Tag Archives: asian

Mongolian Tofu.

It’s a well known fact that the Husby and I tend to order a lot of takeout.  Had I known sooner that it was this easy to make my own, we could’ve saved ourselves a lot of money!

We absolutely loved this meal from the Blogger’s Choice Swap.  The recipe jumped out at me right away and even after poring through the other recipes on the site, I knew this was the one.  I already had most of the ingredients at home so I only had to pick up a few things, which is always nice.  It was quick and easy.  The rice took longer to cook than the tofu!  I can always count on the Fruitaholic to eat tofu, but was a little bit unsure of how he’d react to having it smothered in sauce.  He ate his entire portion and asked for more.  Yeah!

I stayed pretty true to the recipe, although I cut the sugar a bit and added cornstarch based on the original recipe.  It made a ton of sauce, so I recommend either adding another block of tofu or halving the sauce ingredients.  Even after spooning additional sauce over rice, there was still quite a bit leftover.

Mongolian Tofu.


  • 1 Block Extra Firm Tofu, pressed and cubed (to press, place the tofu block on a plate and cover with a few paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place a heavy pan on top of the towel for at least 30 minutes.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. Sesame Oil (or Olive Oil)
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Green Onion, chopped


Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the cornstarch to the tofu in a small bowl and toss to coat.

Add the tofu to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes.

While the tofu is cooking, combine the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, water and brown sugar. Mix well.

When tofu has browned, add the sauce, stir, then bring to a simmer before reducing heat to low. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until sauce has thickened and reduced.

Serve over rice and garnish with green onion.

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Sesame Noodle Salad and a Giveaway!

This week’s recipe swap was Noodles!  I was super pumped for this swap because while I love pasta, we don’t eat a lot of it at home (I know, crazy right?).  I was matched again with Simple Gourmet Cooking and her recipe for Sesame Noodle Salad did not disappoint!  I’m a huge fan of Asian flavors and this was a great addition of something different to our Memorial Day spread.  I loved being able to serve something cold on a hot summer day.

I cheated a bit and used Trader Joe’s Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix since TJ’s was out of red cabbage and I didn’t feel like making an extra stop.  I always love adding in extra veggies where I can and this was the perfect way to do so.  It was also the perfect opportunity to test out my new toy: A Salad Dressing Shaker from OXO!!

The Salad Dressing Shaker has a great design, is BPA free and dishwasher safe.  It’s airtight, waterproof and has a leak proof, one handed open/close seal.  The wide opening allowed me to add all of my ingredients directly to the “bowl” and when open, the seal allowed enough room for the chunky ingredients to pass through.  Oh, and you didn’t hear it from me but it also works great as a drink shaker… The Husby used it to make an incredible martini!

OXO generously provided me with two Salad Dressing Shakers – one to demo and one to give away to a lucky TJOC reader!

To enter, just leave a comment telling me what you would use your Shaker for.  A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, June 5 at 3pm CST and will be contacted by email.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will choose another winner.  Must live in the United States.

Sesame Noodle Salad – slightly adapted from Simple Gourmet Cooking

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ginger, minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped

For the salad:

  • 1 Lb. Soba, Spaghetti or Lo Mein Noodles (I used TJ’s Brown Rice Spaghetti noodles)
  • 1 Package TJ’s Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix OR
  • 1 Cup Red Cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups Edamame, shelled and cooked
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds, for serving (I forgot to add these)

In the bowl of a salad dressing shaker, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, canola oil, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, green onions and cilantro.  Replace the top of the shaker and shake to combine.

Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.  Transfer the noodles to a large mixing bowl and toss with the veggies.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well coated.  Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds before serving.  Serve cold.

Tastes even better the next day!

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

For this week’s recipe swap, we swapped blogs, not recipes, much like The Secret Recipe Club.  I was assigned Mary Ellen’s blog, Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations.  Mary Ellen has some amazing recipes, and it was really hard to choose which one I wanted to make… until I saw this one.

