Posts tagged recipe

Photo URL is broken

I'll wake you up with some breakfast in bed
I'll bring you coffee
With a kiss on your head
- Excerpt from "Say You Won't Let Go" orginally by James Arthur

After a few attempts, I created a Croque Madame that I'm quite happy with. I improved on Croque-Madame by replacing the ham with slices of thinly cut pork belly that I cooked on a skillet. I, then, used all that pork fat to cook my eggs. For those that prefer exact recipies, I also used sourdough bread, 3/8 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg.

Also, I think the blog might give people the false idea that I'm pretty much good at everything. It's time to pull back the facade of perfection that social media projects. After many hours of practice on the guitar, I mustered this effort of singing "Say You Won't Let Go". Here's an excerpt. I hope you enjoy my embarassing myself.

One of the coolest benefits of working for Google is we have guitars lying around the office for impromptu jam sessions. This was filmed in the Seattle office, with a Google guitar, and a Google laptop. Now, I'm done being a shill for Google.

Photo URL is broken

A couple of weeks ago, Michael Vo needed to cook for a Renewal College Fellowship (RCF) potluck, and I decided to help out a bit. Mike is mostly known for his famous chicken alfredo, so it was no surprise at all when his spaghetti and meatballs turned out to be the best spaghetti and meatballs ever according to my brother.

We based it off of the recipe Spaghetti and Drop Meatballs With Tomato Sauce. Now, there are a couple of modifications needed for this recipe. First to serve 4, you'll need at least 24 ounces of meat, not 12, and therefore, an extra egg. We also thought that it would be a good idea to use the scrapings from the bottom of the skillet and the oil from searing the meatballs and mix it into the sauce. Mike always goes big, and we ended up quadrupling the recipe and using 7 pounds of ground beef. Now, this massive quantity required special techniques to preserve the oil and scrapings at the bottom of the skillet. After every batch of meatballs, we needed to scrape the skillets and run the oil through a sieve.

Here is a picture of the second part, where we cooked the meatballs in the sauce.

The only complaint that some people had about the recipe was the mixing in of the cheese into the meatballs. It was a matter of opinion whether this tasted good or bad. I personally like it.

Anyway, if you ever find yourself in the deserts of West Philly, you should do yourself a favor a stop by the BAD house to get some of Michael Vo's Spaghetti and Meatballs for nourishment.

Photo URL is broken

After my good friend Han Zhang introduced me Lion's Head meatballs at Yaso Tangbao in Downtown Brooklyn, I decided that I had to figure out how to cook these. It took me nearly a year before I got around to doing so, but I finally got the chance to make them with Liz Liang when visiting the Washington, D.C. area.

We used the recipe How to Make Shanghai Lion's Head Meatballs from Serious Eats. Fortunately, it doesn't take that long, so we didn't miss out on too many Pokémon.

Sizzling Lion's Head meatballs

Sizzling Lion's head meatballs

Overall, I found it to be a very good recipe, but the proportion of meat and noodles could be adjusted. The woman that made it lives in some strange world where 12 ounces of ground pork feeds 4. We ended up using a little over 2 pounds of ground pork, which resulted in 10 huge meatballs, each about 2.5 inches in diameter. You could double the vermicelli, too, but I like a high meat-to-noodle ratio. The water chestnuts were an interesting twist that might not be for everyone, but they add a nice crunchy texture to the meatballs.

For dessert, Liz was kind enough to make us some blueberry bread pudding, too!

I only helped make the custard. The recipe is blueberry bread and butter pudding. I thought it turned out great, and I like how it wasn't it all that sweet.

Anyway, there's only a week left until I move to Seattle. I'll be saying my goodbyes to Philly soon.

Photo URL is broken

Long time no post.

I am sharing the recipe I should not be sharing... the ramen recipe. Many Japanese chefs keep their own ramen recipe a secret from society. They guard it well, only sharing it to the inheritance of their resturant. Therefore, it is hard to find a legitimate one floating around the vast world of internet.Try looking ramen recipes up, you will only find about 5 types, which they differ very slightly.

Being in America, decent ramen was so hard to come by. I still remember the flavor, the texture, and the aroma of the ramen I had in Japan. It was around 2006 summer when my mom, sister, and I were walking back from visiting family graves. We were starving. We stumble across a small ramen shop underneath the bridge with about 5 seats. And that is still easliy the best ramen I ever had.

And yes, since then, I am picky with my ramen. Other ramen shops in Philly does not satisfy at all.

My journey began in January 2015, I made my ramen with the help of Phil. With countless trials and mistakes, I am 90% close to the ramen I dreamt of: the real shoyu ramen (soysauce ramen).

In Japan, most ramen shop only specialize in one of the four flavors; shoyu, tonkotsu, miso, and shio (salt). I use shoyu ramen as a basis of how good a ramen shop is. If a shop cannot make shoyu ramen, then they cannot make ramen. Period.

To make ramen, it consists of two types of broth. Dashi and Tare. Dashi is the stock broth you make without any salt content. Tare is the sauce that determines the flavor of the soup.

Let's get to it.


