Browsing Tag

asian cooking


The Secrets of Pesto Making and Homemade Ice Cream from Saveur

pesto making secrets

pesto making secrets

Reading the latest issue of Saveur (Sept. 2011) taught me that the pesto starts with the smallest, palest basil leaves. It is because they do not have the bitterness and the licorice-like taste of the mature leaves. But if you have mature green basil leaves, simply blanch them for 30 seconds and plunge them in an ice bath right away. Another tip is that coarse sea salt will help pulverize the ingredients. You want a delicate flavor olive oil to not overpower your pesto. Go for an olive oil that is pale gold. Plus, you will get several recipes from across the Mediterranean.

ice cream unplugged

The second article that caught my attention is about homemade ice cream. They showcased 6 ways to make your own ice cream without an automatic ice maker, which include using coffee cans or Ziploc bags.

+ Saveur


Asian Grill Recipes for your Next BBQ

asian grill recipes as seen on sunset magazine - june 2010

asian grill recipes as seen on sunset magazine - june 2010

If you are looking for something different to grill on your BBQ, why not get inspired by Asian cooking. I would serve the Five-Spice Chicken Noodle Salad into a big bowl placed on a tray. And the tray will also hold the bowl of Chile Lime Dressing. Serving the dressing in individual bowls will be aligned with how they serve food in Japanese restaurants.

And talking about Japanese food, you can’t go wrong if you serve Japanese Tofu Skewers on Soba. It’s healthy! You alternate the nigari tofu with alternating with green onions and shiitake mushroom caps.

These two recipes appeared on the June 2010 issue of Sunset magazine. You will find drink pairings by Sara Schneider online. And they proposed three more delicious Asian grill recipes.

+ Photography by Annabelle Breakey – food styling by Karen Shinto for Sunset magazine

GIFT IDEAS Gifts for the COOK

The Steamy Kitchen cookbook | Book review

the steamy kitchen cookbook by jaden hair

Jaden sent me her cookbook a while ago. I always meant to talk about her beautiful family-friendly Asian cookbook but I was waiting to make a few recipes. One thing happened after another and I still have to try one recipe. But I will. The Steamy Kitchen cookbook sits on my kitchen bookcase, next to my favorite cookbooks.

Since I looked in details at what was inside The Steamy Kitchen cookbook, I feel confident to recommend it. Jaden’s writing is approachable. She is fun to read. You get more recipes in her cookbook, you get tips on drink (beer, wine and sake) pairing with Asian cooking. Jaden goes over the tools and the ingredients that you need to make her recipes. Plus, each recipe is illustrated with at least one beautiful picture.

This holiday, show your support to the food bloggers you like by buying their cookbooks as gifts for your friends and family members who like to cook.

+ The Steamy Kitchen cookbook by Jaden Hair $18.45


Repurposing a Food Presentation

dishing ideas inspired from other recipes

When my eyes first saw the soft-cooked egg with caviar photo recipe of Chef David Chang, I thought “What a cool way to serve a Camembert”. The French girl in me is never very far. In the September 2009 of Bon Appetit, David Chang explained the story behind his signature dish. Like he said, eggs (caviar) in egg is funny.

momofuku by chef david chang

You can find his signature Soft-Cooked egg with Onion Soubise, Caviar, and Potato Chips recipe on Bon Appetit. It will also be published on its upcoming cookbook titled Momofuko. His cookbook will be in stores October 15th, 2009.

For my Camembert dishing idea, I still have to perfect it. It can sit on a bed of caramelized onions. You are welcome to share your ideas.

+ Momofuko by David Chang $26.40 USD


Lisa Kothari’s City Guide

original starbuck :: asian art museum :: trophy cupcakes :: monsoon :: lark

Here is the part 2 of my interview with Lisa Kothari, the founder and CEO of Peppers and Pollywogs.

AHWKV: When we travel, it is best to know the places where the residents hang out. Tell us about your favorites places in SEATTLE.

Lisa: Seattle is the home of Starbucks, and the original Starbucks is located in the famous Pike Place Market; try and get there to not only stroll the market, but to see where Starbucks all began. No matter what, though, have coffee at any of the vast number of coffee shops around town. My favorites are Café Verite and Uptown Espresso; there are multiple locations around town!

Seattle is also one of the most literate cities in the US, and so definitely check out a famous bookstore in Pioneer Square, Elliot Bay Book Company. This is a great bookstore with lots of local authors passing through and speaking on their latest books.

Visit Volunteer Park for a lovely stroll, a great view of the Space Needle, and to take in the collection at the Asian Art Museum. Many locals walk their dogs here, play tennis, and just enjoy the grounds on a beautiful day!

ATWKV: What is your favorite cupcake shop in SEATTLE?

Lisa: Seattle has seen an explosion in specialty cupcake stores, and Trophy Cupcakes in Wallingford is the star! Stop in for a delightful cupcake and don’t forget the coffee! The owner was recently featured on Martha Stewart’s show during cupcake week too. Really unique flavors too!

ATHKV: Which restaurants in SEATTLE serve the best brunch?

Lisa: Monsoon in Capitol Hill is really wonderful. It is a French-Vietnamese restaurant and so it offers a colonial menu of traditional eggs and waffles, as well as wonderful tasty Dim Sum and Vietnamese menu as well. I particularly like the Daikon Cakes and Congee. Diverse menu in an atmosphere that is sophisticated and family-friendly all at once.

ATHKV: Which restaurant do you prefer for a romantic evening?

Lisa: Lark is just so lovely on Capitol Hill. Fresh produce, small dishes, lovely ambiance.and no reservations! Pick an off-night or go early!

ATHKV: What are the best places for dinner?

