Chicken Satay Sandwich (with Indian spices)

Satay is marinated thin strips of meat, skewered and grilled over wood or charcoal. Often associated with Thai food, satay’s real origin is Indonesia. Skewered meat or shish kabob was introduced to Indonesia by the Arabs around the 19th century. Its popularity spread from Indonesia into other neighboring Southeast Asian countries. Beef and chicken were mainly used for satay. Nowadays, one can use just about anything that can be marinated and threaded onto skewers. If chicken is unavailable, substitute with pork, shrimp, or tofu. Satay gets its nice yellow tint from tumeric. Common spices used to make satay are turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galanga, fish sauce, soy sauce, palm sugar, and lime juice. My recipe is Thai based satay infused with Indian spices.

The idea to serve chicken satay in a hotdog bun came from my friend Erik. While Erik was grilling the satay, I happened to glance over as he placed a hotdog bun on the grill and I blurted out, “You better put another bun on for me!” That’s how the chicken satay sandwich came about. I didn’t get a chance to garnish my sandwich because we were experimenting. Next time, I would add diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro and a squirt of Sriracha sauce. If satay is a dish you really like, then you’re not going to want to pass on trying this dish.

Click here for recipe…

chicken satay grilled

Grilled chicken satay on skewers

chicken satay sandwich

Chicken Satay Sandwich

Click here for recipe…

Korean Cold Noodle Soup (Janchi guksu)

My favorite summertime soup for the past couple of years has been a Korean cold noodle soup called “janchi guksu.” It’s made with thin, white wheat noodles and a light broth consisting of dried anchovies and kelp (or “dasima” in Korean and “kombu” in Japanese). The Korean word “janchi” translates to banquet or feast (special events or gatherings such as weddings, birthday parties) and “guksu” means noodles. The noodles are typically served with julienne vegetables, thinly sliced omelet, and/or beef along with a spicy sauce made with garlic, scallions, Korean red pepper powder, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

For those who don’t know, kelp is a large seaweed belonging to the brown algae group. If you’re still a bit fearful of kelp, you’ll be surprised to know that it’s used as a stabilizer in many of our favorite foods such as ice cream, chocolate milk, and peanut butter. Click here for additional information on kelp.

Beef broth or dashi (a Japanese broth made with bonito flakes and kombu) can be substituted although the flavors will not be as authentic. This a very refreshing dish to have on a hot day. I hope this cold noodle soup becomes your favorite summertime noodle dish too!

Click here for recipe…

Ingredients for cold noodle soup
Ingredients for cold noodle soup. Clockwise from top: Japanese cucumber (julienne), kelp, dried anchovies, Thai chili peppers, and garlic

korean cold noodle soup janchi guksu
Korean Cold Noodle Soup

Click here for recipe…

Thai Chicken Udon Soup

Udon soup is a Japanese dish consisting of dashi broth (made with bonito flakes and kombu), soy sauce, mirin, and salt. Udon noodles are thick and contain wheat flour and salt. There are several types of udon soup, but I usually like to order the nabeyaki udon because it comes with tempura, soft boiled egg, and vegetables. My soup is a milder version of the traditional tom yum gai (Thai chicken soup) with shitake mushrooms, spinach, scallions and carrots.

Like many Asian noodle soups, they’re served cold in the warmer months and hot in the winter months. What’s served with the soup depends upon what vegetables or meats are plentiful during that season. Try chilled noodle soup in the summer if you haven’t yet.

Click here for recipe…

Thai Chicken Udon Soup

Click here for recipe…

Spicy Korean Salad

This recipe is based on a Korean scallion salad called pa moochim (also spelled pa muchim). The dressing itself is traditional – with the exception of Thai chili peppers. It’s mainly served as a side dish accompanying grilled beef or fish. For the salad, I used red leaf lettuce (which is fairly common), cucumbers, and red cabbage (not so common). Hope you enjoy.

Click here for recipe…

spicy Korean salad

Click here for recipe…

Squid Vicious – spicy grilled squid (by Erik)

Click here for recipe…

 cherry pepper squid

Click here for recipe…

Cajun Slaw (by Ayesha)

I take very little credit for the coleslaw. This super easy recipe – though marginally tweaked by me – is from a “The 100 Greatest Cajun Recipes” by Jude W. Theriot. By the way – if anyone out there loves Cajun food and isn’t sure where to start, I highly recommend this book.

Click here for recipe…

cajun slaw

Click here for recipe…