Spicy Cabbage Bowl

Have you ever looked in your fridge wondering, what the heck am I going to make for lunch? Here’s a quick take on a salad bowl, nesting in a vibrant cabbage shell, topped with a spicy peanut sauce that packs a big punch!

During our weekly shopping trip, a fresh red cabbage immediately caught our attention. We’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetables into our diet and thought we would make our own take on a salad bowl. Salads can often be boring and bland, while keeping you longing for more. Our spicy cabbage bowls have a diverse flavor profile and an abundance of textures to keep your taste buds engaged. We used red cabbage, lettuce, carrots, radishes, sprouts and topped it with avocado. The spicy thai peanut sauce provides a rich, peanut flavor that can really spice up your mundane salad. Fold the bowl up like a taco, take a bite and enjoy your healthy, satisfying lunch!

Fun fact: Red cabbage get their distinctive color from a pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanins act as antioxidants, helping to repair damaged cells and lowering your risk of cancer.

Steps (Cabbage Bowl)
1. Remove 2-3 outermost layers of the red cabbage and rinse and dry for each bowl
2. Add cut vegetables like lettuce, carrots, radishes and sprouts to the inside of the bowl
3. Top with sliced avocados and spicy peanut sauce

Ingredients (Spicy Peanut Sauce)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
2 serrano chilis (cut)
0.5 cup unsweetened coconut milk
0.75 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp maple syrup

Steps (Spicy Peanut Sauce)
1. Cut the serrano chilis in half. Keep the seeds if you want that extra kick, if you want a milder sauce, remove the seeds
2. Add all ingredients except the coconut milk and vinegar into a food processor and pulse until smooth
3. Add coconut milk and vinegar and pulse until all ingredients are mixed

Spice up your life and try our spicy cabbage bowls! You can add leftover chicken, sliced deli meats, rice, quinoa or an endless variety of your favorite ingredients. Make it your own and let us know what your favorite combinations are!

Spicy Rainbow Noodles

If there is one dish that each culture can relate to, it’s noodles! They really are the universal language amongst foodies. Our favorite part about making noodles is the simplicity, efficiency, and numerous ways you can customize them to your liking.

Coming from a Japanese and a Vietnamese family, we are very accustomed to a delicious bowl of ramen or pho. However, we wanted to step out of our comfort zone and make our own noodle dish that doesn’t fit into any particular category.

Fun fact: Noodles originated from a desert region in central Central Asia, the Tarim Basin in China’s Xinjian province. It is believed that Marco Polo brought noodles from China to Italy in the 13th century – the origins of the beloved pasta!

During our weekly shopping trips at the asian market, these multicolored vegetable noodles immediately caught our eye. We knew right away we had to make a dish with these noodles as our base. The vegetables used to make the noodles include: potatoes, carrots, amaranth and spinach. You don’t taste much of the vegetables when you’re eating the noodles, but they are extremely delicious nonetheless (similar to egg noodles). We added some of our favorite proteins (shrimp and ground pork) along with our favorite type of eggs to cook with – quail eggs! If you haven’t cooked or eaten quail eggs, we highly recommend them. They are bite sized (equivalent to a grape tomato), the perfect texture and taste very similar to chicken eggs. We added chili paste to give the noodles that extra zing, but feel free to substitute or leave out if you’re not feeling spicy.

Ingredients:

1 bag of Safoco Vegetable Noodles (can be substituted with ramen/egg noodles)
0.5lb deveined and peeled shrimp
0.5lb lean ground pork
Minced garlic
0.5 sliced onion
1tbsp of ghee
Quail eggs
Sambal chili paste
Soy sauce
Rice vinegar

Steps:

1. Boil noodles according to package instructions
2. Mix chili paste, soy sauce, and rice vinegar and set aside
3. Pan fry garlic, onions, pork and shrimp, and quail eggs in ghee
4. Mix cooked noodles and pan fried items together and drizzle sauce mixture over it
5. Enjoy

If you’re looking for a quick meal that can bring your friends and family together, make sure to try our spicy noodle recipe and feel free to make it your own. Let us know what your favorite type of noodle is!

Pork & Shrimp Gyoza

A few years ago, we went on a bike tour in Kyoto, Japan and the tour leader took us to his favorite gyoza shop in his neighborhood. It was hands down the best gyoza we have ever had. This inspired us to make our own homemade gyoza with a twist – gyoza with green spinach wrappers!

Gyoza is a dumpling filled with meat and vegetables, wrapped with a thin envelope of dough. Think of it as a delicious envelope filled with meat and veggies. Originating in China, these dumplings are immensely popular in Japan. During World War II, Japanese soldiers were exposed to jiaozi (Asian dumplings) in Northern China. The Japanese loved the dish so much, they recreated it. In fact, gyoza is the Japanese pronunciation of jiaozi!

