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quick & easy

During my Narita layover, I stopped by a convenience store to pick up some onigiri, which is my favorite Japanese snack ever. It’s essentially a stuffed rice ball wrapped in crispy sheets of seaweed. My favorites are from the 7-11 or Family Mart and contain spicy tuna or tuna with mayo as the filling. You may also find teriyaki beef or plum or whatever, but I love the tuna ones best. In Hawaii, there is a similar rice ball called musubi and, in classic Hawaiian tradition, it’s stuffed with a

When I’m feeling fancy, I like to call this “fish sauce vinaigrette” or even “anchovy vinaigrette.” Essentially, it’s the vital finishing touch on scores of Vietnamese dishes. It can be used as a dipping sauce, a condiment, or a dressing. If you know how to make this one recipe, you’ll have the key to unlock an arsenal of Vietnamese dishes. The Vietnamese name for this sauce is nuoc mam cham—“nuoc mam” referring to the fish sauce and “cham” meaning “to dip.” I’m showing you this recipe as a prelude to

For most of my life, I didn’t care for hot pot;in my opinion, it was a dish in which too many things were going on, and yet they all soaked up the same, monotonous flavor from the boiling broth. That is, until I had Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot when it opened an outpost in Houston some years back. That was where I learned the broth is only half the game. Hot pot is also about the dipping sauce. Since then, hot pot has become a regular meal in our

I’m not a celebrant of Valentine’s Day, since I think it’s mostly an unnecessary jaunt through over-consumerism, but tomorrow is the hubs’s birthday, so I thought I’d honor him with a recipe for one of his favorite foods. The hubs loves a good burger. In Houston, our current favorite burger joint is Stanton’s City Bites, but why not make it at home yourself? I grew up eating McDonald’s, and even though fast food, especially those Golden Arches, spurs such contempt in our current health-conscious generation, I can’t deny I still

Translated from Korean as “mixed rice,” bibimbap is the dish I recall eating on my first morning in Seoul, Korea. It was at the counter of a food court stall, and although bibimbap is nothing fancy, there’s something comforting about the one-bowl meal, especially when it is served in a sizzling stone bowl. Although I didn’t eat bibimbap during my last trip to L.A., I wanted to pay tribute to Korean cuisine since I did eat a lot of that. Bibimbap is a quick and easy recipe that’s flavorful yet

We have a friend who loves to fish. I mean, he’s one serious fisherman. He drives to our neighboring state of Louisiana on the weekends to go deep-sea fishing. He went halfsies on a boat with his dad so they could take fishing trips together. He’s getting married this summer, and for his bachelor trip, he’s going to Costa Rica on—you guessed it—a fishing trip. (I’ve been told by the hubs there are other activities on the agenda, but we’ll see what really happens when you put the old man

Thanksgiving is done, but the leftovers are not. Because Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday (and with that comes the love of traditional Thanksgiving food), the hubs and I usually cook enough fowl to feed family, friends, and ourselves for days, even weeks. This year was no exception: we sous vide a turkey and fried two turkeys. We vacuum sealed most of the leftover turkey to make it last as long as possible in the fridge. (You can freeze the turkey leftovers too.)

I’ve been writing a lot recently about athleticism, getting fit, and staying in shape. Don’t worry. This week won’t be another post on what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your life. Sort of. This week’s post is a recipe for a delicious smoothie I created when I came across some strawberries in my fruit crisper, left over from when a friend made chocolate covered strawberries for my little Oscars viewing party.

I used to be one of those wistful passersby that would stroll by the Vitamix demo stations at Costco, listen to the industrial blade going to town on the fruits and veg, and say to myself, “I’ve got to get me one of those beautiful things in the not-so-distant future.” Well, that not-so-distant day has come, and I no longer need to be a coveting passerby. I’ve shifted into the circle of official Vitamix owners. So hah! Take that, Vitamix girl at Costco! Now I’m blending my own smoothies and

It’s August, and that means it’s the dead middle of the dog days of summer. So what do you do with these dog days? You eat cold fish, that’s what. And not just cold fish but raw fish. In a recent “MasterChef” episode, Felix lovingly assigned me a beautiful whole salmon. Salmon is one of those fish that I love to eat raw but can’t stand cooked. In the form of sushi or sashimi, I gobble it up. Even smoked, I’ll throw it on some bread with cheese and herbs.

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