Simple Korean-Style Bok Choy

This is a quick to put together and simple recipe with big payoff. So delicious, and just what my body needed mid holiday season.

I served mine with a bit of ground chicken; tofu would also be great here – the sauce would also make a fantastic tofu marinade for some oven-fried crispy tofu like this.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Simple Korean-Style Bok Choy

3 small bunches bok choy

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp. sugar

3 Tbsp. soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 tsp. gochujiang

1/4 – 1/3 c. pine nuts

Sesame seeds for garnish

Sushi rice for serving

Thinly slice the bok choy, separating the bottoms from the leafy tops. Chuck the bottoms in a medium/medium-high pan. Mince and then add the garlic.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, red pepper flakes, and gochujiang.

When the veggie bottoms are beginning to soften, add the pine nuts and sauté, stirring frequently, until the pine nuts are beginning to brown. Chuck the veggie tops in and stir.

Add the sauce and cook until the veggies are done to your liking and the sauce has been well incorporated.

Serve over a bowl of sushi rice and top with sesame seeds for a quick and light meal.

Serves 2 – 3

Peanutty Fancy-Ish Ramen

It seems our Lockdown staple of ramen noodles isn’t going anywhere any time soon. DH and I are both still craving comfort, and I’m still on the war path when it comes to wasting ingredients and clearing the pantry – so we are having some mish-mashed meals as of late.

Which is all fine, provided I can continue to find ways to add at least a little nutritional value to dinner. Some sort of vegetable.

This dish elevates some pantry staples admirably, adding two sources of protein (if you add meat), and a veggie that can also serve as a freezer cleaner.

A note on ramen: I used pot noodles (aka cup o’ noodles) for this recipe. We are loving the Korean brand Budok lately – the base flavoring I went with was chicken cheese, but this would be great with pretty much any base flavor. Mushroom, chicken, chili chicken, shrimp, curry – all would be delicious.

vegetarian and vegan if you don’t add meat, gluten-free with substitutions

Peanutty Fancy-Ish Ramen

1 pot instant ramen per person (any flavor will do, or sub rice noodles for gluten free – a little chicken or veggie bouillon would add some nice flavor if you are not using the flavor packet that comes with the noodles)

2 Tbsp. peanut butter (I used a low sugar variety)

1/4 c. soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

1 Tbsp. sambal olek (chili garlic sauce)

2 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. honey (sub agave for vegan)

2 small scallions, sliced thinly

Frozen spinach

Optional: leftover ground chicken or beef, soft boiled egg, fish cakes, leftover fried tofu, or other additional protein source

Sesame seeds for garnish

Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, sambal, sesame oil and honey in a small pot over low heat. Simmer, stirring, until well combined and beginning to thicken. If your heat is too high and this mixture dries out too much like mine did, add a Tablespoon or two of water, stir quickly to combine, and move off the heat for a second or so to cool down a bit.

While the sauce is working, add frozen spinach to the noodle pots and fill with boiling water. Let sit 3 minutes and drain.

Add the noodles to the pot with the sauce, along with scallions, any additional protein sources, and the seasoning packet. Stir well to combine and garnish with sesame seeds.

Serves 2

Roasted Pumpkin Miso Pasta

This lower-than-it-could be in carbs dish started life as the baby of a Japanese curry recipe and a ramen recipe and snowballed into a straight-up yummy pasta dish. I’m super bummed I only made enough to serve two; this was fantastic.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Pumpkin Miso Pasta

About a cup chopped pumpkin or butternut squash

2 tsp. white miso paste

Veggie or chicken stock

1/2 tsp. red chili flakes

Olive oil

1 Tbsp. + sesame oil

Curry powder

1 inch peeled fresh ginger, minced

2 scallions, minced

Sesame seeds

Soft egg (optional)

Togarishi (optional)

Kontjac noodles or sushi rice or ramen or udon or zoodles – all would be awesome, though I’ve only tried wide kontjac and rice

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F. Peel and chop the pumpkin into smallish pieces. Add to a prepared baking sheet, lash with oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and curry powder. Toss. Bake about 40 minutes or until browned in spots and soft.

Let cool for a beat, and then add to a blender with the miso, red chili flakes, 2 tsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. curry powder, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, and 1/2 a cup of stock. Blitz, adding more stock if needed to get smooth. I used about a cup in this stage.

In a saucepan or tall-ish sided skillet, add the minced ginger and the white + light green parts of the scallions with 2 tsp. garlic oil. Sauté until the onion is beginning to soften.

Add the blitzed pumpkin and another half cup or so of stock. Let simmer down to the consistency of a thick soup.

Add your drained and rinsed kontjac or whatever curry vehicle you’re feeling, toss, and let simmer a few minutes to combine.

Serve with an optional soft egg, the green parts of the scallions, a little drizzle of sesame oil, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and some togarishi if you want another hit of spice.

Serves 2 but can easily be scaled up

Thai-Style Red Curry

Finally! I’ve been trying to make a silky, luxurious feeling Thai-style red curry for a minute and keep screwing something up. Either I don’t let it reduce long enough, or I drown the flavors some how – or I forget a key component like curry paste or coconut milk.

This go round, I forgot to pick up coconut milk. I swear my kitchen eats the stuff. I’ve lost like 3 cans of it in the last few months. But, with a last-minute grocery trip I was all ready to go. Whoo. I’m glad I was, too – this is a good one.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

Thai-Style Red Curry

1 can coconut milk

Veggie, fish or chicken stock (1 of the empty coconut milk cans’ worth)

2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste

2 tsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsp. soy sauce/coconut aminos

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 stalks fresh lemongrass, peeled to reveal the soft center – mince 1 and whack the other with the back of your knife to release its flavors while cooking

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 scallion, thinly sliced

2 Thai red chilis (optional), minced

1.5 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, chopped

3/4 cup chopped okra

2 Tbsp. minced basil

Minced smoked salmon (optional)

Rice to serve

This is a simple slow-cooker dump meal. Prep all ingredients and dump into your cooker (minus the salmon, basil and green parts of the scallions). Cook however you would make a stew.

When complete, add to a saucepan and simmer until reduced a bit and silky. Serve over rice, topped with the green parts of the scallion and chopped basil.

Serves 4

Salmon Soba Salad

This makes a nice little Summer dinner. It’s low fuss, can be eaten cold or room temperature, and dressed a bunch of different ways. As pasta salads can.

Gluten-free, pescatarian

Salmon Soba Salad

1 package soba noodles

2 salmon fillets

4 – 6 ounces watercress or microgreen

1/4 cup chives, snipped

1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin

Dressing

Juice of 1 lime

1 medium cucumber, sliced into thin ribbons or diced

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. sriracha

Marinade

2 tsp. gochujiang

2 tsp. honey

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

Combine the marinade ingredients. Marinate the fish 30 mins – an hour. Discard marinade and bake or sauté the fish until your desired done ness is reached. I pan sautéed mine until medium with nice and crispy skin. Do watch the fish; your marinade has honey in it so it is like to burn. Mine did a bit, but it was still delicious.

While your fish is working, whisk the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl.

Cook your soba according to package directions, drain and set aside, adding a scant sprinkle of sesame oil and tossing quickly to avoid the noodles sticking together while they sit and cool. If you want your salad cold, chill in the fridge.

Dice and mince the cucumber and herbs. Add to the bowl. Add the micro greens. Add the noodles. Toss to combine.

To serve, plate up a bowl of noodle salad, topped with thick batons of fish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serves 2

Ginger Scallion Chicken

This recipe sounds simple but omfg it’s like comfort in a bowl. If you’re thinking about skipping out on the browning stage for your chicken because you’re lazy: don’t. I often do (see previous excuse) and I’m beyond glad I didn’t for this recipe. It absolutely made the rice.

gluten-free, FODMAP friendly

Ginger Scallion Chicken

4 boneless chicken thighs

2 inches ginger, peeled

1 cup rice (I used sushi rice because that’s my family’s favorite)

2 cups water

2 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, divided

1 tsp. salt + sprinkling salt

2 tsp. sugar

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

6 scallions

Black pepper

Fat of choice

Note: Other versions of this recipe call for onion and garlic; if you’re not FODMAPping, these would be lovely additions, I’m sure

Sprinkle your chicken with salt & pepper. Chuck into a pan over medium-high with a little fat (I used garlic oil) and cook until browned on both sides.

While the chicken is working, add the rice (wash if you wash rice; I can never be bothered and really liked the way it was kind of pasty in this dish – reminded me of a casserole), water, 1 tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, soy sauce, and the chunk of ginger.

Place the chicken and any pan drippings on top of the rice, hit the rice button and cook until done. If you’re not using a slow cooker with a rice function, cook rice however you cook rice with the chicken on top – the little bits of chicken fat and the juices from the meat run into the rice creating yummy goodness.

While the chicken and rice are going, chop the green onions (if you’re FODMAPping, green parts only) and add to a small bowl with the 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, sugar and red pepper flakes. Mash as best you can with a spoon – or, if you have one, mash in a mortar with a pestle. That would be great. Mine didn’t mush up as much as I wanted with a spoon but the onion still broke up enough to release some good flavor. Taste yours and if you want another tiny bit of sugar add that in. I was on the fence about adding more sugar to mine, but left it out because I like a nice acerbic bite.

To serve, fish the ginger chunk out of the chicken & rice and top with the scallion dressing. I mixed mine together for leftovers and that worked even better for subsequent meals.

Serves 2 for dinner and 2 for lunch

Orange Salmon

This recipe is unabashedly stolen from a (mostly) Internet friend, who daily sets his sights on making the rest of us in our little corner of the (virtual) world drool.

Gluten-free, pescatarian

Orange Salmon

2 salmon fillets

1-2 cups cooked rice

1 cup snow peas

1 orange

1 thumb + 1 thumb ginger

1 Tbsp. + 2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (the original recipe called for mirin, but I can’t get that where i live)

1 Tbsp. honey

2 cloves garlic

1 green onion

Sesame seeds

Mix together the soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. sesame oil, rice vinegar and honey. Grate and stir in the garlic and 1 thumb ginger.

Brush the mixture over your salmon and place skin side up on a prepared baking sheet.

Broil 3 – 5 minutes, flip, baste, and broil another minute or two – until your desired done ness is reached.

While the salmon is working, bring the other Tablespoon of sesame oil up to medium-high in a large pan. Add the snow peas in and toss. Grate the second thumb of ginger in and toss. Zest the orange and toss in.

Sauté until browned in spots. Remove.

Supreme the orange and slice each segment into thirds.

To serve, toss the rice with the segmented orange. Thinly slice the green onion and toss in.

Arrange the rice mix in a bowl, top with a bed of snow peas, and a salmon filet. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the whole lot.

Serves 2 for dinner

Hibachi Bowls

Not *quite* the same as hibachi out, but still satisfying. And the sauce is kind of addicting – I’ve had it twice in as many days and plan to slather a Beyond Burger with it next burger night 🙂

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Hibachi Bowls

Sauce:

Heaping Tablespoon tahini

2 Tbsp. spicy mustard

2 cloves garlic, grated

4 Tbsp. coconut aminos

1 inch ginger, grated

2 – 3 Tbsp. water

Sesame Tofu:

1 block extra firm tofu

1-2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. coconut aminos

1 Tbsp. corn starch

Sesame Ginger Snow Peas:

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 inch ginger, grated

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 package snow peas

1 Tbsp. coconut aminos

Black pepper

To Serve:

Rice

Pickled ginger, chopped

Sesame seeds

Scallions, chopped

Preheat your oven to 375F/220C. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch thick slices, cover with a paper towel and press to get the water out. Cut the slices into cubes and toss with the rest of the tofu ingredients.

Spread out in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet.

Bake 25 minutes or until crispy and browned.

While the tofu is working, stir-fry the snow peas until browned in spots.

Whisk the sauce ingredients together, adding more water if you want the mixture more runny.

Serve with the rice, chopped ginger, sesame seeds and scallions.

Serves 4

Chili Tuna Fried Rice

This pantry-friendly fried rice is quick enough for a weeknight meal (for when the world gets back to working outside the home), and makes a great lunch the next day if there are leftovers.

Gluten-free, pescatarian

Chili Tuna Fried Rice

1.5 cups leftover cooked rice (I used sushi rice)

1/3 cup frozen shelled edamame

1/3 cup frozen cut green beans

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. sambal olek

1 green onion, sliced

1/2 can chili tuna in oil, drained

Add your neutral oil to a large pan over high heat. When it shimmers, add the frozen veggies and green onion. Stir fry until no longer frozen and starting to look cooked.

Add the rice and tuna. Continue to stir fry until the veggies begin to brown.

Make a well in the center of the rice mixture and crack the eggs in. Let sit until the bottom is firm, then scrape up, folding into the rice mix.

Add the coconut aminos, fish sauce and sambal. Stir quickly to combine.

As written, serves 2 for dinner

Chapaguri/Ramdon (aka that ramen noodle dish from the movie Parasite)

Sorry I’ve been AWOL from recipe posting lately – I’ve put my pantry cleanse on hold (or actually have restocked it even fuller in recent weeks), and have been making nothing terribly new or inspiring. Tasty things from staples, but not exactly balanced Internet-friendly dishes.

When it was in theaters, DH and I saw Parasite – which was fantastic – and were just as curious as to what the mixed ramen noodle dish with steak was. We heard it was delicious, and were having friends over for game night – so we decided to make a whole Korean-themed meal.

For sides, we had 4 banchan (vegetable side dishes): spicy cucumbers, sauteed spinach, lightly blanched and seasoned bean sprouts and kimchi. This dish was our main, and the recipe is only slightly augmented from the official recipe(s) listed here. When I made this a second time for just the two of us, I couldn’t help but add a little seasoning to the steak and some green veg.

Chapaghetti (green), Neoguri (red)
Mmmmmm …

Ram-don (Chapaguri)

1 package Chapaghetti

1 package Neoguri (combo pack for the two on Amazon)

200g good steak

2 tsp. neutral oil

2 tsp. butter

1/2c. frozen spinach

2 green onions

Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Boil a large pot of water.

While the water is working, add the neutral oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Add the steak bits, hit with salt, pepper & garlic powder and sautee until your desired doneness is reached.

While the steak and water are working, thinly slice your green onions.

About halfway through cooking, add the sliced green onions and hit a second time with seasoning.

Add the butter and toss until melted. Set aside.

Add the noodles and dehydrated veggies from both packages to the boiling water.

Boil 4:30, adding the frozen spinach in the last minute or so.

Strain, keeping enough water so the mixture is nice and wet still – not swimming, but not dry. The directions say to keep 150ml, but my American non-metric self had no idea what this looked like with noodles so I guessed.

Turn off the heat and add the strained noodles back to the pot. Add the seasoning packet from the green package (the green packet that looks like beef bouillon). Add the oil from the green package and half the spicy looking seasoning (all if you like spicy) from the red package. Stir to combine.

Divide between 2 bowls (can easily stretch to 3 or even 4 if you serve with banchan), and top with steak.

Serves 2 – 3