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Asian Inspired Snack Mix (sweet)

This Asian Inspired Snack Mix is incredibly easy and out of this world amazing! Dangerously addictive…it is best shared with friends! Trust me, they will love you for it! Enjoy!

List of Ingredients

  • 1 Box Crispix (12 ounces)
  • 3 Tbsp Salted butter
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Light corn syrup (I use brown rice syrup.)
  • 2 Tbsp Neutral flavored oil (I use refined expeller pressed coconut oil which has no flavor unlike virgin coconut oil.)
  • 1 ½ Tsp (or ½ Tbsp) Soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • ~2 Tbsp Toasted sesame seed (Can be purchased toasted/roasted)
  • ~⅓ Cup *Ajitsuke nori strips (or to taste)
  • ~½ Cup Spanish peanuts (optional)

*Japanese seasoned roasted seaweed is sometimes labeled as teriyaki seaweed. You can also use “plain/unseasoned” roasted seaweed but seasoned lends itself to a better tasting snack mix.

Ajitsuke Nori
Ajitsuke Nori- A Japanese seasoned roasted seaweed sometimes labeled as teriyaki seaweed. Sometimes sold in individual packets or in plastic tubs.

 

Ajitsuke Nori Label
The above package had no English translation so if necessary read the label. Look for seaweed that is seasoned with soy sauce and a sweetener.

 

Unseasoned Precut Seaweed
Plain/unseasoned seaweed pre-cut into strips.

 

List of Tools  

  • Small pot
  • Heat resistant spatula or spoon
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Scissors to cut the ajitsuke nori into strips (Please be sure these are clean.)
  • Measuring spoons and measuring glass is helpful
  • Measuring cups
  • Spoon and spatula
  • Two spatulas and resting plate to toss the cereal with the glaze
  • Extra large mixing bowl (I use a salad bowl.)
  • Parchment paper to line the baking sheet
  • Oven mitts
  • Large baking sheet (I use a 13” x 17” jelly roll pan.)
  • Airtight container or ziploc bag for storing the snack mix
  • Serving bowls

Directions

Prepare the ajitsuke nori and Crispix

The plain/unseasoned roasted seaweed can usually be found pre-cut in the stores. Ajitsuke nori is typically sold in individual packets or in a screw top container in small sheets. Use clean scissors to cut the ajitsuke nori into strips. Aim for strips ⅛” wide by ½”-1” long. Cut enough to loosely fill a ⅓ cup measuring cup. (More or less can be used according to taste.) Sprinkle the strips of nori into the bottom of an extra large mixing bowl and then add the bag of Crispix on top.

Add ingredients to a small pot

Add the butter, sugar, light corn syrup, neutral oil and soy/tamari sauce in a small pot and melt on low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Turn the heat down if it begins to bubble. Continue to stir until everything is blended together nicely. Remove from the heat and add in 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds and stir until fully incorporated.

Toss the glaze mixture with Crispix

Drizzle the ingredients from the pot over the cereal/nori. Use a spatula to remove all the glaze mixture from the pot. Now toss the ingredients to coat evenly. Add more ajitsuke nori at this point if desired or the ~½ cup of Spanish peanuts. And toss again.

Spread on a baking sheet

Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. (I use a 13” x 17” jelly roll pan.) Spread out the mixture evenly and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour on the middle rack. Every 15 minutes turn over/stir the mixture to evenly bake.

Let cool completely

When finished baking, let the snack mix cool completely on the baking sheet to maximize crispiness.

Storage

Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Keeps well for a few days!

Enjoy!
  


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Simple Sesame Seed Green Beans

This 5 ingredient dish (4 ingredients if you want to make it vegan!) is a good one to have in the repertoire. Fast, tasty and flexible as both fresh and frozen green beans work well! It’s great to keep a bag of green beans in the freezer for those vegetable emergencies!

Ingredients

  • ½ lbs Green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • ~2 Tbs Soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • ¼ Tsp Katsuo dashi or bonito (fish) soup stock in powder form (optional)
  • ~1 Tbs Toasted sesame seed, freshly ground (Sesame seeds can be purchased toasted/roasted.)

Tools

  • 3 quart pot
  • Bowl and Colander to rinse the green beans
  • Mixing bowl 
  • Measuring spoons and measuring glass is helpful
  • Cooking chopsticks
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cup
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Sesame seed grinder 
  • Or a Ziploc bag and rolling pin can be used in place of a grinder
  • Serving dish

Directions

Prepare the Green Beans

Rinse and trim the ends of the green beans (if using fresh) either by hand or by knife. Shorten the beans into approximately 2 inch pieces by breaking or cutting in half. Prepare a 3 quart pot of salted water and bring to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, add the green beans and cook until desired doneness. (About 2-5 minutes) Monitor the beans by trying one, making sure to run it under cold water before eating! Aim for a bit al dente without being tough or chewy. (Frozen will always have a softer texture.) When you are happy with the doneness, drain the beans in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Let the beans continue to drain while making the dressing.

Prepare the dressing

Mix the soy or tamari sauce together with the sugar and katsuo or bonito dashi (if using). The dashi does add depth to the flavor but can be left off to make the dish vegan. It will still be very tasty! Continue to stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Combine the ingredients

In a small bowl, mix the drained green beans with the dressing. Now add the toasted sesame seeds that are freshly ground and mix again.

***Grinding sesame seeds can be done in a number of ways. There are handheld sesame seed grinders, a suribachi (Japanese grinding bowl) and surikogi (Japanese wood pestle) or placing the sesame seeds in a Ziploc bag and rolling over with a rolling pin will work too! (Be sure to press out all the air from the Ziploc and seal securely before rolling!)

Taste and make any adjustments

Be sure to taste and make any final adjustments. Sometimes just a dash of salt is a good place to start before adding any of the other ingredients.

And if not eating immediately…

Store the green beans and dressing separately in the refrigerator if not eating immediately. When ready to serve, mix the green beans and the dressing with the ground sesame seeds!

Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


Don’t forget to submit a photo of your creations!  You can upload your photos using my Contact form!

Creamy Japanese Carrot Dressing

This is one of my favorite recipes! It really showcases what home cooking can achieve in salad dressings over a bottled one from the store. You are in for a treat! And keep in mind, this is coming from someone that normally doesn’t like salad! 😉 Enjoy!

List of Ingredients

  • 1-2 Cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ~2 Tsp Ginger, peeled and loosely chopped
  • 2-3 Tsp Sweet onion, peeled and loosely chopped (or yellow or white or red)
  • 1 Carrot (medium), peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ Tsp Dry mustard (Colman’s is good.)
  • 1-2 Tsp Soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • 1 Tsp Sesame oil (Kadoya recommended)
  • ½ Cup Rice vinegar (Mizkan recommended)
  • ~¼ Cup Sugar (additional may be needed)
  • ¼ Cup Neutral oil, avocado oil or walnut oil work well
  • ~1/3 Cup Mayonnaise or use Vegenaise to keep the dressing vegan!
  • Salt, sprinkle to taste (Kosher salt is preferred and if you can use Diamond Crystal even better!)
  • Ground black pepper, sprinkle to taste

List of Tools

  • Blender (A personal blender will work for this recipe too!)
  • SpatulasCutting board and knife
  • Paring knife or spoon for peeling the ginger
  • Vegetable peeler for the carrot
  • Measuring cups (⅓ Cup for the mayonnaise)
  • Measuring spoons and a measuring glass is helpful
  • Spoons for tasting along the way!
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cup for the vinegar and oil
  • Storage container
  • Foil (optional)
  • Serving plates

Directions

Prepare items for the blender

*This dressing is extremely tasty but the raw onion can overpower very quickly. Please be conservative with this ingredient and add more if necessary.
All the items will be placed in the blender container except the mayonnaise. (Hand mix in the mayonnaise at the end.) A little chopping upfront even when blending results in a better dressing consistency.

Peel and slice 1-2 cloves of garlic and add to the blender container. Using fresh ginger, peel the skin off using a paring knife or an edge of a spoon. Loosely chop before adding. Peel and loosely chop the onion and add to the blender container along with the peeled and thinly sliced carrot. Be sure to peel the carrot for the best flavor!

Add remaining ingredients to the container

Now add the dry mustard, soy or tamari sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar and oil. Sprinkle in salt and pepper. Cover and blend until thoroughly mixed and items are nicely pureed.

Taste and Adjust

Taste and make any adjustments especially with items needing to be pureed. When happy with the balance of flavors, pour the contents into a small mixing bowl with ⅓ C mayonnaise and whisk together carefully. Taste again and make any final adjustments.

Storing

Store in a glass container to avoid the onion and garlic smell from ruining any plastic surfaces. A piece of foil over the top of the container protects the lid and makes a tighter seal. Place the dressing in the refrigerator for later use. Be sure to stir prior to serving as some separation may have occurred!

Enjoy!


Don’t forget to submit a photo of your creations!  You can upload your photos using my Contact form!

Light and Crispy Wonton Chips

Wonton chips are tasty, quick and easy! Great with edamame hummus!  Or eat them alone! They are just that good!

List of Ingredients

  • 1 Package Wonton wrappers, any brand (Great way to use partial packages!)
  • Oil, neutral in flavor enough to be ½ inch deep inside the pot (My favorite is refined coconut oil which has no flavor. Virgin coconut oil is different and will flavor your food if used for cooking.)

*** Please note: The wrappers become dry and brittle when exposed to air for an extended amount of time. Limit exposure to the air by cutting only one end of the package. Also, save any unused wrappers in the original packaging by tightly covering with plastic wrap. Now, place inside a Ziploc bag and press out any air. Store the bag in the refrigerator or for longer storage in the freezer. Over time the wrappers will still begin to dry and become brittle so use as quickly as possible.

List of Tools

  • Cutting board and knife
  • Skimmer and resting plate
  • 3 quart heavy gauge pot or larger
  • Cooking chopsticks or tongs
  • Baking sheet, paper towels to line the baking sheet and a cooling rack on top
  • Airtight container or ziploc for any storing chips
  • Serving plate

Directions

Separate and cut the wonton wrappers

First, separate the wrappers by peeling the sheets apart. The wrappers cook quickly in the oil so separating the wrappers makes the frying easier and faster.

The wrappers can be cut to any desired size and shape. Cut the wrappers in half vertically to create rectangles. Or cut on the diagonal from one corner to the opposite corner for triangles. Cut a few wrappers at a time.

Make wonton chip garnish by cutting the rectangular pieces into ⅛ inch strips on the shorter side. This makes a great decorative topping on salads or on hummus etc.

Prepare the oil

Place oil in a heavy gauge pot, enough to be about ½ inch deep. The wrappers do not need a large amount of oil to fry. Use a 3 quart pot or larger but keep in mind the wrappers fry quickly so larger means working very quickly.

Turn the stove to medium. The oil is ready when a small strip of wrapper rises immediately to the top and the oil bubbles quickly.

When the oil is ready, place wrappers in the pot without overcrowding. Work quickly and flip the wrappers once the edges begin to brown. Continue to flip until golden in color and then remove from the oil to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and a cooling rack.

If making garnish, have a skimmer and resting plate ready to quickly remove the fried wonton strips from the oil. These cook quickly!

Monitor the heat of the oil and turn down the stove if the wrappers begin to brown too quickly.

Tip: This oil will be quite “clean” and can be reused again. Store in a container with a tight fitting lid. Avoid saving any of the stray flour or wonton pieces that settle at the bottom of the pot.

Storing wonton chips

Chips can be stored in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for a few days.

Serving

Try Mae Ploy as a dipping sauce!

Enjoy!


Don’t forget to submit a photo of your creations!  You can upload your photos using my Contact form!

Edamame Hummus – A nice change!

Move over chickpeas! Edamame makes a great hummus too! Subtle in flavor, but still packs a punch! Great with pita chips or make your own with wonton wrappers! We’ll cover that in another video! 😉 

Ingredients

  • 1 Package, 14 ounce shelled edamame (frozen)
  • ~1-2 Cloves of garlic (or more depending on size), thinly slice
  • ~¾ Cup Water or more, filtered if possible for best flavor
  • 1 Tbs Tahini
  • 2 Tbs Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ Tsp Ground cumin
  • ¾ Tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt (if using Morton’s use less)
  • ¼ Tsp Ground black pepper

Tools

  • Cutting board and knife
  • Measuring cup for the water
  • Mixing bowl and colander
  • Juicer
  • Measuring spoons and a measuring glass is helpful
  • Spatulas
  • Various spoons for mixing and tasting
  • Blender or food processor (A personal blender works well!)
  • 3 quart pot 
  • Glass storage container with lid
  • Foil (optional but useful to protect plastic storage lids)
  • Serving plates

Prepare the garlic and lemon juice

Peel the garlic and thinly slice and set aside. Rinse and slice the lemon in half and juice. Juicing half of the lemon should be enough but set aside the other half just in case.

Prepare the edamame

Bring a 3 quart pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the frozen bag of edamame and bring back to a boil. Continue cooking until the edamame is soft in texture. Check for doneness after 3-5 minutes. When finished cooking, drain the edamame using a colander. Rinse with cold water to cool the edamame and drain. Now add this to the blender container.

Add the remaining ingredients

Add the water, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, kosher salt, and black pepper. Blend until the garlic is fully incorporated and the desired texture is reached. (Add more water if the ingredients are not mixing.) Stop and taste at this point.

If happy with the texture and flavor, remove to a serving bowl or storage container.

If more garlic is needed and your texture is good, remove half of the edamame hummus from the blender container to a mixing bowl. This prevents over-blending the hummus. Now add the desired amount of garlic to the blender container and blend again. Check for garlic level and if happy, combine this with the hummus set aside in the mixing bowl. Finish making any final adjustments!

To adjust only the seasonings (not the garlic), it is always best to hand stir in the remaining seasoning/spices in a bowl to preserve the texture.

Tip: If the flavor is extremely close, always add a sprinkle of salt first. This is always the best place to start before really committing to other seasoning/spices! 🙂

Storing

This edamame hummus can be made ahead and stored in a glass container then placed in the refrigerator. Avoid using plastic as it may absorb the garlic smell. To get a better seal and keep your plastic lid safe, use a piece of foil over the container before securing the lid!

Serving

Serve with pita chips or make your own chips using wonton wrappers! Enjoy!


Don’t forget to submit a photo of your creations!  You can upload your photos using my Contact form!