Since we loved the chicken yakitori recipe, I decided to do the rice noodles and mizuna again… this time with some easy grill-panned shrimp. Great marinade. Super easy. And mizuna is delicious. Tossing the whole thing with the yakitori dressing AND the ponzu reduction was a great success. Will try this again, for sure. (Peeled and deveined shrimp would definitely be easier to prep and eat.)

Grilled Shrimp with Rice Noodles and Mizuna


Grilled Shrimp with Ponzu Sauce

I just used the shrimp marinade for this. And I didn’t have real ginger, but ginger powder worked!

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine), or 3 tablespoons dry Sherry mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 10 uncooked extra-large shrimp (about 10 ounces), peeled, deveined
  • 2 cups thinly sliced bok choy or Napa cabbage (skipped this part)

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk soy sauce, mirin, lemon juice, oil, ginger and lemon peel in shallow bowl to blend. Add shrimp and stir to coat; let marinate 10 minutes.

Drain marinade into small saucepan and boil 1 minute. Grill shrimp until just opaque in center, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes.

I didn’t do this part but here it is: Divide bok choy between 2 plates and drizzle with some of warm marinade. Top with shrimp. Serve, passing remaining marinade as sauce, if desired.

Rice Noodles and Mizuna

Just used the dressing recipe from the Chicken Yakitori I made recently. Tossed with rice noodles and mizuna.

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to directions, shocked in cold water and drained well
  • 8 ounces mizuna

Whisk together the oil, rice vinegar, soy, lime juice and sugar in a large bowl and season with pepper. Pour some over the mizuna, toss to coat and mound in a large shallow serving bowl. Toss the noodles with the remaining dressing and mound in the center of the mizuna.



I happened to catch Bobby Flay grilling up some Japanese bbq the other day. It all looked SO good that I decided it was high time we did the same. Of course, we must do said grilling in our kickass grill pan instead of on an actual grill in the great outdoors. So we get the added bonus of a smoky apartment and some real good pan scrubbing. Lucky me! (We all know who did the dishes.)

The yakitori turned out very well. I started using skewers but realized that they didn’t fit in the pan, so I ditched them. And mizuna? New favorite green! Plus this dish features our favorite: rice noodles.

Here are two eggplant recipes: the one I was going to make and the one I ended up making. When you find a teeny tiny insect in your miso paste, and when you’re fortunate enough to have most of the ingredients needed for a different asian glazed eggplant recipe, I recommend going with plan B. I’m sure that our teeny tiny winged friend is considered a delicacy in many parts, but not here, and not tonight. C’mon, I got the attractive nuisance to enjoy eggplant. That’s adventurous enough for one night!


Chicken Yakitori


  • 1/4 cup pureed daikon radish
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Few dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco, plus more for serving
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to directions, shocked in cold water and drained well
  • 8 ounces mizuna


Special equipment: 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 1 hour

Whisk together the radish puree, mirin, sake, oil, soy and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.

Preheat a charcoal grill or kamado-style ceramic charcoal cooker for direct grilling over high heat.

Using 2 skewers for each chicken thigh, thread the edges of the meat onto the skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board.

Whisk together the oil, rice vinegar, soy, lime juice and sugar in a large bowl and season with pepper. Pour some over the mizuna, toss to coat and mound in a large shallow serving bowl. Toss the noodles with the remaining dressing and mound in the center of the mizuna.

Cut the chicken thighs in half down the middle between the skewers to make kebabs. Arrange the skewers spoke-like around the mizuna, chicken toward the center, drizzle with additional hot sauce and serve.


Spicy Hoisin Glazed Eggplant


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 medium eggplant, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, lengthwise
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves


Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and red chili flakes and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the hoisin, vinegar and soy sauce until combined and then strain, reserving the sauce.

Heat grill to high.

Brush eggplant slices on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the slices on the grill and grill until golden brown and slighty charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Brush with some of the glaze, turn over and continue grilling just until cooked through, brushing with more of the glaze, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and brush with the remaining glaze. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Miso Glazed Grilled Eggplant

I’m sure this is very tasty. Sans bug.


