Tag Archives: asian

January Cooking Club: GINGER

12 Feb


The January edition of my co-worker cooking club/Iron Chef competition centered around the ingredient ginger.  The funny thing is that I threw that ingredient out there jokingly having initially thought, “What the heck can you do with ginger?”  I came to find that it is actually a very versatile ingredient and the dishes at this gathering were a testament to that.  I made Asian-Style Turkey Burger Sliders with a ginger soy sauce that was simply to die for.  They were so good that you would be shocked to know the recipe comes from a Weight Watchers cookbook I borrowed from my Mom.  Other contributions included: homemade ginger ale for Dark and Stormy’s, Moscow Mule (has ginger beer in it), lemon ginger scones, a chicken curry dish, orange ginger beets, and ginger snap breaded fried chicken with apple and onion slaw.  What a treat it all was for the tastebuds! This group continues to amaze me with their culinary know-how.  Besides the fantastic eats, the ambiance was particularly welcoming.  Our host, Scott, had us at his almost finished house which he had spent countless months upgrading into a nothing shy of a masterpiece home.  February’s cooking club appropriately requires the ingredient cocoa.  I wonder if this will be a mostly dessert-focused gathering.  I wouldn’t mind a bit 😉



Turkey Burger Sliders (NOTE: I doubled the below recipe as the cooking club crowd was bigger than your dinner for two or family dinner of four crowd):

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2 TBSP finely chopped onion
  • 2 TBSP finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 1 packages of sliders rolls (usually come in 12 packs so you may have a few left-over rolls)
  • lettuce, tomato, onion (optional)

Sweet Ginger Soy Sauce (Adapted from http://disgustinglygood.com/):

  • 4 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 TBSP sherry cooking wine
  • 5 TBSP turbinado sugar
  • 2 TBSP minced fresh ginger, or 1/2 TBSP ground dry


  1. Prepare grill or large cast iron skillet (we used the latter.)
  2. Combine turkey and the next 7 ingredients in a large bowl.  Divide into 8-10 equal portions shaping into 1/2 inch thick patties. 
  3. Place patties on grill or in your skillet with a healthy amount of of cooking spray.  Cook approximately 5-7 minutes on each side or until done.                                                              IMG_20130127_105554_722
  4. For the sauce, simply combine all ingredients with a whisk and cook over a medium heat.  Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for several minutes.  It will thicken as it cools.
  5. If desired, toast your slider rolls and melt a little butter to brush on top immediately adding sea salt.  Top with lettuce, tomato, and onion if you wish, but definitely spoon some of the ginger soy sauce for a flavor bomb!

January Cooking Club Spread

Touchstone Cooking Club: Asian Theme

3 Oct

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You may recall the Running Club wherein my co-workers and I were running together and training for a charity race.  Read here to JOG your memory.  Well, eventually it became wayyyy too hot so we moved onto our next favorite shared hobby.  Unanimously, we arrived at eating.  The COOKING club was born.  The idea is to have a rotating host schedule and change up the theme each time on a monthly basis.  Our first iteration was Southern Comfort food.  I still need to write about that one so consider that an IOU.  The second iteration was an Asian theme.  One of my co-workers majored in Chinese and spent a substantial portion of time there writing his thesis on various Chinese food types.  I did not know about this until after we already planned this gathering, but man did it make me all the more excited for the event.  SIDE NOTE:  This same co-worker is actually a former co-worker who left the government consulting world to pursue his passion for cookies via a now very popular food truck in DC called Captain Cookie and the Milk Man.  His cookies and cookie ice cream sandwiches…just whoa!  This will also be a post to come!

If the Cooking Club were to have all members attend, we’d be looking at around 14 people.  However with varying social schedules, the full capacity is unlikely to ever be reached.  The Southern Comfort Food themed dinner saw 12 of us though so pretty darn close.  Our Asian themed dinner was a bit more intimate with just 5 of us.  Both have been so fun and stomach-rewarding!

Per the slide show, you can see even with 5 of us we did not skimp on the eats.  Between the Chinese dumplings, eggplant dish, sushi, my salad, and drinks/desserts, everyone could have used an unbuttoned pants button in the end I imagine.  I have to say this club has been so worth its formation.  We all know what’s up in the kitchen. Next up is an Oktoberfest theme!  Also, I suspect Bryan and I will host later in the fall/winter and as you would probably guess, it’s going to be Italiano themed.  I personally aim to make it better than any Jersey Shore Sunday Family Dinner…

Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp

21 Jun

I wanted to make something different than I have made before.  Bryan has raved about Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer.  I have seen a number of copycat recipes for this, but Skinnytaste recipes don’t steer me wrong in the quest for the more reasonable version of restaurant crowd-pleasers so it was a no brainer.  The Bonefish Grill version of this shrimp dish is breaded and fried best I can tell.  I don’t eat much in the way of fried food so another reason to choose the Skinnytaste version.  I slightly modified the sauce knowing our palettes.  Gina, Skinnytaste’s author, suggested two sides to accompany this dish.  I chose the summery, fresh low-carb one- a Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw (pictured above.)  I promise to share how I went about making that recipe at a later date.  I was actually pretty proud of myself as I made my own Sesame Oil for it.  Stay tuned!

Copycat Bang Bang Shrimp Ingredients:

The sauce:

  • 4 TBSP light mayo (little less than the Skinnytaste recipe calls for)
  • 3 TBSP Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1.5-2 tsp Sriracha (more than the Skinnytaste recipes calls for because we like some extra kick)

The shrimp:

  • 1 lb large shrimp, shelled/deveined
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp canola oil


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, sweet chili sauce, and Sriracha.
  2. In another bowl, add the cornstarch to your shrimp and mix well with your hands.       
  3. Heat a large skillet on a high heat.  Once hot, add the canola oil.  When the oil has heated up, add your cornstarch-coated shrimp and cook thoroughly.  This will take approximately 3-5 minutes.    
  4. Transfer shrimp to a medium bowl and add the sauce.  Mix until the shrimp is completely coated.