Oct 18

First, sushi does not mean “raw fish.” It may contain cooked fish, or no fish at all. Just wanted to put that out there in case you were about to move on too quickly. Now, let’s get cooking.

First cook up the rice;
3 cups Japanese rice
3 1/4 cups water

It will take about 18-20 minutes to cook over a low flame. While it’s cooking prepare the vinegar mix:

1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Stir in a pan over a low flame until the sugar is dissolved, then cool the liquid. Once rice is cooked stir it in a big wooden bowl, being careful not to damage the rice grains, along with the vinegar mix.

Now, spread some rice on a sheet of nori (Japanese Seaweed) placed on a bamboo mat. The seaweed is about 9 inches across. Here we have fake crab legs (surimi) along with cucumber and avocado. Rolling the sushi and cutting it takes a bit of practice, but it’s fun and you can use whatever ingredients you like, the only limit is your imagination.

This is what the California roll looked like after it was cut up.

Next, we made shrimp tempura maki, see last month’s recipe for the tempura. We really like this one and it’s great to make a restaurant quality Asian dish in your own house.

Both kinds of sushi are served with pickled ginger. If you don’t live near an Asian grocer, you may find these ingredients in a foreign foods aisle in your local supermarket or you can order by mail. It turns out to be quite fun once you get the hang of it and far less costly that going out to a restaurant for sushi. Let us know if you try this dish and liked it!

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Sep 14

This is easier than you’d think and tempura makes an impressive appetizer. The best part of this recipe is you can make whatever veggies you like, nearly anything will work.

Tempura Batter Recipe

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2/3 cup ice water

Easy – in one bowl, mix all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl beat the egg and ice water, then whisk in the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix, it’s ok if it’s a bit lumpy. Some people add yellow food coloring.

To keep the oil to a minimum, we used a small pan, and just enough oil that we had to flip whatever we were frying. Peanut oil has a high burning point and is a good oil to use for tempura. Above are two shrimp, skewered on bamboo sticks to keep them straight. (You can see, it’s a small pan)

This is a sampler of what we made that day, broccoli, zucchini, and the shrimp. You can use cauliflower, carrots, even chicken “fingers.”If you try this recipe, let us know. Thanks for stopping by!

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Sep 07

Today, we’d like to share a special recipe we’ve made for years, more than 20, in fact. It’s for shrimp dumplings, the kind that you might find in a Chinese restaurant as an appetizer or part of a Dim Sum buffet.

1 pkg won-ton wrappers
1 pound raw shrimp
2 tbs pork fat (rendered from bacon)
1 tablespoon scallion (white only)
2 tablespoons water chestnuts
1 egg white
1 teaspoon tapioca starch
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine

Shell and clean shrimp, chop finely. Add finely chopped water chestnuts, chopped scallion and bacon fat. Mix in remaining ingredients and chill for about an 1 hour. (Note: most cities have an Asian grocer where you can find these items. The tapioca starch is the tough to find one. You can substitute corn starch if you can’t find the tapioca.)

Put a bit more than 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in each wrapper, dip your finger in water, and moisten the edges of the wrappers.


Bring both corners together and press a bit.


Next, bring in the other two corners, so now all four edges meet. It’s a bit tedious, but after a few, you’ll get the knack. So long as all the edges are sealed, they’ll taste great.


Steam for 15 minutes (note: the shrimp are not cooked first, the steaming will cook it thoroughly). Makes about 25. This is a bamboo Chinese steamer, but you can use a metal one that goes into a pot or make your own by putting a plate on a ring of twisted foil in a large pot. It’s easy to steam.


A real crowd pleaser, these dumplings aren’t tough to make at all, just a bit of preparation you can do earlier in the day or the day before. The mix can sit in the fridge until you are ready to fill the wrappers.

If you are a dumpling fan, and have a recipe you’ve been making, We’d love to hear from you and maybe share your recipe with our readers. Thanks for visiting.

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Jul 06

Hummus is a middle eastern dish commonly used as a dip for veggies or pieces of pita bread. You’ll find it in the grocery store in small containers, 8oz or so.


This supermarket hummus was $2.99.


See this can of Chick Peas? 110oz (almost 7 lbs!) from Costco. $2.75. Crazy.

Basic Hummus Recipe
32oz Chick Peas (volume not weight)
5 oz of the liquid from can
2 tbl minced garlic
2 tbl tahini
4 tbl lemon juice

All ingredients are put into a food processor and blended until smooth. That huge can will make about 4 recipes worth, great for a big party. Of course you can buy smaller cans in the supermarket and make one recipe. We use chick peas on top of salads or to add to soup, so they don’t go to waste. If you are not familiar with tahini, it’s a paste made from ground sesame seeds and available in the ethnic section of most supermarkets. If you can’t find it, almond butter can substitute. This recipe lends itself to adjustments depending on your taste. More garlic? More lemon juice? Why not? Start with the amounts above and add to suit your taste. Enjoy.

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