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!

Recipe: Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

I made a new recipe today and made it my absolute goal to share it with you folks. I was very excited to try this recipe and realized only when I started cooking what it called for. 10 TABLESPOONS OF BUTTER. TEN. And umm…then I looked at the amount of pasta. 6 OUNCES. What? That’s insane. I don’t know about you folks but I prefer recipes that go by the box because I just rather use it all then save it for later and remember how many ounces are left. I’m lazy that way. So I made many adjustments, wrong adjustments but I can kind of share what I did. I definitely did not add more butter even though I used more pasta…is this how Italian restaurants cook??

150928-01How does this look? This was before I made a few adjustments because…bugga was RICH. Looks pretty right?

150928-02You can never have enough garlic. Never.



Crimini Mushrooms

150928-05Does it help that two of the ten tablespoons of butter is used to saute the mushrooms? I didn’t think so.

150928-06Don’t these shrimp look great? Sorry, I just feel so proud at how I cooked them. I got them from Don Quijote on sale.


Chiffonade of Basil (yes, I had to look up that word)

150928-08What makes this sauce creamy? Cream cheese. All cream cheese. Oh yeah, there’s the butter in this pan. Along with garlic and basil, smelled so ono.

150928-09It will be super lumpy until you throw in the pasta water, then it smoothes out real quick!

150928-10Here is everything mixed together….mmm….

150928-11So what did I do after I ate this and didn’t like it? I added chicken broth. A LOT of chicken broth to thin out the sauce. I also added more cracked black pepper and squeezed a lemon in there. Cream sauces are so tricky, especially for reheating. I packed a couple of containers for lunch this week and poured in more chicken broth to help it not be a clumpy mess when I reheat them.

I got the recipe here. I know I didn’t sell it too well in this post but if you want to make the recipe, please do! I think I messed it up by adding my own quantities. If any of you do want to know the quantities I used, let me know and I can share it. Have a great week folks!

Recipe: Angel Hair with Tomatoes, Peas and Basil

I played around with a recipe this past week and came up with this dish! I’m very happy I did because it tastes delicious! And other than the dab of mayonnaise you throw in to make it creamy, it is very good for you! Let me share the pictures first:

140312-01Doesn’t that look good? I tried to make it look good for a picture, I need to wipe the sides off better next time, lol.

140312-08I used three roma tomatoes and two pints of grape tomatoes

140312-03Me and my crazy garlic again, I used a whole bulb

140312-04My basil was a bit wilted in the fridge but they tasted fine! I sliced up 20 basil leaves for this recipe

140312-05Angel Hair Pasta – cooked just below al dente since you heat it up in the sauce too

140312-06Frozen green peas, it can be left frozen even up until cooking

140312-07Heat up some good olive oil and saute the garlic

140312-08Add the tomatoes

140312-09Once the tomatoes release some liquid, add the basil

140312-10As the mixture cooks down, more liquid comes out. I added about 1/4 cup of mayonnaise to this to make it creamier

140312-11Add the peas in just as the sauce is done. You don’t want to overcook the peas so add it at the end to just warm them up

140312-12Here it is! Finished! And so delicious. I added salt and pepper to taste and then added a mozzarella and parmesan shredded cheese right before consumption.

Angel Hair with Tomatoes, Peas and Basil


1 lb. Angel Hair Pasta (I used Barilla brand)
1 bulb of Garlic, minced
3 T Olive Oil
3 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
2 pints Grape Tomatoes, sliced
20 Basil Leaves, julienned
1 package of Frozen Peas

1 tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Pepper
1/4 C of Mayonnaise
Mozzarella/Parmesan Cheese according to your taste

Heat up the olive oil in a big skillet, add the garlic to saute. Once the garlic has browned for about a minute, add all the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes has cooked down a bit and released liquid, add in the basil and mix it together. Lower to medium heat and continue simmering. Once the mixture has released enough liquid to become a sauce (about 5 minutes), add the mayonnaise to thicken the sauce. Add the frozen peas and simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasoning according to your taste.

