I see recipes for pad thai everywhere. I have been wanting to try it but kept putting it off. So when it was my turn to pick a recipe for Wednesdays with Donna Hay it seemed like an omen when I found her recipe for it. No more putting it off.


All you need is some chicken, rice noodles, shrimp sauce, fish sauce, and bean sprouts, basically. Tossed with some brown sugar and lime juice. Garnished with chives and chopped peanuts. Less than 30 minutes from chopping to plate.

As you know, because I have said it ad nauseam, it is hard to find some ingredients here in Podunk. Like Shrimp Paste. even in our small Asian grocery. So I had to leave it out. But since I just made 1/2 of a serving and all it needed was 1/2 tsp maybe it didn’t make THAT much difference. Anyway. It was okay. I subbed crushed red pepper for the chillies {no likee} but that was the only change I made. I think I really needed to brown my chicken a little more. And I will find some Shrimp Paste.

The recipe is on page 133 of Donna’s modern classics: book 1

Check with Gaye, Sarah, and Chaya for their pad thai.
NB: BTW those chopsticks. My Dad brought them back from Korea in 1953.

I really wasn’t sure about this one. Pumpkin in stir-fry? Really? But I am always open to new ideas and new tastes. Sure glad I tried this one because it was very tasty!


Sliced chicken with sliced pumpkin, chili peppers, fish sauce, basil, onions. Simple ingredients.

I made a few changes. My fish sauce smelled a little, eh…, off, (maybe it always does!) so I used Oyster sauce. And I completely forgot the basil. But even without the basil it was very good. And, as usual with Donna, very easy. Well, almost. I had a horrible time peeling and slicing the pumpkin. So I have small pieces instead of thin slices. But, it’s the taste, right?

This week’s recipe was Chaya’s pick. So check out her post.And then go visit with Gaye and, maybe, Sarah. Good pick Chaya. Really liked this one.

If you wan to try the recipe you can find it HERE!

It’s potluck week again with I Heart Cooking Clubs. I went with Bittman again. His recipes have so much flavor and they are healthy to boot. It’s a win/win!

There is just something about the flavors used in Asian food that always draws me in. Ginger. Sesame. When I saw this recipe in Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook I knew it would be perfect.


    8 ounces any rice, buckwheat(soba){which is what I used}, or wheat noodles, preferably whole grain.
    1 tablespoon sesame oil
    2 tablespoons vegetable canola oil
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 teaspoon minced ginger
    1 cup chopped green onions
    2 large carrots chopped, sliced, or julienned
    3 celery stalks, chopped, sliced, or julienned
    2 cups snow peas
    1/4 cup chicken stock or water (more if you need it, I didn’t.)
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 egg, beaten {I left this out cause of the cholesterol. Next time I would add it in.}
    black pepper
    1/4 cups chopped peanuts for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, but make sure they don’t get mushy. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water. Toss them with sesame oil to prevent sticking.
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions. Cook for about 15 seconds.
Add the carrots, celery, snow peas, and stock or water and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, add more liquid a tablespoon at a time.
Stir in soy sauce and beaten egg(s) and let the egg lightly scramble in the pan. Add the noodles, sprinkle with pepper, and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. I have found that I needed more soy sauce. Garnish and serve.

I added chicken to mine – a 6 oz breast. Slice up the chicken and brown in the oil before you cook the veggies. When the chicken is done set it aside and then start with the veggies, etc. Add the chicken back when you add the noodles.

This fits pretty well with the DASH way of eating. I used less oil than called for and the buckwheat noodles are better for you. Like I said – win/win.


I liked it better without the chopped peanuts.

<The recipe is on page 208 of his cookbook.

Visit with the other IHCC members for their Potluck picks. So many chefs to choose from!!

This week’s pick, from Kayte, is a mixed mushroom risotto. I love risotto and always look forward to making different ones so when Kayte chose this one I jumped in enthusiastically.


What we have is a lovely seasoned risotto with dried porcini mushrooms as well as a mix of fresh. I used Portobello and white button and then threw in some dried mixed that I had on hand. What’s not to love about this one. A little red wine, a little garlic, some leeks. Yes indeed. LOVED it!!

The recipe is on page 138 of Donna’s modern classics: book 1. Check with

Two weeks ago the group made Veggie Laksa. I really wanted to make it but here in Podunk Laksa paste was not to be found. Lucky for me I travelled south to visit my Babies and just happened to visit a HUGE Asian market – Vinh Phat. It carries everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING anyone would ever need for Asian cooking. I have to admit I didn’t recognize a lot of the products but I found the two I really needed – Laksa Paste and Miso.


I had never had Laksa before. It is a wonderful seasoned paste. Full of flavor and a little spicy. Why haven’t I had that before? The Veggie Laksa, which was Sarah’s choice last week, included sweet potatoes, bok choy, garlic, and snow peas in a rich coconut milk and Laksa broth. Donna said to serve it over Vermicelli noodles. I had also found some of the noodles made from Mung Beans. Altogethr I think I liked it. Next time I would cut the sweet potatoes and boy choy in smaller pieces. The recipe is on Donna’s Website.

Sarah made the Laksa as did Gaye so check out their posts.

It is hard enough to pick a recipe for yourself but when you have to pick one that you know other people will be making it is even harder. Even when I know the other members of WWDH are adventurous cooks and bakers I often hesitate. But when it was my turn to pick for my June recipe I saw these spring rolls and knew EVERYONE would like them. Quick! Easy! Light!


And with the dipping sauce – very tasty!

A simple combination of shredded carrots, shredded snow peas, vermicelli noodles, mint, cilantro, and peanuts all nicely wrapped up in rice paper rounds! We left out the mint for these and increased the noodles just a hair but as with any Donna Hay recipe the ingredients are listed with amounts but changing them up usually doesn’t hurt the dish at all.

The dipping sauce is simply brown sugar and soy sauce. Sweet and salty. Donna left her rolls open on one end but we closed them on both ends. Less messy that way.

The recipe is on page 78 of Donna’s modern classics: book 1.

Check with

for their veggie rolls.

I like the Let’s Lunch group. An international group of Kitchen Junkies who come up with amazing dishes to fit into the theme of the monthly Lets Lunch. This month we are honoring Cheryl Tan‘s new book Singapore Noir, a short story collection focusing on the darker side of Singapore.

To fit with the theme we could…

    “…be inspired by anything noir, either the color black or anything related to moody and atmospheric noir stories in film or tv!”

I went with BLACK. I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to participate this month since BLACK really isn’t my color but then I found some FORBIDDEN Rice in the pantry and I was all in. Interesting rice. According to legend

    “…Chinese black rice got its name because it was so nutritionally beneficial that only the emperors were allowed to eat it.”

So it was FORBIDDEN to anybody else.

I had never heard of it before so of course when I saw some I had to buy it, even though I had no idea how to cook it or what to do with it. And then Lets Lunch came along……


How about Black Fried Rice?

    2 cups Black Rice, cooked and cooled
    4 – 6 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen peas
    1 – 2 eggs
    1/2 chopped onion
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    3 whole green onions, thinly sliced on the bias, white and green separated
    1/2 cup chopped sweet peppers {Red, yellow, orange add lots of color to the rice}
    sesame oil to taste

Heat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over high heat until hot, then add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the shrimp and cook until almost opaque. Add the onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until onion is soft. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onion whites and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the frozen peas. Cook until just defrosted but still crisp. Transfer contents of the skillet to a large bowl.

Return the pan to the heat and add 1 1/2 more tablespoons of oil and the sesame oil {I used about 3 tsp}. Add the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Scramble eggs until almost set but still moist, then transfer egg to the bowl. Break the eggs up with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining oil. Add the rice to the pan and use a spoon to break up any clumps. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry the rice to coat evenly with oil. Stop stirring. Cook rice until its gets a little crispy, about 2 minutes. Stir the rice again, breaking up any new clumps. Add the scallion greens. Transfer to the bowl. Mix everything together with the rice, taste, add salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve. {Original recipe}

I have made fried rice lots of times but never with FORBIDDEN RICE. I felt rather thankful to the Emperors!!

How to cook BLACK RICE:

    1 cup Black Rice
    2 1/4 cups water
    1/2 tsp salt

…in the microwave

Place all ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl. cook on high for 10 minutes. Decrease power to 1/2 and cook an additional 25 minutes. {I actually had to increase the water and add about 10 minutes cooking time.}

…on the stove.

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add rice and salt. Cook 45 minutes until rice is tender.

For the other Lets Lunch NOIR dishes you can

    visit our HOSTESS Monica
    check out the dishes on the NOIR Pinterest Board.
    follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #LetsLunch
    Check back later for listings of other fabulous NOIR dishes.

The Grifters Grinder
Black and White Ice Cream
Paksing Demonyu
Kimchee Fried Rice

Pinot Noir Mulled Wine
Dark Sauce Pork Noodles

One of my favorite things for breakfast, or lunch, is a nice simple omelet. Mostly eggs and cheese. Or maybe some shrooms and spinach. I don’t like lots of things in my omelet. So thank you, Donna, for giving me another simple but delicious omelet to add to my rotation.

P1040065 Eggs, shitake shrooms, green onions with shredded ginger and oyster sauce is all you need. Like I said, simple! I have made this a couple of times. The first time it came out more like scrambled eggs. The second time was better and a little more photo worthy.

Donna said to make one at a time, 4 servings, but I was just making one for me so I did it all in the skillet on top of the stove rather than finishing it in the oven.

Asian Mushroom Omelet for just one.

    1 teaspoons sesame oil
    1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon grated ginger
    75g shiitake mushrooms, thickly ficed
    2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
    2 eggs, lightly beaten with 1/4 cup Egg Beaters
    oyster sauce, to serve

Heat a small non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the sesame oil, vegetable oil, ginger, green onion and mushroom and cook for 2–3 minutes or until mushroom is golden. Remove from pan and wipe out pan (or use another pan).
Spray pan with nonstick spray and pour in the beaten egg and stir gently for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook, without stirring, for 3 – 4 minutes. Place the omelet in the oven and cook for 3 minutes or until omelet is almost set. Place mushroom mix over the top and let eggs set completely.
To serve, place on serving plate and drizzle with oyster sauce.

Told you it was simple. And very, very good. The ginger is subtle, the oyster sauce slightly salty. They blend together quite well.

Check with

for their omelets.

Almost forgot, the omelet was my pick for this weeks Wednesdays with Donna Hay. IF you want to join us just leave one of us a comment.

The original recipe is on Donna’s Website.

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