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March, 2012

  1. Har Gow (Crystal Shrimp Dumplings)

    March 28, 2012 by brett

    Har Gow / Ha Gow / Crystal Shrimp Dumplings
    If you’ve been to a dim sum restaurant, you’ve probably had har gow (a.k.a. ha gow, crystal shrimp dumplings). When done right, har gow can be a revelation: shrimp, paired with bamboo and/or water chestnut/jicama, enveloped in a thin, chewy, yet luscious, translucent wrapper that teases and leaves a person craving more.

  2. Ingredient Spotlight: San-J Reduced Sodium Gluten-Free Tamari

    March 26, 2012 by brett

    Today’s Ingredient Spotlight shines the light on my favorite gluten-free (not to mention dairy-, egg-, tree nut-, peanut-, and sesame-free) soy sauce substitute, San-J Reduced Sodium Gluten-Free Tamari.
    San-J Gluten Free Reduced Sodium Tamari
    What It Is
    San-J Reduced Sodium Gluten-Free Tamari is a tasty and reliable gluten-free substitute for soy sauce. Both tamari and soy sauce are made by fermenting soy beans. Soy sauce is made from soy and a bit of wheat. Technically speaking, tamari is made from only soy, making it gluten-free. According to San-J, their gluten-free tamari contains no wheat.

  3. Hobo Joe Hash Browns

    March 23, 2012 by brett

    Hobo Joe Hash Browns

    I vividly remember the first time I had hash browns. My Aunt Rose had taken my mom, my brothers, and her daughter, my cousin Sabrina, to Hobo Joe’s, a chain eatery that no longer exists in Los Angeles. Aunt Rose ordered hash browns, and my, they were dee-lightful! The texture was light, ever so slightly crispy on the outside yet soft and tender and the inside, the color was a lovely golden brown, and the taste was lighthearted yet earnest in note. I LOVED them! Hobo Joe’s no longer exists, but my memory — and these potatoes — still do. (more…)

  4. Hom Sui Gok

    March 23, 2012 by brett

    Hom Sui Gok

    A popular dim sum dish, hom sui gok’s savory interior is enveloped in a wrapper that is at once chewy and luscious on the inside, yet every so slightly crisped on the outside.

    Hom sui gok’s paradoxical texture owes itself to glutinous rice flour. When fried, glutinous rice flour does not react the way most things do in hot oil; it does not get crispy and hard, but in fact softens and stays moist. The minor but important addition of corn starch provides the contrasting, every so slightly crisp exterior (more…)

  5. Jim Lahey and people who leave

    March 21, 2012 by brett

    “The Jim Lahey method of baking bread has issues with people who are leaving.”

    I found the above sentence at the end of a pizza recipe I was composing last night. Clearly, sleep deprivation has gotten the better of me.
    Pictured above is a loaf of Neat Bread that I made using a technique similar to Jim Lahey’s famous no-knead bread baking method.

  6. Allergen-Free Personal Care and Household Products

    March 20, 2012 by brett

    I’m going to take a break from talking about cooking tasty, allergen-free food and focus on a related issue: finding allergen-free personal care and household products.

    Finding personal care and household cleaning products that don’t have allergenic ingredients can be a challenge. Furthermore, since hugs, kisses, and general horsing around is common in our household, everyone in the family uses only allergen-free products to avoid accidentally touching Sprout with anything allergenic (e.g. allergenic soap residue, lotion, hair gel, etc. on our hands, face, and hair). (more…)

  7. Italian Sausage

    March 19, 2012 by brett

    I love this sausage recipe, which comes from Jeff Smith’s wonderful cookbook, The Frugal Gourmet, a companion to his PBS cooking show, which I grew up watching. I use this sausage primarily as a pizza topping, but it would be great over rice, in a red sauce — whatever strikes your fancy. The above is a photo of a pizza I made that incorporates the sausage as one of its many toppings. (more…)

  8. Chamorro Red Rice

    March 19, 2012 by brett

    FYI: I’m in the middle of updating this recipe. I’ve had too many disasters, so consider this recipe problematic prone for now. Will post again as soon as I can get it right and duplicate good results reliably. Thanks!


    This dish relies on annatto seeds, not tomato, for its distinctive orange-redness and smoky, earthy flavor. It’s a classic accompaniment to Chamorro-style barbecue at fiestas. Everyone adds their own touch to this dish: bacon, hot peppers, peas, etc. (more…)

  9. Chicken Kelaguen

    March 19, 2012 by brett

    Kelaguen can be made with other protein sources, but chicken seems to be the favorite at the various fiestas, barbecues, and parties I’ve attended. Traditionally, the chicken is barbecued first, but to save time, I boil the chicken and then brown it in a dry skillet to achieve a similar effect. I picked up this tip from Annie, a great chef by all accounts and a member of our gracious “host” family in Saipan. (more…)