Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mashed "Potatoes"

Hey Pandagrubbers! Sorry I haven't been on in a while. I hope everyone had a amazing Thanksgiving! Today I am going to show you how to make a healthier version of mashed potatoes.

Hello! My name is Stuboom! I am going to teach you how to make cauliflower mash. I am currently sitting with one head of cauliflower.

Now we are cutting up the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. I recommend to first cut the cauliflower in half, then dice it.

Put the cauliflower in a steamer in a large pot filled with about 3 inches of water. Cover and boil it for about 10 minutes, or until soft.

After the cauliflower is soft, put about five pieces of it into a food processor. Grind until it becomes a puree.
This is what the cauliflower mash should look like when you're done. The cauliflower mash tastes exactly like mashed potatoes! We served this at Thanksgiving and nobody could tell the difference! This is a very easy and healthy alternative to mashed potatoes.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hey Pandagrubbers!

Hello ! Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been working on a new blog. I would really appreciate it if you'd check it out. ( I will try to post every once in a while from now on. In the meantime, please check out my new blog. I will be active on there all the time.
Thank you so much for all the support!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Restaurant Review: Sea Empress

This week on pandagrub, we are going to be doing a restaurant review of Sea Empress. Sea Empress is a Chinese restaurant. The address is 1636 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., Gardena, CA. We went here for dim sum around lunchtime on a weekend.  "Dim sum" means "touch of the heart" in Cantonese.  The history of dim sum has its roots in China where travelers on the ancient silk road or rural farmers used to visit teahouses to rest and started combining this drinking with small dishes of food.  Today dim sum has evolved into a weekend family or gathering of friends dining experience.  Usually, restaurants will serve dim sum via small carts like this:

The ladies with the carts will come by your table and you can order whatever you wish.  The best part about dim sum is that you can taste a variety of dishes.  Everyone at your table can order his or her favorite dish, and maybe acquire a new love for a dish!

 In the picture above is haam seoi gauk鹹水角. The haam seoi gauk is a deep fried oval-shaped dumpling made with rice-flour and filled with pork and chopped vegetables.  It was pretty tasty, but I didn't eat more than one because it was deep fried and slightly greasy.

 Shown in the picture above is an egg custard called dan tat. (蛋挞.) Dan tat has a slightly tangy center and a flaky pie crust. It is probably my favorite Dim Sum food, and it has been since I was a baby.  I love the combination of the flaky pastry and the smooth custard.

 These are salty deep fried anchovies garnished with green onions and peppers.  You can eat these fish whole -- heads, bones, etc. The anchovies were very savory and crunchy.  These are my grandfather's favorite because he loves fish!

 Here are baked BBQ pork pastries (chau siu bao) or 叉烧包. These buns are very soft and fluffy with a touch of honey on the outside and the inside is filled with perfectly tender BBQ pork.  My uncle loves these.  You can also find these in a steamed form.

 This is calamari or deep-fried, salty, perfectly cooked squid (魷魚鬚). The squid in the calamari was cooked perfectly and not too chewy, but the batter was too salty for my liking.  Thumbs up for the jalapenos, though!

 This is shrimp har gow (蝦餃). Har gow in Cantonese means shrimp ball or dumpling. The outside of a har gow is very sticky and soft and the inside is tender steamed shrimp.

This was the last dish my family got at Sea Empress to finish off dim sum. It is a little known dish called "Yin and Yang fried rice." The red sauce is a very hearty tomato sauce with chicken and onions. The white side is a cream sauce with shrimp. Underneath these sauces is rice with scrambled eggs and bits of meat. It even looks like a yin and yang symbol!

This is a copy of our bill.  The little stamped circles represent each of the different types of dim sum dishes that we ate.  I hope you enjoyed this edition of pandagrub! Be sure to try Sea Empress with your friends!

p.s. some sad dim sum news:  Empress Pavilion, a dim sum restaurant in downtown LA's Chinatown, has closed after almost 25 years in business.  My parents used to take my brother and me there for dim sum when we were babies because it was so loud inside that our crying wouldn't bother the other patrons and my parents could get a decent meal.  Read more about Empress Pavilion's closing here.

p.p.s. where's the panda?  I forgot to bring one to the restaurant!  Here's picture of some baby pandas:

Thursday, June 6, 2013


This week on pandagrub, we are going to be making Chapaguri, which is a mixture of Neoguri and Chapagetti instant noodles.  They are very popular noodles in Korea.  Right now there is a big trend over there to blend these noodles together because of a famous Korean drama which featured a dad making Chapaguri for his little son.  
The name, Chapaguri, comes from combining Chapagetti and Neoguri.

 The pandas in the picture above are chopstick holders and are sitting on the Chapagetti and Neoguri noodles. The packets on tops are the dehydrated vegetable packages that come with the noodles.
 Flatty Jr. (the panda) and I placed both noodles with the vege packets in a pot with 4 cups of boiling water. Once the noodles cooked for about 3-4 minutes, we drained out most of the water leaving about 1/4-1/2 cup of water with the noodles.  After that, we sprinkled in the Chapagetti powder sauce in the pot. Next we added a small portion of the spicy Neoguri powder. (the more Neoguri sauce you add, the spicier the dish.)

 Flatty Jr. and I really enjoyed the Chapaguri. It tasted just like noodles with black bean sauce (jjajangmyun) but it had a spicy kick at the end. I highly recommend this recipe for when you want something a little different for a great snack. For the full recipe click here.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cucumber Cups

This week on pandagrub we are going to be making mango salsa cucumber cups.

The panda sunning himself in the picture above is named Spicy. Spicy is sitting with the ingredients used to make the cucumber cups. He is lying down with 1 cucumber, tomatoes, a mango, limes, and an onion.

Spicy is peeling the skin off of a cucumber. If you want a pretty cucumber design, peel a strip of the cucumber skin every half inch or so.

After your done peeling the cucumber, cut the cucumber into one inch slices. Doesn't this picture look like a vertebrae?

Now Spicy and I are scooping the insides of the cucumber out. It's easy to scoop the insides out of the cucumber if you use a melon baller. If you don't have a melon baller you can use a teaspoon. Make sure you don't scoop too much of the inside of the cucumber out or it will make a hole and all the salsa will fall out.

Now we are making the mango salsa. To make the salsa dice the onion, tomatoes,and mangoes. Add a dash of salt and the juice of one lime.

After you make the salsa, scoop it into your cut cucumbers.

Spicy loved the cucumber cups! He thinks that they're the perfect treat for Summer. I hope you enjoy this refreshing recipe. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Homemade Quesadillas

Sorry that I haven't been on in a while. I went to Mexico City and Cancun for spring break. In honor of my trip to Mexico, let's make quesadillas!  This is one of my most favorite foods in the world. After a long gymnastics practice, I like to eat quesadillas because they aren't too filling, but they satisfy my hunger.

 To make the quesadilla, we layered cheese, tomatoes, and avocados on a tortilla and put it in a frying pan. Then we laid the other tortilla on top of it.  To reduce the fat content, my mom just sprays the pan with non-stick spray instead of using butter.  (However, as you probably know, butter tastes soooooo good.  Sometimes in Mexico, they used lard.)

 This is what the quesadilla looked like when we finished cooking it. The quesadilla was delicious, as the avocados were a perfect match for the tomatoes and gooey cheddar cheese. The smooth avocado really softens the tartness of the tomato.

The panda in the picture above is named Stuboom. Stuboom enjoyed the quesadilla almost as much as I did!  I brought Stuboom to Mexico.  He was a wonderful traveling companion.

This is the view from our hotel room in Cancun. From our hotel you can see the beach! I almost dropped Stuboom off of our hotel balcony!:o

This is a picture of me doing a handstand on the beach in Cancun. Look how clean and unpolluted the water is! The sand was so soft and smooth that it felt like a blanket! 
I hope you enjoyed this post!
I hope everyone had a great spring break!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Restaurant Review : Doya Doya

This week on pandagrub we are going to be doing a restaurant review on Doya Doya. Doya Doya specializes in okonomiyaki, which is a savory Japanese pancake.
 Doya Doya's location is 2140 Artesia Blvd TorranceCA 90504.
 The panda in the picture above is named Takoyaki. He is sitting with the mayonnaise bottle (check out the cool triple spout!) and  Japanese fish flakes (bonito).

 My mom and I got the special pork okonomiyaki. Takoyaki, my mom and I really enjoyed the okonomiyaki because it was perfectly seasoned and the flavors blended together perfectly.  My favorite part is the egg on the outside.  My mom's favorite part is the variety of veges and the sauce on top.

 You can garnish the okonomiyaki with seaweed, bonito flakes and mayonnaise.  I love watching the bonito flakes sway in the piping hot steam of the pancake!

Look how full of yummy stuff the pancake is!  My mom says that there is also an "Osaka" style of okonomiyaki that is a lot thinner and crispier.  That sounds great too!

I will definitely come back to Doya Doya. Next time I will try the Doya special mix okonomiyaki. For more information about Doya Doya click here.