As many of you know one of my daughter’s gave me an Instant Pot for Christmas last year. It took a few weeks of staring at the box before I actually opened it; all those buttons were a bit intimidating! But once I made my first recipe, Instant Pot Beef Stew, it was instant love! Now I don’t know what I’d do without it! So I’ve been exploring possibilities and one of my new favorites in this Instant Pot Mongolian Beef.
Mongolian Beef is a family favorite and we always order it when we dine at Chinese Restaurants, we love the tender morsels of beef in its delicious sauce. I’ve tried to make it at home, after all it’s just a basic sitr fry, but I could never get the meat to be so tender. I’d tried all sorts of cuts except filet mignon, I mean seriously who’d use filet in a stir fry? Whatever I did I could never get it as tender as the restaurants do; that is until now! It never occurred to me that the secret was in the cooking method. I mean all the recipes said fry the meat in a wok or a pan, I’m guessing you’d get very tender meat if you stir fired filet mignon, but at over $15 a pound that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon!
Well it seems to me the secret to tender beef is to pressure cook it! Enter the new love of my life, the Instant Pot! When I adapted my Mongolian Beef stir fry recipe to the Instant Pot the whole dish changed! It transformed from a pretty good stir fry to a tender delicious restaurant worthy dish! This Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is seriously delicious!
But it’s not only yummy, Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is easier than stir fry! What? Easier than stir fry? How is that possible? First of all my original recipe has me marinating the meat for at least an hour; no need to marinate Instant Pot Mongolian Beef so that cuts kitchen time down a bit. And stir fry requires you to, um, well, stir what you’re frying; with the Instant Pot Mongolian Beef stirring is kept to just a few minutes to brown the meat. And best of all from start to finish you could get Instant Pot Mongolian Beef on the table in about 30 minutes!
I serve it over steamed white rice which I make in my Zojirushi Rice Cooker. You can even make bowls and bentos with this recipe!
So here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Mongolian Beef!
2 Lbs. Flank or Sirloin Steak cut into small thin slices
1 Tbs. Sesame Oil or vegetable oil will work if you’re allergic to sesame seeds or don’t have sesame oil on hand
Have you ever tried Tofu? Tofu, also know is bean curd, is usually made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the curds into soft white blocks.
It was first made during the Chinese Han Dynasty about 2000 years ago! Tofu is prevalent in Asian and West African cuisines, comes in soft, medium, firm, and extra firm blocks, and has a subtle flavor. It is used in both sweet and savory dishes. It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish.
Tofu is low in calories and pretty high on protein and Iron. It can also be high in calcium and magnesium depending on what is used to make it.
As I mentioned earlier Tofu is usually made with soy milk, but recently they’ve started making Almond, Egg, Sesame, and Peanut Tofus. I haven’t tried the other varieties, I stick with regular Soy Tofu because it’s the easiest to find and probably the least expensive.
Now having said all that doesn’t it sound like the next best wonder food? I’m not sure about that, but it is a great alternative when you’re on a diet or are watching your fat intake.
I see Tofu as a blank canvas. It’s mostly bland so you can use it in many things to add more protein and calcium. I add it to stir-fries and lumpia (Filipino egg rolls) where it sort of acts as a healthy filler. But every now and then I make it as my main meatless dish or as a side dish. It’s a great addition to grilled meats!
Here is one of my favorite recipes, I call it Fried Tofu with Asian Sauce. You can serve it as a vegan main course with steamed rice or as a side dish. It goes well with Spicy Korean Kalbi Skewers and Salt & Pepper Shrimp! Best of all it’s easy and quick to make!
You can serve it hot or cold! If you want to serve it cold you can make it a few hours ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator. As a side dish I love it cold!
Fried Tofu with Asian Sauce
1 Block Firm Tofu
3 Tbs. Sesame Oil (2 Tbs. for frying, the remaining for the sauce)
1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar (you can find this in Asian Markets, if you can’t you may substitute with Apple Cider Vinegar)
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
White Sesame Seeds for garnish
Fried Tofu directions:
Cut the block of Tofu into 1″ Cubes
Heat 2 Tbs. Sesame Oil
Fry Cubes in hot oil until all sides are slightly brown. Watch closely as it fries and turn gently stir cubes so that all sides brown.
Place in serving dish.
Stir together vinegar, soy sauce, and remaining sesame oil.
Do you racking your brain trying to decide what to make for dinner each night? I know I do, almost every day! It’s funny because years ago my grandmother remarked that the hardest part about cooking is deciding what to cook. I guess it’s an age old problem many of us face. Well I have one yummy suggestion for you. Try out this delicious Honey Sesame Seed Shrimp dish. It’s probably one of the simplest shrimp dish you will ever make.
You can make Honey Sesame Seed Shrimp in about half an hour. It’s basically a stir-fry, but with a sweet honey twist.
I serve it with steamed white rice, but it would go well with noodles too! It’s a great addition to your dinner menu!
Honey Sesame Seed Shrimp
2 Lbs. Extra Large Shrimp – shelled & deveined
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
2 Cloves Garlic – minced
2 Tsp. Sesame Seeds + extra for garnish if desired
1 Stalk Green Onions – chopped + extra for garnish if desired
1 Tbs. Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour or Corn Starch
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tbs. Sesame Oil for frying
Combine all ingredients (except shrimp, Mochiko, and water) in a mixing bowl
Separate about 1/4 of mixture in a small bowl and reserve for later
Toss shrimp in marinade and marinate for about 15 minutes
Heat Sesame oil in wok or frying pan
Dissolve Mochiko flour or corn starch in water
Remove Shrimp from marinade – discard used marinade
Stir fry shrimp in hot sesame oil until it shrimp start to turn pink
Add reserved unused marinade to shrimp
Stir in dissolved Mochiko or corn starch
Stir until sauce thickens slightly
Remove from heat and garnish with extra sesame seeds and green onions
The other week my daughter Jaime and I were discussing dishes she could take to a pot luck at the Hawaiian Club. Now Jaime and her family do not eat beef or pork so we were limited to seafood or poultry. I suggested she make Shoyu Chicken, that’s an easy dish and definitely local Hawaii food. Then I remembered these chicken wings my mother used to make for pot lucks, we called it Sweet Sesame Seed Chicken Wings. They were yummy!
Sweet Sesame Seed Chicken Wings are deep fried sweet garlicy wing pieces. They’re not crispy, but are very juicy, flavorful, and tender.
They take a bit of time to prepare, mostly because they’re deep fried. They’re probably not the healthiest chicken dish you’ll ever have, but they are so worth the time and calories.
I couldn’t find the recipe, in fact I’m not even sure if she had one written down. When I asked her about she couldn’t remember, so I had to figure it out on my own, based on a vague memory. It wasn’t really difficult to figure it out and I was able to make it in time for Super Bowl Sunday. They came out “ono” as we say in Hawaii. My family loved them! I’m sure we’ll be making them for future get togethers and pot lucks.
4 Lbs. Chicken Wings
1 Cup Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar – firmly packed
1 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
2-3 Cloved Garlic – minced
2 Tbs. Sesame Seeds + extra for garnish if desired
2 Stalks Green Onions – chopped + extra for garnish if desired
Oil for frying
Mix all ingredients together until Mochiko dissolves (except for frying oil and chicken wings) Mixture will be a milky brown
Pour Marinade into large ziplock bag and put chicken wings in
Marinate in refrigerator at least 3 hours
Heat oil and deep fry chicken wings until done, about 10 minutes
Drain on paper towel
Arrange on serving dish and garnish with more chopped green onions and sesame seed if desired
I love cheeseburgers! It’s one of my all time favorite foods and I am always in search of the best burger joints.
Lately “gourmet burgers” seem to be all the rage. Lots of new burger joints are popping up around the country each one with their own specialty burger like Cajun Burgers, Hawaiian Burgers, Avocado Burgers, and so on. And of course these gourmet burgers come in all different sizes from 6 to 8 ounces and more. Then there’s the “make your own” burger where you’re invited to order your burger with everything from an assortment of cheeses and sauces to toppings of bacon, pineapple, avocados, and more.
That’s all good and well, but what happened to the simple good old fashioned Cheeseburger? That perfectly grilled beef patty, reasonably sized of course, topped with good old American cheese, on a toasted hamburger bun possible topped with lettuce and tomato. Sometimes I crave just that, a simple cheeseburger. Honestly most of the time I end up making my own patties and grilling them in the backyard.
But sometimes I don’t want to fire up the grill and at times I can’t eat a full size burger. That’s why I decided to make these sliders. These Cheeseburger Sliders are so easy to make, the kids can do it with some supervision of course.
They’re great for dinner, as an appetizer, or as a snack. You can even freeze them or store leftovers in the fridge, just pop them in the microwave and they’re good to go. They would make a great addition to a tasting party too, they’re sized just right!
Here’s the recipe!
1 Pound Ground Beef
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Package King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread Rolls
6 Slices American Cheese
1/4 Cup Butter, Melted
1 Tsp. Sesame Seeds
Carefully remove the rolls from the package without separating them.
Cut the sheet of rolls horizontally in half.
Place the bottom half in a baking sheet.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Cook the ground beef with the spices in a skillet until crumbly.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Spread ground beef evenly on top of the rolls.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Place the cheese slices over the ground beef.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Place the top of the rolls over the cheese.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Mix the sesame seeds with the melted butter and brush on top of the rolls.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and slice along the roll seams. Serve hot with ketchup for dipping.
If you want to freeze them or refrigerate leftovers place them in freezer safe containers. Microwave frozen sliders for 4-5 minutes. Microwave refrigerated sliders for 2 minutes.