Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ever since school started, i cant seem to remember the last time where i could relax and have any afternoons to myself without any exams or quizzes lurking behind my back. But with psych out of way and pharm quizzes on a halt, these few days of chill was more than i could wish for :) However, next week we'll be starting disaster medicine and spending the entire day (8am - 5pm) in a hospital, that's 40 (bus-ride) minutes away from home, in the (predicted) snow..... it's gonna S-U-C-K, big time. So with only a weekend left before hell begins, i baked a big batch of cookies so that i could live my weekend to its fullest by eat my stress away. Oh gosh, just thinking about my next 2 weeks is getting me all antsy and super freakin' FAHNNNN........*chomps on a cookie*.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees C (325 F).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
  3. Beat in eggs on at a time, then stir in vanilla.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture until just blended.
  5. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven.
  8. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cheesecake Brownies #2

Last weekend was quite a crappy one. We had the psychiatry NBME on Saturday so that meant that i pulled many all-nighters which turned out to be a waste of time cuz IT WAS SO HARD!!! UGHHH, No way I am ever becoming a Psychiatrist. So anyways, after a 13 hour sleep, i got up and had the worst chocolate craving that I've had in months, cheesecake brownies were the only things i could think of. Learning from my mistakes last time, I made a few changes with the original recipe and the brownies came out to be much more successful than before. The new recipe and pictures have been updated at the original entry:

They've just become my monthly best friend. Yay for chocolate :D

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

叉燒/ Cha Shao/ Cha Siu

Today's the last day of our 4-day weekend and since JLo has been wanting to show off his fried glutinous rice, we decided that today would be the day (to be updated later). He calls this his Canto-Taiwanese "hybrid" 油飯 since the main ingredient was Cantonese Cha-Shao. So being the great girlfriend that i am, i got up at noon and started making the Cha-Shao that i've marinated overnight-- sacrificing my precious study time, sigh! So if you've ever been to Taiwan or hong kong, you've must've passed by tons of 燒臘 (siu mei) stores where they hang up their perfectly cut and roasted meat outside their shop. I've always thought that they had some crazy, complicated way of producing such beautifully glazed Cha-shao so I was quite doubtful of the online recipes that I've found. I mean, if it was so easy to make, then why are there so many 便當 stores in Taiwan, right? So I popped the meat in the oven, basted it every 15 minutes, made a simple glaze, cut it up... and vuala! A plate of perfectly roasted, crimson lined Cha-Shao... just like that! Not disappointing at all for such a simple recipe.

叉燒/ Cha Shao/ Cha Siu

from yahoo answers-TW
  • 600g pork, cut into a 2'' strips
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (i used bean sauce 豆瓣醬 instead)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup honey or maltose (i didn't have either so i melted sugar in a little bit of water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cube red pickled tofu (紅豆腐乳)
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • red food coloring (optional)

  • Honey and water (mixed in a 3:1 ratio) (once again melted sugar in a little bit of water)

  1. Use a fork and poke the pork all over, set aside [picture 2].
  2. Make the marinade by mixing the rest of the ingredients together (except the honey water) until well blended [picture 1].
  3. Marinade the pork overnight [picture3].
  4. The next day, lay the pork on a greased rack and spread foil on the bottom for easier cleaning [picture 4].
  5. Bake 30 minutes on each side (1 hour total) at gas mark 5 (190ºC, 375ºF), basting every 10 - 15 minutes with remaining marinade [picture 5].
  6. The pork should have an internal temperature of 65°C (or 160°F) when done [picture 6].
  7. Make the glaze by mixing honey and water in a 3:1 ratio, respectively.
  8. Glaze the pork on each side and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes [picture 7].
  9. Let the pork cool down [picture 8] and cut into thin slices.
- Cut the pork into smaller strips for prettier outcome (1.5 - 2 inches).
- Even though the Cha-Shao in my pictures came out red, the color got darker as i left it out longer... no idea why.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Kimchi & Kaktugi

Here's the update of the Kimchi i made a few weeks ago. Making it was easier than i've imagined but the entire process was sooo time consuming. I took me hours to prepare and i had to wait 3 days just to have a taste of it. Not to mention the kimchi stench i had in my room while fermenting and the perpetual smell that has overtaken my fridge (baking soda and lemon wedges were of no help at all). But all in all, it was quite worth it. They last forever and the the longer you keep it, the better it tastes. I used up half of the pepper flakes that i brought back from taiwan, but thankfully I stocked up a years' worth of it from our trip to Berlin. There's still a bit of kimchi left in my fridge but once that's gone, i'm definately making it again. Can't wait to try out all the other stuff you can make from kimchi. Dont you just love Korean food? I can totally live on it :D

