes of ordering. The pastas we ordered came out 5 minutes after that. We literally got all our food 10 minutes after sitting. Fast is usually good but this was a bit too fast…we barely even ate our salad. Anyway, our waiter was kind of curt in his responses which did not make me want to stay anyway. So how was the food?

Raw Potato Salad | $6.00 (HH Price), $8.95 (Regular)

We picked sesame miso as the dressing. It was very hard to mix the oil into the dressing in those small little containers. I think I should have ordered something fried like the calamari (always with the regrets)

Takana & Bacon Pasta | $17.95
pickled mustard cabbage and bacon in a shoyu sauce topped with nori

Not my dish but I was intrigued by this dish too since I really like pickled mustard cabbage. Not that this dish was junk but it just wasn’t what was expected. The diner expected more of a sweet and sour taste to the takana but it didn’t offer that. The bacon is also not cooked crispy so that was a lowlight in the dish too.

Pork Eryngii Spicy Cream Sauce | $19.95
eryngii mushroom, onions and spicy pork in a garlic cream sauce topped with fried onions & garlic chips

This is my go to past dish here. It’s really good and is actually kind of spicy so that’s my warning to you. It was good! I always enjoy it and it certainly hit the spot for me. Is it worth $20…hard for me to say. Since it’s so delicious and the portion is good, I would say yes!

Recipe: Homemade Brown Sugar Boba

Last weekend was a hoot, I made three recipes…and TWO boba recipes in one single day. I think I must have been delirious. It’s not easy so I’m going to milk it and share them both in separate posts. Been curious about making my own boba for a while now and since I had extra tapioca starch laying around from another recipe, this was the perfect time! The recipe is pretty easy, rolling the balls by hand were the most tedious part.

Here’s the ball of dough ready to be balled up.

Break up the dough and roll out skinny snakes, I am impatient so here are my snakes. Keep the remaining dough covered up since it dries up pretty fast.

Cut the snakes into smallish cubes and then roll each cube into balls. Oh my god do I appreciate machinery after this process…

What a pretty shot, here are the balls I rolled by hand.

Boil boil boil. Gotta boil it for 20 minutes, turn off heat and let it sit for an additional 20 minutes in the residual heat.

Look at how it looks after being cooked! Crazy yeah? The original recipe called for muscovado sugar, I don’t have that. I just used dark brown sugar. Gotta make do.

Sorry for the blurry pic, this is the boba cooking in the brown sugar syrup.

Sorry I don’t have pretty cups to show these drinks off! I made some strong black tea, added sugar, milk and ice to make our own milk tea! Tasted great, the balls were nice and soft. Was it worth it? Ehhh…well let’s just say if I want boba in the future, I will just go pay 4 bucks for a cup where professionals make it. It was fun to try though!

Brown Sugar Boba

Ingredients 

Boba:
45 g dark brown sugar
60 g water
90 g tapioca + for dusting
70 g dark brown sugar for syrup 

Milk Tea:
Black Tea Bag (1 C of Hot Water per tea bag)
2 T Sugar
½ C Whole Milk
Ice

Instructions:

  1. Heat 45g of dark brown sugar with 60g of water in a small pot until melted, remove from heat and add about 1-2 spoons from the 90g tapioca, place back onto heat and mix until mixture has thickened (this is very fast so don’t blink!).
  2. Remove from heat, add remaining tapioca starch to the mixture and mix. Place some tapioca starch to your surface and place the dough onto the area. 
  3. Knead until the dough is formed and no longer sticky.
  4. Pull out chunks of the dough (keep the remaining covered while you work on it) and roll out small snakes. Cut the small snakes into little squares. 
  5. Roll the little squares into little balls. Dust with tapioca starch if needed.
  6. Heat water in a pot and add the tapioca balls into the pot. Immediately stir the balls in the pot to prevent them from sticking to each other and to the bottom of the pan. It will take about 30 seconds for the balls to free float to the top of the surface on its own. 
  7. Boil on medium-high for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, keep lid on pot and let the tapioca balls sit for an additional 20 minutes. 
  8. Drain tapioca balls, heat new pan with 70 g dark brown sugar on medium. Add hot tapioca balls to the brown sugar and mix. No additional liquid is needed, it will form a thick syrup for the balls.
  9. Brew hot tea and set aside to cool. Add tapioca balls to the bottom of the cup, add 2 T of sugar (less if you prefer), tea (cooled), milk and ice. Enjoy!

Recipe Inspiration: emmymade