Allison Day
Allison - Subscribe RSS Subscribe RSS
Son -

Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Red-Cooked Pork Belly

This weekend is the Lunar New Year! From the year of the monkey (a good bit of monkey business certainly did happen last year), we’re moving on to the year of the rooster.

In our family, the new year is the perfect excuse for a feast. Ever since the majority of the cooking responsibilities have been passed on to me, I’m always looking for fun new dishes to try in addition to our traditional standbys.

Since our users have shared so many recipes on Fridgg in the last few years, I thought it would be fun to see what our top Lunar/Chinese New Year posts are.

Every new year needs a countdown, right?


Our Lunar New Year feast often includes fish, and this steamed version with black bean sauce that Maggie from Omnivore’s Cookbook posted sounds so easy to make.


Our next post, also from Maggie (because Maggie is awesome and posts alllll the tasty Chinese recipes) is dumplings. Because really, who doesn’t like dumplings?


While fortune cookies might not be the most traditional New Year’s food, these homemade ones from What Charlotte Baked would make a fun addition to your New Year’s table, especially with some fun, personalized fortunes!


Also not-so-traditional, but these cheesy shrimp baked spring rolls would make a tasty appetizer!


Seriously, I wasn’t kidding when I said Maggie has all the Chinese recipes. Our sixth most popular post is another one from her – Chinese Walnut Cookies!


If you’re feeling ambitious, these duck pancakes – yep, another recipe from Maggie – would make an AMAZING addition to your New Year’s table.


Jen, from Use Real Butter, is another of our more prolific posters, who shares quite a few Asian recipes as well. These spicy Sichuan pork wontons would be an excellent addition to your New Year’s table.


If you’re looking for something simpler, this egg drop soup from Maggie is super easy to make, and uses ingredients you probably already have at home.


Our second most popular Lunar New Year post on Fridgg is one of my favorite things to make and eat for the Lunar New Year – egg tarts!


Drumroll please… our number one, very most popular Lunar New Year post on Fridgg is… red-cooked pork belly, from Cheryl of Black Girl Chef’s Whites!

Now, I can’t very well tell you that the pork belly is our best Lunar New Year recipe without trying it out myself, now could I?

(I mean, I could, but then I wouldn’t have had the perfect excuse to make it at home!)

Red-cooked pork belly

Despite possibly not actually getting pork belly…

(The Korean supermarket labeled the package “pork belly” but I don’t know… does that look right to you?)

Red-cooked pork belly

… and spending ten minutes staring at all the different soy sauces before giving up and just deciding to use the Kikkoman shoyu I have at home (which miiiight be why my pork belly isn’t exactly red?)…

Red-cooked pork belly

… and not realizing until I re-read the recipe several days later that, “Oh shoot! I totally forgot the cinnamon!”…

Red-cooked pork belly

… it turned out amazingly! So good. Falling apart, succulent, perfect over a bowl of white rice. (And, if I do say so myself, those yellow takuan pickles were a genius addition, they were wonderful with the pork belly.)

So good, I have pork belly on my shopping list just so I can make it again soon!

So good… you should definitely include this on your Lunar New Year menu!

Red-Cooked Pork Belly

Recipe from Black Girl Chef’s Whites.


  • 3 qt water
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 lbs pork belly

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients except for the pork belly.
  2. Bring the cooking sauce to a boil, and let cook for about five minutes.
  3. Add the pork belly, cover, and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Cook the pork belly for two to two and a half hours, until very tender.
  5. Remove the pork belly from the liquid, and slice to serve.
  6. Serve over white rice.
  7. Enjoy!

Egg Tarts

What is your one food that, if you see it on a menu, you’re definitely gonna order it? For me, it’s anything with bacon, potatoes… or bánh bèo. For Son – bún bò Huế, squid ink pasta, and… egg tarts!

We’ve gotten them at plenty of bakeries here, as well as on our trip to Hong Kong last year (which is coming soon to the blog!), but our favorites were the ones we got at Borough Market in London.

Unsurprisingly, after that trip Son decided that it would be awesome if I could make egg tarts at home. So the next year, for his family’s Lunar New Year celebration, I tried out this ridiculously easy recipe.

I like ridiculously easy recipes. I like them even better when they’re also ridiculously delicious. And this recipe is definitely both. Son LOVED them, and I got rave reviews from everyone who got to try them.

But silly me, I forgot to write down the exact measurements and method I used back when I first made them in 2015… so before posting this recipe, I knew I had to make them again. Just to be sure.

Oh darn what a sacrifice.


Egg Tarts

Recipe from Guai Shu Shu.


  • 1 package (around 450g) frozen store-bought puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/3 cup (75g) fresh milk
  • 1/4 cup (45g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150g) heavy cream
  • 1/2 tbsp (15g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Grease tart pans or muffin tins with vegetable oil or butter.
  3. Unroll the thawed puff pastry, and cut out rounds the size of your tins. Gently press the puff pastry into your tins, lightly stretching to fit if needed so it lines the entire tin. If you’d like, you can use this method to roll up the scraps and use them to make a few additional egg tarts.
  4. Mix the milk and sugar in a small bowl, and microwave until boiling (1-2 minutes on HIGH). Alternately, you can heat in a small pan on the stovetop, just until boiling.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, cornstarch, and egg yolks. Slowly pour the hot milk into the mixture, a little at a time, and whisk until incorporated.
  6. Pour the custard into the puff pastry shells. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and slightly browned around the edges. Let cool, top with powdered sugar if desired, and enjoy!

Vietnamese Whole Grilled Fish with Crispy Skin (Cá Nướng Da Giòn)

Vietnamese grilled catfish

The Lunar New Year is coming up soon, which means it’s an excellent time to post all the New Year’s recipes that I’ve accumulated photos for over the years… and never posted.


Vietnamese grilled catfish

This one comes from back in 2013. Really, it’s the same recipe I posted waaaaay back in 2009, except this time I made it with a whole, just-killed catfish… and have slightly better photos.

Vietnamese grilled catfish

We had the bright idea this time to head over to 99 Ranch and get a fresh catfish, and have them catch, kill, and gut it for us.

First of all, that took FOREVER. The lines there were insane.

Second of all, nobody tells you that even an hour later, once you’re home and ready to cook it… IT WILL STILL BE MOVING. EVEN AS YOU’RE CUTTING INTO IT.

A video posted by Allison Day (@sushiday) on

Yeah, I definitely got a huge case of the heebie jeebies when I grabbed it out of the bag and it moved.

Vietnamese grilled catfish spring roll

But I did it! And it was delicious. 😀

Vietnamese grilled catfish spring roll

Vietnamese Whole Grilled Fish with Crispy Skin (Cá Nướng Da Giòn)


  • 1 whole catfish, skin on
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • crushed peanuts
  • fried onions

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Make thin cuts diagonally along the fish, almost to the bone.
  3. Lay the fish flat on a sheet of foil.
  4. Rub the fish with the salt, then the sesame oil. Rub the fish with the garlic and onion powders.
  5. Thinly julienne the ginger, then lay on top of and underneath the fish.
  6. Wrap the fish in the foil, and make a few small holes in the top of the foil to allow steam to escape while cooking.
  7. Depending on the size of the fish, cook for half an hour to an hour. Keep an eye on the fish to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
  8. When the fish is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and carefully open the foil, taking care not to burn yourself. Heat the broiler.
  9. Pour the liquid that has pooled in the bottom of the foil into a bowl, and set aside.
  10. Mix the honey and lemon juice, and brush the top of the catfish with it.
  11. Put the fish under the broiler, just until the skin turns golden brown.
  12. Mix the green onions and vegetable oil with the drippings, and microwave for 10-20 seconds. Pour over the fish.
  13. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts and fried onions over the fish, and enjoy!
  14. We ate the fish in spring rolls with lettuce, vermicelli, cucumber, onion, Vietnamese herbs, and pickled carrots, but you can enjoy the fish by itself as well.

Roasted Carrot Soup With Dukkah Spice And Yogurt

Carrot Soup

Happy New Year!

Raise of hands, who’s making resolutions to eat better, exercise more, lose weight?

Well, lately I’ve got the exercise part down. (Easy – just find something that’s a ton of fun! 😉 )

Lose weight? Hahahaaaa…. these hips are quite stubborn, I’m afraid.

And eat better… well, I try that every month or so, but things (ahem, somebody’s got a sweet tooth) somehow always get in the way.

Dukkah Spice Mix

Don’t worry – I’m not one to suggest a juice cleanse (I’d probably kill somebody) or going carb-free (I tried that once… can you say, “hangry”?)

I don’t have the discipline to go on any of those fad diets. But what I can do is introduce more tasty, healthy things to my life.

This carrot soup is easy, good for you, and thanks to the dukkah, it’s pretty interestingly-flavored, too. No boring health food here!

Dukkah Spice Mix

Recipe from Bon Appetit’s December 2012 issue.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted, shelled raw natural pistachios
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 qt vegetable broth
  • low-fat plain Greek yogurt

Cooking Directions

  1. Toast pistachios in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about six minutes. Transfer to a small plate and let cool. Add sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and peppercorns to same skillet. Toast, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer spices to the plate with the nuts and let cool. Transfer nut and spice mixture and salt to a food processor or a mortar and pestle and coarsely grind.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the butter, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast until the carrots are tender and just beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Let the carrots cool slightly.
  3. Transfer the carrots to a blender. Add the vegetable broth. Blend mixture until soup is very smooth, 1-2 minutes. Pour the soup into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You can add a little water to the soup for a thinner consistency, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide hot soup among bowls. Spoon a dollop of yogurt on top of each bowl of soup. Sprinkle with the dukkah spice mixture.

Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)


“Peppahkaka!” my aunt exclaimed, when we showed up with these cookies.

“Peppahkaka!” my uncle gave me two thumbs up, when he arrived two hours later.


When, while cleaning out a house that has been well-lived in (and accumulating boxes) for multiple decades, you open a box and find a hand-written recipe in your grandmother’s writing… of course you need to find an opportunity to make it.

Half a year later, this recipe was first in line on my holiday baking list. I gathered the ingredients, softened the butter (which is surprisingly difficult in a house that tends to stay colder than 60°F all winter), and started mixing.

It’s funny how strong scent memories can be. Based on the name, I hadn’t had any recollection of ever eating these cookies. But as I stuck my hands in the bowl, kneading the stiff cookie dough together, the scent wafting up brought me back to my childhood.

Pepparkakor cutouts

The best feeling ever is when someone goes back for seconds (and thirds!) of something I’ve cooked or baked. (And, not to worry – I’ve had plenty of failures over the years, which make the successes that much sweeter!)

Over the course of the last two days, my aunts, uncle, and both grandparents have been sneaking cookies left and right! They’ve told me that these taste just like how Grandma used to make them. A Christmas success!

Pepparakakor recipe

Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)

Makes ~25 dozen small (1″) cookies, or fewer larger cookies


  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp light molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • juice and zest of one orange

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Sift the flour with the baking soda and spices.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar. Mix in the molasses and egg. Add dry ingredients, then mix until blended. (You may need to use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or if you’re like me, just use your hands.)
  4. Turn onto lightly floured board (or sandwich between two sheets of parchment paper). Roll as thin as possible, then use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.
  5. Bake 7 – 10 minutes, or until slightly browned around the edges.
  6. Enjoy!