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

 

Pink Potato Salad


How do you get your kids to eat carrots, peas, and beets?  Make this Pink Potato salad, that’s how!  It’s one of those “don’t knock it until you try it” kind of recipes!  Latin inspired, it’s a great tasting potato salad, very different from the traditional relish and mustard laden version.  With the sweetness of the apples, to the earthy flavor of the beets, you’re gonna find this salad to be a welcome addition to your table!  Give it a try some time….. 😉

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5 – 6 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 – 5 Carrots, peeled and diced
6 – 8 hard boiled Eggs, peeled and diced large
2 – 3 Red delicious Apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup frozen baby Peas, blanched and drained
1 (15 oz. can) whole Beets, drained, rinsed thoroughly, and cubed
1 – 1 1/2 cups Hellman’s REAL mayonnaise
1/2 tps. Salt, to taste
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground Black pepper, to taste

Vinaigrette:
1 small Onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 cup White vinegar
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. ground Black pepper

Let’s begin by making the vinaigrette.  This can be done in advance or even overnight to allow the onions to permeate and flavor the vinegar, without having to add chunks of onions to the salad.

Combine the thinly sliced onions with the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine well. Wrap with plastic wrap and set aside.  Allow this to sit for about 1 hour or even longer.  I sometimes make this in the morning and it’s usually flavored by the time I’m ready to make this salad.

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When you’re ready to prepare the salad, allow a large pot of water to come to a boil.  Once it hits a full boil, add the peeled and diced potatoes.  Bring this back up to a boil and then set your timer for about 10 minutes.  Allow the potatoes to cook for this time.

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Once the 10 minutes is over, add in the peeled and diced carrots.  Allow the potatoes and carrots to cook for about 5 minutes.  Test to make sure the potatoes are tender.

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Remove from heat and drain in a colander.  Allow the potatoes and carrots to cool completely before proceeding.  While the potatoes and carrots are cooling off, peel the apples.  Core and dice them and place them into a bowl.  Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the apples and toss to coat.  This will flavor them and also help them from turning brown.  Set this aside, but toss often.  When it’s time to add the apples to the salad, make sure to drain them in a colander first.

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Drain the canned beets and rinse several times.  Dice them and set this aside.

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Once the potatoes and carrots have completely cooled, you’re ready to assemble the salad.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, eggs, peas, drained apples, mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss the ingredients well. Taste for flavor and add more salt and pepper if needed.

For a bit of tang, add more tablespoons of the vinaigrette, this is all to taste.  At this stage of the salad, you can wrap it until ready to serve.  Keep it in the refrigerator until then.

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OR go for the “pink” look and add some Latin flair!   Toss in the diced beets and stir to combine well.  This will give it that pink look.  When you’re satisfied with the flavor, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve!  ENJOY!

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Garlic Fried Rice


GARLIC FRIED RICE! Not the “normal” fried rice that’s well known throughout Asian restaurants.  With simple ingredients, learn how to turn plain rice into “wow” rice! My recipe omits the use of soy sauce, which is a common ingredients in fried rice.  Add as much garlic to suit your palate. Give my recipe a try and let me know what you think.

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5 cups cooked Rice (day old)
10 slices Bacon, chopped (more if you’d like)
3 – 4 Tbsp. Bacon grease
3 – 4 Tbsp. fresh Garlic, finely minced
1/2 – 3/4 cup Green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. Salt, adjust to taste
2 tsp. Accent

Before frying the rice, I prefer to place it into a large bowl to break up the pieces, mashing any large chunks (I use my hands which I washed with water, leaving the water; this help the rice to break up easier as well)  At this stage, I also toss in the salt and accent.  I find (FOR ME) that it’s much easier to season the rice this way, then to TRY and toss it in the pot. Set this aside. (Sorry, I didn’t take pictures of doing this, it was pretty EARLY in the morning 😉 ).

Next, start frying the bacon crisp.  Remove and set them aside to drain on a paper towel.

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Drain all but 3 – 4 tablespoons of the bacon grease.  On MEDIUM heat, add the garlic.  Toss to cook and turn somewhat golden in color,  but be careful not to burn them.

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Now toss in the seasoned rice and increase the heat to MEDIUM HIGH!  Continue to toss the rice well combining it with the bacon grease and garlic pieces.  Keep tossing the rice until it has thoroughly been mixed and heated through.  Sometimes I like to “toast” the bottom of the rice, which gives it a great flavor.  But be careful NOT to scorch it, or your rice will be ruined with a “burnt” smell.

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Add in the sliced onions and fried bacon pieces.  Toss to combine well.

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Continue to toss the rice so that it doesn’t burn.  Taste for flavor and adjust seasonings accordingly.  Turn the heat off and remove the pan from it.  SERVE immediately.  This can be served for breakfast, lunch, or any time!

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Seasoned Taegu (Cuttlefish)


What is Taegu?  It’s a popular Korean appetizer or side dish consisting of dried and shredded cuttlefish that’s sometimes referred to as codfish. Usually sold in snack sized packages, they make great snacks that are chewy and satisfying.  Not usually common on the mainland, but are seen sold all over Hawaii, Japan, and Korea. This side dish is served at most Korean restaurants, but with this recipe; you can now create it at home.  I love using this Taegu recipe when preparing Taegu Salad:  https://chamoritamommaskitchen.com/2014/01/23/taegu-salad/

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1 (4 – 6 oz. pkg.) shredded, dried Taegu or Cuttlefish
3 Tbsp. Sesame oil
2 Tbsp. Kikkoman Soy sauce
1 Tbsp. toasted Sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Garlic salt
1/2 tsp. Accent or Ajinomoto
1/2 tsp. ground Cayenne pepper
1/2 cup Green onions, thinly sliced

This is the brand of Taegu or Cuttlefish that I was able to purchase in my area.  Buy what you can in your area.  Just make sure to purchase the PLAIN flavored ones.

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In a medium sized pot, boil some water.  Remove the water from the heat. Now take the package of cuttlefish and add this to the hot water, allow the cuttlefish to steep in the water so that the seasonings, salt, etc. that is usually packed with the dried cuttlefish can be removed.

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Drain the cuttlefish and squeeze dry using the palms of your hands. Cut into half using a knife; also cut any long pieces you may notice.  Place into a mixing bowl, set this bowl aside.

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Now, using a smaller mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Stir to combine well; add the green onions and mix thoroughly.

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Now pour this mixture over the prepared Taegu; using your CLEAN hands, mix to combine thoroughly.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  This can be eaten as a snack or appetizer or served alongside your favorite Korean or Chamorro dishes! ENJOY!

NOTE:  This is the same seasoned Taegu that I use to prepare my Taegu Salad. Here is the link to this amazing salad:  https://chamoritamommaskitchen.com/2014/01/23/taegu-salad/

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Taegu Salad


TAEGU SALAD!  It’s nothing like you’ve ever tasted! I first discovered this dish once again, while stationed in Hawaii, years ago.  If I can remember correctly, I acquired this recipe from the local newspaper? I’ve only made it a few times, and since moving “stateside” haven’t made it in years because some of the ingredients were not available in my area. But now, with all the Sushi bars and Asian markets in and around the area, Seabreeze salad and Taegu are readily available! YAY! 😉  If you like those ingredients, then you’ll like this salad.  It’s served at room temperature but can also be eaten cold.

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SALAD:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Linguini noodles, cooked al dente’
1 cup seasoned Taegu* (Korean spicy codfish)
1 cup English cucumbers, julienned
1 cup Imitation crabmeat, shredded
1 cup or (8 oz. pkg.) Sea breeze salad*, drained well (pictured below)
2 – 3 Tbsp. Nori furikake sprinkles*
1/2 cup Green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

DRESSING:
1/2 cup Kikkoman Soy sauce
1/3 cup Rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup Vegetable oil
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp. Sesame seed oil
1 Tbsp. toasted Sesame seeds

*This is the Seabreeze Salad that I purchased at my local grocery store, which fortunately has a Sushi bar.  For the Seasoned Taegu, in the ingredients list, I have posted my recipe for that as well.  Just do a search on my blog.  The Nori furikake is also pictured below to the right.

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Break the noodles into halves or thirds and cook them according to package directions; make sure they are cooked “al dente'”, you still want a bit of a bite to them, not overly cooked and soft, ewww! Drain the noodles and run under cold water, set this aside.

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Now into a jar with a lid; combine all of the dressing ingredients. Cover tightly and shake vigorously to combine well.  This dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days.

NOTE: You will only use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the dressing in this recipe. Store the rest for later use.

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Now in a large mixing bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients, including the Nori furikake and the green onions.  I forgot to take a picture of those ingredients, ooops! 😉

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Now, starting with 1/2 cup of the dressing, pour it over the salad ingredients.  You want to start with the 1/2 cup first and then if you need more, then add more.  Using your CLEAN hands is best when mixing this salad.  Toss well to combine and then taste.  Add more dressing accordingly, IF NEEDED!  Add in the Nori furikake and the green onions; toss once more to combine.  Serve immediately.

NOTE:  If you’re preparing this for a later serving, do not add the dressing until you’re ready to serve.

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Golai Hagun Suni with Mussels (Coconut Spinach with Mussels)


Golai Hagun Suni is another one of those traditional island dishes; typically made with fresh taro leaves, fresh grated Tumeric, and freshly grated and squeezed coconut milk.  BUT because we don’t have access to those fresh ingredients, we’re forced to improvise; luckily we’re not forced to sacrifice flavor!  I always make a large batch of this recipe because I don’t make it often, usually only during special occasions.  The flavor you’ll experience with this dish is none you’ve ever tasted.  Between the Tumeric, coconut milk, and the lemons; it’s gonna be a flavor explosion in your mouth.  Give my recipe a try….. 😉

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Serve with steamed rice for a full meal OR leave out the mussels and serve it as a side dish….

2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
6 – 8 fresh Garlic, finely chopped
5 (16 oz.) bags frozen chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed
4 cups Water
4 Tbsp. Tumeric powder, more for taste
1 1/2 Tbsp. Salt, to taste
2 tsp. Accent seasonings
1 1/2 tsp. Hot pepper flakes, to taste
2 lbs. Mussels (half shell)
4 – 6 fresh Lemons, squeezed for juice
2 cans Coconut milk (I like Chaokoh brand)

NOTE:  Without the mussels, this dish can be eaten as a side  Adding in the mussels, will make it a meal. 😉

Open all the bags of thawed spinach and drain them in a large colander.  Make sure to remove all water by squeezing the leaves between your hands. Clean any debri or large barnacles you may find on the shell of the mussels.  Set them aside.

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In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil on MEDIUM HIGH heat.  Add the onions and garlic and saute until slightly browned.

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Add the spinach and stir to combine well with the garlic and onions.  Add the water.  Stir once again.  Continue cooking with heat on MEDIUM.

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Add all the seasonings; Tumeric, salt, accent, and red pepper flakes.  Stir well to incorporate with the spinach.  Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.  At the end of the cooking time, you’ll add more according to your tastes.

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Start layering in the mussels, covering and fitting them in between the spinach.  Cover again and allow to cook for about 5 – 8minutes; stirring often.

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After 5 – 8 minutes, remove lid and start adding the lemon juice.  I used 5 – 6 lemons, only because I like mine a bit tart. 😉  Add according to your desired taste.   Stir to combine well.

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Next add in the cans of coconut milk.  Stir to combine well.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Cook just under a boil.  Serve.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

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The “BEST” Cranberry Salad


The very first time I ever tasted this “fluff” as I call it; because of the way it looks; was when my good friend Karen Watson prepared it for a gathering.  I fell in love with it instantly and asked her to share her recipe, which come to find out was her sweet mother’s recipe.  It has been a holiday “must have” ever since.   It is the BEST cranberry salad I’ve ever had!  Thank you for sharing it with me Karen.

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1 (12 oz.) pkg. FRESH whole Cranberries
1 1/2 cups miniature Marshmallows
3/4 cup Sugar
1 (20 oz.) can CRUSHED pineapples, drained and squeezed well
1/2 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip®, thawed

Wash and drain the cranberries.  Using a food processor, chop the cranberries into small bits, as pictured below. You may have to process them in 2 or 3 increments.

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Pour them into a large mixing bowl and then add the sugar, pineapples, and the nuts. Stir to combine well.  Add in the marshmallows.

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Stir this to combine well.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.  The following day, stir the mixture together again; fold in the Cool Whip® and combine well. Top with candied cranberries for garnish.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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