Buns & Dumplings – Wonton and Noodle Soup

Wonton Noodle Soup, by Reggie Soang

Wontons and noodles are a classic combo in a soup dish. The broth is made out of chicken stock, which is called the “majesty soup”, made with chicken, dried shittake mushroom, ginger, scallion, and dried Chinese dates (aka. jujube). Season the soup with soy sauce, MSG, ground white pepper, cilantro, and scallions in a bowl and add cooked wontons and noodles to it, garnish with more herbs, and you’d have a delightful meal!

For the latest Chef Reggie’s Cooking Series:

Chicken Wontons and Noodles
Portions: about 60 wontons

Prep Time: 15 minutes 
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

For the Wonton Dough:
2 + 1/8 cup (300g) all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
3/8 teaspoon (1g) baking soda
3 (165g) eggs
1 + 1/2 tablespoon (14g) water

For the Filling:
1 point ground chicken (breast meat)
3 tablespoons chopped ginger, finely chopped
2 sprigs scallions, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar

For the broth:
1 stalk scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon MSG
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 teaspoons soy sauce

  1. Set up a pasta machine for making wonton wrappers. Alternatively, use a heavy rolling pin.
  2. To make the wonton wrappers, make a well in the center of a mixing bowl with flour, salt, and baking soda. Make sure the bowl is big enough to fit a hand in there for kneading a dough. Add the eggs and water into the middle and slowly bring the flour to the center. 
  3. Once a dough is formed, knead it until the surface is smooth and cover it in plastic. Rest the dough for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling by adding all the ingredients together and use a pair of chopsticks to stir in one direction until it is tacky.
  5. When the dough is ready, divide it into two portions. Shape each portion into balls and cover one with plastic while working with the other one. Roll the ball into an elongated disk and run it through the pasta machine on the largest setting. Fold the wonton sheets back into a rectangle like folding a letter, and roll it out again through the pasta machine. Do this step 3 times. 
  6. Once the wonton wrapper has gone through the pasta machine 3 times at the largest setting, roll it through each succeeding setting to the lowest/thinnest. Run the wonton sheet through the thinnest setting twice. Cut off the uneven edge and spread the wonton sheet out on the counter.
  7. Cut the uneven edge wonton sheets into strips of noodles and set aside.
  8. Cut the wonton sheet in half by running a knife down lengthwise, and then cut each sheet into squares. The size of the wonton wrapper should be around 2.5 by 2.5 inches.
  9. Put 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper and brush 3 sides with water. Fold the closest side to you upward to make a rectangular pouch. Grab the corners aligned with the fold and pinch them together.
  10. Cook the wontons in boiling water; once they are floating on the surface of the boiling water, cook them for 1 more minute. 
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the broth by adding 4 oz. of the wonton cooking water (or stock) into a bowl with all the broth ingredients. 
  12. Add the wontons into the prepared broth, and then cook the noodles in the same boiling water. Place the noodles on top of the wontons and serve hot. Bon Appétit!

Buns & Dumplings – Curry Puffs with Lemon Yogurt

Curry Puffs with Lemon Yogurt, by Reggie Soang

Curry puffs are the Asian version of an empanada, and they are popular street foods in southeast Asia. To make these at home and keep it simple, use store-bought puff pastry and fill it with potato masala. Either fry or bake them until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Serve hot with a side of lemony yogurt with chopped cilantro.

Chef Reggie’s Cooking Series:

Crispy Curry Puffs with Yogurt Sauce
Serves: 2~3

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour (not including inactive time)

1 potato, finely diced
1 sweet potato, finely diced
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 medium-sized onion, medium dice
1 head garlic, grated
3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon dried chilies
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 box Puff Pastry, Pepperidge Farm Brand, defrosted

For the yogurt sauce:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons EVOO

