April 29, 2019

Drunken Thai Noodles

Drunken Thai Noodles - often referred to eating as a hangover noodle dish or simply the idea of the rice noodles being cooked 'drunken' in the sauce

~ 1 pack of flat wide rice noodles.  (bags come in 1 lb bags typically)
(soak the noodles for 20-30 minutes in warm water prior to cooking)
~ 2 TBSP of oyster sauce (2 drizzles across)
~ 2 TBSP of soy sauce (2 drizzles across)
~ 1 TBSP of fish sauce
~ 1 TBSP of rice vinegar
~ 1 TBSP of sugar
~  1-2 teaspoon of chili paste (or to your liking of spice level)
~ 1 teaspoon of grated ginger 
~ 2-3 cloves of grated or minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder) 
~ 1-2 eggs  
~ veggies can be whatever left over veggies you have 
(some common ones are carrots, broccoli, spinach, kale, chives, cabbage, swiss chard, bell peppers, bok choy, scallions etc...)(I typically mix 2-3 veggies)
~ optional to use beef, shrimp or chicken as protein, (if using a protein, add the protein when you're adding your veggies.

Once you have all your ingredients out and ready;
1. use a neutral oil to add to your pan
2. add your veggies, garlic and ginger; toss around to mix
3. after the veggies have sauteed for about 2-3 minutes, add the noodles
4. add the oyster, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and chili paste on top of the noodles to season  (add more soy sauce if the noodles are coated in seasoning after initial toss/mix)
5. once noodles have been mixed with the veggies/herbs and have started to cook down
(about 3-4 minutes)  create a 'well' in the center and add about a TBSP more of oil and crack 1-2 eggs in the center; let it cook for about a minute until it starts to coagulate and look like the start of scrambled eggs. 
6. Give a final mix with the egg

Plate and enjoy! 

February 1, 2019

Vegetable Dumplings

1/2 of a head of cabbage (Savoy is often preferred) 
3-4 carrots shredded
1 large onion diced
1 medium zucchini (optional)
1 eggs separated
salt, pepper & garlic powder (to your liking, optional)
wonton or dumpling wrappers

1. saute the vegetables, add salt/pepper/garlic powder to season to your liking
2. separate egg & place egg white in a separate bowl
mix the raw egg yolks into veggie filling mixture to help bind
3. dip 1/2 of wrapper in egg white bowl (gluing agent)
4. add spoonful of mix into wrapper (not too much, do not overstuff)
fold in 1/2 leaving no openings
5. fry in a deep fryer or with some neutral oil in a small sauce pan or deep fryer   

June 28, 2018

Pull Apart Bread

Pull apart bread. So easy. So cheesy. So delicious.

There are many combinations or things that you can stuff in bread.
You can take the savory route or the sweet dessert route.

You want to start with a loaf bread that is not sliced but the whole loaf.
You can bake the loaf of bread yourself or purchase already made.
(Whatever fits your time and life style will determine that)

Here are the most relished combinations that you can stuff your pull apart bread.

~ Buffalo chicken
~ Philly cheesesteak style
~ Spinach and artichoke
~ Roasted garlic and mixed cheeses
~ Mixed mushroom and provolone
~ Scrambled eggs and bacon or sausage
~ Eggs, peppers and onions
~ Mashed bananas and diced sauteed apples + nutella
~ Mac and cheese stuffed pull apart bread
~ French onion style (a play of french onion soup)
~ Roasted veggies diced small with desired herbs
~ Strawberry basil and balsamic vinegrette
~ Brie cheese and cranberry

Below are some pictures of different types.
Cut the bread into cube pieces (without going all the way down)
You want the loaf bread to have cubed pieces that eventually pull apart
once it is ready to eat.  Drizzle a little olive, grape seed or veggie oil
on the bread and crevices, stuff your bread along with any cheese/s
and then bake in the oven on 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.
(until the cheese melts and top of the bread is toasted to your preference.

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon

May 30, 2018

Sashimi Salad

Sashimi Salad with salmon or tuna is our go-to for cooking classes
because salmon and tuna are the most accessible for the general public
to purchase. You can always cultivate a dish and create it to your liking.

Below is a common base that you can start with.
I typically will start with some type of green whether it be red leaf lettuce,
romaine lettuce, cabbage (green or purple) mustard greens, baby spinach,
watercress or an organic spring mix for mini lettuces and greens.