Turn off the heat. Add the noodles in and mix it up.  Sprinkle cheese on top as you serve the dish. Enjoy!

Recipe: Yubu Chobap (Korean Inari Sushi)

I love stopping by Palama Supermarket once in a while at night when they mark down all their hot foods! There was a sushi set leftover once and while I normally wouldn’t have bought it, since it was marked down…I did! It included maki sushi, a cone sushi and some other forgettable roll. The inari sushi took me by complete surprise. While the tofu skin is exactly the same as all cone sushi we eat, the innards was a mixed rice with minced vegetables…it tasted like a savory fried rice. It tasted SO good that I had to find the recipe to make it. I made it for a work meeting and people really enjoyed it! So let me share with you the recipe…

140208-01Yubu Chobap – ready to eat!

140208-02Minced carrots. These were such a chore to do…hahaha

140208-03Minced onions. I cried, of course.

140208-04Rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, chopped small.

140208-05Put the oil in the frying pan and fry up the carrots for about a minute. Afterwards, I pushed the carrots to the side and added the onions to cook.

140208-06After you cook the onions and carrots for about 1-2 minutes, push them aside and add the mushrooms.  The original recipe calls for like bulgogi or some kind of teriyaki meat chopped small too – I didn’t have that and I honestly don’t feel like you need it!

140208-07I add the sauce when I add the mushrooms and cook them altogether. I can almost smell it now as I’m typing this.  It’s good to add the garlic at this point so it doesn’t burn as you cook the mixture…but still cook it long enough to get rid of the raw flavor.

140208-08I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of this beforehand but when I put the rice in for cooking, I added two medium pieces of dried konbu on top to cook with the rice.  I lightly rinsed the konbu beforehand then cooked it with the rice as you normally would. When the rice is ready (let it stay on the warm setting for a while too) – remove the konbu.  After the mixture is finished cooking, add it to the rice and mix it together!

140208-09You also add some furikake to the rice mixture. I added a salmon furikake mixture and I thought it worked great!

This recipe is winners! I think it’s healthy but still very tasty so people enjoy it very much. The hardest part is just the mincing of veggies but if you’re super lazy, you can use a food processor (lol). So before this recipe, I hadn’t purchased too many bean curd pockets before and didn’t realize how expensive they are! The recipe I am sharing yielded 18-20 very generously filled pockets. Don Quijote has a pretty big selection of it, Times did not. When I visited Palama Supermarket last week, I noticed they sell the bean curd pockets for a good price! Cheaper than both Don Q and Times.  Give this recipe a try and let me know how it goes!

Yubu Chobap (Korean Inari Sushi)
3 cups rice (medium grain)
1 large piece of konbu (dried kelp), broken into medium pieces (lightly rinsed)
2 T soy sauce
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
Vegetable Mixture
1 tbsp of sesame oil
1 large carrot, minced
1 medium yellow onion, minced
6-8 dried shiitakes; rehydrated, drained, and minced
Splash of shaoxing wine (this is what I used – it’s not typical in this recipe)Furikake – I used salmon furikake
1 package of Bean Curd Pockets (this recipe makes enough for about 20 bean curd pockets)

1. Place rice and water into rice cooker, place pieces of konbu on top and cook. Remove kelp once rice is steamed (feel free to eat the konbu separately, it’s very good for you!).

2. Heat oil in pan on medium high heat. Cook carrots first for about 1-2 minutes, push aside and add onions to cook.  Mix all the vegetables in and create a small well in the middle to saute shiitakes, add sauce mixture to shiitakes after about a minute of frying.  Mix all the vegetables together in the pan and add a splash of shaoxing wine. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.

3. Mix together the rice, vegetables and furikake.  Fill the bean curd pockets with as much filling as you want! Great served hot or at room temperature.