To Cook with:
Cooking oil

  1. Make potato masala by cooking potatoes and sweet potatoes in a pot of water first. Cover potatoes and sweet potatoes with cold water and bring the water to a boil. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  2. cooking onions until nice and tender, and then add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add the spices and a bit more oil to help cooking them until fragrant.
  3. Add the potatoes and sweet potatoes into the skillet and use a spatula to pack down on them gently. Cook undisturbed until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, and then lift the bottom to the top and gently pack down the potatoes again. Do this step a few times until most of the potatoes are browned. To finish, stir in chopped cilantro and coconut milk. Chill the potato masala in the fridge until completely cold.
  4. When the filling is ready, roll out the puff pastry to 1/16-inch thick. Using a 4-in ring cutter to cut out circles and fill the center of each with a heaping spoon of the filling. Brush the side of the circles with water and seal the edges to form a moon-shape pouch. Use a fork to push down on the edge to create pleats. (Alternatively, cut the puff pastry into squares and fill the center with the fillings and then form triangles by folding one corner to the other. Seal the edges.)
  5. To make the yogurt sauce, mix everything together and set it aside.
  6. Set up a shallow fryer by pouring enough oil halfway up in a skillet. Fry each curry puffs in 350 Fahrenheit oil. To get the oil to the right temperature, put a piece of bread into the fryer and wait until it turns golden brown, an indication of proper frying temperature.
  7. Fry the curry puffs on each side for 1 minute or until they are golden brown. Drain off the fat and set them on a rack. Serve curry puffs hot with yogurt sauce. Bon appétit!

Buns & Dumplings – Taiwanese Pot Stickers

Potstickers with Dipping Sauce, by Reggie Soang

Potstickers or gyoza are the crowd’s favorite. They are served in izakaya and famously on the streets in Taiwan. Potstickers come in a couple of different shapes, and the ones in Taiwan are long and skinny. The fillings are made of pork, ginger, garlic, scallions, and some seasoning. Sear each dumpling until the bottom is nice and golden brown and then steam with water. The crispy bottom gives a nice contrast in texture, and the flavor of the char at the bottom is also superb. Dip potstickers in a vinegary sauce to balance out the savory filling.

Chef Reggie’s Cooking Series:

Pot Stickers with Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce
Serves: 2~3 people

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 minutes (not including inactive time)

For the Dough (makes 10 potstickers)

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (80g) water
Pinch of Salt

For the pork fillings (make about 30 potstickers):
600g ground pork
5 cloves garlic, grated
3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1/4 cup or a small bunch chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 + 1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 + 1/2 tablespoons mirin
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water

For the dipping sauce:
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon sliced ginger
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

To cook with:
cooking oil

  1. To make the dough, mix water into the flour and salt and knead until the surface is smooth. Rest the dough for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling by combining everything, except water, first. Using a pair of chopsticks or a fork to mix the filling in a circular motion in one direction. Add water and keep mixing until all the ingredients are sticking together. Set aside.
  3. Make the dipping sauce by combining everything together and set aside. 
  4. To make the dumpling wrappers, roll the dough into a 1-inch log and portion to 15g each, about the size of a cherry tomato.
  5. Working one dough ball at a time, flatten it with the palm, and then use a hand to turn the dumpling wrapper in a circular motion while using the other hand rolling the edges out until the entire wrapper is about 3 to 3.5 inches in diameter. The wrapper should be a little thicker in the center.
  6. Put a heaping spoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper and pinch tight in the center on the top. Make one pleat at each end and then seal the edges. Make a few more pleats on the top to tighten the seals. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
  7. Heat up a non-stick skillet on medium heat and pour in a thin layer of oil. When the oil shimmers, place the potstickers in and evenly spaced them out and cook them until the bottom turns golden brown. Pour enough water into the skillet to cover 1/4 of the height of the dumplings and simmer for 8 minutes with a lid on. The sound of the sizzling will lessen towards the end and water should be completely evaporated. 
  8. Serve the pot sticks hot with the dipping sauce on the side. Bon Appétit!

Buns & Dumplings – Pan Fried Buns

Kimchi Pork Rib Pan Fried Buns, by Reggie Soang

Pan-fried buns are one of the most popular street foods in Asia. The buns are fried in a thin layer of oil until crispy, and then steamed with water until the buns are soft, pillow and juicy in the center. Dip the buns in vinegary, sweet, salty, and spicy sauce and indulge in these buns!

For Chef Reggie’s Cooking Series:

Kimchi Pork Rib Pan Fried Buns
Serves: 2 people

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes (not including inactive time)

For the dough
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking powder
1 teaspoon (3g) yeast
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) water
1 tablespoon oil (13g)

For the filling:
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped, about 1 + 1/2 cup
1 cup chopped kimchi, liquid strained
2 cups chopped cooked ribs**
1/4 cup chopped scallions

**any cooked meats would do, and if no leftover proteins are available, cook one pound of ground pork with onions and kimchi. Season the filling with salt, soy sauce, and ground black pepper to taste.

For the dipping sauce:
4 pieces B&G hot pickled cherry peppers, finely chopped
5 tablespoons (50g) rice wine vinegar
2 + 1/2 tablespoons (26g) Chinese Black Vinegar (Chinkiang Vinegar)
2 + 1/2 teaspoons (16g) soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon (1g) MSG
2 teaspoons (7g) sugar

For cooking:
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon corn starch

  1. Make the dough first by dissolving the yeast into the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add oil to the water and then add to the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Knead the dough until nice and smooth on the surface and let it proof at room temperature for 1 hour until the dough doubles in size. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat up a skillet with oil on medium-high heat, sauté onions until nicely colored, and then add chopped kimchi. Cook onions and kimchi until liquid from the veggies is evaporated. Turn off the heat and add chopped ribs and scallions. Chill the filling in the fridge.
  4. While waiting for both the dough and filling to be ready, make the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients together.
  5. After the dough has doubled in size, punch down and knead it a few times, and then roll it out to a log that is about 1 inch thick. Divide the dough into 30-gram portions and roll each one into a ball. This recipe should produce 15 portions. 
  6. Working one dough ball at a time, flatten it with the palm, and then roll it out to a disk about 1/16-inch thick with a rolling pin. 
  7. Using one hand to turn the dumpling wrapper in a circular motion, and use the other hand and the rolling pin to roll the edges out until the entire wrapper is about 3 to 3.5 inches in diameter.
  8. Put a heaping spoon of the filling in the middle and make pleats along the edges while lifting the wrapper towards the middle to form a pouch. Pinch tight on the top and repeat. 
  9. Rest the buns at room temperature for 10 minutes before cooking.
  10. To pan-fry the buns, heat up the oil on medium-low heat and place the buns close to one another inside the skillet. Once the bottom starts to sizzle and turns golden brown, pour in corn starch slurry, made out of 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 1 cup of water. Bring the liquid to a boil and turn down to simmer. Put a lid on the skillet and cook until the bottom of the skillet is nice and crispy, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  11. Invert each buns onto a serving plate, and serve hot with the dipping sauce. Bon appétit! 

Salads: Larb, Noodles, and Coconut Pepper Relish

Larb, Noodles, and Coconut Pepper Relish, by Reggie Soang

Larb is a Southeast Asian meat salad served in a lettuce cup. Larb originates from Laos and Isan region in Thailand. I learned how to make larb in my travels to Thailand. Larb is also a dish that is as regional or personal to the cook who prepares it; every person has his or her own take on this meat salad – larb is salty, bright, spicy, and herbaceous. I like my larb citrusy and herbaceous. Larb in lettuce cup also comes with other condiments; rice noodles, chili sauce, herbs, hard-boiled eggs, long beans, and peanuts are just a few that you’d see on the streets. Larb brings joy and comfort to the table; using lettuce and hands to cup the foods is just one of the few ways that make dining intimate and memorable.

Larb, Noodles, and Coconut Pepper Relish, by Reggie Soang

For the least Chef Reggie Cooking Series:

Larb with Lettuce Cup and Coconut Pepper Relish
Serves: 4 portions

Prep Time: 30minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

For Larb:
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 pound ground pork
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped red onions
5 cloves fresh garlic, grated
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes (or dried Thai chilies)
1 + 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 + 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons toasted ground rice (optional)**

**to make toasted ground rice: soak long-grain (Jasmine or Carolina) rice overnight. Drain the rice and air-dry for 30 minutes, and then toast the rice on medium heat in a skillet until golden brown. Cool the rice down and then turn it into powder.

For Coconut Red Pepper Relish:
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 red bell pepper, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon water

To serve with:
Rice noodles
Romaine Lettuce
Sliced cucumbers
Toasted Peanuts
Hard-boiled eggs
Lime wedges

  1. To make the larb, sauté ground pork on medium heat until it is cooked, season with salt. 
  2. Add red onions and garlic and cook until they are fragrant. Add chili flakes, fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, and chopped cilantro, and stir to combine. Season to taste. Larb should be salty, herbaceous, and spicy (but you may adjust the heat according to your tolerance).
  3. Toast the rice according to the above instructions and add it to the larb before serving the meal.
  4. Make coconut red pepper relish by blitzing red peppers into small chunks, and then sauté red peppers until they are thick and pasty. Add salt and curry powder and cook until fragrant, and then add coconut milk. Cook the relish until thickened, and then add water to adjust the consistency. The relish should be thick, yet not cloying or clumpy. 
  5. To prepare the sides and the condiments:
  • Make toasted rice and blend it into a powder
  • Cook dried noodles and then rinse them in cold water and drain. Stir in a little bit of cooking oil to keep them lubricated, and season them with dried chilies and a dash of fish sauce
  •  Wash romaine lettuce and cilantro and dry them thoroughly
  •  Slice cucumbers into thin pieces
  • Toast peanuts or purchase them
  •  Make hard-boiled eggs by bringing the water up to a boil with eggs in it, and then let them sit in the hot water for 10 minutes with the heat off. Cool the eggs down in ice water, and then peel and cut them into wedges.
  •  Sliced jalapeño into desire thickness
  •  Cut lime into wedges

6. To serve, put the noodles in romaine lettuce, add the larb and tiny scoops of coconut red pepper relish on top. Sprinkle toasted rice powder on larb, and then add cilantro, cucumbers, peanuts, hard-boiled eggs, and jalapeño. Squeeze some fresh lime juice on top to finish. Bon appétit!


Salads – Spiced Lentil Salad with Feta Cheese and Buckwheat Crêpes

Spiced Lentil Salad with Fete Cheese and Buckwheat Crêpes, by Reggie Soang

Spiced lentil salad brings comfort and joy. Lentil is stewed with cumin, coriander seeds, curry, and chili powder until creamy, and then scooped onto the arugula. The greens are gently wilted, yet still taste vibrant and peppery. Crumbled feta cheese adds some tang and a bold flavor. This salad is as good as it is on its own, but better with crêpes or a piece of grilled bread to mop up the sauce.

For the latest Chef Reggie Home Cooking Series:

Spiced Lentil Salad with Feta and Buckwheat Crêpes
Portions: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

For Crépe Batter:
1 cup/120g buckwheat flour
3/4 teaspoon/3g salt
2 eggs
1cup/225g milk
1 Tablespoon butter, Melted
1/3~1/2 cup water, if thinner batter is desired

For the Lentil:
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup diced onions, medium dice
5 cloves garlic, sliced to 1/8-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 + 1/2 cups French lentils
5 cups water
4 tablespoons crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 lemon zested 
1 tablespoon lemon juice, reserve the rest
1/4 cup EVOO

To serve with:
4 cups arugula
Reserved lemon juice from above
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Make the crépe batter by coming everything into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Let the batter rest for at least 1 hour. Cook the lentil while waiting.
  2. To cook the lentil, set up a medium-sized pot on medium heat, add the oil and cook onions and garlic until caramelized, season with salt.
  3. Add ground cumin, curry powder, ground coriander seeds, and chili powder and cook until fragrant. Add the lentil and water, and then bring the water to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or so until the lentil is soft and creamy. 
  4. When the lentil is done, add crushed tomatoes, soy sauce, both lemon zests and juice, and EVOO, and then stir to combine.
  5. Once the buckwheat crêpe batter is ready, pre-heat a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat for 4 minutes to make sure it is evenly heated. Pour 2 oz. or 1/4 cup of the batter into the center of the skillet and swirl it around to spread the batter out. Cook until the sides start to peel off and then flip it over and cook it for another 10 seconds. Fold the crêpe in half and keep it covered with a clean towel or paper towel until ready to serve. 
  6. To plate the salad, spread out the arugula at the bottom of a plate, and then use a spoon to scoop lentil around the plate onto the arugula. Top off the lentil with feta cheese and serve buckwheat crêpes on the side. Bon appétit!

Salads – Asparagus Salad with Poached Egg and Grilled Sourdough

Asparagus Salad with Poached Egg and Grilled Sourdough, by Reggie Soang

New-season asparagus is slender, tender, and juicy. The best way to enjoy the new-season’s asparagus is to either grill or sear it fast to get the charred flavor without compromising the snappy texture. Dress the asparagus with a squeeze of lemon and drizzles of EVOO. Charred asparagus is wonderful served with poached eggs, Parmesan, arugula, and a side of garlic toast.

For the latest New Lifestyle Cooking Series: 

Asparagus Salad with Poached Egg and Grilled Toast
Serves: make 1 salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

For the Asparagus:
1 tablespoon cooking oil, plus extra for cooking
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 small bunch asparagus, trimmed 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

To Serve With:
2 tablespoons white vinegar, for poaching the egg
1 poached egg
1 slice of sourdough, or any bread
1 clove raw garlic
Pinch of salt
Pinch of dried chilies flakes
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 tablespoon chopped herbs such as parsley, basil, or mint
1 cup arugula
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon EVOO
Pinch of salt
Pinch of dried chili flakes
5 ciliegine, which is a type of fresh mozzarella with the size of a grape
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
EVOO, to garnish

  1. Trim asparagus by snapping off 1 stalk at the end; the part where the asparagus breaks is the point where other asparagus could be trimmed off. 
  2. Toss asparagus in the cooking oil and season it with salt. Heat up a non-stick skillet on high heat and pan-sear the asparagus until charred on the outside and still has a crunch for the bite. Add lemon juice and dried chilies at the end of cooking and set them aside. 
  3. To poach an egg, bring up a pot of water to a simmer, just below boiling point. Add the vinegar.
  4. Make a gentle tornado in the center of the pot and add the egg. Poach the egg for 3 minutes to 3 minutes 15 seconds; the egg whites should be firm to the touch around the yolk. Chill the poached egg in ice or cold water until ready to be used. (when assembling the salad, serve the poached egg cold or drop it back in a hot water for 3 minutes, off the heat, and serve it warm)
  5. Grill or toast sourdough until smelling charred and toasty. Rub the grilled sourdough with raw garlic. Drizzle olive oil on top and season it with a pinch of salt and dried chili flakes. Sprinkle chopped herbs over the grilled toast.
  6. Dress the arugula with EVOO and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Season the salad with a pinch of salt and dried chili flakes. 
  7. To plate the asparagus salad, lay asparagus on the plate, add the poached egg and arugula on top. Tear up the fresh mozzarella and sprinkle them around the plate. Grate Parmesan on top of the salad and garnish with drizzles of EVOO. Serve grilled sourdough on the side. Bon appétit!

Salads – Creamy Beans Bruschetta with Arugula and Mozzarella

Creamy Beans Bruschetta with Arugula and Fresh Mozzarella, by Reggie Soang

Bruschetta is grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt. In this recipe, Italian white beans are cooked until creamy and silky and then placed on top of the grilled bread. Add a handful of peppery arugula and a few pieces of fresh mozzarella, this dish is simple and delicious, and a perfectly fine dish to go with a glass of chilled rosé. 

For the latest New Lifestyle Cooking Series:

Creamy Beans Bruschetta with Arugula and Mozzarella
Serve: 4 portions

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

For the Creamy Beans:
1/4 cup EVOO, divided in half
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried chilies
A couple sprigs of fresh oregano
A couple sprigs of fresh thyme
1 can (15.5 oz.) great northern white beans (or soak dried beans overnight and cook them the next day)
1 lemon, juiced

To serve with (makes 1 portion):
Sourdough or any bread, sliced into 1/2-inch thick
1 clove garlic
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of EVOO
1 tablespoon chopped parsley 
1/2 cups arugula
1 teaspoons EVOO
Pinch of salt
Pinch of dried chili flakes
Pinch ground fennel seeds
Lemon juice, reserved from the beans
4 ciliegine, which is a fresh mozzarella that is the size of a grape

  1. To make the creamy beans, set a non-stick skillet on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Add smashed garlic and cook until fragrant and caramelized on the outside. And then add ground fennel seeds and dried chilies, and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add fresh oregano and thyme and cook them until aromatic. Add the beans and water just to cover them. Bring the beans to a simmer and reduce the liquid by half. Season to taste.
  3. To finish the creamy beans, use the back of a spoon to crush some beans to help release the starch. Add the rest of the EVOO and half of the lemon juice and stir to combine. The beans should be shiny, creamy, and delicious. 
  4. Toast the sourdough and rub both sides of the bread with raw garlic, and then season with salt and drizzle some olive oil over it. Sprinkle on some chopped parsley. 
  5. To make the arugula salad, drizzle EVOO, sprinkle salt, dried chili flakes, and fennel seeds into the greens, and then add the rest of the lemon juice and toss the arugula. 
  6. To serve, place the toast on a plate and scoop some creamy beans on top. Tear up some fresh mozzarella and lay them on top of the creamy beans. Place a pile of arugula salad on the beans and drizzle more EVOO over the plate to finish. Bon appétit!

Salads – Italian Chopped Salad with Soft Boiled Egg

Italian Chopped Salad, by Reggie Soang

Chopped salad is often associated with #sad-desk-lunch. However, this Italian version is simple and delicious; Parmesan, fresh herbs and tomatoes deliver an authentic Italian flavor. Top off the salad with a soft boiled egg to make it substantial.

For the latest New Lifestyle Cooking Series:

Italian Chopped Salad with Soft Boiled Egg
Serve: 1 person

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

1 head Romaine hearts/lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed and dried
6 radishes
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
2 Roma Tomatoes
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoon EVOO
1 + 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried chilies
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorn
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
1 egg, soft boiled
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, to finish

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the egg. Cook the egg for 6 minutes and chill it in ice or cold water immediately. Peel and set aside. (taking the egg out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking for the best result)
  2. Cut the cleaned Romaine lettuce into 1-inch chunks
  3. Quarter radishes and shave Parmesan cheese with a peeler.
  4. Cut Roma tomatoes into 1-inch chunks
  5. Place chopped Romaine lettuce, radishes, Parmesan, tomatoes and basil on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to chop all the ingredients together until bite-size (about 1/2 to 1/4 inch big)
  6. Put the chopped salad in a mixing bowl, add lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, EVOO, salt, dried chilies, and crushed black pepper to taste. 
  7. Place the salad on a plate and sprinkle on the fresh oregano leaves. Place the soft-boiled egg on top and cut it open to let the yolk ooze out. 
  8. Grate more Parmesan on top to finish, bon appétit!

Pancakes – Pupusas, Curtido, and Tomato Salsa

Pupusas, Curtido, and Tomato Salad, by Reggie Soang (click on the image for YouTube video)

Pupusa is an El Salvadorian pancake made with masa and stuffed with refried beans or braised meat. When biting into a pupusa, it is crunchy and crumbly. Eat pupusa with the hand, and serve it with curtido, a Latin slaw, and tomato salsa placed on top.

For the latest New Lifestyle Cooking Series:

Pupusas, Curtido, and Tomato Salsa
Serves: make 15 pancakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

For Pupusas:
3 cups (400g) masa
2 + 1/3 cup (530g) water
1 teaspoon salt

For Curtido:
1/2 head red cabbage, shaved
1 carrot, grated
4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped white onions
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced into rings
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup water

For the Fillings:
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can (15.5 oz) canned black beans 
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded Mozzarella

For Tomato Salsa:
4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 yellow or white onion
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon EVOO

  1. To make pupusa dough, add water gradually to masa flour while mixing it with a hand. The dough should be soft like play-doh, but not sticking to the hands. Let dough rest for all least 30 minutes at room temperature. 
  2. Prepare curtido, refried beans, and tomato salsa while masa dough is resting.
  3. Make curtido by bringing the water to a boil and then pour over red cabbages and carrots. Soak the cabbages and carrots for 5 minutes, and then strain and squeeze out as much water as possible.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients from the curtido recipe with cabbages and carrots in a mixing bowl and mix to combine. Curtido could be eaten right away or could sit at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours for the flavor to mature. 
  5. Meanwhile, make refried beans. Heat up a non-stick skillet on medium heat, add oil and wait until it shimmers, and then add onions. Caramelize onions, and then add ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder. Cook until the spices are fragrant.
  6. While the onions and spices are cooking, blitz up canned black beans until nice and smooth, and then add to the onions mixture. Add some water to loosen up the beans and season with salt. Refried beans should be creamy.
  7. To make the tomato salsa, blend Roma tomatoes, onion, garlic, cumin, sugar, and salt in a blender until smooth. Separately, heat up a pot with EVOO on medium-high heat, when EVOO starts to shimmer, add the tomato purée and let it cook for 5 minutes or so until thickened and the raw onion and garlic flavors are gone. 
  8. Go back to making pupusas. Portion pupusa dough into 4 oz. or size of a tennis ball. Flatten the ball into a 1/8-inch thick disk, and then add 1 tablespoon of refried beans and 1 tablespoon of shredded mozzarella to the middle. Fold up the sides of the disk and pinch off the excess dough on the top while forming a ball in the palm of the other hand.
  9. Flatten the ball carefully to a 1/4-inch disk. Dip the fingers in water to patch up the cracks on the edges. One side of the pupusas might show a little bit of fillings, but don’t worry as long as the fillings are not falling out.
  10. Pan fry pupusas on medium heat until both sides are golden brown. Serve pupusas with curtido and tomato salsa, bon appétit!