Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bun Bo Hue in Instant Pot

My husband has been asking for bun bo hue for weeks but it's just so hot here that I didn't want to have a broth simmering in the kitchen for over 4 hours.  But after using the instant pot yesterday to make red beans & rice...I decided to give bun bo hue a try in the IP. I have to be honest...I prefer the stove version more ....but I think I haven't gotten the right constituency of the meat being as tender yet. Plus the pot is so small that I didn't use all the protein that I usually used when I am making it on the stove. 

little 411: 
Bún bò Huế or bún bò is a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli (bún) and beef (). Huế is a city in central Vietnam associated with the cooking style of the former royal court. The dish is greatly admired for its balance of spicy, sour, salty and sweet flavors and the predominant flavor is that of lemon grass. Compared to phở or bún riêu, the noodles are thicker and more cylindrical. 

This is why it's my favorite Asian soup. I love it for the spicy and the lemongrass flavor and aroma. 

Shopping List
3 pounds of chuck roast 
1 pound of pig feet (cut in half) 
1 large onion 
1 piece of ginger (about 3in long) 
6-8 pieces of lemongrass (cut into 3in long...3 whole stalk) 

1 pack bun bo hue seasoning 

Other SEASONING that I used: 
Rock sugar (1 piece ...size of a quarter) 

***1 Tablespoon shrimp pasta (man thom) optional 
*** 2 Tablespoon FISH SAUCE***If you aren't  using shrimp paste  
REMEMBER TO USE ONLY ONE NOT BOTH IN THIS AMOUNT!! If you want to use both then adjust accordingly because the shrimp paste is VERY VERY SALTY!! 

1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon onion powder 
1 teaspoon chicken powder 
1 teaspoon chili powder 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne 
1/2 paprika (I like my broth really red in color)

I added the chili powder and cayenne because we LOVE IT SPICY!! You can omit them if you don't like it super spicy. 

**all of these garnish is optional and is up to preferences:

pork patty
thinly sliced green and red cabbage 
mint leafs
thinly sliced onion 
fresh chili or jalapeño 

man thom (shrimp paste) 


Fill a large pot with water and blanch the chuck roast and pig feet. If you are using different types of meat..I highly recommend you blanch all your meats before you cook it in the IP. This takes out all the's different when you cook on stove because you can strain it out during the cooking process but with the IP you can't open up the lid. Look at all the gunk here in the blanching process. 
Once the water start to boil...cook for another few minutes. Next, dump the meat into a colander and wash well before placing in the IP. 

    Lots of GUNK!! 

Meat is blanch and wash really well. Place into the IP. Next, add the lemongrass, onion, ginger and rock sugar. 

 Add the bun bo hue package 

Add the rest of the seasoning. Then fill with water. JUST ENOUGH TO COVER EVERYTHING. Remember to not pass the MAX LINE!!! I ACTUALLY didn't fill up to the MAX line because I know the pig feet and chuck roast will render more liquid and I don't want it to spill over. Spilling over can mess up your IP. 

Set timer to "soup" setting then adjust to 80 minutes. Some of my friends that I have talked to program their bun bo hue to 1.5 hrs but I only used chuck roast and had already cubed it into small chunks. Didn't wanted my meat to be too too tender that it becomes mushy. 

After 80 minutes of cooking in the IP. I quick release it and open the IP. Because this was my first time making it...I couldn't wait ;) 

Be VERY CAREFUL IF YOU ARE GONNA QUICK RELEASE the STEAM VALVE because it is VERY VERY HOT!! First time it will scare you!! 


Red Beans and Rice in an Instant Pot

This is my first time to ever use an instant pot...and I have to say "I am in LOVE" 

It's so easy to prep and clean!!! I decided that my first meal that I would prepare in an instant pot would be red beans and rice because it usually takes me over 4 hours on the stove and 8 hours in a crockpot. And to be honest...with this weather in Louisiana...this momma is not standing in front of no stove for 2 hours much less 4!! 

Shopping List: 

1 pound red beans
1 pound of baby pork spareribs (cut into little pieces) 
4 pieces of pig feet 
1 pound pickled pork 
1/2 bell pepper diced 
4 stalks celery chopped 
1 small onion chopped 
3 bay leaf 
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon onion powder 
1/2 teaspoon Tony Chacheres (Cajun seasoning) 
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper 
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 

Pack of spicy sausage (I cook this separately because we don't like our sausage mushy) 

Tabasco (garlic flavor) 
White rice 
1 stick butter 
****CHEATING METHOD: 1 small can of blue runner red beans (I pour that in after everything is cook and when I am mushing the red beans against the side of the pot. 

Green onion chopped 

In a little pot I filled it up with water and place my cut spareribs and pig feet in and blanch over to get all the gunk out. Once the pot start boiling I blanch through. Next,  I wash it with just regular tap water and then I place it on top of the red beans that is already in the instant pot. 

*** I pour my bag of red beans on the bottom. Then the blanch meat. Then the pickle pork. Next, I lay all my veggies in top. Cover with just enough water to cover everything. Next I pour all my seasoning on top. 

Close the lid and turn on to the "beans/chilli" setting but I adjust the time to 1 hour. 

Next, I pour in a small can of blue runner red beans into my pot. Taking a small spoon or ladle...I smooch the beans against the pot to make it more creamy. Then I add 1 stick of unsalted butter into the hot red beans. 

Season according to taste. I used a pickle pork so I didn't need to add that much salt or Tony Chacheres 

                 Ready to be turned on 

I added the cubed ham..right before serving because my husband likes the ham intact and not all cook down. 
Season with more Tabasco (because we love spicy) and garnish with chopped parsley. 

Spicy Sausage cooked separately          in a little frying pan 


I think the only thing I would change next time is I might add the ham and butter and then turn it on for another 5-10 minutes so the ham would be a little softer. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Meatball Sub

Meatball Sub 

Shopping List:
1 bag of 3lb meatball 
1 bottle Bertolli  Tomato basil sauce 
1/2 C strawberry Jam 
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon Tony 
1/4 cracked black pepper 
Crockpot--4 hrs on low

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Breakfast at Ohana, Polynesian Resort

Breakfast at Ohana located inside the Polynesian Resort is one of my favorite. They start with these sweet bread ...raisin and pineapple with this whip butter that is so delicious!! 
Then they bring you a plate of fruits and serve you this's so yummy!! 

For breakfast they bring you this huge TRAY of assorted breakfast food..scramble eggs, waffle (Mickey Mouse and Stitch) chicken sausage, biscuits and BACON!! 
               Assorted Sweet Bread 


                        Stitch waffle

Chef Mickey

We had reservation at 2:20 pm which was brunch. They had ham craving with freshly made chocolate chip pancakes and Mickey Mouse waffle. 

They also had a corn and potato chowder. A Caesar salad with lots of different salad toppings. They had a section for kids that consist of Mac n cheese, chicken nuggets and scallop potato. 

The DESSERT section: 
Today they had strawberry shortcake in little shot glasses, red velvet cupcake, ice cream machine, cookies etc 

    Ribs, Rice, Salmon and a spicy stew 

                   Pancake section 

                     Ham craving 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake 

**remember with this need a nonstick tube cake pan or angel food pan and DO NOT PREGREASE the pan because the cake will not rise of you do.

8 egg yolks
1 1/4 C sugar
3/4 C veg oil
3/4 C coconut milk 
1 C cake flour
2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp pandan juice
2 tsp pandan essence 
1 tsp vanilla essence
(* You can use 3/4 tsp of pandan paste, in place of pandan juice and pandan essence. Although convenient, pandan paste definitely tastes more artificial, so stick with fresh pandan and pandan essence, if you can)
***1 tsp cream of tartar


Preheat the oven to 350 in my oven 

Sift cake flour and baking powder, mix evenly. Set aside. 

Beat egg yolks and sugar until light and lemon-coloured. Add in the oil, coconut cream, pandan juice, pandan essence, vanilla essence and salt. Sift flour and baking powder over the mixture. Mix well until smooth.

