Wednesday, January 9, 2013

North Shore Shrimp Truck

I just got back from a short trip to Oahu and the one thing we didn't get to eat was Macky's! These are succulent HUGE shrimp covered in garlic scampi crack sauce. Unfortunately, it was raining in the northern part of Oahu the entire time so it was not really worth a trip up. However... the grocery store was having a big sale of those 12-15ct tiger shrimps and I had the perfect idea! Tonight we satisfied our shrimp truck craving and completed our hawaiian food binge. Here is the recipe if you decide to try it at home... just letting you know its really unhealthy and absolutely delicious! :)  

North Shore Shrimp Recipe
adapted from thegourmandmom
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shell on, deveined
  • 3/4 cup clarified butter 
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1-2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices or wedges
*clarified butter has a higher boiling point and prevents the garlic from burning (here's a step by step)
  1. Combine the flour, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a dish. Toss the shrimp in the flour mixture to coat. (There will be flour leftover.) 
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the clarified butter and garlic. Cook for a minute or two
  3. Add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, then turn the shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side. 
  4. Add the white wine and salt. Cook for a minute or two. 
  5. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the shrimp. Serve with a side of white rice and a lemon wedge.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Earl Grey Ice Cream

As you can tell from my blog post title, I've been drained of all inspiration and creativity. I've just gotten my first taste of what the next year in law school will be like and all I have to say is... I'm glad I made a tub of ice cream last week to enjoy this week! Earl Grey is one of my favorite teas because its so fragrant and highly caffeinated. I would always have it when I was pulling my all nighters in college so I felt that it would be appropriate to have a batch of earl grey ice cream to ease me back into school mode and cool be down from this heat wave we've been having. Anyway, here's the recipe! Enjoy!! 

Earl Grey Ice Cream 

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 cups 1% reduced fat milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 earl grey teabags
6 egg yolks


  1. Cook the sugar, milk and cream in a a pot until the mixture is steaming hot and remove from heat.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and teabags and let it seep for 20 minutes. Then squeeze the teabags with your clean hands to get more tea into the mixture. Set teabags aside.
  3. Whisk yolks and gradually add a few teaspoons of the earl grey milk mixture to the eggs, continuously whisking. 
  4. Return egg mixture to same earl grey  mixture saucepan. Stir over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes (do not boil).
  5. Strain custard into medium bowl. Cover and chill until cold, at least 4 hours. Return the tea bags back into the bowl when chilling.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


This week has been outrageously hot in Southern California... so hot that I had to bust out the old ice cream maker... I haven't made ice cream since 2010... yeah.. last summer didn't get quite so hot.. Anyway, on my last trip to Berkeley I didn't get a chance to stop at my favorite ice cream shop. I wasn't too bummed about not going because I knew that I could probably make my favorite flavors at home... and I did. Since I always opt for the double scoop with two flavors on a waffle cone, I decided to split the recipe and make two flavors at home too.. I shouldn't have because this burnt caramel ice cream is OFF THE HOOK!! I haven't popped the earl grey into the ice cream maker yet.. so maybe I'll be happy I made two different flavors after. Anyway, this ice cream is simple, not too sweet and has a taste of toffee or coffee... I used 1% milk to be a little "healthier" but.. really theres no such thing as healthy ice cream, don't fool yourself. Anyway, treat yourself to a batch!

Burnt Caramel Ice Cream adapted from epicurious

1 cup sugar
3 Tbs water
2 cups 1% reduced fat milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks

  1. Stir 3/4 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons water in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until mixture turns dark amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 7 minutes.
  2. Immediately add milk (mixture will bubble vigorously). Add cream, salt and vanilla extract.
  3.  Bring mixture to boil, stirring to dissolve any caramel bits. Let cool 20 minutes.
  4. Whisk yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl.
  5. Gradually add a few teaspoons of the caramel milk mixture to the eggs, continuously whisking.
  6. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes (do not boil).
  7. Strain custard into medium bowl. Cover and chill until cold, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD Custard can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wonton Soup... brings back so many memories

While I was making today's lunch, I was thinking about all the things that I could say about making wontons. First of all, it is a common family activity to do together during holidays to wrap wontons together. Second, deveining and peeling the shrimp sucks... I'll probably tell my future kids that shrimps are poisonous if consumed at avoid the taste :) and third, I remember the last time I had wontons was when I was in Chicago having lunch with my friend and his law school buddies.. because it was so cold outside, I witnessed an odd moment of group think where all four of us ordered wonton soup at a Thai restaurant... Anyway, as I suggested in my previous post, you can make wontons with the leftover meat mixture. I we're a little pickier at the Hsu household so I made two types of wontons. For my mom and dad, I made pork and shrimp wontons and for my brother who decided to quit red meat for 6 months... just shrimp. I think the 1lb meat and 1/2 lb shrimp ratio would have been perfect to get through roughly two packs of wonton wrappers.   I kept the meat and the shrimp separate so that each wonton would have a bite of shrimp!

Shrimp & Pork Wontons
Meat Mixture from the previous post
1/2 lb of shrimp (50/60 count) deveined and peeled cut into 1/3
1/2 teaspoon of starch
1 teaspoon michu (cooking wine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon white pepper
2 stalks of green onion chopped
1/4 cup of chopped jicama (gives it a nice crunch) 
2 packs of wonton wrappers
bowl of water
** if you're making shrimp wontons, just combine everything besides the pork and you're ready to go!
1. Combine shrimp with michu, salt and white pepper. In a separate bowl add the chopped jicama and green onion to the pork mixture. 
2. Lay one wonton wrapper down on a clean surface in a diamond shape in front of you, place a 1/4 teaspoon of meat in the top half of the wonton wrapper and add one piece of shrimp.
3. Using your finger and some water moisten the inner edges of the top half and fold bottom half up to form a  triangle shape (mountain). Seal the edges.
4.Pick the wonton up, push the base of the triangle upwards, making a little dimple in the wonton where the filling is and bring the two legs down and attach using water. 
** if the explanation I've given is unclear check out these, I do it this way because my mom taught me.. it's the "taiwan style."**
5. Repeat until either the mixture runs out or the wrappers. Freeze the wontons for 15 minutes before cooking, it gives the skin better texture! 
For the soup base I used green onion, a dash of salt, white pepper, dashi, sesame oil, and soy sauce. I use roughly 2 ladles of water from the pot that I'm cooking with wontons in.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Father Daughter Day Part 2

I showed my dad the Father's Oxtail post and he was so excited that I was making him "famous." He had me email his friends in the Philippines and his siblings so they could see our creation. For the entire last week he was telling me I should post about this and that... today he proceeded to drag me into the kitchen to have yet another father daughter day in the kitchen. He's SO cute :) if you know me, I'm sure you've heard me say this but I seriously think I have the BEST dad in the world! I'm really glad that I get to spend so much time with him now that he's back :) AND what better way to spend time than in the kitchen! "The recipe for today is simple and the ingredients are readily available in most kitchens... the best part is, you never have to use oil or a stove! A steam rice cooker is all you need." That was the tagline my dad advised me to use in my post. He's right, the recipe is really easy! Oh, and if you have leftover meat mixture (because I did) you can make home-made wontons!

Chinese Pearl Meatballs Zhen Zhu Wan Zi

1 lb fresh ground pork
1 tsp salt
1 tsp corn starch
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp michu
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
1 Tbsp potato powder
1 egg
1 cup sweet glutinous rice

1. Soak rice in water for 3 hours, and drain before using.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Knead the meat mixture with your hands after everything is combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
3. Use teaspoon and roll the meat into a small ball, 1 inch diameter. Roll the ball in the rice, making sure the entire meatball is coated in rice.
4. Steam for 15 minutes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pesto Da Nonna Italiana

Pesto Da Nonna translates to pesto from your Italian grandmothers place.  I love pesto. It is the one thing that I always ask for in return for my travel tips to Rome. Just kidding, the advice usually comes for free but if people DO ask, my answer is pesto. I don't really discriminate but if you're thinking about getting me some, pesto from the Northern part of Italy is the best :) Anyway, I had seen this post on one of my favorite blogs back when I was studying abroad in Rome and surrounded by delicious pesto. At the time, I had no need to spend hours chopping in the kitchen to enjoy a delicious bowl of pesto made by an italian grandmother. Turns out, I still don't. Although I spent almost and hour chopping the the basil into bits to get the ideal texture Hiedi talks about, I can't say its absolutely necessary, next time I'll just toss everything into a food processor! I know, blasphemy!!! Anyway, it is a great recipe and everyone who had it was not only impressed by my effort but also blown away by the taste. Don't worry if you don't like cheese it's still good!My mom, who does not touch cheese (literally scrapes the cheese off her pizza) packed two days worth of lunch for herself before any one else could get any. You can choose to use your pesto for whatever you'd like, I made a pasta salad with TJ baby heirloom tomatoes... I wanted to add ovolino fresh mozzarella but they were out at ALL the groceries stores in the area. Quick tip-- if you're using grape/cherry/baby heirloom tomatoes that are not completely ripe, I boiled mine with the pasta for a minute or two.

Pesto Da Nonna

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED
5 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Start chopping the cloves of garlic with 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once the basil is loosely chopped, add another third, chop more, repeat until all leaves are chopped. Took me 30-40 minutes
  2. Add half a handful of the pine nuts and continue chopping. Once the pine nutes are fully incorporated and chopped add the other half.
  3. Add half of the freshly grated parmesan and chop thoroughly. Repeat with the other half.
  4. After all the ingredients are thoroughly chopped and can be scrapped to form a pesto mountain, transfer it to a small container and pour olive oil over. Refrigerate until usage!! Give it a quick stir before you actually put it to use!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Father's Oxtail

At my house, most of the time my mom cooks dinner, but every once in a while Master Chef Hsu (my dad) will make an appearance in the kitchen. Up until maybe last year, my dad's specialty was noodles.. But last year, he ventured out to all sorts of things, fish head soup, curry chicken, braised pork belly, and my favorite of all, braised oxtail. My dad was in the Philippines for the past year on business and I would always crave this comfort food. My mom didn't have the recipe and my brother only had a failed attempt at transcribing it last summer. After an entire week of nagging him about his delicious oxtail dish, daddy walked me through the process. I'm so glad I have this recipe to share now! It's a nice change from the yummy but common way of cooking oxtail which is in soup.
Father's Braised Oxtail

2 star anise
3 slices of ginger 
1 tsp peppercorn
2 stalks green onion quartered
2-3lbs oxtail
1/4 cup of michu 
2 tsp salt
1 stick of celery quartered
2 habenaro peppers stems cut
10 cups of water
1/4 cup dark soy sauce 
Dash of sugar
3 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dashi
1 tbs sesame oil
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
3 Carrots sliced

1. Boil water in a large pot add star anise ginger and peppercorn green onion
2. Marinate oxtail in michu and salt let sit for 10 minutes
3. Once the pot comes to a roaring boil place the oxtails into the pot. Stir and cook for 1 minute just until the meat is no longer red.
4. Drain the water, keeping all the other ingredients and transfer to a ceramic pot.
5. Place oxtail evenly in a ceramic pot with celery and habenaro peppers and add 10 cups of water or enough to cover all the meat.
6. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cracked pepper and dashi, bring to a boil on high heat
7. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1.5 hours. Remove the blood/impurities from the top.
8. Add carrots and cook for another 15 minutes.
9. Garnish with Worchestire vinegar!