Month: December 2007

Royal Foodie Joust – January 2008

Okay, since my aforementioned taste of culinary victory at (the now-defunct) Paper Chef has fanned my competitive flames, I’m giving it a go in the Royal Foodie Joust over at the Leftover Queen’s joint. My best work has always been under pressure, which is a […]


Nabe is standard Japanese one-pot meal, traditionally served in winter time. You can add anything you like, but I’ve used more typical Japanese ingredients. This is based on my memory of the nabe Scott and I ate in Tokyo. Nabe (Japanese winter stew) Makes 3.5 […]

Banh Hoi Bo La Lop

Tonight I made some awesome (though somewhat unbefitting a cold, wet December evening) banh hoi bo lan lop (Vietnamese grilled beef lettuce wraps) for dinner. These fit nicely into my diet menu, with only 280 calories for 5 rolls’ worth of meat, lettuce, fresh cilantro, basil and cucumber, all dipped in that unctuous nước chấm that I love so much. I based the recipe on my interpretation of Tanh Dinh’s salad rolls (where Scott and I ate a coupla weeks ago). You can wrap these in rice papers for a higher level of authenticity, but I don’t think it’s totally necessary. Served with rice noodles (in the wrap or on the side), it’s a complete meal.

Banh Hoi Bo La Lop (serves 2)

8 oz beef eye of round, thinly sliced
2 tsp rice wine (sake works)
2 tsp fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tbsp chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 tsp. sesame oil (I used black sesame oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 green onion, thinly sliced
pinch S&P
10 lettuce leaves (I like butter or bibb the best, but romaine or iceberg are fine)
1 cup
do chua* (pickled shredded carrot and daikon)
1/2 c thinly sliced cucumber
few sprigs basil
few sprigs cilantro
I guess some fresh lime if you like
1 cup
nước chấm for dipping (recipe follows)

*(Do chua can be found in a SE Asian grocery that has a deli. Otherwise, you can either use un-pickled shredded carrot and daikon, or pickle your own in rice vinegar, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. It prolly takes a coupla days in the fridge. This will also go on the banh mi I plan to make later this week.)

Mix rice wine, fish (or soy) sauce, chili paste, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, shallot, green onion and S&P in a bowl and marinate the beef for at least 20 minutes.

(I added a sprinkle of black sesame seed for flair.)

Whilst you’re marinading the beef, wash the lettuce leaves and make nước chấm.

Nước chấm (pronounced “nook chom”)

1/2 c fish sauce
juice from half a lime or 2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp grated carrot
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chili paste
2 tbsp water

Stir until sugar is dissolved. You can add chopped peanut if you want, but that shit’s got a lot of calories, and beef’s got plenty of protein.

After the beef is nice and marinate-y, throw it onto a hot grill pan and cook for like 30 seconds on each side. This cut gets tough if overcooked, so go ahead and live on the edge: eat it medium-rare.

To serve, arrange everything on a platter and eat by placing beef, cukes, herbs and do chua into lettuce leaf and roll the it up into a little salad roll. Dip in nước chấm. Curl toes.

Disclaimer: I AM A WHITE GIRL. Please, if something is unauthentic, lemme know! I want to learn from you. I love Asian people! Let’s be BFFs.

So, I’m on a diet

Yeah, that’s right. I’m watching the weight again. Anyways, tonight I made a yummy diet-esque dinner, and since I’ve decided I’m not ashamed to admit I’m counting calories, I took a photo of the buffalo taco salad I made for dinner. And guess what, bitches? […]

Rebound ftw

Okay, I think I’m back a little. I’m back in the kitchen, anyway. Last night I tried my hand at the sous-vide method of cooking (chinook salmon with roasted lemons, dijon mustard, honey and thyme). Hindsight always being 20/20, I would’ve bagged the portions individually […]

Epic Fail

Okay, so I never made an after-Thanksgiving post. Thanksgiving was a bit of a letdown, predictably, because the speech-impeded screams of toddlers had me so frazzled that I fucked up three of my side dishes and by the time I even got to sit down to eat they were already up from the dinner table, running around and demanding to be taken home. Sigh.

I forgot to parcook the sweet potatoes, so they never got soft and as a result, the custard couldn’t set up in the center. My stuffing and haricots verts were prepared hours ahead of time (thought I was being clever), and the re-heat in the oven did them no favors. Sigh.

The turkey was really good, though, but I got only one photo, of the confit:

So now the exciting news: our basement flooded this morning from all the rain we’ve been getting (which hasn’t actually been that much, all things considered). It didn’t come in from the walls or anything, but from the fucking ground water. The water table rose so much that it percolated up through a crack in the concrete (near the furnace) and flowed in beneath the carpet across the floor. The carpet was all saturated this morning and after work we had to move all of our bajillion boxes of crap and tear up the carpet, then mop up the nasty sog and then turn the fans on. The only thing that smells worse than old, dried-up cat piss is moldy ground water-refreshed cat piss.

Then, THEN I found this horrifying creature which I have only been able to surmise resembles a huge termite:

WHAT THE FUCK. What in the holy fuck is this thing. Why does it think it belongs in my basement. Its abdomen rears up like a scorpion’s tail when it’s threatened.

And I have epic cramps. Fuck this noise. Fuck it, I say!