Korean-Style Pork Meatballs with Stir-fried Noodles

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This is an Asian version of spaghetti and meatballs. Juicy meatballs are coated in a sauce made with Korean chili paste, grated pear and other Asian ingredients. Because of the thick sauce for the meatballs, I kept the stir-fried noodles very simple.

This recipe makes about 19 meatballs and serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

500gr of minced pork

1 spring onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

¾ cup of panko

Salt

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For the Korean-style sauce:

1 tablespoon of Korean chili paste (Gochujang)

1 pear, peeled & shredded

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of hoisin

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of salt

For the stir-fried noodles:

200gr of noodles of your choice (I used glass noodles)

3 ½ tablespoons of oyster sauce

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 spring onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, you can use some minced ginger and some honey, or make a simple syrup infused with fresh ginger)

Extras:

Chopped chives

Sesame seeds

 

Start by making the meatballs. In a bowl, mix the minced pork with the spring onion, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, sesame oil, panko and salt. Then using your hands, shape the mixture into meatballs. This will make about 19 meatballs; just don’t make them too big otherwise they will take longer to cook.

Place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the meatballs. Try to brown them evenly.  Then transfer them to a plate and set them aside. Don’t clean the pan.

Blend all of the ingredients for the Korean-style sauce until smooth. Pour the sauce in the same pan where you browned the meatballs over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring carefully so each meatball is evenly coated in the sauce.

Cook the noodles as instructed on the package. Heat up a pan or wok over medium heat. Once it is hot add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, spring onion and ginger syrup. Stir to mix it and then add the noodles. Stir-fry it for 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide the noodles among 3 plates. Then add the meatballs and the sauce. Finish it with some chopped chives and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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Thai Red Curry with Shrimp & Sugar Snaps Peas

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This flavorsome meal with store bought curry is perfect for a weeknight. Easy and ready in under 30 minutes. I added sugar snap peas to have an extra crunchy texture in the curry.

This recipe serves 3 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

1 lemongrass, (white part only) finely chopped

50grs of red curry paste

1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar or palm sugar

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

600ml of coconut milk

1 sweet pepper, finely chopped

250grs of shrimp, cleaned and deveined

Juice of ½ a lime

For the sugar snaps:

150grs of sugar snaps

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Salt

Extras:

Cooked white rice

Coriander leaves

Lime wedges

 

Pour one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the sugar snap peas and cook them for about 1 minute, while stirring. Add salt and set them aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Cook for about 1 minute until it becomes fragrant. Then add the sugar, curry paste and fish sauce. Cook for another minute while stirring. Then add the coconut milk, mix it well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat until it thickens.

Then add the sweet peppers and shrimps. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. This will take about 3 to5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the sugar snap peas and the juice of half a lime. Mix well.

Serve with white rice, coriander leaves and lime wedges.

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Vegetarian Banh Mi-Style Nachos

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I’ve been craving nachos lately so I made these banh mi-style. I made quickly pickled carrots, but you can also add daikon if you want. Instead of tortilla chips, I used spring roll wrappers which I cut into squares and then deep fried. And for the sauce, I made a Greek yogurt and Sriracha sauce with lime juice.  These “nachos” are slightly sweet, sour, spicy and very crunchy. A very addictive snack!

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This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

125gr of square frozen spring rolls wrappers for frying (I got the small ones of about 10x10cm), thawed

1 litter of vegetable oil

1 red chili, thinly sliced

A handful of coriander leaves

For the quickly pickled carrots:

1 cup of shredded carrots (you can also make it with half carrots and half daikon)

½ cup of vinegar

¼ cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

For the Greek yogurt – Sriracha sauce:

1/3 cup of Sriracha

1/3 cup of Greek yogurt

Juice of ½ lime

1 teaspoon of white vinegar

Salt to taste

 

The night before, place the frozen spring roll wrappers in the fridge to thaw.

In a medium bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar and salt to pickle the carrots. Add the carrots and mix well. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve (Let it pickle for at least 15 minutes).

I find that just one sheet of the spring rolls is too thin, you can do it like this but I prefer to leave 2 sheets sticking together because they hold the toppings better. I used kitchen scissors to cut each double sheet into 4 squares. Repeat until you are done with all of the wrappers.

Pour the oil into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, start frying the wrappers in small batches. Fry them until they are golden. Then place them in a large plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all of them are fried.

To make the Greek yogurt-Sriracha sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Add salt to taste. Pour it into a zip lock bag.

Drain the pickled carrots.

To serve, place the fried wrappers on a large plate. Spread the pickled carrots all over. Then slice off the tip of the zip lock bag with the sauce, and drizzle it over the nachos. Finish it by adding fresh coriander leaves and finely sliced chili. Enjoy!

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Breakfast Ramen with Kimchi & Avocado

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I made this ramen with a very simple pork stock but you can adjust it to your liking. If you want a creamier consistency, you can add chopped pigs trotters. I prepared the stock the night before so for breakfast there was not much to be done. I love avocado on tortilla soup so why not on ramen? I topped it with wasabi Furikake to keep the Asian flavors going.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

250grs of ramen noodles

1 avocado, thinly sliced

½ cup of kimchi

1 egg

For the pork stock:

1 kilo of pigs ribs, chopped into chunks

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

1 piece of ginger, about the size of your thumb

1 white onion, peeled and cut in half

1 medium carrot, chopped

2 litters of boiling water

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

To serve:

Wasabi Furikake

Chopped chives

Black sesame seeds

Sesame oil

Soy sauce

Chili oil

Lime wedges (optional)

 

Place the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the pig’s bones and brown them. Then add the garlic, onion, ginger, carrot. Stir for 1 minute and then add the boiling water. Let it simmer for about 1 hour, removing the foam from time to time. Strain the stock and discard of the solids. Let it cool down before covering it and placing it in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, remove the stock from the fridge. I like to scoop out the fat from the top and discard of it. Then heat up the stock in a saucepan.

Cook the ramen noodles as instructed on the package. Then drain them.

Place the egg in a saucepan over medium heat and add boiling water. Boil it for 7 minutes. Remove the shell and slice it in half.

To plate up, divide the ramen noodles in between two bowls. Add the stock, avocado, kimchi and egg. Sprinkle some wasabi Furikake over the avocado, and some black sesame seeds and chopped chives over the soup. I like to serve it with sesame oil, soy sauce, chili oil and a wedge of lime on the side.

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Thai-Inspired Steak Salad

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On the weekends, I prefer to keep my meals simple and not time-consuming. It’s not always the case but I try. And a steak is always welcome, it cooks quiet quickly and both my husband and I go gaga for it. It’s not something we could eat everyday but when we do, it is really a treat. And lately our favorite way to eat it is in a salad. This time I made a Thai-style dressing. And I added Thai basil, coriander and mint to the salad. So you have all these mini explosions of flavors in every bite. I used a mandoline to slice the carrots and cucumber into thin ribbons, but you can just shred the carrots and thinly slice the cucumber with a knife.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the steak:

500gr of Flank steak

Vegetable oil for brushing the steak

Salt

Pepper

For the salad:

½ cucumber, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium yellow carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

1 medium purple carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size

4 tablespoons of chopped coriander

8 Thai basil leaved, finely chopped

8 mint leaves, finely chopped

About 100grs of a lettuce mix of your choice (I used lamb’s lettuce, baby spinach, baby Swiss chard and baby red tatsoi)

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 big lime

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

¼ cup of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of minced ginger

1 small clove of garlic, minced

Optional:

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

½ red chili, thinly sliced

 

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. Cover it and shake it. Set it aside until ready to use.

Prepare all your veggies.

To cook the meat, heat up a large pan over medium heat. Brush the steak with some vegetable oil. Add salt and pepper on both sides.

Once the pan is hot, place the meat and cook it to your liking. For medium rare, it takes about 5 minutes per side but it will also depend on the thickness of the steak. My steak was a bit thick in the middle so it took about 1 extra minute.

Let the steak rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice it.

Once the steak is done and sliced, place all the vegetables and lettuce in a large bowl. Give the dressing another shake and add it to the salad. Mix it well so everything is well coated, I just used my hands.

Serve the salad and then add the steak slices. Sprinkle some of the sliced spring onion and chili over the steak. Finally pour the remaining dressing from the bowl on top of the steak. Enjoy!

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Miso Roasted Eggplant Gyoza

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I can’t go too long without having some dumplings. I mixed a finely chopped eggplant with miso sauce and used it as the filling. Very simple but packed with flavor. I normally let them steam but this time I pan-fried them. They are crispy little delights.

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This recipe makes about 30 gyoza.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, chopped into very small cubes

About 30 gyoza wrappers, defrosted

For the miso sauce:

1 tablespoon of aka miso

1 teaspoon of honey

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

For the dipping sauce:

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

Juice of 1 lime

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1/3 cup of soy sauce

Extra:

Vegetable oil for pan–frying the gyoza

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the dipping sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set it aside.

Thinly slice the eggplant and then chop it into very small cubes.Since the wrappers are quite small, you want the eggplant chopped as finely as possible.

Place all of the ingredients for the miso sauce in a large bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Add the eggplant and mix well.  Spread it evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Then allow it to cool down.

Once the eggplant has cooled down, start to assemble the gyoza. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper, brush the edges of the wrapper with some water and then fold it into a half moon shape. Starting at one end, fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Keep going until it is completely sealed, trying to get rid of any air bubbles. Repeat for all.

Once the gyoza are ready, pour about 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the gyoza in batches until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes and since the filling is already cooked, it goes quite fast. Place the gyoza on a plate lined with parchment paper to absorb any excess oil.

Serve them right away with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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BBQ Kimchi Baked Wings with Wasabi Peanuts

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Yes, I know I am on a kimchi phase. I think I’m trying to make up for all the years that it was missing from the life. This dish is inspired by my friend Chi from Pocha Factory. She made the most delicious Asian Inspired burger for the Final Burger Battle which took place last year, and which she won. Besides the kimchi and her secret sauce, she added chopped wasabi peanuts to her burger. This added a nice extra crunch and spiciness that went very well with the meat.