  • 1/2 cup white miso (also called shiro miso)
  • 1/4 cup cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh mint, for garnish


Preheat a charcoal grill or kamado-style ceramic charcoal cooker for direct grilling over high heat.

Whisk together the miso, mirin, sugar and 2 tablespoons water until combined.

Brush the cut-side of the eggplant with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant, cut-side down, until lightly golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant over, brush with some of the glaze and continue grilling for 2 more minutes. Brush with more glaze, flip over and grill until the cut-side is caramelized, about 4 minutes. Remove to a platter, cut-side up, and sprinkle with mint.

More farmers’

Tried a couple new things with the haul from the farmers’ market. Very simple and quite good. Especially the butter. I mean, corn. Went well with new fave, roasted fingerling potatoes. (New fave because they are so much easier to flip over midway than tiny chopped-up taters.)

Oh, and sad news: blue bowl has gone to bowl heaven. You served us well for so long. Sorry my hand slipped and completely shattered you into a million pieces all over the floor. Hope there’s tons of ice cream in bowl heaven. So long, blue.


Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

From Smitten Kitchen, Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables

Serves 6

1 pound green beans, though if you can find a mix of green and yellow beans, it will be all the prettier
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Basil or other herb (optional)

Prepare the vegetables: Top and tail the beans and cut them into large segments. Parboil the beans in salted water until just tender, about four to five minutes. Drain and immediately spread them out to cool. Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.

Make the vinaigrette: Peel and mince the shallot and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes in with the vinaigrette; this can sit for a while. Do not add the green beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette. For variety, the salad can be garnished with basil or some other fresh herb such as parsley, chervil or hyssop.

Do ahead: Beans and vegetables can be prepared ahead of time. Simply toss with the dressing only at the last minute, as it can discolor the green beans after several hours.



I made a two tiny tweaks to this right before serving: chopped cilantro and a squirt of fresh squeezed lime. Mmm….

Sauteed Fresh Corn (from Barefoot Contessa Parties!)


  • 8 to 10 ears of corn on the cob (yellow or white corn)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Remove the husks and the silk from the corn and cut the kernels off as close to the husk as possible without removing any of the husk. You should have about 7 cups of kernels.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saute pan. Add the corn, salt, and pepper and saute uncovered on medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the starchiness in the corn is gone. Taste, for salt and pepper, and serve.

Tuesday farmers’

Hit the Tuesday farmers’ market this week and opted for a slight variation on the usual suspects. Tried two new recipes with a couple standbys: roasted fingerling potatoes and some tomatoes in balsamic vinaigrette.



After eating a version of this at Mario Batali’s Enoteca Otto in Vegas, I had to try it at home. The grill pan did the trick. I used fresh mozz, which was little watery, so I’d properly use the scamorza next time. Very nice!

Grilled Radicchio Treviso with Scamorza Cheese

  • 4 (9-inch) heads Treviso radicchio
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely grated smoked Scamorza cheese or smoked mozzarella (3 oz)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Prepare grill for cooking.

Remove any loose outer leaves. from radicchio and trim bases, leaving heads intact. Quarter each head lengthwise. Brush radicchio lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill radicchio on a rack over moderately hot coals (coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack 3 to 4 seconds), covered, turning every 10 minutes, until outer leaves are browned and hearts are tender, 25 to 30 minutes total.

Sprinkle cheese over cut sides of radicchio and grill, uncovered, until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Transfer radicchio to a platter and drizzle with vinegar.

Cooks’ notes: •Gas-grill method: Grill radicchio, covered, over moderately high heat away from direct flame as above 20 to 25 minutes total.

•Grill-pan method: Grill radicchio in batches, without cheese, in a hot well-seasoned ridged grill pan, covered, over moderate heat. Transfer as grilled, cut sides up, to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 325°F oven. When all batches are grilled, sprinkle cheese over radicchio, then heat in oven until cheese melts.



I think we liked this better than the Braised Kale/Chard recipe that we’ve been loving for a long time. A little bit of butter goes a long way…

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions (from Epicurious)

  • 3 pound green Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

Cooks’ notes:

· Chard can be washed, dried, and cut 2 days ahead and chilled in sealed bags lined with dampened paper towels.
· Chard can be cooked 4 hours ahead and reheated over low heat on stove or in a microwave oven.


We are kind of obsessed with Vietnamese food. Haven’t made these favorites in a while. Lots of chopping but worth it.


Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp Vermicelli Recipe (Bun Tom Heo Nuong)
Serves 3


8 oz rice sticks
12 medium-sized shrimp, shelled (but leave tail intact) and deveined
3 lettuce leaves, thinly cut
1/2 small cucumber, cut into thin strips
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/2 small carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
Some cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Some mint leaves, coarsely chopped
Some perilla leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
Some Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, coarsely ground

BBQ Shrimp Marinade:

1 teaspoon fish sauce
3 heavy dashes black pepper powder
A pinch of turmeric powder


Cook the rice sticks according to the package instructions. Rinse with cold water thoroughly after cooking, drain in a colander and set aside.

Marinate the shrimp with all the ingredients in the BBQ Shrimp Marinade for 30 minutes. Prepare and cut all the vegetables and herbs.

Fire up your BBQ pit and grill the shrimp until they are properly cooked. Divide the rice sticks, vegetables and herbs into 3 portions and transfer them into 3 bowls. (The rice sticks should sit on top of the vegetables and herbs). Transfer 4 shrimps into each serving, sprinkle some ground peanuts, and pour some nuoc cham (fish sauce) into the noodles. Serve immediately.

Nuoc Cham (Fish Sauce or Vietnamese Dipping Sauce) Recipe


1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon sugar (if you like it sweeter)
3 tablespoon lime juice


Add fish sauce, water, sugar and lime juice in a small bowl and mix well. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.

Cook’s Notes:

  1. To jazz up the taste, add some garlic chili sauce and mix well with the fish sauce (nuoc cham) before serving.
  2. For the nuoc cham recipe, different brand of fish sauce tastes differently, so adjust the sugar, warm water level to your liking. If it’s too salty or strong for your taste, add more water and sugar.
  3. For fish sauce, I recommend 3 Crabs brand Fish Sauce.



Vietnamese Grilled Pork Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon Thit Heo Nuong)

(Serves 4)

For the grilled pork:

1 lb pork chops, loin, butt or shoulder. Sliced thin.
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil

Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce Recipe

1 cup (8 oz) hoisin sauce (if sauce is thick, add about 1/4 cup warm water to reach desired consistency)
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 Tbs rice vinegar
2 garlic, crushed
1 minced thai chili, or more for desired spiciness

For spring roll rice paper assembly:

About 10 rice paper wrappers
Cucumber, cut into long slices
Fresh herbs: mint, cilantro, basil, vietnamese coriander, balm or perilla
Bean sprouts


1. In plastic bag, combine all ingredients for the grilled pork. Let marinade for about 20 minutes. Grill both sides of pork for about 2-3 minutes, or until desired texture.
2. In blender, combine all ingredients for the hoisin peanut dipping sauce. Blend until everything combines smoothly together. If it is too thick, continue adding warm water until desired consistency.
3. In bowl of warm water, dip each rice paper wrapper for about 3-5 seconds (depending on rice paper thickness). Do not over soak your rice paper wrapper! Place on work service and allow rice paper to soak up water and become gelatinous and pliable (about 30 seconds to 1 minute, again, depending on the thickness rice paper).
4. On top 1/3 side closest to you, lay lettuce on the bottom for added strength to the wrapper. Then place meat, herbs and other vegetables. Roll up spring roll about 1/3 way through, then fold in the sides. View step-by-step photographs of spring rolling here.
5. Serve with hoisin peanut dip.


The fam turned me onto this one. How had we not made this before?!


Bucatini All’Amatriciana

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced guanciale, pancetta, or chopped unsmoked bacon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes with juices, crushed by hand
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces dried bucatini or spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino (about 1 ounce)

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add guanciale and sauté until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes. Add pepper flakes and black pepper; stir for 10 seconds. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 2 minutes before al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.

Add drained pasta to sauce in skillet and toss vigorously with tongs to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. (Add a little pasta water if sauce is too dry.) Stir in cheese and transfer pasta to warmed bowls.