Korean Cold Noodle Salad

This super easy recipe is great for those days when you just don’t want to cook! Fresh vegetables are a great compliment to the spicy, vinegary, and slightly sweet sauce. A little drizzle goes a long way. Enjoy!



Japanese soba noodles              1 package

Sesame Oil                                    1 TBSP

Cucumber                                      1 large

Green Onion                                  1 bunch

Bean Sprouts                                 1 bag

Cilantro                                           1 bunch

Sauce Ingredients:

Garlic                                              2 cloves

Ginger, small knob                     1

Brown Sugar                                1/2 cup

Honey                                             4 Tbsp

Rice Vinegar                                 1/4 cup

Soy Sauce                                      3/4 cup

Lemon Juice                                 juice of half a lemon


Cook noodles for 3 minutes in boiling salted water with 1 TBSP of sesame oil.  Drain and run cold water over noodles until cool.  Set aside.


Prep all vegetables:  Slice green onions on the bias.  Slice cucumber in half, seed it, and slice thinly into half moons.  Rinse bean sprouts.  Mince cilantro leaves.



Now make the sauce:  In a small mixing bowl, whisk in all sauce ingredients, grating the garlic and ginger into the sauce.  Consistency should be like syrup.

In a deep bowl, place a handful of noodles on the bottom.  Layer all the veggies on top.  Drizzle about 2-3 TBSP of sauce onto the goodies!  ENJOY!









steam buns


Who doesn’t love steamed buns?  I found a new theme for dinner parties thanks to my obsession with David Chang and Boke Bowl!  The recipe was featured in Gourmet Traveler and you can find it here!  The process was long, but so worth it!  Stuffings included roasted Chinese 5-spice pork, L’il weenies,  and my favorite at Boke Bowl….mushrooms sauteed in butter.  Enjoy!

A Little Lamb

lamb patties  This is from the “simple recipe” vault!  I started eating lamb about 4 years ago when I met the ranchers from Umpqua Valley Lamb.  It’s a co-op of Ranchers located in the Pacific Northwest.  Their lamb is pasture raised and never in a feedlot facility, are given NO antibiotics or hormones, and are grass fed.  The result is a healthier animal, which makes for part of a healthy diet!  Their lamb has a clean flavor, not strong or gamey at all.  Growing up, my mom loved lamb and she would have it every now and then when we went out to eat a fancy dinner.  I remember having a distaste for it because of how strong the flavor was.  It was turn off for me and that flavor stuck with me until I had UVL! Their lamb is only exclusive through certain markets in Oregon and Washington only!  If you are from out of town and you LOVE lamb, find any of these retailers and get yourself some fresh lamb.  This recipe is simple with minimal ingredients because you don’t need a lot to enjoy the flavor of this lamb.  Get some!



Fresh ground lamb                           2 lbs

Garlic, minced                                      1 tsp.

Fresh mint, minced                           1.5 TBSP.

Fresh dill, minced                             1 TBSP.

Fresh lemon zest                                1 TBSP.

Salt                                                                1 tsp.



  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Let sit for a few hours to let the flavors out!
  2. Make yogurt sauce!  (recipe below)
  3. Shape into balls (little bigger than a golf ball)
  4. Flatten.  This recipe will yield about 12 patties.
  5. In a lightly greased frying pan on medium high heat (make sure your pan is hot), pan fry patties until lightly brown or until internal temp is at 145.  Don’t overcook patties or they will become dried out.

lemon cucumber mix!


Greek Yogurt, plain                          2 cups.

Cucumber, peeled, seeded and shredded on medium grate      1 cup.

Fresh lemon zest, minced                 1 tsp.

Fresh dill                                                       1 TBSP.

Roasted garlic, minced                    1.5 TBSP.

Salt                                                                  1 tsp.


  1. Add all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for a couple hours so the flavors can blend!
  2. Serve on lamb patties with warm flat bread.


I like to use any type of fresh salsa as a topping as well!  In this photo, we used fresh mango salsa!  I have a whole cupboard full of mint jellies and chutneys (thanks to my mom’s care packages!).  Those go well with this recipe too!




Chicken Katsu

Not your ordinary KFC

My son returned from Japan this morning!  Upon leaving the airport, I asked him what he wanted for dinner tonight.  I knew the answer already, but I always ask anyway because he just might suggest something different.  Who am I kidding?  “You should know!  Chicken katsu!”  It’s his favorite dish and I usually make musubi and namasu to go along with it.  I should have planned for jet lag because not even 2 hours after he got home, he passed out on the couch!  So it sits….


This also packs well as a picnic!  I took it on many kayak trips in the summer and nothing tastes better than chicken katsu and musubi after 4 hours on the water!


Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)               2 LBS.

Eggs, beaten                                                                3 EA.

Flour                                                                                2 C

Panko                                                                              2 C

Salt and pepper                                                         TT

Peanut oil                                                                  For frying


*this recipe uses a standard breading procedure*

  1. Slice chicken breasts into thin strips.
  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add chicken.
  3. Coat the chicken with the beaten eggs.
  4. On a large plate or deep pan, mix flour, salt and pepper.
  5. On another large plate or deep pan, add panko.
  6. Take the egg coated chicken and cover in flour mixture.
  7. Dip back in the egg mixture to coat again.
  8. Coat in Panko.
  9. Fry in peanut oil on medium-high heat until golden brown.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce!  My son’s favorite sauce is peanut sauce and my boyfriend’s favorite is sweet chili sauce.

Side Notes!

While we are talking about Musubi, it is everyone’s favorite comfort food in Hawaii.  If you have not had one, YOU MUST HAVE ONE.  In fact, I’m now tempted to plan a musubi party in the near future because I’m obsessing over them right now.  It’s a fun and easy meal and like sushi, you can stuff it with anything you want!  I recently discovered a place called Mana Bu, in my hometown of Honululu, Hawaii.  When I got there, I couldn’t believe that I was standing in a room with so much musubi.  HUNDREDS of them!  It was heaven!!  The staff was straight out of a Manga cartoon too…it was very surreal.  If you are ever visiting Hawaii, GO THERE.

Namasu is another comfort food for me.  Usually you can find some in my refrigerator.  My son and my other half loves it!  I do the easy version:  sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, seasoned rice vinegar, dried shrimps and a sprinkling of salt.  Marinate over night and you’ve got the easiest, tastiest pickles ever.  Here is my favorite picture of my mom making it for my family…


HPIM2574                                                                             bucket full of namasu!


Oregon Bay Shrimp Cakes


I’m lucky.

Not only do I get a discount at the best grocery store in the Pacific Northwest, I get to spend my dollars on locally sourced and delicious food!  This recipe features local Oregon Bay Shrimp.  I tasted the shrimps by themselves before I made the cakes and they were the perfect blend of salty and sweet.  It’s one of my boyfriend’s favorite dishes and I’m pretty sure he would be content if I made them 3 times a week!

Oregon Bay Shrimp Cakes   (yield:  approximately 8-10 cakes)

Oregon Bay Shrimp(cooked)           1 pint (or 1 LB)

Garlic                                                   1 clove, minced

Butter                                                   1/2 TBSP

Green onion                                        1 stalk, sliced thin

Fresh Dill                                             2 TBSP, minced

Japanese Panko                                  1 and 1/2 cup

Egg, large                                            1, beaten

Zest of lemon, minced                      As much as you want (I love zest, so I tend to over do it)

Mayo                                                   1 TBSP

Sriracha                                               1 tsp

Salt and pepper                                 TT  (to taste)

Peanut oil, for cooking                   4 TBSP to start, adding more as needed


  1. Saute shrimps quickly in butter and garlic.  Set aside to cool.  When the shrimps are cooled, mince.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Form the mixture into a ball and flatten (I usually portion them into golf ball sized measurements)
  4. In a skillet, heat up peanut oil on medium high heat.
  5. Fry cakes until golden brown on each side, about 5-6 minutes, adding more oil if needed.  (I continually check for perfect golden brown color!)

Serve immediately!

Prep time is 20 minutes, depending on your skill level of course.

A nice Sauvignon Blanc or even a local hard cider (if you live in the NW) would go well with these suckers!  Enjoy!