Main Dishes

I’m Alive! And Here, Have Some Salmon. You’ll Love It.

salmon with salted black beans

Everyone, drop the missing persons report: I’m alive and well. I haven’t been away doing anything particularly momentous — I’ve just been busy with summertime ~whimsy~. (Also my personal life has been HILARIOUS, but that, dear ones, is a story for another day.)

I’ve also been in a bit of a cooking rut. For the last few months, my meals have gone something like this: Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, leafy greens, repeat.

Don’t get me wrong. I have fully enjoyed each and every mountainous salad, crisp and verdant and full of the best summer produce. Delicious? Absolutely. Groundbreaking? Not even a little bit. 

But then, something magical happened: I left town for a few weekends and found inspiration. In Chicago, I had vegan chilaquiles, biscuits with chorizo and poached eggs, and glorious seafood salad with olive oil and lemon. Another weekend, I went home for a wedding and stayed with my parents. Cue salmon.

This salmon is probably my very favorite dish that my mom makes. It’s undeniably Asian. The flavors are big and bold —  there’s ginger, vinegar, thai chilis, salted black beans — but the preparation is simple. Searing and simmering is all that is required. This dish is usually served over warm jasmine rice, but I’ve been loving it with romaine and fresh plum tomatoes. Read more…


Celebrate the Sunshine! Roasted Spring Vegetable Salad

Roasted spring vegetable salad

After months of sleet, snow, and frigid temperatures that render even well-gloved human fingers virtually useless, it seems that winter is finally, FINALLY over. I’ve been celebrating by frolicking in the warm weather and getting inspired in the kitchen.

Asparagus, one of my favorite spring veggies, was beautiful and cheap at the grocery store this week, so I stocked up. Of course, I was then stuck figuring out how to prepare it for the week without it getting unappetizing and limp in the fridge. My solution? A good roast. Read more…


Giniling (Filipino-Style Ground Beef with Peas & Carrots)


I went foraging in my freezer the other day in an effort to do the responsible thing and cook what I had on hand.

What did I have on hand, you ask? Three kinds of frozen Greek yogurt, approximately 57 bags of frozen vegetables, and some lean ground beef (purchased on sale, naturally).

I took it as a sign: it was giniling time.

Giniling definitely qualifies as comfort food for me. Growing up, my mom often made it to accompany chicken adobo. I have to give my mom props — that pairing is a solid culinary choice. The flavors of the two dishes are quite similar, and the two different textures are definitely complementary.

To make giniling, ground beef is cooked with onions, garlic, peas, carrots, and then combined with soy sauce and some kind of acid. I used white vinegar here, but my mom always uses fresh lemon juice. Keep life simple and use whatever you have at home.

I love giniling served over warm rice with a boiled egg. It’s always a satisfying combination. And it’s healthy too! Giniling is a pretty low-cal dish on its own, and it’s loaded with iron, vitamin B6, and protein. Give it a try! Read more…


Easy Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Fried Eggs

spaghetti squash pasta

I have a dear, deeply misguided friend who hates runny eggs with the heat of a thousand suns. This is something that I cannot comprehend. Beloved Friend, what other objectively wonderful things do you hate? Spaghetti carbonara? Molten chocolate cake? The sound of children laughing? The mind… it boggles. 

I firmly believe that an egg sunny-side up, runny yolk and all, can improve just about anything. It adds richness and creaminess in a single step. However, if you are like my friend and “weird runny eggs skeeve you out,” just cook your egg a little longer — you’ll still love this spaghetti squash pasta recipe.  Read more…


Asian Inspiration: Savory Oats with Longganisa & Hoisin Sauce

asian-inspired savory oats

If you’ve only ever had your oats with apples and cinnamon, you are missing out on a whole world of flavor. These savory oats with sweet chicken sausage and hoisin sauce are my time-saving riff on congee (rice porridge). Congee is usually made by boiling rice for several hours, until the rice becomes extra soft. Using quick-cooking oats and a microwave really speeds up the process; you can increase or decrease the amount of water to create exactly the consistency you want. I’m not a big fan of watery oats, 

This recipe calls for one of my favorite Filipino foods: longganisa, sausage cured in a sweet mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices. Longganisa is usually enjoyed as a breakfast food (though it is equally delicious at all times of day) with rice and chopped tomatoes, but I love it in this recipe too.

If you don’t have a Filipino grocer nearby and are unable to find longganisa, you can use a Mexican or Puerto Rican variety (“longaniza”) instead. The flavor will be similar, though it will be missing the signature sweetness of Filipino longganisa. Keep reading for the recipe! Read more…

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