Eating out with my family make up a huge chunk of my childhood memory. Growing up, Japanese cuisine was big in Indonesia and was one of my family’s favorites. And as far as I could remember the cuisine had a lot more varieties than just the very popular sushi and bento boxes that we have been so accustomed to here these days. My favorite was Yakiniku.
In college, a friend of mine taught me how to make yakiniku at home. (Thanks again for it, Vick!) Each time I make it I am reminded of why I like the dish so much. Aside from the good memories it brings, this easy and savory meat dish is just so full of flavors! The sesame oil gives this warm and nutty aroma while the mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper infuses the meat with such an exciting taste.
I like to cook my thin sliced steak on the grill outside. The meat tends to get very smoky when it is done inside, on a gridiron or on a portable gas stove at the table, just like how it is at yakiniku restaurants.
Here’s my super easy version of yakiniku.
Ingredients for the steak:
- 1 1/2 pounds of thin sliced beef
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- ¼ cup of low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
- 1 tablespoon of cayenne/chili powder
Ingredients for the sides (any of these will work fine):
- Cucumber (peeled and sliced)
- Mix all of the ingredients for the steak in a resealable bag (or a bowl and then cover with a plastic wrap) and let it sit in the fridge overnight
- Grill the meat over high heat. It won’t take long at all to cook since the beef are sliced very thin. So please don’t wander off too far from the grill
- Remove the hardy bottom part of the asparagus
- Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper
- Grill the asparagus for 4 minutes on each side
- Serve the cucumber and lettuce on a separate plate as a side
- Best served with rice
Serve 2 generously
Whoever invented stuffed vegetables was a creative genius. The compact goodness, with plentiful stuffing choices, makes a great meal. I have a list of stuffing and vegetables that I’d like to pair together. But this week the mood for a good cheesy, creamy, either grain or pasta based, stuffing was heightened. So the search for the right ingredients began.
Curiosity led me to try quinoa for my vegetable stuffing base. I have heard about the grain a lot but have never tried it before. So I had to see what the excitement was all about. I grabbed a small bag of quinoa from the market and learned from the back of it that the grain makes a great substitute for rice and couscous. Right there and then, my cooking planning process began. I stood in the produce aisle, totally switched off from my surrounding, meditating on my next steps. An image of stuffed red bell peppers entered my mind. Next I imagined mixing the cooked quinoa with unsalted butter, light shredded mozzarella, halved grape tomatoes, onions, and a little bit of chop parsley. Then I visualized stuffing the mixture of quinoa into the bell peppers and liking the end result. Here’s the product of my food meditation 🙂
The real cooking process was as easy as I had pictured it in my mind. And even better, the result was as tasty as I had hoped for. Quinoa’s subtle nutty flavor and soft crunchy texture pair well with the sweet and tender red bell peppers and tomatoes and with the savory cheese. I imagine the grain would be great in different styles of cooking too. Ideas already pop up in my head for the next quinoa-based meal. I’ll be sure to write them down and give them a try. More to come later!
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- A handful of chopped parsley
- ¼ chopped onions
- A handful of halved grape tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- 2 handful of light shredded mozzarella
- 3 red bell peppers (remove the top and the seeds)
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a small pot, cook 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of chicken stock. Stir and bring to boil. Close with a lid and let cook for 20 minutes (I followed the cooking instruction on the bag).
- After 20 minutes, turn the heat off, add butter and stir until it melts
- Add the shredded mozzarella
- Add the grape tomatoes, onions, parsley, salt, and pepper into the mixture and mix well
- Scoop the mixture and fill up the bell peppers
- Top with a little bit more of mozzarella
- Using your fingers, coat the outer part of the pepper with a little bit of olive oil
- Place the stuffed bell peppers on a baking dish, add a little water on the bottom of the dish (like two tablespoon of water). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bell peppers become a bit wrinkly and soft.
I’m finding more things to like: roasted sweet peppers. They make such a wonderful side dish. These pretty and colorful little things complement savory dish very well. Recently I mixed them with artichoke hearts, another fave, and served alongside my turkey and halibut mini burgers. The result? The three make a superb combination, light but substantial. Definitely a great springtime dinner menu.
Inspired by a fellow blogger’s post at We Call Him “Yes! Chef!”
Here’s what we will need:
- A bunch of sweet peppers (mini or regular ones are fine – I happened to have the mini ones for at the time)
- A jar of marinated artichoke hearts (halved)
- A tablespoon of olive oil
Steps (while my turkey patties and halibut fillets are grilling outside):
- Drizzle olive oil on the peppers and mix with both hands. Place on a baking sheet
- On a separate baking sheet, place the halved artichoke hearts
- Set the oven to broil
- Place both peppers and artichoke hearts in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the peppers’ skin turn darker
- Take both out of the oven
- Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap to steam. Then the skin can come off easily
- Chop the peppers and mix with artichoke hearts
- Serve on the side of these guys:
Yesterday, I posted an article about my turkey mini burger with a mention of halibut mini burgers that I also did. Though Jeff and I love a good meaty and juicy beef burgers, we also enjoy other kinds. We take pleasure in having food variety. It definitely makes mealtime a lot more exciting. So here’s another alternative to the regular beef burger.
Spring has returned to earth. It definitely came back a lot earlier this year. The warmer air and bright sun create a perfect strolling weather to check out blossoms all around. Spring also means the start of grilling season for us. I love grilling outside. (Well, actually, Jeff does a lot of the grilling in our little patio 🙂 ) Recently, I made this delicious, light but yet filling, halibut mini burgers along with my turkey mini burgers. Halibut is definitely one of my favorite white fish. I enjoy its mild flavor and its substantial but fluffy texture. A perfect selection for my mini burger.
- 2 large fillets of halibut (divide into 4 servings)
- Olive oil to coat the fillets
- A sprinkle of ginger powder
- A sprinkle of dried rosemary
- Lemon juice (from half a lemon)
We will also need 4 burger buns or dinner rolls
Sauce (inspired by Rachael Ray’s)
- 2 tablespoon of mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon of mustard
- 1 teaspoon of dill
- 1 teaspoon of chopped pickle
- Lemon juice (from half of a lemon)
- 1 teaspoon of Sriracha hot sauce
- Mix the fish with all ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- In a small bowl, mix mayo, mustard, dill, chopped pickle, lemon juice, and Sriracha for the sauce. Refrigerate until the fish is ready.
- Spray the grill with olive oil so that the fish won’t stick
- Grill the fish for 5 minutes on each side
- Grill the buns/rolls for a minute or two
- Spread the sauce on the top and bottom of the buns/rolls and drizzle a little on the fillet. Add cheese if you prefer. Stack up the burger.
- Serve with roasted sweet peppers with artichoke hearts salad