Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Taiwanese Meat Sauce

Confession time: I didn't really know anything about Taiwan until college.  Which means I didn't know anything about Taiwanese food until college, either!  So sad.

My friend Jen Che has an award-winning food blog that occasionally highlights Taiwanese food recipes and we've used this one the most.  It's a simple comfort food and it takes very little time to put together.  I always add more black mushrooms because they're delicious.

Thanks, Jen!  I love your site!

Taiwanese Meat Sauce Over Rice

2 dried black mushrooms
5 shallots, minced
1/2 lb ground pork
1 t rice wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cups water
1 t sugar
1/2 t 5-spice powder
6 cups rice (cooked)
Soak the mushrooms in hot water until soft. Meanwhile, mince the shallots. I used a food processor, which made it a lot easier. When mushrooms are soft, slice them into thin pieces.
Add 1 T of vegetable oil to a wok and put on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add shallots and stir fry for about 1-2 minutes, until they start to brown a lot. Add mushrooms and ground pork. Stir fry until the pork is cooked. Add rice wine, soy sauce, water, sugar, and 5-spice powder.
Let it simmer for 1 hour. Ladle out the meat mixture and pour over rice.  There will be a lot of excess liquid. Leave that in the pot. You can optionally mix the meat sauce together with rice as well and garnish with some scallions and red pepper flakes.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Waffles for our new waffle maker!

We gave away our old waffle maker but luck would have it and we were gifted another!  This one was a little bit different; our old waffle maker made thinner, crispier Eggo-like waffles and this one was a little closer to Belgian waffles.

I tried my previous waffle recipe with this waffle maker and it didn't come out right.  I found this recipe on allrecipes and it worked really well.  I followed some tips from the reviews and beat the egg whites separately before adding them to the batter.  The waffles were perfect and I doubled the recipe so I could freeze the leftovers.  My daughter loves them for breakfast and I love that I can just pop them in the toaster oven.

They're great for breakfast but also a fun snack with cookie butter and peaches.

Thanks, oneshyofabunch!  



  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.
  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

Friday, September 4, 2015


This was the star of Taco Night!  I love slow-cooked pork and this slow-cooker carnitas recipe is top notch.  We love how juicy the meat is and the seasoning is perfect.  I'm pretty sure I've cooked more pork shoulder than most people do but I don't care.  It's that good.  We didn't even bother frying it because we wanted to eat it right away.

Thanks, Melissa d'Arabian from Food Network!

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (or 2 1/2 pounds bone-in)Salt and freshly ground black pepper2 teaspoons dried oregano1 teaspoon ground cumin1 tablespoon olive oil1 onion, coarsely chopped4 cloves garlic, minced1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, chopped1 orange, cut in half3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally. Mix the oregano and the cumin with olive oil and rub all over pork. Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Squeeze over the juice of the orange and add the two halves. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 hours.
Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly before pulling apart with a fork. In a large saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Press the carnitas into the oil and fry until crusty on one side. Serve.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Baked Lamb Chops

I'm trying to expand my daughter's palate and every once in awhile she'll surprise me with what she likes.  She loves gyro meat and I decided to see if she would eat lamb, too.  She ate it eagerly, even after I gave her a vague answer about what kind of animal she was eating.

This recipe was really easy and was a quick way to eat lamb shoulder chops.  Most other recipes require slow cooking but this was probably an hour from start to finish.  I marinated the chops in Worcestershire sauce before breading them.  The breading didn't come out crunchy but the flavor was fine.

Thank you, Leslie W Dobson and allrecipes!

Baked Lamb Chops


  • 3 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
 12 (5.5 ounce) lamb chops
  • 2 cups dry bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and the Worcestershire sauce; stir well. Dip each lamb chop in the sauce and then lightly dredge in the bread crumbs. Then arrange them in a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes, turn chops over, and cook for 20 more minutes, or to desired doneness.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Beef Chow Fun

I think everyone loves beef chow fun.  We love a version at Sam Woo with beef and black bean sauce but we also like a more plain version (especially my daughter.)  I wish I had a wok to make this properly but my wok-like Calphalon does a decent job, too.  I think the hardest part is separating the rice noodles cuz they're so oily.

Thank you, Woks of Life!  My daughter loves it when I make "flat noodles!"

Beef Chow Fun
For the beef & marinade:
8 oz. flank steak
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon oil
For the rest of the dish:
12 oz. fresh flat rice noodles
3 tablespoons oil
4 scallions, split in half vertically and cut into 3-inch pieces
3 thin slices ginger
2 tablespoons shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
Pinch of sugar
salt and white pepper, to taste
4 to 6 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts
Combine the beef and marinade ingredients and let it marinate for about an hour. The little bit of baking soda tenderizes the meat.
Some rice noodles come as large sheets, while others are already cut. If you have the sheets, slice the rice noodles so they're about 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick.
Heat your wok over high heat until smoking, and add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to coat the wok. Add the beef and sear until browned. As long as your wok is hot enough, the meat shouldn't stick. Set aside. Add a little more oil to the wok. Then add the ginger first to infuse the oil with its rich flavor for about 15 seconds. Add the scallions.
Spread the noodles evenly in the wok and stir-fry the whole mix on high until it is mixed evenly, about 15 seconds. Add the shaoxing wine around the rim of the wok.
Next, add the sesame oil, soy sauces, pinch of sugar, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste (taste the noodles before adding salt) along with the beef. Stir fry, making sure your spatula scrapes the bottom of the wok and you lift the ho fun in an upward motion to mix well and coat them evenly with the soy sauce.

