Curry Noodle Soup with Thai Basil

This is a healthy, quick and delicious meal that is great for a rainy day. It´s fast too…only take about 30 or 40 minutes start to finish.

Curry Noodle Soup with Thai Basil


rice noodles

2 boneless chicken breasts

olive oil

1 14oz can of coconut milk

3 cups of chicken stock

2 tablespoons of curry paste

4 tablespoons of fish sauce

2 limes

Thai basil


curry powder

1 bell pepper julienned

1 whole carrot, julienned

1 cup shitake mushrooms

1 cup of spinach (optional)

fresh grated ginger

soy sauce (optional)


Get a large cast-iron skillet and set to medium high with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add chicken breasts and season with curry powder, salt and pepper. Cook until browned on the outside.

Heat up a medium sized pan and add the thick  and creamy part of the coconut milk and the curry paste. Stir until the curry paste is blended. Add the grated ginger. Add veggies, cooked chicken (cut into bite size pieces), chicken stock, the rest of the coconut milk, fish sauce and lime zest. Juice the limes and add the juice. Bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the rice noodles and cook for about 5 minutes. Finish by adding the spinach, cilantro and fresh basil. Add soy sauce if needed for extra salt.





To liven up the dark Seattle gloom I made a big pot of jambalaya. It tasted awesome so I thought I´d share the recipe which resulted from combining many different ones I found online.

 Shrimp, Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya


1 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces

2-3 Hot Italian or Andouille sausages, sliced

1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

3 cups of chicken stock

1 12oz can of diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen fire roasted)

Holy Trinity: 1 green pepper, two celery stalks, and one onion diced

Creole spices: dried thyme, dried oregano, red pepper, paprika, black pepper, salt

1 can of red beans

1 cup of long grain white rice


1 lemon

2 cloves of garlic, minced

olive oil


Use a large heavy pot. Sautee the shrimp until golden brown in butter and a pinch of the creole seasoning. Set aside. Add the chicken and sausage and sautee in olive oil and spices, until browned. Remove. Add the holy trinity to the same pot with the garlic and sautee in olive until the onions turn translucent. Add the spices and the meat back into the pot. Add the diced tomatoes and 1 cup of stock and simmer for 40 minutes. Add the cup of rice  with the remaining two cupes of stock and simmer until the rice is fully cooked. Add the beans and stir, and finish with the juice of one lemon.

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Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Mushrooms and Chard and a Poached Egg

Apparently the groundhog saw his shadow….six more weeks of winter it is. Today was particularly chilly, but I´m not complaining–at least there is no ¨polar vortex¨ here in Seattle.

Today I didn´t have work so I decided to cook up something warm and comforting to fight the cold, and what could be more comforting than cheesy polenta? Nothing, that´s what.

My mom has a GREAT recipe for polenta on her cooking show that you can click here—->Polenta with Asiago Cheese

 Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Swiss Chard and Mushrooms with a Poached Egg



2 cups chicken stock (sub veg stock for vegetarians)

3 cups of water

1 cup of polenta


butter or olive oil

1 cup of parmesan cheese

black pepper

(I followed the recipe to a T, except I added parmesan, and lots of it, and I did not let it set, and instead served it warm and mushy.)



1-2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used crimini)

1 head of red chard, de-stemmed and sliced in ribbons


red wine

herbs (thyme and parsley are nice)

red pepper flakes



1/4 cup of stock


Heat the skillet with butter and add the mushrooms. Add herbs, salt, stock, and wine and stir until soft and brown, about 20 minutes. Add black pepper and swiss chard and sauté until soft. If you want a little heat, add a few red pepper flakes.



Cookus does a good demo here.

Or, this one from Smitten Kitchen is good also.

Delicious meal that is very seasonal for winter. I highly recommend abundant red wine as a ¨side dish¨.

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5 Step Peruvian Ceviche

(Taken from my blog Pan&Pisco..)

While all ceviches are winners in my book, Peruvian ceviche takes the cake.

