Dina's Favorite Recipes

Easy Asian and Fusion recipes for everyday home cooking.

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7 Recipes for Tofu

Tofu has come a long, long way from the days when most people thought it was a food relegated only to health obsessed hippies. Newer to the West, tofu has been a staple in Asian cuisine for 2000 years. Made from soy beans, tofu is
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Agedashi Tofu- Easy Tofu Recipes

Agedashi Tofu- Easy Tofu Recipes Authentic Agedashi Tofu like it’s made in Japan is difficult to find even in the best Japanese restaurants outside of Japan. In Japan, the best Agedashi Tofu is made with silken tofu and has a perfectly light crisp exterior but a chewy
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Asparagus Rice

Most of us have had those moments where we don’t know what to do with leftover rice, either from restaurant take-out or from cooking at home. This easy recipe spruces up old rice into something brand new and exciting. Though I use asparagus here, you
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Avocado & Corn Confetti- Easy Appetizers

Easy Appetizers- Avocado & Corn Confetti I didn’t learn to appreciate the mild creaminess of avocado until I was in my late 20’s. Once I did though, I fell completely in love with this super food that contains healthy fats we need for bone and
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Baked Eggs in Shiitake Mushroom- Easy Egg Recipes

Easy Egg Recipes- Baked Eggs in Shiitake Mushroom While I love breakfast, admittedly I don’t always make the time to eat it given a hectic schedule. Every now and then, I take a few weekends to sit down and create a few interesting and easy
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Basil Tofu Linguine

As a child, Asian noodles and Italian pasta were an intense obsession for me, both bringing great joys and some of the best memories in my life. As an adult though, I realized that a lot of those same dishes I loved were laden with
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Blue Lake Beans & Carrot Sabji

The only note on these recipes is my dad’s “measurements” are super old-school — in that, there aren’t any. What I’ve found works well is to just play around with the spices and taste as you go. The recipe is really easy so you can’t
[Read More]

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Bok Choy & Red Cabbage Slaw

Bok Choy & Red Cabbage Slaw The best side dishes are the ones that pack huge flavor yet go easy on the calories. This bok choy and red cabbage slaw is super easy to put together with almost no prep time and goes perfectly with
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Bok Choy & Shiitake Mushroom Stir-fry

Bok Choy & Shiitake Mushroom Stir-fry Enough cannot be said about the pairing of fresh green leafy vegetables with mushroom, particularly shiitake mushroom. Shiitake mushrooms are high in an amino acid named eritadenine, which has been shown to greatly reduce high cholesterol levels. Another component
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Braised Garlic Eggplant

Eggplant is my favorite vegetable- one that I think is greatly under-appreciated. In this dish I use a simple but powerful technique I learned from a chef in Beijing that helps minimize the amount of oil needed for cooking since eggplant typically acts like a
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Brussels Sprouts with Lap Cheong

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and cut into halves or quarters 3 tablespoons olive oil 8 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped 2-3 lap cheong sausages, thinly sliced 4 tablespoons oyster sauce Method In a wok or skillet, dry stir-fry
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Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry

It’s freezing outside today. Well, freezing for Bay Area standards. I’ll happily admit that I’m a big baby when it comes to the weather being cold. My hubby, who’s from Chicago, always teases me about how the Bay Area doesn’t have “real” winter, how a
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Calabasa & Green Bean Stir-fry

I’m a huge fan of fresh vegetable pairings, simple ingredients and quick stir-frying. Overcooking vegetables will lose their nutritional content which is why this recipe focuses on the natural flavors of fresh ingredients. The crispness of the calabasa is a great pairing with the tender
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Chicken & Vegetable Skewers- Easy Asian Appetizers

Easy Asian Appetizers- Chicken & Vegetable Skewers Maybe I’m biased but I think a party isn’t a party without Asian appetizers in the mix and skewering meats and veggies are one of the easiest ways to have fun flavors while still eating healthy. The spicy
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Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

This quick and easy vegetable dish is one of the most popular and classic Chinese recipes across the world. Gently stir-fried Chinese broccoli is full of antioxidants and essential nutrients but the addition of sweet and savory oyster sauce and fragrant garlic creates a vegetarian
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Cilantro Lime Cod on Mashed Squash

Serves 4 Ingredients 4 medium to large Alaskan cod fillets (substitute any medium to firm white fish- ~1 lb) 2 tablespoons soy sauce 3 tablespoons lime juice ½ cup cilantro 2 scallions, finely chopped 8 cloves garlic 2 tablespoons olive oil Mashed Squash 1 ½
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Citrus Lentil Soup

Citrus Lentil Soup I created this Citrus Lentil Soup recipe for a close friend of mine who adores lentil soup but prefers it with a strong twist of lemon and lots of mint. Since everybody likes their lentil soup a bit differently, I figured a
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Cooling Kale & Honeydew Smoothie

Cooling Kale & Honeydew Smoothie If you’re looking to help your own digestion or if you are having skin problems, this Cooling Kale and Honeydew Smoothie is perfect for you. Cucumber helps calm inflammation of all types and helps de-puff bloated skin. Kale gives you
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Detoxifying Green Smoothie

Detoxifying Green Smoothie If you’re going to drink a detoxifying Green Smoothie, let’s do it right and start off with a White Tea or Green Tea base liquid. Cooling cucumbers and the powerhouse detoxifiers of organic parsley and celery need to be tempered with naturally
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Edamame Bruschetta

Edamame Bruschetta An easy and healthy appetizer to add to your bruschetta repertoire is this Edamame Bruschetta which you’ll fall head over heels in love with at first bite. Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps here- this is a super easy recipe that
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Eggplant & Squash Stirfry

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 large Chinese eggplant, cut into bite-sized chunks 1/2 lb butternut squash, chopped into bite-sized chunks (alternatively, use a melon baller) Salt for sprinkling 2 tablespoons olive oil 8 cloves garlic, finely minced or thinly sliced 4 tablespoons water 1 1/2 tablespoons
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Endive Salad with Plantain Chips

Endive Salad with Plantain Chips Traveling back and forth between Asian and Central and South America brings the realization that the two regions, though so far apart geographically and culturally, have many ingredients in common in the kitchen. In reality, this should come as no
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Garlic Edamame- A Healthy Snack

Garlic Edamame- A Healthy Snack By now, parboiled Edamame lightly salted is standard appetizer fare at Japanese restaurants the world over. Edamame, or soy bean pods, have a high nutritional content with a major dose of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. This Edamame recipe
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Garlic Green Bean Stir-fry

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half 2 tablespoons olive oil 12 cloves garlic, finely minced 1/2 teaspoon salt Method In a wok or large skillet, heat the olive oil on high heat. Sauté the garlic for 1 to
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Garlic Green Herb Rice

Serves 4 Ingredients 3 heaping cups warm cooked rice 2 lap cheong sausages, thinly sliced (optional) 12 cloves garlic finely minced ½ large red onion, finely chopped 1 large handful cilantro, roughly chopped 1 large handful parsley, roughly chopped 4 bok choy, rinsed and finely
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Garlic Herb Okra

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb fresh okra, ends trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise 4 tablespoons olive oil 10 cloves garlic, minced 1/3 medium onion, finely diced 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder 1 tablespoon butter (substitute with
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Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Serves 4 as a side dish Ingredients 1 head cauliflower (white part only), roughly chopped 10 garlic cloves ¼ cup olive oil 1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper (optional) Method Place the chopped cauliflower and garlic cloves in a heat-safe shallow bowl or plate.
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Garlic Rice in Eggplant- Easy Asian Recipes

Easy Asian Recipes- Garlic Rice in Eggplant Eggplant is one of those vegetables that I grew to love as an adult. Like many vegetables, I ended up loving them and have developed somewhat of an obsession with creating easy Asian recipes that showcase how delicious
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Gnocchi in Curried Butternut Squash Sauce

Serves 4 Ingredients 2 – 2 1/2 lbs gnocchi 2 cups coconut milk 2 cups water 3/4 lb butternut squash chopped into chunks 10 cloves garlic 3 tablespoons fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon curry powder 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground
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Green Papaya Salad

Thailand has a few dishes that are widely recognized throughout the world and Som Tam is definitely one of the standouts. Some of my best memories in life are of wading through the Chao Praya River in Bangkok and eating Som Tam made by toothless
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Green Vegetable Stir-fry

