Let's eat some Drunken Noodles

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There is no alcohol in this recipe, it's actually a late-night drinking food, or in my case dinner.  


I made this for Chinese New Year, but believe me, I'll be eating this many more times before the next Chinese New Year.


In the bowl is a sauce made up of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, Sriracha, and garlic. This will be added last. 
You'll also need tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, basil, and raw shrimp. 


If you don't have fresh rice noodles, just soften some dried noodles in simmering water.


I'm fortunate enough to have a well seasoned wok, but this recipe can also be made in a large sauté pan. 

I have egg "issues" so I didn't use the egg, and I couldn't get Thai basil or fresh rice noodles so I used just plain ol' basil, and dried rice noodles. I had a little bit of poblano pepper leftover from another recipe and used that rather than the serrano. The poblano was pretty spicy for a poblano so there was plenty of "life" in the dish. 

Hungry for noodles? you need to dive into this. 

Drunken Noodles


  • Sauce 2 tbsp (30 ml) sweet soy sauce
    1 tbsp (15 ml) oyster sauce
    1½ tbsp (22 ml) fish sauce
    1 tbsp (15 g) sugar
    1 tsp Sriracha
    1 tsp minced garlic
    6–8 Thai basil leaves, chiffonade
    3 tbsp (45 ml) canola or peanut oil
    2–3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 eggs
    1–2 serrano chilies, sliced thin
    6–8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    ½ medium white onion, sliced
    4 cups (960 ml) fresh rice noodles, separated
    1 cup (40 g) Thai basil leaves, loosely packed
    ½ cup (75 g) grape tomatoes, halved


  1. For the Sauce Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set it aside.

    For the Noodles In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. When you see a wisp of white smoke, add the garlic and sauté until it’s light brown.

    Add the eggs and serrano chilies in and lightly scramble the eggs until they’re barely set, about a minute. Add the shrimp, onions and tomatoes, folding constantly until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute.

    Add the fresh rice noodles, basil leaves and sauce and toss to combine for about 3 minutes.

    Don’t be scared to scrape the bits off the bottom before they burn. Cook for 1 minute until the noodles are cooked and coated well. Finish by tossing in the basil and grape tomatoes, allowing them to lend their flavors. Cook for about an additional minute and serve hot.

    Jet Tila 101 dishes you need to cook before you die cookbook

And that's that!

Yachaejeon (Vegetable Pancake)

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Topped with an air fryer  chicken thigh.


I know that's not traditional but that turned the pancake into dinner for me. 

To make your own pancake you'll need 2 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables. Whatever you have in your fridge will do. 
I had zucchini, celery, carrot, onion, sweet potato, and scallions. The recipe calls for jalapeño pepper, I didn't have one but I most always have flame roasted green chiles on hand so I used some of that. You'll also need some flour and water. 


You are going to be doing a lot of slicing, so while you're at it, you might as well make the dipping sauce. 


For the dipping sauce, you'll need soy sauce, white vinegar, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. 


Mix all the sliced vegetables and equal amounts of flour and water. Heat a non-stick pan with a bit of oil. 


Add the batter to the skillet and spread it out evenly. Cook until the bottom is crunchy and golden brown. Turn or flip the pancake over and cook until crunchy and golden brown on the other side.  Oh! I wish you could have seen my flipping skills, I did great! 

Not only is this a delicious way to use up the odds and ends of vegetables, but it's also a lot of fun to make. 

Yachaejeon (Vegetable Pancake)


  • About 2 1/2 to 3 cups of sliced vegetables
    4 green onions, cut into 1 inch long
    1/3 cup leek (optional), sliced thinly1 inch long
    3 ounces zucchini matchsticks (about 1/2 cup)
    1 green chili pepper (or jalapeño), optional, sliced
    3 ounces onion, sliced
    1/3 cup sweet potato
    1 fresh mushroom (white, baby portobello, or shiitake)
    3/4 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    3/4 cup water
    vegetable oil

    Dipping sauce:
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    2 teaspoons white vinegar
    1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, optional
    1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


  1.  Make dipping sauce: Combine soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper flakes (if using), and sesame seeds in a bowl and mix it well with a spoon. Transfer it to a small bowl. Seat aside.

    Make batter: Combine green onion, leek (if using), zucchini, green chili pepper (if using), onion, and sweet potato in a bowl. Add flour salt, and 3/4 cup water. Mix it well with a wooden spoon.

