Last month I was craving dim sum or steamed dumplings and going out to my favorite Chinese restaurant that still had dim sum carts was out of the question. The virus thing you know.
So after searching for frozen dumplings that would hit the spot I decided that I had to DIY my own. It’s tedious, frozen ones are so much easier. But I wanted shrimp dumplings, not chicken and shrimp or pork and shrimp, just shrimp. So armed with my bamboo steamer and wanton wrappers I set off to make shrimp shiu mai. And they were delicious!
You can find all the ingredients at any Asian market, they’re pretty basic.
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Shrimp Shiu Mai
1 Tsp. Fresh Ginger, finely grated
1 Tsp Garlic, minced
1/2 Lb. Raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 Cup Water Chestnuts (canned)
1 Egg white
1 Tsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 Tsp. Sesame Oil
1/2 Tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
20 pcs. Wanton or dumpling wrappers
Put garlic, ginger, and shrimp in a food processor.
Pulse until shrimp is broken up.
Add water chestnuts and pulse to chop.
Add egg white, soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Pulse to fully combine.
Place 1 Tbs. shrimp filling on to the center of each wrapper.
With damp fingertips (dampen with water) moisten the edge of wrapper.
Pinch wrapper together into small folds.
Work around the filling so in the end the filling is still visible.
Line bamboo steamer with parchment paper and place dumplings inside. Allow some space between dumplings so they don’t stick together.
Steam over boiling water for about 7-8 minutes or until filling is cooked.
Serve with preferred dipping sauce like soy sauce or seasoned rice vinegar.
One of our favorite food is Korean Kalbi, or barbecued beef short ribs. We usually order this at one of the local fast food Korean restaurants, but it’s pretty pricey; you get 3 thin short ribs, a couple of scoops of steamed white rice, and a choice of 4 side dishes (kim chee, bean sprouts, tofu, etc.) for a over $12 a plate.
My husband’s main complaint about the local restaurants isn’t the the price or the serving size of the kalbi, it’s about the flimsy plastic utensils they provide which usually snaps in half the moment you try to cut into the meat. Hence he has decided not to patronize any of the fast food style Korean barbecue joints.
There are sit down Korean restaurants where you can grill your own meats, the meal comes with many side dishes, soup, and steamed rice; but they also come with a hefty price tag. The last time my girlfriend and I stopped at one for lunch it cost us a little bit over $65, and that’s without drinks or tip! Not to mention that was the least expensive barbecue dish on the menu! The food was good, specially the kalbi, but I’m sure we won’t be repeating it often.
To solve all these issues I’ve found a great Korean Kalbi recipe to make at home. I make it of our Sunday barbecue and it was a big hit with my family. I used thin cut boneless beef short ribs which I threaded on to bamboo skewers to make them into kebabs. You can use bone-in short ribs and don’t have to thread them on to skewers, I do however recommend that you use the thinner cuts so that the marinade will infuse the meat better.
I served this with steamed white rice, macaroni salad, and kim chee cabbage; it was even better than the plates we get at the Korean restaurants at less than half the price! (The short ribs cost $6.97 a pound, if you get the thin cut that’s 6 short ribs).
Another way to serve this is on small white corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, just like the Korean Kalbi Tacos from the food truck in L.A.! We served it this way for my mom’s 80th. birthday party a few years ago.
Just in time for your Labor Day barbecue! Here’s my recipe!
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Makes 18 skewers
3 lbs. thin cut boneless beef short ribs (you should get 18 short ribs. You can use bone-in ribs if you prefer)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbls. fresh ginger – finely grated
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbls. minced garlic
1 tbls. white sesame seeds
1 tbls. black sesame seeds
2 stalks green onions – chopped
1. Cut short ribs into thirds if you will be threading them on to skewers, if not then don’t cut them.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves.
3. Pour marinade into large ziplock bag.
4. Put meat into marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight.
5. Thread meat on to skewers and barbecue on the grill to desired doneness. If you’re not making kebabs then cook ribs on the grill until done.
Serve hot immediately off the grill.
Looking for more grilling inspiration? Check out PersonalCreations.com and see how people grill around the world!
Filipino cuisine is a melting pot of several different types of cuisine, but it is said that 80% of Filipino dishes have been influenced by Spanish cuisine. The Philippines was a Spanish colony from 1521 to 1898. Almost 400 years of Spanish rule certainly left its mark, many Filipino specialties are local adaptations of Spanish dishes.
One of our family favorites is Escabeche, or a Sweet & Sour Fish dish. Escabeche is a common Spanish dish that is popular in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine. Typically it refers to a dish of poached or fried fish that has been marinated in an acidic sauce before serving. It can also composed of other meats including chicken and pork, or vegetables. The Filipino version of Fish Escabeche is fried fish in a Sweet & Sour sauce. It is a favorite Filipino party food, specially when it’s made with a whole fish that’s artfully arranged on a platter and topped with colorful veggies and sauce.
I’ve made it the traditional way using whole fish, but my grandsons have difficulty with the small fish bones. To make it easier for them to eat I have started making Escabeche using fish fillets than have no bones. Any kind of white fish will work. We have used Tilapia, Flounder, Orange Roughy, and other white fish we find in the market.
Like many Filipino dishes Escabeche isn’t difficult to make, but it is “fussy” meaning its preparation requires several steps; in this case dredging, frying, chopping, and making the sauce. It takes about an hour or so tho cook so it’s not something I make very often, but when I do my family loves it!
6 – 8 Fish Fillets (any white fish: Tilapia, Flounder, Halibut, etc.)
1 Large egg – slightly beaten
1 Cup Flour
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1 1/2 + 1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Ketchup
2 Tbls. Corn Starch
1 Large Onion Sliced into strips
2 Medium Green Peppers Sliced into large chunks
4 Cloves Garlic roughly chopped
Mix flour and spices in a shallow bowl
Place egg in another shallow bowl
Pat fish fillets dry with a paper towel
Heat oil in frying pan
Dip fish fillet in egg, then dip in flour mixture, shake off excess flour
Fry in hot oil until both sides are cooked
Remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain oil
Repeat with the rest of the fish
Keep fried fish warm by placing it in the oven at about 200 degrees
Dissolve cornstarch in 1/2 cup water and set aside
Place sugar, vinegar, water, and ketchup in a medium pot and bring to boil
Stir in garlic, peppers, and onions
Make sure cornstarch solution is still dissolved, if not stir until it is
Slowly stir in cornstarch solution until you get desired thickness. Sauce should be the consistency of gravy.
Place fish fillets on serving dish and pour sauce over it
Serve right away. It goes great with steamed white rice.
Escabeche - Filipino Sweet & Sour Fish
Popular Filipino dish featuring fried white fish in sweet & sour sauce.
Combine flour, garlic powder, salt & pepper and place in a shallow dish.
Heat oil over medium - medium high stove.
Rinse fish fillets and pat dry with paper towel.
Dredge fillets in flour mixture and place in heated oil.
Fry fish until cooked and turns golden brown - about 4 - 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness
Remove from pan and place on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil. Set aside.
Combine sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and 1 1/2 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. About 10 minutes.
Mix 1/4 cup water with corn starch until smooth.
Slowly stir corn starch liquid into the boiling vinegar mixture to thicken. Reduce heat to low and let sauce gently simmer. Keep an eye on it, you don't want it to get too thick. If it gets too thick add a bit of water to thin.
Saute onions in the oil you fried the fish in until it starts to turn a bit soft.
Add garlic, saute until cooked.
Add green peppers and cook until peppers turn slightly soft.
Return fried fish fillets to pan with veggies.
Gently stir fish mixture for about 3 - 4 minutes.
Arrange fish and veggies in a platter.
Pour sauce over all.
The most efficient way to make this dish is to start making the sauce while the fish is frying. Keep the sauce simmering over low heat while you finish sauteing the veggies. Stir the sauce periodically to keep a skin from forming on the top.
When you drain the fried fish and set it aside keep it warm by placing it in a warmer or on the stove top. Don't cover the fried fish, it will get soggy.
When you replace the fish in the pan gently stir it so that the fillets warm up a bit. Transfer fish and veggies on to your serving dish (or you can keep it in the frying pan) and pour the hot sauce over all.
This dish is perfect served with steamed white rice.
Grilling is always fun. We usually have a family barbecue every Sunday. It’s lots of fun and a great way to catch up with each other after a busy week. One of the problems I run in to is finding new recipes to grill. (With recent lock downs and quarantines we’ve had to barbecue for those of us in the household, other family members barbecue at their homes to maintain social distancing. But hopefully soon we can all get together again for this family tradition!)