The mentality that nutritious and delicious food requires a lot of time and energy can no longer hold true in the Western hemisphere. All Asian countries boast a vast array of vegetarian dishes that are incredibly healthful and taste spectacular. Here, I’m using three of
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Indian Mixed Vegetable Sabji

One of the things I love about my dad’s cooking is its classic homestyle Indian food made super easy and healthy. He and my mom both believed that you could create a great meal without having to spend hours and hours in the kitchen (which
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Korean Bean Sprouts

Makes 1 medium sized bowl Ingredients 3/4 lb fresh raw bean sprouts 2 scallions (green onions) sliced thinly on the diagonal 1/2 tablespoon salt 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil Method In a medium sized pot, bring a few inches of water to a vigorous boil
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Leek Mushroom Stir-fry

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 large leek, ends trimmed, chopped into ½ inch pieces and rinsed thoroughly under cold water 2 heaping cups thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushroom (substitute with Portobello or button mushroom) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon butter (optional) 8 cloves garlic finely
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Miso Mushroom Stirfry

Serves 4 Ingredients 6 oz brown mushroom 6 oz woodear mushroom 6 oz oyster mushroom 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon butter (optional) 8 cloves garlic, finely minced 2 heaping tablespoons Miso paste 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 to 4 tablespoons water Cilantro sprig for garnish
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Mixed Greens with Miso Orange Dressing

Serves 4 Ingredients 4 heaping cups mixed greens (you can also use romaine lettuce instead) 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and drained 2 scallions, ends trimmed and chopped roughly 2 seedless oranges, peeled and chopped into small chunks Dressing 1 tablespoon miso paste  
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Moong & Toor Daal

The only note on these recipes is my dad’s “measurements” are super old-school — in that, there aren’t any. What I’ve found works well is to just play around with the spices and taste as you go. The recipe is really easy so you can’t
[Read More]

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Mung Bean Sesame Noodle Soup

It’s no secret that I have an obsession with noodle soups of all types. In my culinary adventures, I do spend perhaps an unfair amount of time dedicated to both creating recipes and discovering others’ recipes for amazing noodle soups. During cold winter days, I
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Mushroom Medley

Every few years, mushrooms make a comeback in the forefront of the culinary industry, finding their way into countless recipes with fancy names and an assortment of other fancy ingredients that home cooks generally can’t get their hands on. Given the fact that mushrooms are
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Okra Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Okra Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Some months I have an abundance of all types of mushrooms and one of those times I came up with these Okra Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms that incorporate other mushrooms and a salty, sweet sauce to drizzle on top. My kitchen is
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Onion Rings with Chaat Masala

Onion Rings with Chaat Masala Indian street food goes gourmet with my friend Monica Bhide’s Onion Rings with Chaat Masala. These are deliciously crisp, savory and earthy all in one bite. Her recipe begins here. Several fast food places in India serve these light, crispy
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Potato Chinese Broccoli Soup

Serves 4 to 6 as main meal or 8 to 10 as appetizer soup Ingredients 10 cups chicken or vegetable stock 4 large white or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks 12 cloves garlic, smashed 4 shallots 8 Chinese broccoli stalks, ends trimmed and
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Quinoa Egg Tartlets- Easy Breakfast Recipes

Quinoa Egg Tartlets- Easy Breakfast Recipes Talk about getting your healthy proteins and vegetables in early in the day- these egg tartlets blast the notion that breakfast has to be time consuming or complicated to taste good and be nutritious. Prep time is all of
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Rainbow Raw Kale Salad

Rainbow Raw Kale Salad In the culinary world, kale may be a passé ingredient but among my family and friends, kale will always remain a very popular vegetable. While trends may come and go, there is no arguing the numerous health benefits of this leafy
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Roasted Bok Choy with Szechuan Pepper Salt

Roasted Bok Choy with Szechuan Pepper Salt With all the kale craze of the past few years, you might have forgotten that other leafy greens like Bok Choy not only exist, but they pack even more antioxidants and nutrients than “it” vegetable kale. I’ve got
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Roasted Garlic Potatoes

Contrary to popular belief, Asians don’t eat only rice. Garlic potatoes are a popular dish across much of Asia with each country presenting its own unique twists. This is one of my favorite recipes, a classic and simple one that focuses on being bold in
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Roasted Red Cabbage

