recipe: yang zhou fried rice

yang zhou fried ricewhen i was prepping a little cooking project for k’s country study, i did some research about the history of fried rice. eggs are a big part of the recipe. the measure of “wealth” could be determined in the amount of eggs in the fried rice dish as the color yellow is symbolic of gold. k is allergic to eggs so i did not add it in her class project but i thought it would be fun to try the recipe with eggs as well!

there are also variety on how egg is included in the rice. one way is by cooking the egg first and then adding it to the rice along with all of the other fried rice ingredients. but recently i watched a Taiwanese drama and one scene has a chef making fried rice by pouring the beaten egg into the rice after all the other ingredients were already mixed together. therefore you cook the egg with the fried rice – not before.

cooking the egg into the rice mixture gives it an extra egg flavor.

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recipe: m’s non-American fried rice

the first time i heard of “American” vs “non-American” fried rice was at a restaurant in chinatown near a previous workplace. when i placed the order, the person asked if i wanted American flavor vs. non-American flavor. i never thought of it that way but i have tried to make fried rice on my own and it always amused me that it never tasted the same way as chinese take-out places.

m loves fried rice and while prepping our meal for the night, m decided to make some. to make sure k can have some we picked only ingredients that she can eat. m doesn’t add salt or pepper so add to your own taste!

non-American fried rice


  • 5 cups day-old cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets
  • 1 cup organic sweet bell pepper, chopped into bites
  • ½ lb organic firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped into bites
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • water, as needed
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Continue reading “recipe: m’s non-American fried rice”

lemon chicken with rice

i’ve had lemon chicken before but it never struck a chord with me. for the fun of it, i tried this recipe anyway and i’m really glad i did! i made a few substitutions: instead of olives (not a fav), i used capers – and – instead of carrots (forgot to buy!), i used orange bell pepper. i also lowered the amount of chicken and threw in additional veggies:  some celery and enoki mushrooms. all of the ingredients worked really well together.

i also tried a something new! after a health scare, my friends changed their diets to vegan. to make it even more challenging, they are on a no oil-based vegan diet. but they have embraced their new meals and their health has greatly improved because of it. they shared a a cooking tip: instead of oil, substitute it with chicken or vegetable broth.

since this recipe called for vegetable broth, i used their cooking tip. it was perfect – you don’t miss the oil one bit. i’m definitely going to use this tip more often!


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil – or –
    1 tablespoon low sodium organic chicken or vegetable broth*
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless free range chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cups onion, chopped
  • 1/2 medium carrot, thinly sliced – or –
    1/2 cup colored bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced ~optional
  • 3 ounces enoki mushroooms ~optional
  • 1/2 zest of lemon, grated
  • 14-1/2 ounces low sodium organic chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1-2 teaspoons capers
  • 1 cup quick-cooking white rice – or –
    2 cups precooked white rice
  • fresh ground lemon black pepper
  • sea salt, to taste

Preparation Continue reading “lemon chicken with rice”

omurice with curry

a few years ago, i relived a childhood meal at hiroko’s place: omurice with curry. i really enjoyed it.

recently, i had a hankering for it again so i decided to make it myself. my parents used to use these curry blocks to make japanese flavored curry. instead of ketchup rice that is usually inside of the omelette, i used regular white rice and then put some ketchup on top.

while it may not be as good as authentic japanese omurice, it will tie me over until i make it back to hiroko’s place or another japanese restaurant with authentic omurice!


  • 2 stalks of carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium potato, cut into small chunks
  • 5 medium cremini mushrooms, cut in quarters
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 4 blocks of S&B Golden Curry sauce mix, mild/medium hot/hot
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ketchup
  • 2-4 cups white rice

Special equipment

  • rice cooker

Preparation Continue reading “omurice with curry”

cooking tips & healthy substitutions

sometimes it isn’t how rich the ingredients you use to make a dish taste great – it’s knowing how and what to include. here are some low fat cooking tips: You shouldn’t need cream in a properly made risotto All you need is patience and the right rice Use carrot juice in salad dressings For low-fat salad dressings with tons of flavor, replace one-fourth of the oil with carrot juice. Bananas are the secret to complex-tasting muffins Replace the butter in your favorite recipe with a mixture of mashed bananas and vegetable oil. Use peas in guacamole To make low-fat … Continue reading cooking tips & healthy substitutions

foods to help you sleep better

adding certain foods to your diet may help to increase your odds of a successful slumber: Fish: Most fish-and especially salmon, halibut and tuna-boast vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness) Jasmine rice: When healthy sleepers ate carbohydrate-rich suppers of veggies and tomato sauce over rice, they fell asleep significantly faster at bedtime if the meal included high-glycemic-index (GI) jasmine rice Tart cherry juice: In a small study, melatonin-rich tart cherry juice was shown to aid sleep. Yogurt: Dairy products like yogurt and milk boast healthy doses of calcium-and there’s research that suggests … Continue reading foods to help you sleep better

curried rice with shrimp

i was browsing the Real Simple | Best Recipes: Easy, Delicious Meals cookbook and found the recipes interesting and simple to make. so i picked it up and decided to try one of the recipes tonight. i made the curried rice with shrimp but i bumped it up a few flavors – more curry powder and garlic, added celery, turmeric and some ground flaxseed. i also substituted white rice for brown rice – since the spices were powerful, you can’t miss the white rice. it was really tasty! Ingredients 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 large carrot, chopped … Continue reading curried rice with shrimp

hankering for hanco’s

if you’re on your way to stroll along the brooklyn promenade or check out newly expanded paths of piers 1-6 of the brooklyn bridge park, you can stop the new vietnamese place on montague street: hanco’s. their vietnamese sandwiches are awesome – you can choose their traditional sandwich; specific meats: grilled pork or chicken; or vegetarian: tofu with a mild or spicy sauce. each sandwich is stuffed with cilantro, pickled radish, cucumber and carrots, and your chosen protein and wrapped inside a super crispy yummy bread – white or whole wheat. i’ve tried several of them but my favorite is the … Continue reading hankering for hanco’s

5 things you didn’t know about carbs

some people think they have to cut carbs out of their diet. according to Woman’s Day, there are types of carbohydrate-rich foods to give your body energy and not getting enough carbs can make you feel sluggish, irritable and unable to concentrate. refined carbs, found in white bread and white pasta, offer little in the way of nutrition and get broken down by your body and used quickly. you may get a temporary burst of energy, but you’ll inevitably feel tired or hungry again soon after. complex carbs (such as vegetables and whole-grain products) is broken down much more slowly, … Continue reading 5 things you didn’t know about carbs

milk without the moo

since i have become milk intolerant tho luckily not lactose intolerant, i still have been able to enjoy many things but thing i miss most about milk is having cereal! although i tried some moo-les versious, none tasted right but maybe i haven’t the right one. according to women’s health, some milk substitutes are better for certain things so i’ll have to try it out! Almond Milk Taste: Creamy, rich, and slightly nutty with a hint of sweetness Pros: Least caloric, fortified with vitamin E, calcium and vitamins A and D. Cons: Milk contains small amounts of these nutrients and also … Continue reading milk without the moo

food expiration dates

Use-by date on the package simply indicates the period of time when the food tastes best, not the date when it will suddenly make you sick. The general recipe for longevity, according to these experts, is for the food to be low in liquids, sugar and oil, all of which have the potential to mold and spoil the food, or to have “lots and lots” of preservatives, which keep the food fresh longer. So if you’re looking for groceries to buy in bulk and store in your pantry, these products are your best bet. Canned Beans and Vegetables Canned food … Continue reading food expiration dates