Here are the snapshots of what I have been cooking at home this past month! Recipes coming very soon.
For the time being you can find my other updates and pictures with description posted on Instagram (@mygoldenapron).
I would also love to hear your feedback so feel free to send me an email (email@example.com) or drop me a line through Instagram (OO).
Picture above: Sake Kasu Miso Sable Fish with Mixed vegetable (burdock, turnip leaves, lotus root and broccoli) rice: the dried burdock, turnip and lotus root are from Japan, I found them at a local Japanese store).
Nduja spaghetti Bolognese (with basil sausage from Oyama sausage and Co) : Remember Nduja, the spicy sausage spread ? I added to my Bolognese recipe to spice things up a bit !
When Japanese meets Italian: Roast shio koji organic chicken, cauliflower broccoli penne pasta in lemon parsley herb drizzle, garnish with crispy kale bits and lemon zest. It is very easy to make the herb drizzle: chives, parsley, lemon juice, grated lemon zest, extra virgin olive oil, drizzle of honey and pinch of sea salt.
Pan fried spot prawn with Thai red curry (store-bought paste, added fish sauce, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves) served with lentil quinoa turmeric rice: since spot prawn season is over, you can substitute with other prawns/shrimp available for this dish).
Faux Unagi Donburi (Rice bowl): Orange roughy turned into unagi; baked and glazed with homemade unagi sauce, scrambled dashi egg with green onions, on a bed of turmeric (just a touch) fresh peas and carrot rice, garnish with crispy kale bits (my current favourite garnish in place of seaweed)
Disclaimer: All ingredients are non-sponsored purchased at some of my preferred vendors in Vancouver, BC. Pictures are my own and dishes are my creations based on what I have learned through cooking classes, reading cookbooks and research.
Deconstructed Afternoon Tea at Wild Sweets: “an affair to remember”
I revisited Wild Sweets with my dear foodie friends one Sunday afternoon for their “Cocoa Bean to Chocolate Afternoon Tea”, their 13-course afternoon tea is a very unique and “hands on” affair. All courses came “deconstructed” with detailed explanation presented by Mr. Dominique, each item includes a cocoa bean to chocolate element, all served with a chocolate tea infusion. Their take on this old tradition is very refreshing and modern filled with wonderful surprises, I felt I was taken “back in time” to secondary school days experimenting in the science lab. We had the most wonderful 2 hours assembling and styling the delicate treats, it is definitely an “affair” to remember.
Thank you very much to Dominique and Cindy and their staff for this wonderful learning experience!
Booking for this event is available online through their website:
My dear friend James now resides in Casperia, Italy and comes back to Canada to visit his family twice a year. Whenever he is in town, we always get together to cook an Epic Italian Dinner at my home. We always have the best time preparing all the dishes together for our friends, I hope in the near future someday I will be cooking with James, a truly wonderful teacher, in Italy..
James always introduce a tasty and authentic Italian element to our dinners: I rarely use already processed sauce or paste, however I am willing to make an exception for James! And here comes “Nduja”: a spicy cured pork salumi spread originally from Calabria, Italy.
When using nduja, a little goes a long way, the smell and taste reminded me a little of chorizo sausage (without the distinctive smell). We used it as the base for the sauce, cooked together with a little olive oil, white wine and minced garlic; then we steamed the clams in the sauce, finished off with grated lemon zest. Toss in “al dente” spaghetti (nduja is already salty so be light handed with salt when boiling pasta) and Voila! The flavors melted together and lifted the pasta dish to a different level, and the sauce tasted even better on the next day.
James was such a sweetie and got rid of all the clam shells!
The bottled version is available at Bianca Maria, a quaint Italian food store on East Hastings; the sausage version is available at Oyama Sausage in Granville Island; give it a try and tell me which version do you like better?
Always cook with love and thoughtfulness, and eat with your love ones (quote Peter Ciuffa “pastaboy”)
Beautiful sea bass from Brian’s wonderful Seafood City at Granville Island, nduja sausage from Oyama Sauage and Co., romano beans from Granville Island Market.
I checked out the sweet and rustic Baker and Table bakery cafe at East 48th Avenue and Fraser, it was wonderful to meet the owner Ms. Hitomi who provided really wonderful and friendly service.
I really enjoyed the organic chicken with cashew pesto sandwich and the cheesecake for dessert; I also purchased the tasty white bread (whipping cream incorporated) which was “pillowy” soft, I used to make thick toast at home for breakfast. She does accept special cake orders, I returned the next day and purchased a delicious strawberry shortcake and enjoyed it with my friends on our Epic Italian Dinner Gathering. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for menu information and updates.
Baci Baci Kissa Tanto in Chinatown: Memorable Dinner and Superb Service
One rainy Thursday night after a long and hectic day at work, we decided to head to Chinatown and got in to Kissa Tanto (it was around 8 pm) without any reservations!
The experience left us speechless: the dishes (our favorite was the lasagna of the day (picture shown) were filled with interesting elements of Japanese and Italian flavors, a combination which I personally enjoyed a lot.
The service (I believe our server’s name name is Celina) was very attentive and superb. Love their retro decor and ambiance: Kissa Tanto, thank you for a memorable dining experience.
Reflections in Deep Frosty December… Words to Live By: Heart, Passion, Patience and Gratitude….
Wish you all a wonderful, healthy and prosperous 2017!
Catch me on December 28th Wednesday morning 1030 am Sharp on Fairchild Radio 1470 Deborah Moore’s program; we will be chatting about food and much more!
It’s all about Heart…..
From Instagram to Kitslano : MaknMing (1629 Yew Street, Vancouver, BC )
This is perhaps one of the highly anticipated restaurant openings in 2016: Chefs Makoto Ono and Amanda Cheng (previously from Gastown’s Pidgin) has opened their new restaurant “MaknMing”, a Japanese French fusion restaurant earlier this month. I must admit I was a fan already (because of a creative kohlrabi dan dan noodle dish at Pidgin), and I had the pleasure to meet them earlier because of Instagram and Seafood City (that is another lovely story)! We dined at their cosy eatery two weeks ago, enjoyed some delicious foods which they have cooked their hearts out and their crew provided us with impeccable service. I simply love their tagline “#smallteambighearts! Congratulations again Chefs for your opening, look forward to my next visit!
Check out their restaurant (open for dinner only, reservations accepted, check their website and follow their Instagram account (same name) for updates..
Last Saturday I literally had chocolate for breakfast when I visited Dominique and Cindy Duby’s Wild Sweets Atelier Store in Richmond (by Steveston Hwy)! The chocolates were so delicious and Mr. Duby was providing us with information on their products, I was blown away by their professional knowledge and certainly can feel their passion…We bought their “tea cake’ (a modern version of a fruit cake) for Christmas Dinner Dessert and everyone enjoyed it so much! I was thrilled to know they also have tastings and afternoon events available for booking online and I am already coordinating with my food pals to pay a visit in the New Year. Great to meet you both Dominique and Cindy, look forward to learning much more about chocolates and cocoa!
And a little Patience goes a long way in anything we do….and always cook with Love
Last month (See my November posting) I made a very traditional Japanese dish “Tai meshi (snapper rice); earlier this month I decided to tackle ramen and a different fish dish..Another challenge working on my focus and dedication to my craft, honing skills and building my patience..