Roasted Red Cabbage Many of us forget that cabbage exists; it’s not the tastiest of vegetables and for a long time, it was ignored for more trendy leafy greens. Red cabbage deserves more than a passing glance though- this powerhouse vegetable has an enormous amount
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Sauteed Garlic Spinach

Even people who aren’t crazy about spinach love this dish when I make it. It would take too long to go on about the health benefits of spinach with its sky high levels of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, magnesium, calcium and fiber. Enough said.
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Seared Tuna with Sweet Potato & Sprouts

Serves 4 Ingredients 4 boneless, skinless tuna steaks 4 tablespoons olive oil + 4 tablespoons 12 garlic cloves finely minced or thinly sliced 4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes 4 cups brussel sprouts (~3/4 lb), ends trimmed, quartered then cut
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Shanghai Mixed Rice

There are many variations of this classic and popular Shanghainese rice dish but this one was my grandfather’s favorite. It’s easy and quick to make, with just a few ingredients but the results will leave everybody wanting more. Typical Shanghainese rice dishes incorporate some type
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Spicy Bamboo Salad

Serves 4 Ingredients 14 oz (~3 cups) bamboo shoots cut into long slivers 8 cloves garlic finely minced 2 tablespoons fish sauce 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (~juice of 1 large lime) 4-6 red bird’s eye chili peppers finely chopped (substitute 1 tablespoon ground red
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Spicy Green Bean Salad

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb (~500 g) fresh raw green beans, ends trimmed and chopped into 2 inch length pieces 1 heaping tablespoon shrimp paste 2 tablespoons water 8 garlic cloves 8 red chili peppers (substitute with 1 tablespoon dry ground red chili peppers) 1
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Spicy Green Mango Salad- Easy Thai Salads

Spicy Green Mango Salad- Easy Thai Salads Ever since childhood, I’ve loved spicy Thai food, especially dishes like this Green Mango Salad. I never get bored of eating dishes with fresh ingredients that have a full range of robust flavors from the tangy to the
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Spicy Mushroom Salad

From antioxidants that help to prevent premature aging to anti-cancer, anti high blood pressure and high cholesterol, mushroom has long been praised as one of the wonder foods of the world. In this recipe, the super food is combined with typical fresh Thai ingredients easily
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Spicy Pomelo Salad

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 large (~ 2 medium) pomelo (substitute with 2 large grapefruits) 1 tablespoon dried tiny shrimp, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, drained & finely minced 3 red bird’s eye chili peppers, finely chopped (substitute ½ tablespoon ground red chili pepper)
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Spicy Salsa with Lemongrass

Spicy Salsa with Lemongrass Here’s a twist on a classic favorite. Incredible bursts of flavor with super fresh ingredients and unique touch of fish sauce instead of salt adds a whole new dimension to this spicy salsa. Aromatic lemongrass lends a lovely fragrance and light
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Spicy Soy Avocado Appetizer

Spicy Soy Avocado Appetizer When I reached my late 20’s, I reached a period of life where my hatred for avocado turned into passionate love. I now can’t recall why I would ever have hated this heart-healthy fruit that is mellow flavored and super creamy.
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Spring Salad with Mustard Dressing

Spring Salad with Mustard Dressing Serves 2 to 3 as small side salad (or 1 as main course) Ingredients 2 medium sized celery sticks, roughly chopped 1 large Persian cucumber (substitute 1/2 large regular cucumber) 2 cups Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced For the Dressing: 2
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Squash and Mushroom Stir-fry

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb butternut squash or pumpkin, chopped into bite-sized chunks 6-8 oz oyster mushroom (substitute with your favorite mushroom) 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil 3/4 tablespoon butter 8 cloves garlic finely minced 2 tablespoons fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon dried ground red
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Squash Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing

Squash Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing The first time I bought pattypan and sunburst squash, I wasn’t sure what to do with them. They were such adorable little vegetables that they seemed almost too cute to eat. I knew I didn’t want to cook them
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Strawberry Honeydew Salad

I love combining different favorite foods in new ways. Strawberry and reduced balsamic vinegar is a classic as are honeydew and prosciutto. But all four together? Who would’ve thought that these fresh fruits with salty prosciutto and sweet balsamic syrup is an addictive combination and
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Sunset Stir-fry