  • 5 old hens
  • 300 g Leek (white part)
  • 1 bunch of scallion (white part)
  • 15 g Katsuobushi*
  • 120 g Ginger with skin
  • 57 g Dried shiitake mushroom
  • 57 g Dried kelp (japanese grade)


  • 1 old hen
  • 2 cups Light soy sauce (NOT LOW SODIUM)
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/2 mirin
  • 1 pack of bacon
  • 15 g Katsuobushi


  • 2 lbs of pork belly
  • 1 stalk of ginger
  • 1 leek and the green part that you cut off for the Dashi
  • 1 tbs of hondashi**
  • 1/2 of soy sauce dark**
  • Water


  • 1 cup of the chashu broth
  • Eggs


  • 300 g Bread flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon of Kansui (potassium carbonate and sodium bi carbonate solution)

*Katsuobushi is dried shaved mackerel. I use the dark shaved one which is only found in Japan as of now...

** This measurement is not finalized. I eye them out


  1. Fill about 80% of the 16 quart pot with water and heat it to 170 degrees
  2. Add the dried kelp and shiitake mushroom then turn off heat. Cover the pot
  3. Leave them in for 2 hours
  4. Discard the kelp, then add ginger, hens, leeks, scallions, katsuobushi. Cover the pot
  5. Simmer at the lowest heat your stove has for about 12 to 15 hours


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Roast the old hen in an oven safe sauce pan until it is brown and crisp
  3. Add the soy sauce, bacon, sake, mirin, and katsuobushi and simmer at the lowest heat setting on top of the stove. We are infusing the flavor, not cooking it
  4. Simmer for about 30 minutes then leave the ingredients for about 2 hours


  1. Tie the pork belly into a circle
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Sear the pork belly in a dutch oven until all sides are brown
  4. Add the leak and ginger, cook it for a bit, then add water until it covers the meat
  5. Add soy sauce and hondashi. Cover the pot and cook it in oven for 2 hours minimum, 5 hours max. We are infusing the flavor into the meat. Do not cook this too long or else the pork belly will not maintain it's shape


  1. Boil water until it is hard boiling
  2. Poke a hole on the bottom fat side of the egg. This will let the air out while cooking
  3. Add the egg all at once into the water and cook it for 6 minutes and 15 seconds FLAT
  4. Peal eggs in cold water immediately
  5. Use the broth you made from the chashu. Marinate the eggs, in a seperate bowl, covering the top with a paper towel, in fridge overnight


  1. Mix the kansui and water
  2. Add to flour and knead
  3. Use pasta maker

To combine: I use about 3:1 ratio of Dashi to Tare. I think I pour less Tare to reduce the sodium but that should be about right. I add the Tare first then dilute it with Dashi

Garnish: I use Japanese pickled bamboo, sweet corn, sauteed onions, scallion, and nori (dried seaweed)

Picture below is my Version 3.0. The picture on the top is my version 5.0.


Photo URL is broken

One of the things that I've always wanted to make is apple pie. My brother and I both love it, and it's about as American as it gets. Unfortunately, making your own crust and peeling all those apples is both difficult and laborious, so I never got around to it. However, in this bout of unemployment, I finally found some time to bake this Double Apple Pie.

I thought the recipe was pretty good, and I appreciated the video on making a pie crust. For some reason, our food processor didn't mix too well, so Michael Vo ended up just mixing with his hands. Also, I felt that I had too many apples and not enough dough. Next time, I'd probably multiply the dough by 4/3, that is, 400 grams of flour and scaling everything else appropriately. The apples shrink quite a bit in cooking so I probably could have stuffed the pie more aggressively. I used Gala apples, and that worked well. Other differences are that I ended up using 50 grams of lard instead of pure butter, and since I lacked apple butter, I just used normal butter.

All in all, I'd consider this first-time apple pie a success. Perhaps, I can focus on making it prettier next time with the crumpled crust. You can definitely tell that this pie is homemade. Here are some more pictures.


I've since made my apple pie again here in Welcoming 2017. It came out much better, but the crust wasn't as flakly as I would like. It seems that the vodka in the crust is a critical component.

Photo URL is broken

Since I've lost my financial independence, I only cook something nice when my brother decides that he wants it. This week, he wanted shrimp. It's been years since I've last cooked shrimp. Luckily, it came out so well that I decided to write the recipe down. I thought the tangy sauce went well with the buttery garlic shrimp.


  • 1.5 lb shrimp, peeled, and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, I usually make my own but store-bought stock is fine
  • Parsley, preferably fresh
  • 1 lb linguine, cook according the directions on the package, add 4 tablespoons of butter


  1. First, pat the shrimp dry and season with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Zest the lemon, and set aside. Squeeze the lemon juice into the chicken stock. Set aside chicken stock and lemon juice mixture.
  3. Mince garlic, and set aside.
  4. Chop parsley (about a handful), and set aside with the lemon zest.
  5. Heat skillet to medium, add 4 tablespoons of butter, and spread shrimp in one layer on the skillet. Let sit for 1.5 minutes.
  6. Add the minced garlic into the skillet, and wait another 1.5 minutes.
  7. Flip the shrimp, and wait another 3 minutes. If the shrimp is done, set aside. Otherwise, just stir until the shrimp is fully cooked.
  8. Now, remove the shrimp from skillet and store in a bowl. Pour the chicken stock and lemon juice mixture, add 4 tablespoons of butter, and stir vigorously, scraping the bottom with a spoon, until the butter melts.
  9. To finish the sauce, remove it from skillet, and mix in the lemon zest and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve over the linguine. You should have 3-4 servings.

Here's my brother's extra butter version: