Category Archives: Asian

{Skinny} Bang Bang Shrimp

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Hello everyone! I feel like I haven’t updated in ages. Things around here have been a bit hectic lately. Not to mention that I  briefly went through a weird phase where I lacked inspiration and motivation to cook, and when I did, I often didn’t enjoy whatever I made. This was especially strange for me because I usually love cooking and love eating. I think I chalked it up to being busy and stressed, and have been feeling back to normal the past week – phew!

Anywho, I had a few ideas of what to post today but when I saw shrimp on sale at the store I immediately knew what I wanted to make. Recently I’ve seen a lot of recipes for “Bang Bang Shrimp” and they always catch my eye. It’s a dish that includes crispy, breaded shrimp served with a creamy and spicy chili sauce. This dish is served at Bonefish Grill, a restaurant I’ve never been to and therefore have not actually tried the original recipe, but I could tell from the ingredients that I would love it.

I was even more inspired when I saw a lightened up version of the dish over at Cooking for Keeps. I followed this recipe pretty closely, though I opted for Greek yogurt over mayo for the sauce and used regular flour instead of almond flour. I also added a bit of teriyaki sauce which I thought bumped the sauce up a notch. The sauce is rich and flavorful, all while being light on calories. Breading the shrimp is optional – I very lightly breaded mine in flour and cooked them in a bit of coconut butter which was delicious!

I also love this recipe because it looks fancy, but takes less than 30 minutes to make! You can used thawed frozen shrimp and store-bought chili sauce to make the recipe even easier, and I bet you nobody will know the difference. 🙂

Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
adapted from Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp with Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce on Cooking for Keeps

Ingredients:
serves 2

  • 1/2 lb large, raw shrimp (about a 12-count), peeled & de-veined
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp oil (I used coconut, but olive or canola work too)
    For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp sweet chili sauce (I like Frank’s brand)
  • 1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp Sriracha (2 if you like things spicy)
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • Rice to serve on the side

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Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce and whisk. Set aside.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat your oil over medium heat. Toss the shrimp in the flour and gently place in the hot oil. Fry on each side for 1 – 2 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and breading is crispy.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and pour the sauce over the shrimp. Cook for an additional minute or so, until the sauce is hot. Serve over rice and optional veggie, and enjoy!
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Start by preparing your sauce!

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Lightly coat your shrimp in flour

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Frizzle up your shrimp in the hot oil

 

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It will look something like this when it’s finished cooking!

 

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Pour sauce over your shrimp, cook for another minute, and it’s ready to serve!

 

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🙂

Easy One-Pot Pad Thai

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I’m back with another internet recipe. Maybe I’m not feeling especially creative in the cooking department lately, but that’s okay because this recipe is awesome and it’s a technique I think everyone should know about.

If you frequent Pinterest or cooking websites as much as I do, you may have seen the One Pot method of cooking pasta. The pasta and toppings – such as tomatoes, onions, and basil – are all cooked together in one pot and the liquid evaporates by the end, making for one flavorful pasta. This method kind of blew my mind. It almost doesn’t seem like it should work, but after reading through dozens of comments on the blog, I saw how satisfied people were with the recipe and thought maybe I would try it.

Then I stumbled upon One Pot Wonder Thai Style Peanut Pasta and knew I had to make it. A Pad Thai-style dish, all made in one pot and under 20 minutes? Yes please! My family loves Pad Thai and usually gets four orders of it when we get Thai take-out. I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own Pad Thai for a while now, but often the ingredients can be somewhat obscure and the recipe intimidating. I was a bit skeptical that this one-pot method would work – what if there was too much liquid left at the end and the noodles were soggy? – but this recipe also had many positive comments and so off I was to cook it.

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I have to say, I couldn’t be more pleased with how this dish came out. It may not be 100% authentic Pad Thai, but it was sure packed with flavor and one of the best dishes I’ve had in a while. Noodles and veggies are cooked in a broth with peanut sauce and other Asian flavors, and come together to make a delicious dish reminiscent of Pad Thai. I adjusted the original recipe slightly to suit my taste, but mainly stayed true to it. I also added some shrimp to mine, which I thought complimented the dish well, but alternatively you could add chicken, tofu, or just stick with the noodles!

Easy One-Pot Pad Thai
adapted from One Pot Wonder Thai Style Peanut Pasta Recipe on Apron Strings

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Ingredients:makes 5 – 6 servings

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. fettucine or linguine*
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • Peanut Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsp peanut butter (I used crunchy)
    • 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce (or fish sauce for a more authentic flavor)**
    • 1.5 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp honey
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 tsp curry paste
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 4 cups chicken or veggie stock (or water)
  • optional: 1 lb. raw shrimp, shells removed
  • juice of 1 lime (about 1.5 – 2 Tbsp)
  • to serve: extra scallions, chopped cilantro, and peanuts

*Most dried pasta comes in 16 oz. packages – just use your best judgment to take 3/4 of the box. Also, white pasta is recommended for this recipe as whole grain or rice pasta has differing cooking times.

**In addition to fish sauce, authentic Pad Thai also uses tamarind paste, a sour-flavored condiment that can be found at Asian grocers, and bean sprouts. Feel free to add these things if they’re available to you!

Directions:

  1. In a large (3 – 4 quart) pot, heat 1 Tbsp canola or olive oil over low heat. Add sliced onions and cook for about 10 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and ginger and cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes. Turn off heat.
  2. Add the noodles on top off the cooked onions, garlic and ginger, along with the veggies, scallions, and peanut sauce. Pour your 4 cups of chicken or veggies stock on top. Cover with a lid and turn heat up to high. Once it’s boiling, return to a simmer and cover loosely with lid so some steam can escape.
  3. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated, stirring every 2 minutes. If including shrimp, add halfway through cook time. Dish is done once pasta is cooked and a small amount of liquid remains at the bottom (it’s good to keep some liquid – it makes for a nice gravy over the pasta).
  4. Serve with extra scallions, cilantro, and chopped peanuts and enjoy!
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Begin by sauteing your onions, garlic, and ginger.

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Place noodles on top of cooked onions, along with veggies, scallions, and peanut sauce. Cover with the 4 cups of stock or water and bring to a boil, covered.

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Once boiling, return to a simmer and cover loosely with a lid. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until pasta is cooked and most of liquid has evaporated. If using shrimp, add halfway through cook time.

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It’s okay to leave a little liquid at the bottom – it’s tasty and makes for a nice sauce over the noodles.

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The finished product!

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Add the chopped scallions, cilantro, and peanuts and enjoy!

Kori Coffee

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Today I’m excited because I have a cool new way of drinking coffee to share with you guys: Kori Coffee.

Kori Coffee, also sometimes referred to as Kori Kohi, is a method of preparing coffee that originated in Japan (“Kori” translates to “ice” in Japanese). Strong brewed coffee or espresso is frozen into ice cubes and then served in a glass with milk poured over it. As the coffee cubes melt, the milk slowly becomes infused with the coffee flavor and makes for one awesome iced coffee.

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I’ve seen a similar recipe floating around Pinterest but didn’t think much of it until I read more about it on the blog Honestly Yum. They explain the method a little more and use it to make an iced mocha, which also sounds delicious. I was excited when I found this method because I’ve been looking for new ways to enjoy iced coffee and this one pretty much knocked my socks off. (Except that it’s obviously too hot to even consider wearing socks in this heat.)

Traditionally Kori Coffee is also served with corn syrup or a simple syrup to sweeten. I chose to use sweetened coffee creamer in addition to my milk instead of syrup, but it’s up to you how sweet you want your coffee. You can choose to use just plain milk, or sweetened almond or coconut milk, or milk with sugar added to it – up to you! I used skim milk and So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Creamer, which I highly recommend. It’s rich and creamy but fat free and is perfect in iced coffee.

Kori Coffee is a bit mellower than your typical iced coffee with a richer milk taste, but the coffee flavor intensifies as you sip. Definitely up there with some of my favorite coffees 🙂 This method of making coffee is also perfect for the summer, because as your coffee melts, you don’t need to worry about it getting watered down!

Kori Coffee (Japanese Iced Coffee / Milk with coffee ice cubes)
adapted from Iced Mocha with Coffee Ice Cubes on Honestly Yum and Pepper.ph

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Ingredients:
makes 1 iced coffee

  • 6 – 8 oz. strong brewed coffee, frozen into 1 oz. coffee ice cubes (a standard ice cube tray will do the trick)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp sweetener of choice: your favorite coffee creamer, sugar, simple syrup, or a few tsp of stevia*

*If using sweetened milk, you can skip this ingredient.

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Coffee ice cubes and milk (I added my sweetener directly to the milk)

Directions:

Place your coffee ice cubes in a glass. Pour your milk and sweetener over the ice cubes and stir. If you wish for your coffee to start melting quickly, you can warm the milk slightly before adding it to the ice cubes. But if you live in an area with warm weather like I do, your coffee will start melting in no time 🙂

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At first, your coffee will look like this. Then as the coffee cubes slowly melt…

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…It will look more like this. Enjoy! 🙂

Spicy Tuna Wrap

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This recipe was inspired, as you may have guessed, by the spicy tuna sushi roll. I’ve been preparing tuna salad this way for about a year now, but it only occurred to me recently that with a few extra ingredients it could taste a lot like my favorite type of sushi.

Spicy Tuna Rolls typically include tuna in a spicy sauce, something crunchy like cucumber, and often avocado. My Spicy Tuna Wrap uses teriyaki sauce and Sriracha to give the tuna a spicy Asian twist, and includes vegetables like carrots, red bell peppers, radishes, avocado, and spinach in place of seaweed. It’s perfect for when you’re craving sushi without any in reach, or for those who are hesitant to try real sushi. The spicy tuna mixture is also delicious on a salad!

To make the preparation of this wrap quicker, I recommend refrigerating your can of tuna beforehand. I do this often so I don’t need to wait for my tuna salad to chill in the fridge when I’m hungry!

Spicy Tuna Wrap
makes 1 wrap

Ingredients:

  • 1 5 oz. can of tuna, drained
  • 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise or Greek yogurt (I recommend mayo for a more authentic flavor)
  • 1.5 tsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp Sambel Oelek chili paste or Sriracha
  • 1 tsp sweet chili sauce (honey or brown sugar would work as well)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced into strips
  • 1/3 cup assorted crunchy veggies, sliced into matchsticks (I recommend carrots, red bell pepper, and cucumber or radishes)
  • small handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 8-inch flour tortilla
  • optional: sesame seeds and red pepper flakes to garnish
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Ingredients for the spicy tuna

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ingredients for the wrap

Directions:

To prepare the spicy tuna mixture, mix together your drained tuna, mayo, teriyaki sauce, chili paste, chili sauce and green onions. Stir to combine and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour if not previously chilled.

Begin to build your wrap by spreading tuna along the middle of your tortilla in a straight line, and layer your avocado, veggies, and spinach on top. Roll up tightly and enjoy!

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Combine the ingredients for the spicy tuna in a small bowl

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And mix together until combined. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 – 60 minutes if not previously chilled.

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Build your wrap by placing the spicy tuna in the middle of the tortilla, and layering avocado, veggies, and spinach on top. Garnish with sesame seeds and/or red pepper flakes if desired and roll up tightly.

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🙂

Mongolian Beef

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Hello everyone! I apologize for my absence in the past week or so. Last week was a very busy week for me and I couldn’t find the time to write a blog post, let alone make nice meals for myself! I think I cooked one large meal last week and have been eating the leftovers for almost 5 days in a row… time for something new fo sho.

Mongolian Beef is a meal often found at Chinese restaurants in America made from thinly sliced flank steak and green onions in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce. I admit I’ve never actually tried Mongolian Beef from a restaurant and it’s not something that would have appealed to me a few years ago, but lately I’ve been craving an Asian-inspired meal. I’ve come across a few recipes for Mongolian Beef or other similar beef stir-fry recipes, and yesterday when I found sirloin tips on sale at the store, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

After browsing a few more recipes, I decided this one from The Daring Gourmet appealed to me most. Thinly sliced steak is sautéed in vegetable oil, and then cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce made from soy sauce, hoisin sauce, green onions, and other spices. I’ve heard hoisin sauce described as the “Chinese version of barbecue sauce” and it can be found in most international/Asian sections of grocery stores. I also threw in some vegetables for some extra color and texture, and served it over chow mein noodles.

This is one of the few times I’ve cooked steak on my own, and the first time I’ve posted a steak recipe on this blog. I really loved this meal and it inspired me to incorporate a little more red meat into my diet. It isn’t the healthiest recipe I’ve posted on here, but oh man was it good.

Mongolian Beef
adapted from The Daring Gourmet

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Ingredients:
serves 2

  • For the sauce:
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
    • 1 tsp minced ginger + 2 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 tsp Sambal Oelek chili paste or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 lb. flank steak or sirloin, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1-2 tsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • noodles or rice, to serve
  • optional: sliced onion and red bell pepper for stir-frying, sesame seeds to garnish

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Ingredients for the stir fry portion

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Ingredients for the sauce

Directions:

  1. To prepare the sauce, simply whisk together all of the ingredients for it in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. If including stir-fried veggies, start by cooking them in 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan or wok until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. If serving meal with rice or noodles, prepare those at this time as well.
  3. Spread the thinly sliced steak onto a cutting board or plate and sprinkle with cornstarch. Heat the vegetable and sesame oil in your pan over medium heat and add steak. Cook until steak is browned on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside with the veggies.
  4. In your empty pan, pour in the sauce and let it cook over medium-low heat. When the sauce begins to simmer, whisk it gently for about 1 minute. Once sauce is thickened, stir in cooked steak and vegetables, along with the green onions. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
  5. Serve the beef and veggies over noodles or rice and enjoy!

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Start by frizzling up some veggies. Set aside.

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To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients for it and whisk together.

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Next, prepare your steak for cooking by slicing in thinly (I actually recommend slicing it thinner than I did) and sprinkle it with the cornstarch.

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Heat vegetable and sesame oil in your frying pan and saute the steak until browned, about 6-8 minutes.

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After removing steak from the pan, pour in your sauce and cook over medium-low heat. Once the sauce begins to simmer, whisk it for about a minute until it’s thickened.

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Stir in your steak, veggies, and green onions and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

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Serve your awesome meal over cooked noodles or rice and enjoy!

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🙂