    Make a pancake: Heat up a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. I use my 12 inch non-stick skillet to make one big pancake, but if your skillet is small, you can work in batches to make smaller ones. Add about 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the skillet evenly. Add the batter to the skillet and spread it out evenly. Turn down the heat to medium and put the sliced mushroom on top. Gently press them in with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the bottom turns crunchy light golden brown. Grab the handle of the skillet and twirl it around so the pancake moves and is cooked evenly underneath. Turn or flip over the pancake. Increase the heat to medium high and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil along the edges of the pancake. Lift up one edge with your spatula and tilt the skillet so the oil flows underneath the pancake. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until both sides turn light golden brown, occasionally pressing down with the spatula. Flip it over one more time and cook another 2 minutes.

    Transfer it to a large serving plate and serve right away with dipping sauce.


And that's that!

Tomato Beef Stir-Fry

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Tomato Beef, one of my all-time favorite Chinese dishes. 
To quote the Cookbook:
"Thick wedges of tomato cook with oyster flavored sauce and beef that has been stir-fried with ginger to make a flavorful and delicious sauce to serve over rice. Oddly enough, this is amazingly good even when tomatoes are not in season.


Just add some rice, a salad and a nice glass of red and you'll be happy. 


Gather up some soy sauce, sesame oil, rice cooking wine, cornstarch, baking soda, ginger, onion, tomatoes and beef. 
If you don't have access to rice cooking wine, dry sherry or dry white wine are good substitutes. 

I had a top sirloin steak so I used that, cut it into slices, then into strips. Add the strips to a bowl and sprinkle with the baking soda. 
Then, mix up the soy sauce, sesame oil, cooking wine, and corn starch, and add it to the meat. 

While the meat is marinating, time to make the stir-fry sauce. You'll need the ginger you sliced and some oyster sauce. 
The recipe doesn't call for onion other than the scallions added at the end, but I always add about 1/4 - 1/2 an onion, thinly sliced, and stir-fry that with the slices of ginger. Add the meat, searing well then remove the meat mixture and set aside. 

In the same skillet add the tomatoes, I only had cherry tomatoes so I used them, and cook until they begin to soften. I don't add the sugar the recipe calls for. Add the oyster sauce and water, cover, and cook for a couple of minutes or until the tomatoes are limp. 
Add the beef and any juices that have accumulated back to the skillet, and the scallions and stir-fry for about 1 more minute. 

I've also been known to add veggies to this, but honestly, I prefer it just as it is. 


Tomato Beef


  • 8 ounces flank steak, well-trimmed
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons thin soy sauce
    1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice cooking wine
    1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
    1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
    5 tomatoes, about 2 pounds
    1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    6 slices ginger
    3 tablespoons oyster flavored sauce
    4 scallions, cut into 2-inch sections


  1. Halve the flank steak with the grain into 2 strips. Cut each strip across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices in a shallow bowl and sprinkle with the baking soda; stir to combine. Add the soy sauce cornstarch, rice wine, sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Stir to combine and set aside.

    In a large pot, bring about 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook 1 to 3 minutes, or until the tomato skins just break. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and, when cool enough to handle, peel skins. Core tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.

    Meanwhile, stir 1 teaspoon vegetable oil into the beef mixture. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil and ginger, and stir-fry about 1 minute. Carefully add the beef, spreading it in the wok. Cook, undisturbed, 1 to 2 minutes, letting beef begin to brown. Then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until beef is browned but still slightly rare. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.

    Add the tomatoes and remaining teaspoon of sugar to wok, and stir-fry 1 minute on high heat until tomatoes begin to soften. Add the oyster sauce and 1/4 cup cold water, cover, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes are just limp. Add the beef with any juices that have accumulated on the plate, and the scallions, and stir-fry 1 minute, or until just heated through.

    Serve immediately.

    Serves 4 to 6 as part of a multicourse meal.

    Thick wedges of tomato cook with oyster flavored sauce and beef that has been stir-fried with ginger to make a flavorful and delicious sauce to serve over rice. Oddly enough, this is amazingly good even when tomatoes are not in season.

    The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen cookbook

And that's that!

Retro 50's Dinner Party

I bought the cookbook Retro Recipes from the ’50s and ’60s. My nieces Laurie, Ge and I decided to throw a 50’s themed dinner party. 
We got together to choose which recipes we wanted to make, that in itself was a lot of fun. My niece Laurie chose to make Salisbury steak and green bean casserole, Ge chose chicken and wild rice, and rice crispy treats. I chose to make rumaki, meatballs in grape jelly and strawberry pretzel salad.

The dish in the foreground is the Salisbury steak, then the chicken with rice Ge made, she's becoming quite the cook.  They were both so good. They are on my "I want to make this" list and I'm sure I will soon. 
, KCBp_8619
I quickly remembered why I don't make rumaki very often. They are a pain in the neck to make, they are slippery little devils. 
To the right of the rumaki is the pretzel strawberry salad, it was delicious, how can you go wrong with salty, sweet and crunchy. 

No '50s party is complete without the obligatory green bean casserole and meatballs in grape jelly. Laurie was thoughtful enough to use almond milk in the recipe knowing my "issues" with dairy, she even used fresh green beans, what a gal. 

I don’t even want to talk about the meatballs. The recipe in the cookbook didn’t look right to me, I thought the last time I made the meatballs in grape jelly sauce (a hundred or so years ago) it was made with the grape jelly and chili sauce, this recipe called for the jelly and BBQ sauce.
I didn’t do my due diligence and search for what I thought was right but followed the recipe. All you could taste was the BBQ sauce, the jelly was totally lost in there, so I added more jelly, at least it toned down the BBQ sauce a little. They were still very good, but not what they are supposed to be. I’ll post the “real” recipe not the one from the cookbook.

I'm sure they had lumpia in the Philippines in the '50s. We are a multi-cultural family ya' know. 

Served buffet style, then we dined Al fresco on the patio. 

No one could start eating until we all took pictures of the food. 
That's Tom, when his daughter saw him dancing she laughed so hard I thought she was going to wet her pants. We all did a lot of dancing, not as well as we did years ago, but fun anyway. 

Here are the recipes. 
Print No peek chicken and wild rice
Print Salisbury steak
Print Rumaki
Print Strawberry Pretzel Salad
The real Meatballs in grape jelly sauce

And that's that!

Spicy Pork Zucchini Stir-Fry

Jump To Recipe Print Spicy Pork zucchini stir fry


Dang, does this look wonderful or what. It has a really nice level of spice and the ratio of the soy sauce and sesame oil is perfect, one doesn't overtake the other. 
Don't overcook the zucchini, keep it a bit on the al-dente side because the recipe doesn't have a crunchy element.  If you want to add one I think bamboo shoots or celery would be a great crunchy addition. 

First I want to tell you about one of my kitchen staples. It resides on the top shelf of the refrigerator door, within easy reach. This one happens to be the Ginger Garlic Paste, I also have a smaller jar of just garlic paste. I prefer to use fresh garlic in most cases but the paste is my go-to for stir-frys and curries. 


 I think it's one of the best spicy sauces I've used in a long time. Of course, you can kick it up a notch or tame it down according to your spice tolerance. 
The recipe calls one tablespoon of grated ginger, I substituted an equal amount of the ginger-garlic paste. 


After you stir-fry the pork, then the zucchini separately throw them back together and douse with the sauce. 
I like more sauce than the recipes call for, so I normally double the recipe. In this case, you definitely should, even doubling it there was "just enough".

The sauce would be perfect over any Asian noodle you could think of. I'm using it to make a cold spicy noodle salad to go with dinner tonight, Mmmmm

Spicy Pork Zucchini Stir-Fry


  • For the sauce:
    3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
    1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon sambal oelek or Asian chili-garlic sauce
    2 teaspoons toasted (Asian) sesame oil

    For the stir-fry and serving:
    1 pound zucchini (about 3 medium)
    2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
    1 pound ground pork or ground meat of choice
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
    Cooked white or brown rice, for serving


  1. Make the sauce: Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

    Make the stir-fry: Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons.
    Heat a flat-bottomed wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water vaporizes immediately on contact.
    Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the pan, add the pork, and season with salt and pepper. Let cook undisturbed for 30 seconds, then break the pork into small, bite-sized pieces and continue stir-frying until it's cooked through and golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to a paper towel-lined plated and drain the pan of excess fat. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan, add the zucchini, and spread out into one even layer. Let cook undisturbed for 30 seconds. Stir-fry the zucchini until browned and just tender, about 5 minutes more.

    Return the pork to the skillet, add the sauce, and stir-fry until the sauce is well-incorporated and the zucchini begins to look glossy, about 30 seconds more. Garnish with the scallions and serve over rice.

    Make ahead: The sauce can be made 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Let the sauce sit at room temperature while preparing the stir-fry, and stir before adding to the pan.

    Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


And that's that!