Recipe: Dry Hot Pot

Is this really a recipe? I can’t say it is, I really just followed a TikTok video and threw choke things into a pot. What is a dry hot pot? It’s basically all the things you would eat in a hot pot but without the hot soup. The way I ended up making it, it had plenty liquid so really you are just eating hot pot in my mind. Well, Chan and my brothers all seemed to really enjoy it so it was a hit! I’ll just show pictures of the ingredients I threw in. If you really want a recipe, let me know lol.

I got the thinly sliced beef from H-Mart. This was the most expensive thing in the dish – I went for the leaner cuts.

I bought the unseasoned aburage from Don Quijote – I sliced it up and threw it in. I love adding this to dishes that are saucy because the tofu just soaks up all the flavor! Yum.

Enoki mushrooms and boy choy

King oyster mushrooms. Yeah, this was an expensive dish to make. All these mushrooms were expensive!

Chinese cabbage and the stems of the boy choy, I saved the bok choy leaves to the end because they cook the quickest!

My favorite fish balls hands down. Fish balls with roe! I had to buy these in the frozen section of Don Quijote too.

Dried beancurd sheets. I was about to buy the beancurd sticks because I am used to those in Chinese cooking but I really don’t like how hard and chewy those can be so I decided to go with the sheets.

I heated up some water and then threw the sheets in and let them rehydrate. I am happy with my decision to buy sheets and will do so in the future as well!

I’ve been looking for these noodles a long time. If you wanted to search for it, it’s usually called knife cut noodles or in this case, sliced noodle.

Just a fun-ner noodle to eat. I love it! I found these at H-mart.

This is the main seasoning of the dish. I used both packs in this, it gives the dish the mala hot pot flavor. Must be used! I also got this from H-mart.

Sorry, this is just me showing you that I literally just threw everything into the pot. Yup, the whole block of meat right on top. The final product is up top. It was very time consuming to prep this dish and it was pretty pricey, I don’t know how often I will make this dish. Maybe once in a while since Chan and the brothers enjoyed.

Mixed Plate Friday

My brother Jensen got me this super cute Lego Cherry Blossom kit just cause. Aren’t those gifts the best? Just thoughtful and a surprise? I built it up the other day and am proudly displaying it in my office! I love it!!

Have you tried ELEVEN at Foodland Farms Ala Moana? It is more of a small plates and drinks bar but they specialize in a brunch buffet on the weekends! It is $35 for the buffet and includes Prime Rib. I think it’s worth the while to try the different foods and hey you can grind down on unlimited prime rib. One missing element? No poke! I think that would really make the buffet and hello, they make so much poke already in the store!

We checked this place out from watching it on a YouTube video, you can check it out here. There is no free mimosa though – sorry!

First plate! I forget what get already. Broccolini, ulu hash browns, pulehu chicken, portuguese sausage, eggs, salad with fresh beets (!).

Second plate is for all the good stuff. More ulu hash brown, eggs, yummy chicken, fried jasmine rice, prime rib and the pork belly. Oh the pork belly!!! Nice smoky flavor, so good and also bad for you lol.

Smoked Meat and Clam Chowder

We were all excited for the clam chowder. Who can resist a good clam chowder? It was good! We were one of the first diners of the morning and the soup was a bit cold. I’m thinking maybe it didn’t have enough time on the heater yet? Maybe they count on the heater to heat it up? If it was hotter, would be mo’ betta! This would be a good place to host any friends who are visiting Hawaii! Here is the menu.

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


  • 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

Loco Moco | $11.00

Yum, loco moco. I can’t resist! We have Holoholo Bistro on campus and they have become a great staple. I love that they make such a variety of dishes and their super cute decorating style. A little pricey but to me this was the perfect portion. They also take Apple Pay which I now use too much because it is so dang easy to use. If you want to check them out, they also opened their own brick and mortar spot in Kailihi where Meg’s used to be!

Homemade Tanghulu

I couldn’t resist. I wanted to make it and TikTok had a microwave version. Came out pretty good! Well 2 things, don’t do the microwave version. The sugar liquid basically needs to be boiling hot to work so it’s better to be on the stove top. 2nd, these do not store well in the fridge. You gotta make it and eat it right away, if not, you’re just looking at a melted sugar syrup mess.

