EASY PICKLED DAIGU (Daikon Radish)


Yellow daikon radish or Takuan, as known to many, is another favorite vegetable that the Chamorro people have learned to pickle and love to eat as a side dish.  Prepared in different ways, every household has their version on pickling this condiment.  Here is my easy way.

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1 pkg. Pickled Daikon radish (4 logs)
1/2 – 3/4 cup white Vinegar
2/3 cup Kimchee base
Pinch of Accent

VARIATION:  You can omit the Kimchee base and just use white vinegar and hot pepper flakes.

Let’s begin by rinsing each log thoroughly.  If the daikon is fairly thick, I usually slice the daikon in half lengthwise.  Slice the halves, into thin pieces.

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Place the sliced pieces into a bowl and set aside.  In another small bowl, combine the vinegar, kim chee base, and pinch of Accent.  Stir to combine well.

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Pour this mixture over the sliced daikon pieces.  Stir to combine well.  Allow the daikon to marinade in the sauce stirring often.  SERVE!  Store leftovers covered and in the refrigerator.

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Here are a few samples of the ingredients and their packaging.

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Sample of Kimchee base

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Sample of yellow daikon radish

 

SOYBEAN (MISO) TOCHI


I’m not sure what the history of this side dish is, but if you know Chamorros, especially ones from the island of Saipan, you would know that they LOVE to “tochi” or “dip” their foods into something with a little bit of heat, that takes the flavors and your taste buds, to the next level.  This tochi, does just that.  Not meant to be eaten on its own, but to be dolloped on the side and eaten with hot rice and meats of your choosing.

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1 tub (500 grams) Soybean or Miso paste (photo examples below)
8 – 10 slices Bacon, cut thinly
2 – 3 Japanese Eggplants, diced small
Asian long beans, cut small (however much you’d like)
8 – 10 fresh Garlic cloves, finely minced
4 stalks Green onions, sliced thinly
1 tsp. Accent
2 Tbsp. Don’ne Dinanche’, to taste  (substitute pepper flakes)
2 – 3 fresh Lemons, juiced
Vegetable oil
Crab Paste, optional
Coconut milk, optional

Begin by slicing the eggplant and green beans into small diced pieces.  Set aside, soaking them in a bowl of water until ready for them.

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I used Japanese eggplant picked from my garden…..

I used Asian long beans picked from my garden....

I used Asian long beans picked from my garden….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slice the bacon thinly and fry in a deep pan.  Remove the bacon and set aside.

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Drain the vegetables in a colander.  Now using the bacon grease left in pan, fry the beans until most of it’s liquid has absorbed and slightly browned and tender.  Remove and set aside.  There should still be some grease left in the pan.

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Add the eggplant to fry until tender.  Add vegetable oil, if needed to keep from sticking.  Remove and set aside.

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Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan, on MEDIUM heat, add the finely minced garlic, and stir.  Continue stirring as not the burn the garlic; once the garlic has softened, add the green onions. Continue stirring for a couple of minutes.

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Return the bacon and the vegetables back to the pan, and stir to combine well with the garlic and onions.  Add the Accent seasoning.

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Add your soybean or Miso paste.  Continue stirring on MEDIUM heat, making sure that there is enough grease/oil to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan.

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Add your don’ne dinanche or hot peppers of your choice and to your taste.  Stir to combine well.

NOTE:  If you are wanting to use the crab paste, I would add a few tablespoons at this stage, stir to combine well.  You could also split the tochi mixture in half and then add your crab paste and a few tablespoons of coconut milk as well.  Because my son doesn’t like seafood,  I did split my mixture in half and used the crab paste.  I didn’t use the coconut milk in either batch.

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Remove from heat and add your lemon juice.  Stir and combine well.  Your tochi is ready!!

NOTE:  Allow it to cool off completely before storing in covered containers.  Store this in the refrigerator and use it with every meal.  A little dollop goes a long way…..

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Various types of soybean paste and Miso paste.  The type I used has bits of soybeans in the mixture.

This is the brand I used, but the brown tub is the soybean paste I used to make this Tochi.

These are types of Korean soybean paste, I made this dish using the brown tub. Either will work….

Various Japanese Miso, any of these will work.

Various Japanese Miso, any of these will work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP


I’m not sure where I acquired this recipe, but I know there are many similar ones out there.  This one is definitely a “tried and true” recipe.  Great for those sporty game days…..

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1 (8 oz. pkg.) Cream cheese, softened
1 (12.5 oz.) can Chicken, drained (OR leftover rotisserie chicken)
1 cup Blue cheese OR Ranch dressing
3/4 cup Frank’s red hot sauce
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar OR Mozzarella cheese
Pinch of Accent
Frito corn chip scoops, Tortilla chips, Celery

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, blue cheese dressing, Accent, and hot sauce.  Using a hand mixer, beat to combine well.

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Shred any large pieces of chicken and add it to the hot sauce mixture, along with the shredded cheese and mayonnaise.  Using a spatula, stir to combine well.  Pour into a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 – 30 or until golden brown.  SERVE with tortilla chips and celery sticks.

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Coctel de Camrones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)


Also known as “Ceviche” or “Coctel de Camarones”, it’s refreshing and authentic!  With chunks of shrimp, cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocados; serve this in a large Margarita glass, on a hot summer day, with your favorite tortilla chips or saltine crackers.

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1 1/2 lbs. cooked shrimp, peeled (good quality)
1 small SWEET Onion, finely diced (Purple onion may be used)
1 medium Tomato, diced
1 small Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 – 2 jalapenos, finely diced
1 bunch Cilantro, cleaned and finely chopped
1 ripe Avocado, peeled and diced

Cocktail Sauce:
1 1/2 cup Clamato juice
1/4 – 1/2 cup Tomato ketchup, to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup Horseradish, finely grated (to taste)
2 – 3 fresh Limes, juiced, more for taste
1/2 – 1 tsp. Salt, to taste

 

Combine all of the cocktail sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir well.  Taste and adjust seasonings according.  I love horseradish, so I like adding more.  I also like a more “tart” flavored cocktail, so I add more lime juice as well.  This is the basic recipe I like using, but tweak it, all to taste.  Set this aside.

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For best results, use only good quality shrimp when making this.  Begin by peeling the cooked shrimp and removing any shells left.  Cut the shrimp pieces into large chunks, this will assure that you’ll have a piece of shrimp in every bite, 😉  Place the shrimp into a large mixing bowl.

NOTE:  Save a few whole pieces for garnishing.

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Finely dice the jalapenos and tomatoes.

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Peel to cucumber and cut into half, lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scoop out the center pulp and discard.  Removing this will ensure that your cocktail won’t be as watered down, while it marinates.

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Combine all of these ingredients together with the shrimp in a large mixing bowl.

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Stir the cocktail sauce and pour it into the shrimp mixture.  Stir to combine well.  Make sure to also add the “whole” pieces of shrimp you reserved for garnishing, that way they are also marinated.

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Cover with a plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.  Marinate the cocktail for a few hours.  Serve it up in fancy glassware along with your favorite tortilla chips or saltine crackers.

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Easy Sushi Bake


SUSHI BAKE…..definitely a real crowd pleaser  This is an easier way to serve up a favorite; eliminating the tedious and time consuming process of rolling up individual Sushi.  Bake up a batch and serve it up with seasoned toasted seaweed sheets and prepare to watch it disappear!

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4 cups COOKED Sushi rice (use a stickier short grain type of rice)
1 lb. Imitation crab sticks, shredded
1 lb. baby scallops, thawed OR baby shrimp, optional
1 cup Japanese Mayonnaise, more if needed (Hellman’s REAL mayonnaise may be substituted)
1/2 cup Green onions, chopped
1 – 2 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce, add to your taste
1 jar Nori Furikake seaweed sprinkles
2 Tbsp. Tobiko fish roe, optional
Seaweed sheets, each cut into 4ths (I prefer the Korean sushi wraps)

 

Using an open fry pan, add about 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil.  On HIGH heat, brown the scallops until nicely golden and somewhat cooked.  Pour off into a colander and drain excess grease.  Set aside.

NOTE:  You can also substitute the scallops for shrimp.

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Into a mixing bowl, combine the shredded imitation crab meat, the scallops, mayonnaise, green onions, and Sriracha sauce.  Stir to combine well.  Add in the Tobiko fish roe.

NOTE: You can add some prepared Wasabi paste to the mixture OR add some Wasabi Mayonnaise for a bit of a kick.  Try a different variation by using:   1 cup Sour cream mixed with 1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise in place of the Japanese mayonnaise.

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Now, into an 9×9-inch baking dish, (I like it a little thicker), place the cooked sushi rice into the bottom and spread throughout the pan.  Press down to compact the rice into the dish, making the first layer.

NOTE:  You can use a 9×13-inch baking dish for this recipe, just realize that the layers will be thinner.

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Generously sprinkle the seaweed Furikake over top of the layer of rice.  Save some for garnishing the top of the dish!

NOTE:  A variation to this recipe, you can add a layer of thinly sliced avocado to the dish as well.  Pretty much, anything that is in a regular rolled up sushi, you can add as a layer into this dish.  BE CREATIVE!  😉

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Now add the crab/mayonnaise mixture over the Furikake and spread out to cover completely.

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Top with more Furikake sprinkles.

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Place under the broiler and cook just to turn the top of the dish a golden color, turning the dish often to brown evenly. Keep a watchful eye on this as it will burn quickly….Serve topped on toasted Nori sushi sheets that have been cut into small rectangles.

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CHEESY CHORIZO DIP


CHORIZO, which is a spicy Mexican pork sausage that is cured but still needs to be cooked; is what gives this dip it’s distinct flavor.  Creamy, somewhat spicy, with bits of sausage and chilies,  makes this dip oh so good!  Great kept warm in a crock pot and served up with corn tortilla chips.  Serve it up during game time and watch this crowd-pleasing dip disappear!

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1 lb. Mexican Chorizo sausages, casings removed
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
3 tbsp. Flour
2 1/2 – 3 cups whole Milk
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese
1 cup Mozzarella or Mexican mozzarella, shredded
1 cup Mexican Cotija cheese, crumbled
1 cup Cheddar cheese
2 tsp. ground Cumin
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. Accent
2 (4 oz. cans) diced green Chiles

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Remove the Chorizo from its casing, crumble and fry them until completely cooked. Remove the Chorizo onto a paper towel to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon  of grease.

NOTE:  Ground breakfast sausage or seasoned ground beef can also be an alternative for the Chorizo.  Just adjust your seasonings accordingly by adding some chili powder, paprika, and some garlic, all to taste.

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Add the flour and stir to combine with the grease, stirring often over MEDIUM heat.

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Slowly pour 2 cups of the milk in to the flour and whisk until combined. The mixture will start to thicken slightly. Add the cheeses, Cumin, salt, and Accent. Stir to combine and melt the cheese.

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If the mixture is still too thick for your liking, add more milk and stir to combine well, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.  Add the cans of diced green chilies and return the cooked Chorizo. Stir to combine well.  Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings, where needed.  Continue stirring until all the cheese has melted and the dip has come up to a slight boil.  SERVE immediately with your favorite or you can keep it in a small crock pot on the WARM setting.  Serve with tortilla chips.

NOTE: If you plan on serving this with tortilla chips, allow for the salt that is also on the chips, otherwise it could become too salty.

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Chamorro Spam Kelaguen


KELAGUEN!  If I can say one thing about Chamorro’s, it’s that they can “kelaguen” anything and make it taste good.  Kelaguen, as described in Wikepedia as “a Chamorro dish from Guam and the Mariana Islands, eaten as a side dish or as a main course. Made with a pickling marinade of lemon juice, sometimes fresh coconut, onions, green onions, salt and hot red chili peppers or donne dinanche. Some of my favorite kelaguens are chicken and shrimp.  There are also beef, deer, fish, and just about everything in the ocean, to include some seaweeds.  With Spam being a staple item in the Chamorro cupboards, it would only be appropriate to “kelaguen” it too. Here’s my version!

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1 (12 oz. can) Spam (I prefer Hot & Spicy flavored)
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
1/4 cup Green onions, chopped
6 – 8 FRESH Key limes OR Calamansi, juiced (I prefer a more tart flavor, Mmmm)
Salt, to taste
Hot peppers, Pepper flakes, or Donne’ Dinanchi (chopped and to your liking)

NOTE: Always use FRESH squeezed Citrus juices to make this dish!

Open the can of Spam and place it into a serving bowl.  Using a fork, start mashing the Spam.

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Add the chopped onions, green onions, the FRESH squeezed Key lime or Calamansi juice, and the hot peppers, if using. Fresh lemon or lime juice can also be substituted.  Stir to combine the ingredients well.  Add salt to suit your taste.  The flavor should be slightly tart, but not overly sour. Cover and allow to marinade or serve immediately!

NOTE:  Serve this up with freshly made flour titiyas (I have this recipe on my blog), your favorite crackers, tortilla chips, or just plain white rice.

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This is the flavor I use whenever I make kelaguen.

This is the flavor I use whenever I make kelaguen.