Lisa: In Seattle, you really can’t go wrong with the Tom Douglas group of restaurants. A local famous chef, Tom has a series of restaurants that range in different types of foods, some fancy, some casual, that utilize the fresh flavors of the northwest and deliver time and time again. I love Serious Pie for a taste of gourmet pizza.the sausage pizza is so yummy!

Places in Seattle

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FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation RECIPES + menus

Discover the dishes that you can do with a sushi ginger dressing

September 2007 edition of Canadian House & Home magazine

Thanks to Liberty Post, I visited the video section of Canadian House & Home Magazine.

One food video caught my attention. It shows the multiple usages for a simple sushi ginger dressing. You can use it to marinate firm fish, to enhance the taste of a BBQ salmon or as vinaigrette.

There are a few cooking tricks to know. What is practical is that the video explains the dos and the don’ts. Watch the Sushi-Ginger Dressing video to learn how to create a tasty dish in a few minutes.

More recipes for entertaining

Since many of you are without the September 2007 issue of Canadian House & Home, I took the liberty of publishing the recipe. The magazine edition showcased finger food recipes. Three that I recommend for entertaining are the Gingery Asian Nachos, the Ricotta Pancakes with Smoked Salmon Gremolata and the Spiced Lamb Meatballs in Saffron Almond Sauce.

If you like Canadian House & Home, you can subscribe to a print subscription, a digital only edition or the print and digital version. Having access all the time to the digital version is handy. As a bonus if you opt for the print and digital subscription, you will get access to the September 2007 issue. And the digital edition arrives before the print magazine is delivered in my mail box.

Sushi-Ginger Dressing by Food Editor Jennifer Low


  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 stalks green onion, white parts only
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped sushi ginger
  • 2 Tsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
  • 1/2 Tsp sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp dried thyme (or ½ teaspoon of finely chopped fresh thyme)
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp canola or corn oil (or any mild vegetable oil)

How to prepare:

  • Make all ingredients except the vegetable oil in a small food processor and purée.
  • Stir in manually the vegetable oil. IMPORTANT: At this stage, do not use the food processor because you will produce a creamy texture and we do not want that.

Watch: Sushi-Ginger Dressing video on Canadian House & Home
Buy online the back issue: Canadian House & Home, September 2007 edition – Recipe by Food Editor Jennifer Low


Three flavored salt recipes on Steamy Kitchen

Three flavored salt recipes on Steamy KitchenI have been a fan of flavored salts for a while. After you tried a good flavored salt, you asked yourself how you manage all these years without it.

Flavored salts most commonly flavor a recipe and dish up a plate in no time. Use a flavored salt as a rub to enhance the flavor of a simple fish recipe. A little bit of black olive sea salt can add another layer of flavor to a recipe that has black olives as the dominant flavor. Other times, flavored salts provide an easy way to complement another flavor on my plate.

Making your own flavored salts

Ever since I saw Jamie Oliver making is own citrus flavored salt on TV, I realized how simple is it to make your own flavored salt.

I was thrilled to see on Tastespotting that Jaden from Steamy Kitchen just published three recipes of flavored salts: Szechuan Peppercorn Salt, Citrus Salt and Matcha Salt.

Steamy Kitchen is an excellent cooking blog with interesting recipes. Orange-Chili-Ricotta Frozen Yogurt was the recipe on her previous post. I like the sound of it.

Going back to the flavored salt recipes, you can use a food processor or a heavy mortar and pestle to mix together the ingredients. The Citrus salt is a must for its versatility. The fact that it turns out in a striking color adds to its appeal. Try to rub the citrus salt on fish or poultry. The taste is excellent. Season your summer salads with a hint of citrus salt and a few drizzles of olive oil.

Where to buy Matcha tea?

If you are wandering where to get Matcha tea, I suggest you visit a fine tea shop in your area. Most fine Asian / Japanese food stores carry Matcha tea. Otherwise, Jaden from Steamy Kitchen uses the brand sold via

Another option is to visit the online store of Muzi (their tea bar was formerly known as Infuze). Muzi has a distribution center in Torrance, California as well as Vancouver, BC, making shipping within the USA and Canada quick and easy. As a treat, Muzi published four recipes on their site. You can make your own matcha ice cream, matcha chocolate, matcha lattes and matcha smoothies.

People often give homemade jams as hostess gifts or party favors. But giving your own flavored salt is more original.

Container options for your party favors

Spice jars and containers for party favors

I prefer a jar with an attached lid instead of the basic Mason jars. Look at the Fido collection by Bormioli Rocco. These glass jars are affordable, reliable and widely available. That is what I use at home to store dry food. The top left photo is another great system by Bormioli Rocco. sells individually the Endurance Magnetic Stainless Steel Spice. I like the clean lines of these spice jars. They look sharp. Just add a printed custom label to personalize the look. If your budget allows it, use a commercial printer for better results.

If you do not wish a complete do-it-yourself option, browse the wedding favor stores to buy a kit. The one shown here (the food is sold separately) is from beaucoup wedding favors. They cost $12.00 for a pack of 6 spice jars. The beautiful custom labels can be ordered from beaucoup. It is $10.80 USD per sheet of 18 labels. proposes 6 designs in 10 colors. You cannot be wrong; their 6 designs are suitable for all occasions.

Recipes: Making Your Own Flavored Salts published on Steamy Kitchen blog
Buy online: Ujinotsuyu Matcha Hagoromo (All Natural Green Tea Powder) with Product Brochure and Pier Mall Home Recipes via
Buy online: Matcha tea on Muzi – switch to US store from top menu
Buy online: Endurance Magnetic Stainless Steel Spice at
Buy online: Glass spice jar at beaucoup wedding favors