Saturday, September 29, 2012

Maine Lobster and Dulse Omelette (makes 2 large omelettes)


I have fresh thyme, scallions and onions from my garden so I decided to make omelettes. This recipe can easily feed four people.

Maine Lobster and Dulse Omelette (makes 2 large omelettes)


Ingredients:

3 Tbsp grape seed oil*
8-oz sliced lobster meat and roe (2 1/2 lobster tails)
1/4 oz dried dulse
1/4 C chopped scallions (1 scallion)
1/3 C diced onions (1 small onion)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
6 large eggs
4 Tbsp 2% milk (you may use skim, 1% milk or even whole milk)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Thin slices of cheddar or any mild cheese (optional)
Sprigs of fresh thyme, dulse, or scallions, garnish (optional)

1) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium size pan over high heat.
2) Add onion, scallion and sauté for 1 minute or until onion is translucent.
3) Turn heat down to medium high, add lobster meat, dulse and thyme, cook for 1 minute, remove contents and reserve in a dish.
4) Wipe down the pan with a clean paper towel.
5) In a small bowl mix 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper.
6) Heat the pan with 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat, coat the pan with oil including the side of the pan well.
7) Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook for 30 seconds.
8) Spread 1/2 of the lobster mixture, 1/4 teaspoon of the sesame seeds, and cheddar over the pan, cover the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
9) Uncover the pan, fold half of the omelette over (so it looks like a half moon), cook for 2-3 minutes.
10) Repeat the procedure for the second omelette.
11) Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme, dulse or chopped scallions.

prep work
add egg mixture, lobster mixture,
sesame seeds, and cheddar







"breakfast inspiration"
*Grape seed oil has a moderately high smoke point.  This means that the oil can be heated to a relatively high temperature before it starts to smoke.  
*Instead of lobster meat you can use shrimp or crawfish.  Instead of sea vegetables you can add land vegetables instead.  Sliced button mushrooms and baby spinach are a nice combination that I often like to add in my omelettes.
*The photo above "breakfast inspiration" was one of my egg pieces that had been in several exhibitions in 2011, including a juried show at the Sheafe Warehouse (NH Art Association), Portsmouth, NH.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Seafood Curry Chowder (makes approximately 5 quarts)

my seafood curry chowder
It is the beginning of Autumn and it is getting cooler here in the East Coast. I have decided to make a chowder using all the seafood I have available including some of the remaining fresh herbs and onions from my garden.  I will be working long hours for the next few days and this chowder will last a few meals! You can serve it with toasted baguette or rice noodles.  The chowder may appear heavy but it is actually light and will keep your tummy full and satisfy!


lemongrass, onions, basil leaves,
chives, bay leaves, and dill
My Seafood Curry Chowder (makes approximately 5 quarts)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 lemongrass stalk, minced soft part and reserved the tough stalk
3 dried bay leaves
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 oz dried oyster mushrooms, hydrated and sliced thinly
10 dried shiitake mushrooms, hydrated and sliced thinly
One (6.5 oz) can of minced clams in clam liquid
1 pint (473 mL)  half & half
400 mL unsweetened coconut milk
400 mL water
3 Tbsp chopped Chinese chives
2 Tbsp chopped scallions (or green onion)
1/2 C Thai basil leaves
1 tsp chopped dill
2 lbs mahogany clams, scrubbed and washed
10 oz cooked lobster meat, cut into bite size
10 oz Maine crab meat, shells and cartilages removed
10 oz squid, body and tentacles (please see How to Clean Squid post)
10 oz cooked whelks (shells removed)
6 oz cooked periwinkles (shells removed)
10 large sea scallops, muscles removed and reserved
1/4 C dried wakame (sea vegetable), washed in cold water
1 C dried dulse (sea vegetable)
2 tsp lobster base (Better Than Bouillon)
2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
Chili powder or hot chili pepper (optional)

Method:

1) Heat the oil in a large pot (at least 5.5 quarts) over medium high heat.
2) Add onion, garlic, lemongrass (minced and stalk), bay leaves, coriander powder and curry powder and stir for 1 minute or until onion is translucent.
3) Add mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.
4) Add the whole can of clam, mahogany clams, half & half, coconut milk, and water, cook until boiling then turn heat down to medium and cook for 25 minutes.
5) Add chives, scallions, basil leaves, dill, lobster meat, crab, squid, periwinkles, whelks, scallops, wakame, lobster base, and fish sauce, cook for 15 minutes.
6) Turn off heat and add black pepper and dulse.
7) Add chili powder or hot chili pepper when ready to eat.

New England is known
for its beautiful, brilliant fall colors
(NH, 2010)
red, orange, and gold leaves
(NH, 2010)
imagine biking, jogging,
or walking through this place
and listening to the sound of the leaves
...paradise
(NH, 2010) 
*This chowder is versatile, you can use any type of shellfish or any firm fish that you prefer. 
*If you use scallops make sure they are fresh and dry (dry means they are not treated with phosphates which is a preservative).  When I buy scallops I always ask for whole scallops.  For this type of chowder I removed the muscles and then minced them.  I then put the minced muscles back into the stew instead of discarding them.  The muscles are tough and most people discard them.
*The mahogany clams can take a long time to open up so you may need to cook them longer than most clams.  If the mahogany clams are too tough for you then you can chopped the meat up.  You can substitute using mussels since the meat is not so tough.
*I harvested my own periwinkles and caught the squid on the coast of NH.  I have seen periwinkles sold in Asian markets in Boston Chinatown but they are usually muddy.  I prefer to harvest them on rocks at low tide in clean water.
*The cooked Maine lobster, crab meat and whelks came from my mother.  Yes, she is one great mom!  The whelks are larger snails, the shell is about 3-inches in length. 
*I removed the outer one or two layers of the lemongrass stalk and minced the end of the stalk (softer and lighter part).  I then used the flat part of my knife, bruised what was left of the stalk, tied the stalk and outer layers in one loop and put them in the pot to cook for extra flavor (please see photo above).
*If you prefer to spice this dish up you may add chili powder or chili pepper in the pot or to individual bowls.  
*If you are still eating the chowder over the next few days then you can thin it out with some milk.  Each time I scoop some into a small pot to reheat I add about 1/2 C of milk to thin out the chowder.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Maine Shrimp-Squid-Dulse with Noodles (serves 2-3)


Here is a taste from the sea using some of my favorite ingredients, sweet Maine shrimp (from my mother), squid (I caught), dried dulse (sea vegetables) and left over vegetables.  You can pretty much use any vegetables for this dish.  The starch noodles is made from sweet potato starch and it has a nice chewy texture. This dish is inspired by a Korean dish called japchae.

Maine Shrimp-Squid-Dulse with Noodles (serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

1 bunch of starch noodles (or 7 3/8 oz)
1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/4 inch width wedges
1 scallions, chopped
4 oz squid, cleaned and cut into bite size (please see How to Clean Squid post)
6 oz Maine shrimp, shells removed
1 lb nappa cabbage, stack the leaves and cut into 1/4 inch width
5 oz julienned carrots
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 C dried dulse (sea vegetables)
Toasted sesame seeds or coarsely crushed roasted peanuts (please see Roasted Peanuts post), garnish (optional)

Method:

1) Cook the noodles in gently boiling water for 6 minutes or as directed on the package (when done drain, drizzle a little sesame oil and stir to prevent noodles from sticking)
2) While the noodles is cooking, heat a large pan with 1 tablespoon canola oil over high heat
3) Add ginger, 1/2 of the garlic, onion and scallions, sauté for 1 minute or until onion is translucent
4) Add squid and shrimp, cook for 4-5 minutes, reserve contents in a bowl
5) Use the same pan, add  1 tablespoon canola oil and the remaining garlic, sauté for 30 seconds
6) Add nappa cabbage and carrots, cook for 5 minutes
7) Add the contents from the bowl back into the pan, the cooked noodles, soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, and sugar, stir well until contents are mixed, cook for 4-5 minutes until most of the liquid from the bottom of the pan is almost gone
8) Turn off heat, add the dulse at the end and mix well
9) Divide contents into plates and may add toasted sesame seeds and/or roasted peanuts on top

dried dulse I
dried dulse II
*Dried dulse is a sea vegetable that has a slight salty taste and a hint of the sea.  I came across it when my husband and I were traveling in Nova Scotia.  The fishermen who harvested the dulse told me that people eat it as a snack.  I like to use it in my cooking.
*To purchase dulse and other sea vegetables you may contact Mr. Larch Hanson at http://www.theseaweedman.com

Steamed Fish


My mother gave me this little steamer that is just perfect for steaming a small amount of food.  She recently steamed both herring and butter fish and they were delicious. This is a simple and healthy way to eat fresh fish.  The herring is dipped in a soy-sugar-lime sauce served with fresh garden herbs, lettuce and rice.

