Tag Archives: asian

Week of February 23, 2015

JW and I stayed up way too late watching the Oscars last night. We’ve never really watched the Oscars before, but Neil Patrick Harris was hosting and we really like him so we figured we’d watch. We now have a new list of movies we want to see — we hadn’t seen any of the nominated films, but they all look excellent. First one on our list: Birdman! We will probably settle in with some popcorn on Thursday. Looking forward to it!

 Monday – Vietnamese salmon

Photo cred: Qlinart
Photo cred: Qlinart
This recipe is from an old blog I loved and followed for years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been updated since 2012 but I continue to go back to it when I’m craving Asian flavors.


For the salmon

  • 2 lb salmon fillets
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp lemon
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger

For the dipping sauce

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp thinly sliced cayenne pepper


  1. Marinate salmon fillet in fish sauce, oil, lemon, garlic and ginger for about an hour. Once marinated, broil salmon for 5 minutes in the oven. Turn off broil and leave salmon to bake for max 10 minutes in low heat at 200 F to make sure salmon is not overcooked, but nice and moist.
  2. While salmon is cooking, combine ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl. Serve alongside the cooked fish.

 Tuesday – Szechuan pork

Photo cred: Qlinart
Photo cred: Qlinart

Another recipe from the (sadly retired) Asian blog I mentioned above, Qlinart. The original recipe suggests to stuff the pork loin with a cup of fresh sage, but I’m actually not a fan of sage so I think I’ll stick to just simple Szechuan peppercorn, lemongrass and garlic.


  • 2 lbs pork loin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorn flavored salt
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small brown paper bag for roasting


  1. With a sharp knife, slice into the center of the pork loin and open it up so the pork loin looks like one thick layer of meat. Place on a cutting board (inside up). Drizzle some olive oil on the entire inner surface of the pork.
  2. Rub in vigorously half the amount of the Szechuan peppercorn flavored salt (about 3/4 tbsp). Spread the garlic slices over the surface of the pork. Roll the pork tightly closed.
  3. Season the outer surface of the pork with the flavored salt (about 3/4 tbsp, or to taste, go with your instinct) and the lemongrass, and drizzle a bit more olive oil on the entire surface.
  4. Tightly wrap the pork loin in plastic film. Let it chill in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
  5. For even roasting, let pork sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. Place rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 360F. Apply olive oil to brown paper bag with a pastry brush (IMPORTANT: bag must be thoroughly greased throughout so that it doesn’t burn and it will seal in the steam). Roast for about 40 – 50 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, open bag; be careful of steam inside of bag. Return pork into the oven and broil for about 10 minutes for a darker brown color.

 Wednesday – Tallboys

It’s a friend’s birthday on Wednesday and so we will be having dinner at Tallboys, a microbrewery downtown. I think I may have one of their yummy-looking burgers…!

Thursday – Thai roasted carrot and beet soup

Photo cred: Mama Earth
Photo cred: Mama Earth

This recipe came in my vegetable basket this week, along with 2 lbs of beets and carrots. I love the deep, rich color – and of course, the fact that it is packed with nutrients! I will probably serve this with leftover pork or salmon.


  • 1 lb red beets
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp red curry paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can coconut milk


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Roughly chop the beets and carrots into 1 inch pieces. Toss on a large rimmed baking sheet with 2 tbsp. of olive oil and ½ tsp. each salt and pepper. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and roast for 35-45 minutes, until the vegetables are softened, stirring halfway. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat sauté the chopped onion in the remaining tbsp. of olive oil until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the red curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, another 1-2 minutes. Add the broth, the roasted vegetables and the remaining ½ tsp. each of salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are very soft.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the stovetop over low-medium heat to re-warm. Stir in the coconut milk, reserving 1 to 2 tbsp. for garnish. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with the reserved coconut milk.

Friday – The Regal Beagle


We’re planning on eating out on Friday again, as JW’s friends are organizing something at the Regal Beagle pub to kick off the weekend!

Week of November 10, 2014

I just back from the grocery store and I am really excited about the meals this week! I re-discovered one of my old favorite food blogs, Qlinart,  which was my go-to site for Asian-inspired dishes when I first moved into my own place and began cooking for myself. This week, for some reason I’m really in the mood for precisely that type of food, as you will see from my menu.

Friday, JW and I will be going to a cottage we rented in the Georgian Bay. It’s our anniversary, and we wanted to do something special, so we’re stealing off for a few days to a rustic log cabin in the woods just off Lake Huron. Looking forward to it! ♥

Monday – Lemongrass chicken

Photo cred: Qlinart

I’ve made this many times, and it really is best on the BBQ, but if the weather is too chilly the oven certainly does the trick. I find the original recipe is a little heavy on the oil, so I’ve reduced it a tad.


