Nori (Seaweed) Biscuits
Nori Seaweed Buttermilk Biscuits - Eat Cho Food

Who’s ready for the long weekend?! Reuben and I are packing up for a weekend in Garden Valley! It’s a few hours north of San Francisco in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We haven’t planned anything but I do know that our Airbnb has a pool, so I’m really hoping Reuben let’s us just chill out at the house and float for a few hours. He has a tendency to trick me into +10 mile long hikes up really big mountains, when he very well knows I have the athleticism of a baked potato.

I’ve been looking forward to this trip for months! I love just getting out of the city. We’ve spent some time near Garden Valley before and everything is so quaint and quiet. People have space and peace to move around without fear of stepping on scary sidewalk objects or bumping into a crazy person. I’m especially looking forward to hitting up some farmers markets up there and hoping to find something new I haven’t eaten or cooked with before!

I’m not sure yet if we’re going to be cooking meals up there yet. I sort of hate cooking in Airbnbs… okay, hate is not the right word… it’s just very challenging. Airbnb kitchens look cute but then the knives are sooooo dull, the pots and pans are weird sizes, and the bowls are too small. I rather just bring up a box of my own kitchen things, but then that in itself is not very relaxing. 

Nori Seaweed Buttermilk Biscuits - Eat Cho Food
Nori Seaweed Buttermilk Biscuits - Eat Cho Food
Nori Seaweed Buttermilk Biscuits - Eat Cho Food

Easy Weekend Breakfast

Breakfast is normally pretty doable though, no matter what your basic kitchen set up is like. For eggs and bacon, all you really need is a frying pan! But would you think of homemade buttermilk biscuits as an easy-no-fancy-kitchen-tool-necessary breakfast option? Well, ya should! 3 years ago when we first moved into our apartment together I couldn’t stop making biscuits because they were so easy to make, I felt so proud of myself for whipping up a fresh bread like thing in the morning! Since then, I’ve continued to adapt my basic buttermilk biscuit recipe with new ingredients I’m loving at the moment. I’ve done everything bagel biscuits, classic cheddar scallion, an asian everything bagel seasoning (with Sichuan peppercorns, coconut, sesame seeds, and salt), and now I’ve brought you Nori Buttermilk Biscuits! 

Nori Seaweed Buttermilk Biscuits - Eat Cho Food
Nori Seaweed Buttermilk Biscuits - Eat Cho Food
Nori Seaweed Buttermilk Biscuits - Eat Cho Food

Nori Buttermilk Biscuits

Nori, if you didn’t already know, is roasted seaweed! You typically find them in large square sheets for rolling sushi, gimbap, spam musubis, and onigiri, but the packages of seaweed snacks are essentially the same thing! I could eat seaweed snacks endlessly. It’s like eating light wafers of salty ocean. That’s a good thing. I love adding nori sheets to my noodles soups or crumbling up the sheets to sprinkle over rice (like furikake) or salads. There are A LOT of Korean seaweed snacks at my go-to Asian market, so I always end up grab some of those when I’m shopping!

When you add pieces of nori into layers of flaky buttermilk biscuits, it will be hard to go back to just plain biscuits! It adds so much flavor to the biscuits - extra saltiness and a lot of umami that pairs so well with the rich buttery flavor of the biscuit dough. They taste amazing fresh out of the oven with a pat of butter or a light drizzle of honey. But imagine them with some eggs, crispy bacon, gooey cheese, or a crunchy piece of fried chicken in the middle! OMGGGGGGG Okay, maybe I’ll try to pack the fixings for a little nori buttermilk biscuit breakfast this weekend!

Nori Seaweed Buttermilk Biscuits - Eat Cho Food

Nori Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes 15-18 biscuits

Materials:

3 C all purpose flour + more for dusting
1 cup torn nori/seaweed sheets
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp frozen butter
1 1/2 cup cold buttermilk 
2 tbsp melted butter
Furikake - for topping

steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees

  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, torn nori, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine.

  3. Cut your butter into 1/2" cubes. Add the cubed butter into the flour mixture. Incorporate the butter into the flour mixture by pinching the butter with the tips of your fingers and breaking them apart. You still want to be able to see the chunks of butter. The flour mixture should be crumbly and sandy. Pour in the buttermilk and mix everything with a wooden spoon or by hand until just combined.

  4. Lightly flour your work surface and dump your biscuit mixture onto it. Knead the dough for 2 - 3 mins until you have a consistent dough ball. Roll out your dough into a rectangle and fold the dough onto itself in thirds. Roll out into a rectangle again and fold the dough onto itself in thirds one more time. You just built in your layers!

  5. Roll out your dough until it is ½” thick and cut out biscuits using a 2 ½” - 3” round cutter. Avoid twisting the biscuit cutter as you lift up, that will seal the layers and they won’t be as flakey.

  6. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush melted butter on each biscuit and sprinkle furikake on each biscuit. Bake the biscuits for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

  7. Allow to slightly cool and enjoy with butter.

Thanks, Korean Seaweed, for sponsoring this post!

Furikake Panko Salmon
Furikake Panko Salmon - Eat Cho Food

I’m back to real life… AKA as sitting on my couch wrapped in a blanket and writing on my laptop with one hand and a half eaten nectarine in the other. Everyone’s work environments are different! I got back from Cleveland Sunday night and the transition back to my regular life has been a bit… challenging. I’ve always been overly sensitive to my environments (overly sensitive in general really), and I was home for longer than I have been in a very long time. I was getting used to the routine of sleeping in my bed, waking up to have breakfast with my parents before my dad went to work, watching This Is Us with my mom, venturing downtown to pick up ingredients from the asian markets, and seeing family members more than once or twice. It was nice. I realize that in my last blog post I wrote about how I was anxious to get back into my kitchen, but now that I’m back here I’m anxious to be back home and spend time with my family. Ughhhhh it’s such a vicious cycle!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you’re fully aware of my constant battle with homesickness and internal guilt of being away from home. I’m having a particularly hard time with it because when I was home learned a new family recipe from my grandma, which was so wonderful, but at the same time that experience reminded me that she’s not getting any younger and I wish I could pop in every other day to learn more from her. It’s not just my grandma that I wish I could spend more time with, it’s everyone in my family really and Reuben’s family. While I was at the airport waiting to board my flight, I was sort of spirally internally, but I was thinking about how we live in a bubble in San Francisco. We have a great friends that feels like family sometimes, but we don’t have any real family near us. That distance can feel so far and we forget that there’s life happening outside of our bubble. Good life things and bad life things. After almost 6 years away and I am so desperately ready to leave this bubble. I’m fully aware that we can’t just literally pick everything up and leave… there’s jobs, projects, the plants, and the millions of dishes I would need to bubble wrap. But I think it’s worth make the motions to make something happen.

ANYWAYS. Sorry if you weren’t interested in reading about an emotional spiral on a Tuesday! I’m slowly getting adjusted back to my daily work routine and have a some exciting recipes I’ve planned for testing this week! Hopefully a steamed chicken sausage bun will help lift my spirits a little bit. I’m also sort of resetting my recipes and simplifying them. You know me, I love a great weekend project recipe, but life is a lot right now and I just need to incorporate more simple recipes into my life. So, I’ve been turning back to the meals my mom made for us growing up. She never made Furikake Panko Salmon for us… I just bought her a jar of furikake for the first time last week though! She did however, make us a plate of salmon, steamed rice, and veggies, all the time. She always said that she hates salmon, but I guess continued to make it for us on a regular basis because I loved it so much. Motherly love right there!

Furikake Panko Salmon - Eat Cho Food
Furikake Panko Salmon - Eat Cho Food

The Best Baked Salmon

Unlike my mom, I love cooking salmon! So what if it stinks up your house a little? Just open a window and the smell will be gone by morning. Salmon is a great protein for weeknight meals because it cooks up so fast and it’s also really healthy for you! If you buy wild salmon versus farm raised salmon then you’re getting double health points too! For this recipe we actually used farm raised salmon because Reuben and I prefer the added fattiness and richness. I’ll do an extra youtube barre workout later, it’s fine.

There are a million and one baked salmon recipes out there. I’m sure they are all great… but this might just be my favorite way to prepare salmon other than eating it fresh and raw in nigiri form or in a poke bowl! The salmon is brushed with a little sesame oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then it’s topped with a super crunchy and flavor packed mixture of panko breadcrumbs and furikake. Furikake is a Japanese savory seasoning to sprinkle over rice. I put it on everything! Noodles, bread, soup, toast! The most standard variation is a mixture of seaweed, bonito (dried fish), sesame seeds, salt, and sugar. But there are a lot of different varieties out there! I love adding it to the breadcrumbs because just 2 teaspoons of furikake adds so much complex flavor to a crazy simple dish. It’s salty, sweet, nutty, and bursting with umami!

Once the salmon is coated in breadcrumbs, all you do is bake it in a 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes and THAT’S IT! You want the salmon to be almost cooked through and flakey. I like to have the very center of salmon just barely…slightly raw. Over cooked fish is one of the saddest things. Serve the salmon with a big scoop of white rice, jasmine rice if you want the whole Eat Cho Food experience, and a side of vegetables! I’m sharing a quick and easy recipe for stir-fried bok choy at the end too! Enjoy : )

Furikake Panko Salmon - Eat Cho Food

Oven Baked Furikake Panko Salmon

serves 2-4

materials:

1 farm raised salmon filet - about 1 lb
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt + heavy pinch
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp furikake + more for finishing
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 lime

steamed white rice - for serving
stir -ried bok choy - recipe below

steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut your salmon filet into individual portions - either 2 large portions or 4 smaller portions. Brush a baking tray with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Place salmon skin side down on the oiled baking tray. Brush the flesh of the salmon with sesame oil and season with 1 tsp salt and white pepper.

  2. In a small bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp furikake, melted butter, and a heavy pinch of salt. Mix until evenly combined.

  3. Place the furikake pankp breadcrumbs on top of the salmon filets. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until fish is cooked through but still flakey.

  4. Remove from the oven and and sprinkle the filets with a little bit more furikake. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Enjoy warm with a side of steamed rice and vegetables for a complete meal!


Simple Stir-Fried Bok Choy

materials:

6 small bok choy bulbs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp sesesame oil
heavy dash white pepper

steps:

  1. Wash and dry the bok choy bulbs. Peel the leaves off the bulb and set aside.

  2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Swirl the pan so that the oil evenly covers the pan. Once hot, add the bok choy and the garlic. Cook and stir occasionally for 4-5 minutes until the bok choy is starting to wilt.

  3. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, and white pepper to the bok choy. Stir the bok choy and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the bok choy is tender.

  4. Serve immediately.

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

materials:

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

steps:

  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!