Recipe: Shrimp and Asparagus

I’ve been following the ChineseHealthyCook YouTube channel for years now and I always love trying out her recipes when I can because she makes really good home style Chinese dishes. When I saw this dish, I knew I just had to give it a try. I mean take a look at the picture, that’s the one I made! Doesn’t it look great? And I add so much garlic…I just mix it with some hot white rice and I’m in heaven. This is one of the few dishes I made for the whole week of meals and never got tired of it. Forreal! I followed her instructions to a T and it came out perfectly – perfectly cooked!!

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-fry

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz asparagus (remove ends, cut into slices)
  • 7 oz shrimp (season with salt and white pepper powder)
  • 8 cloves garlic (use 1/3 for the sauce)
  • 2 tsp seasoned soy sauce for seafood or light soy sauce (I bought and useed soy sauce for seafood)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • vegetable oil (I use avocado oil)
  • salt
  • white pepper powder or black pepper powder

To make garlic sauce:
Combine 2/3 of the chopped garlic, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1/3 cup of water. Mix well.

1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and drops of oil.
2. Blanch asparagus for about 30 seconds. Take out into ice water.
3. Blanch shrimp for about 1 minute. Take out into ice water.
4. Heat up pan to medium high heat, add oil. Sauté 1/3 of the chopped garlic for about 5 seconds.
5. Add shrimp and asparagus. Stir fry about 30 seconds.
6. Add 1/2 of the sauce and stir. Add remaining sauce and finish with a bit of salt to taste. Serve. 

Recipe Credit: ChineseHealthyCook

Mixed Plate Friday

Remember this from last week? Well I didn’t want to shell out almost $20 for the same hot pot set and watercress (Don Quijote had it for $6.99 a bunch versus the $3.99 I paid at Marukai – what???) so I went to Sam’s Club and bought a pack of baby spinach and their baby bella mushrooms. I prefer the baby bella mushrooms over the white mushrooms – I feel like there is a nuttier taste. I made it the same way and I think it tastes great too! So I guess I have other options now!

Pepsi Zero Lemon

Saw this at Nijiya and couldn’t resist. I love Pepsi Zero and also love when lemon is added to cola! It’s a win win – this is obviously an import from Japan. How was it? It was good. I barely got a taste of lemon though, so you’re better off just drinking Pepsi Zero.

Beef Chow Fun | $11.95

Fun Station has daily specials and Beef Chow Fun was on special for $11.95 (on Fridays) – very appealing compared to their usual $15.75 price. Just felt like a mixed noodle for lunch that day so I am glad I got it! Was very good! I drench it in sriracha but that’s besides the point. 🙂

Mixed Plate Friday

Ichiran Ramen (Home Kit)

How much does the kit sell for at Don Quijote nowadays? $30? Not worth it. Don’t do it. I bought this kit home with me from Japan – they sell it for about $20 there for 5 servings. This bowl shows off 2 servings. I bought the fancy sliced up char siu from Marukai and added some roasted nori (the one made for onigiri). Looks good ah? Yeah it looks good, tastes just alright. Try Ichiran when you go Japan but the home kit is not worth it.

Spicy Curry Pan | Dell’s Kitchen

Dell’s Kitchen and Pasta Miology is close to my work so I like to try it from time to time. I usually like curry pan – the one that’s like a stuffed deep fried donut. I saw this and wanted to try it and well, if you like bread you’ll like this. It’s very bready. The curry is pretty good but not enough balance of filling and bread.

You ever have a super lazy day and just want to eat some vegetables but don’t want to deal with all the prep? This was my time. I went to Marukai and got a bunch of watercress (was only $3.99 which is cheap nowadays) and then I saw a Hot Pot set in the produce section. It’s just a variety of veggies (won bok, choy sum, mushrooms and a small bunch of dried konnyaku noodles). Something possessed me to get it, even though it wasn’t a big amount of veggies and cost $10. Well I didn’t care, and I didn’t want to buy all these different veggies separately to clean and prep (yeah they are ready to use in the kit too!). Honestly it would have been pricier to buy all the different vegetables separate and I would have probably made TOO much vegetables that I cannot finish quickly. I heated up some butter and cooked the mushrooms first…then added the rest of the kit veggies. Then, I added the washed and cut up watercress and a big heaping spoonful of Better Than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base. The watercress lets out a lot of water as it cooks which becomes the sauce. I threw the konnyaku noodles at the end of cooking for 1-2 minutes and it nicely thickens the sauce too. I really loved this dish, I would definitely do it again!

Recipe: Jacket Potatoes

This isn’t a super detailed recipe, in fact, there are no details. I saw videos of this dish on my TikTok, super popular dish in England. Jacket Potatoes are basically their version of baked potato but I think jacket potato sounds so much cuter. Never made jacket potatoes before, heck, I’ve never even made baked potatoes before but I was super curious. The ones I see on TikTok, the potatoes come out of the oven so freaking crispy on the outside and soft on the inside…I just had to do it!!!! Their toppings are a bit unique…one had tuna mayo and baked beans with melted cheese on top. Curiousity got the best of me.

The worst part about this recipe? Having to poke holes into the potatoes. I use a metal fork and I meticulously stab it, I don’t play around. It’s a nightmare.

LOL, did you know they sold pork and beans this size! I saw it at Don Quijote and just had to get it. We barely made a dent, still tickled me!

After I prick the potatoes and dry them off I generously oiled them (olive oil) and salted each side. Place it on a wire rack and into the oven at 425° for 2 hours. After one hour, you turn the potatoes over. Now this is for the big russet potatoes and baking time makes it perfect. So crispy on the outside and nicely fluffy on the inside. This picture is after I sliced it open and added slabs of butter in. What they do is, they add the butter with a butter knife and cut it into the potato flesh. You’re like making mashed potatoes basically within the skin. Then you add salt and pepper to taste. Is this how you make American baked potatoes too? IDK!

I added the tuna mayo, heated baked beans and shredded cheese on top and covered the plate with foil to achieve…

THIS! A few minutes of foil-age, you get the ooey gooey jacket potato! How was it? NO THANK YOU. LOLOLOL. It was super bland. Sorry, I know this is an English dish so I should have known better. Honestly, I am already not a huge fan of potatoes so I did not enjoy this dish. Luckily I had chili on the side, so the others had chili cheese potatoes. I had a few potatoes left over and made it american style after that which was enjoyed. That’s my adventure into jacket potatoes. If anyone really wants the recipe, let me know but there isn’t much to it!

Valentine’s Chichi Dango

Isn’t this cute!!!

I made some chichi dango mochi for Valentine’s Day complete with pink chichi dango hearts on top!

Painstakingly punching out each individual heart lol. I’m still playing around with the recipe since I really just made it up on my own. I think I need a little more batter for the hearts, was a bit thin. Always testing things out!

You like scrap?! Nah, I gave the scraps to my brother who happily ate it!

Hearts ready to adorn chichi dango!

Cute yeah?!?! I gave to Chan and his workers and of course to some of my coworkers! I actually messed up on this a bit. I meant to make it the traditional layered mochi but when added the second layer to the first layer (following instructions!) – the first layer wasn’t set enough so it became like a swirl! Ah, it worked out anyway! Was still cute!

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I just wanted to do a small brag…

Look at the beautiful flowers and balloons Chan got for me. Thank you so much! I always feel so special and loved. ^_^

Recipe: Mixed Eggplant Bucatini

A trip to the mainland means a trip to Trader Joes. Especially if you’re from Hawaii! Another TikTok recipe, I saved this and decided to give it a try! Easy easy recipe. 4 ingredients!

That’s basically it! Cook up your pasta according to your preference (doesn’t have to be bucatini, choose what you like!) – save the pasta water. Heat up the eggplant with tomatoes and onions and jar of eggplace garlic spread with sweet red peppers on the stove top. Add maybe 1/2 C of your hot pasta water to make the mixture more “saucy” – do it to your liking. Throw in the cooked pasta and mix it up! Top with shredded parmesan cheese (whatever cheese you like).

Looks good ah? My own notes, not enough salt. It’s a bit sweet for my taste. Perhaps you can salt your pasta water (I didn’t) or add salt when you’re making it to your taste. I ate it with hot chili oil so it tasted great for me. I’m glad I bought two servings worth, I can still make another batch!

Mixed Plate Friday

Get this. I was in a mood but still always follow the rules. So I’m driving up Piikoi to go onto the freeway right? And you folks know, the right and left lane people always be trying to cut us rule followers. I don’t let them cut because why should I have to wait forever to get on the freeway while you folks just cut last minute? It is so maddening! Anyway, earlier this morning it happened. This stupid jeep was on the left trying to cut me, we were bumper to bumper at the red light. I was not going to let him in. But he kept moving forward and steering his car like he was just gonna cut anyway.

Well guess what. No. I didn’t let that happen. And as the light turned green and I went gas em, his passenger, some white lady busts out her phone and points it at me out of the window. Yeah! Like she’s trying for record me for not letting them in??? Girl are you crazy. I hope you enjoyed the view of me pissed off in my big black sunglasses I got from my eye surgery. It was obviously a rental car (dumb tourist). I was hopping mad but I ain’t going to engage with them. I just drove off. How rude right??? I almost like her post the video and me find it to tell everyone exactly what happened.

Spicy & Shoyu Ahi Poke Bowl | $12.99

Before the pandemic, Aja used to fill up the cold case with sushi and bibimkooksoo. Still no bibimkooksoo but I did try this poke bowl the other week! Pretty good! Pretty good portion for $12.99 even if it’s a lot of rice.

