Category Archives: seafood

Sweet and Sour Wings



The taste of these wings remind me of Ketchup prawns which I usually made for big family dinners.  However, the wings take longer to make, and to make sure the sauce actually sticks to the wings the most important step is to brown the chicken wings.

I love wings and have not really explore different ways of making them.  This is a good start.

Here is the recipe:

24 mid wings, wash and pat dry

6 Tbsp of Ketchup

1 1/2 Tbsp of rice wine

3 Tbsp of Oyster sauce

3 Tbsp of water

1 1/2 Tbsp of sugar

1 Tbsp of chili sauce ( depending on your taste)


1. Marinade chicken wings with white pepper and rice wine.  Toss a dash of corn starch in and mix.

2.mix the ingredients of the sauce in a bowl ( ketchup, wine, oyster sauce, water , sugar and chili sauce). Set aside.

3. Heat about a Tbsp oil in saucepan, and fry chicken wings on both sides until lightly golden brown.

4.Pour sauce mix into chicken wings

5. Turn down heat, cover and simmer until sauce thickens.


Thai Shrimp Cakes


I am on a mission to boost up my tolerance for hot spicy food as I will be going to a place which is known for heat, not only in weather but also for their food. 

I love hot spicy food and in my younger days I could down a big bowl of hot sour noodles without batting my eyes.  I am talking about the ” real” hot and sour noodles with a layer of chili oil floating on the broth and nothing else.  Not the kind with the chopped up and sliced up meat and vegetables.   Some how over the years I have lost my ability to handle hot spicy food, and it is an embarrassment for me to sweat profusely while I am eating it in a restaurant.    My first step is to spice up my cooking, and as soon as I found this recipe for shrimp cakes on Rasa Malaysia website, I was inspired to make it.  To stick to my mission, I even added an extra heaping table-spoon of red curry paste, and you will be pleased to know I survived the self-imposed test. 

To accompany this dish Ariella made Poutine.  It was really sort of ” East meets West” dinner.  We were able to find some cheese curds in our local supermarket and could not wait to try it at home.  Yes, Poutine is indeed a wonderful Canadian invention ! ( I never tried it with cheese curds until last night)

My review of the supper: The shrimp cakes were superb, I strongly recommend you do  not substitute the long green beans, or even leave it out.  The chopped up long green beans make the texture of the cakes very interesting as it adds an extra crunch to the springiness.  Make sure you don’t get the long “fat” green beans and these skinny guys are not always available.

So here is the recipe from Rasa Malaysia, a food blog I discovered recently and it has a lot of delicious looking Asian recipes. 

Thai Shrimp Cake Recipe
Source: Easy Thai Cooking, Robert Danhi
Makes: 20 pieces | Preparation: 7 minutes + chilling time | Cooking: 10 minutes


8 oz (250g) peeled and deveined raw shrimp, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 large egg
2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 cup (25g) chopped long bean/green beans
2 tablespoons roughly chopped Thai basil leaves
2 tablespoons oil

Sweet Cilantro Sauce:

1/4 cup (65ml) Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
1 teaspoon minced ginger


1. Prepare the Sweet Cilantro Sauce by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl and then set aside.
2. Spread the shrimp on a plate and chill the shrimp in the freezer for 15 minutes(this can ensures the springy texture of the shrimp cakes). Meanwhile get all your other ingredients ready. Combine the chilled shrimp, red curry paste, egg, fish sauce, sugar and coconut milk in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Mix in the green beans and basil.
3. Because different brands of curry pastes have differing amounts of salt you’ll want to make a sample shrimp cake first by saute 1 tablespoon of the mixture in a skillet(frying pan). Taste, and if necessary, adjust the seasoning with fish sauce and salt.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. First use 1 tablespoon of the oil to coat the skillet, use a measuring spoon to drop 1 tablespoon of the paste into the skillet. With a damp finger, flatten the paste slightly to about 1/2″ thick. Make about 10 of these shrimp patties in the skillet.Cook the cakes until they are golden brown on each side and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, make more patties from the remaining paste and cook the same way. Serve with a side bowl of the Sweet Cilantro Sauce.

Seafood bouillabaisse


I am tripping down memory lane again.  I have been craving for  seafood bouillabaisse which used to be my “date night” entrée. I never heard of this dish until this prairie housewife moved out to the land of milk and honey.  The first time I had it was at Horizon.  It is a lovely little place up on Burnaby Mountain which overlooks the beautiful city.  The first time I went there was with my late husband when we had a discount coupon  from one of those fund-raising booklets.  If it hadn’t been for the 50 percent off, we would have never ordered it because it was quite expensive.    But ever since then this dish became my favorite and once in a while my late husband would take me out and ordered it for me as a special treat ( and he would order something less expensive on the menu for himself).  He would sit there and watch with amusement while I polished my bouillabaisse with gusto.  ( That is love !)

I haven’t had it for a long time,  as you can see, this dish is loaded with memories.  Then  last week Ariella suggested that we should make it on Sunday, which is a better day to cook because we do not have to rush.   Originally I was going to make my own broth but when I looked at the recipes on internet, I realized it is going to take a long time and most of all a handful of ingredients.  Fortunately Ariella discovered this store by her work which sells the starter broth and we were just beside ourselves because it definitely saves us a lot of time.

Anyways, we did not have it on Sunday as planned, for we got invited to dinner at the Js’.  Whenever I get an invitation from them I will ( try) not to turn it down because he is a fantastic chef.  Since the broth has an expiry date, we ended up having it last night for a late dinner as daughter number one could not get off work until 7 pm.

So here it is, the version according to the instant noodle chef :


1 1/2 lb of salmon pieces

1/2 lb of halibut pieces

1 fresh crab, cleaned and cut in pieces

1 lb of fresh clams

12 pieces of frozen scallops

( basically any fresh fish and shell-fish will do)


Bring the broth to a bubbling boil, add in the seafood which require longer cooking ( crab and clams)

When the shell-fish is half-cooked, put in the halibut pieces and the thawed scallops, boil  for a couple of minutes

Finally, add in salmon chunks.  Cook until they turn pink.

Serve immediately with toasted bread

The dish was delish !! However for us the broth  was a tad too tomato-ey.   We can’t complain though becuase the broth is so convenient and you do not have to spend time chopping, cooking and blending.   If you are real adventurous and want a more seafood taste to the broth then the best thing is to make your own.

The homemade/lazy version of the bouillabaisse did its job for me, it warmed my tummy and brought back some sweet memories.  It was nice to be able to have a family dinner together chatting and making a mess with our fingers and our faces.

Maybe next time when I am super industrious , I will then make my own broth. But until then, I am happy with the store-bought one.

Cajun Crab Boil


As I said in the last posting, for Ariella’s birthday we opted to eat at home, and I have to say it was a better choice. I guess she really likes my cooking !! 

 For this year, the birthday girl had requested fresh prawns and unfortunately the season is over.  I went to a couple of places and could not find them so we had to settle on Dungeness crab instead.  It so happened that there was a huge sale on, and I was able to get big fresh meaty ones, and most importantly the guy at the counter was willing to kill the beasts for me.  It is definitely no fun trying to catch them while they run away from you on the kitchen counter!

When the girls were young, we loved to eat at the Crab Pot in the Seattle Public Market, it was on our itinerary whenever we went to Seattle.  We would order a big pot of boiled seafood, and ate them with our bare hands.  I loved how they just dumped the whole pot on to our tables and they would give us these horrendous looking  plastic bibs to wear.  Honestly the seafood was not that good since it was mass-produced and I often found they were very over cooked.

For this special date, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and made Cajun crab boil just like what we used to have at Crab Pot.  I found the recipe for the seasoning from cdkitchen, I had tweaked the recipe a little and boiled the seasoning in the pot for almost an hour, I wanted to make sure to get all the flavor out in the water before boiling the seafood.

The key to making a successful crab boil is in the timing.  Every single ingredient is cooked differently, I put in the potatoes first, and then the corn.  The sausages went in about the same time. The crab was the first batch of seafood to go into the pot, followed by the clams and finally the prawns.  I had to keep an eye and make sure they were not too over done.  Just before I served them , I had sprinkled some Cajun spices for presentation.  You can get bottled spices in most grocery stores.  The end result was quite satisfactory, my dinner guests loved it.  They ended up polishing three bottles of wine…woohoo.  Maybe that was the reason why the enjoyed the dinner. 

This is a fun dinner to make, and definitely it is something I will make again for dinner parties whenever I can get fresh seafood.  Yup, it is all in the freshness. 



4 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons whole allspice
2 tablespoons dill seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
8 bay leaves
Salt and cayenne pepper (or liquid hot sauce) to taste


Combine all dry ingredients thoroughly. Place in a square of muslin or cheesecloth and tie securely with string, like a large sachet d’ipices. Add salt and cayenne or hot sauce to taste. When water for seafood is boiling, add the bag and boil for several minutes, until the boiling liquid is tinted and seasoned, then add shellfish and cook until done, depending on what you’re using.

combination seafood rice noodle


I love rice noodles either in soup or stir fried, but I  never had luck frying it because they always get stuck at the bottom of the pan, but Christine has some awesome tips and it really  works !!

This is an easy recipe, I used all seafood instead of chicken and char siu, but unfortunately I overcooked the seafood, next time I will have to watch for the timing

Good recipe !