Look at my new water bottle! I hung this cute and cheap chain I got from Amazon. I’ve used it for a week and the chain broke already (lol). Ah it’s okay, it was cute while it lasted! I love this water bottle because it deceptively looks like it doesn’t have the sipping straw but it does! You can chug or sip! I love it! And if you hold it at the right angle, you look like a koala drinking it. I heard Costco might start carrying a two-pack soon – that would be a great deal!!!

King Restaurant & Bar – Honolulu, HI

Tried King Restaurant & Bar a few times now and it’s been good each time. For some reason, this past visit was especially good. Perhaps we ordered all the good food? They always have packed tables when I drive by during dinner time, we try to order take-out during off-peak hours. Always ready pretty quick and never get the order wrong yet!

Salted Fish & Chicken Fried Rice | $16.95

Why don’t I order this dish more often? I wanted the nostalgic taste of chinese salted fish so we got this! This was Chan’s first time trying this dish and he liked it! Probably not more than me lol. I loved it, perfectly seasoned – definitely would order again!

Beef Chow Fun (Dried) | $16.95

We watched a YouTube video which got Chan hankering for some good ole Beef Chow Fun. Yum. I especially like it when they have the good “wok hei” on this dish. It was good! A little pricey but I guess we’re paying Ala Moana prices for all these dishes huh?

Twist Cruller | $3.50

It looks like they started serving dim sum too – how interesting! We ordered our food in the late afternoon and this was still available to order. I am curious to try the other dim sum dishes! I didn’t try this dish, this is more Chan’s style. 🙂

Spicy Salt & Pepper Pork Chop | $18.95

Yum, great main entree! Nice tender pieces of pork deep fried – can you go wrong?? It was good!

Ong Choy w/Preserved Beancurd | $15.95

Have I ever shared that ong choy is one of my favorite vegetables of all time? I remember when my mom used to stir fry it with sliced garlic and fermented shrimp paste (harm ha), smells so good to me (probably not so good to others). This is a great way to make it too – I loved it. Couldn’t get enough. Can’t wait to order or eat here again!

Mixed Plate Friday

Meatballs | $21.00

Yup, we went back to ‘ILI‘ILI CASH & CARRY. This time, I wanted to try their meatballs and almost went with the hoagie meatball which is $18.00. Well I changed my mind and said, why not just cook up some pasta and buy the side of meatballs? It was a great idea. The meatballs are great and the sauce is good too! We were able to enjoy a couple meals out of this! Yum!

Plate Lunch (2 starch | 2 entrees) | $14.00

Chun Wah Kam will always be known for their ginger chicken fried rice and the hu-MAN-gous serving sizes. How can you beat all this for $14? No can! I like the ginger chicken fried rice and the hong kong chow mein as the starches. I went with the chicken with zucchini and mushroom and stir fried mixed vegetables. Enjoyed this plate very much!!!

Just a funny story I had to share. I had to go to Safelite to replace my windshield the other week and did a quick peek at their waiting room reading choices. What the heck! Why are all the magazines for women or for old folks?? What they trying for say! Hahaha, okay I’m a woman and I was there. I’m just glad the replacement went well! Have a great weekend everyone!

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

Chan bought this and was going to put away before saying to me, this is something you can’t eat. Is that a challenge? I asked why and he said, it’s actually spicy. GIVE ME A CHANCE! Yeah, I can’t handle spicy that well anymore. Do you see the corner? It says Korean Spicy. They trying to tell you, they not playing around folks.

Uhhh yeah it was spicy. My brother was like…it was just like shin ramen. LIES. It’s way spicier! I did eat a few bites and my face didn’t drip so let’s call it a win okay?

Strawberry Tanghulu | $4.99 (per skewer)

Yoajung was pretty smart to capitalize on this trend. I’m surprised they are the only place that sells this? At least that I know of. Do you know any other places that sell it? It’s a pain to make, I’ve made it before. But man, I saw it on social media again and just wanted to eat it. They have a long line but the line moves super fast. The tanghulu is already made in the fridge, when they run out, they run out. These are not made to order. I wanted the mandarin orange one but they were out.

