Citrus Marinaded Quail with Parsnip Purée, Arugula, Pea Leaves Salad, and Satsuma

This was the second course to my 5-course Friendsgiving party for 6 people.

I’m really happy the way this dish turned out. It’s EXACTLY how I pictured it!

Serves 6.


[100% organic]

For the Citrus Marinade

  • 6 semi-boneless butterflied quail
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 TBS sesame oil
  • 3 TBS EVOO
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 TBS soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1-inch ginger roots, peeled and finely minced
  • Pinch of salt

In a large bowl, mix together all marinading ingredients and add quail. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For the Parsnip Purée

  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup butter
  • EVOO, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Place parsnips along with thyme and bay leaf in a tray and season with EVOO, salt, and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 40 minutes.

Remove parnips from tray and place in a bowl along with cream and butter. Smash with a fork and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning.

Keep warm before serving.

For the Quail

  • Marinaded quail
  • Leftover marinade, for basting
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly grounded pepper

Remove quail from bowl and reserve mixture for basting.

In a hot pan, add canola oil and sear quail breast-side down on high heat. Turn heat to medium and be sure to press down. Flip quail after 5 minutes while basting continuously. Cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes and remove from pan. Rest quail before slicing.

For the Salad

  • 4 satsuma mandarins, peeled
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 6 cups pea leaves
  • Citrus Vinaigrette or other simple dressings (such as EVOO + lemon juice)
  • Salt

Peel satsumas, simply dress the greens before plating.


Slice quail into 2 sections: wing & breast and leg. Spoon parsnip purée onto plate, place salad greens nicely and arrange quail along the plate.


Virgin Mojito Granita

NEW POST!!! Finally! This weekend, I had time to make new things and update my food blog. Who knew that starting a new full-time job and moving apartments could make me so busy, so incredibly busy that I wouldn’t be able to do two of my favorite pastimes: grocery shopping + cooking. I am finally not living out of suitcases anymore.

I know this dessert is ideal for the summer time but I’ve been dying to try another flavor since making the raspberry granita in Boston. Nevertheless, it is refreshing and a great palate cleanser. This granita is both sweet and bitter at the same time – love!

[100% organic]

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 5 limes, zest and juiced
  • 1 cup packed mint leaves, torn
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish

Make syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat: combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and carefully stir until sugar has dissolved. Add in torn mint leaves and steep for 15 minutes, covered. Strain in a bowl and cool over an ice bath.

Stir in lime juice and zest and pour mixture into a shallow pan and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove and scrape the crystallized lime-mint syrup from the sides of the pan and return to the freezer. Repeat this process every 45 minutes, until completely frozen or for about 4 hours.

Serve by fluffing the flakes with a fork and garnish with a mint sprig.

Mango with Coconut Sticky Rice Sushi

Tonight was my last night in pâtissier for level 5; I’m going to miss pastries and Chef Anna! I can’t wait for level 6 and I hope she’s there and not on holiday!

Chef Anna liked tonight’s special a lot – she also took a photo and she’s going to post it on her blog! We are in agreement that desserts shouldn’t be sickeningly sweet so we see a lot of things eye-to-eye. Chef Anna also liked my chocolate pudding from last time and the chocolate diamond petite four I did on the first day.

I had something similar to this in Manji/Honeymoon Dessert – a dessert chain in Hong Kong. This LOOKS good and it also TASTES good.

At school, they didn’t have glutinous rice nor sushi rice so I asked for Arborio rice. It worked out great but I bet if this was made with the correct rice, it would have naturally tasted sweeter.

For the Sushi

  • 2 cups glutinous rice
  • One 14 oz. cans coconut milk (not lite!)
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • Salt
  • 3 firm mangoes
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 avocado
  • Black sesame seeds

In a large saucepan, cook the rice with the coconut milk and enough water to cover everything. Simmer at medium heat and keep on adding cold water until rice is soft and cooked. Add a pinch of salt and mix well. Fold in the sugar and mix well. Rice should be just a little sweet. Before making sushi, rice should be cold.

Using a mandolin, slice firm mangoes very thinly. Do not waste any of the trimmings because those come in handy when you make a boo boo.

For the ripe mango, cut them into square strips (just like regular sushi) and do the same with the avocado.

The firm mango slices act like the nori/seaweed. Place sliced mangoes flat on a sushi mat or parchment paper. Each slice should overlap the previous one. Spread the cold rice into a thin layer over the mango slices, leaving an inch of space on the top. Place avocado and ripe mango pieces along the length of the rice an inch away from the bottom. Carefully roll and sushi and keep cold until ready to serve.

For the Dipping Sauce

  • One 14 oz. cans coconut milk (not lite!)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 lime, juiced & zested

In a bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, lime juice, lime zest, and one can of coconut milk until combined and homogeneous.


Using the scraps and trimmings of mango, take 3-4 pieces and fold them on top of each other. In a small cup, pour in the dipping sauce. Slice mango sushi and sprinkle black sesame seeds in a thin line and plate according to your liking.


I never had heard of gravlax before the food preservation class on October 8, 2011 . The description in the book just sounded so delicious and since I love eating all kinds of seafood, I knew I would love gravlax. When Chef Janet sliced the gravlax for us two weeks later, I took a lot home but I finished more than half of it on the train!

[100% organic, farmed salmon from Norway]

  • 1 lb salmon fillet, skin on
  • 4 TBS salt
  • 4 TBS sugar
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • Splash of white wine
  • 1 lime, zested

Combine the salt, sugar, and white pepper powder and mix thoroughly until combined. Pour a layer of the mixture into the bottom of a pan.

Place the salmon on top of the salt mixture, skin side down. Gently rub the salt mixture, dill, lime zest, and white wine into the salmon. Cover the salmon with the remaining salt mixture so that no salmon flesh is visible. Wrap the pan with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 days.

About 6 hours into the curing period, unwrap the pan and flip the salmon. The salt and sugar would have melted and been partially absorbed by the fish. After the flipping, wrap the salmon and all curing ingredients tightly with cling wrap. Place another tray on top of wrapped salmon and weight it down with a 2-kg weight. I used a full-pot of water.

Unwrap, flip, wrap every 12 hours for 48 hours. When ready, brush off the cure with damp paper towel and serve.

Click here to see it in action: Herbed Blinis with Gravlax, Masago & Lemon-Caper Crème Fraîche

*This is an adaptation from the French Culinary Institute and

Asian Prawn Cakes

Ever since getting back my food processor, I can finally make crab cakes or other things similar to that. I was too lazy to go to Chinatown this morning, after going to Whole Foods so I made shrimp/prawn cakes instead. “Shrimp Cakes” just sound a little weird, no?

This is a small recipe, fit for an appetizer for two.

[100% organic, farmed shrimp]

For the Prawn Cakes

  • 1 lb prawns/shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1-inch ginger, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 bird’s eye chilis, seeded and diced
  • 2 TBS fish sauce
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Canola oil, as needed

In a food processor, pulse the shallots, ginger, lime, ginger, cilantro, fish sauce, and chili peppers. Then add in the shrimp and continue to pulse until a fine mixture. Add in the lime juice and mix thoroughly in shrimp/prawn mixture. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Using a spoon and your hands, form balls and then flatten them out and place on parchment paper or plastic wrap. In a pan, add a thin layer of canola oil on medium-heat and pan-fry each side of the flattened shrimp/prawn balls for 2-3 minutes.

For the Sweet & Sour Dip

  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 1 bird’s eye chili, sliced

In a small saucepan, boil the rice vinegar and sugar with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, or until syrupy. Remove from heat and put in the sliced chili pepper to infuse flavors.

Potato Chowder with Vodka Lime Cilantro Shrimp

After the clam chowder from yesterday, I still had some leftover ingredients, such as the potatoes and crackers… Since I loved the clam chowder from last night, especially the flavors of thyme, bay leaf, and clam, I decided to make it again but substitute some ingredients, of course. For the clam/seafoodness of the chowder, I put dashi instead.

[100% organic, shrimp from Thailand]

  • 1 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 TBS dashi
  • 1½ lbs Idaho potatoes (around 3), peeled and cut into small dice
  • 40 unsalted saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 TBS EVOO
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ lb shrimp, antennae + legs removed and deveined
  • Salt & pepper

Heat a large pot with the olive oil on medium-heat and melt the butter. Add the shallots cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the water, dashi, potatoes, thyme, the bay leaf, and the saltines (I put them into a ziplock bag and crushed them with my fingers).

Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Make sure to stir occasionally so that mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot when you cook the shrimp.

In a separate pan, heat the EVOO on medium-heat. Sauté garlic until aromatic and then add in the shrimp, cilantro, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and vodka. Season with salt and pepper and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.

Serve potato chowder with shrimp and saltine crackers.

Rosemary Seared Scallops with Cilantro Lime Spaghetti

I finally had time to go to Chinatown today. I have been craving for shrimp since I left Hong Kong three weeks ago. The shrimp at Whole Foods is insanely overpriced and I refuse to buy those frozen packaged ones. This morning, I was going to go to Whole Foods but I suddenly thought about visiting a fish market. I searched on Yelp and people said to go to The Lobster Place in Chelsea or Chinatown.


I went to Chinatown and spoke Chinese there to the staff. They don’t accept credit cards – Yelp got that wrong. It was only supposed to take me 20 minutes to get there but there are always shutdowns of certain express lines during the weekend so it took me double the time.

[100% organic, scallops from Canada]

  • Thin spaghetti
  • 1 TBS EVOO
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large button mushroom, sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, zested & juiced
  • 1 rosemary twig, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 5-7 scallops, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
  • Salt & pepper

Boil the spaghetti in salted water and add a few drops of oil to prevent sticking. Cook 1 minute short of al dente, remove from heat and drain (pasta should still be quite firm) and keep warm, save some pasta water.

Drain the scallops and pat-dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a pan, melt the butter and heat up the EVOO on medium-heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice and cook for 3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and add cooked pasta to the pan and cook covered for one minute. Add some pasta water if too dry.

In a separate pan, sear the scallops. When scallops are almost ready, sprinkle rosemary over scallops. When done, remove from heat and place on top of pasta and serve!