Archives for category: Snacks & Light Dishes


Fresh scallops are wonderfully sweet and taste like the sea. The sweetness matches well with the zing of lemon zest and white pepper. This ceviche is so easy to prepare. A great starter to any nice meal at home. Happy cooking ^.^~

5 raw scallops
3 teaspoons good olive oil
6 leaves mint plus 2 top snips for garnish
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
A small pinch of white pepper
Juice of half a lemon
Sea salt

Clean the scallops and reserve the edible muscles. Place a knife underneath the muscle and scraping across the bottom shell. Remove the top shell, take away all the inedible innards. Slice the scallops thinly across the top into 1 to 1 1/2 mm thickness.

Roll the mint leaves together and cut into chiffonade (long and thin strips).

In a small mixing bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, mint chiffonade, lemon zest, white pepper and sea salt.

Mix the scallops and coat well with the citrusy dressing. Plate and enjoy.


Wontons are a perfect appetizer for dinner parties. They’re easy to make and you can stuff them with practically anything from seasoned ground pork with vegetables, cheesy mixtures to fruit fillings. Our recipe of these savory cheesy fortune bags are great served with a citrusy sauce like raspberry puree, made from cooked raspberry with sherry, cinnamon, sugar and water. Cool the sauce, puree and pour into a squeeze bottle (see recipe below.) The wontons freeze well, so you can store the extra ones you’ve made to enjoy later. Dust the pie tins or dinner plates with flour before lining the wontons to prevent sticking. After the wontons are frozen, take them off the plates and store in heavy duty freezer bags. If you think 100 wontons are too much, scale down to 50 and just cut all ingredients to half. Happy Chinese New Year of the Dragon to all!

2 cups Mascarpone cheese
2 cups cream cheese
1 package fresh wonton skins (about 80-100 sheets)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium pumpkin
3 large red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
5 leaves sage, finely minced
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A pinch of sugar
Oil for frying
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Half the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet cut side up, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool, scoop out the roasted pumpkin and set aside.

In a sauté pan. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and throw in the diced onions and minced garlic. Season with salt & pepper and a pinch of sugar. Sauté until onions are caramelized and fragrant, about 6 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, sautéed onions, minced sage, cheeses, cayenne, Tabasco, Worcestershire, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients well together.

Wrap filling in traditional Chinese wonton skins. Deep fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.

Raspberry Sauce:

2 cups raspberry (fresh or frozen)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup sherry
1 2″ cinnamon stick
2 cups water

In a sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a boil then immediately turn down to a very small simmer. Reduce to half, about 35 minutes. Watch it closely so you don’t burn the sauce.

Cool the raspberry sauce and purée in a blender. Pour the sauce in a squeeze bottle. Decorate the sauce over the plate in whatever fashion you’d like.


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.


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.

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