Miso Ginger Baby Bok Choy

Easy Miso Bok Choy Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Easy Miso Bok Choy Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

You know those recipes where you make, say, a sauce, and it is so good that you think “I’m going to put this on everything from now on?” Oh man, this is one of those recipes. I admittedly have quite a few sauces that are in this category, almost all of them Asian – this otsu sauce, this spicy and sweet szechuan chili sauce, this fresh ginger lemon sauce, and this miso sesame sauce just to name a few. But this miso ginger baby bok choy I have today has landed on the list as well, with its mild miso, hint of lime, present but not fiery ginger, and sweet mirin.

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Easy Homemade Bulgogi

Quick Homemade Bulgogi Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Quick Homemade Bulgogi Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

There is a small & humble but consistently delicious Korean restaurant that Dan and I used to frequent when we lived in Bethesda, where the bulgogi, dolsot bibimbap, japchae were always waiting & the waiters got to know us. We’d often go after stopping at the nearby comic book shop and one waiter would ask about what books we got and chat about those comic-related things that I know nothing about (superheroes, presumably). He always made sure we had enough hot & spicy gochujang sauce to go around. We’re not nearby that little restaurant anymore, but we are close to an Asian market (and some other Korean restaurants), which almost makes up for it.

The good news is you don’t even need to have an Asian market to make this homemade bulgogi! I was amazed at how flavorful it turned out, and how reminiscent of “the real thing” it actually is. If you had asked me a couple months ago, I would have said I was intimidated by homemade bulgogi, but this stuff is so, so good and not hard at all. It’s all about that marinade – I left mine in for at least 8 hours. Then you just pan-fry or grill it up, and it is exactly what you want over some good steamed white rice, or in some bibimbap if you wanna get fancy.

You should definitely try to make some of this – it’s easy, it’s great with beef, pork or chicken (I used pork) and after a good marinating session in the fridge it’s ready to whip up on any weeknight.

Quick Homemade Bulgogi Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

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chinese choy sum with ginger and garlic

chinese choy sum with ginger and garlic [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Sometimes you want a big ol’ cinnamon roll cake, or a toasted buttery brown sugar and oatmeal cookie, and some other times you just want a simple and pure vegetable side dish that doesn’t take much thought. Today I have the latter, in the form of Chinese stir-fried choy sum. The Chinese have certainly figured out the secret to making veggies as delicious as they should be: cook them fast and simply, and give ’em a good hit of aromatics. This is choy sum, which is easily found in the produce section of Asian food stores, but this same treatment can be given to some hardy spinach leaves too, I’m sure. The choy sum tastes to me like a blend between a bok choy cabbage and spinach, and here it’s lightly stir-fried and dotted with garlic and ginger.

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spicy soba noodles with chicken

spicy soba noodles with chicken

spicy soba noodles with chicken [ inthiskitchen.com ]

There’s a humble little Chinese noodle shop not too far from my apartment, and one of my favorite things on the (what must be 200+ item) menu is an extremely simple dish of plain noodles, sitting in a pool of spicy chili oil, topped with ground meat. No-frills and delicious Dan Dan Noodles. Something about the Szechuan chili oil is addictive, and I think it’s even been proven that its spiciness causes an addictive reaction, slightly numbing yet making you want to eat more all at once. And combined with ground meat that must have MSG (hey, I’m not complaining) and fresh noodles? I’m done for – it’s one of my favorite foods in the world.

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spicy szechuan eggplant

spicy szechuan eggplant [ inthiskitchen.com ]

When you hear the name “fish fragrant eggplant,” what do you think of?

I think of fish, certainly – probably some sort of fish-sauce or dried-fish laced eggplant dish. This is why I’ve chosen to call this recipe here “spicy szechuan eggplant.” The original name is indeed “fish fragrant eggplant,” even though it contains no fish, no fish sauce, no fish-related anything.

It turns out the only reason it is called “fish fragrant” is because this delicious, tangy and spicy sauce was often used for cooking fish and seafood. Here, it is draped generously over lightly fried eggplant. I don’t have a thermometer or any sort of deep, heavy cooking vessel, so I shy away from deep frying, and for those of you like me, pan-frying will do the trick. But however you cook your eggplant, the star of the dish is really the sauce; it is so flavorful with so little effort. I think the reason for this is the two heavy-hitter ingredients that you may need to find at your local Asian grocer: chinkiang vinegar and chinese chili bean sauce. I have them pictured below so you can have an idea of what to look for.

spicy szechuan eggplant [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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momofuku ginger scallion noodles

Ginger Scallion Noodles on www.inthiskitchen.com

momofuku ginger scallion noodles [ inthiskitchen.com ]

These ginger scallion noodles are so easy that I thought they might be boring, but that definitely was not the case. They are super, super simple but the flavors come together so well to make a great vegan/vegetarian side dish – I had no idea simple green onions could give so much flavor. If you add grilled pork or chicken, these can also turn into a main meal. They originally come from Momofuku by David Chang, which can do no wrong in my book. I recently started grad school, so I am super into very easy and delicious recipes and these noodles definitely fit the bill.

momofuku ginger scallion noodles [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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otsu sesame noodles

Otsu Sesame Soba Noodles on www.inthiskitchen.com

otsu sesame noodles [ inthiskitchen.com ]

These otsu 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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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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japchae (korean stir fry noodles)

japchae (korean stir fry noodles) [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Japchae is so simple for a meal that is so good. It’s a Korean stir fried vegetable, beef and noodle dish that’s a common staple in Korean homes. I still can’t believe when I make it that the only seasonings are soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and sugar – but mixed with all of the ingredients and noodles, it comes together into a fanastically flavorful dish. I’ve made this recipe a few times before, but always with rice noodles or soba noodles. When I found the actual authentic Korean sweet potato noodles in an Asian store the other day, I knew japchae was in my future.

japchae (korean stir fry noodles) [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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sriracha sweet potato noodle soup

sriracha sweet potato noodle soup [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Sriracha may be a public nuisance, but it does make for a fantastic noodle soup. I know I probably sound like a broken record here, but I am amazed how good this soup is for how simple it is. It hits all the perfect notes of tangy lime, savory broth, a tiny bit sweet from the sweet potatoes, and then a hint of spicy sriracha in the background. It’s one of those soups I could eat all the time and never get sick of it. It’s a vegan soup without trying to be, and non-vegans like me love it too.

sriracha sweet potato noodle soup [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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