All posts tagged: eat

Bosnian Donuts / Krofne

One day, my twin came home with some krofne or Bosnian donuts from her sister-in-law’s BBQ and left it on the kitchen counter. They looked so good that I had to have one, even though I generally do not eat sweets and fried food. One small bite became four large donuts later and I knew I had to have this recipe. Luckily, Azra decided to teach us so we can share it on this blog. This recipe has just the right amount of sweetness that it doesn’t overwhelm the taste buds and keeps you coming back for more. Difficulty: Easy to Medium/ Time: 2 hours including 1.5 hours of dough rest time / Servings: enough for a BBQ Ingredients: 6 cups / 900 gram of all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour 2 whole eggs 2 egg yolks 300 ml of lukewarm milk 300 ml of water 3 teaspoons of instant yeast 2 tablespoons of sugar Pinch of salt Oil for deep frying Powder sugar to sprinkle on the donuts Directions: Mix 3 teaspoons of …

Bosnian Cheese Pie / Pita Sirnica

My brother-in-law family’s emigrated from Bosnia to the US during the Bosnian War. With it, they brought along their culture including the wonderful rustic cuisine from the Balkans region. My brother-in-law’s mother, Sefira, bakes really delicious traditional cheese pie called pita sirnica with phyllo dough made from scratch. I was very intimidated at the thought of making phyllo dough by hand rather than getting it from the friendly frozen section of the supermarket. Her recipe and handed down phyllo technique are actually beginner friendly and not as laborious as I had expected. Try this delicious cheese pie today. This recipe makes approximately 6 to 8 cheese pies depending on how large the phyllo sheet will be at the end of the stretching process. You can also use store bought phyllo dough and skip to the filling section. Buy the largest sheet that you can find. Ingredients: Phyllo 4 and 1/3 cups / 600 grams of all-purpose flour 1 and 3/4 cups / 400 grams of water 1 teaspoon of salt Approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons …

Chè Nhãn Hạt Sen / Longan and Lotus Seed Summer Pudding

Summer in Vietnam can be brutal with the average temperature hitting in the high 80F’s and with the suffocating humidity, it can feel like it’s 100F degrees. I remembered taking two to three showers a day when I was visiting my family in July. As a result, locals turn to refreshing food and drinks such as longan and lotus seed summer pudding served with a generous scoop of ice in order to keep cool. This chè comprises of sweet longan, crunchy lotus seeds, and other ingredients that are also common Chinese herbal medicine known to have cooling properties. Don’t worry…this dessert will not taste like medicine but it does help keep your body from melting during a hot summer day. Ingredients: 1 cup of dried lotus seeds 1/2 cup of dried logan meat (You can substitute with dried lychee.) 8 dried red dates (red jujube) 12 dried black dates (dried Ziziphus jujuba mill) 1 cup of rock sugar. 1/4 teaspoon of salt 5 cups of water Directions: Soak all the dry ingredients for 1 hour …

Honey Milk Bread

Ever since my first trip to Japan years ago, I have been obsessed with fluffy white bread that is drastically tastier than the US version. I could only find this at good Asian bakeries like Tous Le Jour. Due to the pandemic, milk bread was hard to come by. I scoured Youtube and blogs to find the perfect recipe and after a few trials and errors, I finally modified one that works for me. This recipe is based on Aimee’s Cooking’s dinner rolls, where I adjusted the sugar and honey ratio and used a different bread formation. The differences make the honey flavor more pronounced and the bread less sugary tasting. The loaf method compared to the dinner roll method also gives the bread more structure while retaining the fluffiness.  I hope you like this as much as my family. This recipe is for one bread using an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2” loaf pan. It’s medium in difficulty and takes around 2.5 hours including a lot of waiting time. Ingredients: 3/4 cup of milk …

Refreshing Summer Slaw

I randomly created this refreshing and crunchy slaw during our quarantine when we ran out of everything else. The key ingredients are Asian pear, apple and crab sticks. The family devoured it and kept asking for more.  Furthermore, I also found that it keeps very well in the fridge and tastes better the longer it marinates.  This slaw goes well as salad for a meal or a side dish to your next BBQ. This recipe is rated easy and serves 2 as a main dish. Ingredients: 1/2 ripened avocado (cubed) 1 green apple 1/2 English cucumber 1 Asian pear 2 scallion finely chopped 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic 6 crab sticks shredded 1/3 tsp of sugar 1 and 1/2 tbsp of Kewpie mayo (regular mayo will work, but you will not get the tangy-sweet taste that you will get with Japanese mayo) 1/4 tsp of salt 1/4 tsp of pepper Direction: Julienne the apples, Asian pears, and English cucumbers into matchsticks and place into a large bowl. Finely dice 2 scallions (discard the white ends) …

Nước Sâm / Vietnamese Herbal Ice Tea

Vietnamese herbal tea is usually served with ice, which makes it a refreshing drink in the middle of a hot and humid summer day. This drink is inspired by Chinese medicine with a focus on ingredients that have “cooling” properties. There are many variations and the one that we are sharing includes artichokes. Don’t be put off by the scary ingredient list as they are easy to find at any Asian grocery store or online. Ingredients: 1 gallon or 3.75 litres of water 2 artichokes cut into quarters 1 pack (6 oz.) of dried longan 1 cup of dried dates 1 cup of dried chrysanthemum flowers 2 pieces of sanh dia (dried Rehmannia glutinosa) 1 tablespoon of rock sugar or regular sugar (adjust to taste). Rock sugar is less sweet and has a clearer taste than regular sugar so it doesn’t overwhelm the light drink.   Directions: Soak the artichoke in cold water and rinse thoroughly to remove any sediment. Quickly rinse the dried ingredients to remove any impurities. Boil all the ingredients in a …

Review: The new “affordable” omakase at Sushi Ishikawa (NYC)

The Upper east side of Manhattan is going through a culinary resurgence with millennials moving into the neighborhood and the opening of the Q subway extension that now connects the area to the rest of Manhattan. Part of this change is the opening of Sushi Ishikawa, a 23-seat restaurant helmed by executive chef, Don Pham.  Chef Pham’s sushi pedigree includes positions as the former executive sushi chef at O Ya, executive chef at Geisha, sushi chef at Morimoto and head chef at Kitaro. Sushi Ishikawa offers two omakase menu priced at $85 for 12 courses and $125 for 15 courses. The restaurant has a lot of buzz as the hot new “affordable” omakase in Manhattan. Did the restaurant live up to the hype? I made a reservation for two through Resy, their online reservation system. A credit card was required to confirm the booking as the restaurant has a very strict cancellation policy. You have until two days prior to the reservation to cancel without incurring a $85 per person fee. Upon entering a simply …

Review: Tim Ho Wan – NYC Location

Tim Ho Wan (“THW”) is a Hong Kong dim sum destination that was awarded a Michelin star in 2010 for its Mongkok (HK) location and aptly named the “cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world”. Earlier this year, THW opened its first US location in Manhattan East Village to a lot of buzz and corresponding crazy lines. One Sunday, my group of six ventured to this NY location to see what the hype was all about. My first impression of dim sum at THW was that it was a tamer and more Americanized experience. The restaurant has only 60 seats in a small space so dim sum carts are not a viable option. For me, the fun part is seeing dim sum carts whizzed around a banquet room tempting  diners to flag them down. At THW, the menu has been stripped down to essential dishes. Getting a table at the restaurant was an experience in itself. We arrived late around 12:00pm assuming that the wait would be 1 to 1.5 hours. The wait turned out …

Sticky Rice with Baby Red Jackfruit / Xôi Gấc

Xôi gấc or sticky rice with baby red jackfruit is the essence of any holiday feast. The red color comes from the baby jackfruit, a fruit exclusive to southeast Asia, and signifies luck.   The fragrant aroma comes from the seed of the jackfruit and resembles vanilla. This rice dish has become a staple of everyday meal in Vietnam and is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack. In the US, you will often see this xôi gấc at any Vietnamese family gathering as it is inexpensive and easy to make, feeds a large crowd and everyone loves it. Sticky rice can also be made in advance since it is usually served at room temperature. Try this red sticky rice for your next meal. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 6 / Time: 8 hours to soak the rice and 30-45 minutes to cook Ingredients: 3 jars (5.6 oz. jar) of frozen baby red jack fruit pulp with seeds or 2 jars without seeds. (I prefer the jar with seeds. This can be purchased at any …

Vietnamese Banana Cake / Bánh Chuối Nướng

Vietnamese Banana Cake or Bánh Chuối Nướng is a cross between a bread pudding and a spongy cake. One can see the French influences on Vietnamese cuisine with this cake. Add a few spoonful of creamy coconut sauce and you have a delicious desert anytime of the day. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 8 / Time: 2 hours to prepare and 1 hour to cool Ingredients: 10 whole steamed sapa banana (approx. 2 frozen packages found in any Asian supermarket). 8 slices of white bread 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon of melted butter to coat the pan 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch 4 tablespoons of sugar 1 egg 2 cans (14 oz) of coconut milk 2 tablespoons of condensed milk 1 cup of milk 1 tablespoon of white wine or rum 9 inch spring form pan Directions: Cut 4 bananas length wise and cut the remaining 6 bananas into thin round slices. Add the bananas into a large mixing bowl and add …