Kimchi & Kaktugi

  • 1 chinese cabbage
  • 1 medium-sized radish
  • salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce (or less, depending on your taste)
  • 1 - 1.5 cups hot pepper flakes (according to your taste)
  • a bunch of spring onions (chopped and sliced)

    NOTE #1: if you're only making kimchi, this porridge recipe is enough for 2 Chinese cabbages.
    NOTE #2: add the fish sauce and hot pepper flakes according to taste! Everyone has different preferences ;)


  1. Cut the cabbages in half, and then slit each half through the core. [picture 1, 2]
  2. Soak each piece of cabbage in cold water. Drain and generously sprinkle with salt (the stem should get more salt than leaf part), set it aside for 2 hours. [picture 3]
  3. Skin the radish and cut them into 1 inch cube shapes, generously sprinkle with salt and also set aside for 2 hours. [picture 4]
  4. 2 hours later, turn the pieces of cabbage and radish over so they get salted evenly.
  5. Another 2 hours later, the cabbage and radish should look softer than before, and it should have shrunk. (The total salting process will take 4 hours)
  6. Rinse the salted cabbage and radish with cold water 3 times.

    Porridge Paste:
  7. Using a food processor, blend the garlic, ginger, and onion into a paste. [picture 5]
  8. Combine the glutinous rice powder and water and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  9. When you see some bubbles, pour in the sugar and stir for another minute. Let cool. [picture 6]
  10. When the porridge has cooled down, add in the fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, garlic/ginger/onion paste, and spring onions. Mix well and your Kimchi paste is done. [picture 7]
  11. Spread the Kimchi paste onto each leaf of the cabbage. [picture 8]
  12. Mix the leftover paste with your radish cubes (kaktugi).
  13. Put it into an air- tight sealed plastic container or glass jar.
  14. You can eat it fresh right after making it or wait until it’s fermented.
    [To Ferment: leave the sealed Kimchi container at room temperature for 1 or 2 days. Refriderate after it has reached desired sour taste]



Monday, November 03, 2008

Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew)

I had quite an eventful weekend this week, JLo and I took a weekend trip to Berlin! Yep, it was a spur of the moment idea, really. And it only took 3 hours to get back to sweet civilization :) This was like, our 4th-5th time there we skipped all the sight-seeing and went straight for the fooood! We had the usual beef noodles, sushi buffet, burger king, dunkin' donuts...etc. But what made this trip worthwhile was Villa Rodizio!! Ahhhh, nothing beats some good old Brazilian barbecue... sigh. I can't wait to go back for our 3rd time! Hmm, what else... we were also lucky enough to see the Lamborghini Reventón which, according to JLo, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience since there are only 20 of them in the world? Yea... hmm, that was pretty cool i guess..hahaha. Anyways, i don't want to bore anyone much further so back to today's topic-- Kimchi Chigae! I decided to use up half of the Kimchi i made a few weeks ago (will update soon) for Kimchi Chigae. I got the recipe from Maangchi is this really cute Korean lady that became a youtube celebrity from her food videos. You should check out her website some time... I also made a few of her Korean side dishes for dinner tonight and they were fantabulous. Below is a picture of our attempt of a complete Korean dinner... but damn those ikea plastic containers, 超級扣分.

Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew)
  • 500g pork, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups of chopped kimchi, chopped (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper paste
  • 1 cup of shiitake mushrooms, soaked (optional)
  • 1 stalk green onions, sliced
  • 1 package soft tofu
  • sesame oil
  • water


  1. In a pot or skillet, saute the pork and onions for 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the chopped kimchi and its juice.
  3. Then add in hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, mushrooms (optional), sugar, and green onions.
  4. Pour enough water to cover all ingredients.
  5. Close the lid and let it boil for 10 minutes. Turn down the medium heat and let it simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add in the tofu and boil for another 5 minutes more.
  7. Add some sesame oil and chopped spring onions right before serving.

Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew)
with korean side dishes and bulgogi