How was it? Well, it tastes like strawberries coated with sugar, lol. It’s exactly what you would expect. Well since our strawberries are more sour than sweet, it’s a nice balance. The sugar isn’t too thick or hard so I don’t think you will break any teeth. Was nice to try, a bit pricey but it was a nice little treat!

Mixed Plate Friday

Gumbo Bowl | $16.00
chicken & sausage gumbo with rice

Unfortunately, this post does not start with a winner. I’ve always wanted to try Soul Fusion and now that they’re on the UH campus, I had my chance! How was it? I mean it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. Is gumbo supposed to be more soupy liquid than thick? Maybe I was expecting more of a stew, this had very little guts (if you know what I mean). Tasted fine but then my coworker and I both had to run to the bathroom very quickly after eating our dishes. Heh, sorry for the TMI, just letting you folks know. Not that the food went bad or anything – just might be a bit rich for those who are sensitive to that.

Shrimp Dumplings Soup (Hong Kong Wonton) | $11.95

Okay, this post might be full of complaints (in fact I think it is. I got this from Yung Yee Kee Dim Sum and while I am usually a big fan of their food, this is not it. It tasted fine! It’s just that this is what $12 gets you. It was like I think maybe 5 wontons? I didn’t pour my soup in yet. I think I can go Chinatown and at least get noodles with it for this price. That was a bummer. Tasted fine but was not worth it.

Dry Mein | $5.99

I saw this at 7eleven and wanted to try it. I love dry mein but it was a small portion. The taste was fine, I just don’t think it’s filling enough to be an entire meal. Also, you can see my awesome skills of overheating things in the microwave. Yum, melted plastic with my food.

Thanks for the patience everyone. We finally got the house tented. It was a horrendous week. We were originally supposed to tent on a Saturday but they called us the day before telling us it had to be rescheduled due to weather. I mean, we had a hotel booked and it is very hard to transport my father (who is very much immobile) around. It was an absolute nightmare.

The day before our rescheduled day was also windy and I was scared they would cancel again but it wasn’t, yay. They gave me a window of 10AM – 1PM for the tenters to come so I figured maybe I just take half day off work. 1:30 rolled around and no one came, I called them asking for status. She tells me they are finishing a job in Kailua and will be here in 30 minutes. Kailua to Kalihi in 30 mins? I don’t think so. I estimated moreso 3PM. Guess WHAT. 3PM – still no one. I call at 3:30PM and they had to call and try to track the guys down and told me it would be another 20 minutes. I’m sure you know where this is going. They arrived at like 4:30PM. We decided to stick around to watch the tent go up, that takes another 2 hours. It’s hard work! These guys were all wearing like slippers and slip-ons…didn’t look too safe to me but I guess they get super grip or something.

This was just an awful week because it was the peak busy week for me at work and then having to deal with tenting, cleaning and packing stuff out – it was hell week. Just glad it’s all done. There’s gotta be an easier way to fumigate, this was insane. Anyway, hope you folks have a great weekend!

Mixed Plate Friday

Nongshim Vegan Curry Ramen Big Noodle Bowl (6 pk.) | $9.98 (Until February 25, 2024 ($11.98 regular price) @ Sam’s Club)

Saw this newly at Sam’s Club and it was on sale so I had to try it. How is it? Well…it’s not bad but nothing to write home about either. Edible but not great. As you can see, it’s not soupy – more saucy?

Speaking of curry noodles, I made these noodles the other week. It’s Red Curry Coconut Noodles, super good. I’ll post the recipe soon!!

Hand-peeled Bamboo Shoots

I’ve seen these on TikTok, sorry no video to post but it’s all propaganda (according to Chan) but they sure make this look delicious. It’s ready to eat so you just have to peel it. Yeah, hand peeled means your own hand peeling it (lol). It’s kind of like artichokes, you peel it off until you get to the “heart” of the bamboo shoot to eat the flesh. You can try to bite off the bottoms of the peels in case there is small bits of flesh on it. This one had nice flavor, like a nice szechuan/mala flavor. I got this from 1-2 Buy, love going to that store!!