Original inspiration from: Korean Rice in Bean Curd Pocket by Anna Metcalf (YouTube Video)


Recipe: Baked Spaghetti

I got a request from a reader (thanks yuko!) for my Baked Spaghetti recipe so here I am to share it! Always a pleasure to share recipes. 🙂 My recipe is super specific, down to the brand name but this is what I do to make some gooood baked spaghetti. I’ll share some pictures and the recipe after the cut.

140116-01This is the stuff! Ooey, gooey and delicious. Join me won’t you?

140116-02Ground beef ready to go!


Ground beef and minced onions


This is how the dish looks like after the initial baking. This includes the noodles, pasta sauce and cheddar cheese. 


After the first bake, you sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Baked Spaghetti

32 oz. Meatless spaghetti sauce, any flavor  –  I use Hunt’s Brand – Garlic and Herb  (in the 26 oz. aluminum can) – update: 5/4/14, they sneakily now make the cans in 24 oz. sizes. When the Hunt’s brand canned spaghetti sauce is on sale, it is much cheaper than the glass jars so I just buy two but still measure out 32 oz. for this recipe.
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion – do not drain (I use Hunt’s brand once again)
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, minced
1 box (lb.) spaghetti or angel hair pasta, whichever you prefer – I use Barilla brand spaghetti
1 8 oz. bag shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 8 oz. bag shredded mozzarella cheese (you can add more if you like a lot of cheese for both cheeses, for these pictures, I used only one each…when I’ve made the recipe in other times…I’ve added more mozzarella)

Either one 13 x 9 baking pan or two 8 inch baking pans.
Olive Oil Spray – to grease the pan(s)

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Break the pasta into 3 inch lengths. I usually yield about 3 “sticks” from each stick of spaghetti and then cook according to package directions. I usually remove it about 2-3 minutes before the pasta is cooked. The pasta will continue to cook later in the sauce and eventually in the oven so you don’t want to overcook the pasta. Rinse and drain the pasta, place aside.

Brown onions and ground beef together until the beef is cooked through. Drain excess grease if necessary. Stir in spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes with the beef mixture and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Stir in the pasta. Once incorporated, stir in all the cheddar cheese. Stir the mixture until cheese is completely melted.

Grease your baking pan(s) and place your pasta mixture in.

Bake the spaghetti for 15 minutes, take the pan(s) out and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes more or until the cheese has melted to your liking. Enjoy!

Note: Another great thing about this recipe is that it freezes very nicely!

140116-06You won’t regret making this.  Adult and kids enjoy it! Let me know how it goes if you make it! 

Japanese Udon Salad

One of my favorite go-to recipes is this Japanese Udon Salad.  I based this recipe off of a salad I tried from Your Kitchen.  Unfortunately, I think they stopped making this salad so it’s a good thing I make this myself!  It is very easy to make, here are the ingredients:

Japanese Udon Salad Toppings!

Japanese Udon Salad Toppings!

Sliced Cherry Tomatoes

Sliced Cherry Tomatoes

Japanese Cucumbers, sliced and de-seeded

Japanese Cucumbers, sliced and de-seeded

Sliced Aburage - parboiled

Sliced Aburage – parboiled

Corn - I used canned but you are more than welcome to use fresh!

Corn – I used canned but you are more than welcome to use fresh!



Finished Product!

Finished Product!

I buy the fresh packaged udon noodles in the refrigerator section of the asian supermarket and cook them for about 1-2 minutes and drain them.  Then I toss all the toppings and the udon noodles with a creamy sesame dressing.  I insist on using only Kewpie Sesame Dressing.  I find that they make the best dressing, they sell it in Don Quijote and Nijiya Market but is a bit pricey.  Though it does go on sale for about $4.00 at Don Quijote from time to time.  Right before serving, I add cilantro leaves to top off the salad.  It’s a small addition but makes such a great difference.  I hope you get to try this recipe and let me know what you think!  It’s perfect for the summer – cool and refreshing!

If you ever get out to Japan, I highly suggest getting the huge bottle of Kewpie Dressing!  It is so cheap and totally worth my suitcase space/weight.