Love it when I stumble across good news – especially about things that I like to eat, drink, or do. Saw this piece on the health benefit of chili peppers from Epicurious.com. And I quote: “The compound responsible here might be capsaicin, the very thing that makes peppers spicy—it might guard against heart disease and obesity, and it has antimicrobial properties that might aid gut health.” Read the whole article here: Chili Peppers Might Help You Live Longer.
Looking for an easy way to cook vegetables and make them more flavorful? Sauteing is my answer. My mom does it a lot with a variety of veggies like bean sprouts, bitter melon, Napa cabbage, etc. She taught me to cook them with garlic, chili peppers, salt, and a little bit of water. Quick, easy, and tasty.
Napa cabbage has been one of my faves to saute. This crunchy and mild cabbage absorbs flavors nicely. It makes a wonderful side to beef, chicken, or fish dishes. (Optional: we could also make the dish more colorful by adding red bell peppers and/or mushrooms.)
Here’s my recipe to serve two:
- 1 Napa cabbage, cleaned and sliced (I usually pick a small one, just enough for two)
- 4 garlic, chopped
- 4 Thai peppers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 bell pepper, cored and chopped (optional)
- 1–2 cups of Shiitake mushroom, stemmed and chopped (optional)
- Heat up a medium pan, add oil (over medium heat)
- Cook garlic and peppers for two minutes
- Add slices of Napa cabbage and mix with the garlic and chili peppers (add bell peppers and mushroom here too, if using)
- Add salt, mix. Then add water and cover the pan with a lid.
- Let it cook for five minutes until the it simmers. (The cabbage will release its moisture and wilt. But, it will still be a bit crunchy even after cooking.) Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Serve while it’s still hot
Thanks for reading!
Smokey, spicy, aromatic, and easy to make. Inspired by a native dish of an area in East Java, I recently added smoked salmon in spicy coconut milk sauce into my list of favorite menu. The idea is simple: add sauce (and flavors) to an otherwise dry fish. As for the sauce, all it takes: mix coconut milk with garlic, shallots, and chili peppers and bring it to a boil. Then add galangal root for some lemony aroma. That’s it. (The original recipe involves serving a type of smoked fish that is not available in the States. So I substitute it with smoked salmon.)
Here’s my easy recipe:
- 2 fillets of smoked salmon
- 3 garlic
- 3 shallots
- 5 Thai peppers (or other type of chili peppers that you prefer)
- 7 fl oz of light coconut milk (1/2 can of the regular 14 fl oz—Use the rest of the milk for Braised Collard Greens, next blog post)
- 1 inch cut of galangal root, smashed (No galangal root? Substitute with zest from one lemon or lime)
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable/canola oil
- Chop garlic, shallots, and Thai peppers in a food processor
- Heat up a medium size pan over medium heat and add oil
- Sweat garlic, shallots, and peppers for about one to two minutes
- Add coconut milk, salt, and galangal root to the pan. Stir until it starts to bubble.
- Add the fish fillets and coat with the sauce. Since the fish is already smoked/cooked, I just need to mix it with the sauce. I let it sit in the bubbling sauce for two or three minutes.
- Discard galangal root
- Serve with hot jasmine rice and braised collard greens
Thanks for reading and have a great week!