Monday, October 29, 2012

Flavour Meets Art at Kadoya Japanese Restaurant

Kadoya Team!
There are hundreds of Japanese restaurants in Vancouver, from the corner sushi bars to elegant and upscale dining rooms, but what really distinguishes one from the other? Is it the decor, the prices, the location, the selection of sushi?
Watch how they make sushi rolls at Kadoya

Impressive fancy roll feast!
At Kadoya Japanese Restaurant on Davie Street, owner Lin Xiao takes the world of sushi to a whole new level by infusing colours, textures and flavours never before touched by chopsticks. 

Lin has been running Kadoya since 2005 and injects creativity into the menu by making each sushi roll a piece of art. By introducing a new roll every two to three months, he incorporates seasonal and local ingredients to keep customers coming back. He recently added a number of vegetarian sushi choices and brown rice options to cater to his health conscious clientele. 

Sakura roll
The rolls are impressive, presented on large white plates and gracefully drizzled with one or more of Lin's top secret sauces. Lin's signature Sakura roll is not your average spicy tuna roll. The fiery seasonings tingle the tongue while the generous cuts of soft and tender tuna cool the bite. But like all rolls at Kadoya, there is a surprise. Lin adds crunch with tempura bits and sesame seeds mixed into the tuna. He then tops his creation with chopped scallops, tobiko (salmon roe) and unagi sauce for sweetness.
Spider roll
If you're feeling adventurous and love crab, then the spider roll is a must! Its size and presentation alone are enough to intimidate even the most noble ninja. Jam packed with creamy crab meat, sweet yam and topped with generous pieces of golden soft shell crab tempura, the spider roll is guaranteed to whet your appetite when it arrives to the table. 
Canada roll
The Canada roll is perfect if you have a voracity of a sumo wrestler. It's an inventive fusion of traditional rice and seaweed with strips of canadian bacon and fresh avocado. A blanket of tuna tempura coat the roll while a sprinkling of crispy bacon bits, sweet mayonaise and ketchup sauces complete this work of art.
Tuna sashimi with Lin's special sauce
Kadoya's fast service, large portions and bold fusion styling continue to be one of my favourite restaurants and a must-visit for any culinary enthusiast who enjoys adventurous cuisine. Visit Kadoya Japanese Restaurant, where flavour meets art.

Candice's recommendations:
Sakura roll - $8.99; Spider roll - $9.99 & Canada roll - $8.99

Kadoya Japanese (Davie Village) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Soy Chicken Ginga & my new Ninja!!

My love and appreciation for the organizers of the International Food Bloggers Conference continue to grow when my brand new Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System arrived in the mail last week!! Yes, all IFBC attendees were gifted our very own Ninja, how amazing is that?! I know, I can't contain my excitement;)

The beauty of the Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System allows home cooks to use one appliance to meet most of your cooking needs: (1) fast one-pot meals, (2) steam infused roasting & baking and (3) serious slow cooking.

To inaugurate my Ninja, I decided to try the "serious slow cooking" method with one of my favourite dishes, Soy-Ginger Chicken with brown rice (made on the stove top). This recipe is so simple! Basically dump all ingredients into one pot, leave for 5 hours, then feast on tender, juicy chicken, brimming with tonnes of flavour from the soy-ginger stew.

When I tested the Soy-Ginger Chicken recipe on my Ninja, I was pleasantly surprised that it only took almost half the time! Good thing I was home;)  The chicken was moist, the carrots still had a soft bite and the soy-ginger sauce tasted like it was stewing all day.

Plus the Ninja cooking pot was light, making it easy to pour out the soy-ginger sauce, while the non-stick surface made clean up a breeze!!  They weren't kidding when they said the Ninja would mean making meals faster and with true convenience.

Thank you Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking Systems for introducing me to a more convenient and multi-functional kitchen tool. I can't wait to try the other Ninja cooking modes and will incorporate more Filipino recipes into the cooking pot, stay tuned!

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsly, chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches long), peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (1 cup packed)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 skinless chicken drumsticks and 4 thighs
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced in rounds
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds & brown rice for serving

1. In a slow cooker, mix together soy sauce, sugar, garlic, parsley, ginger, 1/2 cup scallions, vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper.

2. Add chicken and carrots; toss to coat. Cover, and cook on low until chicken is tender, about 5 hours. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard any fat from surface of cooking liquid.

3. In a glass measuring cup, whisk cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Ladle 1 cup cooking liquid into measuring cup; whisk to combine. Pour into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. With slow cooker turned off, stir in cornstarch mixture. 

4. Serve chicken with brown rice, and garnish with parsley sprigs & sesame seeds and remaining 1/2 cup scallions.

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food

International Food Blogger Conference 2013 SeattleAre you a food blogger? Then you must attend the 2013 International Food Blogging Conference to learn about exciting new kitchen products (like the Ninja), hone your craft in food writing & cooking, meet great friends and of course, eat lots of amazing food!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Candice & Bob Like Thai Food

What's in a name? That which we call Bob Likes Thai Food. It's a fun and unique take on a restaurant brand yet, you can't help but wonder the obvious, who's Bob? 

As we entered the playfully decorated restaurant adorned with children's artwork and larger than life-sized paintings of a fork and spoon, I looked around hoping to find Bob. 

Upon asking our waitress, I learned there sadly isn't a Bob. She said the owner, Tai Keattivanichvily, couldn't find the authentic Thai flavours from home when he moved to Vancouver 15 years ago. Leaving his career in animation, he opened his shop in 2011, recruited Thai cooks and they worked hard to replicate his favourite dishes. Also, he simply likes the name, Bob.

Roasted Duck Red Curry
We started with the roasted duck red curry, as recommended by the waitress, and it was the best of the dishes we tried. The meaty duck just melted in your mouth and the sweet hints of fresh pineapple, lychee and cherry tomatoes helped to cut the richness of the coconut-based curry. 

Pad Thai
The well-executed Pad Thai had a nice sweetness from tamarind and thankfully not from ketchup, typically used in Western renditions of this dish. The gentle tang from the lime brought out the savoury flavours of the perfectly cooked noodles stir-fried with prawns, tofu, bean sprouts and crushed peanuts. 

Thai Ice-Tea
We accompanied our meal with some refreshingly sweet and creamy Thai ice-tea that went down way too fast!
Fried Banana Fingers with Ice-Cream
Despite being full from dinner, I imagined Bob wouldn't end a meal without dessert. So we opted for the deep fried bananas, a la mode. We managed to devour the tempura battered banana fingers, rich vanilla ice-cream and sweet blackberries. I even had to resist licking the plate when it was all done!

What matters is what something is, not what it's called. The Thai food is delicious and there is no mistaking that the dishes are authentic and reasonably priced. Bob Likes Thai Food, to be called by any other name wouldn't smell as sweet. 

Bob Likes Thai Food
3755 Main St                     &         1521 West Broadway Street
Vancouver, BC                              Vancouver, BC 

Lunch: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Dinner: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Candice's recommendations:
Roasted Duck Red Curry $13.50; Pad Thai $12; Thai Ice Tea $2.50; Deep Fried Finger Banana Ice-Cream $4.50

Bob Likes Thai Food on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 8, 2012

Buko (Young Coconut) Custard Pie

Coconut is known to be the "tree of life" because it's highly valued as a source of food and medicine. Coconuts provide a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk and oil that has fed and nourished the Filipino population for generations.

Fresh Young Coconut
Did you know: Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means "monkey face" because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy coconut resembles the head and face of a monkey. 

According to the Food & Agriculture of the UN, Philippines is the largest producer of coconuts and naturally the versatile fruit is used as medicine, decorations, clothing, construction materials, instruments, jewelry and food!

Did you know: Coconuts are classified as a fibrous one-seeded drup. A drupe is a fruit with a hard stone.
Young Coconut Meat
The young coconut meat, buko, is tender, creamy and juicy. The delicious, buko pie is one of the most famous desserts from Laguna, 35 miles south of Manila, PHI. Wrapped in a flaky crust and filled with custard made with buko and condensed milk, it's a treat worth making for all special occasions.


3 cups pastry flour
2 tbsp sugar
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, diced
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
 6- 8 tbsp (1/2 cup) ice water
1 egg whites

1) Place flour & sugar in a bowl and stir. Cut in butter, using finger tips or a food processor with a steel blade and pulse until mixture is crumbly and butter is the size of peas.
2) Sprinkle ice water until dough comes together. Dump dough onto a floured board and divide into 2 equal balls, flattened. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out one dough into 11" circle then place onto a 9" pie plate. Smooth the dough into the bottom and sides of pie plate.
4) Trim off excess around edges of pie plate. Prick bottom & sides with fork. Blind bake for 15 minutes. Let cool and brush with egg whites, set aside.

Frozen Young Coconut
Buko custard:
4 cups young coconut meat, 1" strips (frozen or fresh)
2 cups young coconut water, divided
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
egg wash (egg yolk & water)

Coconut Custard
1) In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut meat, 1 cup coconut water, evaporated milk, sugar and condensed milk. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often for about 8-10 minutes until mixture starts to simmer.
2) Stir in cornstarch with 1 cup coconut water to dissolve.

3) When mixture starts to boil, add cornstarch & coconut water, stirring quickly until mixture thickens. Will take about 5 minutes, then set aside.

Baked Buko Pie
1) Pour buko custard into the crust, smooth top.
2) Roll out the 2nd piece of dough into 11" circle. East on top of custard and pinch edges to seal crust.
3) Brush top of crust with egg wash.
4) Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
5) I like to let pie cool completely then at serve room temperature with ube ice-cream!!