Huevos Rancheros …..Be EGGS-ellent

Huevos Rancheros

Brunch is my Spirit Animal.

In fact, if I had it my way, we would be allotted a few leisurely hours every day to create and enjoy brunch. Without a worry in the world….other than what delectable dishes we’d have and if there are enough mimosas….

Or Bloody Marys….

Who am I kidding–it’s your Brunch World…have both!

Huevos Rancheros

Sadly, with summer winding down, many of y’all with munchkins have either already sent them off to start a new school year or will be doing so shortly. And when that happens, daily brekkies become less elaborate and more about efficiency and time saving.

Heck–I totally get it.

I only have a fur-child and between getting her walked and my own act together before work, I can barely manage to guzzle down some coffee in the morning.

And thus, my brunch heart weeps.

Huevos Rancheros

So do yourself a favor….and your kiddos too!

Make them something a little special Monday morning to get them jumping out of bed….like Huevos Rancheros! Huevos Rancheros are easily one of my favorite dishes to have for brunch. Packed with flavor, various textures and all smothered with a beautiful runny fried egg.

Good lawd…I’m a sucker for eggs.

Wait–maybe runny eggs are my Spirit Animal?

Suddenly, EVERYTHING makes sense….

Huevos Rancheros

These Huevos Rancheros are the perfect addition to this month’s  Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen. Not only does it affirm my adoration for the remarkable egg but it is sure to have your loved ones waking up with a pep in their step.

The whole process from start to finish takes about 30 minutes since I use some short cuts like canned refried beans and store bought enchilada sauce for the Huevos Rancheros “sauce”. But if you precook the sausage and prep everything ahead of time, you can have these gorgeous Huevos Rancheros on the table in about 15 minutes. Not bad for breakfast “cooking” during the weekday.

Much thanks to our friends at Safest Choice™ and to learn more about them and their pasteurization process to eliminate salmonella, please click here.

Have an EGGS-ellent weekend!


Huevos Rancheros
Serves 2


½ cup sour cream
½ tablespoon Tapatío Hot Sauce or hot sauce of your choice
½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
8 ounces breakfast sausage
vegetable oil, divided
4 small corn or flour tortillas
2 large Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs
kosher salt
8 ounces refried beans, warmed
1 cup shredded Monterey jack or Mexican blend shredded cheese
8 ounces enchilada sauce, red or green, warmed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
¼ cup thinly sliced radishes
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
¼ cup pickled red onions, optional
½ small avocado, sliced
½ tablespoon gochugaru or other ground chili pepper
2 lime wedges

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, hot sauce, lime juice and garlic powder. Cover and refrigerate.

In a skillet, add the breakfast sausage and cook over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to crumble the sausage and break into small pieces. Cook the sausage until browned — transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Take a paper towel to wipe out the grease left from the sausage. Return the skillet to the stove over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Fry the tortillas in the oil until both sides are crispy and brown. Add more oil when needed. Drain the crispy tortillas on plates lined with paper towels. Set aside.

Take another paper towel to wipe out the majority of the oil left and place the skillet on the stove over medium-low heat. Crack 2 Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs in the skillet and fry until the center has set and the whites are opaque. Sprinkle each egg with salt. Transfer the fried eggs to a plate and keep warm.

Begin assembly. Place one crispy tortilla on a plate. Spread a thin layer of the warmed beans over the top. Sprinkle cheese over the beans and add a few spoons of the browned sausage over the top. Spoon some of the warmed enchilada sauce over the items and top with some tomato halves, radish slices and cilantro leaves. If you choose to, also add a few slices of pickled red onions.

Top the stack with another crispy tortillas and repeat the layering process. Once done, top the stack with a fried egg, avocado slices and drizzle some of the spiced sour cream over the mound. Top with cilantro and gochugaru (or other ground chili pepper) and serve with lime wedges.


*DISCLOSURE: As a brand ambassador for the Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen, I was compensated for the creation of this recipe and post. However, as always, all opinions are my own.*

B.L.E.A.T.S. Sandwiches


This week we’re giving one of my favorite ingredients some love.

Something so versatile, quick to prepare and that can send almost anything over the top.


The beloved Egg.


Pizza? Throw an egg on it…..

Pasta? Throw an egg on it…..

Sandwiches? Throw an egg on it…..

Salads? Throw an egg on it…..

Ramen Noodles? DEFINITELYThrow an egg on it…..


Eggs have that magical ability to bring almost anything it touches to the next level. When adding a poached or runny fried egg to a dish, it becomes something so decadently transcendent—unctuous, sinful, delicious.

All that with just an egg!


To close out National Sandwich Month and for my next contribution to Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen, I thought I would whip out a hearty and fun sandwich…. B.L.E.A.T.S.







Oh yes…I went there.


It all starts with an easy sriracha mayo I mix up to hold everything together or you can use any other spread that suits your fancy.

Wasabi mayo, pesto, garlic aioli, dijon mustard……

You get the gist….


Next comes the salmon that is simply seasoned with kosher salt and then pan seared until it’s crispy on the exterior but still moist and tender in the middle. I happened to have a large fillet here but if you can’t find one big piece, just grab a couple smaller fillets.

Then, I cracked a few Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs in the skillet and fried them until the edges were crisp and the yolks had just barely set.

I’m all about an ooey-gooey egg yolk… makes it seem a bit sinful—but don’t feel guilty. I sure as heck don’t.


Once that’s all done, everything gets layered in between some hamburger buns or rolls. It truly is a behemoth of a sandwich and incredibly messy to eat.

But so wonderfully worth it!

And if you can’t get a little messy at home while enjoying some B.L.E.A.T.S. then you’re just not living life.


Want to learn more about our friends from Safest Choice™? Then head on over here and while you’re at it, check out some more egg-a-licious recipes on their site!
B.L.E.A.T.S. (Bacon, Lettuce, Egg, Avocado, Tomato & Salmon) Sandwiches
Serves 4


½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
kosher salt
1 pound fillet salmon, skinned and deboned
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 large Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs
½ small lemon
1 small tomato, sliced
1 small avocado, sliced
8 strips cooked bacon
4 lettuce leaves
4 hamburger buns or rolls

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sriracha, sesame oil, garlic and 2-3 pinches of kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate the sriracha mayonnaise.

Liberally season the salmon fillet with salt on both sides. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the skillet. Carefully lay the salmon fillet into the skillet. Allow the salmon to sear, undisturbed, for about 4-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet. The salmon should be about ¾ cooked through. Gently flip the fillet and allow it to brown on the other side for another 2-3 minutes until the center is barely pink. Remove from the skillet and transfer to a large plate to rest.

Use paper towels to wipe the interior of the skillet. Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil over medium-low heat. Crack 2 Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs in the skillet and fry until the center has set and the whites are opaque. Sprinkle each egg with salt. Transfer the fried eggs to a plate and repeat with the remaining oil and eggs.

Squeeze the lemon over the rested salmon fillet and cut into four even pieces.

Assemble the sandwiches by spreading sriracha mayonnaise inside each of the hamburger buns/rolls. Top the bottom of each bun/roll with lettuce, avocado slices, tomato slices, bacon strips, salmon piece and then a fried egg. Place the top of each bun/roll on and serve.


*DISCLOSURE: As a brand ambassador for the Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen, I was compensated for the creation of this recipe and post. However, as always, all opinions are my own.*

Ahi Shōyu Pokē

Ahi Poke

Happy Aloha Friday, Folks!!!!

Seester brought it to my attention that I have yet to post a recipe for  my ahi pokē –well, any kind of pokē for that matter. Which is actually kind of surprising since I’m kind of a Pokē Monster….and no, that’s not my Pokémon name.

Just consider the delay a sign of my Island Time …….

But what better time than now as it is Aloha Friday and it’s almost pau hana!

Ahi Poke

First things first….

Hawaiian Pokē is pronounced POH-keh.

Rhymes with crochet.

And is not POH-kee because that’s just hokey.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Ahi Poke

Pokē is the Hawaiian take on a seafood “salad” usually consisting of raw seafood —though there are some variations with cooked proteins as well. While in Hawai’i, I eat it by the pounds…DAILY. And if you’re ever there and you don’t–well, you’re just missing out….big time. Particularly since the seafood is so darn fresh there and plentiful!

One of my fav thing to do while on the islands?

Grab a cooler filled with ice and run to the nearest Foodland or other local grocery store where there are Pokē Counters!  Rows and rows of fresh pokē of all different types that are so affordable—averaging $8-$12 per pound when I was last there. Once you’ve got your tubs of fresh pokē in your cooler with some Hawaiian Suns and adult beverages, plop yourself down at a nearby beach and Live A’loha.


Ahi Poke

Luckily for us, the love of pokē has finally caught on in the mainland as there’s been a surge of pokē shops springing up in SoCal for us to get our fix in.

But don’t fret if there’s not a pokē shop nearby because the standard ahi pokē is really easy to make at home as long as you know of a trusted fishmonger or have a grocery that has sashimi-grade fish on hand.

Ahi Poke

Ahi Pokē is often referenced as “ahi shōyu pokē” as it is flavored with Japanese soy sauce {shōyu}. There are many different variations but at minimum, it typically consist of ahishōyu, onions, sesame oil, and some type of seaweed. Many folks like to also add Hawaiian chili peppers and macadamia nuts, too.

The recipe below is my standard go-to but sometimes I’ll swap out the ahi for yellowtail and throw in some avocados for extra richness and gochugaru (Korean chili powder) for a kick. As with anything, you can add or omit to suit your fancy but be sure to use sashimi-grade fish. I also like to use a marinated akame (sea kelp) that I pick up in the refrigerated section of my local Japanese grocery store. But ogo (also known as ogoniri) can be a bit easier to find at Asian grocery stores (or online) as it’s often sold dried.
Ahi Poke

I tend to serve my pokē as an appetizer with noriten – seaweed tempura chips. But it’s equally as onolicious in sushi rolls or pokē bowls

But I warn you, this pokē is always a hit–even with the munchkins (ours inhale it!), so make a big batch!

A’lohas... <3


Ahi Shōyu Pokē 


1 pound sashimi-grade ahi
¼ cup finely minced shallots or Maui sweet onion
¼ cup chopped scallions
2 heaping tablespoons minced marinated arame or ogo
¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
2½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, more to taste
½ tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Using a very sharp knife, dice the ahi into 1/3 – ½ inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the shallots, scallions, arame, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Once chilled, stir the pokē and taste. Add additional sea salt and soy sauce as needed. Sprinkle the fish with toasted sesame seeds and serve.

For pokē bowls, divide the pokē into 2 portions and serve on top of bowls of steamed rice. Top bowls with additional items such as gari, avocado slices, tobiko, pickled cucumbers, and nori strips. For an appetizer, serve the pokē with tortilla chips or noriten chips.

Our Shellfish Boil and a Nguyễn Siblings Reunion

July 2015 Fam Din

There are 5 Nguyễn Siblings.

I know what you’re thinking…..

How can THAT much awesomeness exist in the world? Oh, but let me assure you…we’re real.

And although I’ve written this little blog for over 5 years now, I’m not sure if I have ever introduced each of my sibbies to you. Let’s break it down….

First up, we’ve got the eldest seester, N, who lives in Orange County. She’s a PT extraordinaire by day and expert bowler by night. N and her husband, C, have two daughters—my nieces Nina and Stephanie….and are the fur-parents to my pug niece, Princess Leia.


Next up, seestrah P who lives in the foodie land of San Francisco. P is a clinical pharmacist but in her spare time she enjoys hazing her family by making them hike up and down the hills of SF….for MILES and MILES! She is the mama bear to our newest little niece – Kaelani.


Next up, we have our brother V who resides in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. V is a hustlin’ entrepreneur by trade and a Jedi Master/random knowledge guru the other 16 hours of the day. He and his wife, L, have two little munchkins….my niece —Luna and nephew —Leonidas.

V also loves it when people misuse the word “literally”. I literally just fibbed…..he hates it.

Viet 2

Last up, we have seestrah T. T is an attorney in the LBC and is a retired 90’s hip-hop back up dancer…..ok fine–it was dance team but it’s practically the same. 80% of the time she follows a strict all-meat, all-vino, forget-the-carbs diet. She and her husband, R, also live in Orange County with their kids Maya and Lucas.


Why all of this background info now? Because for last month’s Family Dinner…. we were ALL here!!! Yup, all 5 Nguyễn sibs with their fams in N’s backyard eating up a storm. With everyone scattered around, this doesn’t happen very often–maybe once or twice a year. So it’s definitely a special time when it can occur.

We started it all off with how fam dins always begin….grocery shopping.

We crammed the five of us into one car (which hasn’t happened for nearly 20 years!) and headed down to Little Saigon to pick up the goods. We had intended to remake our N’awlins Seafood Boil we did a couple of years ago with tons of crawfish, clams, lobstahs, etc. But even though crawdads were plentiful the week before–they were NO WHERE to be seen that particular day.

Seriously….10 stops and no fresh crawfish. Boo :(

Nguyen Sibbies

So instead, we went with a standard Shellfish Boil theme.

And we had a little fun while picking up the groceries too.

July 2015 Fam Din

Shrimp, stone crabs, clams, locally made sausages, corn and taters.

Aren’t these clams lovely???

July 2015 Fam Din

And there were also lots and lots of mussels.

July 2015 Fam Din

So we put V and L to work cleaning the little buggers.

July 2015 Fam Din
And while they did that, C had some cuddle time with Leonidas who had just spent time in the pool with his cousins.

July 2015 Fam Din

Since it was Kaelani’s very first Family Dinner with us, we HAD to take tons of pictures with her. I mean, come on….look at that face. How could we not?

July 2015 Fam Din

This also happened to be the first weekend where all 7 little cousins were together.

And can I just say how difficult it is to get a picture where all 7 munchkins have their eyes open, aren’t squirming and are looking at the camera??

July 2015 Fam Din

This is the best one we got….and it only took 4.7396 trillion takes.

I counted.

July 2015 Fam Din

In between takes, Nina and Leo would break out in dance…..

July 2015 Fam Din

And Nini and Kaelani would be adorbs…..

July 2015 Fam Din

But after a long morning and early afternoon of shopping and prepping…it was time to get down to business. And yes, by business, I mean cocktails.

I pureed a huge watermelon with a bit of lemon and mint to make some fragrant watermelon juice for the kiddos. And then took a bunch of it to turn it into Summer Watermelon Sangria for the adults. LOTS of Summer Watermelon Sangria. 

July 2015 Fam Din

To prevent a h’angry crowd, I steamed up some of the fresh clams and Nina used them to make a few of these White Clam Pizzas for us to nosh on.

July 2015 Fam Din

And then N went to town and boiled up all the seafood for us.

SOOOO much seafood.

Yes, Friends….we got Seafood Wasted.

July 2015 Fam Din

And P loves it.

July 2015 Fam Din

Look at all that crab roe I schmeared on a baguette. Rich, decadent….perfect with a sprinkle of sea salt.

July 2015 Fam Din

After an hour of gluttonous shellfish consumption, we put the kids to work.

“Lucas and Luna–no dessert until all the dishes are done!!”

Just kidding….not kidding.

July 2015 Fam Din

For dessert, N whipped out two icebox pies. They’re quickly becoming our faves for the summer.

Here is her spiraled beauty — Peach Divinity Icebox Pie.

July 2015 Fam Din

And since there was a ton of us, she also made a Key-Lime Buttermilk Icebox Pie.

July 2015 Fam Din

We also celebrated all the July babies! N, P, bro-in-law R and Luna Bear. 

July 2015 Fam Din

With all of that sugar, the girls got a little silly…

July 2015 Fam Din

And good thing Luna was there to document it all.

Watch out Annie Leibovitz….

July 2015 Fam Din

And that folks, is how we do Family Dinner with all the sibs...Shellfish Boil style.


And I have to tell ya…as the youngest of the 5, it was sure nice to have all my older sibbies and their fam together again <3

July 2015 Fam Din

This Month’s Family Dinner Menu

Cocktails: Summer Watermelon Sangria
Appetizers: White Clam Pizza
Entrees: Shellfish Boil
Dessert: Peach Divinity Icebox Pie and Key Lime-Buttermilk Icebox Pie

Tropical Summer Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing

Tropical Summer Salad Main

When I used to live in San Jose, I used to go to a spot called the Sonoma Chicken Coop quite often. They had a pretty extensive menu with affordable prices…and the food was consistent. I used to always rotate between their Skillet Chicken Carbonara, Rotisserie Chickens and whatever specials they were offering for the day.

Yet, despite all of that goodness–what I miss the most is their Citrus Grove Salad. Essentially, it was a big ol’ plate of mixed greens, avocados, mangos, and various citrus fruits. But MAN—was it delicious! And there wasn’t even any meat!!! Which is a big deal for this carnivorous gal.

Sesame Dressing

Since I’m no longer in the Bay Area (and because I heard that many of their locations are now closed… #SadPanda), I like to make my own variation from time to time–especially when summer fruits are wonderfully sweet like they have been as of late.

