Best thing I’ve ever had!

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I want to give a big thank you to Creminelli for inventing the best Salami EVER… MUSICA Salami. I was introduced to this product few years ago at Central Market (Southlake, Texas location.) After being a loyal consumer for about a year, I was in shock to hear that it wasn’t being produced anymore since it was a seasonal item. Broke my heart. Seriously. Two years passed by… Still no Musica salami. Went to their website and contacted them, the lady said she wasn’t sure if the salami-man will make anymore Musica. My heart tore into pieces. I did my research here and there and finally I found the last 2 pieces at igourmet. I was literally jumping up and down. Between then and now, I’ve purchased at least 6 pieces of this baby. It is available now at Creminelli website, but only for limited time 😦

I don’t know how to describe the flavor in words… All I know is, it’s different than any other salami because it contains pork liver and cloves. I like my salami thinly sliced. My man always keep our 8 inches chef knife super sharp to make my life easier. I love you, Babe! Pork liver gives it a distinct livery flavor that I love with enough amount of cloves. Once it’s sliced, you can see a lovely and delightful fat marble. Mmmm… I am picturing myself having a slice (or two, or three, or… a LOT) now. Melt in my mouth… That livery taste is lingering my palate. I told my man that Musica Salami will be the last thing I want to eat before I die. Hard core huh!? It’s THAT good.

Egg Noodle with Chicken

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(Bakmi GM)                                            (My version)

To my Indonesian readers, I am sure you are very familiar with Bakmi GM. I am very grateful that my man had his chance to try this simply delicious noodle dish while he’s in Jakarta back in March 2013 for business purpose. Mie ayam or egg noodle with chicken is a staple dish for both Indonesian and Chinese-Indonesian. As for myself, I love both style of mie ayam. They are cheap and easy to find, from the authentic street hawker until great famous chain restaurant like Bakmi GM. Let me tell you a little bit about my man’s trip to Bakmi GM. He stayed at Mangga Dua Square. I know I know, for those of you who wonder “Why there?!” trust me, that was the very first reaction I had when he told me where he’s hotel going to be. Long story short, it was recommended by one of his colleague that he’s meeting. On his last day in Jakarta, he had a little time to spare and grab something quick to eat before he headed to the airport. I never been to Mangga Dua Square. It wasn’t there when I was there but thanks to my best friend, google, I was able to locate food court in Mangga Dua Square. I suggested him to go to Bakmi GM because I know they are awesome and was sure that he will enjoy it. Since this location is not the tourist spot, the servers could not speak English. He handed me his iPhone and let me talk with the nice waiter. I ordered him the famous mie ayam with side of wonton soup. Thirty minutes and Rp. 20,000.00 later, my man was totally satisfied with it.
Few months later, sometimes in June, I decided to make the replica of Bakmi GM. After hours of homemade egg noodle research, I found a winner. It was actually a combination of recipes from here and there. I did a quick research for the chicken topping and broth. The result was beyond satisfaction. My man enjoys it as much he enjoyed Bakmi GM.

Fresh egg noodle
serves 3-4
1 teaspoon baked baking soda*
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup corn starch

Mix and knead all ingredients but corn starch with stand mixer (or by hand). I normally let the mixer do the dirty job and I knead it with my hand. Knead for about 2-3 minutes until the dough smooth. Roll it into a ball shape and wrap it with cling wrap. Store it in fridge for at least 30 minutes before use.
Cut the dough ball into quarters. Work with one by one. Flatten the dough with your palm until it’s thin enough to be run into pasta machine. I roll it from setting 6-4-1. Make sure to keep the dough floured with corn starch to prevent from stinking. Repeat with the rest of dough quarters. Now you have 4 pieces of long thin egg noodle dough ready to be cut. On this picture, I used the spaghetti cutter on my pasta machine but I learned than some of the noodles were sticking together. So I decided to manually cut it with nice sharp knife is a great solution. Cook it into boiling water for a minute.

*spread baking soda on cookie sheet and bake it on 350F for 40 minutes.

Chicken topping
4 chicken thighs, skinned and boned, minced
1 can (4 oz) of mushroom, pieces and stems
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/2 cup water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inches ginger, minced
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil*

Heat oil on medium heat, add garlic, ginger and onion. Sautee for about 2 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium high, add chicken, let it sit for a minute before stirring. Cook for another 3 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients.
To assemble the noodle, bring water to boil in large stock pot, add noodle (and/or your fave green, I like turnip greens). Cook for 90 second. Stir occasionally. Drain. Serve it in a bowl with a teaspoon of vegetable oil*. Mix well the noodle before top with the chicken.

