Posts tagged ‘spicy’

Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles with Shrimp

I’ve been on a big Southeast Asian food kick recently.

I always like Asian food, but recently I’ve been making it more often than usual.Especially Thai and Vietnamese food.

This recipe for Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles I originally found on Skinnytaste. I changed the chicken to shrimp and a few other things to suit my own tastes better.

If you want to make something Thai, but are tired of Pad Thai and curries (albeit it would be pretty hard to ever get tired of either of those in my opinion), these peanut noodles are a nice change.

I suggest you add the Sriracha sauce gradually to find the spicy level you’re most comfortable with. It can get pretty hot pretty fast with Sriracha sauce, but man, it’s so darn good. I love Sriracha sauce. Forget the Tabasco sauce. Give me Sriracha any day! Sriracha on pho, Sriracha on vermicelli bowls, Sriracha on spring rolls, Sriracha mixed with mayo on sandwiches…..
I digress.

Anyway, try out this noodles for a nice change from your regular Asian fare, and go as easy or as heavy on the Sriracha as you like. We don’t judge here. 🙂

Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles with Shrimp

(serves 5 – 6)

For the marinade:

  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • dash of salt and pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1 3/4 c. chicken broth
  • 5 Tbsp. natural peanut butter (not the sugar pumped kind)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce (use more or less, depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 lb. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • 8 oz. rice noodles
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 2 c. shredded broccoli slaw
  • 1 c. fresh bean sprouts (optional)
  • 1/4 c. chopped peanuts, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • lime wedges and cilantro for garnish (optional)
  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the shrimp, and mix until the shrimp is well coated. Cover and let marinade for about 30 min. to 1 hour.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the sauce ingredients. Heat slowly, stirring occasionally until sauce becomes smooth, about 5 – 8 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Boil noodles according to package instructions.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add peanut oil. Add the shrimp and saute, stirring constantly, until completely cooked, about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from wok.
  5. Add garlic, scallions, broccoli slaw, and bean sprouts to wok. Saute, stirring constantly, for 1 – 2 minutes, until slightly tender, but still crisp. Remove from wok.
  6. Drain cooked noodles and return to pot. Add the sauce, shrimp, and stir-fried vegetables to the pot. Mix until everything is well coated. Divide noodles between individual bowls. Sprinkle with toasted peanuts and cilantro (optional), and serve with a lime wedge.



July 3, 2012 at 8:48 am Leave a comment

Spring Coconut Curry

When Hisa and I got up this morning to go swimming, it was dark, raining, and thundering and lightning. We went to the pool though, only to discover that when there’s lightning the pool closes (which seems odd considering it’s an indoor pool). So, we came back home and I baked muffins for breakfast. And my parents were happy. Because there were muffins. And they were good. The end.

It really is quite a cold (compared to the 70’s temperatures we’ve been having this week), wet, miserable day. But on the other hand, we really need the rain, the trees are starting to leaf out, and spring is on its way (or I suppose it’s already here really). Nonetheless, we’re going to try and go swimming when the pool opens for lap swim this evening, although, I admit, I would love nothing more than to snuggle up with a blanket, have a cup of cocoa, and watch movies and read all day. That’s what rainy days are for, right? 🙂

We had this dish for dinner one night while we were in Texas working on the farm. The sauce is basically made up of Rotel, coconut milk, and buttermilk, three things I would never had thought to combine. For whatever reason though, it works. And the resulting slightly spicy, coconut milk curry is really really good.
This curry is great for featuring spring vegetables like asparagus, carrots, spring onions, peas, leeks, fennel, etc. I used a big bunch of new asparagus, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and green bell pepper as well as diced chicken, and served it over steamed brown rice, but feel free to use whatever spring vegetables you like/have, and leave out the chicken if you want to make it vegetarian. This is really good served on steamed rice, but I think it would also make a lovely pasta sauce.


Thanks Nancy, for such a wonderful dinner idea!


Spring Coconut Curry

(serves 5 – 6)

  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 – 1 1/2 in. pieces
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 c. chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 can original Rotel
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. uncooked brown rice
  1. Cook rice according to package instructions.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and bell pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms, asparagus, and chicken, and saute until chicken is cooked through, about 8 – 10 minutes.
  4. Add flour, and mix until becomes paste-like. Cook for 1 more minute.
  5. Add Rotel, coconut milk, buttermilk, and oregano. Heat until hot, but not boiling. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.

March 8, 2012 at 11:01 am Leave a comment


I love gumbo.

Mainly because it’s spicy and has okra in it; two things I love dearly.

Did you know “gumbo” is the Bantu (language spoken in certain parts of Africa) word for okra? That is why no matter what gumbo recipe you use, you must always have okra in it. Okra-less gumbo is just wrong. I will be morally offended if you make gumbo with no okra in it. Okay, so maybe I won’t be offended, but seriously, the okra makes gumbo so good. Just sayin’.

I keep my gumbo pretty simple. Saute onion, celery, garlic, and green pepper, make a roux with flour and oil or butter, add broth, whisk to thicken, and your spices, okra, and 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, add your chicken and sausage/ham (if using), let it simmer a good 30 minutes, and you shrimp, let it cook another couple minutes, and serve. Bam. Some people will only eat gumbo with rice, but I prefer it with some fresh crusty bread or even cornbread.




(serves 6 – 7)

  • 4 – 5 Tbsp. melted butter or oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 – 5 Tbsp. unbleached flour
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3 – 4 tsp. cajun seasoning (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 c. sliced okra (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 c. sliced andouille sausage or diced ham
  • 2 c. chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. If using andouille sausage, heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add sliced sausage. Stir sausage and cook until slices browned on each side. Drain off fat, and set aside (if using ham, you can skip this step).
  2. In a large pot, heat butter/oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper, and saute gently until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
  3. Add flour and stir until all oil is absorbed. If flour is still powdery add a little more oil. Cook 2 – 3 minutes.
  4. Whisk in chicken broth, and continue whisking until broth thickens slightly.
  5. Add bay leaves, thyme, cajun seasoning, oregano, okra, tomatoes, sausage/ham, and chicken. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove bay leaves. Taste and check spiciness. If you want it spicier, add more cajun seasoning.
  7. Add shrimp, and cook for 3 – 4 more minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste [note: a lot of cajun seasonings already have salt in them, so you may not need to add any extra salt].
  9. Serve with fresh crusty bread, steamed rice, or cornbread.

February 22, 2012 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

Mexican Paradise Pie

Hisa and I went swimming this morning, but it was not the most pleasant swim. Actually, it wasn’t pleasant at all, because the water was freezing.

The only reason I’m able to get up at the crack of dawn and go lap swimming when I’m barely awake, is because the water is always nice and warm. It’s almost like sliding into a really big bathtub (and then swimming laps in it).

When I got in the pool this morning, however, the water was freezing.

I really hate the cold, and I hate being cold, so you can imagine that getting into a pool with very cold water in February at the crack of dawn when I’m sleepy and barely awake is not very high on my list of things I want to do. It’s not anywhere on my list of things I want to do. In fact, it’s on my list of things that cause me pain and suffering. Like the dark side of the force. Boo hiss.

Since we’d already bothered with getting up and getting there, however, rather than wimp out and leave early, I was determined to finish my swim. And I did! Yay me. I basically swam as fast as I could to try and warm up and get it over with as soon as possible.

Right before we left, I asked the people working why the pool was so cold. They said that when they got to the pool this morning, the pool was flooded, a hose was broken and spraying water everywhere, and the boilers were out. By the time we got there, the flooding and spraying hose were under control, but they just got the boilers fixed as we were leaving. I would say the pool employees had a pretty rough morning too.

I’m just happy the boilers are fixed now though! I really hope the water is never that cold again!

Mexican Paradise Pie is a Mexican casserole that’s a wonderful one pot dinner, hearty, and just happens to be vegetarian. My whole family loved it. Even the meat eaters!

I love one pot dinners, because it just makes everything so much easier. They’re quicker to make, easier to serve, and there’s less dishes to wash when your done. Love it.

Pre-heat oven to 400° F (200° C). In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Add one diced onion, one diced green bell pepper, and 3 cloves minced garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until onion and pepper are tender.


Add 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. cumin powder, and 1 tsp. coriander powder. Saute for another minutes.


Add 1 (14 oz.) can each of drained and rinsed black beans and kidney beans, one can of original Rotel (undrained), and 1/2 cup of vegetable or chicken broth. Simmer for about 10 minutes, and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour everything into a greased or sprayed deep casserole dish.


Next, make your cornbread topping. In a large bowl, add 1 c. unbleached flour, 1 c. cornmeal, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 c. sucanat, rapadura, or sugar. Mix well. In a separate bowl, add 1 1/2 c. buttermilk, 1 large egg, and 1/4 c. melted butter or oil. Mix well. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, and stir until mixture comes together. Add 1/2 c. cheese and mix.


Pour the cornbread mixture gently on top of the bean mixture, and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cornbread is golden brown. If you want, add some more shredded cheese on top in the last 5 minutes of baking.


Serve with fresh cilantro and sour cream.


Aww, Paradise!


Mexican Paradise Pie

(serves 6 – 7)

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. dried coriander
  • 1 (14 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can original Rotel (undrained)
  • 1/2 c. vegetable or chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. sucanat, rapadura, or sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c. melted butter or oil
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese, plus more for topping
  • fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F (200° C).
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high  heat, add olive oil, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, or until onion and pepper are tender.
  3. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, and coriander. Saute for another minute.
  4. Add black beans, kidney beans, Rotel, and broth. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour mixture into a greased deep casserole dish.
  6. In a large bowl, add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Mix well.
  7. In a smaller bowl, add buttermilk, egg, and oil. Mix well.
  8. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture, and stir until comes together. Add cheese and mix well.
  9. Carefully pour cornbread batter on top of the bean mixture in the casserole dish. Spread around evenly with a spatula.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until cornbread topping is golden brown. Add extra cheese as topping during last 5 minutes of baking (optional).
  11. Serve with fresh cilantro leaves and sour cream (optional).

February 21, 2012 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

Spicy Chipotle Pulled Pork


Although I hate to admit it, I have very little experience cooking large cuts of meat.

My family just doesn’t usually eat that much meat. When we do have meat, it’s usually small pieces of meat in something or ground meat. When I’m really craving something meaty, it normally ends up being either a hamburger or meatloaf that I want.

I recently, however, decided I wanted to try making pulled pork for the first time. To some it may seem shocking that as much as I love to cook, I don’t have a go to pulled pork recipe… or any pulled pork recipe for that matter. In fact, I don’t know if I’d ever even had pulled pork before I made this… Terrible, I know.

My mom and I watched an episode of the Pioneer Woman recently, and watched her make a very simple, but very delicious looking pulled pork recipe. I decided I would try my hand at it, because I like to try cooking new things, and, well, it just looked really really good.

And it was! It was easy, but oh so delicious! Everyone (except my poor vegetarian dad who couldn’t eat any) loved it! It has to cook low and slow, but it only involves about 5 ingredients, and can be thrown together so fast. If you want to impress your family and friends with a big meal, this is the recipe for you!

You can find the recipe on the Pioneer Woman’s website here.

Served with garlic green beans, baked Japanese sweet potatoes, and homemade bread. The perfect Sunday Lunch.

February 8, 2012 at 2:06 am Leave a comment

Mabo Dofu (tofu and ground meat in a spicy chili sauce)

If you have no clue what mabo dofu is (you poor soul, you), it’s a delicious Chinese dish that consists of mainly tofu and a little bit of ground beef or pork in a spicy chili sauce. It’s very popular here in Japan, although as the Japanese tend to avoid overly spicy dishes, the Japanese version tends to be not spicy at all.

I’ve had this dish a million times, but I’d been wanting to try to make it myself. I’m still not too familiar with cooking many Chinese dishes, so I wasn’t sure how well this would turn out, but when I finally got around to making mabo dofu last night, the result turned out to be better than I’d expected! It was great actually!


Mabo Dofu (serves 2 – 3)

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 lb ground beef or pork
  • 1/4 c. leek or scallions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste or grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. tobanjan (a Chinese fermented spicy bean paste available in most Asian grocery stores)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking sake
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. broth (chicken, beef, veggie, doesn’t matter which)
  • 12 – 15 oz. tofu (1 package) firm or soft, cut into cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch dissolved into 1 1/2 Tbsp. cold water
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add the ground beef/pork and cook until almost completely browned.
  2. Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger paste and cook for another minute. Add the tobanjan and cook for another minute. Add the soy sauce, cooking sake, and sugar, and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the chicken broth and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste. If you want it spicier, add more tobanjan.
  4. Add the tofu and mix well. Cook until everything is heated through. Add the corn starch dissolved in water, and stir continuously until sauce thickens. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

I served the mabo dofu with a vegetable stir-fry and steamed rice.


September 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm Leave a comment

About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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