Sure hot dogs, burgers, and steaks are easy, but every now and then we need a change. That’s why I’m always in search of a new barbecue recipe. I like to try them out during this weekly family dinner, and if everyone likes it we make it part of our menu.
Last month I tried this new marinade, mostly because I had all the ingredients in the pantry. (Again with the pandemic quarantine we try to keep shopping trips to a minimum). But also because I love balsamic vinegar, which is the main ingredient to this recipe. I call it Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade.
The best part about marinades is that it flavors your meat with very little work. It’s simple, just toss the ingredients together, soak the meat, and let the marinade do the rest of the work! I marinate my meat in the refrigerator overnight. The longer is marinates the more flavorful it will be, but you don’t want to marinate it more than a day or so, because when marinated too long the meat starts getting this tough jerky like texture and it may eventually spoil. If for some reason we don’t use the marinated meat the next day I freeze it, marinade and all. That way I just thaw it out when we’re ready to grill.
Just before grilling I skewer the beef cubes on bamboo skewers, but you can use metal skewers if you have them. We do have a bunch of pretty metal skewers we brought home from Turkey one year, but cleaning them after the barbecues is an extra chore I can do without. When you do use bamboo skewers remember to soak them in water for about 10 – 15 minutes before putting the meat on, it keeps them from burning when you pop them on the grill.
Another helpful tip when grilling is to not over cook the meat. Grill meat until it is just about done to the way you want it (rare, medium, well). In short remove it from the grill before it is the desired “doneness”. Place grilled meat in a covered pot or roasting pan and let rest covered for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the meat to finish cooking and to release its juices. Try it out! You’ll end up with tender juicy meat! It works for steaks too!
Having said that here’s my recipe for Vinaigrette Marinade! By the way you can use the same marinade on chicken, lamb, or shrimp. Just don’t mix the meats, make a separate batch of marinade for each type of meat or seafood.
3 Lbs. Beef Tenderloin cut in 1″ cubes (you can use your favorite beef cut)
1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Finely Minced Garlic
1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Rosemary
1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Oregano
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Large Onions cut into large chunks
1 Large Green Pepper cut into large pieces
1 Basket Mushrooms, washed and patted dry
Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and seasonings in a large ziplock bag. Seal bag and shake to combine all the ingredients together.
Add meat cubes to the marinade. Seal bag and shake to cover all the meat.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours, for best flavor marinate in the fridge overnight.
About and hour or less before grilling place meat, onions, peppers, and
mushrooms on skewers. Alternate meat with veggies.
Grill over medium heat until meat is just about done the way you want it.
Place skewers in a large pot or roasting pan with a lid. Cover and let stand 5 minutes to allow meat to finish cooking and release its juices.
Serve hot with rice, potatoes, and other sides.
Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade
Tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled meat that's perfect for any cook out.
Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They’re just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop!
It can get a bit hectic around the holidays as you try to find the perfect gifts for your niece and nephews, the must-have sweater vests for your baby corgis, while hosting the biggest dinner party with friends and family in your closet-sized kitchen.
That’s why these oyster crackers are everything.
It’s perfect for any occasion, but it comes in particularly handy during the holiday season. It’s quick, easy and practically effortlessly made in the slow cooker with the help of my favorite ingredient of all – Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Dips Mix. Toss that right in with garlic and freshly grated Parmesan with melted butter.
The combination is absolutely heavenly.
Now you can easily find this ingredient at Walmart – the perfect resource for all of your holiday entertaining, and you can transport these addicting crackers in these Glad Food Storage Containers. Just toss it right in, throw on the lid and you’re set.
See, I told you. Easy! You can even make this ahead of time, although you’ll probably end up eating all of the crackers before you make it to your boss’ holiday party!
2 (8-ounce) packages oyster crackers
1 (1-ounce) package Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Lightly coat the inside of a 6-qt slow cooker with nonstick spray.
Add oyster crackers, Ranch Seasoning, garlic and dill. Stir in vegetable oil and gently toss to combine.
Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter until melted, about 1-2 minutes.
Remove crackers from slow cooker and place in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Stir in Parmesan and let cool completely.
Serve, garnished with parsley, if desired.
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Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers
Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They’re just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop!