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15 dishes from 2021

Happy New Year! 2021 has been an incredibly hectic year for me. A main reason I have not been active here since April. In May, my husband and I left our beloved Hong Kong, our second home that we had lived for over a decade. I’d always moved a lot, and never lived anywhere longer than 4 years until I moved to our 58th floor flat in the west side of Hong Kong Island. Our flat with a stunning view of Hong Kong’s skyline and harbour was my 23rd home, and I had lived there for over 11 and a half years. Leaving Hong Kong was as hard as I expected but leaving my close friends was much harder than I imagined.

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Basil, mint and Pecorino Romano pesto

Growing up in South Korea, basil was not an ingredient that I was ever familiar with. I ate dishes with basil at Italian restaurants, but I had never seen the fresh basil until I went to study in London. First thing about fresh basil that hit me before anything else was its fragrance. The unique and intoxicating aroma of basil blew my mind instantly. Like Marcella Hazan wrote in her book Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, “The less basil cooks, the better it is, and that its fragrance is never more seductive than when it is raw.” …What a beautiful thing to say. Continue reading Basil, mint and Pecorino Romano pesto

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Sweet, sticky, spicy chicken wings with orange & honey glaze

The first thing I do when I come up with a recipe is taking a note on my phone. Then I usually move onto testing it, and make necessary changes. If I decide to post the recipe, I either picture what the dish is going to look like in my head or doodle it out on my sketch pad. I remember finishing all those steps for this recipe months ago. I was ready to work on my post, then my husband and I went to a bar (nice bar, not a trash one) and ordered chicken wings. And oh boy, were they the worst chicken wings we’d ever had…I think they were one of the worst things I ever had to put in my mouth. I just couldn’t get it, who messes up chicken wings? Not only we stayed away from eating any type of chicken wings after that, I couldn’t even hear the word ‘chicken wings’ without having a gag reflex. Continue reading Sweet, sticky, spicy chicken wings with orange & honey glaze

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Baked ricotta and smoked salmon dumplings in Gyoza skin

I believe almost every food culture in the world has some form of dumpling. It can be essential comfort food sometimes, but it can also be celebratory food for special occasions. The dumpling I grew up with called ‘mandu’ is a great example. It is one of the most popular comfort food you could find anywhere in Korea but it is also something my grandmother and aunts spent all day preparing for big family holidays. They are commonly boiled and served in the soup or steamed and served with soy sauce based dipping sauce. I was a good girl helping my family of course, but only to stay near the steamer and get my hands on delicious piping hot homemade dumplings before anyone else. I have to admit, making dumplings is not the easiest job in the world. Continue reading Baked ricotta and smoked salmon dumplings in Gyoza skin

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Between Thanksgiving and X-mas: Easy party platters

Last Saturday, we hosted our annual Thanksgiving/Christmas party. It seems to have become our little tradition now that we have done it for 3 years in a row. And I have to say I really enjoy the whole process from shopping for grocery (especially when I get to go to a cheese corner ;-)), preparing food and setting the table to watching my friends enjoying my food. Continue reading Between Thanksgiving and X-mas: Easy party platters

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Cumin pea and bulgur fritters with lemon yogurt sauce

I have indulged a little too much on meat and desserts over the two weeks holiday in the states, so I have been trying to prepare light meals and snacks with more vegetables and healthy carbs. This dish is just what I need, packed with nutrients and flavors made with ingredients I always have in my kitchen. I like using Middle Eastern spice when I cook with bulgur wheat, and cumin works perfectly well in this recipe. The tangy lemon yogurt sauce adds freshness to fritters. This recipe can be great for finger food at a party as well. Continue reading Cumin pea and bulgur fritters with lemon yogurt sauce