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Friday, December 14, 2012

Mì Xào Tỏi (Garlic Noodle)

It seems that I have not been able to part from my laptop since I resumed blogging. There are so many delicious dishes that I want to share with everyone.  One of my favorite dishes that I like to serve on holidays or parties is this flavorful buttery noodle with ample amount of  garlic.  Fragrant garlic sauteed with butter filled my kitchen with the smell of an Italian restaurant.  It didn't last that long once I added soy sauce however.

Garlic noodle is quick and easy to prepare.  When crab season comes around, we usually have crab feast and I would make a huge serving plate of garlic noodle to fill everyone's tummy.

Before taking on this role as a "Domestic Engineer", I worked in downtown Sacramento.  During lunch time, my coworker and I often strolled to a nearby noodle shop to buy fresh egg noodle.  It is a small shop that supplies a variety of egg noodle, produced by one elderly Chinese man standing on his feet all day turning out these wonderful egg noodle.   Now, it's a bit of a drive for me to get to downtown so I often make garlic noodle using dried spaghetti noodle from a bag instead.  Though the size of spaghetti noodle is smaller than the size of the egg noodle and the texture is quite different, they both taste yummy.  However, I would prefer the thick egg noodle for this garlic noodles dish. 

Today, I made garlic noodle tossed with shrimps for the girls to enjoy after school. They love eating the garlic noodle not just for the savor and flavor but it's fun for them to slurp each string of noodle.  It also gives their lips a lovely natural glossy sheen and a wonderful after taste with each licking of their lips!
RECIPE: Mì Xào Tỏi (Garlic Noodle)
Printable Recipe


1 bag (14 oz each) thick Egg Noodle or
1 lb Spaghetti Noodle
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Europe Maggie Soy Sauce
1/2 stick of Butter
1/4 cup finely chopped Garlic
1/4  cup finely chopped Cilantro
1 lb large Shrimp, shelled and deveined, tail-on
about 1/4 cups Parmesan Cheese, optional
Cooking Noodle

The preferred way to cook spaghetti noodle is 'al dente' - pasta that is cooked just long enough that it is neither crunchy nor soft. There are three choices for done-ness: Al dente, firm and soft. If used spaghetti noodle for this recipe, cook until it's soft. Drain, do not rinse, and set aside.

If used egg noodle, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the noodle into the boiling water and cook the noodle unitl al dente (cooked just enough to retain a somewhat firm texture). Don't overcook as the noodle will become soggy. Rinse noodle under cold water.  Drain and set aside.

Preparing Sauce

Combine soy sauce and brown sugar and mix well.  Set aside.

Stir Frying Shrimps

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the hot skillet on high heat and sear the shrimps about a minute on each side or until shrimps turn pink and edges begin to brown. Remove and set aside.

Stir Frying Noodle

Bring the same frying pan on medium heat, add the butter and garlic.  Saute until fragrant. Add the sauce and give it a quick stir. Avoid cooking the sauce too long to prevent evaporation which could lead to a saltier sauce.

Add noodle and quickly toss the noodle to coat with the sauce for about a minute.  It also tastes wonderful with Parmesan cheese, so toss in some Parmesan cheese and mix well, if desired.  Add the shrimps and cilantro.  Mix well.


Transfer garlic noodles on a plate.   Enjoy!

Happy Holidays and May God Bless You and Your Family.
Be Full and Be Safe!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hồ Đào, Hạnh Nhân Rang với Thịt Lợn Muối Xông Khói (Roasted Spicy Bacon Mixed Nuts)

Wow...I am finally sitting in front of the laptop and blogging starts creeping back into my life after a long hiatus. As most of you know I have just settled into a new place. The process as some of you can relate was exciting and stressful at the same time.

As much as I miss blogging I had no time and no internet for me to blog. Now that the dust has settled, literally,  I can now get back to my old routine. 

Let's ring in the winter holidays with some nutty appetizer. I was introduced to this by one of my good friends and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I tweaked the recipe a little bit and here it is! This addicting snack/appetizer is a mixture of nuts and bacon covered in sugar, salt and chilly spice - the usual suspects in anything good right?

Nut by itself is crazy good for your health as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  It contains unsaturated fats, fiber, vitamin E, plant sterols, and L-arginineEating nuts helps lower your cholesterol; it reduces your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. Nuts also improve the health of the lining of your arteries.  But sometimes, snacking on plain nuts can be quite boring.  This recipe is probably not the best for your health, but more for your culinary soul;  I hope the two balance out.

We made three batches of the recipe, put them in jars, tied them with ribbons and gave them as Thanksgiving gifts to my daughter's teacher and our love ones.  My husband brought a huge container of these delicious nuts to share with his staff at work and I heard it was well received. Thanks for the support guys!

Walnuts, almond and macadamia are my husband's most favorite nuts, but you can use any kind of nuts you would like for this recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my husband and my girls do.
RECIPE: Roasted Spicy Bacon Mixed Nuts

1 bag (16oz) Applewood Smoked Bacon
3 Egg Whites
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
1 1/2 cup Sugar
3-4 cups raw Almonds
3-4 cups Walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cooking Bacon

Place bacon slices on a tray, bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Make sure to turn frequently, allowing slices to brown evenly on both sides.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Save the bacon fat for later use. When the bacon is cool down, break them into small pieces. Set it aside.
Preparing Nuts

In a medium bowl, separate egg whites from egg yolks.  Beat the egg whites and salt until just foamy. Gradually add the sugar, and cayenne and beat until just blended.

Add  almonds and walnuts.  Toss until the nuts are coated.

Baking Nuts

Pour a generous amount of the bacon fat on baking sheets and use a brush to spread it evenly.  Spread the nut mixture in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake at 300 degrees until the nuts are crisp and brown, about 30 minutes, turning and stirring the nut mixture with a spatula every 10 minutes to allow the nuts brown evenly on both sides.

Remove from oven and let it completely cool down.  Transfer the nut mixture to a bowl. Add the bacon pieces and toss to blend. Store it in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Enjoy these addicting nuts with a cup of your favorite tea!