Steamed Herring (serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

6 fresh herring, scaled, gutted and washed well

Method:

1) Arrange the herring in the steamer.
2) Over medium heat with gently boiling water, steam the fish for 15-18 minutes.
3) Serve with soy-sugar-lime dipping sauce (see below).

Soy-Sugar-Lime Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

2 tsp light soy
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lime juice

Method:

1) Mix soy, sugar and lime juice well.  You may adjust the ingredients according to your taste.  If you like it more salty add more soy, for more sweetness then add more sugar, and for more acidic taste add more lime juice.


My parents enjoy eating butter fish.  They eat these fish by simply steaming them and dipping them in a plain light soy sauce.  These fish have a sweet and buttery taste with hardly any bones.  This steamed fish is a delicious, simple and quick meal.

Steamed Butter Fish (serves 1-2)

Ingredients:

2 butter fish (about 0.5 lb each), gutted, tail/fins trimmed and washed well

Method:

1) Arrange the butter fish in the steamer.
2) Over medium heat with gently boiling water, steam the fish for about 15 minutes or until the meat is white.  The meat will turn white when completely cooked.

*F/V (fishing vessel) Rimrack is a family owned fishing business located in beautiful Rye Harbor, NH.  They have passion and take pride in harvesting the best and freshest seafood to sell directly to you.  I know because I received these fish from them and you really cannot get them more fresh than this.  One minute these fish were swimming and the next they are on your table!  Thank you Rimrack for the amazingly fresh and tasty fish!!  Please support and buy from your local fishermen.  If you are interested in buying from F/V Rimrack please visit their website:   http://www.rimrackfish.com.  Rimrack staff is very friendly and helpful and they will happily assist you.
*Please note that the herring is a bony fish.  If you are not used to eating bony fish this may not be the fish for you.  The butter fish has much less bones to pick through.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Herring in Tomato Sauce (serves 3-4)


My family rarely eats canned foods but occasionally we eat these little tins of sardines in tomato sauce. I like eating them with rice or toasted French bread and a few little squirts of soy sauce. I still have some herring left from my freezer and I am able to harvest a few tomatoes and Thai basil from my garden so I decided to replicate the sardines in tomato sauce. The result is delicious!  

Herring in Tomato Sauce (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

Eight 8-inch fresh herring and its roe, cleaned and cut each herring in half
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Cup diced onion
1/3 Cup chopped scallions
1 Tbsp finely minced garlic
2 Cup diced vine ripened tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/3 Cup chiffonade or chopped fresh Thai basil leaves (garnish when ready to eat)

Method:

1) In a medium size pan heat oil over high heat.
2) Add onion, scallions, and garlic, sauté for 1 minute or until onion is translucent.
3) Turn heat down to medium, add sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper, sauté for 1 minute.
4) Add salt, pepper, sugar, soy sauce and water, cook for 1 minute and mash 1/2 of the tomatoes with the flat part of the spatula.
5) Arrange all the herring and roe in the pan, turn heat to medium low, cover the pan and cook for 20-25 minutes.
6) Spoon the sauce over the herring and cook for 5 more minutes.
7) Add basil leaves and serve immediately.

arrange the herring and roe in the pan
spoon the sauce over herring and roe
add the basil on top and serve
*Herring and sardines are very similar in taste and texture. Both types of fish can be used in this recipe. The herring may be a bit bony for some people.  However, the bones are very small.  
*F/V (fishing vessel) Rimrack is a family owned fishing business located in beautiful Rye Harbor, NH. They have passion and take pride in harvesting the best and freshest seafood to sell directly to you. I know because I received these fish from them and you really cannot get them more fresh than this. One minute these fish were swimming and the next they are on your table! Thank you Rimrack for the amazingly fresh and tasty fish!! Please support and buy from your local fishermen.  
*If you are interested in buying from F/V Rimrack please visit their website:   http://www.rimrackfish.com. Rimrack staff is very friendly and helpful and they will happily assist you.
*You may peel and de-seed the tomatoes prior to cooking in this dish.

Herring Sandwich (serves 1-2)


I had two hot dog buns and a few herring left so I decided to make sandwiches.  This herring patties were inspired by my 92 y.o. Ah Ma (Teochew word for grandmother).  I spoke to her recently via Skype and she told me how she made her fish balls.  I have many fond memories of my grandmother both when I was living in Vietnam and each time I visited her as an adult.  Until recently she was still cooking.  When I was little I watched her make fish balls by hand, she bought whole fish from the local market, cleaned them, scraped the meat off and smashed it with the flat part of her cleaver and formed little balls and dropped them in simmering water until they float up. I was too lazy to make fish balls today so I decided to make a quick meal out of these. Since I was making patties I added black pepper and baking soda.  Ah Ma told me she made her fish balls using fish, egg white, a little salt, and a little garlic...and of course, there is no measurement!  Yet her fish balls tasted the same each time she made them--delicious!!  

Herring Sandwich (serves 1-2)


Ingredients:

5 1/2 oz of ground herring
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 of 1 egg white
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp canola oil for frying
Fresh herbs (shiso, mint, fish mint) (optional)
Chipotle mayo
2 hot dog buns, toasted

Method:

1) Fillet the fish and scrape off a thin layer of meat with a knife until all the meat is gone (what you have will look like paste).
2) Chop the garlic and fish paste further, use the flat part of a cleaver or large knife and smash until the meat and garlic are smooth and form a fine paste
OR take the filleted fish, garlic and grind them in a food processor to form a paste.
3) Add baking soda, egg, salt and pepper to fish paste and mix well.
4) form 2 long patties a little larger than the size of your hot dog buns (the patties will shrink a little once cooked).
5) Heat a medium size pan with oil over medium high heat.
6) Place the patties in the pan, fry each side 4-5 minutes or until golden.
7) Turn the patties over and fry for 4-5 more minutes or until golden.
8) Toast the buns in a toaster oven.
9) Spread a small amount of mayo on the side of each bun, add herbs on the side of the bun and place the patty in the middle of the bun.
10) Add more mayo on top and sprinkle a little pepper on top.

I took this photo of my Ah Ma
when she was 90 years young
(Vietnam, 2010)
*Instead of fresh herbs you can use lettuce or mixed greens instead. If you do not have herring then you can substitute with another fish, shrimp or even meat such as turkey or chicken.  Growing up my mother often made patties for us using a combination of chicken and shrimp and they were delicious.
*My Ah Ma told me many interesting and amazing stories from her 92+ years of life experience.  As a child her feet were not bound because she grew up poor.  She told me the little wealthier girls had their feet bound so small that they looked like this and she held up her fist for me to see.  Her father was a member the opera.  He named my grandmother after a musical instrument.  When I visit my Ah Ma she sometimes watches the Teochew opera.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Maine Lobster in Oyster Sauce (serves 4)


This is a delicious dish that my parents often prepared for our family.  This dish usually does not last very long!  My father prefers to make this with tender Chinese chives or garlic chives.  Either way it is finger licking good!!  

Maine Lobster in Oyster Sauce (serves 4)


Ingredients:

4 fresh Maine lobsters* (about 1 1/4 lb each), cleaned and cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 small white onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp finely grated ginger
4 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp ketchup
Hot chili pepper (optional)
1 bunch of scallions, Chinese chives, or garlic chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp room temperature or cold water

Method:

1) Clean the lobsters well in cold water.
2) Separate the heads (known as the lobster body) from the tails using a cleaver or a large knife.
3) Cut each head in half lengthwise (use a pair of scissors if you have soft shell lobsters, use a large knife or cleaver if hard shell), cut the tips (pincers) off the walking legs.
4) Remove the mouth, eyes and antennas.
5) Cut the tail in half lengthwise and remove the intestine, cut each half tail into 1-inch pieces.
6) Save the roe and part of the tamale (liver) if interested.
7) Section each claw.
8) Heat oil in a large pan over high heat.
9) Add onion and cook for 1 minute or until onion is translucent.
10) Add garlic and ginger and stir for about 1 minute.
11) Add lobster and cook for 15-18 minutes, the lobster shells will turn pink and the meat will turn opaque when cooked.
12) Stir in oyster sauce, sugar, ketchup and chili pepper and cook for 1 minute.
13) Add scallions or chives and cook for 1 minute.
14) Remove the lobster and place them on a large platter or plate and reserve the juice in the pan.
15) Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until well blended and add this to the pan and stir for 1 minute.
16) Drizzle the sauce over the lobster and serve with rice.

my mother holding up Maine lobsters
(Maine, 2011)
cut the lobster tail in half using
a pair of scissors if the shell is soft
use a heavy large knife or a cleaver
to cut the harder shell in half
cut the each tail in half as shown
cut each half of the tail into
manageable bite size
(about 1 to 2-inch pieces)
the lobster pieces should
look like these
discard or use the lobster body
(aka head),
remove the antenna,
cut each body in half
once the body is cut in half,
cut the tip of each walking legs
(they look like little pincers)
my mother tells me she does this so the
sweet juice
will come out when cooking
cut off the tip (about 1-inch) off the
body this will remove the eyes,
antennae and antennules
the lobsters are all cut up and
ready to be cooked
*The soft shell Maine lobsters tend to have more water in them and this can make your dish salty.  This dish should not be too salty or too sweet.  Adjust the amount of sugar as needed.  If you are afraid to cut up the lobsters while they are alive you may freeze them for 10 minutes and then cut them up.
*The best lobster meat comes from hard shell lobsters.
*AVOID eating any lobsters that have died.  The lobster meat deteriorates very rapidly once a lobster dies.  Freshly cooked lobster meat should be firm in texture.  Never eat any lobster meat that is soft and mushy in texture.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Maine Lobster and Cabbage Salad (serves 2-3)


When I visited my parents this weekend, my father gave me a huge bag of assorted fresh herbs he had picked from the garden, and my mother gave me some fresh from the dock lobster meat.  I had some left over cabbage in my kitchen that I needed to use up so I decided to make this dish and invited our neighbor, Inge (who is a flight attendant) over for a small lunch.  She came over with some Lebanese pastries that she brought home from her recent trip.  What a treat!  Thank you, Inge and my parents!!

Maine Lobster and Cabbage Salad (serves 2-3)


Ingredients:

1 lb cabbage, cored and finely shredded
2 C cooked Maine lobster meat, cut in bite size
1 bunch of mint leaves and purple shiso leaves, chiffonade
Fresh Roasted Peanuts, roughly chopped or crushed (optional)
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce to taste

Method:

1) Arrange the cabbage, lobster meat, mint, shiso and roasted peanuts in a large plate or platter.
2) When ready to eat scoop out a portion onto an individual plate and drizzle with the dipping sauce to taste.
3) Mix the salad well before eating.


mix the salad and eat!
shiso I
shiso II
*If you have someone in your party with a peanut allergy you can omit it or put some on the side for those who can eat it.  Also use as much or as little herbs as you prefer.  I love to eat fresh herbs and I tend to overdose on them!  
*The shiso herbs come in purple and green.  They are very easy to grow.  The Japanese restaurants often use the green shiso leaves for garnish.

Durian Crème Brûlée (makes 12 ramekins)


Mei Sum makes one of the best Vietnamese sandwiches in Boston Chinatown, my husband and  I frequently drop in  for sandwiches.  Recently we learned that the shop also sells bags of prepared durian.  The Chinese women who work there also speak Vietnamese, and told me that the durian is very good.  Yes, all good sales people say this but it's really true!  Their durian is excellent!  I bought two 
1-lb bags to try.  I decided to make durian crème brûlée and the result is creamy and fabulous!  If you like durian then you will surely enjoy eating these.  I don't think you will find this serving in any restaurant!

