Asian Recipes

How to Roll Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls – A Photo Tutorial

How to Roll Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls – A Photo Tutorial

Since writing my first Fresh Spring Roll tutorial back in 2008, I’ve received many more questions about how to roll and store spring rolls successfully. So I’ve been meaning to update my tutorial with better photos and more precise instructions. Voila, four years later, I’ve finally made it happen!

Eating fresh Vietnamese spring rolls (summer rolls) is a favorite dish that I grew up with and one dish that I absolutely love sharing with my friends. Todd and I have frequent spring roll parties where »

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Our Fresh Summer Rolls Recipe Feature in Sunset Magazine

Our Fresh Summer Rolls Recipe Feature in Sunset Magazine

It’s finally out! Apologies for teasing you all with a recipe story that we’ve been working on for Sunset magazine over the past few months. The July 2012 issue is finally out on the stands and grab yourself a copy!

Huge thank you to all the editors at Sunset Magazine and the whole team. The wonderful and amazing team on the magazine made this article happen and we could not have done it without the support and encouragement of everyone there. The incredible Chefs at »

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Shrimp and Avocado Noodle Salad with Creamy Ginger Vinaigrette

Shrimp and Avocado Noodle Salad with Creamy Ginger Vinaigrette

Our road trip back yesterday from San Francisco was slightly longer than usual, but the beautiful route along the 101 was worth the extra 2 hour drive.  It’s not often that we get to see a mix of California’s gorgeous oak woodland interior and stunning rolling coastline, so the 10 hour drive was visually fabulous. If you ever get a chance to road trip our home state of California, please add Route Highway 1 PCH and 101 on your list. You will not be disappointed.

We »

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Shredded Pork Banh Mi Bites- A Take on Tapas

Shredded Pork Banh Mi Bites- A Take on Tapas

Too much of a good thing is certainly possible. Take for example, my favorite sandwich in the world, Vietnamese Banh Mi. But wait, before you blame me for being biased (you’re absolutely right anyways), allow me to clarify a few things about my subjective love of this sandwich.

Yes, I’m Viet-Nam born, am Vietnamese at heart, and grew up eating banh mi for as long as I can remember when I started chewing solid foods. I often took this sandwich for granted as a grade »

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Mango Salsa Recipe & Garden Roses Haircut

As promised, “Voila!” the mango salsa recipe that toppled over our teriyaki burger post a few days ago. And we’re thrilled that we actually wrote about it, as promised, considering how behind we’ve been on everything else! The office is a mess, the bathrooms need cleaning and we have 2 other projects behind schedule, but at least we wrote out the mango salsa recipe!

The feeling of accomplishment is sincerely overwhelming.

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Teriyaki Burgers w/Homemade Teriyaki Sauce – Think outside the bottle

A while back, we were lamenting about how overly sweet and artificial some bottled teriyaki sauces were. With the exception of one that we liked on our teriyaki burgers, most were too sugary. Fake tasting. Processed. Yuck.

With the grilling season underway, we wanted some teriyaki variety to our bbq menu and it was always a struggle to search for a bottle that didn’t look like a goop of sugary, sticky brown blue. We needed to think outside the bottle and needed to be quick »

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Vietnamese Style Pickled Carrots from Eating Local Cookbook


I’ve fully embraced the fact that I’m addicted to salt and crunchies. To preen me away from a jar of anything picked is like separating a mother bear from her cub. Please don’t get between me and my precious jar of pickled vegetables. Just don’t even think of going there. OK?

With that submission to salt made clear, I’m blaming it all on my Vietnamese heritage because I pretty much started at birth (once I moved to solids) to eating pickled foods as part of my meals. »

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Fresh Peas & Mint- Signs of Spring & Garden changes

What were once green, sprawling serpents have now reached  the peak of their pod-producing craze. The sugar-snap and snow peas have slowed down considerably and finally, we were able to keep up with them. Every morning for the past 2 months we had an espresso in one hand and went out to breakfast on the pea pods. We felt like grasshoppers grazing on all the pea tendrils and vines.

The fresh crunch and sweetness of all the pea pods was great, but after 2 months of »

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Shrimp Stir Fry with Sugar Snap Peas – Snow & Sugar Pea Garden Monster – Jamie Oliver cookbook

There’s an uncontrollable beast on the North end of the garden and it actually comes in two forms: sugar snap peas and snow peas. Our spring peas are like serpants, clinging to everything they can get their tendrils on. Once they latch on, pea flowers shoot out and within 3-4 days, we have fresh peas to munch on. As a matter of fact, the warm sun is encouraging way more pea growth than we can ever imagine so it’s snow pea and sweet pea recipe »

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Vietnamese Caramel Braised Pork Belly Banh Mi – Nail Shop Eats #4

The leaning tower of pork belly banh mi: not for the light hearted

I’m not a comedian, nor was I trying to be one when I spoke frankly about my mother’s Nail shop cooking escapades. Like I’ve always said, my mother is a culinary fool, a manic of a woman who lives to feed her family of 6 kids and our extended family of neighborhood friends. She’s been known to get even more carried away and feed her nail shop clients homemade noodles and fish »

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Ginger Chicken Egg Drop Soup Recipe for Sunday Supper & Good Bite

We should all take a break from our hectic lives and rejoice more with family at Sunday supper. It’s a perfect weekly occasion to gather up the family, wind down with a wholesome meal and enjoy one anothers company. Often times we all get so busy to have a dinner together as a family, and it takes a little more effort and reminder to realize how wonderful it is to gather around the dinner table with our family and friends.

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Ginger Edamame Soybean Soup (Bacon?) & How we took the photograph

Two weeks ago we had a mildly hectic week  planning for Food Blogger Camp and prepping for the Multimedia Presentation that we were giving. Normally, there’s a checklist of things to finish up before we head out and at the top of the itinerary is to cease all grocery shopping and eat everything left in the fridge. Being more attentive to eat leftovers and not wasting food has saved us a nice sum of money that went towards building new raised vegetable beds!

Hooray for »

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Beef Sukiyaki Hot Pot – Harris Salat Japanese Hot Pots Cookbook

Japanese hot pot, or nabe, are the perfect dish this time of year.  Quick, easy, and warm one-pot meals. This beef sukiyaki hot pot is one of our favorites.

We’ve been trying to catch up on our unarchived photos and after going through our recent Japan trip photographs, we needed some Japanese deliciousness, and quick.  What better way, than with some warm, comforting Japanese home food, Nabe, or hot pot.

In restaurants here in the US, most people’s experience eating Japanese hot pots are at »

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Sriracha Chicken Wings – Perfect party food for New Year’s or any Eve

Sriracha Chicken Wings – Perfect party food for New Year’s or any Eve

All right folks, hold on tight because you’re going to be blown away at how amazing these sriracha chicken wings are. If you’re a lover of Sriracha hot sauce, or any sriracha brand of hot sauce for that matter, these chicken wings will fly off your platter. The first test batch of these sriracha chicken wings almost disappeared within seconds of coming out of the oven. We literally inhaled eight of these chicken wings in 3 minutes  because the sriracha sauce was so good. So »

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Somen noodles w/Sweet Soy-Ginger Sauce -Takashi’s Noodles Cookbook

Since our remarkable trip to Japan in August, we’ve been craving Japanese noodles with a vengence. We ate all the udon, somen, soba and ramen our stomachs could handle in 9 days and it was an amazing experience and education in the history and culture of Japanese noodles. We never got tired of slurping our way through Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Each region’s noodle specialties were all so different, delicate and highlighted some magnificent regional flair. Coming back home, we were looking for a cookbook that »

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The SteamyKitchen Cookbook- Garlic Butter Noodles

It’s here, it’s finished and we’re thrilled to finally be cooking from the new Steamy Kitchen CookBook by Jaden!

The journey of the Steamy Cookbook has always been a public affair. Jaden’s tweets and blog posts about her trek from being a mom of two hungry boys, to food writer/ tv personality, to her whole cookbook process has had us engaged, absorbed and laughing out loud.  Jaden has always been generous with her wealth of knowledge and very transparent about all the hard work it »

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Versatile Curry Gravy with Fried Fish (or what ever you heart!)

I can’t imagine a life without curry. Thinking about it brings a void and desperate plea to my palate, “Noooooo!”  The warm, fragrant combination of spices topped over warm rice, tofu, veggies,  fish or meats is indispensable for me. Long ago, I swore to not live a bland life. I shall not live curry-less.

As versatile as it is delicious, my curry gravy is great accompaniment to almost any dish that needs a quick burst of flavor. Simple olive or grape seed oil, garlic and »

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The Ultimate Umami Burger

The Ultimate Umami Burger

For the longest time, we’ve been making the best darn hamburger on the face of this earth (insert personal bias.) We’ve never had a specific name for the recipe until someone tagged it as the “magic meat”, but not as in “mystery meat” or “I can’t tell if this is chicken or beef.” Rather, it was to describe the magical flavor sensations that everyone experienced when they bit into one of our patties. That “magic meat” term  described the juicy, flavorful and savory burger patty »

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Creamy Chili Hot Sauce (Spicy Sriracha Mayo) on French Fries

The internet is all afire about Huy Fong’s Sriracha Hot Sauce lately and I’m still fired up (no! not from the consumption of the chili sauce), but from all the headlines on the internet. The spicy buzz seeds from Huy Fong Sriracha articles by The  New York Times, Serious Eats, Andrea Nguyen’s thought provoking commentary, a little Twitter spat (no comment) and humbly,  my little  homemade sriracha style hot sauce recipe. All the hot sauce excitement has me glued to the computer with a pretty »

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Sriracha Recipe – Homemade Chili Sriracha Hot Sauce

Sriracha Recipe – Homemade Chili Sriracha Hot Sauce

Twitter got me into some big trouble. Last week, I innocently twittered a photograph of some Vietnamese condiments for a Viet Nhậu (tapas) party we were having for one of our Supper Club Dinners. In that picture, there were some yummy, traditional Vietnamese toppings of scallion oil confit, fried crispy shallots and many more goodies I prepared for the evenings feast. But I never thought a simple Twitter mention of “homemade sriracha hot sauce” would cause such a commotion, create incessant demands for the recipe, »

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