Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Pancake is always a popular weekend breakfast choice in our house.  And the top pancake choice is of course, blueberry!  Every summer we go to blueberry farm and pick buckets of blueberries.  After making blueberry jam, cakes and other delighted desserts, I pack extra blueberries in zip-loc bags and store them in freezer so that they last through winter until the next summer comes.

We always do the pancakes DIY style.  A large griddle is set on the breakfast table, with pancake batter, toppings, jam, honey or syrup and spatulas on the side.  Both of us get to cook our own pancakes the way we like! O(∩_∩)O~


Pancake ingredients:

1 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 to 2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon cooking oil

Blueberry sauce ingredients:

2 cups of frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (use more if you have a sweet tooth)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon corn starch


First we prepare blueberry sauce.

In a small soup pot, add blueberries, lemon juice, brown sugar and water.  Heat over high heat until the mixture comes to boil.  Reduce the heat to medium or medium low.  Cook for another 7 to 9 minutes until the sauce can thinly coat the back of a wooden spoon. 

Whisk together the corn starch and 2 to 3 teaspoons water. Add to the blueberry sauce while whisking. Cook for another minute.  Remove from heat.

I like my blueberry sauce a little thin and runny so that it can be poured over the pancakes like syrup.

Now, we can get started with the pancake batter.

Shift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.

In a medium bowl, add eggs, buttermilk and oil.  Whisk together.

Add shifted flour to the egg milk mixture.  Whisk just until the dry flour is gone.  Don’t over mix because the more you whisk, the more gluten will form, and the chewier your pancakes will get.

Heat the electronic griddle to 350. 

Add batter.  We are using a non-stick griddle so I skip oil spray.  If you use a cast iron griddle or stainless steel pan, oil spray will be a life saver! O(∩_∩)O~ 

Let them cook on one side until you see a lot of bubbles, flip the pancakes.  It takes about more or less than one minute.

Both sides are golden brown.  That how you know they are ready.

Top with blueberry sauce.

Ok, a lot of blueberry sauce….O(∩_∩)O~

Time to enjoy!

Korean Style Mini Sweet Rice Cakes

We love Korean style sweet rice cakes.  If you have never had any kind of sweet rice cakes before, it might be a little hard to explain how great they taste like.  They are mostly dense, al dente and [possibly a little bit chewy, in a good way of course.  Asian people are so found of sweet rice that we use it in all kinds of savory and sweet dishes.  Sweet rice flour and rice four, as well as wheat flours are my pantry staples.

This recipe is adapted from xiachufang.com.  Many thanks to the original author!


300 g sweet rice flour
200 g rice flour
340 to 350 g boiling water


In a large bowl, add both sweet rice flour and rice flour.  Gradually add water while whisking. 

Knead by hand until it forms smooth dough.  Be careful because the dough may be very hot.

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Steam the sweet rice dough on medium heat for 50 to 60 minutes. 

Or cover the bowl with microwave safe lid and microwave on high for 6 to 8 minutes in total.  Heat for 2 minutes first; take it out; knead with a wooden spoon; cover; and send it back to heat for another 2 minutes.  Repeat the process until the whole dough becomes very hot and semi-transparent.

For the next step, please proceed with caution, because the dough is very hot at this point.  Knead the dough on wooden board until it becomes smooth and non-sticky.  The tricky part is that you cannot dust the board or dough with extra flour.  The constant kneading is very important in developing sweet rice cakes’ unique texture.

If you don’t want to do it by hand, go with a stand mixer or bread machine.

I use a bread machine with dual kneading blades.  What a life saver!   It kneads the sweet rice dough for 30 to 40 minutes.  It is very smooth and not sticky at all.

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With a dough scraper / cutter, divide the sweet rice dough into 6 to 8 equal pieces.  Roll each of them into a small log shape, about 1/4 inch in diameter.

Cut them into one and a half long pieces.

You can eat them right away, with any of your favorite dipping sauce. 

Pack any extra sweet rice cakes in a zip-loc bag; and store in fridge or freezer.

Or, you can serve them in Asian style soup.  Blanch them in the soup and serve immediately.  Don’t cook them too long; otherwise they will break apart.  Ok, that is an issue I need to work on in the future about how to make them stay al dente when cooked in soup.

Another one of my favorite ways to enjoy sweet rice cakes is to toast them and then serve with brown sugar sauce.  Continue to read the full recipe here.

Sweet Rice Porridge with Beans, Nuts and Dried Fruits

中文: 八宝粥

Sweet rice porridge with beans, nuts and dried fruits is a traditional dish to have on the 8th day of the last lunar month of the year in China.  It is made with sweet rice, different kinds of beans and dried fruits to celebrate the end of the year and also a prayer for a better, more prosperous new year.  

The reason I like it is simple and strait forward: it tastes very good! O(∩_∩)O~    The porridge is usually simmered for a really long time before serving.  So everything is smooth and well blended.  The different sweet flavors and fragrances from dried fruits give the porridge a deep and rich flavor. 

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What people put into the porridge differs from area to area.  The usual ingredients are but not limited to sweet rice, peanuts, lotus seeds, dried jujubes, dried goji berries, dried longan fruits, red beans, pearl barley, crushed corns, dried chestnuts and some other nuts. 

You know it has to be tasty just by looking at all the amazing ingredients, right?

I live in a small Michigan town where it is very hard to find all the usual ingredients needed for the porridge.  So I improvise a little bit when making this traditional porridge dish.  It turns out fantastic! 


2 tablespoons sweet rice
1 tablespoon pearl barley
1 tablespoon brown rice
1 teaspoon red beans
1 teaspoon split green pea
1 teaspoon buckle wheat
2 tablespoons lima beans
1 teaspoon quinoa
1 teaspoon lentils
1 tablespoon chickpeas
1 teaspoon millet
1 tablespoon peanuts
3 tablespoons dried longan fruits
6 to 8 dried jujubes
1 small piece white wood fungus
6 to 8 tablespoons rock candy/sugar (use more if you have a sweet tooth)
6 to 7 cups of water

It is feeds 2 to 3 persons.  I usually mix a large batch and store in the refrigerator.  So I can save a lot of time measuring and mixing all the ingredients. 

Lotus seeds are a very widely used and important ingredient in Asian dessert.  When cooked, they have a very mild nutty flavor and a similar texture to cooked lima beans.

Rock candy/sugar is made from cane sugar.  It is also widely used in Asian desserts and cooking.  It tastes pretty much just like the regular cane sugar.

Dried jujubes and white wood fugus.  Don’t be intimidated by the names.  They both are actually quite tasty.  Dried jujubes have a mild nutty flavor.  They are sweet, nutritious and high in fiber.  They are added to soups and porridge for colors and flavors.

White wood fugus can make the soup or porridge silky and more smooth. It is very mild flavor.  It is usually added to soup or porridge to improve the texture.  It is said that wood fugus contains high value in nutrition. 

Dried longan fruits.  They are pretty much only available in Asian grocery stores.  Fresh longan fruits are white, juicy and sweet.  Dried longan fruits have a mild nutty fruity sweet flavor.  They become yellow or light brown when dried.

Ok, ingredients are complicated; but the cooking process is quite simple.  Or should I say I make it very simple? O(∩_∩)O~

I usually make the porridge for breakfast.  The night before, I rinse all the ingredients once or twice.   In a small Crockpot/ slow cooker, add all the ingredients but dried jujubes, dried longan fruits and rock candy/ sugar; and then add water.  Set the slow cooker to high; stir everything together with a wooden spoon.  Cover and then go to bed.

The next morning, add dried jujubes, dried longan fruits and rock candy/ sugar.  Stir again with a wooden spoon.  Cover and cook for another hour.

Now it is time to enjoy!   I like to serve it immediately.  The hot porridge will definitely warm up your stomach and the whole body. 

Fried Rice with Ham and Shrimp

Fried rice is such a traditional Chinese dish that there are so many variations and so many different ways to cook it.  Two principles remain the same no matter whichever version of fried rice you are making.  One, fried rice is the best when made with day old cooked rice.  Two, fried rice always comes with eggs in it.

As for the rest, there is no rule.  Sky is the limit.  You can add whatever ingredients you like to the rice as long as they go well with cooked rice.  Eggs and chopped green onion are the two must have ingredients in my version of fried rice.

And today I am making fried rice with ham and shrimp.


1 bowl of cooked rice (about 2 cups)
3 large eggs
1 to 2 egg yolks (optional)
1 cup diced ham
12 to 14 jumbo shrimps
2/3 cup frozen or fresh green peas
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice cooking wine
1/2  to 1 teaspoon soy sauce
chopped green onion
salt to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil


Like I mentioned earlier, fried rice is the best when made with day old cooked rice.  Refrigerate 1 bowl (about 2 cups) of cooked rice overnight.  10 minutes before making the fried rice, remove it from refrigerator.  With a wood spoon or spatula, break apart any large clumps of rice.

In a bowl, add eggs, yolk and a pinch of salt.  Whisk them together with a wooden spoon or chopsticks.

Microwave the frozen or fresh green peas on high for 1 to 2 minutes.  Drain any extra juice or water.

Blanch the shrimp in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from heat; peel; and then cut each shrimp into 3 or 4 pieces.

Heat a wok over high heat.  Add oil.  Swirl the wok a little bit so that the oil can grease the whole wok. 

Add egg mixture to the wok.  The high heat will cook the egg very fast.  But you need to act faster.  Add rice to the wok before the eggs are fully cooked.  Stir fry the rice with a spatula and try to gently break apart any clumps of rice.

When the rice and eggs are cooked, add shrimps, salt, sugar, rice cooking wine and soy sauce.

Stir fry until everything comes together.  Add diced ham, green peas and chopped green onions.  Stir fry for another couple minutes.

Serve immediately.

You can eat it with a spoon or chopsticks. (∩_∩)O~

Teriyaki tuna rolls

Sometime when I crave for sushi but too lazy to go out, I make these teriyaki tuna rolls.  They are easy and fast to make, but still very tasty! O(∩_∩)O~


1bowl of freshly cooked rice
1 ripe avocado
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound sashimi grade tuna
3 to 4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds
5 to 6 dried seaweed sheets
wasabi paste
soy sauce



Defrost the tuna in refrigerator.  Cut it into small long strips, about the size of little fingers.

Peel the avocado and remove its core.  Cut it into thick slices.   Add rice vinegar and sugar.  Toss gently until they are well combined.

Place one seaweed sheet on the bamboo sushi mat.  Evenly spread a handful of freshly cooked rice over the seaweed sheet.  Add tuna strips to a end; spoon teriyaki sauce over tuna; sprinkle with white toasted sesame seeds and line up with avocado slices.

Roll it up from one end as tightly as you can.

With a sharp knife, cut it into 8 equal pieces.

Repeat the process until all the tuna and rice is finished.

Serve with soy sauce and wasabi paste. Enjoy!