Crunchy baked sriracha popcorn

Hey everyone! Hope the new year has been off to a great start!

Now, I’ve also recently obtained a fondness for spicy food. A friend of mine introduced sriracha sauce to me, and while I’m not obsessed like some are, it does add a nice kick to food! Of course, I had to try it with popcorn, one of my favourite foods!

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Baked sriracha popcorn

6 cups popped, plain, popcorn (~1/4 cup kernels)
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (extra virgin olive oil degrades at high temperatures), melted
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
Sriracha, to taste (I put 1/2 teaspoon)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Preheat the oven to 250F
Place the coconut oil in a small bowl and add the spices to mix. Pour it over the popcorn and mix thoroughly. Taste test a few and add seasoning as you see fit. If the popcorn is to your liking, then skip baking and enjoy! If you desire it to be a bit crispier…. Read on ☺.

I use a silicon baking sheet to bake the popcorn, but wax paper should work as well. Place the popcorn in your chosen baking ware and bake for 10 minutes.

At the end, it should be very crunchy! If it ended up a little over baked, sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil on top!

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Enjoy and happy new years!

General Tso Dipping Sauce

Today, I want to share with you a recipe that will make you want to eat (fried) tofu. Yes, I’m serious.

This sauce got my Dad (“Tofu?! What the hell is that?”), my grandpa (“Where’s my meat?”) and grandma (“Traditional cooking is the best… No need to experiment. Where’s the smetana?”) to eat tofu.

This sauce is absolutely amazing. I make it any chance I see where we could potentially dip food in it. I had it with rolls, tempura and vegetables. All in all, I just REALLY like the taste of this. It tastes like one of those exotic sauces you would get an Asian themed restaurant. It’s sweet and a little spicy, and has an awesome smooth texture. Are you ready to try it out?

This recipe was inspired by General Tso Tofu, and I only made a little variation in it.

First, start off with some chopped garlic and onions (seen in the back); you could use green onions too!

Garlic and the shy onions!

Garlic and the shy onions!

Then you take water, mirin, white vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and chili paste and mix it all together in a bowl.

sauce

The pre-sauce.

Then mix together 1 tablespoon corn starch and 1 tablespoon water to form a paste  in a separate bowl (so the sauce will thicken).

Paste

Finally, get those onions and garlic sauteing on the saucepan! (med heat.) Stir often.

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Sizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzle

After about 1 minute, add in 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger and fry it in oil for a few seconds before adding in the sauce and the paste. Allow the mixture to boil (while stirring intermittently), and then let it boil for 1 minute longer. You will see that the red colour will now switch to a deep, deep red/brown colour. It’s really neat!

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Magic!

Magic!

Take it off the stove and let it cool.

And you’re done! Drizzle it over anything you’d like. My family and I generally eat it with tofu on top of rice!

Looks delicious, no?

Looks delicious, no?

General Tso Sauce (originally by: Stephani Kepman)

  • 3 green onions or 1/2 a small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon red chili paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper (more for more spice)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. mix in the water, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, mirin, chili paste, and red-pepper until sugar is dissolved – set aside
  2. mix corn starch and water to form a paste- set aside.
  3. saute onions and garlic in a saucepan on medium heat for about a minute.
  4. right before adding in sauce, add in the ground ginger and stir for a few seconds.
  5. add in the red sauce, followed by the paste
  6. bring the sauce to a boil and then cook for 1 minute more
  7. remove from stove, and allow to cool.
  8. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite sauce recipe? Please comment and tell me!

Spicy (Canned) Salmon Roll

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up here? You can put canned fish into sushi? You mean, I can enjoy sushi without the mess and fuss? Yes. Will it taste great? Sure.

This is a great recipe to whip up when you don’t have time to watch the cooking temperatures or when you can’t be bothered to stir the potion clockwise three times before adding the lace wings- whoa, sorry. That’s a whole ‘nother game.

What I’m trying to say is… this is perfect after-work no-hassle dinner.

You interested? Of course you are, you busy-bee. Let’s get cracking.

First, you’re going to have to find some short or medium grain white rice. Don’t succumb to the ‘sushi rice’ gimmick- it’s the same thing. Just find whatever is the cheapest.

If you have a rice cooker, go ahead and cook the sticky rice in that.

If you don’t have a rice cooker, this is what you gotta do.

Sushi Rice

  • 2 1/4 cups short or medium grain rice
  • 3 cups of water
  1.  wash the rice. You know you’re done when you fill the bowl up with water and you can still see the rice underneath.
  2. Place the rice in a saucepan and fill with water, let it stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Cover and bring to boil over high heat, reduce to low and lit simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and allow it to cool for ~5 min.

Get all that? Good. It’s easy. No worries.

While the rice is resting, cooking and cooling, prepare the salmon (or tuna) and the other fillings.

Spicy Salmon Filling

  • 1 can (140 g; 5 oz) salmon; liquid drained
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (you don’t want it to be too runny, but add more if you like)
  • 3 tablespoons red pepper/chili paste (more/less depending on taste preference)
  • ~1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • onions, diced (optional)
  1. Mix all the ingredients together
  2. Taste and adjust as necessary for heat
...I promise it tastes better then it looks.

…I promise it tastes better then it looks.

Check on your rice, how’s it doing? Good?

Alright, time to prepare the amazing sushi rice vinegar / sugar mix of magic.

Rice Vinegar / Sugar Mix of Magic

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix everything together until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Don’t add it to the rice yet!!!

I take it your rice isn’t done yet? Time to raid your fridge for the rest of the ingredients!

I chose to add carrots, green onions, and pickles to my sushi. I’m sure some sesame seeds sprinkled in there would add a great crunch, too. Look in your own fridge for anything you need to use up before it expires, or something that would taste good. Perhaps make an omelet?

Finally, the rice is done! Time to put everything together.

Spicy (Canned) Salmon Roll

  • Sushi Rice
  • Rice Vinegar / Sugar Mix of Magic
  • Spicy Salmon Filling
  • Other filling
  • nori sheets
  • bowl with some water
  1. Mix the rice vinegar/sugar mix with the sushi rice when it’s done.
  2. Take out a rice paddle or spoon with water, and scoop some rice onto the rough side of the nori sheet.
  3. Spread out the rice until it’s a layer of rice thick. Leave about 2 cm of the upper region uncovered. Put some water on this uncovered nori part to act as glue.
  4. Place your filling at the bottom edge.
  5. Roll up from the bottom edge, squeezing as you go.
  6. Repeat until you use everything up
  7. Cut the roll into sushi-sized pieces, arrange, eat and be merry!
Prepare to rock and ROLL....Get it?

Prepare to rock and ROLL.
…Get it?

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Yummy!

What is your favorite sushi recipe and/or combination? I would love to hear it!