Homemade Bahn Mi Toast

Haha I’m calling it toast because I didn’t have any french bread. But I just toasted up one slice of bread, shredded Sam’s Club chicken with mayo, made my own carrot/daikon pickle, fresh cilantro and some homemade pickled jalapenos too! It was delicious! The boys loved it too, all three of them! Hard to find dishes that all three enjoy.

Homemade Tuna Pasta Salad

Did I post this before? I just made my own pasta salad one day and used cottage cheese as a base for the dressing to make it healthier. I just needed the wetness of the cottage cheese to make a dressing and for me it works. I added fresh dill too to make it even more flavorful. I forget the recipe already, if you want it, let me know and I can try to type one up and post. I enjoy this dish!

Recipe: Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Let me start this post off with a funny and TMI question. And if you’re not a woman, please feel free to browse past this paragraph. How do you put on your bras?? I’ve been having really bad shoulder problems (rotation issue) and when I could no longer put on my bra like before, I took action and got a referral to PT. That’s when I started talking to other women that I found out…it’s hard for a lot of people to put on their bras that way? I thread my arms through and reach my arms to my back to put on the clasp. I learned that a few of you clasp it up front, then turn the bra to the back and then put on the straps? How many of you do this?? Just genuinely curious.

Anyway, so yes. I have now completed 2 weeks of PT. Two more to go and I gotta say, this week really showed me how effective it has been. I haven’t realized how my shoulders have really been holding me back and making me feel miserable. I mean, when I sit still, my shoulders don’t ache but movement is super inhibited by the pain. I feel like I got a burst of energy back this week and I know my shoulders are so much better and looser than before. So right now, I can’t speak highly enough about PT and its benefits. If you have body aches that are bothering you, please consider doing PT if that’s an option. You’re worth it!

Okay, here’s another recipe that I found online. I needed another way to eat broccoli, getting tired of the two ways I eat it. Well, I’ve always liked balsamic veggies in the restaurants so I gave this a try. It was great! I love it. I also decided to add zucchini and green beans to the party. Thank god for our farmers market at work, I really hope they continue to come during the summer time.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Vegetables

Broccoli (I buy the ready to use bags from Sam’s Club or Costco)
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 bunch of green beans, cleaned with the ends cut off, chopped

Balsamic Marinade
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried basil
freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, dried basil, and pepper. Set the marinade aside.

Lay out vegetables onto a baking sheet (single layer if able), drizzle marinade all over the vegetables.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven, give the vegetables a good stir, then return them to the oven and roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and have browned on the edges. Don’t be alarmed if the marinade blackens on the baking sheet, that part will not be scooped up with the vegetables.

Recipe Credit: Budget Bytes

Recipe: Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

I eat broccoli all the time and after a while, I get tired of the same old roasted broccoli. I saw this recipe on TikTok and wanted to try it because I always love how the vegetables are made in Chinese restaurants but I never made them myself before. I love this, it’s super savory and flavorful and chock full of garlic. I adjusted this recipe for my own needs since I buy the big bag of broccoli from Sam’s/Costco. I also probably add way more garlic.

Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

Ingredients:

2-3 lb Broccoli (I get the ready to use bags from Costco/Sam’s Club)

2 T neutral oil

2 t salt (for boiling broccoli)

3 T minced garlic (I used a whole head of garlic lol)

6 T oyster sauce

3 T shaoxing wine

¾ C Water

Cornstarch slurry: 3 t + 3 t water

Directions:

Steam the broccoli to your liking. I boil it in a big pot of salted water for about 2-3 minutes, I don’t want the broccoli too soft. Drain broccoli from water and set aside.

Heat up oil and garlic until fragrant in a pan, no need to brown the garlic. Add the oyster sauce, shaoxing wine and water and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch slurry and stir immediately, take pan off the heat. Pour the sauce over the steamed broccoli, mix and serve!

Recipe: Cheese Stuffed Italian Sausage Pasta

I already have to start this post with an apology for that abysmal photograph. Honestly, I thought this dish was just okay. Perhaps if I got the spicy italian sausage next time, I would like it better. I saw it on Tik Tok (duh) and it was so easy that I couldn’t resist making it. It’s not much of a recipe honestly.

I bought a pack of italian sausages (mild) that came in a pack of five. You cut a slit lengthwise (don’t cut all the way through) and then stick mozzarella string cheese into each sausage and then form it around the cheese to make the sausage whole again.

Place the sausages on a wire rack onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 450° for ten minutes.

Prepare your pasta of your choice. Heat up pasta sauce (whatever kind you like!) and place the sausages into the sauce and simmer for about 20-30 minutes after baking. The sausages should maintain their shape in the sauce! Slice up the sausages and serve over pasta with the sauce. Voila!