Posts tagged ‘vegetable’

November 25, 2013

Super Simple Brussels Sprouts

by tina


This dish is super simple! Can’t mess it up. I’ve made it for a bridal shower (pictured above) and for potlucks, and have received many compliments on it.  Anyone can make this–it only requires 4 simple ingredients :)


  • 1 lb brussels sprouts (preferably smaller in size)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper



Wash the sprouts and remove the outer (shorter) layer for each sprout.  Chop off the stems (about 2 mm) for each sprout.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and place the brussels sprouts in.  Boil on high for 3-4 minutes (depending on the size of the sprouts. 3 minutes if smaller sprouts).

Strain the sprouts right away and run them under cold water for about 1 minute. Let the sprouts sit and cool.

*If the sprouts are larger in size, you can cut them in half (after boiling them).


While the sprouts are cooling down a bit, use a large bowl to make the olive oil mixture.

In the large bowl, put the extra virgin olive oil in.  Add salt to taste, and add the pepper (I like it peppery, so I use this pretty freely). Mix and taste it. The mixture should be just slightly salty.

Once you have the desired saltiness and pepperiness of the mixture, place the brussels sprouts in the bowl and mix thoroughly. Let it sit for 5 mins and your dish is ready!


December 21, 2012

Swiss Chard with Fresh Figs

by tina

This post is long overdue… I came up with this recipe late summer when I had randomly bought fresh figs that were on sale at Whole Foods. I also had bought swiss chard to make chicken soup with, but I ended up experimenting and pairing the two, swiss chard and figs, together and the flavors turned out quite well!


  • 3 large stalks of white chard
  • 4 black mission figs (fresh)
  • 1 garlic clove (large), minced
  • 1/4 cup red garlic cooking wine (regular red cooking wine would work as well with an additional minced garlic clove)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste

(1-2 servings, or appetizer portion)


Chop up the swiss chard into small pieces. Slice the fresh figs into 4 pieces each.

Turn the temperature to high, place about a teaspoon of oil in.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic.  As the garlic is sizzling, add the swiss chard, quickly stir.  Then add the figs, wine, and balsamic vinegar, and stir.

Turn the temperature down to medium high.  Add in some salt to taste and continue stirring.

Cook for about 3-4 minutes more, or until the swiss chard has softened. The chard should be slightly soft and not too soft..

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August 25, 2012

I love Sin Qua

by tina

also known as “silk squash” (the loofah vegetable!). This has been my favorite summer veggie, my lazy veggie–It’s perfect for the summer because I don’t have to spend a lot of time in my warm kitchen sweating and washing them leafy greens. (I have no air conditioning).

I bought these from my local farmer’s market.


  • 2 sin qua’s
  • 1 large clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups water
  • salt
  • fish sauce (to taste. optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fried shallots (optional)

When picking out sin qua’s at the market, I tend to avoid the big belly shaped ones.


Peel the outer skin of the sin qua.

Chop the sin qua into semi thick, triangular, pieces.

Place a large pan (that has a cover) on the stove and turn temperature to high. Place 1 tablespoon of oil in. Once the oil is warm, add the minced garlic. Stir for 30 secs and add some salt. Place the chopped sin qua in and stir for about 1 min. Add 1 1/2 cups of water in and place the cover over the pan. Just as the water starts to boil, take the cover off and stir. At this point, you can add the optional fish sauce (about 1 teaspoon) and fried shallots. Feel free to add more salt to taste as well. If the water is running a bit dry, add 1/2 cup more water. Stir again and place the cover back on for about 3 minutes. You’ll know that the sin qua is fully cooked when it looks softer and the color changed to grey-ish.

December 3, 2011

Three Dishes in 30 Minutes

by tina

For dinner the other night, I decided to make salmon, vegetables, and an eggplant mushroom dish. All this surprisingly only took me 30 mins! And then I had leftovers for 3 more meals.

