Posts tagged pork
Spicy Pork Mazesoba
Spicy Pork Mazesoba - Eat Cho Food

Alright. I think I’m starting to miss all my cookware and herb friends back in my kitchen. Is that crazy? Should I try to speak to more humans during the work day? I’ve only been away from San Francisco for almost a week now, but I feel the gravitational pull of my orange standmixer growing stronger. I oddly miss organizing my kitchen tool drawer and the space underneath our cabinets where stale loaves of bread, nuts, and random leftover baked goods go to die. Okay, yeah… I need to talk to more humans!

The point is… I miss my kitchen! Nothing against my mom’s kitchen, but I love feeling the groove of knowing where everything is in all the cabinets and having access to my favorite mini silicone spatulas within arm’s reach. An artist needs her tools! I’m also concerned that Reuben isn’t feeding himself properly. Last I heard, he bought himself a roast chicken and was planning on living off that for a week…

I’m sure he’s fine.

There’s about a bajillion frozen dumplings in our freezer right now, so he won’t starve. I’ll have to hurry back and get some noodles back into his system though!

Did someone say, “noods?”

Just looking at this mazesoba is making me hungry. I first discovered mazesoba when my parents and I explored Vancouver for a few days back in June. We went to Kokoro Tokyo for lunch and it might have been our favorite meal out of the whole trip! It also didn’t hurt that they offered Hokkaido milk soft serve too : ))))) There, I was introduced to this comforting and addicting saucy noodle dish. Ever since then, I’ve been dreaming of recreating it! Today is the day I share this wonderful dish with you!

Spicy Pork Mazesoba - Eat Cho Food
Spicy Pork Mazesoba - Eat Cho Food
Spicy Pork Mazesoba - Eat Cho Food

What is Mazesoba?

Mazesoba literally means “mixed noodles” in Japanese. It is sometimes referred to as “abura soba” or a dry ramen. It might not look like a likely summer dish, but these noodles are a nice middle ground between something like cold sesame noodles and a giant bowl of hot pho when it’s 90 degrees out and humid as hell. To be honest with you, I would eat noodle soup in any weather… the sweat doesn’t scare me! BUT for those of you who are more sane and want the comforts of noodles without also sweating into your food, mazesoba is a great choice!

The dish traditionally consists of ground pork that’s cooked in lard and soy sauce until you get a thick meat sauce. Almost like an asian bolognese, I guess. I don’t cook with lard so I used olive oil instead and I cooked the pork in a savory sauce consisting of regular and dark soy, sugar, and bit of red chili flakes. Then you top it with things like crispy pork belly, kimchi, scallions, furikake, avocado, raw onion, nori, and bamboo shoots. Pretty much anything can be a topping. Mix up the noodles and you got some mazesoba!

Spicy Pork Mazesoba - Eat Cho Food

The noodles we had at Kokoro Tokyo were house made and included some whole wheat flour in the dough, which gave it a really nice and subtle nutty flavor. Texture wise, I thought it was incredibly similar to udon noodles. While you can attempt making your own homemade partially whole wheat udon noodles (I tried… and I don’t want to talk about it), it is like soooooo fine if you just buy some noodles from your local asian market. I love buying the fresh udon noodles from Twin Marquis (shown in the photos), but I think those dried packages of udon or soba noodles should work too. The dried packages just won’t have the same satisfying chewiness as fresh udon noodles.

Once you have the noodles and meat sauce ready, you’re all set to assemble your bowls! I topped my bowls with scallions, furikake, raw onion, and a pinch of chili flake for a little extra heat. DON’T FORGET THE EGG YOLK THOUGH! You must have a raw egg on top! If you’re squeamish about a raw egg yolk, just make sure you purchase fresh organic eggs and that the meat sauce is fairly warm so that the heat cooks the egg yolk a little once you mix everything together. The egg yolk binds everything together into a wonderfully rich, creamy, salty, and spicy sauce that perfectly coats all the noodles! It’s the best thing! Then once you finish eating your noodles, you’re typically left with a bit of meat sauce at the bottom, which is why a lot of restaurants will over you a free mini bowl of rice to mix into the remaining sauce. Bonus carbs might be my love language!

Spicy Pork Mazesoba - Eat Cho Food

Spicy Pork Mazesoba

serves 2-4


1 lb fresh udon noodles (dried udon or soba work too)
1 lb ground pork
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red chili flake - plus more for topping
3 garlic cloves - minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup minced white onion
2 green onions - sliced
2-4 egg yolks
furikake - for topping


  1. Boil udon according to the packaged directions and set aside.

  2. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. At the ground pork, red chili flake, and garlic into the skillet. Break up the pork with your spatula and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Whisk together the soy sauce, dark soy, water, cornstarch, sugar, and white pepper in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over the pork. Stir and continue to cook the pork for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the pork cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Remove the skillet from the heat and assemble your bowls.

  4. Place a bundle udon noodles in a bowl. Top with a scoop of the spicy pork sauce, an egg yolk, some minced white onions, sliced green onions, furikake, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Give it a good mix and enjoy! Assemble more bowls with the remaining ingredients!

Bonus step:

  1. Cook some extra white rice to enjoy with the remaining meat sauce at the bottom of your bowl!

Chinese Baked BBQ Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)

This is Kristina from late-ish Wednesday night. I just had a few friends over for a weeknight dinner party that would make any New Jersey Housewife proud. We feasted on eggplant parm, baked penne, kale salad (with homemade yogurt ranch dressing, OMG), red wine, and famous chocolate chip cookies and milk. I'm so full and happy. I'm super sleepy, but for some reason I felt like it was a good time to write. I'm also alone tonight. Reuben is away on a little business trip in Tahoe. It's weird to be alone in the apartment at night, I get spooked by every random thud and the tree branches scratching up against windows. But I'm taking advantage of my alone time. Meaning I'm going to write, stay up late, listen to annoying pop music, and binge watch crappy TV. It reminds me of the time before Reuben and I moved in with each other. Tonight, I'm catching up on Riverdale! Reuben hates it so much, but I can't get enough of it.

Have you started listening to Christmas music yet? How many times have you heard "All I Want For Christmas Is You"? Not enough? Me too.

I feel like the internet has been exploding with holiday cookies and eggnog flavored things lately. And I'm over here thinking about all the buns that I want to make. Typical. I think I'm just getting ahead of myself and jumping to my next holiday, which is Chinese New Year. I'm planning waaaaaay in advanced this year because I have big ambitions of throwing a huge Chinese New Year party in February. I envision endless and multiple dumpling options and a table covered in buns. However, both buns and dumplings take time and are pretty labor intensive. So I'm preparing and practicing 3 months early. 

Don't get me wrong, I have some Christmas cookies to share with you next week! And I'm working on a Christmas Red Velvet Cake this weekend. The holiday spirit is alive and well with me, but I'm just trying to break up the sugary sweetness with some BBQ Pork Buns!

I've ate approximately 209,248 pork buns in my life. Rough estimate. They are one of my favorite snacks and a must buy whenever I step into a Chinese bakery! When they are good, they are SO GOOD. Pork buns can be either steamed or baked. The dough should be pillowy soft. The pork on the inside should be tender, salty, but slightly sweet, and just saucy enough. Thankfully, I live in a city where every dim sum shop or Chinese bakery makes a pretty stellar BBQ Pork Bun or Char Siu Bao.

I've made my own BBQ Pork Buns a few times, but the dough was never quite right. Until now. After extensive research, I read about the tangzhong method, which is making a mixture of bread flour, milk, and water to help activate the dough and give it it's pillowy soft consistency. Reuben wanted to prepare his own Char Siu Pork for the bun fillings because he is the meat expert in this partnership. Is that a weird title? I've shared the recipe for the pork tenderloin if you want your buns to be extra homemade, but you can totally go to your local Chinese BBQ joint (the places with the ducks hanging in the window) for a pound of BBQ roast pork. It will save you a few hours. Pro Tip: order a pound or more because you're going to end up snacking on half of it before it makes it into your buns. We are going to work on another recipe using pork butt or shoulder in a few months and will share it with you soon!

I'm going to be honest with you. This is recipe takes a while. But isn't the holidays a great time to deep dive in crazy delicious but long recipes? You know you're about to plan a whole weekend decorating cookies. If I had to pick between a pork bun or sugar cookies, I'd most definitely pick the pork bun!

Baked BBQ Pork Buns

makes 12 buns

For the Pork Marinade:

3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp hoisin
1/2 tsp chinese five spice
3 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp chinese cooking wine (Bourbon also works!)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp red food coloring

For the Pork:

~ 1 1/4 lb pork tenderloin
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp honey

For the Pork Filling

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp cornstarch
~ 2 cups chopped BBQ Roast Pork

For the Buns:

25g bread flour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1 beaten egg
350g bread flour
50g sugar + 1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp oil
Egg Wash (1 egg+1 tbsp water)

To Make the BBQ Pork:

1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the pork marinade. Reserve 1/3 of the marinade for the glaze. Cut the tenderloin lengthwise. Combine the pork tenderloin and remaining marinade in a ziplock bag and let marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and place the pork tenderloin on the sheet. Cook for 10 minutes. Combine 1/3 cup marinade with ketchup and honey to make your glaze. After 10 minute in the oven, glaze the top and bottom side of the tenderloin. Cook for another 5 minutes and then reglaze. Continue to glaze every 5 minutes until the pork has been in the oven for about 30 minutes.

3. Remove the pork form the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing into the meat.

4. Enjoy! Make sure to reserved about 2 cups for the bun fillings.

To Make the BBQ Pork Buns:

1. In a small bowl whisk together 25g bread flour, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/4 cup water until smooth. Heat a small sauce pan over low to medium heat and cook the flour and milk mixture, stirring continuously, until thick. It will take about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let cool. You got your tangzhoug!

2. Combine lukewarm milk (I microwave the milk for 30 seconds) with 1/4 tsp sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Let proof for 5-10 minutes. You should see a few bubbles develop on the surface.

3. Whisk together the yeast mixture with the tangzhoug and beaten egg until combined.

4. Attach a dough hook to your standmixer. Sift together bread flour, sugar, salt in the bowl of your standmixer. Add in your yeast mixture and knead on medium high speed for 10 minutes. Add in butter a little bit at a time. The dough should be smooth and elastic.

5. Pour oil into a medium-large bowl and turn it to grease the sides of the bowl. Add dough into the bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and allow to proof in a warm place for 1-2 hours. If it is a little cold, I like to place my dough in the oven while it is off with the door left slightly open.

6. While the dough is proofing, preparing your filling. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the rest of the filling ingredients and allow to cook for another 5-8 minutes until thickened. Set aside in a bowl and allow to cool.

7. Lightly flour your work surface and turn out your dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts. I like to cut it into wedges, scone style. Roll one wedge into a small bowl. With a small and lightly floured rolling pin, gently flatten the dough ball until you have a 3-4" diameter disc. Fill with heaping tablespoon of pork filling. With the dough in the palm of your hand, carefully pinch the bun closed. Pinch and twist the bun in a counter clockwise direction.

8. Place the formed buns, pinch side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. I used a 9x12 pan so that they touch and look more like dinner rolls. You can also use a larger baking sheet and spae them farther apart.Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for another hour in a warm place. The dough should double in size.

9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tops of the buns with an egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown! Enjoy!

dough recipe was adapted from Betty Liu's Furikake Milk Buns recipe!

Vietnamese Style Pork Chops and Coconut Rice

Hey! Happy hump day, guys! We are going to make it! 

Quick Unimportant Updates: Reuben and I watched Ratatouille over the weekend and it was wonderful! Next Food Network Star is back on and my desire to try out/practice has been reignited. I think Giada would be into me. Russell Sage tapped out on Naked and Afraid XL and the the women who watch this show (is it just me?) rejoiced! Ever since Reuben started @beermeatsbread, we've been collecting the beer cans in a nice clean bag and handing them over directly to the sweet old asian ladies/gentlemen that collect cans. You should do it too! It makes them so happy and their happiness will make you so happy!

My Love Hate Relationship with SF Update: Lately, I've been really overwhelmed/overstimulated by downtown San Francisco. My new work commute and new office location is a lot more "active" than it was before. The bus I take now is more cramped with a constant flow of people squeezing on and off. I walk right through the tourist center downtown to get from my bus stop to work and there are so many crazies! There is woman at my bus stop that hisses at everyone. And ugh. The smells. This past week alone (it's only Wednesday) I've see some nasty (I mean real nasty) things doing down on the block my new office is on. I'll spare you the details. I don't know if I'm just being a wimp or if anyone else who works downtown feels this way, but it's just a lot! I cry a little inside when I have to leave the safety of my Inner Richmond apartment... jk... but sort of.

I've talked about this before, but I'm an easily over stimulated person and I have to really work on including daily routines and rituals into my life that calm and center me. SF stresses me out. I juggle a lot of random passions and I don't want to give up any of them. I try to be a good friend/girlfriend/daughter/sister/niece/cousin. I hate disappointing or saying no to anyone. A lot of times, I feel like all these things pull me into every direction, but I just want to stay wrapped up in my blanket... alone. Sometimes, my emotions get the best of me, but I try my best to keep my mind balanced and in check. Although, this overwhelming feeling is the reason why I paint and cook. It's how I focus my thoughts and relax. Chopping vegetables and watching watercolors move on paper is so cathartic. Mental health and wellness is so so so so so important and I wish more people made maintaining their own mental health a priority!

If I told you mental health included making pork chops, would that make you take it seriously? 😜

Just a little perk! These pork chops are juicy and pack a flavor punch after some sweet caramelization in the pan. But, the unexpected star of this plate is the coconut rice. It is incredible! I want to take a nap on a bed of this coconut rice and never take the bus downtown again! For real though, this rice plate is I'mgoingtoinhalethis good. It's just like those giant meat and rice plates you get from your favorite Vietnamese place. I'm sure this will be on my dinner menu rotation if we move out of SF into the rural Ohio countryside. Aaaa the dream.

Make a pork chop, paint some flowers, dance your pants off, run 10 miles, watch Say Yes to the Dress, do what you got to do to keep your mind in tip top shape!

Vietnamese Style Pork Chop and Coconut Rice

serves 4


1. Start by making your coconut rice. Add rice to the bowl of your rice cooker or pot and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Add coconut milk, water, brown sugar and salt to the rice and mix to combine. If cooking in a rice cooker, cover with lid and simply press "cook" and wait until it pops to "warm". If cooking in a pot, bring the pot to a boil and then cover with lid and reduce to a simmer on low heat. Cover and allow to cook for 40-45 mins. In both instances, once the rice is done cooking fluff with a fork of rice paddle and cover again to sit for another 20 minutes. The rice will still seem really wet, but after 20 minutes it will be light and fluffy.

2. While your rice is cooking, mix together shallots, garlic, brown sugar, fish sauce, dark soy, rice vinegar, and black pepper.

3. Season your pork chops on both sides with salt and poke them with a fork to help the marinade soak in. Transfer pork chops to a gallon size ziplock bag and pour your marinade into the bag. Seal bag and allow the pork chops to marinade at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

4.  Heat up oil in your skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Once hot, add your pork chops in to the pan. 2 can normally fit. Sear on one side for 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove pork chops from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

5. Serve pork chops with coconut rice and some refreshing thinly sliced cucumbers!

Bonus step : sear some green onions in the skillet with the leftover oil and pork drippings and serve with the meal... so good!

For Pork Chops:

4 - 1/2" Pork Chops

1 finely chopped small shallot

3 finely chopped garlic cloves

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup fish sauce

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp black pepper


2 tbsp olive oil

1 cucumber thinly sliced 

green onions - optional


For Coconut Rice:

2 cups Jasmine Rice (my fav)

1 - 13.5 oz can coconut milk

3 cups water

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt