Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Assorted Mushroom Dumplings

Last week, I organized a collective cooking for a reunion with past friends I haven't met for at least 4 years. The theme was vegetarian cuisine but ended up to be a mushroom theme as we were using it as a main ingredient. My friend from Pharmacology made a scrumptious mushroom dumplings with a reduction of vegetable stock and white wine. This simple dish is a must try.

Serves 4-6
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins


500 g assorted mushrooms (white button, shiitake, pleurotus, or others)
3 shallots
1/2 cup chives, minced
500 mL vegetable stock
1/3 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
40-50 dumpling/gyoza skins


1. Chop assorted mushrooms and half of the shallots. Mince the remaining shallots.

2. In large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté mushrooms and shallots until cooked. Add a couple tbsp of white wine to taste. Seson with salt and pepper.

3. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and add chives to taste. Set aside to cool.

4. Lay a dumpling skin. Wet all the edges with water. Place a tbsp of mushroom filling in the middle of the skin. Fold sides up to form a half-circle, and pinch the edges to seal. Continue the same process for the rest of the gyoza skins until filling is gone.

5. In the same frying pan, cook dumplings until light golden with olive oil.

6. Add vegetable stock with white wine until 1/2 filled the dumplings. Boil over medium-high heat until stock reduces to about 2/3. Turn dumplings during cooking.

7. Serve and garnish with chives.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Linguine with Tomato Clam Sauce

On that last Friday cooking, I invited my Taiwanese friend to my Peruvian friend's place and I assigned him to work on the main dish. At the last minute, he called at my lab that he can't make it...So, I have to figure out a last minute dish. I was quickly browsing in the supermarket to see whatever is on special and finally, I came out with clams in tomato sauce reduced in white wine served with linguine. For a last minute dish, it was quick and delicious especially with white wine.

Serves 4
Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Printable Recipe


1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28oz. can  diced tomatoes with its tomato juice or crushed tomatoes
2 cans clams in natural juice, drained and reserved
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup white wine
450g linguine
3 tbsp coriander


1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions until transparent, about 5 mins.

2. Add garlic and cook for 1 min until fragrant.

3. Add tomato sauce and ketchup, clam juice and white wine. Bring to boil.

4. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 mins, partially cover. Stir occasionally.

5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente.

6. Add parsley and clams to tomato sauce and cook for 2-3 mins. Season with salt and pepper.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Coconut Flan

Applying for large scholarships is a long and tiring process, making sure that every moment of your academic life is in your application and then compress every information in two pages. Finally, proofread it by friends and colleagues. It is a busy week until October 1st, the deadline.

I have organized a free-for-all collective cooking last Friday, and sent at least 20 invitations among colleagues, it ended up to be only 4 people. At first, I thought it will be a disaster, at least my French colleague came to the rescue when his Friday's event was cancelled. Here is one of his frequent dessert...coconut flan, a simple 4 ingredient recipe. This can be served warm or cold. The tricky part is to caramelize the sugar, here is a hopeful video.

Preparation Time : 5 mins + cooling
Cooking Time :  5-10 mins
Baking Time : 20 mins
Printable Recipe


6 eggs
1 can coconut milk (400 mL)
300 mL whole milk
1/3 cup white sugar for caramelization
1/2 cup white sugar for batter


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Caramelize the sugar in a medium saucepan or directly on a 9'' Pyrex cake mould over medium-low heat. Once melted,  pour immediately the caramel to the cake mould.

3. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add milk, coconut milk and sugar until dissolved.

4. Pour batter on top of the caramel.

5. Bake for 20 mins or until golden. Serve warm or cold.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Korean BBQ - Kalbi and Bulgogi

On that day, on Korean BBQ night, we had about 6lb of meat and luckily, our calculations were right and all the meat were all gone. Mainly, we had Kalbi which is marinated shortribs and Bulgogi, boneless meat, this can be flank steak, loin or boneless ribs. Here is the recipe from my Taiwanese's Korean friend.

For 4 lbs of meat
Preparation Time : 5 mins
Marinating Time : 1-2 days
Printable Recipe


4 lbs meat such as short ribs, boneless meat
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, cubed
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tbsp honey (optional)
1 tbsp ground pepper


1. In a large bowl, combine garlic, onion, brown sugar and black pepper.

2. Add soy sauce, sesame oil and honey to the mixture.

3. Put meat in a large ziploc and then pour the marinade. Toss to marinate the meat.

4. Marinate for 1-2 days.

5. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

6. Cook meat for 2-3 meats on each side. To eat like a real Korean, wrap the meat with romania lettuce, roasted garlic and seaweed. Serve with rice with Korean red sweet and spicy sauce (Gochujang).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cocktail Sauce

I have been busy with my scientific paper and organizing the upcoming collective cooking the past week. Finally, I'm glad that my paper is officially accepted for publication.

I know some of you are curious on how it went my last collective cooking as I haven't written any recipe of the Korean BBQ from last weekend. On that day, we were 9 people for the Korean BBQ, the most guest we ever had. As usual, I worked either on appetizer or dessert. They are usually the most interesting part of a meal. Last week, cooked cocktail shrimp was on special, so shrimp with cocktail sauce is the starting dish. I checked various website and came up a summarized recipe for cocktail sauce. The quantities are vague, so adjust the taste to your liking.

Makes about 1 1/2 cup
Preparation Time : less than 5 mins
Printable Recipe


1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp lemon juice
Hot sauce
Salt and pepper


1. In a blender, blend all the ingredients until small pieces of tomatoes are left but not smooth.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mini Carrot Raisin Bread

This weekend, my Taiwanese and I are preparing for today's collective cooking which feature Korean BBQ, we have marinated 6 lbs of meat for about 8 people. We will see tonight how the evening will go. On Saturday, I decided to make carrot bread since we have a lot of carrots left at home. I inspired the recipe from Southern Grace Gourmet which her recipe was featured Top 9 on Foodbuzz. I am always wondering why there is so much sweet in desserts, I usually cut at least 1/4 cup sugar from the original recipe. I wasn't sure if it should be called a bread or cake. I think a cake is only if there is frosting on top of a bread. It is similar to muffin and cupcakes.

Makes 6 mini bread or 1 bread loaf
Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins (mini bread) or 50 mins (loaf)
Printable Recipe


1 1/2 cups carrot, julienned
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp maple syrup


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Combine sugar, syrup, salt, egg and oil.

3. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir together with a rubber spatula until combined.

4. Fold in raisins and carrots to batter. Transfer mixture to baking pan.

5. Bake for 30-35 mins for mini bread and for bread loaf about 50 mins or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My 100th post - The Ultimate Breakfast

At last, my 100th post! I wouldn't think I would write so much about food. Thanks for all you readers and food bloggers for inspirations, and a special thanks to all my research collegues, condensed matter physicists, skeptics, knife salesman, friends and my brother to make the collective cooking all possible. I hope this blog help to improve your culinary skills.

One of my friend find that I don't have any real breakfast recipe as all of them are mainly dessert-like breakfast dish. So, my friend decided to organize a collective cooking early in the morning, and this is a great theme for the 100th post. Four of us managed to wake up early on a Sunday. Three of us made breakfast.

First, scrumptious banana pancakes were made by my Mexican friend, Mon. She basically inspired herself with many pancakes recipe online and made her own recipe.

Banana Pancakes
Serves 4
Preparation Time : 5 minutes
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Printable Recipe


2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/8 cup oil
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 riped bananas
1 1/4 cups flour


1. In a blender, beat eggs, milk and oil. Incorporate sugar, salt and baking powder. Finally, add bananas, blend until the batter is homogeneous. Blend in the flour.

2. In a large skillet, melt 1/2 tsp butter and pour a 5-inch droplet of the batter to the pan.

3. Cook until bubbly. Flip and cook again on the other side. Serve.

The second dish is made by my French friend, Mathieu. He made Pain Perdu (or Lost Bread) which is also known as French Toast, but the French people hate to call it by this name. They call Lost Bread because it is a way to use stale bread, basically hard bread dipped in a mixture of milk and bread and served dusted with powdered or granulated sugar.

Pain Perdu (Lost Bread)
Serves 4
Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Printable Recipe


8 slices day-old bread
2 eggs
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 dash salt
Butter and oil
Icing sugar or granulated sugar for dusting


1. In a toaster, toast bread for 30-45 seconds to get a crunchy taste out of the bread.

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, sugar and salt.

3. In a large skillet, heat oil and melt butter over medium-high heat.

4. Dip toasted bread to the egg mixture and transfer to skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden. Serve with syrup.

Now, my share of the event was to make a warm and rich homemade blueberry sauce which goes well with both the pancakes and the pain perdu.

Blueberry Sauce
Makes 2 cups
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Printable Recipe


1/3 cup white sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)


1. In a small saucepan, stir sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth.

2. Add blueberries and heat until boiling. Stir occasionally.

3. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in lemon juice. Serve warm.

Finally, for the drink, my Mexican friend uses soya milk with a Spanish touch of orgeat mix. Orgeat mix (Horchata) is bought in powder form mainly composed of a mix ground rice, cinnamon, sesame seeds and other ingredients and must be mix with a liquid.

Soy Milk with Horchata
Makes 1 cup
Preparation Time : 2 mins


1 cup soy milk
1 tbsp orgeat mix (horchata)
1 tbsp white sugar


1. Combine all the ingredients until the dry ingredients are dissolved.

After all this cooking, here is how our well-decorated table look like...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Date Squares

Finally, the dessert part of the evening is baked by a friend that I haven't met for months as he is no longer studying at my University. I'm very glad that he came to the cooking. He made date square which is almost like a crisp but there is an additional layer of oatmeal-based crust at the bottom of the filling. He got this recipe from Recettes du Québec, it is the Québec version of

Serves 10
Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Printable Recipe


3/4 cup water
1lb dates, pitted
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup Quaker's oats
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup butter


1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. In a medium saucepan, boil water over medium-high heat. Add dates and cook until it has absorbed all the water and until softened.

3. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, oats and salt. Add butter into small pieces. With pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

4. Spread half of the oats mix at the bottom of a 8 x 8 inch baking pan, lightly greased.

5. Cover with a layer of dates. Finish with the remaining of oats.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Let it cool and cut into squares.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Vegetarian Pizza with Feta Cheese

This dish is made by two girls. Unfortunately, one of them can't make it to this event but at least she prepared the pizza dough. The other girl did the sauce and the toppings. I found it special to have feta cheese instead of mozzarella and cheddar. I won't go through in details the procedure as it is easily customizable.

Serves 6-8
Cooking Time : 20-25 mins
Printable Recipe


1 pizza dough
pizza sauce
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Spread dough on pizza plate. Spread pizza sauce on top of the dough. Add mushrooms and pepper. Finish up with feta cheese

3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let it rest for a few minutes. Serve.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Shrimp Grapefruit Salad

This Friday collective cooking is with a new group of people in physics and/or mathematics recently received their Bachelor degree. As a group of first-timers, the event was a great success. Here is a delicious and simple appetizer, no cooking required made by a great couple.

Serves 6
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Printable Recipe


1/2 cup mayonnaise
65g capers
500g pre-cooked shrimp
4 grapefruit


1. Peel grapefruit with its skin removed and put into a large bowl.

2. Add the cooked shrimp and capers. Carefully mix with mayonnaise.

Seafood Scallop Burger

Here is the second burger. It is the first time I tasted seafood burger without deep frying. This burger is a must try.

Serves 4
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins


250g sole fillet, skinless
400g scallops, cleaned
1 egg
1 tbsp parsley
ground pepper


1. In a food processor, place sole fillet and half of the scallops, process until smooth texture.

2. Place the remaining scallop and process for about 15-20 seconds, until small lumps of scallops in the mixture.

3. Add egg, parsley, and pepper to mixture and shape into 4 inches patty.

4. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat, cook patty for about 4-5 mins on each side until golden. Serve on hamburger buns.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

All-American Burger

I thought that it would nice if I put a few simple burger recipe on this blog as it was first focused to university students who are looking for inspirations and cooking simple dishes. Here is one of the two burgers that my Taiwanese friend made on Sunday.

Serves 4
Preparation Time : 5 mins + 1 hour chilling
Cooking Time : 12-15 mins
Printable Recipe


1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper


1. Mix meat and chopped onion in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Form patty about 4-5 inches in diameter. Chill for an hour.

3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6-7 mins on each side or to your desired doneness.

4. Transfer patty to a plate with paper towel on top to drain fat. Serve on hamburger buns with cheese, lettuce and tomato.


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