In my kitchen

Cooking tips, ingredients, pantry items and fixing the occasional kitchen disaster.

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Vegetable dumplings from the Korean grocery store

The Korean grocery store outside our village has become so successful that it moved to a bigger place. The downside? Its new location is now about ten instead of three minutes by car. That Korean grocery store has been our source for a lot of Asian cooking ingredients ... (more)

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How I transformed a vegetarian pasta into a meaty dish

Last weekend, I cooked a pasta dish which I hoped would satisfy Sam's vegetarian requirements and Alex's carnivorous diet. I chopped a lot of vegetables, sauteed them in a mixture of butter and olive oil, added herbs, seasoned them well, and then I simmered everything slowly ... (more)

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The case against instant rice noodles

Rice noodles come in different thicknesses and widths. They also come with different cooking instructions. Some require soaking in cold water prior to boiling; others can go directly into a pot of boiling water and cook in less than three minutes. I've tried a lot of ... (more)

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“When it coats the back of a spoon”

When making sauces and gravies, one of the standards for measuring the thickness of the liquid is whether it "coats the back of a spoon." The same standard is used when making the custard base for ice cream. What exactly does it mean? When does the liquid coat the back of ... (more)

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From the Chinese grocery store: rice cakes

After our delicious meal at Wai-Ying in Chinatown last Sunday, we went to the Chinese grocery store across the street. Wait, wrong sequence. We ate at Wai-Ying, we crossed the street, Sam saw a toy store and went in. I had to call Speedy who was already walking toward the ... (more)

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Labo or linaw? Know your monggo (mung beans).

Okay, so you bought monggo and made a stew with a cup of the stuff. But why is the stew so watery? Shouldn't the monggo have released its starch into the broth and made it thick? Ah, see, there's "monggo labo" and "monggo linaw". Even I didn't know that until today. And I ... (more)