Korean Style Zucchini

Gochujang has become my new best friend. If you are not familiar with gochujan, it is essentially a Korean condiment that is a bit spicy, lightly fermented, and one that just has this sweet and savory taste that it just gets highly addicting. Gochujang is commonly used in Korean recipes such as bibimbap and soups, and the thing I love about it is that it has just the right amount of spice that is perfectly balanced by this sweetness. Don’t judge me, but I always lick the spoon when I am using this condiment.

With that said, you have probably known for the last few weeks that I am continuing to harvest zucchini from our garden. This is when the idea sparked to make chicken lettuce wraps for the kids, and as the Koreans are known for having banchan (small dishes that accompany a meal), I figured making these Korean style zucchini. I fell in love with this, and I think you might as well.

Korean Style Zucchini
Korean Style Zucchini

Let’s get started.


  • 1 small to medium sized zucchini, cut into 1 inch coins, then quartered
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp Japanese Sushi Seasoning, often called Furikake (optional)

Simple, right? The only small challenge may be finding the gochujang paste, but you can probably find this in your Asian grocery store, or in the ‘ethnic’ aisle in your grocery store.

Korean Style Zucchini Ingredients
Korean Style Zucchini Ingredients

Start by heating a medium skillet on medium heat. Toss in the zucchini, as well as the gochujang. Give a good stir, and gently mash in the gochujang. Add the water to assist in making a thinner sauce. Continue cooking until the zucchini is heated through, and the sauce coats the zucchini. Toss in the furikake if you desire. This adds that additional distinct flavor that you would find in a standard sushi roll.

Korean Style Zucchini
Korean Style Zucchini

Serve as a side to any dish. The end result is the perfect crunch of the zucchini, and then the awesome punch from the gochujang. Trust me, this Korean condiment will have you thinking endlessly of what it can be used on, and this was only one of those ideas. Hope you enjoy!

Korean Style Zucchini
Recipe type: Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 small to medium sized zucchini, cut into 1 inch coins, then quartered
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tbsp Japanese Sushi Seasoning, often called Furikake (optional)
  1. Start by heating a medium skillet on medium heat. Toss in the zucchini, as well as the gochujang. Give a good stir, and gently mash in the gochujang. Add the water to assist in making a thinner sauce. Continue cooking until the zucchini is heated through, and the sauce coats the zucchini. Toss in the furikake if you desire. This adds that additional distinct flavor that you would find in a standard sushi roll.
  2. Serve as a side to any dish.


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Thai Curry Chicken Wings

I will be up front with you… I’m a sucker for chicken wings. They are probably one of my favorite finger foods, and as I do not make them on a regular basis, we do tend to go out for them at one of our local restaurants. I do this only to sample the variety of sauces and dry rubs that chicken wing places have to offer. As I have my ‘go to’ sauces, there is one that I really enjoy, and that is the red Thai curry sauce. It is always creamy, a bit salty, and has just the right amount of heat. With that said, I decided to make that sauce and bake up some wings for my son and I. Did I mention that my oldest is a chicken wing nut as well? He is, and as much as he does not venture out to try anything sauced, I figured that I would make him a batch of Slap Ya Mama dry rubbed wings, along with some of these awesome Thai curry chicken wings.

Thai Curry Chicken Wings Recipe

Let’s get started.


  • 2 lbs chicken wings, drumette and wing separated
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass, minced
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, minced

You have options here when cooking the wings. Fry or bake. I bake them, on lower heat, for about a good hour or so or until they are nice and crisp. You can cook them to your desired preference.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

To a large baking sheet, add the wings, and back until both sides are nice and golden crisp.

Before you remove the wings from the oven, make the sauce.

To a small sauce pan, on medium heat, add in the red Thai curry paste. Stir the paste for a few minutes, then pour in the milk. Stir, and mix the paste until you have a nice sauce and the coconut milk reduces, about 5 minutes.

Thai Curry Chicken Wings Ingredients


Remove the wings from the oven, and place into a mixing bowl. Pour over the sauce, add in the kaffir leaf and lemongrass, and mix the wings so that everything gets nice and coated.

Plate and dig in.

The result is a really good chicken wing. Creamy, a bit spicy, and if you have never had red Thai curry paste, you must try it. We love this stuff and make chicken curry with this paste all of the time. The lemongrass and kaffir give it a nice boost as well. One of my favorites, but who am I kidding? I love pretty much any type of chicken wing. Hope you enjoy!

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Chille Blue Crabs

Hands down, blue crabs are one of my favorite things to eat. Well, maybe not as they compete with pizza, tacos, and nachos, but you know what I mean. There is something about the blue crab that I truly love. Granted there is not a whole lot of crab meat on these little suckers, but it’s finger food, and to me finger food is not only fun, but it’s somewhat sexy. As I noted in the past, it’s hard to find blue crabs in Milwaukee. As I dissed an Asian market I used to go to, Anh Chau, only due to their crappy customer service, I have been frequenting a local market known as Mei Hua. I’ve been there enough where I chat with the owner, and as I always do I ask a lot of questions about produce, and seafood. I recently asked if they were going to get any crawfish, or better yet blue crab, and she sparked up, like what the heck did I know about blue crab! She stated she orders once a week, and that’s when I was sold.