Fun fact:
There are three main types of gyoza with Yaki Gyoza (pan fried) being the most popular. Yaki Gyoza are pan fried on a skillet, giving it a crispy bottom while maintaining the soft, juicy-ness within. Sui gyoza are boiled and often served in a light broth. Age gyoza are crispy deep fried gyoza found mostly at Chinese and specialty gyoza restaurants.

The green spinach wrappers we used are infused with spinach puree. It doesn’t taste different in our opinion, but it’s nice to know that there are added nutrients. And we just love the color!

Ingredients:

For gyoza:
0.5 lb lean ground pork
0.5 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup of minced green or napa cabbage
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Spinach gyoza wrappers
1 tbsp ghee

For dipping sauce
Soy sauce
Sambal chili sauce
Rice vinegar

Steps:

  1. Combine pork, shrimp, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and a little bit of pepper and salt and pulse in food processor
  2. Microwave a tsp of the gyoza filling for about 50 sec to taste. Add more salt or pepper if necessary
  3. Place a tsp of gyoza filling into the center of the gyoza wrapper and use your finger to wet a line around half of the gyoza wrapper and fold it over. You can either pleat the ends or use a fork to seal the gyoza
  4. Heat a pan up and coat it with ghee
  5. Place wrapped gyoza into the heated pan and flip once one side is brown
  6. Then place 1/4 of a cup of water straight into the pan and close a lid over it.
  7. Remove lid and let water evaporate
  8. Flip gyoza over to brown both sides
  9. Enjoy with gyoza dipping sauce

Tips:
-Using less water is better than more water when making gyoza because the wrapper can break with too much water
-Smaller amounts of filling is better for gyoza to ensure a good seal
-You can use vegetable oil instead of ghee. We just wanted to try frying it with ghee because we like the buttery taste it adds to the gyoza

Gyoza is always a good compliment to any main dish, but really shines as one of our favorite bar foods. A good beer and gyoza will always put us in a state of nirvana – maybe that’s more the beer, but who knows. Let us know your favorite type of gyoza!

Korean Sauna Eggs

If you’ve ever watched a Korean drama, you may be familiar with these eggs, often enjoyed in Korean saunas. Korean Sauna eggs are light brown on the inside and have a deep, tasty roasted nut-like flavor. These eggs are the typical ones you find at your grocery store, but it’s the specific cooking process that makes them unique in color and taste! You can enjoy these eggs as a tasty snack or add it as a side dish to your next hearty meal.

Originally, these eggs were cooked over the steam produced by the sauna. I’m assuming a lot of you don’t have a sauna readily available (or at least one that you can cooks eggs in). If you do, let us know and we’ll be over ASAP!

Fun fact: These eggs are also known as Huevos Haminados due its origin in Medieval Spain and are popular in Jewish communities in the Middle East and Mediterranean. They are often served during Passover Seders (a ritual ceremony). Historically, these eggs were known as “7 hour eggs.”

Making the Korean Sauna Eggs was a near effortless process with our Instant Pot pressure cooker (IP). The eggs sit on a metal egg rack over the salt water mixture and are cooked for 2 hours. Instead of the white albumen (protein-rich) part of the egg, we get a well-tanned, rich, and tasty hardboiled egg. The yolk color remains more or less the same, but the texture is more creamy and rich in our opinion. And just like that your regular hardboiled eggs have undergone a total transformation. They could have their own television series: “Extreme Makeover: Korean Sauna Egg Edition!”

Fun fact: Did you know that the albumen (egg white) of eggs contains very little fat and cholesterol and a lot of protein. This makes egg whites a great option to get that extra protein in your diet.

We highly recommend making these Korean Sauna Eggs and we can promise that you’ve never tasted an egg like this before. We gave one of our Korean friends an egg to try and his review – “BOMB!” He’s normally not a man of few words, so he must have enjoyed (side note: I have never seen a whole egg disappear that quickly.) Another foodie friend said, “KOREAN SAUNA EGG SO GOOT!”

It seems like this recipe is a hit and a crowd pleaser for sure! Let us know if you try it and how you would describe the taste!

Nutritional Breakdown (per egg):

Calories: 70, Carbs: 0g, Fats: 5g, Proteins: 6g

Ingredients:

7-14 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp salt
2 cups of cold water

Steps:

1) Wash eggs thoroughly
2) Mix salt and water together and pour into inner pot of IP
3) Place eggs in egg rack
4) Flip valve to SEAL
5) Set IP to HIGH PRESSURE for 2 hours
6) Quick release the valve to VENT
7) Place eggs in cold/ice water
7) Peel and enjoy!

Disclaimer: We are not nutritionists. All of our information is based on experience, working with personal trainers, research and background knowledge from our education in the health field. Make sure to work with a nutritionist when deciding what foods and nutrients are best for your goals and overall health.

