Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Broiled BBQ eel and rice breakfast

Good morning!  I woke up super early this morning (I consider 6 AM on a Saturday morning early, especially if I don’t have any early morning plans)–and got super hungry so I made some rice and broiled eel (from our Chicago trip).  I’ve noticed that if I don’t eat anything for breakfast and get really hungry, I end up with heartburn.  These days, even after I eat, I get heartburn so it’s a lose/lose situation for me.

Broiled BBQ eel and freshly made rice–a great combination for any meal!

Chong and I will be going to his co-worker’s daughter’s Quinceanera later this afternoon and I’ll be taking lots of pictures so stay tuned for that.  Have a wonderful day!


How to pick the perfect watermelon

I love late summers because watermelons are so abundant.  I’ve always had the hardest time picking out the perfect watermelon–they were never sweet/ripe/too watery/etc.–until I asked my mom what her secret was.  Her secret to picking out the yummiest, sweetest, ripest watermelon is not by knocking it–which I don’t even understand how that works–or smelling it or by how large it is; it’s by choosing the watermelon with the smallest hole on the opposite end of the stem.  If you look at a watermelon closely, you’d notice that there’s a small, round, black hole on the polar opposite of the stem (that’s where the flower fell off).  The smaller the hole, the riper and sweeter the watermelon is.  I’ve never picked out a bad watermelon after learning my mom’s secret.

*Don’t let these pictures fool you because of the poor lighting.  The pictured watermelon may not look as red but it was extremely sweet.*

I want to hear what your method for picking out a perfect watermelon is.  And if you actually do pay some sort of attention to my ramblings and end up picking a watermelon using my mom’s method, I would love to hear how that turned out for you.


I didn’t even know that my mom grew edamame in her garden until I went over one day and she gave me a bunch of edamame plants and asked me to cook it for her.  Although I’ve seen edamame plants before and cooked and eaten plenty of frozen edamame, I’ve never actually touched the fresh stuff so this was a first for me.

Edamame plants

Close up

What Chong and I started with

What we ended up with

Enjoying the veggies of our labor

Roasted Chicken (Pictorial)

This is The Best Homemade Roasted Chicken I’ve Ever Eaten.  It’s extremely juicy, moist, falls off the bone, and the skin remained crispy–which is the best part.  I’ve been meaning to make it since I stumbled upon the recipe but the procrastinator/perfectionist in me stopped myself because I didn’t have the ingredients I wanted.  Regardless, I decided to go ahead with what I had on hand and it didn’t disappoint.

I rubbed the chicken with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, seasoning salt, Italian seasoning, thyme and rosemary and stuffed it with half a red onion and more rosemary and thyme and roasted it for 5.5 hours @ 250 degrees.  I added some seasoned potatoes, purple potatoes, carrots and onions at the halfway point and made some gravy out of the pan drippings.  The only change I would make next time is to marinate the chicken overnight.

Roasted Chicken Pictorial

Seasoned chicken waiting to be roasted


2 hours later–notice the pan drippings

Seasoned vegetables–I love the purple potatoes

Laying on a bed of vegetables

Roasted chicken, cut up

Roasted vegetables

Gravy made from pan drippings

My dinner

Does anyone else crave turkey with all the trimmings when it’s nowhere near Thanksgivings?  I know I do!  This dinner is the closest I’ll get to a Thanksgiving dinner in August.  The next time I make roasted chicken, I’ll do a garlic mashed potatoes and stuffing.  Chong gives it 2 thumbs up and raves about how good it is.  It’s definitely going to show up on our dinner menu on a monthly basis now.

Tomato, Cilantro, & Green Onion Relish Pictorial

I received a small bag of cherry tomatoes from my mom and decided to make tomato, cilantro, and green onion relish.  This is a very simple yet delicious relish that goes great with any type of meat (I love pairing it with deep fried or broiled pork) and stir-fry dishes.  This dish is also good sans tomatoes and/or using mushrooms instead of tomatoes.


–  2 Thai chili peppers

–  a handful of cilantro (about 1/3 c)

–  1 stalk green onion

–  10-12 cherry tomatoes

–  salt, to taste

–  MSG, to taste


1.  Slice the cilantro, green onion, and cherry tomatoes into small pieces.

2.  In a mortar, pound the chili peppers with salt and MSG until finely crushed.  Add the cilantro and green onion into the mortar and add more salt and MSG to taste.  Pound lightly with the pestle until lightly bruised.  Add the cherry tomatoes and pound lightly and mix well.

Cilantro, Green Onion, and Tomato Relish Pictorial

Cherry tomatoes, Thai chili peppers, cilantro, and green onion


Thai chili peppers + salt + MSG in mortar

Finely crushed

Add cilantro + green onion + salt + MSG

Add cherry tomatoes

Cilantro, green onion, & tomato relish

Eggrolls Pictorial

Last week, my sister, Mai Lee, wanted to make eggrolls so she texted me over to help her. We went shopping and got tons of stuff, thinking that we were going to make 120 eggrolls but ended up only making 60, which were gone within hours.  Recipe to be posted at a later date.  Enjoy the pictorial for now.

Eggroll Pictorial

Bean thread noodle soaking in warm water

Bean sprouts


Green onion/cilantro

Shredded carrots

Ground pork

Most of the ingredients

All of the ingredients

Mixing the eggroll filling


Eggroll wrapper

Cooking the eggrolls

Another view


**The peanut dipping sauce recipe and pictorial can be found here.