Category Archives: asian cooking

Steamed Cod with Citrus Chili Glaze


I’m one of those people who gets very excited about ideas. One weekend on a Saturday Jacob and I were running errands and I decided it was the day I was going to make my first steamed fish.

I was very excited with the notion of a new kitchen tool–a steamer!

I love fish–it’s very healthy, tastes wonderful, and is ultra satisfying on a breezy summers day. I rarely shop at Williams-Sonoma (of course most people go in there only to order things off their phone) but I was delightfully surprised to find a great deal on a steamer. For only $20 bucks we took home a beautiful simple wood steamer.

If you live in the Bay Area and you have access to fresh fish, I encourage you to get it from some place like Berkeley bowl, although it’s a little pricier, it’s well worth it.

I’m all about intuitive cooking–using your best judgement to put small variations on your favorite recipes–and for this one I didn’t have two kinds of Japanese wine, I just used the one sake we had in the house. The recipe came out fine!

I don’t generally cook cod, but I had heard of its mild flavor and dense, flaky white meat--it’s used to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

I got this wonderful heart-healthy cod recipe from Cooking Light Magazine.

I topped the cod with some of the ginger in addition to
steamed baby bok choy and a side of chutney.


1/2 cup sake (rice wine)
1/4 cup mirin (sweet sake)
2 stalks lemongrass, outer layers removed
3 tbsp. chopped onion
1 tbsp. minced garlic
Juice and zest of 1 orange and 1 lime
1/4 cup sweet Asian chili sauce
4 quarter-size slices fresh ginger
4 pieces (4oz each) Pacific cod
Cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs

Serves 4, takes 30 minutes


1. Set a steamer in a wok or pot with 2 in. water underneath. Bring water to boil.

2. Boil sake and mirin until reduced by half. Mince 1 tbsp. lemongrass; cut the rest into thin 3-instrips. Add minced lemongrass to sake mixture, reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, juices, and zest. Cook 3 minutes; add chili sauce and cook until thickened, 10 minutes.

3. Put lemongrass strips and ginger in steamer. Top with fish; cook, covered until just opaque in center, 8 minutes. serve over rice with a drizzle of sauce and the cilantro.

The perfect summer dinner party entree, leaving you feeling satisfied, light and happy.

242 calories, 22 g protein, 2.3 g fat, 18 g carbs, 190 mg sodium, 40 mg chol.


Shitake Soup


If you like mushroom flavored food, you will love this. If you don’t–don’t use mushroom broth, and you can make a variation on this lovely soup.

This soup is very easy to make, and satisfying. A vegetarian can substitute the chicken for tofu.

The backstory on cornstarch, and why I left it out

I recently made my first orange chicken dish–a healthy version. What I realized (perhaps a little late in my culinary career) is how chefs make the thick sauce for Orange Chicken–>corn starch.

Corn starch is harmless in small amounts, however it has been used to make lotion. It’s not something you should consume large amounts of. That being said I’ve left it out of this recipe that I borrowed from Eating Well Magazine.


Due to a lack of lo-mein noodles sold at Trader Joe’s this Asian-inspired soup I made with whole wheat noodles.

Remember cooking rules are only a guideline, and they’re meant to be broken. This Shitake Soup came out thick despite the lack of cornstarch ingredient.

Makes 8 Servings, about 2 cups each

Active time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

24 dried shitake or black Chinese mushrooms (2-3 ounces)
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-2 inch sticks
2 carts mushroom broth
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
4 1/4 cups water
2 chicken breasts (skinned) and cubed into bite-size pieces (or 2 14 ounce packages extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained)
1 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper if that’s all you have)
4 cups kale
1/4 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 cups cooked lo mein noodles (or whole wheat pasta broken up)
1 cup sliced scallions

Add all ingredients into the pot and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then bring the broth to a boil and add the noodles. Let them boil for ten minutes until soft, and until chicken is cooked all the way through. Chop scallions (or green onions if that is all you have) and put a teaspoon over the top of the soup.

Enjoy with a piece of homemade seven grain toast!

Flavorful Moo Shu Rolls


Moo Shu Rolls are really fun to eat, and for anyone on a high protein low carb diet, this is an appetizer for you. We use lean meats so in order to make the dish taste good you will need to make sure you add plenty of spice and flavor, and use a slow cooker that soaks up all the good juices. Moo Shu Rolls are fun to eat and a satisfying balance of salty sweet. The meat is a little salty, and the bibb lettuce provides a sweet crunch.

This recipe was adapted from this Slow Cook It recipe book.

Moo Shu Roll Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground lean beef (7% fat or less)
1/2 ground turkey (original recipe calls for pork–feel free to use either)
1 large portobello mushroom cap, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
20 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
3 carrots, shredded
10 thin scallions, sliced
5 radishes thinly sliced

You will need a slow cooker for this recipe.

Moo Shu Roll Directions

1. Combine beef, mushroom, onion, and garlic in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Mix broth, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and five spice powder in small bowl; pour over beef mixture. Cover and cook until flavors are blended and sauce is slightly thickened, 4-5 hours or 8-10 hours on low.

2. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon beef mixture in center of each lettuce leaf. Top each with about 1 tablespoon carrots, 1 tablespoon scallion and 1 tablespoon radishes; roll up.

I served this dish with a dollop of smoky hot grain mustard and the Trader Joe’s aoli mustard. You also might want to add a yogurt based sauce.

Per serving (2 rolls) about 94 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 27 mg Chol, 144 mg Sod, 5 g carbs, 11 g Prot, 1 g Fiber.