Chili Salad Dressing

cooking time: less than 10 minutes
disclaimer: I don’t eat salad (only if I have to). This is a recipe I “designed” for a friend who wanted to sue my chili sauce for salad. Please let me know how this turns out if you try to make it.
chili peppers
extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice – half the amount of olive oil
  1. roast whole chili peppers and garlic cloves
  2. set aside roasted peppers and garlic clove, chop to small piece when cool.
  3. add chopped peppers and garlic to olive oil. (This can be used as flavoring/dipping oil.)
  4. combine step #3 with lemon juice; add salt to taste
  5. save in the jar and refrigerate
  1. oil used for salad dressing shouldn’t be heated.

Chilled Bean Sprouts

cooking time: less than 15 minutes
Cold side dishes are great for multiple meals.
soy bean sprouts – blanched and cooled
thinly sliced chili peppers
angle sliced scallions
minced garlic
sesame oil
  1. place bean sprouts in a mixing bowl
  2. add all other ingredients, adjust amount of seasoning to taste
  1. soy bean sprouts are available in bags at Korean markets.
  2. mung bean sprouts are fine if soy bean sprouts are not available.

Cucumber Salad

cooking time: less than 10 minutes
should be prepared 1 day ahead
This is a great side dish with other Asian dishes. Easy to make.
Persian cucumbers
sugar – approx. 1/6 of cucumber
salt – some for seasoning
rice vinegar – same amount as sugar
thinly sliced ginger – some
  1. smash cucumbers, cut into small pieces, and place in a mixing bowl
  2. add sugar to cucumber, mix well until sugar dissolves
  3. add salt to taste, mix
  4. add vinegar, mix
  5. add ginger
  6. refrigerate and serve the next day, garnish with sesame oil (optional)
  1. Regular cucumber or hot house cucumber work fine too


    Regular Cucumber Used

  2. ginger can be substitute with minced garlic and chili
  3. good for about 3 days.

Chili Oil / Sauce

cooking time: less than 10 minutes
The chili peppers I bought came in a bigger package than I can use fast enough. I came up with this way to use up the peppers.
chopped chili peppers
minced garlic
thinly sliced scallion
  1. heat up oil in a small pan on low heat
  2. add garlic to oil, continue to heat up oil
  3. add scallion and chili peppers to oil after a couple of minutes
  4. after all ingredients are cook through, before the garlic gets burned, turn off the heat, add salt
  5. cool the sauce and store in the jar, keep refrigerated 
  1. heating oil to high heat is not recommended. If high heat is a must, keep the cooking time short.
  2. the oil can be used for dressing oil.
  3. can be used for stir-fry vegetables, meat, or add to noodles or rice.

Eggplant with Chili Sauce

The Way I Cook

I love eating! Eating and cooking come together in my life. Cooking to me is not a chore but a creative process that I enjoy. Cooking and eating involve all five senses.
I am not a gourmet cook. I don’t have any formal training in cooking. I didn’t start cooking until I left home for college. I cook for my own enjoyment with ingredients I can get. I believe cooking has many benefits:
  1. building a connection between the food and my body/mind. Knowing what is in my food and how the ingredients come together to become a dish, my body doesn’t experience ‘anxiety’.
  2. eating exactly what I want. I have certain preferences that no restaurant can accommodate. This is important for people with diet restrictions.
  3. good for the environment. I do feel guilty when I order take out, fast food, or taking home leftovers. All the packaging that I don’t use when I cook and eat at home.
  4. quality time with family and friends. Food brings people together.
  5. save money. I enjoy going out for good food with good service but it gets expensive. I invest in good quality cookware so I get better results.
Cooking does take time, but it is time well spent. My goals is encouraging people to cook more for and with their loved ones. Through sharing recipes, I hope to create an energy of happiness.

9 dishes I made for Chinese New Year celebration with family.