Maybe that’s because ceviche was originated in Peru, or so says Wikipedia:

“The origin of ceviche is disputed. Possible origin sites for the dish include the western coast of north-central South America,[1] or in Central America.[3][4] Other coastal societies such as the Polynesian islands of thesouth Pacific are also attributed the invention of the plate.[13] The Spanish, who brought from Europe citrus fruits such as lime,[14] could have also originated the plate with roots in Moorish cuisine.[11] However, the most likely origin of the plate lies in the area of present-day Peru.[2


Throughout South American, ceviche recipes differ by region. Chilean ceviche  uses sea bass and heavy amounts of cilantro, and occationally even grapefruit juice. Peruvian ceviche comes in all varieties, and sometimes includes aji amarillo, garlic, lemon juice, corvina (white fish), shrimp, and the liquid is typically removed  (this has to do with the Japanese “sashimi” style influence on the country). Ecuadorian ceviche has the unusual addition of ketchup and sometimes mustard and some kind of chunky side, like tostados (South American corn nut). In Mexico, the ceviche sometimes has avocado and tomato.

The recipe I found for my version came from Laylita’s fabulous South American cooking blog. This recipe was awesome and I loved the addition of the hot pepper.

So on Friday afternoon I made a trip down to Mercado Central to buy my fish. Unfortunately, the corvina was like 10,000 luca (20 dollars) so I went with reineta instead. I do think a little higher quality, more expensive fish would have been better, but honestly the recipe was still delicious and overall, a definite success.

WORD TO THE WISE: Ceviche has to “cook” in lime juice for a few hours, so make sure you plan ahead!

White Fish Ceviche


15 small limes, juiced

sea salt

olive oil

1 bunch of cilantro

1/2-1lb of boneless white fish (halibut, sea bass, or red snapper are good picks)

2 small red onions, sliced very thinly

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

2 hot peppers (I used these aji amarillos I found at the market, but I think thai chili peppers would be good, or any hot pepper really)


First: Cut the fish into small cubes and soak in salt water for 30 minutes in the fridge. the reason you must do this is to kill any bacteria and parasites. Gross, I know.

Second: Juice your limes! This takes a while. Not the most fun part.

Three: Cut your onions and soak them in salt water with a little vinegar if you have it. This will make the onions sweeter.

Four: Remove the salt water from the fish, and put the fish in a glass container (baking pan will work) with the lime juice, the hot peppers sliced diagonally, the garlic, and a few springs of cilantro. Put the container, covered, in the fridge for 2.5-3 hours, until the fish looks whitish and firm. This is the “cooking” process and it is important that all the raw fish is covered in lime juice so that it cooked properly.

Four: Remove the peppers, and garlic, and add the onions (water removed) and cilantro. Add a few drizzles of olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt. Put in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

Five: Finally, serve in a glass dish, with liquid or without. I like personally like somewhere in between.

If you want to make it PERUVIAN, it should be served in a lettuce leaf, with a sliced sweet potato, and choclo (large grain corn).

Ceviche is a great appetizer or even main dish for a hot summer day. Serve it it in fun tequila glasses, or glasses with salt lined rims. You can also make fish tacos with your ceviche, or eat it with something crunchy like potato chips.


Easy Beef Pho

Next to teriyaki, I´d argue pho is one of Seattle´s favorite cheap eats. Nothing tastes better on a cold, rainy day than a piping hot bowl of noodle soup filled with fresh herbs, a kick of lime, and a dash of sriracha sauce. I remember many dark grey afternoons when I was in high school, slurping some pho in Capital Hill or on the Ave before perusing the local music stores (that´s right….we bought cds then!)—the quintessential Seattle experience.

Recently, I went to Vietnam for about a week after finishing up my year long teaching contract in Korea. I was SO excited. Vietnam was everything I was expecting and more. I only had time to go to Hanoi but I was instantly  drawn in to the noisy motorbike crammed streets and the smell of boiling broths being ladled into metal bowls. You can read more about my experiences in Vietnam on my old blog Bibimbazzled

When in Hanoi, I was guided to a pho joint down the street by the hostel owner and had the most amazing pho of my life. Upon returning to Seattle, I knew I had to at least TRY to recreate that bowl of happiness.

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Pho may seem intimating at first, but fear not. I made this in about an hour and it took very little extra work and only a few ¨hard to find¨ ingredients. This is definitely a cheaters pho, in that I didn´t boil meat bones for hours on end, but the taste was excellent and I certainly didn´t FEEL cheated when it came to the flavor of the soup. In fact, it certainly tasted more rich and flavorful than the pho you might get at a cheap take out place. Homemade is always the best.

Grace´s On the Go Pho


For the Broth:

  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 2 Yellow Onions, halved
  • 1, 3-inch Piece of Fresh Ginger, cut into rounds
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, whole and peeled
  • 4 Quarts Low-Sodium Beef Stock
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 Star Anise Pieces
  • 3 Whole Cloves
  • ⅓ Cup Fish Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

For the Pho:

  • 1, 12-Ounce Package of Bahn Pho (Flat Rice Noodles)
  • 1 Pound Flank Steak (thinly cut beef)
  • 2 Jalapeños, cut into rounds (or thai chilies!)
  • 2 Handfuls Bean Sprouts (optional)
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Thai Basil (regular basil is fine too)
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Mint
  • ½ White Onion, sliced paper thin
  • Sriracha and Hoison sauce for serving (optional)
  • Lime Wedges for Serving


In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic when the oil just starts to simmer. Cook, turning a few times, for about ten minutes.

Add the beef broth, fish sauce,and sugar. Stir and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low. Simmer, partially covered, for at least fifty minutes and up to 3 hours if you like a richer flavor. After desired taste is reached, strain broth and add back to the pot. (If you are not serving the soup right away, you can store the strained broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.)


Place the beef into the freezer for at least fifteen minutes. Using a very sharp knife, slice the beef as thin as possible. (Or, you you have bought thin sliced beef, just cut it into bite sized pieces).

You have two options with the beef. You can serve it, in frozen pieces, raw as a side condiment to be added to the hot soup. When the raw beef is added it will cook slightly in the hot broth. Or, I decided to add the beef to the broth while it was simmering for about 3 minutes. This way, you can chose to have your meat more well done if you´d like.

Put the pho noodles into a large metal bowl and add boiling water. Let steep about 10 minutes or until soft. Drain the water and divide the noodles into your serving bowls.

Ladle some broth over the noodles in each bowl.  Serve jalapeños, bean sprouts, herbs, onions, lime wedges, and sriracha and hoison sauce on the side so each person can add in what they want to their pho. Don´t forget chop sticks and soup spoons!

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Dak Galbi (Korean Spicy Chicken)

This is an entry from my other blog Bibimbazzled that I´ve moved over to Picante Kitchen to diversify my recipe list. This recipe I made while in Korea in my tiny kitchen 🙂

One of my favorite Korean dishes to date, and there are a lot, is dak galbi (닭갈비), or  spicy chicken galbi. Galbi essentially just means ¨cooked on the grill¨. Most beef galbi is just marinated strips of meat grilled and dipped in gochujang. Dak Galbi, however, comes with veggies, rice cakes (tteokbokki), and a tasty sauce.

If you wanted to make this at home, you might have a little bit of a hard time finding rice cakes and gochujang, but everything else is pretty easy to find. I took this fantastic recipe:  and changed a few things to suit my tastes.

You are going to want to cook this in a big, heavy pot. Something that can take higher heat. I was fortunate enough to be left this cool, stone rice-cooking pot which works perfect, butI thick a sturdy skillet or cast iron skillet would be fine.



1 lb (450g) boneless, skinless chicken thigh, diced
1/2 lb (250g) Korean rice cake sticks
1/4-1/2 cabbage, diced
8-10 perilla leaves, sliced
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 medium sweet potato, sliced into 1/4″ thick wedges
2 tablespoon grape seed or canola oil
2-4 tablespoon water
more perilla leaves and toasted sesame seeds to garnish


3 tablespoon Korean chili paste
2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 tablespoon rice wine (or just white wine!)
3 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
dashes of pepper


  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Toss the chicken pieces with 1/2 the sauce and mix. Set aside.
  2. Soak rice cakes in hot water until ready to use and drain.
  3. Drizzle oil in a cast iron skillet, spread the chicken and top with vegetables (only 1/2 the amount of perilla leaves) and rice cakes.Make sure to put the sweet potatoes and carrots closer to the bottom so that they cook faster. Drizzle the remaining sauce over and bring the skillet over med-high heat.
  4. When you hear the loud sizzling noise from the skillet, toss to coat everything with the sauce. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Add the water to create steam to cook and reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook, about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When chickens are cooked through and potatoes are tender, add the rest of the perilla leaves and heat through. Everything should be slightly browned at this stage.Toss gently so that you don’t break the potatoes.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with more perilla leaves. Serve hot.