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This serves 3-4 people.

Ingredients:

800grs of chicken wings

For the sauce:

½ cup of BBQ sauce

½ cup of kimchi

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon of salt

Juice of ½ a lime

1 tablespoon of honey

Extra:

½ cup of wasabi peanuts, chopped

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Blend all of the ingredients for the sauce until smooth. Taste it and adjust the salt to your liking. Pour the sauce into a large bowl and add the chicken wings. Toss to coat them well.

Spread the wings on a single layer over the prepared baking sheet.

Bake them for 1 hour until the wings are caramelized.

Sprinkle the chopped wasabi peanuts and chives over the wings. Enjoy!

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Kimchi Fried Rice

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I made this for lunch a few days ago to make use of the kimchi I had in the fridge. I got many comments asking me to post the recipe, so here it is. It is very simple and you can add pretty much anything that you have in the fridge, which is what I did.

This recipe serves 1 but you can easily double it.

Ingredients:

2 cups of cooked rice

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1/3 cup of kimchi, chopped

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of Korean chili paste (optional)

A handful of bean sprouts

1/3 of a cup of shredded kale

A handful of edamame, I get it frozen so I just place it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds

2 radishes, thinly sliced

1 fried egg

Other nice extra:

A handful of Broccolini sauteed in sesame oil

 

Mix the ginger syrup, sesame oil, oyster sauce, Korean chili paste and soy sauce in a bowl.

Place the vegetable oil in a pan or wok, over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the rice and kimchi. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then add the sauce, bean sprouts and kale, stir-fry it for about 3 minutes.  Then add the edamame and mix well.

Serve it with a fried egg, radishes and some black sesame seeds.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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Salmon Burgers Glazed with Carrot Miso Butter

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I am so done with winter now. I’m looking forward to warmer days and to see more colors/produce at the markets. And burgers remind me of summer, so I made this salmon burger in anticipation of the months to come. I cooked the patties in a reduction of carrot juice, miso, butter and ginger syrup. I find it such a great combination. The sugars in the carrot juice and ginger syrup make the salmon caramelize nicely in the pan.

This recipe is for 5 small patties but you can easily double the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the patties:

300gr of salmon, skinless and boneless

1 egg yolk

1 spring onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Salt

Pepper

¼ cup of panko

2 tablespoons of cornmeal

For the carrot miso butter:

1 cup of carrot juice

1 tablespoon of red miso

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

For the wasabi mayonnaise:

5 tablespoons of mayonnaise

1 teaspoon of wasabi paste, or more to taste

Extras:

5 buns, my store was out of round ones so I used mini pistolets

Wasabi arugula

 

 

To make the wasabi mayo, just whisk the wasabi paste with the mayonnaise. Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use.

Mince the salmon with a knife, about the size of finely chopped onions.  Mix it with the egg yolk, spring onion, sesame oil, panko, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Mix well. Grab about 1/3 of a cup of the salmon and shape it into one patty. Repeat for the remaining salmon. Cover them with plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the carrot miso butter; place the carrot juice, miso, butter, sesame oil and singer syrup in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Let it reduce for 10 minutes while stirring, until it becomes a thick sauce.

Take the salmon patties out of the fridge and carefully place them on the pan with the carrot miso butter. Brush the top of the patties with some of the sauce, and let them cook for about 2 minutes per side until it caramelizes. I made the patties small so it didn’t take very long for them to cook.

Besides the wasabi mayo, I like to serve them with some wasabi arugula dressed in olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

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Kimchi & Quinoa Vegetable Soup

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This is a very healthy vegetarian soup. It has the wonderful flavor of the kimchi without being too sour or spicy but add chilies if you wish, and you get your protein kick from the quinoa. It’s perfect for a weeknight since it’s very quick to make. You can also cook the quinoa in advance and just keep it in the fridge to save time.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

½ cup of quinoa

150gr of mushrooms, sliced (I used a mix of chestnut mushrooms, nameko and king trumpet)

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 ½ tablespoons of chopped ginger

2 spring onions, finely chopped (white separated from the green)

1 cup of kimchi, very finely chopped

1 ½ litters of vegetable stock

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

3 mini paksoi

Extras:

Lime wedges for serving (optional)

Extras soy sauce for serving

3 soft boiled eggs

Sesame seeds

 

First cook the quinoa. Rinse it under cold water and then boil it for 12 minutes. Drain it and set it aside.

Place 3 tablespoons of sesame oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, fry the mushrooms in batches. Remove the mushrooms from the pan.

In the same saucepan, add the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil, ginger and the white part of the spring onions. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat while stirring. Then add the chopped kimchi and stir for another minute.

Add the stock and soy sauce. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Then add the paksoi and let it cook for 1 minute. Taste the soup for salt.

For the soft boiled eggs, I just placed them in a saucepan and added boiling water. I let them cook for 6 minutes over medium heat.

To serve, divide the quinoa into 3 bowls. Add the soup, mushrooms, green parts of the spring onions, soft boiled eggs and sesame seeds. I like to squeeze some lime juice over the soup and serve it with some extra soy sauce on the side.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

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