I decided to make fish because I heard on the news a couple days ago that eating fish may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  ^_^

Dish 1: Baked Salmon

Before you start anything in the kitchen, preheat the oven to 350F!


  • 2 wild alaskan sockeye salmon 5-7 ounce fillet (frozen and individually vacuum packed, from Costco. *Defrost the night before in a tub of water placed in fridge)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • lemon (optional)
  • soy sauce (optional)

1) Wash the salmon fillets. Semi dry them. Rub two thin layers of salt on both pieces. Then rub on black pepper.
2) Place the salmon on foil in a baking pan. Add a small splash of vegetable oil.
3) Wrap the foil over and completely cover both pieces.
4) Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

In the meantime, while the salmon is baking, make the other 2 dishes!

*After the salmon is done baking, you could add either soy sauce or squeeze some lemon juice over it.

Dish 2: Sauteed Chinese Broccoli


  • A handful of chinese broccoli stalks (about 8 stalks)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, longitudinal slices
  • 1/2 cup shiao hsing wine.
  • salt

1) Wash and separate leaves from stems. For the stalks portion, thinly slice off the outer layer (may be too fibrous). Then slice the stalk in half (or thirds, if stalk is pretty thick).
2) Place pot on stove and turn temperture to high. Once the pot is warm, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the garlic. Stir fry the garlic until it is light brown.
3) Add the chinese broccoli. Quickly stir it around and add the shiao hsing wine. It will sizzle, so quickly cover the pot with a lid.
4) After 1 min, open lid and add a few dashes of salt. Stir for about 2-3 more minutes and it should be done. Remember that you can also try it to see if it is cooked to your liking.

Dish 3: Eggplant and Oyster Mushroom


  • 3 chinese eggplants
  • A bag of oyster mushrooms (about 6 mushrooms)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar

1) Wash the eggplants and mushrooms and slice them into small pieces.
2) Mix the sauce. In a bowl, add the sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
3) Place pan on stove and turn the temperature to high. Once the pot is warm, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the garlic.
4) Add the eggplants. Stir fry for 30 secs.
5) Add the mushrooms. Stir for 1-2 minute or until all the oil is soaked up by the eggplants.
6) Add the sauce in and stir. After the sauce has been evenly distributed, place the lid on the pan.
7) Open lid every 3 minutes to stir the contents around (don’t want the eggplant/mushroom at the bottom of the pan to get burnt). Repeat about 3 times or until the eggplant becomes soft and almost mushy.

I didn’t actually time myself when I was making these dishes, but when the salmon was done baking, the other 2 were done cooking as well. :D

October 30, 2011

雞毛菜 (Chicken Feather Vegetables)

by tina

I first had these vegetables about 2 years ago at a Shanghainese restaurant. The name of the vegetable was interesting, so I decided to order it and try it out. The literal translation of 雞毛菜 is Chicken Feather Vegetable… I suppose I see some physical similarity with chicken feathers. It kind of tastes like baby bok choy, but the stalks of  雞毛菜 are a lot thinner. They’ve only recently started selling this vegetable in asian markets around my area, so I’m finally able to remake the dish myself.


  • ~3 handfuls 雞毛菜 (they’re sold as loose leaves in a bag)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • goji berries
  • salt

(2-3 servings)

The method of cooking the vegetables is basically the same as cooking kale.

Place the pot on stove and set temperature to high.  Once the pot is heated, pour in some oil, about a 2 sec pour (~1 1/2 tablespoon).  When the oil is hotter, place the garlic in. Let the garlic sizzle a little and when it becomes very light brown, toss in the 雞毛菜.  At this point the pot will be crackling a lot, so quickly stir it around.  Then, quickly pour about 1 cup of water in (it should continue crackling a little). Place the lid over the pot. Remove lid after about 30 secs, stir it around, add some goji berries in, dash some salt, and continue stirring so it cooks evenly.  Cook for ~3 more mins.

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