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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sauce Boss: Ginger Lemongrass

Welcome the first post of a little thing I like to call "Sauce Boss". From now on, whatever sauce recipes I post will be filled under this said "Sauce Boss". Where did this name come from? Usually, at the end of every sauce I end up cooking, my significant other and I usually just have one thing to say: "this is the saaaaaaauce-o-boss!"

I think sauces now play a much more important role in my cooking than they ever did before. For example, since tofu by itself is rather bland, IMO it always needs to soak or cook in some excellent sauce for good flavour. That, and I find sauce gives great flavour to numerous meals! (from gravy, to general tso, to blackbean, tahini almond, sweet and spicy, etc)

For Christmas, I received a few vegan cookbooks, one of them called "My Vegan Recipe Journal". It's a nifty little book that gives you a recipe for each category (ie breakfast, sandwiches) and the rest of the pages are blank recipe templates for you to write your recipes in. Considering I usually end up scribbling ingredients on little pieces of scrap paper while I'm cooking, this is a decided improvement. I have a hard time writing down exact ingredients, so hopefully this book will be able to help me out. Have you ever seen your grandmother cook? Notice how they just throw stuff in there and then it ends up tasting amazing and you're possibly wondering "gee Grandma, how'd you do that?"...well, that's exactly how I cook.

This ginger lemongrass sauce goes really well with dumplings (gyoza), wontons, springrolls, and stirfries. 

1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp fresh/jarred, minced/grated ginger
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tbsp hot chili sauce (I used Sriracha)
1/2 cup or less water
1 or 1/2 stalk of fresh lemongrass


1. Saute garlic and ginger with vegetable oil in a small pot.

2. Add soy sauce and sesame oil, stir for a while. Add the water and the lemongrass leaves and let it infuse for 10 minutes.

3. When the lemongrass taste is strong enough for your taste, remove the leaves and the sauce is done.

Have you ever tried ginger lemongrass sauce before?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Easy Peasy

This is a ridiculously easy recipe. I know there's been a trend of simple recipes lately, and that's partially due to an extremely busy schedule and not having as much time as I would like to spend on cooking. Thus, eureka!, the spawn of simple but filling dishes.

I made this the other night, when it was too late to make dinner, but I still wanted something filling that won't leave my stomach empty an hour later and cause me to snack unnecessarily on cookies. (although snacking unnecessarily on cookies may still happen, it would at least not be due to hunger)

I have to fully give credit to this recipe to my grandmother. When I was younger, this was one of my favourite dishes that she used to make all the time beside mashed potatoes and other delicious things. I don't think I've ever been able to replicate it quite the same, as she used fresh peas from her garden, and let's admit it-that can't compete with canned peas. Still, a tasty quick meal nonetheless, these easy peas can probably be ready in about 15 minutes.

1 medium white onion
1 can of green peas
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
salt & pepper to taste


1. Dice onion medium-fine and sautee in the vegetable oil over medium heat.

2. When onions are translucent, add drained peas and stir frequently for a few minutes.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Easy Chow Mein

Sometimes, I just crave something simple. I love chow mein noodles, and the great thing about it is that you can usually add just about any vegetables you have roaming in the fridge and it will still taste good. Usually, I like to add more oriental vegetables such as bamboo shoots, water chestnut, shiitake mushrooms, snow peas, baby bok choy...but alas, these are the ingredients I had on hand. Depending on how quickly you can chop, this dish can be ready in under 30 minutes.

2 bundles of chow mein noodles
1 Japanese eggplant
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 sliced shallot
1/2 sliced green pepper
1/2 cup faux chicken (I used So Soya, this ingredient is totally optional)
1 minced garlic clove
1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp ginger powder or to taste
black pepper to taste


1. Slice all vegetables including the garlic above accordingly and begin stir frying in a wok with a little sesame oil. Stir fry on medium high heat until cooked but still crispy.

2.In a separate pot, boil water and cook chow mein noodles for 2-3 minutes max.

3. Add noodles to wok along with the rest of the ingredients and cook for another min or 2 until the noodles have absorbed some of the flavour. Serve with sesame seeds on top and green tea.

Have you had chow mein before?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Asian Spaghetti Squash

It's squash time! No, not going on the court for a good swing, but rather preparing some delicious spaghetti squash. I never knew it was so low in calories, according to, 1 cup of spaghetti squash is only about 42 calories. Bonus!

Now normally, my recipes are quite extensive in their ingredients list, mostly because I really enjoy flavourful things. Usually when I cook, I throw stuff in the dish as the inspiration comes, and next thing you know, I've got a list of 10-20 ingredients by the end of dish. That's all fun and fine...but today I felt like something simple. I mean really simple...

So my spaghetti squash recipe is just that. Simple and easy. If you love toasted sesame oil, then this recipe is for you! If you don't, maybe you feel adventurous today or search for another recipe that's more traditional. A little asian love with a little squash love=yummy.

1 spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tsp powdered cumin or to taste
shake of freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of sliced almonds


1. Preheat oven to 350 Farenheit. After washing squash, pierce several holes all over with a fork, to allow the steam to escape when it is roasting. Roast for 1 hour.

2. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then slice in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the seed guts and throw it away. With a fork, gently scrape across, until the squash turns into spaghetti strands.

3. In a large bowl or casserole dish or whatever serving dish you may like, transfer spaghetti squash and add the sesame oil, soy sauce, cumin and black pepper. Serve warm and top with sliced almonds.

Unfortunately the dish did not make it to the photoshoot. My hunger and the wafting of toasted sesame oil convinced my stomach to devour it immediately.

How have you cooked spaghetti squash before?