Trying to get kids to eat vegetables can be one of the hardest things to do. Even grown-ups get bored with the same leafy greens every day. I created this sunset stir-fry from the vibrant colors of yellow squash and orange carrots, quickly stir-frying them
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Sweet & Spicy Beet Salad

Sweet & Spicy Beet Salad I was never crazy about beets but with friends who love it, I created this beet salad recipe to find a happy medium. This easy beet recipe allows the beautiful, vibrant color of the beet and its natural flavors to
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Sweet & Spicy Okra

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb okra, ends trimmed and chopped into ½ inch pieces 1/2 cup cornstarch 3 + 3 tablespoons olive oil 10 garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce 2 1/2 tablespoons sambal oelek 3/4 teaspoon salt Method In a large bowl,
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Sweet Daikon & Lotus Root Stew

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 whole fresh daikon (~1 1/2 lbs), peeled & chopped into bite sized chunks 4 oz fresh lotus root, sliced thinly 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 10 cloves garlic, mashed 2 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth or water 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2
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Sweet Potato Fries with Gochujang Sauce

Sweet Potato Fries with Gochujang Sauce Sweet potatoes have long been a staple in Asia and South America and the craze with sweet potato fries is no surprise. After all, sweet potatoes do pack a wallop in vitamins, more so than their plain potato cousins.
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Sweet’n Tangy Cabbage Salad

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb thinly shredded red cabbage 2 scallions, ends trimmed, sliced thinly on the diagonal 2 tablespoons mirin 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper
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Three Color Veggie Stir-fry

Three Color Stir-fry This is one of my all time favorite one-dish stir-fries, especially during colder months. The sweetness of the butternut squash really warms you up and the complimentary flavors of earthy shiitake and fresh bok choy complete this super easy stir-fry recipe that
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Three Mushroom Salad

Serves 4 Ingredients 6 oz woodear mushroom 7 oz enoki mushroom, ends trimmed 1/2 lb king oyster mushroom, chopped into small bite sized pieces 8 garlic finely minced 1/4 onion thinly sliced 2 scallions finely chopped 2 tablespoons fish sauce Juice of 1/2 lime (~2
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Tofu & Pumpkin Red Curry

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 package firm tofu (~ 16 oz) 8 oz pumpkin or butternut squash, chopped into bite sized chunks 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 onion, chopped into bite sized chunks 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped into bite sized chunks 2 cups
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Tofu Quinoa Stir-fry

Serves 4 Ingredients 10 cloves garlic, roughly minced Olive oil 14 oz firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes 3 cups sugar snap peas, ends trimmed 4 cups cooked quinoa 1 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce 4 tablespoons sambal oelek or any of
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Tofu Steak

Serves 4 Ingredients 28 oz firm tofu cut into thick slices Garlic powder for sprinkling 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 scallions finely chopped 6 tablespoons soy sauce Juice of 1 lemon or lime 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil Method Place the tofu pieces on a plate
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Vegetable Dumplings- A Classic Dumpling Recipe

Vegetable Dumplings- A Classic Dumpling Recipe Let’s face facts here- if you’ve never made dumplings before, it’s not going to be easy but if you follow these steps carefully, your dumplings will turn out just fine. Vegetable dumplings are a staple all over Asia, not
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Veggie Pho

Asian Fusion fans have long been asking for more vegetarian recipes, even those who are not actual vegetarians. It’s heartening to see a slow but sure culinary culture change across America and much of the world when it comes to the fact that eating healthier
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Warm Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Warm Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad Brussels sprouts is one of those vegetables that I wasn’t crazy about as a child but as an adult, I can’t get enough of it. I’m always thinking of new recipes to incorporate these little green globes and recently,
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Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Here’s a different, hot twist on an old classic favorite. Adding Japanese wasabi to mashed potatoes lends another depth of flavor and a kind of heat that will clear out any sinuses. Instead of using milk as I usually do in classic mashed potatoes, I
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Whole Moong Daal

The only note on these recipes is my dad’s “measurements” are super old-school — in that, there aren’t any. What I’ve found works well is to just play around with the spices and taste as you go. The recipe is really easy so you can’t
[Read More]

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Zucchini Sabji

The only note on these recipes is my dad’s “measurements” are super old-school — in that, there aren’t any. What I’ve found works well is to just play around with the spices and taste as you go. The recipe is really easy so you can’t
[Read More]