Thai Coconut Lemongrass Lime Martini

Thai Lime Martini

This New Year’s Eve, we decided to stay home and be lazy (like we do every year)!  To make our home celebration more special, I decided to make martinis inspired by a recent trip we took to Maui.  In Wailea, we had dinner one night at the Monkeypod Kitchen – a fantastic restaurant that specializes [...]

Spicy Thai Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

Spicy Thai Drunken Rice Noodles

A few months ago, I finally got a hand-hammered carbon steel wok to replace my old nonstick wok!!!  (The problem with a teflon coated (nonstick) wok is that it cannot be heated to high temperatures… and you end up sauteeing your food in the wok, rather than the quick high heat cooking that is required [...]

Coconut Cardamom Rice Pudding

Coconut Cardamom Rice Pudding

While I love to make Western-style desserts to feed my sweet tooth… every now and then I like to mix it up and make an Asian-style dessert.  This is a quick and easy Asian-style rice pudding that is lactose/dairy free, and also gluten free.  It makes a great dessert for people who are lactose intolerant [...]

Asian Avocado Milkshake

Avocado Milkshake

Here’s a quick and easy dessert… very popular in South-East Asia: Avocado Milkshake!  Just throw 3 ingredients into a blender with some crushed ice, and about 30 seconds later, voila! To people unfamiliar with avocado flavored desserts, trust me – it’s delicious and not at all strange; avocado is a fruit, after all!  You can also make [...]

Thai Pumpkin-Shrimp Coconut Soup

Thai Pumpkin-Shrimp Coconut Soup

Whenever I cook with shrimp, I save the discarded raw shells in the freezer to make soup stock in the future.  Once I have enough shells accumulated, I know I can make this soup from “leftovers” that are hanging around in the refrigerator! You can use pumpkin puree, carrot puree, or tomato paste to flavor [...]

Banh Khoai Mi Nuong (Vietnamese Baked Cassava or Yuca Cake)

Banh Khoai Mi Nuong (Cassava Cake)

A few days ago, a good friend of mine had a housewarming party.  She had a lot of really good food and all kinds of wonderful desserts and sweet treats.  One of her friends brought over a delicious homemade Vietnamese dessert called “Banh Khoai Mi Nuong” (or “Cassava Cake”).  The cake was cut into small squares, and [...]

Banh Da Lon (steamed Vietnamese layer cake with tapioca, mung bean, & pandan)

Bahn Da Lon (Vietnamese "Pig Skin" Cake)

One of my good friends has been bringing me Banh Da Lon (Vietnamese steamed layer cake) from her favorite bakery in Orange County for the past few months…  since I was able to figure out Banh Bo Nuong (Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake), I know she really wants me to figure this one out too!  I’ve tried… [...]

Coconut Palm Sugar Cookies


Palm sugar is made from the sweet sap of the Coconut Palm tree.  The sap is collected, boiled until thick, then allowed to cool and solidify into round discs.  I saw this sugar for the first time at the Vietnamese Market – it was next to the rock sugar that I was buying, and I [...]

Kaffir Lime & Lemongrass Leaf Cupcakes with Coconut frosting

Kaffir Lime & Lemongrass Leaf Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

So, I USED to have a ton of lemongrass growing in the backyard.  It’s a long story, but basically, I was standing there watering my beloved lemongrass plants when I noticed a snake slithering out of the thicket.  Triangular shaped head, rattle on the tail, diamond shaped markings.  Yup… a young Western Diamondback Rattlesnake had [...]

Yam Neua (Thai Spicy Beef Salad)

Yam Neua (Thai Spicy Beef Salad)

One of my favorite Thai dishes is Yam Neua (a.k.a. “Spicy Beef Salad”).  I guess I was spoiled when I lived in the Los Feliz/Silverlake area of Los Angeles many years back…  Being that close to Thai town, it was always possible to get excellent Thai food, even later than 2am.  Now that we live [...]