Posts Tagged rice vinegar

Spicy Indian Dal

DahlHere’s another of those great Indian recipes. I love this stuff. When I was a kid, my family ate lentils all the time. I used to turn my nose up at lentils because I had no idea what they were or how good they truly are. To top it all off, they’re also really good for you.

Well, lentils are the main ingredient in this great dish, and it doesn’t matter what lentils you use…orange, red, green…whatever. Dahl can be used as a side dish as part of an Indian feast, or you can eat it with Pappadum or white rice. By the way, Patak makes a great cook-to-eat Pappadum that you can fry up yourself.


16 oz lentils

8 tbsp Canola oil

3/4 cup chopped tomatoes

1.5 cups chopped onion

3 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

3 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp cardamom

1.5 tbsp curry powder (Madras, red or hot)

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tbsp turmeric

8 cups low-sodium chicken stock


In a large pot, heat the oil. Then, add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Do not brown.

Then, add the lentils, Jalapenos, garlic, cumin, garam masala, cardamom, salt, black pepper, sugar, ginger paste, curry powder, and turmeric. Cook for about 2 minutes until the herbs and spices meld together. Add the chopped tomatoes, and deglaze the pan with the rice vinegar.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, and cook until the lentils become tender (about 20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Taste the Dal and adjust the seasonings if need be.








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Sesame Noodles, Untamed

Sesame-Noodles-680Sesame Noodles are like the Nectar of the Gods. There’s just something about the combination of that sesame flavor with soy sauce that makes them a unique culinary experience. You can make them mild or hot. You can use fresh Chinese noodles, or linguine. And there’s no limit to what you can add to them — Snow Peas, peas, peppers, cucumbers, or shredded carrots. This recipe calls for frozen peas, but use your imagination. As you might guess, mine are also on the spicy side. If you want to make them hot, there’s nothing like making your own chili oil. You can, of course, cheat and buy hot oil, but I recommend you make your own.

This recipe calls for 16 oz of noodles, which makes a lot. The beauty of these noodles is that they taste better as they age. Put the leftovers in your refrigerator, then simply bring them to room temperature and give them a toss when you’re ready to eat them.


16 oz of noodles*

Salt (just enough to put in the noodle water)

1/2 cup Tahini paste (sesame seed paste)

1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

6 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce or Tamari

4 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

Bunch of scallions (whites and greens separated, thinly sliced; plus slice some of the greenest part of the scallion thinly lengthwise for garnish)

2 tbsp of sesame seeds (I use one tsp white and one black)

1.5 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tbsp fresh hot peppers, chopped (tabasco, habanero, jalapeno — your choice)

1.5 cups frozen peas (defrosted)


While you’re making your hot chili oil, bring a pan of water (and some salt) to boil and cook your noodles.  Remember to use a big pan. The noodles cook faster and they will not stick together. When noodles are done, strain and rinse well with cold water. Allow to drain completely.

Pour the 1/2 cup of canola oil into a skillet. Add the scallion whites, sesame seeds, chopped peppers, red pepper flakes. Simmer over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes or until the scallions are browned. Set aside and allow to cool.

Whisk Tahini paste, soy sauce (or Tamari), roasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sugar. Now, here’s where some suggest you should add a portion of your chili oil to the mix. I’m suggesting you want to use the whole thing, especially if you like spice and a bit of heat. You can either drain off about 4 tablespoons of the oil and add to the mixture, or you can toss the whole shebang into the sauce. That’s what I do. Trust me. It’s delicious. Add the rest of the sliced scallion greens (except the ones you’ve sliced lengthwise) and the peas. Pour on the sauce and mix well.

Top the dish with the scallion greens you’ve sliced lengthwise, and sprinkle some more black and white sesame seeds on top. Done.

Note: If you use Snow Peas in place of the frozen peas. Remember to blanch them first and allow them to cool.

*I use the fresh Chinese soba noodles for this dish as opposed to the dry Ramen noodles. These are generally in one of the coolers (not freezers) in the grocery store. In my store, they are kept with the pizza dough and pre-packaged specialty meats, like Pancetta and Italian cold cuts. Ask your grocer if you cannot find them.



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Grilled Tuna With Wasabi Sauce

rawtuna-300x197Wasabi is often called Chinese Horseradish, but it is so much better than regular horseradish. This is a simple but delicious dish. It’s critically important that your tuna is cooked rare. So, if you’re worried about eating “rare” tuna, simply purchase sushi-grade tuna for this particular dish. It is best cooked on a grill, but it can also be cooked on the stove. Don’t allow the weather to deter you.

For this recipe you need about a pound and a half of tuna. I try to get two pieces of about equal size. If there’s tuna left over, it makes a great tuna salad. There will undoubtedly be some wasabi sauce left. I just mash it up and add more. Makes a great sandwich the next day.

For the Wasabi paste, you can either get the powder and mix it with water. Frankly, it’s easier to get the paste in the tube (I use SP brand).


2 pieces of fresh tuna (totaling about a pound and a half; 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick)

4 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce or Tamari

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tsp Wasabi paste

Black and white sesame seeds

Wasabi Sauce (recipe follows)


Unlike other dishes where I preach  marinating as long as you can, this is pretty tame.  About 30 minutes before grilling or searing on the stove, whisk together the ingredients (except for the sesame seeds) and pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish. Add the tuna and marinate both sides for about 10 minutes.  When your grill is fired up or your pan is heated, sprinkle on the sesame seeds.

Cook the tuna for about five to seven minutes on each side. (Don’t turn the tuna steaks with a fork. You need a spatula.)

Remove from the grill or stove and slice the tuna stakes in half-inch pieces, keeping the steak intact. Drizzle the steaks with the Wasabi sauce and you’re ready to feast! How much Wasabi sauce to use? It depends on the level of heat you want. I’m a big Wasabi fan.

Ingredients for Wasabi Sauce 

4 tbsp light mayonnaise

2 tsp Wasabi paste

2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tsp water

2 tsp minced garlic or garlic paste

Mix all the ingredients together and you’re ready to go!


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