  • 1 whole grain-fed chicken
  • 1/8 cup of olive oil
  • 4 tbsp finely minced lemon grass (about two stems of lemongrass)
  • 6 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 3 tsps hot chili flakes
  • 1 tsp hot chili paste
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt(or to taste)
  • 2 tsps ground pepper


  1. To prepare the marinade, mix well all above ingredients (except chicken) in a bowl with a spoon.
  2. Spatchcock the chicken (flatten the chicken for the grill or the oven roast) and rub the skin and the interior with the prepared lemongrass-garlic-chili marinade. Let marinate for 24 hours or overnight in a well-sealed container.
  3. Having been marinated overnight, the chicken is ready to be grilled in the BBQ or roasted in the oven. When grilling on the BBQ, set the temperature to medium-high and keep the BBQ lid closed, but make sure to flip the chicken once in a while to maintain an even grill and avoid burning. The chicken should be cooked between an hour and an hour and a half.
  4. If oven roasting, set the temperature to 350F. Place the chicken in an oven bag and follow instructions. It’s really worth it to use the oven bag – it cuts down the roasting time by almost half and makes the most tender and juiciest bird ever. Roast the chicken in the oven bag for about an hour and a half until the skin is golden brown. (Without an oven bag, roast for 2 and half hours.) Once the skin is golden brown, it’s a good indication that the meat is cooked. The juices at the bottom of the pan is a good sign that the chicken is moist and tender. Remove and discard the oven bag and the juices. To add that final “grilled” touch, place the chicken in the oven and “broil” for about 2-3 minutes until parts of the skin are slightly burnt. And voilà, oven-roasted-broiled chicken without the BBQ.

Tuesday – Braised chicken with winter squash tagine

Photo cred: Qlinart

We bought too many squash (squashes?) for last week’s stuffed squash recipe, so I thought I would use my single leftover gourd in this recipe. Also, I was just thinking that I haven’t used my tagine in literally years, what a perfect excuse!


  • 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut in large chunks
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 large winter squash, diced 1 inch chunks
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 1 orange peel
  • handful of fresh coriander to garnish, coarsely chopped
  • roasted slivered almonds to garnish (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat oil in the tajine base and stir in the onions, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon and saffron for about 2 minutes or until the onions have softened a little.
  3. Gently add the chicken and stir until all sides are lightly browned. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and lower the heat the medium, cover with Tajine lid (dome), and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the squash by carefully peeling and dicing it. Remove dome and add in the diced squash, the orange peel and the dates. Put the lid back on and carefully place the tajine in the oven to bake for about 15-20 minutes. (Edit – I made this tonight and 20 minutes was definitely not long enough. The chicken was still raw and the squash was rock-hard. I extended the cooking time to a total of 60 minutes). Spices should slowly infuse in the chicken and squash, giving the dish incredible flavour.
  5. When done, remove from the oven, slowly remove the lid and sprinkle the coriander and almonds. Serve with couscous, rice or a side dish of vegetables.

 Wednesday – Green Thai curry shrimp soup

Photo cred: Food52

This recipe was given to me by word-of-mouth from my friend Amé. It’s so easily adapted to incorporate any veggies, chicken, or whatever, and it’s the perfect soupe-repas.


  • Zest and juice from one lime
  • About 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Half a pound of raw shrimp
  • 2-3 tbsp green curry paste
  • 1 can low-fat coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 package vermicelli (angel hair) noodles
  • Asian veggies of your choice (watercress, mushrooms)


  1. Heat some olive oil in a stockpot. Sauté the ginger and garlic for a few seconds, and add the shrimp until the meat just begins to turn pink. Add the zest, lime juice and curry paste. Mix well so the shrimp is coated with everything.
  2. Add the coconut milk and the broth. Bring to a boil. then reduce heat and simmer a few minutes until you’re sure the shrimp are cooked through.
  3. Add the vermicelli and veggies, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve piping hot.

Thursday – Grilled pork chops with lemongrass and ginger

Photo cred: Qlinart

Pork was crazy cheap this week, and so to continue with my Asian food fetish this week here is a lemongrass-marinated pork recipe. I have again reduced the oil but otherwise it’s copied verbatim from the original.


  • 4 pork chops with bone
  • 1 stalk lemon grass (remove hard surrounding shell with your hands, and chop finely the inner softer stalk)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp raw cane sugar (or ¾ tsp regular sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp red hot chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Put the pork chops in a large freezer bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a meat tenderizing hammer. Transfer to another large freezer bag and add in the lemongrass, garlic, ginger sugar, fish sauce and chili flakes. Drizzle in the oil over the meat and spices.
  2. Close the bag and shake well and give the pork a good massage with your hands so as to mix in the spices well. Lay bag on a large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Before grilling, take out the bag and leave at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove marinated pork from the bag. Grill both sides on the barbecue for about 5-7 minutes each side until well done.
  5. Slice the pork and serve with fresh lettuce and rice vermicelli. You can also wrap the pork slices in rice paper to make fresh spring rolls.

Friday – Linguine with chard and shrimp

Photo cred: EatingWell

As I mentioned, JW and I will be out of town this Friday but I did find this tasty recipe that I might have made if I were home.


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat linguine
  • 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp, (16-20 per pound)
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 16 cups thinly sliced chard leaves
  • 1/4 cup clam juice, or water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 lemon wedges, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook linguine until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 3 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until pink and curled, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Add chard in handfuls, stirring until it wilts before adding more; cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Whisk clam juice (or water) and cornstarch in a small bowl then add to the pan; simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the pan, add lemon juice, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  4. Drain the linguine and return it to the pot. Add the sauce; toss to coat. Serve with lemon wedges.