A long time ago an old Japanese friend taught me how to make the Japanese braised chashu (pork) using pork shoulder butt (less fattening), ginger, leek, green onion, soy, mirin and sake. I marinade (soy/ginger/leek/green onion/sake) the pork shoulder over night; next day sauteed more leeks and ginger, add marinade to katsuobushi dashi (bonito flakes/kombu) to create the braising liquid, seared the pork shoulder and slowly “braised” (lading braising liquid over meat and flipping sides)
And for Christmas…I made a sockeye salmon pate (steamed salmon in lemon and a little sake, flaked and mixed with combination of Greek yogurt and Ojai lemonaise (1:1), grated lemon zest, chopped dill (don’t over do it as it can be overpowering), lemon juice, season to taste with black pepper and orange and lime sea salt as seasoning (Vancouver Island Salt Co – non-flavoured sea salt works also, I just happened to have this in my pantry!). I also made fresh cranberry sauce (fresh cranberries (1 bag) with blood orange juice and zest (1 big or 3 small blood orange), Cointreau (orange liquer) and brandy, lemon juice and zest, cinnamon stick, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar (a drizzle) and sea salt (I also used the orange and lime flavoured salt, regular works) – remember to fold in the zest almost towards the end of cooking process, and always adjust the seasoning accordingly.
And Gratitude Always ….Thank you to everyone… from my heart to yours..
That’s a wrap for 2016 – see you in the New Year (OO)
Summer Time: Chillin’ and Cooking….A snapshot of my July in Vancouver..
On Wednesday July 27 I will be on Ms. Deborah Moore’s radio show on Fairchild Radio 1470 at 10:30am sharp! ‘If you have any feedback or recommendations, I would love to hear from you! Drop me a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep Chilin’ and Cooking (OO)
Modern Chinese Cooking Class @ Nourish Cafe (3742 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC)
Last week my “cooking buddy” Jo and I took a ‘Modern Chinese Cooking Class” at the newly opened Nourish Cafe; owner and instructor Dan taught us how to make a simple version of “baos” (steamed buns) and “Dan Dan Noodles” – it was a fun and refreshing take on some old Chinese classics! I went with no expectation and left with great ideas; in fact Dan has solved one of my recent cooking dilemmas! Nourish’s food philosophy and practices are actually very close to what I’ve been learning over the past few years since we made some significant lifestyle changes; Thank you Dan and Lisa, it was great pleasure meeting you both and I shall return sometime! Check their website for class schedules.
French cooking is always very close my heart; Jo and I attended two demo-cooking (French cooking and later Brioche) classes learning from the lovely Valentine at Uncommon Cafe, she definitely made everything so easy! Check her website for class schedule!
Below is the picture of the asparagus and cheese tart which I created at home, following her recipe (from her other french cooking class); I think I may have conquered my fear in working puff pastry…one step at a time!
Shrimp croquettes @ Raisu in Kitslano
The latest “sister” restaurant to Kingyo (Davie), Rajio (west 10th) and Suika (West Broadway); Raisu opened recently on West 4th Avenue (2340 West 4th Avenue,Vancouver, BC), a big thank you to Brian (Seafood City) who told me about this new venue! There’s no storefront on the street level, look for a small entrance which leads you to an open space with patio on the second floor!
The shrimp croquette was so delicious and resembled the fluffy crab claws at a Chinese banquet; the vegetarian udon was packed with flavor! A cool open space with good vibe, where else would you be listening to Billy Joel and watching old-time Bruce Lee’s movies while enjoying some delicious bites? Reservations recommended (by phone only).
An old favorite revisited: Secret Garden Tea Company
My buddy DP and I paid a visit to this established and timeless favourite in Kerrisdale, they will be moving this summer! We had their High Tea set and I think their lemon tarts is still my favourite…They will be moving to a new location (on West 40th, still in the neighbourhood) sometime this summer.
It’s never too hot to cook: check out my noodle recipes (new and old postings)
I’m making more “mixed” noodle dishes this summer, experimenting with the spiralizer (yes finally new toy!) and new products (kelp noodle); meanwhile check out my old recipes (Type in the keywords in the “search” box (left column) above “RECENT POSTS”. My favourite recent posting is last month’s Sake Kasu sablefish (OO)
Sea Kelp “noodle” – available at Whole Foods – experimenting and recipe coming soon! Check out my instagram!
My Lazy Phnom Penh Noodle (July 2014) – it’s still one of my favourite things to make)
Mushroom Soba Salad (February 2014)
Vegetarian Soba with Lemon Vinaigrette (March 2016)