Wok Seared Green Beans

Savory and delicious. Yum!

My mom made a similar version of these green beans when I was a kid. I’ve changed it a bit and made it my own. These make a great side dish, or a light meal, if you’re like me and just want a pile of veg instead of meat sometimes. Continue reading


Beef Pho – Getting Back to Basics

Vietnamese Comfort Food

Pho was one of the first meals I remember eating (besides baby food). I have memories of my mother standing at the stove, skimming the foam off the broth of a big pot of pho. Most of the time, she made chicken pho (pho ga), but on special occasions she would tackle the tedious task of preparing beef pho (pho bo) from scratch. Every family recipe is different and is passed on from generation to generation; with little amendments here and there as daughters and sons make it their own. Continue reading

Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork – Thit Nuong

Vietnamese Grilled Pork

Vietnamese Grilled Pork

The other day I was video chatting with my mother in Vietnam. The topic eventually ended up about food, as it so often does; all the tasty things I can’t get here in the US and all the recipes that she never taught me when I was younger and busy going to school. I decided to ask her how to make one of my favorite dishes – Thit Nuong. The instructions I got were less than easy to follow. In typical Asian Mother fashion she simply said, oh a little bit of this, a little bit of that. After several minutes of prompting, I was finally able to get the ingredient list wrestled from her memory. That was it. She gave me no instructions and no measurements. After some experimentation I came up with something quite wonderful. I hope you love this dish as much as I do. Continue reading

Kimchi Pancake (kimchijeon)

Kimchi Pancakes with Soy Dipping Sauce

I went out with my extended family for Korean food at a local place called Dolsot. I have never had a bad dish there so if you live in the PacNW drive out to Issaaquah and try them out. On a whim, we decided to order the kimchi pancake. I’ve been obsessed with this tasty little treat since that first bite. After thinking about them non-stop for a whole day, there was nothing to do but to figure out how to make them at home. I could have gone back to Dolsot that instant but my local Uwajimaya was closer and they carry fresh kimchi. Continue reading

Taste of Vietnam: Beef and Green Bean Soup with Glass Noodles and Shallots

Beef and Green Bean Soup

While this dish doesn’t seem to be very well known, it should be. It is comforting and reminds me of my childhood. My mom would often make this for me and my sister when she was short on time and had hungry mouths to feed. It was also one of the few dishes I would eat with veggies in it when I was a child. Although I eat almost anything now, green beans are still one of my favorite greens to eat. I have never posted this dish before because Thogg still absolutely loathes them. He will eat this soup but carefully picks out every piece of green from out of his bowl and hands them over to me. Oh well, I guess you can win all the time. Continue reading

Soy Sesame Marinated Pan Fried Tofu

Another lazy night dinner. Thogg’s throat is still a bit sore so I thought something with a soft texture would be appropriate. I also felt it was necessary to cook him a well balanced meal. The result was an Asian-marinated tofu with a soy sesame glaze, mixed brown rice, and a side of pan-seared broccoli rabe. Continue reading

Quick Fried Rice

Quick Fried Rice – It’s What’s for Dinner!

I was hungry tonight but not especially motivated to cook anything fancy. Thogg has a sore throat so I set him up with the remaining savory squash soup I made a few days ago. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough for two so I took a quick look in the fridge: left-over rice, some eggs, green onions, and some button mushrooms. Fried rice it is then.  Continue reading