SF Eats and Treats Pt. 2

Welcome back to part 2 of SF Eats and Treats! In this post, we’ll touch on a few restaurants and eateries we visited on our S.F. trip. I think the best way to eat your way around the city is to do your research and find places you want to go to and then check out some hole-in-the-walls that you didn’t see on Yelp. Let’s get to it!

One of the big events on our schedule was to meet with our friends Annie and Sri. They flew out to S.F. from L.A. on a day trip and we decided to meet up at a very IG-worthy coffee shop called Home Cafe. Unfortunately, it was pouring this day, but what’s better than a hot latte to warm you up?

Home Cafe is in the outer Richmond District where you can find your classic coffee or get a little creative with drinks such as their birthday cake latte, nutella late, coke-tastic and a few other intriguing flavors. The atmosphere is very homey, with friends and family meeting to catch up.

We ordered the Birthday Cake Latte and Nutella Latte. Normally, you order expect to order these drinks, post a few pictures and get a sub-par tasting drink. To our surprise, we enjoyed sipping on our drinks along with the amazing art created for each one. The Birthday Cake Latte was full of creamy, vanilla flavor. From what I’ve read, they use oat milk which was certainly a first for us. The drink is on the sweeter side, but you can adjust the sweetness when you order to your liking. The Nutella Latte was equally delicious with that rich hazelnut cocoa punch. We will be back to try the other lattes!

Next on the list is a popular brunch spot called Kitchen Story. Luckily for us, this was only a few blocks away from our Airbnb in the Castro District. Kitchen Story is a fusion between California and Asian cuisine that continuously wins award for their food. After eating a few dishes there, we know why!

We ordered the Mascarpone Stuffed Deep Fried French Toast (makes your mouth water just reading the title), Ribeye Omurice and Matcha Latte. The Mascarpone Stuffed Deep Fried French Toast was fried to perfection with a thick crispy outer shell while being light and fluffy within. You could taste the mascarpone stuffing oozing out with each bite, giving you a creamy, rich, but subtle flavor. The toast itself was not overly sweet, so drizzling the maple syrup on top gave added the perfect amount of sweetness. Being the bacon guy I am, I added the Millionaire’s Bacon on the side. As if regular bacon wasn’t good enough, this was the thickest slice of bacon I have ever seen with a honey maple glaze that really put it in the MVB (most valuable bacon) conversation.

If you’re not familiar with omurice, it’s a thin, fluffy omelette often covered with ketchup, sitting on top a bed of rice. This dish is immensely popular and can be found everywhere in Japan. The Ribeye Omurice was equally light and fluffy with tender ribeye meat, seasoned to perfection. I was pleasantly surprised by the rainbow potatoes that came with the dish. The potatoes were Chilean purple, Yukon Gold, Gemstone Red, Russet and Sweet Yam. Unless you’re a potato connoisseur, you may have not have hear of these variations (like me), but they complimented the omurice by providing savory and sweet notes.

Bonus food tip: S.F. has the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. There are too many places we would recommend, but if we had to chose just one, it would be Golden Gate Bakery for the best egg tart I’ve ever had. There is often a long line, so make sure to come early!

When you’re in S.F., make it a priority to try new foods and restaurants. The diversity, quality and unique foods you’ll find make it one of the best cities for foodies like us!

-Colin

Shakshuka Sunday

Shakshuka! Fun to say, easy to make and delicious to eat. When we told friends and family that we were going to make this meal, we got a lot of blank stares. They had never heard of this dish and didn’t know what they were missing! Shakshuka is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine and essentially means “mixed up.” The dish was introduced to Israel by immigrants from North Africa and has become a household favorite because of its heartiness and simplicity. Not to mention how easy it is to make! There are a variety of ways to prepare shakshuka. We used eggs, tomatoes, bell peppers, feta cheese, garlic, onions and some essential seasonings. Shakshuka is served in an iron skillet and enjoyed with slices of bread; making it the perfect healthy meal to have all to yourself or to share with friends and family. It’s a great dish to serve at brunch with friends or have a little “breakfast” at dinner. Give it a try, we think this dish will become a staple of yours too!

Nutritional Breakdown (Approximate):
Feeds 4 people
Per person (not including baguette)- Calories: 160, Carbs: 8g, Fats: 0.75g, Proteins: 9g

Ingredients:
1 tbsp ghee or olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes with juices
4 eggs
1 bell pepper (diced)
3 tbsp fat free feta cheese
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 onion (diced)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Trader Joe’s Habanero Hot Sauce
Baguette

Recipe:
1) Heat cast iron skillet to warm and add ghee or olive oil
2) Add onions, garlic, bell peppers
3) Add cumin, paprika, tomatoes and let simmer for about 15 minutes
4) Preheat oven to 375F
5) Add habanero sauce, salt, and pepper to taste
6) Stir in feta cheese and crack eggs on top
7) Place skillet in oven and bake for 10 minutes
8) Enjoy with baguettes!