flailing in my kitchen (v2!)

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Stir fry

April 4, 2021 10:12 AM

Before I knew how to cook, my go-to meal was stir fry. My mom makes stir fry all the time, so that's what she sort of attempted to teach me in high school. I remember trying to cook for myself back when I was trying to get more fit and lose my freshman 40. I used Nerd Fitness and referenced their chicken stir fry blog post. I think people have this notion that stir fry is super easy. Whenever I look at stir fry recipes online, they give me cook and prep times of 15 minutes. What a fast meal!

...lies. They're all lies. Stir fry takes forever. I have to cut vegetables and meat. If you're new to cooking, you're probably new to chopping. You also should be stir frying food at high heat. High heat is not good for beginners. Also, what beginner cook has a giant wok available? If you use your standard 10 or 12 inch pan, your veggies are going to fly everywhere and hot things are going to smack you in the face.

But I guess I'm past being a beginner. I'm okay with using high heat again. I am still kind of slow at prep work though. I made this Chicken and Thai Basil Stir Fry about a week ago. I don't remember when I started prepping (maybe 8?), but it was 9:30pm when I finally had my meal ready. I know, I was just being slow.

Stir fry

Stir fry meal

It was good though! I always enjoy a good stir fry meal.


I cooked for my dad

January 17, 2021 5:15 PM

Today I cooked lunch for my dad. I'll be honest, this stressed me out. My aunt told me I should make something for him, but I had no idea what to cook. I honestly don't know what my dad likes to eat besides burgers, noodles, and coconut macaroons. Work has exhausted me and stressed me out, and I didn't want to think about making a meal. But I had to.

So I went through my food blog. My whole food blog. And I settled on a couple of stir fry dishes: Thai Basil Chicken and Sauteed Green Beans and Eggplant. I made a grocery list and we went to the Korean store. And you know what happened? They were completely out of basil and green beans! So I was freaking out, trying to think of a Plan B, but then my dad said we could stop at a different Asian grocery store.

Okay, so it's already past 1pm, and I'm starting to prep for lunch. I've gotta chop up green beans, eggplant, bell pepper, garlic, onion, ginger, and chicken. I'm really slow. I don't think I actually started cooking until after 2pm. But if my 大姑 (dua go) were here she'd say "Oh, it must be snowing!" because I never cook around my dad's family and they live in the south.

It's one thing to cook in your own kitchen. It's another thing to cook in a kitchen you're unfamiliar with. I know, it's my dad's kitchen. I should be more familiar with it. But neither his stove nor his oven have any numbers on them! I have no idea where "medium heat" is. I couldn't even really use measuring spoons.

But, I made it work. I'm happy. My dad liked the food.

Stir fry


Pad Kra Pao

December 15, 2020 9:38 PM

Last week I had bought Thai basil so I could put it in my green curry. In hindsight, I should have either put all of it in the curry, or just not bought it at all. Because what that left me with was some basil that was starting to look kinda sad. But that's okay! I can just put it in another stir fry! A bunch of leaves were getting really dark, so I did throw some out, but it still smelled fine, which is the the important part.

Pad Kra Pao prep

I decided to make Pad Kra Pao (Ground pork and basil stir fry) since it looked easy. And it was, but I realized I deviated a lot from the recipe:

Pad Kra Pao

As I was just about done cooking this, I had a realization. I didn't make rice yet! So, there I was, frantically getting rice, washing it, and then putting it in the rice cooker. And then I figured I should cut up a green onion to garnish this dish. I was getting really impatient, and right as the rice cooker clicked to "Warm" I took some rice out.

I don't know if other people's rice cookers function like mine, but you pretty much always have to wait 5 or 10 more minutes after it claims to be done cooking before it's actually done cooking. So the rice was a little on the hard side.

More Pad Kra Pao

Slightly undercooked rice aside, this was very good.

Filed under: stir fry

I needed some Thai basil

November 24, 2020 9:31 PM

The other day, I had a sudden craving for some spring rolls.

Spring Rolls

The spring roll I wrapped

Okay, those pictures are from July. But that's the last time I made spring rolls for myself! I was totally due for another spring roll meal. I know, it's getting colder out, and spring rolls are totally a summer thing. (Or a...spring...thing I guess)

Anyway, here's the spring roll spread I had a week ago.

Spring rolls in November

Honestly, the ones I made back in July were a lot better. A few things about these spring rolls that I recently made:

I was feeling so exhausted just from being in two grocery stores that I decided to head home, BUT I STILL NEEDED MY BASIL. I drove to the Asian store again the next day just to get it. And with my large amounts of basil and mint, I made some stir fry.

Stir Fry

So good. So worth the many trips to the grocery store.

Stir Fry


Salmon and green beans

October 5, 2020 5:49 PM

The other day I saw salmon on sale for $5.99/lb. I didn't have salmon on my list of things to cook for the week, but I can't say no to cheap salmon. So I walked to the grocery store and bought two pounds of salmon. That's it. Just salmon.

Salmon and green beans recipe

My aunt makes this great salmon dish with lemon pepper and mayonnaise. I always look forward to eating it when I visit her. It seems so simple to make, but for some reason, every time I try to make it, it doesn't turn out right.

Salmon

And this time? It's no different. It wasn't great. I don't know, I think I need to watch her make it. I have all the ingredients written down, but how much of everything do I need?!

Also, do you see that salmon? I cooked it UPSIDE DOWN. How the heck did I do that? I didn't even notice it until I took it out of the oven. It was overcooked, but the breadcrumbs weren't browned, and it wasn't seasoned enough, but I think I put too much butter, but I didn't even use salted butter so it was weird...

It's alright. Next time, cook it for like 10 minutes and then broil for a few more minutes. Use more lemon pepper. Use more mayo. Use more chicken granules.

Green beans

At least my green beans and eggplant turned out well.

Salmon and green beans

Yeah, 5/5 for the veggies. 2/5 for the salmon, but I'll try the salmon again another time.

Salmon, green beans, and rice


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