Hanpen Cheese (Japanese Fish Cake with Cheese)


What is hanpen? It is a Japanese fish cake with a mild taste. It is unlike any other fish cake or fish ball that I have ever tasted. Hanpen is really soft and fluffy. I know it may sound bad, but the texture is kind of like marshmallow. Trust me, it is incredible delicious!

I first tried hanpen at a Japanese restaurant called Furibo. They stuffed the hanpen with American cheese, wrapped them with seaweed, dipped in batter, and fried. The hot and gooey melted cheese oozed out from the soft and crispy fish cake. It is a dish that is hard to forget. I always crave for it. But luckily, I found hanpen in Japanese supermarket. Instead of frying it, I sear it with some garlic until golden brown. It makes a great appetizer or side dish.

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Shrimp and Guacamole Tostada


I don’t always make Mexican food at home, because Bryan’s families are from El Salvador. We can easily eat those similar tasty food from Bryan’s mom. But when I make “Mexican” food, they are usually not very authentic and very different. This tostada is the perfect example. When I saw this recipe in Bev Cooks, I hesitated for a moment. Tostada traditionally is fried and it definitely does not top with guacamole. Because of the beautiful looking pictures and tasty combination, I decided to give it a try. It turned out to be amazing. The tortilla was crispy and great with melting cheese. The guacamole was creamy. Shrimps were well seasoned and meaty. These tostadas are good as main dish and good to serve with salad or veggies.

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Baked Smoked Paprika Chicken Wings


Super Bowl is coming up on Sunday. And we can’t go without some chicken wings. These chicken wings are perfect. They are smokey, little sweet and packed with flavors. Absolutely fantastic! The most important is that they just need to go in the oven. Not much work is needed. You can just sit back, relax and enjoy your game with your families and friends, instead of being stuck in the kitchen to cook.

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Pork Gyoza

When I go to a Japanese restaurant, I always look for gyoza in the menu. Some places have really good homemade gyoza, but some other just use pre-made frozen gyoza. In that case, it is better just to make your own gyoza. Since making gyoza is a bit time-consuming, I tried to make many at one time. The leftover can be stored in the freezer for later. These little gyoza had crispy skins and juicy fillings. The garlic chives gave the gyoza a strong rich flavors and the cabbage balanced it out. When I made the gyoza, Bryan and I would only ate them for dinner. Pile and pile of gyoza!

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Tuna Tartare with Baked Wonton Chips

For Bryan and my anniversary dinner, I wanted to make a fancy restaurant style menu. Tuna tartare is just perfect. It is one of the most common appetizers in restaurant. When I stumbled upon this recipe online, I knew that I have to try it. And I am so glad I did! It was so easy! The tartare was fresh and flavorful. Savory and little spicy. It was great with the crispy wonton chips. This is no doubt the best appetizer that I have made so far. Oh, did I mention that there is no cooking at all? Get everything ready ahead of time and toss them all together at the last minute. Tah dah! Great for dinner party!

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Zucchini Parmesan Bites

Happy New Year! To start of the new year, I share with you this healthy and delicious veggie recipe. The zucchini was soft and juicy in the inside and crispy on the outside. Delicious! This is a really great side dish or snack. I am sure everyone will love it, even kids who do not like vegetables will like it.

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Swiss Sauce Chicken Wings (Dark Soy Sauce Chicken Wings)

This is a classic Hong Kong dish. Swiss sauce has nothing to do with “Switzerland”. The chicken wings are marinated in sweetened dark soy sauce. The urban legend behind the name, was a miscommunication between a Chinese waiter and an English-speaking customer in a Hong Kong cafe. The Chinese waiter told the English speaker the dish was called “Sweet wings”, but the English speaker thought it was “Swiss wings”. But again, this is only a story. No matter what the name is, these chicken wings are just delicious. Bryan loves them on the first try. The chicken wings were savory with a hint of sweet. They were perfect to serve with steaming hot white rice.

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Crab Ceviche Tostada

This recipe is from Bryan’s mom. Bryan has been eating this growing up. I believe this is a Salvadoran dish or Salvadoran inspired dish. One time, Bryan made me this ceviche, and I just fallen in love. The ceviche was sweet and fresh. The crispy tostadas gave some great texture. Yummmm….. Bryan and I usually just made a big bowl of ceviche, and just ate tons of ceviche tostadas for dinner. But, I am sure you can serve this as an appetizer. Give this a try!

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Mini Beef Wellingtons

I have never actually had beef wellingtons before. I probably heard about beef wellingtons a few years back. Bryan and I used to watch Hell’s Kitchen, and Gordon Ramsay’s beef wellingtons sure looked amazing. Therefore, Bryan and I always wanted to try one. But we haven’t had a chance yet. Two weeks ago, I saw Claire Robinson making these mini beef wellingtons on her show. Since they looked very easy, I just couldn’t wait to try them out myself. Basically, the steps were very easy. But it may take some times on rolling and folding the pastry. The beef cubes maybe cooked almost well-done, but the wellingtons were delicious. The pastry was crispy, and the mushrooms mixture were savory and soft. These mini packets were packed with flavors. I really like them, and I will make them for this 4th of July weekend.

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Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

When I first tried pao de queijo in a Brazilian restaurant, I immediately fall in love with it. The texture of pao de queijo is not really like bread. It is gooey, chewy and savory. The cheese makes the bread amazing. It is very addictive. I can eat 5 -6 of them at a time. This recipe is very good, Bryan and I ate 12 bread all at once. Bryan likes the bread at room temperature, because they were less gooey. But I like my bread warm. If you are making this little bread, make sure to make extra. To complete your Brazilian night, this dish goes perfect with Brazilian chicken stroganoff.

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