If the noodles were cold and refrigerated when you started, you may have to toss the noodles longer to heat them through properly. If the noodles are fresh, then less time will be required. Your heat should remain as high as possible at all times. Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry until the bean sprouts are just tender. Serve!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Char Siu

This is going to sound weird, but one of my fondest road trip memories is having a carton of char siu to share with my siblings while we drove off to...I don't even know where.  I just remember the meat!  I love pork and having a good char siu recipe became a necessity when it wasn't just 10 minutes away.

I tried this with pork belly as written but I didn't love the cut.  My dad suggested pork shoulder instead and it was just right.  The pork shoulder I bought was huge so I froze some of it with the marinade.  I actually might do this in the future because it came out great and I didn't have to make the marinade a separate time.

I've made it with and without the fermented red bean curd and I think it just came out sweeter without it (besides not having the signature color.)  I might cut back on the sugar a little next time, too.

Thank you, Rasa Malaysia!  My Chinese food repertoire is more complete now.

1 lb (450 g) skinless pork belly, cut into 2 long strips
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
Char Siu Sauce:
2 pieces Chinese fermented red bean curd 1 tablespoon maltose
1 tablespoon Chinese Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon dark and thick soy sauce
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
3 1/2 oz (100 g) sugar, or 8 1/2 tablespoons
1. Get a big bowl, mix all the Char Siu Sauce ingredients, add the garlic and pork belly and marinate overnight in the fridge.
2. The next day, heat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
3. Place the pork belly on a wire rack and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Removed from oven and turn the pork belly over, brush the remaining char siu sauce over and place the pork belly back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until cooked. The char siu will look dark in color, it’s normal.
5. Slice the char siu into thin and bite-size pieces, serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cream biscuits

I had a container of heavy cream and was looking for something to use it up.  I decided on biscuits because carbs=love in this house.

I've become a Serious Eat junkie and found this recipe because it looked easy.  The biscuits were so soft and were great even two days after.  I used it first for chicken stew and then last night for peach shortcakes (with the whipped cream).

Thanks, Marissa Sertich Velie!

Light and Tender Cream Biscuits


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream


  1. 1
    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  2. 2
    Add heavy cream and stir gently with a wooden spoon until dry ingredients are just moistened.
  3. 3
    Turn out dough onto a lighted floured work surface. Using your hands, fold it one or two times so it becomes a cohesive mass and press it down to an even ½-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cookie-cutter, cut out biscuits as closely together as possible. Gather together scraps, pat down, and cut out more biscuits. Discard any remaining scraps.
  4. 4
    Bake the biscuits in a 400°F oven until risen and golden, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Biscoff (Cookie Butter) granola

I was kinda iffy on yogurt growing up until I realized that it became infinitely better when you added granola to it.  Store-bought granola can either be really delicious or really gross and lately the really delicious brand has been pretty expensive.  I decided to make my own, and I might not ever go back. 

The best part?  Being able to add whatever I want.  I've been getting ingredients from the bulk food section so it doesn't cost a fortune.

I forgot why I looked for a cookie butter granola recipe but I don't regret it.  This version is super easy and totally addictive.  

Thanks, Rachel Gurk!  I love this granola.  I should make some tonight.

  • 1/2 cup Biscoff spread (creamy, not crunchy)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups thick cut rolled oats (I used quick oats instead)
  • 1 cup sliced raw almonds
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax 
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat.
  2. Add Biscoff spread and oil to a small bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power or until melty. Stir in honey.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine cinnamon, oats, almonds, ground flax (or wheat germ), and salt. Pour Biscoff mixture over the oat mixture and stir until well combined and all dry ingredients are coated. Spread onto prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before storing in airtight container.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Taiwanese Pork Chops

My daughter is a pretty good eater (eats a good amount, tries new things at least once) but we still have to nag her to eat her meat and veggies at dinnertime.  Every once in awhile she eats them happily and steadily and it makes mealtime enjoyable.

Last night my husband and I made Taiwanese Pork Chops since we don't get a lot of Taiwanese food around here.  We made four (thin cut) and my daughter was asking for more once they were all gone.  Her first bite was adorable- she put it in her mouth and her eyes totally lit up.  W says his grandmother would have been proud that she liked Taiwanese food.  "Crispy meat," as she calls it, is probably going to be a once-a-month treat.  And we'll probably have to make twice as much.

The flavors in this marinade were spot-on.  We used cornstarch and it was the perfect texture.  Thanks, SHARONLIN!  


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pork Shoulder Ramen

On Saturday I sent W to the store for Super Bowl groceries and he came back with a pork shoulder.  "What do you want me to make?" I asked.  "I know you'll think of something." I love that confidence!

Anyway, I was either going to do David Chang's Bo Ssam or this ramen recipe and I opted for this one since it would just be the three of us (technically four) eating it.  I didn't add all the extras because I'm a little pressed for time nowadays, but the result was still really delicious.  I took the time to caramelize the pork because I felt like that was worth it.  I omitted the curry paste and hot sauce because V can't handle spicy yet.  We ate it with pho noodles since I had some in the fridge.

Thank you, Half Baked Harvest, for a delicious recipe!  Someday I hope to make the full recipe but just the broth and pork themselves were worth it.

Crockpot Caramelized Pork Ramen