Add other veggies such as sliced or shredded carrots, pickled radish,
or plain radish, cucumbers slices or shredded, a smaller type of
mushrooms (eg: enoki), a bell pepper for color...

and then to the Salmon or Tuna - make sure that you are purchasing
"Sashimi" grade or "Sushi" grade fish because you want it to be the
freshest but more importantly because you are consuming it in raw form.

A great marinade for the fish and then to ultimately add to the
other veggies will be: 
~ juice of 2 limes (for acidity)
~ 1-2 TBSP of sugar (for sweetness)
~ sriracha mayo (mix sriracha & mayo together) if you enjoy things spicy,
   use extra plain sriracha at the end as well (to you liking)
~ 2 TBSP of soy sauce (for the salt aspect & flavor)
~ 1 TBSP of fish sauce (extract of anchovies) not oyster sauce
~ 1 TBSP of sesame oil (or a little more to your liking)
~ sprinkle of sesame seeds (to your desired amount) (start with 1 teaspoon)

Once your fish is marinating for about 15 minutes you can assemble all
your veggies and then lay the fish on top and mix everything or plate
it to look layered and then mix once you/your guests are ready to eat.

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon

May 17, 2018

Stuffed Mushrooms

White button mushrooms are great to stuff.
I love to stuff them with vegetables and cheese!

You can take large white mushrooms, twist and pop the stems off.
and stuff them with spinach and artichoke, a caprese style stuffing,
Italian sausage, pepperoni and cheese, etc... cultivate it to make it your own.

Once you decide what to stuff the mushrooms with, simply add a little olive oil
or grape seed or avocado oil and drizzle over all the mushrooms. This will not
only give it flavor but will allow for the mushrooms to bake better.
Add your preferred cheese (shredded off the block if you can) and then
simply bake for 10 minutes on 375 degrees.
You can always garnish with a sprinkle of herbs or a veggie puree or cream sauce.
I love to add pea sauce or carrot puree. The purees can be easily made
by chopping the desired veggie into small pieces and simply simmer for about
10 minutes with choice of stock or water. (the liquid will cook down)
Then blend to your desired thickness. I put them into squeeze bottles for easy use.

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon

April 2, 2018


Guacamole is an avocado based dip that was started by 
the Aztecs back in the 16th century. The word guacamole
came from Aztec dialect which translates literally
to avocado sauce.  Makes sense and sounds pretty simple...
just like this home-made guacamole recipe.

If you are making a small bowl of guacamole  for up to 3 people
you can use 2-3 ripe avocados, 
1 small tomato (diced)
a quarter of a small red onion, (diced small)
handful of cilantro stems (chopped- including the stems)
the juice of 2 limes
a pinch of cumin (about 1/2 a teaspoon)
and a pinch of salt  (to your tasting)
and a pinch of sugar (optional; to your liking)

Avocados are meant to be picked in their unripened stage off of their
trees and are to be left on the counter or table to ripen.  Do not put your 
avocados in the frig unless it is ripe and you want it to stop ripening.
Avocados are typically a dark, forest green color and when they start
to ripen they turn a blackish hue AND they are soft to the touch.

To make a basic, easy but super flavorful guacamole all you need to do
is cut your ripened avocado and place it in a bowl.
Dice up the tomatoes into small pieces and throw them on top of the
halved avocado. Dice the red onion into very small pieces--
the smaller the better. Chop the cilantro and add that to the bowl
as well. Lastly, squeeze the juice of the limes and add a pinch of salt.

It's nice to take a fork and stir and fold all the ingredients together.
The sweetness and liquid of the tomato gives a natural sweet flavor
along with the lime juice bringing out some acidity. Onions always
give food more flavor and red  onions being the mildest makes 
for the best onion to choose for guacamole since everything is raw
and the beautiful hue of the purple makes it look attractive as well!

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food

March 23, 2018

Stuffed Meatballs Drunken in Tomato Sauce

Stuffed meatballs. Drunken in Tomato Sauce. Yum!

You can stuff meatballs with whatever your stomach desires.
I love the play on a caprese stuffed meatball.

You take your choice cut of ground beef. I often use 85% 15% fat
for a little fattier juiciness.

Make your caprese filling. Little cubes of block mozzarella cheese, dried basil
and tomatoes diced up small. Drizzle a little olive oil on the mozzarella
while adding the dried basil (1 TBSP)(the dried basil works well in that it adheres
to the cheese well).  You call always add a little fresh basil as a garnish!

Stuff the meatballs (ideally 1.5 - 2 inches in diameter)
and cook them right in your tomato sauce. You only need to cook them
for about 15-20 minutes. (the total time will be based on the size of your meatballs)

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon