otsu sesame noodles

otsu sesame noodles [ inthiskitchen.com ]

These otsu sesame noodles are absolutely one of my favorite dishes I have made in the past two years. I can’t believe it’s taken me even this long to share them here, because I love them so much and have made them at least ten times in the past year. My boyfriend loves them too, and we’ve made them when people come over, always to great success.

They use my absolute favorite noodles (soba noodles) with a fantastic sauce on top. The veggies are really pretty customizable, but I try not to overload it with too many. Just add whatever crunchy veggies you like and if you hate eggplant and tofu, maybe try zucchini and chicken. It could only be delicious.

I doubled the amount of sauce that is in the original recipe, because we usually want a bit more and its a good sauce to have leftovers of. I imagine it would go good on just about anything – chicken breasts, pork, other roasted vegetables, rice… It’s just such a good, versatile and flavorful sauce that makes anything tasty. It’s sort of like peanut sauce, tangy and nutty but with lemony ginger flavor to it also. If you make and enjoy these otsu noodles as much as I do, let me know!

otsu sesame noodles [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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simple mango lassi

mango lassi [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Mango lassi is one of those recipes that takes a few super simple ingredients, and when mixed together, becomes incredibly great. It’s basically just a yogurt-mango smoothie, but the addition of cardamom is really what gives it depth and that awesome flavor. I had to go out and buy cardamom to make these (I’ve been on a sort of spice cabinet-stocking mission this summer) and it was 100% worth it. Just a pinch makes the whole thing perfect.

You can certainly purchase mango already pureed, but if you can’t find that, you can do what I did and just peel and chop up a mango and throw that in the blender. This can also be thinned out more with milk if you like a less thick version. If your mango is super tart, add a little sugar, but if it’s good and ripe, just the mango should do fine! If you’ve never tried mango lassi, give it a go – it might just be my favorite smoothie.

mango lassi [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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spiced blackberry hand pies

spiced blackberry hand pies [ inthiskitchen.com ]

These spiced blackberry hand pies were, for lack of a better phrase, so freaking good. I want them again right now and I probably will for a long time, or until I make ‘em again. They are sort of like a seriously jacked-up homemade pop tart, but with a much thicker and more delicious buttery, flaky crust, and a fresh fruit, lightly spiced blackberry filling. There is the smallest hint of cayenne in the filling (a callback to my recent blackberry spiced honey greek yogurt) that doesn’t taste spicy, but just adds a subtle background heat and flavor.

spiced blackberry hand pies [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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favorite chinese fried rice

favorite chinese fried rice [ inthiskitchen.com ]

The title of this recipe is “favorite chinese fried rice,” and even though I didn’t name it, I totally agree with it. This is nothing like the fried rice you’d get at a Panda Express or most takeout Chinese places. It has fantastic flavors, and an especially unique one that I hadn’t heard of until I saw this recipe: Chinese preserved mustard greens. I saw this recipe years before I finally got myself some preserved mustard green, and was so happy when I was finally able to make it. They are a slightly spicy, slightly pickled vegetable, and though it might seem weird or different at first… when diced and tucked in fried rice, they give the *best* flavor and crunch. They are totally necessary here.

If you live in or near any major city, you should have an Asian grocery somewhere in the vicinity. Look for preserved mustard tuber or preserved mustard stem in the ingredients. I’ve included photos of the exact brand I found (I believe it is the same or very similar to the one Jen uses in the original recipe):


favorite chinese fried rice [ inthiskitchen.com ]


favorite chinese fried rice [ inthiskitchen.com ]


favorite chinese fried rice [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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lemon blueberry baked oatmeal

lemon blueberry baked oatmeal recipe [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I usually find it hard to be creative at breakfast. My favorite breakfast foods are whichever ones are simplest, and if they’re really tasty thats a bonus.

This lemon blueberry baked oatmeal is not only really good, its also a filling and healthy breakfast. I originally thought it would be like oatmeal bars, but it’s not – its more similar to traditional oatmeal, still very soft but baked instead. I think it is really best eaten warm with some milk poured on top (and maybe a little maple syrup or honey too). The recipe is super easy and you get a lot of bang for your buck, too!

lemon blueberry baked oatmeal recipe [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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watermelon ginger mint slush

watermelon ginger mint slush [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I have been converted to a slushie lover with this watermelon slush. I definitely loved them as a kid, the crazy-colored icees at 7-11, but since then I haven’t had many because I often think they’re too sweet. After having a fantastic slush the other day at Cafe Angelique in New York, I decided it was time I tried to make one at home. I wanted the summery and not-too-sweet flavor of watermelon, mint and lime, with a little added kick of ginger. Oh how I love ginger… if you do too, make this now!

watermelon ginger mint slush [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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spiced cilantro quinoa soup with shrimp, avocado and corn

cilantro quinoa soup recipe [ inthiskitchen.com ]

This recipe is hard to describe, but it is really, really good. It is sort of a soup, but sort of just a quinoa dish that happens to have some broth with it, but the mix of spices and ingredients is really what makes it amazing. The broth gets an amazing flavor from cilantro, onion and garlic, and then is topped with coriander, cayenne and lime. And then, to make it that much better, it gets nice seared shrimp and fresh avocado and corn on top. So don’t be skeptical of the simple recipe… it is amazingly flavorful and comes together quickly as well.

cilantro quinoa soup recipe [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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summer greek salad

summer greek salad [ inthiskitchen.com ]

About a year ago, I somehow came across old episodes of the Naked Chef on YouTube, and I was hooked. Jamie Oliver’s energy was absolutely unparalleled and he was like a walking exclamation point. His recipes, also, are awesome. This greek salad, which he calls “gorgeous greek salad,” is the perfect refreshing and crunchy summer salad. It’s healthy, uses only the simplest ingredients, and when the herbs and feta crumble into the dressing, it’s perfect.

summer greek salad [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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kale salad with toasted walnuts and parmesan

kale walnut & parmesan salad [ inthiskitchen.com ]

With this, I think I have finally decided I really really like kale salad. This is the second kale salad I have tried from Smitten Kitchen (the first was her kale and quinoa salad, which is still one of my favorite salads ever). I’m convinced Deb just knows what she’s doing when it comes to salads, because this one is also fantastic. It has delicious golden raisins gently simmered to plump them up, toasted walnuts, and freshly grated cheese (I used parmesan because I had it, she uses pecorino). And it all comes together with a lightly lemony dressing and amazing crunchy toasted panko breadcrumbs.

kale walnut & parmesan salad [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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