I love chicken lettuce wraps.  I almost always order them whenever I see them listed on a menu, so to be able to make them at home is like a dream come true.  At first, I was intimidated by the long list of ingredients, but a fair amount of them overlapped and it came together pretty easily.  I’d strongly advise doing the prep  (chopping the garlic, water chestnuts, shallots and mushrooms, and dicing the chicken) ahead of time since that took the longest to prepare.  I attempted to make sure that all of the chopped ingredients were roughly the same size.  I actually had to run out in between prepping and preparing and once I was home and ready to make the dish, it took maybe 10 minutes to throw together, making it an easy weeknight meal.

It was a bit sweeter than the chicken lettuce wraps I’m used to but still had a ton of flavor.  I thought it could use a bit of spiciness so I added about a tablespoon of Colman’s hot mustard.  Next time, I’d probably add some Sriracha as well, since we felt it still needed some heat.

I can’t wait to make these again next time the craving hits!

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps – slightly adapted from Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations

For the Pouring Sauce:

  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Colman’s Hot Mustard (this stuff is hot!  Start with 1/2 Tbsp., taste then add more if desired)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced

For the Stir Fry Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar

For the Stir Fry Mixture:

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into small, bite sized cubes
  • 1 8oz Can Water Chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup Mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • Large Leaves from a Head of Iceberg Lettuce

In a medium bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water.  Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, tomato paste, lemon juice and sesame oil and mix well.  In a small bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, hot mustard and garlic cloves, mix well then add to the other bowl with the rest of the  pouring sauce ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar, then set aside.

Heat the olive oil and 1 Tbsp. sesame oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat until shimmering.  Add the chicken and saute until mostly cooked through, 4 minutes maximum (mine took about 2 minutes).  Reduce the heat to medium high, add the remaining 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, followed by the shallots, garlic, water chestnuts and mushrooms.  Cook for 1 minute, then add the stir fry sauce and cook an additional 4 minutes.  Transfer to a serving dish.

Spoon 1-2 spoonfuls of chicken stir fry mixture onto a leaf of lettuce.  Add a spoonful of pouring sauce then wrap and eat like a taco.

Asian Potato Salad.

It’s that time of year when summer parties are in abundance.  One thing you can be certain of is that some sort of potato salad will be in attendance at the festivities, so it was only fitting that this month’s Daring Cooks challenge was potato salad.

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

Because potato salad is so prevalent at summer picnics and barbeques, I knew that I wanted to make something different from your typical mayo-laden, calorie dense variety.  And different it was.

This potato salad packed an Asian flavored punch directly to my tastebuds and was a welcome addition to our table.  The original recipe calls for sweet potatoes, which I think would make a great salad even better.  So try this unique spin on your average potato salad at your next summer party!  You won’t be disappointed.

Asian Potato Salad – adapted from Food and Wine

*This recipe makes a large bowlful of potato salad.  If you are having/attending a smaller event, I recommend halving the recipe, reducing the soy sauce to 1/4 Cup.

  • 10 Russet Potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Cup plus 4 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce (I always use low sodium)
  • 2 Tbsp. Ginger, minced
  • 4 Tbsp. Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 8 oz Cans Water Chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions, chopped, green parts only
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then turn off heat, cover and allow to sit for 6 minutes.  Pierce potatoes with a fork to check for doneness.  They should be soft, yet still remain firm.  Drain potatoes into a colander and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp. of toasted sesame oil in a medium saucepan.  Once hot, add garlic, soy sauce and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes, until very fragrant.  Remove from heat and whisk in dijon mustard, seasoned rice vinegar and sugar.  Transfer sauce to a bowl, add the water chestnuts and green onion and set aside for 10 minutes.

Add the remaining toasted sesame oil and greek yogurt to the water chestnut mixture, season with salt and pepper and mix well.  Fold in the potatoes.

This salad can be refrigerated overnight, but is best served warm or at room temperature.