It’s peak tomato season and I’ve been getting so many from my garden that I’ve been making tomato sauce every few days, but now my freezer is full. I have pasta sauce, pizza sauce, masala sauce, and ranchero sauce.
I needed to find another use for tomatoes and thought that a nice, spicy Rasam soup would be good for the Fall-type weather. I found this recipe and it was exactly what I was looking for. Quick and easy!
Tomato Rasam Soup Recipe
My tweaks: I didn’t use my pressure cooker, but boiled the red lentils in a pot. They took about 30 minutes. I added some coriander seeds to the mustard seeds and made it more of a vegetable Rasam by including green and yellow beans and zucchini and yellow squash from the garden. Also used fresh hot peppers from the garden instead of the dried chilis.
I have been craving the Chili Potatoes from Lao Sze Chuan. “LSC” is a restaurant in Chicago’s Chinatown, but I don’t get down to that area very often. I’ve been impatiently awaiting their new Evanston location, which was supposed to open last month. I finally gave in and decided to figure out how to make the crunchy, sesame flavored potatoes myself (with the help of the internet). This recipe is perfect!
Chinese Shredded Potatoes with Chili and Vinegar
My tweaks: I quadrupled the potatoes because I wanted to have lots of leftovers. I doubled the vinegar/sugar/salt because I didn’t want to overwhelm the potatoes with too much vinegar. I used a combination of regular toasted sesame oil and korean sesame oil for more complexity. Instead of chilis, I added thinly sliced poblano, jalapeño and shishito peppers from my garden and put them in at the same time as the garlic so they would soften. The potatoes are supposed to be crunchy and just barely cooked. They are perfect when they start to look translucent. Serve over rice with a little tamari.
I became obsessed with Shishito peppers last Summer when I grew them in my garden. I had never heard of them before, but when I was buying plants at the farmer’s market I saw Shishito plants and bought them because they were something new. As they started producing these adorable little green peppers, I looked online for information about how to prepare them. They are a Japanese variety and are often served grilled or pan-fried at Izakaya bars. About one in 10 is hot and spicy, so it’s a fun game of pepper roulette!
You might be able to find Shishito peppers at Japanese grocery stores, or look for Twist Peppers at Korean grocery stores. (Twist are a variety of Shishito). Now that it is Winter and my garden is gone, I’ve had better luck finding them at the Korean stores.
Here’s the super simple recipe: Grilled Shishito Peppers Recipe
My Tweaks: I use a hot frying pan with a little oil instead of the grill and toss the peppers every few minutes until they blister and start to char. At the end I sprinkle with togarashi, sea salt and some additional toasted black sesame seeds.
Shishito Pepper Plant in my garden
Ddeokbokki (pronounced duck – bOHki) is a sweet, spicy, chewy comfort food from Korea. I first encountered it while watching the Korean Tasty Road restaurant show on the mnet channel. It sounded so interesting that I started searching for recipes and found a simple on one mykoreankitchen.com.
If you have a good Korean grocery in your area (along the lines of H-Mart or Assi Plaza, or even a small neighborhood market), look for fresh Ddeok rice cakes. If you can’t find fresh, they will probably have them in the frozen section. Also look for the gochujang sauce (in a little square tub).
Here’s the recipe: Stir Fried Rice Cake with Gochujang Sauce (Ddeokbokki in Korean)
My Tweaks: I left out the fish cake and added peeled eggplant at the beginning of cooking (with the onion). I also added some julienned carrots towards the end so they got a little cooked, but just enough to stay crunchy. I sprinkled with toasted black sesame seeds before serving.