A few quick words of advice: Eat all the rice cakes while they are HOT. They do not stay soft when they get cold. They get hard and chewy and terrible. Also, cut your sweet potatoes in thin strips or circles so that they can cook all the way through.

The mix of sweet potatoes, soft cabbage, and tangy, spicy chicken is a perfect flavor combination and a complete meal in one dish.

DSCN3444 DSCN3445 DSCN3447 DSCN3448 DSCN3454Delicious! “맛있다” – mashittda!

Thai Beef Salad (Yum Neua)

Having recently gone to Thailand a few months ago, I was feeling inspired to make this dish. On my trip, I had many incredible Thai dishes but this is one I kept ordering over and over. Made with cucumber, tomatoes, fresh herbs, lime and fish sauce, it has complex flavors but still feels light and fresh.

The other night I had Hailey and Otto over to my new place, a recently married couple who love food, to try out the dish. I think the overall reaction was a thumbs up. They are going to Thailand in March and can give me their official review when they get back 🙂

Thai Beef Salad

(This recipe is made to serve 4-6 people)


2 6oz sirloin steaks

1 red onion (or two shallots)

2 tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are nice as well)

1 large cucumber, peeled in stripes and thinly sliced

2 limes

fish sauce

soy sauce

sesame oil

thai chilies (1-2) -Serrano peppers might be a good sub

brown sugar (or if you are really fancy, palm sugar)

1 clove of garlic, minced

lettuce (optional)

Thai basil



2 cups cooked jasmine rice


1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup fish sauce

1 clove of garlic, minced

one thai chili, sliced

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

chopped peanuts (garnish)


Marinate your steaks in a shallow pan with a little soy sauce, water, fish sauce (optional) sesame oil, lime juice, and brown sugar. Just a few dashes of each is fine. You can throw in a clove of garlic or a piece of sliced ginger if you happen to have that around as well.


Start your rice. I made mine in a rice cooker which is super handy cause I didn´t have to think about it.

Next, prep your veggies. I recommend soaking your thinly sliced onions in some hot water and a little vinegar for a minute to take away the spicy taste, but that is up to your discretion. The lime is the dressing will preform this function, but not quite as effectively. I like when my cucumbers have some of their skin peeled, but not all, to create a striped effect. But again–all up to personal preference. Slice your tomatoes into quarter inch pieces and set all the veggies aside.



Next, start your dressing. Mix all the ingredients together and stir to dissolve the sugar. I think this dressing is great, but I highly recommend you taste it to see if maybe you want some more  lime juice, or maybe a dash of soy sauce.

Finally, its time to grill the steaks. I didn´t have a grill, so I did mine in a heavy cast iron pan. Add some oil and turn the heat onto high so that you can get a nice char. Make sure to take your steaks out of the marinade, pat them dry, and place on a clean plate so that your can pepper and salt them before grilling. I like to massage the steaks a bit to rub the salt in. I thin for medium rare about 6-10 minutes is about right. I like to flip them half way to get a nice char on both sides. You can of course cook them longer if you don´t want pink. A good test is to touch the steaks to feel for firmness. Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. When slicing, try to cut with the grain of the meat.



Finally, make the salad. I like to put lettuce at the bottom of the dish, usually romaine or butter lettuce, just to give it some extra texture. Next, add the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. On top, put the sliced beef. Finally, add the fresh herbs and dressing and toss well. Serve with cooked jasmine rice. Crushed peanuts add a great salty crunch on top.

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This salad actually makes pretty good leftovers, just don´t put the lettuce in the container because it will wilt.