Chinese Chilli Blue Crab Recipe

I pulled in the day she ordered, I think it was a Tuesday, or Thursday, and knew actually where to go. The box with what looked like to be stagnant crabs, that is until you poke them with the tongs.

One of the workers looked at me like I had no idea what the heck I was doing, and funny enough she was trying to help me (I am experienced at this, trust me, but I let her help only for my own entertainment), and we began using the tongs to toss them in a double paper bag. She insisted.

The kids were not home from school yet, and my wife was still at work, and that’s when I decided to clean these live crabs. When you do this, depending on how you feel, it’s something that you may or may not want your family around for, as basically as you are using a knife to take out the crab, ripping it apart, and tearing out it’s lungs, etc. I figured I would move quickly, and just have what I needed for the chilli crabs.

Let’s get started.


  • ~ 10-15 live blue crabs, rinsed and cleaned
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Sambal Oelek 
  • 1 large shallot, medium slice
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, torn (optional)
  • napkins
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Start by using tongs to grab your live crab. This is always fun as they like to attack your tongs. Flip the crab over onto it’s back, and puncture it with a sharp knife, right in the middle. Yes, this is often painful to watch, but it has got to be done. Now with your knife, split the crab in half, lengthwise. The important thing here is to remove the gills, up near the face, as well as removing the apron, near the bottom. Once those are removed, rinse the crab in cold water, and set aside, repeating the process.

Keep the crabs cold, covering with a bit of ice cubes. During this time, make the sauce.

To a small mixing bowl, add the ketchup, rice wine vinegar, water, and sambal oelek. Give a good stir.

Heat a large wok, or skillet on medium heat, and let this heat up for a few minutes.

Toss in the oil, and then toss in the shallots, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry that for a couple of minutes. Now add in the crabs.

How to make Chilli Blue Crabs

Toss those crabs in the garlic mixture, then add in the sauce mixture. Carefully stir, and toss until the crabs are coated.

Cook for about 15 minutes, if that, and then pour out onto a large serving dish.

Shower with the fried garlic and fresh cilantro, and dig in. Pull off the legs, split the body, pull and crack the claws, and go for it. Suck, splurp, and suck your fingers.

My wife and kids are not a big fan of the blue crabs, and as much of that is a bit of a disappointment,   I’m not going to point fingers and blame. That just means there is more for me!

Get a bib. Get some napkins. Dig in. This is a shell sucking, shell pulling, and little fork poker feat. Sweet, spicey, garlicky, and delicious. I felt bad when my wife came home, and I probably looked like a total mess as she was trying to have a conversation with me. Yes, it was that good.

If you are looking for a fun crab dish to eat, and a fun experience (cleaning crabs), go for it. You will not be disappointed, and by the way, I have yet to go back to Anh Chau, but they do still order blue crabs from what I understand, and with hope, they have picked up their service game.

Another one to try is my blue crab curry. Whoa.


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Yum Woon Sen – Thai Noodle Salad

Don’t you just love hearing new words, like this one, yum woon sen? I do, and what I love even more is trying new things and making them later on, because there are those days where you might crave these types of flavors. Yum Woon Sen is nothing short of flavor. It’s essentially a bean thread salad loaded with fresh herbs, vegetables, and roasted peanuts. You can go the route and add things like minced pork or shrimp, but to me I think leaving those out are just perfectly fine.

If you are looking for a light salad that is packed with great flavors, and one that is a great side dish on a hot summer day, then give this one a shot.

Thai Yum Woon Sen

Let’s get started.


  • 2 bundles of bean thread noodles, soaked in luke warm water
  • 1 whole roma tomato, pulp removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 whole shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 Thai bird chilies, stems removed, thinly sliced (add more if you like it real spicy)
  • 2 whole dried shrimp, pounded
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups of hot water

Start by making your dressing for the salad.

To a small bowl, add the juice of the two limes. Add in the fish sauce, and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Next, soak the noodles in warm water for about 10 minutes. These things can be a bit tricky so keep an eye on them. You still want them firm at this stage. After 10 minutes, strain the water, then add in the hot water. Stir the noodles, and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes, just until they soften, but not mushy. You don’t want mushy noodles. TRUST ME.

Once the noodles are softened, strain them and run cold water over of them. Strain again, gently squeezing any excess water from them, and place them into a large serving bowl.

Yum Woon Sen Ingredients

Now let’s make the salad.

Add in the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the dressing, and toss and turn to make sure everything is incorporated.

Now, pour in the dressing, and continue to lightly toss until everything looks great.

Dig in! This salad is so refreshing. It’s sour, it’s spicy, and it reminds me of som tam in a way, in a very good way. So if you are looking for a great salad that is really good on a hot summer day, this is the one! Hope you enjoy…

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