Durian Crème Brûlée (makes 12 ramekins) 

Ingredients:

1 quart of heavy cream
9 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp white sugar
6 oz durian fruit
3 Tbsp turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
4 C water

Method:

1) In a medium metal or glass bowl, whisk egg yolks and white sugar lightly together, set aside.
2) Heat the cream in a medium pot over medium high heat until just boiling, turn heat down to a simmer, stir occasionally for 5 minutes.
3) Preheat the oven to bake at 325 degrees F.
4) Boil a small kettle with water (for the water bath).
5) Temper the cream one ladle at a time to the bowl with egg yolks and sugar while constantly whisking the contents.
6) In a blender, add durian with 3 cups of the tempered cream-egg-sugar mixture, blend well.
7) Pour the blended mixture back into the bowl and whisk the mixture well.
8) Place the ramekins in a casserole dish, pour each ramekin with the mixture.
9) Place the casserole dish in the oven, add hot water to the casserole dish, avoid pouring hot water inside the ramekins or injuring yourself.
10) Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.
11) Remove each ramekin carefully and allow them to cool completely.
12) Wrap each ramekin in plastic and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight (until the crème brûlée is set).
13) When ready to eat sprinkle the turbinado sugar into the ramekins (according to your taste) and blow torch the top to caramelize the sugar.

separate egg yolks from
the egg white
pour the cream into
the ramekins  
these are ready to be baked in the
hot water bath
(best to put half of these ramekins
in to bake to prevent uneven baking
or use 2 ovens if you have available)
baked ramekins
(remove them from the
oven and let cool)
 sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top
(add as little or as much as you prefer,
I like mine with a little to no sugar)
burn the sugar with a blow torch
durian fruits (Thailand, 2007)
*In Asia durian is known to be the king of fruits.  It has a very tough protective spike covered shell, if one would happen to fall on you, it may cause some very serious head trauma!  My favorite memory of durian is that some years back my husband and I took our rental 100 cc motorcycle up the mountains in the center of Koh Samui island (Thailand) and we came across a huge durian plantation.  We purchased a durian from the farmer and he opened up the fruit for us and we sat on top of the mountain eating this amazing fresh fruit while watching the setting sun.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stuffed Tomatoes with Dulse and Chinese Vermicelli (serves 3-4)




What do you do when you have too many tomatoes from the garden?  Here is a stuffed tomato recipe that is popular in my family.  We all love them and everyone of us has a different recipe for them.  I make a different version each time I make them.  Here I added dulse (sea vegetable) to give a nice flavor of the ocean. My husband loves these stuffed tomatoes.  Inge, my next door neighbor enjoyed these as well!  I want to thank our family friends, Cô Vân and her husband for these sweet tomatoes from their bounty garden!

Stuffed Tomatoes with Dulse and Chinese Vermicelli (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground pork
6 medium tomatoes, cut in half, scoop out the inside, discard seeds and reserve
1 1/2 lbs chopped tomatoes (including the scooped out parts of the 6 medium tomatoes)
3 1/4 oz Chinese vermicelli, soaked in hot water until softened, cut into 2-3 inch lengths
3/8 oz chopped scallions plus 1/8 oz
3/4 oz lightly packed dried dulse, shredded into 0.5 to 1-inch pieces
1 egg white
1 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 tsp plus 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp cornstarch mix in 1 T cold water

Method:

1) In a medium size bowl, mix together pork, Chinese vermicelli, 3/8 oz scallions, dulse, egg white, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, mirin, 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, and soy sauce.
2) Stuff each of the 12 tomato halves with the stuffing.
3) Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
4) Add stuffed tomatoes (meat facing down) onto the pan, cover pan 3/4 of the way to prevent oil from spattering, cook for 4 minutes.
5) Flip the tomatoes over, cover pan 3/4 of the way, cook the other side for 4 minutes.
6) Flip the tomatoes over onto the meat side, add the 1 1/2 lbs of chopped tomatoes and 1/8 oz scallions to the pan, cook for 20 minutes.
7) Stir in 2 tablespoons oyster sauce and cook for 1 minute.
8) Stir in cornstarch mixture in the pan and cook for 1 more minute.
9) Serve with rice.

making the stuffing
all stuffed up!
adding diced tomatoes and scallions
to make the sauce
cooking the sauce down further
thickening the sauce with cornstarch mixture
dried dulse
*Depending on the size of your tomatoes, if you have left over stuffing then you can form little meatballs and put them in the pan to cook!  Normally I would add fish sauce to this dish but I recently ran out.  I can already hear some of my friends asking me, "what kind of cook would run out of fish sauce?!!"  : D
*Chinese vermicelli is also called cellophane noodles, bean thread noodles or glass noodles. They are not the same as rice noodles.  
*To purchase dulse and other sea vegetables you may contact Mr. Larch Hanson at
http://www.theseaweedman.com