Beat egg whites with wire whisk attachment until slightly foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks. Add in sugar tablespoon by tablespoon and beat until stiff peaks form and mixture does not slide out of mixing bowl when upturned.

Add in 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and mix gently with whisk, to 'lighten' the mixture. Using a spatula, fold in the rest of the beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture, gently, to prevent batter from deflating. Do not overfold.

Pour batter into pan. Run a spatula through the batter to eliminate large bubbles in the batter.

Bake at 350 in preheated oven, for about 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean (or with few dry crumbs adhering)

Once u take out the oven 
Flip the pan over for cooling...invert the cake pan

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai

1 lb peel devein shrimp 

4 scramble eggs--set aside
1 pack pho or pad Thai Noodle (soak or lightly blanch...set aside)
1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup Pad Thai sauce 
4 Tablespoon sesame oil 
1/8 c brown sugar 
1/8 c fish sauce 
1/8 c rice vinegar 
1/8 c Sriracha 
1/8 c soy sauce 
(Mix all sauce in a bowl and set aside) 

1 cup bean sprout 
1 cup shredded carrots

Lime wedge 
chopped cilantro 
Chopped green onion 
Crushed peanut 

Cook scramble egg --then set aside 

Taking shrimp and garlic n sauté with a little sesame oil .. Cook until pinkish then set aside 

Add some more sesame oil then add the noodles ..cook for about 1 minutes then add the sauce then add the eggs, carrots, shrimp, bean sprout ..toss together..cook for another 5 minutes then plate.. Garnish with chopped cilantro, green onion and crushed peanut. 

Squeeze some lime and add more Sriracha if you like it spicy enjoy!! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Shrimp Bruschetta

During lent season I try to come up with as many seafood food items as possible. These shrimp bruschetta are perfect for appetizer during lent.  Easy to make and so flavorful. I got the idea from my sister in law. 

2 loaf of French bread (cut at an angle into 1 inch thick) 
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (chopped very finely) 
1 cup mayo 
1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere's 
1/2 teaspoon pepper 

1 cup Mexican cheese mix 
Dried parsley 


Preheat oven to 350 

In a large bowl mix the chopped shrimp, mayo, Tony Chachere's, pepper together. 

Taking a teaspoon of shrimp mixture and spread it over the sliced bread. 
Sprinkle a little cheese, dried parsley and paprika on each sliced 

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. 

Serve hot 

                     Sliced bread 

                     Peeled Shrimp 

                     Finely Chopped Shrimp 

                 1 cup Mayo 

      Shrimp and Mayo mixture with tony 
                 Chachere's and pepper 

    Shrimp mixture spread on top of sliced bread 

              Sprinkle of paprika 

            Sprinkle of Mexican cheese 

            Sprinkle of dried parsley

                 Shrimp bruschetta 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Salmon Burger

Lent season is here so I have to come up with many seafood items to cook since we can't eat meat on Fridays. 

My daughter loves bake salmon but we never used up the whole salmon slab so I always try to find something to make to use up the extra salmon that we have. 


  • 2 lb fresh skinless and deboned salmon, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumb
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 TB finely chopped red onion
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 2 TB dijon mustard
  • 3 TB chopped fresh cilantro and parsley 
  • 1 tsp salt or Tony Chachere's (I like the creole  taste) 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  1. Pour the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add the finely chopped chunks of salmon to the bowl. I chopped mines finely with a knife.. If you prefer you can use a good processor and pulse it a few times.
  2. To the salmon and breadcrumbs add the remaining ingredients: lemon juice, red onion, mayonnaise, mustard, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients together.
  3. Form the ingredients into hamburger patties.
  4. In a large skillet (I use a large cast iron skillet), over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add the salmon burgers and cook for 5 minutes on each side, until lightly golden brown.
  5. Serve wth hamburger buns. 
  6. I like to dress mines with mayo, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, cilantro and Dijon mustard.