Quick stir fry

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I just realized that I “cook” this quite often these days. It’s one of my favorite hodgepodge dishes and that’s just because it’s so easy to make!

Any leftover vegetables and/or any type of protein. Beef, pork, chicken, tofu or shrimp! I’ve tried all of them and they all turn out great.

On a pan, put some vegetable oil and cook garlic and onions so they get that nice color. Once they are cooked, dump everything in the pan. Depending on the meat/seafood, you might wanna put certain things a little later that the others. For example, beef or shrimp cooks pretty fast, while cabbages and peppers cook a little slower than that. Then you season what’s on the pan.

The key is the sauce. I don’t really like to use too much salt if possible. So these two things have become my BFF’s: oyster sauce & sriracha sauce! You can find sriracha sauce commonly in Thai restaurants or Vietnamese restaurants. This is easily found in any grocery store Now. THE SAUCE LITERALLY IS GOD’S GIFT! It can be used as a dipping sauce or it can add a nice spicy kick to your boring dish. Everything tastes better with sriracha. You can make an exotic aioli with it as well.

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When you are too lazy to cook anything fancy and you have a lot of leftover veggies – zucchini, onions, cabbages, peppers, string beans or any sort – chop them up and treat yourself and your beloved ones!

Weekend is here and the weather is beautiful! Happy feast!

Bulgogi (beef) – Scrumptious but simple enough to make!

The picture is from the website of a famous Korean franchise restaurant called “Bulgogi Brothers.” They haven’t opened one in the States yet unfortunately. 😦 What you see up there is Bulgogi Bibimbap. “Bul” literally means fire, “gogi” meat, “bibim” mix and “bap “rice. It’s self explanatory except for the ‘fire’ part. That came from how it’s cooked and for more information, click the link above. 🙂 Because I am too excited to reveal the recipe that’s so easy! There are more than a few different kinds of Bulgogi’s but this one is the most common and easiest one that you can make. The key is to get all the right ingredients. After that, it’s a piece of cake!

*** Recipe (2 servings) ***

<Meat>

You need thin slices of (usually) sirloin. I do have hard time finding this cut of beef at regular supermarkets. If that’s the case, go to H-Mart or an Asian grocery store nearby. They should have it and it doesn’t matter if it’s frozen. Get 1lb of the meat.

<Marinade – unit:tablespoon> FYI, everyone has a different recipe and this is my mom’s.

soy sauce (4-5), water (2), Coke or Pepsi (3), minced garlic (0.5-1), sugar or honey (1), sesame oil (0.5-1)

<Secret Ingredient>

Meat can be really chewy and here’s the ultimate meat tenderizer! Pureed KIWI! Use only half of the whole kiwi, though. Your bulgogi won’t even have big chunks if you put the whole thing – half joking. 😉 If you don’t have a kiwi, you can use half of a pear. This will add a nice tone to your marinade as well.

Now, you can mix everything together. You can put a little ground pepper as well. When you marinate the meat, you can also add onions as in the picture above. Let it sit for a couple of hours. You can even wait a day to cook it. Once you are ready to stuff your face with this deliciousness, cook it on a pan. No oil is needed. Add mushrooms (button mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms are usually good), which go perfectly well with bulgogi. Cook it until it’s ready, which doesn’t take too long.

One thing about my mom’s recipe is that “Coke” part. You can add a little more water instead of that but her bulgogi does taste gooooooooooood. 🙂 Like I said, everyone seems to have his/her own bulgogi recipe so do some experiment and find your own recipe! It’s another fun part of cooking, right? 😉 Serve it over white sticky rice maybe with some kimchi. That’s one complete meal! Enjoy!

[Restaurant Review] Philadelphia Mike’s – Arlington, VA

▣ Location: 1615 Crystal Square Arc., Arlington, VA

▣ Tel: 703-416-6640

▣ Deli/Sandwich

▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★☆☆ (as of July 7, 2012) – Click stars for more info!

This sandwich place located in a mall in Crystal City, owned by a nice Korean family, offers a steak sandwich that’s better than the “real” Philly cheese sandwich I got in Philadelphia years ago. Maybe expectations were too high?

Anyway, they were very quick to serve their food and the best part was the quality of their meat. They use thin slices of beef, which is somewhat similar to bulgogi meat (if you are familiar), and that could taste REALLY CHEAP a lot of times but they use good quality meat. It was not dry. It had a nice amount of veggies and the cheese on top wasn’t overflowing. Their sub rolls were nice and soft as well (personally, I am not a big fan of “baguette” style, hard bread).

One of the complaints I see online about this restaurant is that “their food is too bland”. I kind of understand where it’s coming from. Their food is not salty! It’s a good thing! To me, “American food” is usually very salty. This was perfect for me but I was thinking while eating there, ‘Hmm… Some jalapenos would be nice in the sandwich.” So if you think it’s too bland, ask them for a couple of pieces of jalapenos, which will give a nice kick without giving yourself a chance of a future hospital visit or two.

The mall isn’t all that great but if you are in the area, go check this restaurant out! Oh, and they have root beer on tap, which has become my favorite soda (I hardly every drink soda but I get a craving from time to time).

Stay inside! It’s over 100 degrees out here! Mother Earth is angry I think… Oh well, AC+watermelon evening!