Baked eggplant parmesan

Mr. D and I recently went to HK and Japan for 2 weeks. After drinking our favorite beers, sake and whiskeys in Japan, eating tasty izakaya and ramen, we try to eat a little cleaner. You know, your post traveling syndrome, over-drink, over-eat, time to clean your system for a bit.

Since we came home, I tried to cook more vegetarian food. E.g eggplant and oyster mushroom curry, soba with egg and button mushroom, mapo eggplant and tofu, warm salad with garbanzo baked broccoli, tomato and tofu croutons….

Tonight’s dinner can very much be vegetarian, but Mr.D likes his meat protein, so I added some salami in there, you can omit it, and it still taste great.

1 mid size eggplant
1 small firm roma tomato (sliced, about 1/4 inch thick)
2 sticks of string cheese (halved, lengthwise)
12 thin slices of salami (optional)
1 cup of grated parmesan
1/3 cup of panko

1/2 lb of green beans
1 jalapeno (finely chopped)
1 tbsp of olive oil
Pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder

Preheat the oven at 400F.
Keep the top of the eggplant. Make 3 to 4 cuts (lengthwise) and fan out the eggplant without cut the top.
Insert the tomato slices, salami and string cheese in between the layers of eggplant.
Season with salt, pepper and basil.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 mins. After that, remove the foil, top it with 1/2 cup of parmesan and all panko. Broil for another 15 mins or until golden brown. Top it with the rest of the parmesan.

I baked mine on top of a bed of green beans (toss the green beans, jalapeno, oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder), the cheese from the eggplant parmesan mix with the green beans… Awwwwww…..


Spicy eggplant with minced mushrooms

I have been trying to eat healthier, well, a little bit, a little less meat, a lot more veggie. I bought some meaty Thai eggplant this weekend, meat substitute:) So here you go, spicy eggplant with minced mushrooms. It was soo good, I had a split second of not missing meat. Hehehe. 

8 Thai eggplants (quartered)
8 oz of white button mushrooms (finely chopped)
3 serrano peppers (finely chopped)
3 green onions (thinly sliced, separate the white and green parts)
2 tbsps of sriracha
4 cloves of pickled garlic (minced)
1 tbsp each of mirin and pickled juice from pickled garlic
1 tsp of white pepper
3 tbsps of water

In a pan over medium heat, add a tbsp of bacon fat. Add eggplants, a tbsp of water, and cook for 7 to 10 mins, or until the eggplants are slightly softened. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp of bacon fat, pickled garlic, green onion (white part), serrano peppers and mushrooms. Cook for 10 mins, stir occasionally. When the mushrooms are browned. Add 1 tbsp of sriracha, mirin and cook for another 2 mins or until most of the liquid is evaporated.
Now add the eggplants back in the pan, stir in another tbsp of sriracha, white pepper and 2 tbsps of water. Cover the lid and let it cook for another 10 mins.
Uncover and stir. Cook for another 2 mins. Top it with the green onion (green part). And it’s ready to serve 🙂 I had mine with some fried rice

Zoodles with tomato sauce and onion

Yeah! It’s hump day!!! 2 more days and there is the long weekend. Woohoo!!! 

I wanna celebrate it by food, eat, eat, eat!!! But I don’t wanna feel bad about it afterwards, so I made zoodles! Well, also I got my new toy (spiralizer) from Amazon. I have to put it for good use. Lemme tell ya, I am LOVING IT!!! The old one I had is the hand held one, I cut my finger so deep and I threw it away and dare not to use a spiralizer again. Until now…

1 big zucchini (use spiralizer to cut into noodles)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 small onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup of choya plum wine
1 tsp each of oregano, basil, mustard powder and chili pepper
2 tbsps of bacon fat

In a big skillet, over medium heat, add bacon fat and tomatoes, cook for 7 mins, until they are soften. Add onion and all the spice, cook for another 5 mins. Season with salt.

Add the plum wine, lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 mins.
Stir in zucchini noodles in the mixture, cook for 2 mins. And your pasta is ready to serve!
I served mine with yellow pepper and baked chicken.

Spare ribs and mushrooms

It’s hard to write everyday. I am better in cooking than writing (obviously you already know that). And today, I don’t think I have the writing bug in me, just wanna show you my easy dinner. Maybe tomorrow? 

Anyhow, this is my humble and simple dinner

1/2 lb of spare ribs (bite size)
1 tbsp each of preserved plum jam, koji and mirin
1 bag of mushroom (bite size)

Mix spare ribs, preserved jam, koji and mirin. Marinade for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven at 375F. Add ribs on a baking sheet, top with mushrooms. Bake them for 30 mins.
Serve the ribs with broccolini and grilled rice balls.

Baked blackened tilapia with tomato and cucumber salad

Ahhhh… It’s Monday, Monday is rough… sigh… I need something that has a kick. Kick me right in the head, and kick me out of the blue… 

And yes, I don’t want to stand around the kitchen and slave myself. Man, that’s how much I don’t like Monday….

So this dinner, it’s done in 20 mins, and you can eat it in 5 mins. Pour myself a drink, ahhhh… life ain’t bad after all


2 tilapia fillet 
1/2 tsp each of paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, ginger powder and salt
15 super ripe cherry tomatoes
1/2 cucumber (quartered and sliced into chunks)
1/2 small red onion (thinly sliced)
1 tbsp each of rice wine vinegar, mirin and koji 
2 tbsps of olive oil


Preheat the oven at 425F.
Mix all the dry ingredients: paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, ginger powder and salt. Pat it on both side of the fillets.
Coat the baking sheet with some oil and bake the fish for 15 mins.
In the meantime, make the salad. Squeeze the juice out from cherry tomatoes and mix it with rice wine vinegar, mirin, koji and olive oil. Season with pepper. Toss with tomatoes, onion and cucumber. Let it chill in the fridge while the fish is cooking.

Serve the salad around the lovely fish.

Spicy veal liver pasta with mushrooms and spinach

After meatless Monday, I want meat. Meat, Meat, meatttttt!!!! But, I got no meat in the fridge, I found liver in my freezer. HA! Close enough, defrost it in the fridge since last night, so I was able to cook it after the day trip in Sacramento. (Yup, I am SLEEPYYYY…)

The good thing about this dish only took 20 mins to make. I can enjoy a good gin and soda with my bowl of lovely pasta. Yum!

A small piece of veal liver, about 400g, cut into bite size
1/2 lb of white button mushrooms, cut into bite size
4 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
1 bag of baby spinach (500g)
1/3 bag of spaghetti

In a big pot, cook the pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water, according to the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, make the spicy liver mixture with mushrooms and spinach. Heat 2 tbsps of bacon fat in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and pepper, cook for about 5–7 mins, until it starts to turn brown. Season with salt and pepper and dried parsley.
Add the veal livers, stir them around in the mixture and cook for 3 mins. Add pasta, pasta water and spinach, cook for another 2 mins. Season to taste.

Optional: Top with Italian pickled vegetables (Giardiniera). And wash it down with gin and soda.

Stuffed butternut squash with veggies and leftover rice

Ha! I am back! I have been eating, drinking, cooking but not posting. And my lazy add wanna start again tonight! While I need to wake up at 430am to catch a flight, but I am still typing at 1137pm. Wtf?!?! (Side note, I fell asleep and writing it again while waiting for my flight)

Anyhow, I made a lovely vegetarian dinner tonight and thinking that I have to share with everyone. #meatlessmonday. I adopted this recipe from pinterest but used whatever I have in the fridge. Super tasty!!

Original recipe:

My version:

1 small butternut squash, halved
1/2 cup of cooked rice (or whatever kind of grain you have)
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
2 medium beets, cut into small cubes
1 medium zucchini, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup of cooked edamame, shells removed
1 red pepper, cut into small cubes
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp each of tumeric, chili powder and mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc)
2 tbsps of water
Spicy cheedar cheese, small chunks 

Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven at 425F. Halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, then arrange the halves on a baking tray, cut sides up. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake 50 minutes, just until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

While the squash is baking, cook all the stuffings in a large skillet, over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add olive oil, minced garlic and zucchini, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6 mins until golden. Stir occasionally.

Add kale and cook until wilted, about 4 mins. Stir in beets, water, mixed herbs, chili powder and tumeric then reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for another 10 mins. 

Add rice and stir until it’s all mixed in with the veggie mixture, cook for another 2 mins. Turn off the heat and add edamame and red pepper.

Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick border around the sides and a 3/4-inch border along the bottom. Stuff the filling into the squash halves, top with cheddar cheese and then return the squash to the oven. Bake at 375F until hot, about 10 mins.