Archives for category: Sides & Sauces


We made a fun variation to my childhood favorite 凉面, cold noodles with sesame peanut sauce, substituting the noodles with cucumber. The toasted sesame paste is not tahini sauce. You can get sesame paste at any Chinese grocery store. We recommend Taiwanese brands. Happy cooking!

3 cucumbers, shredded lengthwise
1/2 cup toasted sesame paste
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon good toasted black sesame oil
3 teaspoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
Toasted black sesame seeds

Shred cucumbers lengthwise resembling the shape of noodles.  Wrap in paper towel and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a mixing bowl, stir the sesame paste and peanut butter with 1/4 cup warm water until incorporated and smooth. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sugar and vinegar.

Place sesame peanut sauce on a plate, top with shredded cucumber and sprinkle sesame seeds. Mix and enjoy!

Note: If you like it spicy, drizzle  with hot oil.

Advertisements


These crunchy sugar snap peas tossed with sesame seeds and lemon zest are simple, delicious and make a great side to any main dish. We serve them with anything from roast beef, pan seared salmon, sandwiches to pasta salads. Or you can make it alone and snack away!

1 pound sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt

Wash the sugar snap peas, tear off stem ends and strings. Pad dry.

In a medium mixing bowl, toss the sugar snap peas with olive oil, sesame seeds, lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with kosher salt.

Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for later.


One of our all-time favorite comfort foods is, the burger! And this time, the variation is brown beech mushroom and Swiss. It’s easy, fun to make and taste better than any burger joint in Shanghai. Brown beech mushrooms have a slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor, pairs perfectly with juicy beef and savory fried onions. With roasted garlic aioli served on the side.

2 Australian ground beef patties
3-4 slices ripe tomato
2 slices Swiss cheese
1 cluster brown beech mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup rice flour
1 small bunch arugula
2 sesame buns
Sweet butter
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Slice the onions, dust them in rice flour and shake off excess. Heat canola oil in a medium pot. Deep fry the onion slices until golden brown. Pull the fried onions and drain on paper towel.

In a saute pan, saute the mushrooms with garlic, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Season beef patties with salt and pepper on both sides. In a medium saute pan, heat a little bit of canola oil and cook the beef patties to desired temperature. We like our burgers medium-rare on the rare side, about 3 minutes on each side. After flipping the burgers over, top each patty with a slice of Swiss cheese and finish the cooking. Serve immediately on toasted and buttered sesame buns. Top with fresh sliced tomato, arugula, fried onions and sauteed mushrooms.

Roasted Garlic Aioli:

2 egg yolks
1 bulb garlic
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Wrap the garlic bulb in aluminum foil. Bake the package in the oven for about 35 minutes until garlic is soft.

Squeeze about 1/2 bulb of roasted garlic (add more if you’d like) into a blender. Add all other ingredients in the blender except the oil. Start the blender, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and canola oil. Blend until smooth and fluffy. Can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


Often when we pick up avocados from the Avocado Lady, the avocados are firm-ripe, not soft ripened that can be eaten right away. These firm-ripe avocados are perfect for making avocado fries. If you have a left over baguette, leave it in the brown paper bag and let it harden. When hard enough, crumble the baguette, season the bread crumbs as you like with dry herbs and keep in a jar.

2 firm-ripe avocados
1/4 cup rice flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup homemade bread crumbs
1/2 lemon
Canola or peanut oil for frying
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon milk. Prepare the rice flour, egg mixture and bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes.

Half the avocado, twist open and remove the pit. Remove the avocado with a large spoon and slice each half into 3-4 wedges. Place avocado wedges on a plate and squeeze lemon juice over them. The lemon juice helps the avocado from turning color but we do this so that the salt & pepper will adhere. Sprinkle with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper on all sides.

Dip the avocado first in rice flour, shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then coat in bread crumbs. Place the coated avocado wedges in a single layer on a plate.

In a medium pot, heat canola or peanut oil on medium-high heat. Test the oil by dipping a single chopstick into the hot oil. When the chopstick sizzles with bubbles rising up to the oil surface, the oil is ready for deep frying. Fry the avocado 3-4 wedges at a time until deep golden brown, about 30-45 seconds. Transfer avocado to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli:

1 roasted red pepper (jar type), chopped
6 tablespoons mayonnaise (we like Japanese brand Kewpie)
1/2 teaspoon Dean & Deluca dried fine herbs (or thyme, tarragon and parsley)
Pinch dried chervil
Squeeze of lemon
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small mixing bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, chopped roasted red pepper, dried herbs, squeeze of lemon and salt & pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.


1 head lettuce
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Jesse’s Cilantro & Parsley Sauce, recipe as follows
1 teaspoon white rice vinegar
Juice of 1/6 lemon
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Clean lettuce and pat dry. Thinly slice the onion. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the olive oil, 1 tablespoon Jesse’s cilantro & parsley sauce, white vinegar and squeeze of lemon wedge. Salt & pepper to taste.

Dress the lettuce and onion slices according to your preference and serve immediately.

Jesse’s Cilantro & Parsley Sauce:

1/2 cup good olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frech Italian parsley, packed
1 cup fresh cilantro, packed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
1 dried or fresh red chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pulse all ingredients in a processor, about 20 pulses. Pour into a bottle, it can be refrigerated up to 1 week. We add this delicious sauce on steak, grilled chicken and prawns, and even as a pizza base.

%d bloggers like this: