It's hard for me to have two active projects at once. I started my Teochew site in 2018, then took a break from it and started my food blog in 2019. Now that I'm working on the Teochew site again, it's hard for me to find the energy to devote to the food blog. But I did take a few pictures, so I wanted to share some of the things I cooked (or helped cook) over the past couple of weeks.
Bao wasn't the only exciting food I helped make while I visited my grandma's. We made fresh spring rolls every day for "pre-dinner snack". It seemed a little excessive, but it was delicious.
I need to figure out how my aunt prepared that pork. It was SO GOOD. On the first day, I just ate three spring rolls, but by the last day, I was eating five, which is more than I what I eat for a meal sometimes. It's okay. It's healthy.
When I got back, I made some strawberry pizza. (I actually made it twice!) My sister and I made this pizza way back when I first started the food blog, and it was one of my favorite recipes that we tried. I think it tasted good, but not as amazing as when I had it with my sister. On my second attempt, I added goat cheese, and I think that was a good addition.
Every other week, I have a "co-working day" with my friend, and after work we pick a dish to cook together. This week we made chicken tikka masala and a roasted eggplant salad. It was all very good, but my friend ended up replacing 1.5 teaspoons of chili powder with 2 teaspoons of ground red pepper in the tikka masala, and it was way too much heat for me. I usually only stick to 1/4 teaspoon if I add any hot pepper 🥵
Finally, my boyfriend requested some poke, and while I didn't have any sashimi grade fish on me, I did have half a pound of frozen shrimp. I cooked that and grabbed whatever poke appropriate ingredients I had for toppings. Poke is great because apart from the fish, I really don't have to plan for it at all. I always have poke ingredients in my kitchen.
The last time I made guacamole, I had to run to the store to buy some chips. I had only intended to buy chips, but while I was there I noticed that these little packs of sashimi grade salmon were on sale for $5! That's a steal for half a pound! And I found some other frozen salmon that was also really cheap!
I ended up leaving the store with 2.5 lbs of salmon, some ice cream, and the chips. The next day I decided that I didn't buy enough of the sashimi grade salmon, so I bought another pound.
What did I do with all that sashimi grade salmon? Make poke of course. But I can't just eat poke by myself, so I had a couple of poke nights with some very good friends.
This is the first time I made poke without my sister, so it was a little flail-y. I don't think I ever figured out how to make the sauce, but it doesn't matter. You don't need sauce. This is delicious as is.
My friend took that picture above (obviously, because I'm in the picture). Below is from a poke night earlier this week. Such aesthetic arrangements of food.
Poke is great because you have such a large variety of fresh, healthy foods mixed with sushi rice and raw fish. Mmmmm. And making it at home is way better than going to an overpriced poke restaurant. Everyone assembles their own bowls, and everyone feels very stuffed at the end. But it's a good kind of stuffed.
Day 7 (Wednesday): So during my multi-grocery store excursion, I impulse bought some Ahi Tuna, because of course I did. And because I was out for three hours, that gave plenty of time for that slab of tuna to already start thawing, so I figured we might as well keep it in the fridge and have Poke the next day.
One of our lessons learned from past poke parties is that we usually buy way too much fish. So we picked out the smallest piece (about 1/2 lb), and we decided to NOT add any extra items to our grocery list because the best way to do poke parties is to just use what you already have.
Another lesson learned is that we should just marinate the fish, and not any of the other ingredients because otherwise it gets too salty. My sister makes the most delicious marinade with soy sauce and other Asian sauces and ginger and garlic and onions and she even included some lime this time!
If you're wondering, yes, we ate everything on that table. There were no leftovers, and there shouldn't be, since this is raw fish we're talking about.
Day 8 (Thursday): We had a planned game night with our cousins this day, so I wanted to make something easy. I still had a lot of pulled pork leftover from a few days ago, so it's taco time again!
I was expecting to do another taco night, so I made sure to buy lots of cilantro and sweet onions. I also happened to buy Mexican cheese, which I wasn't even planning on using for this. (I like putting Mexican cheese in my green bean casserole...which will be for another blog post!) But it adds some nice color to the tacos!
Also, we're sitting here at my dinky table, when I realize how nice the lighting is at one particular spot. And I realize that I have a spotlight in my kitchen that is pointing RIGHT at that spot on the table, and I have two other spotlights and I'm like WHY HAVEN'T I NOTICED THIS BEFORE. I need to buy a ladder now so I can re-angle these lights and give my pictures better lighting for the future.
My sister also made some shaobing. She's so talented.
Day 9 (Friday): So one of my friends is really into those Bon Appetit videos, and I figured I'd watch one to see what all the fuss is about. I'm not really into watching videos about food, but watching this video of this guy making pasta with chickpeas really made me want to make pasta with chickpeas.
Except this is more like soup. Pasta soup? They call it "brothy pasta" which my sister thought was weird, but that's what it is! You eat it with a spoon! We also threw in some kale and celery that we just happened to have. I thought it was great. I'd make it again.
Oh remember how I was struggling to find flour at the grocery store? Well, that's not the only thing we struggled with. We also couldn't find butter. We did find butter substitutes though, so we bought two packs of margarine. My sister used it to make these croissant-like things that don't really resemble croissants at this point, but whatever. It was still tasty.
This is from over a month ago, but I wanted to make a post out of it, because it's poke, and poke is always great.
So the main reason that I broke my $30 a week challenge was because I saw that sashimi grade salmon was on sale at my local grocery store for $6.99/lb. Which is crazy! They normally don't sell regular salmon for that cheap. (I also bought crab legs. And two pounds of shrimp. You can guess how much that cost.) Of course the catch is that it only comes in these huge 2+ lb slabs, but whatever.
My cousins and sister were visiting for the weekend, so I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to make poke again. (We also rolled up some sushi! But I didn't take any pictures of that)
Yeah, we may have gone a little overboard with the number of ingredients. But it was delicious. Some tips that we'll keep in mind to make the poke better next time:
Poke is so good.