Cucumber Recipes

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Vietnamese Egg Roll Recipe (Cha Gio) Recipe

Just like the vegetarian eggroll recipe, the meat-filled version is perfect as an appetizer when you have a big party. It's also a great way to get the little ones acquainted with cooking. It's one of my earliest memories of being in the kitchen.

Preparation is fairly simple and will resemble an assembly line. The filling is essentially mixed together raw and then it's on to assembling, folding and frying.

My littlest sister-in-law turned five this week and we're going to have a birthday party this coming weekend. We're making the mini variety for this occasion because it's a better size for the kids and all around works great as an appetizer. We'll be making between 100 and 200 eggrolls and I guarantee that there won't be any leftovers.


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Pan-Seared Korean Beef Short Ribs with a Maple Glaze (Maple Syrup Kalbi Marinade) Recipe

My cousin took me to a Korean Buffet a few months ago and I just got hooked on Korean beef short ribs ever since. The meat is very tender and delicious. This dish is meant to be eaten with your fingers. If you try and eat these with a fork and knife, you'll never get all the goodness and flavor out of the meat near then tendons and bones.

The key to making good Korean short ribs is to maintain a balance of sweet and savory flavors. I picked maple syrup and soy sauce for the sweet and savory agents in this dish. 


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Savory Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Beluga Lentil Relish (Panna Cotta au Chevre et sa Macedoine de Legumes) Recipe

Panna cotta de chèvre frais et sa macédoine de légumes is a summery dish. It was such a sunny day today in the Bay Area, so I decided to make something refreshing and light.

In case you don't know, panna cotta is a firm jelly. It can be either be savory or sweet. Instead of using gelatin, I used agar for the vegetarians in the house. I paired the panna cottas with mixed vegetables and lentils to get a balanced meal with proteins, dairy and veggies.  

I served them in little verrines. Verrine is just a fancy word for glasses but they are the latest trend in French cooking. If you host a buffet-style dinner, it's the ideal way to run a stress free party as this dish can be prepared in advance.

savory panna cotta


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Smoked Salmon on Wonton Puff with Dill Cream Cheese Recipe

Smoked salmon is a very elegant ingredient to serve. It's slightly pricey but you don't need a whole lot to prepare a nice first entree.

I paired the salmon with a dill flavored cream cheese brightened with Meyer lemon juice and a fried wonton skin to add a little Asian flair and some crunch to the dish. Persian cucumbers are another nice contrast to the velvety texture of the smoked salmon.


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Tofu Banh Xeo (Vegetarian Vietnamese Crepe) Recipe

Tofu Bánh Xèo is a vegetarian Saigon crepe. It's is a South Vietnamese dish. The exact translation is a "sizzling cake that is deflating". The Bánh Xèo crepe has a rice flour base with coconut milk. It's a lot thicker than the French version but just as delicious. The crepe has an earthy flavor, so It's always a savory dish filled with a lot of vegetables.

I've noticed that a lot of Vietnamese dishes have French influences as a result of years of colonization. The preparations are French, but the ingredients are Vietnamese. For example, the beef fondue, called bò nhúng dấm in Vietnamese, uses a fermented shrimp paste in the sauce.

Prepare this very exotic and healthy meal for your family and friends.  You'll have another recipe in your arsenal for Sunday brunches and dinners alike.


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