*with pork lard is even better! I purchased a pound of pork fat at Asian grocery. Cubed it. Cooked it with 4 cloves of garlic in low heat until rendered.

Side of chicken broth – Warm up your favorite chicken broth. For this dish, I use a store-bought broth with pinch of chicken bouillon, dash of sesame oil and fish sauce, salt & pepper.

Greens – I always use turnip greens since it’s very easy to find and affordable. You can always substitute it with bokchoy, Chinese broccoli, or any of your favorite green.

Not your average Chicken Soup

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Brrrr….. It’s so cold! Wait a minute, what am I talking about? It’s 98 degrees outside. Oh I remember now… Not your average chicken soup! I made this soup on a cold day, cold as winter and cold as runny nose. Wonder what does make this soup different than any other? APPLE! Yes, gala apple. I normally get my recipes and ideas from the great world wide web but not this one. I remember having this great apple soup long long time ago at one of Chinese restaurant in Jakarta, Indonesia. As I did my research, most of the recipes are made with pork broth. But I still wanted to make a chicken soup since I always believe in the power of good chicken broth to cure my runny nose. So I decided to add apples. I used 2 gala apples, cored, skin on and diced into 1.5 inches cube (roughly). My oh my, it was the best chicken soup I’ve had (besides my mom’s but well that’s a totally different story.) The apples give it a savory sweetness that’s so perfect paired with the richness of homemade chicken broth and other vegetables. I don’t measure when I cook (only when I bake) so I will do my best to give you the recipe for this soup.

Not your average chicken soup
serves 2-3

4 chicken thighs, skinned and bone-in*
1 cup sliced carrot
1 cup diced potato
1 cup diced gala apple, skin-on
4 cup chicken broth
Salt & Pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce
MSG**

*You can substitute with chicken breast. I am a dark meat girl.
**Optional. Yes, I cook with MSG. I was brewed and raised with the umami-ness of MSG.

Best sushi restaurant in Fort Worth, TX!

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Who wants some good fresh sushi? ME! ME! ME! ME! I used to work at this awesome sushi restaurant named MK’s Sushi in Fort Worth, Texas before I moved to Waco. Man, I miss that place! Miss the food, especially with 30% employee discount (Hehe), miss the people I work with, and foremost, miss the money I made! Not many people actually love to eat at their workplace, but not me. Let’s talk about this scrumptious plate I got. Starts from the top left: Wasabi caviar, black caviar, conch, squid, and octopus sushi. On the right is yellowtail roll with fresh jalapeno added. I am the kind of person who like to adventure with my food, can you tell from this plate? I love the painful kick of wasabi crawling from nose to the brain. I remember someone once said wasabi cured her all day migraine. I always wonder if someone could actually die from wasabi heart attack. I enjoy wasabi caviar as much as black one. The tiny eeny individual caviar bursts this salty and sea-y flavor against the goodness of rice and seaweed. Oh no! I’m drooling now! Most people probably consider conch as one of the bizarre foods. Well guys, it doesn’t taste as bizarre as it looks. It has this crunchiness and slightly saltiness with NO fishy/shell-fishy taste whatsoever. Now, squid is totally a different story. It’s a bit chewy and slimy but still has great fresh taste. Octopus is my old time favorite. Most of Japanese restaurant normally serve it cooked. Texture-wise, it’s a hair chewy but still has a crunchiness with clean taste. I don’t understand why sushi restaurants like to use pickled jalapeno instead of fresh ones. For one, it’s more expensive specially here in Texas, fresh jalapeno is very easy finding in every grocery store and they’re very affordable (around 16 cents per pound.) As you see, I like fresh jalapeno with my sushi and/or rolls. It gives a great texture against the buttery yellowtail and tender rice. So folks, without further ado… I will end this post and highly recommend MK’s Sushi!

p.s. Please read my Yelp! review for this restaurant.

Yakamein Noodle Soup

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I decided to start the post based on my “iCooked” photo album on my iPhone. First one will be, Yakamein Noodle Soup. If my memory serves me right, I was watching Chopped show on Food Network and this lady named Ms. Linda Green was on it. She was introducing herself as the Yakamein lady. Out of curiosity I started doing my research of this dish. The combination of Chinese and Cajun style is one that caught my attention. After reading few recipes, I decided on this one. Without disrespecting the owner of the recipe, I adjusted some of the ingredients here and there. After an overnight in my crockpot and a yummy beefy aroma filling my apartment, the result was great! That was over a year ago, I can not wait to remake it on winter time.