I like to use whatever leafy greens I have on hand. I used baby spinach in the pics shown here but an arugula-kale mix would be lovely. I top the greens with slices of sweet mango, avocados cucumbers, kiwis, and pink grapefruit. In addition to all of that goodness, I add some goat cheese crumbles for a bit of richness and toasted macadamia nuts for a bit of crunch. Then the whole thing gets a drizzle of a Sesame-Ginger Dressing that I shake up in a mason jar.

Tropical Summer Salad

The end results in an incredibly bright and light dish that can be served as an appetizer or even a main course. But if you’re wanting something a tad heartier, some grilled prawns, chicken, or grilled fish on top of the salad would really send things to the next level.

With that friends…Have a wonderful week and enjoy the last few weeks of summer!


Tropical Summer Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing
Serves 2


1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, roughly crushed
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1 garlic clove, finely minced
½ inch knob ginger, finely grated
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey or agave
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 pinches red pepper flakes
2 pinches black pepper, plus more to plate
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
5 cups greens (spinach, arugula, romaine, kale etc.)
½ small ripe mango, peeled and sliced
½ small pink grapefruit, “supremed”
1 small kiwi, peeled and sliced
3 inch piece of cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 small avocado, peeled and sliced
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup toasted macadamia nuts

Prepare the dressing. In a jar, add the sesame seeds, shallots, garlic, ginger, mustard, honey, vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes, pepper and salt. Secure the lid tightly on the jar and shake vigorously for a minute until the items have combined and emulsified. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

Divide the greens between two large plates. Top each plate with the mangos, grapefruit supremes, kiwis, cucumbers, avocados, goat cheese and nuts. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the Sesame-Ginger Dressing over each plate and serve.

Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad

June 2015 Family Dinner: Watermelon-Feta Salad

Y’all know what today is?

National Watermelon Day!

I swear–I can’t make this stuff up. My Hallmark calendar on the wall says it is— so it must be true.  And since I’m all about celebrating holidays, I wanted to share this delectable and light little number with you…

Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad.

June 2015 Family Dinner: Watermelon-Feta Salad

This type of salad appears to be all the rage this summer as I’ve seen various renditions all over the place. And how could it not be?

Peppery arugula leaves mixed with sweet watermelon cubes and piquant flavors of feta cheese. When we made this for our June’s Sunday Family Dinner, I opted to dress the greens with a Mint-Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette but it would also pair nicely with a thick balsamic reduction and extra virgin olive oil.

Need a couple other ways you could celebrate National Watermelon Day?

How about toasting the day with these bright Watermelon Soju-tinis? They are the perfect cocktail for warm summer nights.

Watermelon Soju-tinis

Want something booze-free? Then these Watermelon-Basil Aguas Frescas would be fantastic!

And if you’re looking for extra points, freeze some of it to make popsicles for your munchkins. Bright, refreshing, and you know exactly what’s in it.

Watermelon Basil Aguas Frescas

And with that dear friends, have a wonderful week and have a delicious National Watermelon Day!


Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad
Serves 6


1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey or agave
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pinches black pepper, plus more to plate
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
5-6 cups baby arugula leaves, washed and thoroughly dried
¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
15-20 fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
10 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Prepare the vinaigrette. In a jar, add the shallots, mint, mustard, honey, vinegar, olive oil, pepper and salt. Secure the lid tightly on the jar and shake vigorously for a minute until the items have combined and emulsified. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.

Place the arugula, red onions and torn mint leaves in a large bowl. Drizzle a few spoons of the vinaigrette over the greens and toss well. Try not to overdress the greens as it will wilt and become too soggy. Plate the dressed greens on a large platter. Top with the watermelon cubes and feta cheese. Sprinkle the platter with additional black pepper and serve.

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

We have been non-stop grilling this summer and it has been fantastic!!!

Burgers (all types!), skewers, seafood, ribs, veggies……

And with this crazy heat and humidity we’ve been having these past few weeks it’s been the perfect way to escape the hot kitchen.

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

Most of our BBQs have been in the backyard so I’ve been sorely missing out on all of the summertime beach and park picnics. Delish sammies, salads, and fried chicken. SOOOO GOOD!

But if you’re anything like me, I often can’t decide what I want to make to bring for picnics. I strive to fix up dishes that are a bit out of the norm but still delish at room temperature. And since they’re outdoor events, I try to think of items that don’t have ingredients that will spoil easily.

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

Thank goodness that onigiris and seaweed rice rolls are ALWAYS a hit when I bring them out. Onigiris (also often referred to as musubis) are a Japanese treat consisting of sticky rice shaped into balls or triangles and wrapped in toasted seaweed. They often are filled with seafood, pickled veggies or meat.

What’s my favorite onigiri? SPAM MUSUBIS!!!!!

Yes, the all-caps were a must.

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

As for seaweed rice rolls — think of sushi maki rolls. But, if you opt to make them for outdoor events or if you don’t plan on serving them right away, I’d recommend staying clear of filling them with raw seafood. Korean style seaweed rice rolls, Kimbap, are perfect because of it.

Kim = Seaweed

Bap =  Rice

Ever since I was first introduced to kimbap in elementary by my Korean friends, I have been inhaling these little buggers like crazy. There are so many variations but the standard filling usually consists of bulgogi (or seasoned protein of your choice), shredded carrots, cooked spinach, strips of cooked eggs and danmuji (pickled daikon). However, you can really use just about anything you have in your fridge. I often swap out the daikon for cucumbers and use leftover meat I may have such as grilled chicken, shrimp or imitation crab.

The other distinct difference between kimbap and Japanese maki is the rice. Normally, kimbap will only have sesame oil seasoned rice whereas Japanese sushi rice will have sake, rice wine vinegar and some sugar. But since I like the flavor, I use a combo of sesame oil and rice wine vinegar for my kimbap.

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

So for my latest contribution to the  Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen I thought I would share with you a basic version of Kimbap. Once you get all the pieces together, assembly takes barely any time at all. And since you don’t have to serve it right away, you can make it the morning of a picnic or outing and have it on hand whenever you’re ready for it.

I’ve also included my recipe for the bulgogi marinade below but feel free to use a store bought marinade as there are TONS of great ones out there as well. However, keep in mind one note about the preparation of the eggs or “omelet”. Cook the eggs low and slow so that it doesn’t brown and retains its bright yellow color.

Much thanks to our friends at Safest Choice™ and to learn more about them and their pasteurization process to eliminate salmonella, please click here.



Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls
Makes 4 rolls


½ cup bulgogi marinade, homemade* or store bought
¼ pound thinly sliced ribeye beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
3 large Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs, beaten
2 cups cooked short grain-sticky rice, heated
½ tablespoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
4 toasted seaweed sheets
½ cup finely julienned carrots
½ cup danmuji – Korean pickled daikon (or cucumbers), cut into long strips
½ cup blanched spinach

In a small bowl, mix the bulgogi marinade and beef together. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a small nonstick skillet with ½ tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-low. Pour in the beaten eggs and turn down the heat to low. Cook the eggs until they have just set on top and you see tiny bubbles forming over the surface. Carefully flip over the “omelet”. Allow the eggs to cook for an additional minute and slide the omelet onto a cutting board. Cut the omelet into long strips approximately ½ inch wide. Set aside.

Use a damp paper towel and wipe the interior of the nonstick skillet. Heat the remaining vegetable oil over medium high. Add the marinated beef to the skillet and stir-fry until the meat has browned and cooked through. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine the rice with the sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.

Place one piece of toasted seaweed (shiny side down) on a bamboo sushi mat or piece of parchment paper. Dip your hands into a bowl of water (to help keep the rice from sticking). Spread and press ¼ of the rice mixture into an even, thin layer on top of the seaweed. You’ll want to leave about 2 inches from the top and bottom of the seaweed sheet uncovered.

Place ¼ of the beef, eggs, carrots, daikon, and spinach horizontally along the center of the rice. Hold the bottom of the bamboo mat (or parchment), and use an upwards motion to roll the kimbap. As you’re rolling, you’ll want to gently squeeze the kimbap to ensure that it’s firmly sealed and enclosed into the shape of a log. Unroll the bamboo mat (or parchment) and set the rolled kimbap aside. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.

Using a sharp knife, cut each roll into ½ inch pieces. You may need to wipe down the knife periodically as the rice can cause the blade to become sticky. Serve the kimbap at room temperature.

*To make your own bulgogi marinade, add the following ingredients into a food processor/blender and puree. Makes approximately 1 cup.

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 tablespoon mirin
juice of one small orange
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper powder)
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon brown sugar
½ small Asian pear, quartered
2 large garlic cloves
1 inch piece fresh ginger
2 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces


*DISCLOSURE: As a brand ambassador for the Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen, I was compensated for the creation of this recipe and post. However, as always, all opinions are my own.*