Soup Up My Soup

Food and Stuff

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What is Teriyaki?

Teriyaki is derived from the word teri, which refers to the shine produced by the sugar in the marinade, and yaki, which means to grill or broil. The marinade used to make teriyaki in traditional Japanese cuisine consists of soy sauce, mirin (similar to sake but lower alcohol and higher sugar content), and sugar. Like the recipe below, it’s more common in Western recipes to see garlic and/or ginger added to the marinade.

Teriyaki Marinated Salmon Fillet w/ Herb Dressing 


  • Salmon Fillet, 1.5 lbs.


  • Sherry, Sake, or Mirin, 3 tbsp.
  • Brown Sugar, 3 tbsp.
  • Water, 2 tbsp.
  • Soy Sauce, 2 tbsp.
  • Vegetable oil (or Olive oil), 2 tbsp.
  • Minced Ginger, 1.5 tsp.
  • Minced Garlic, 2 tsp.


  • Sour Cream, 1/4 c
  • Lemon Juice, half a lemon
  • Vegetable Oil (or Olive Oil), 1.5 tsp.
  • Choppd Fresh Dill, 2 tsp.
  • Chopped Fresh Basil, 2 tsp.


Marinade the fish for at least 20 minutes. An easy way to do this is to add the fish to a dish and pour the marinade mixture over the fish and put in the fridge.

While the fish is marinading, make the sauce and set aside.

Cook for about 4 minutes on each side on minimal heat. I took the skin off (scortched it and then it slide off), if you want to keep the skin on, turn the heat down slightly and if possible, use a non-stick pan.

While cooking the fish, continue to baste it with the remaining marinade mixture.

To serve, place a dollop of sauce and put on the plate, along with the fish and whatever else you’re serving it with.

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Lazy Sunday Frittata

A frittata  is an open-face omelette originating from Italy. Unlike a traditional omelette where the eggs are cooked at  high heat and then folded, a frittata is typically made by sauteing some combination of vegetables and meat until softened, and then the egg mixture is poured into the pan and then left to set at low to medium heat. A non-stick brunch pan such as the one in the photo is most ideal, but any pan which has been sufficiently seasoned with butter or oil will do.

After the vegetables and/or meat has been cooked through, it should take about seven minutes give or take for the eggs to set properly. About half way through the setting process you can add cheeses such as feta to the mix.

I usually just end up using whatever is in my fridge, but normally I will put in spinach, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and then maybe ham, bacon, and feta or cheddar at the end. It takes about four eggs worth of liquid to fill this brunch pan, but use whatever you want that reflects the number of people you are cooking for. You can serve this by cutting into slices.

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Khao Soi Soup (Sans noodles)

Khao Soi is a popular dish in Thailand and Myanmar, although there are many variations and you won’t get a consistent recipe. However, they all start with creating a paste of some kind, and then use that as the basis for a soup. Most recipes that I come across for Khao Soi use both coconut milk and chicken stock. Hopefully you make your own stock, but use whatever you can.

The recipe below is basically the same one from the March 2013 issue of Bon Appetite, however I have made this noodle-free to make it friendly for a paleo or grain-free diet (not that I follow it that closely, but I cut it out where it’s easy.) The main differences compared to the magazine (aside from being sans noodles) are that I added a pound of tiger shrimps, and used more chicken than their recipe called for. I also used coconut oil to sauté the paste, you can substitute for vegetable oil if you want. Also, if you really have to eat gluten-free, make sure the fish sauce you use doesn’t have any wheat in it, or just cut it out entirely. The rest of the ingredients should be fine.

If you want to add noodles, no problem, just cook according to the packages instructions towards the end of the process. Egg noodles probably would work best here, but use whatever you like.

Chicken Khao Soi

(Serves about 6 as a meal, or more as an app)

Khao Soi Paste

  • Large dried Guajillo Chiles, stemmed, halved, and seeded, 4
  • Medium shallots, halved, 2
  • Garlic cloves, 8
  • Ginger, peeled, sliced, 1 2” piece
  • Turmeric, ground, 1 tsp.
  • Coriander, ground, 1 tsp.
  • Curry Powder, 1 tsp.


  • Coconut oil, 2 tbsp.
  • Chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, 2 lbs.
  • Tiger shrimp, 1 lb.
  • Coconut milk, two cans (use light coconut milk if you want to cut the fat a bit)
  • Fish sauce, 3 tbsp.
  • Palm sugar, 1 tbsp. (can substitute brown sugar if you want)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shallots, chili oil, and lime wedges (all for serving with at the end, pick and choose the ones you want, they all work)

Making the Paste:

Put the chilis in a bowl of hot water and let sit for half an hour to reconstitute. Drain and put in a food processor (or mortar and pistol it all if you have the patience) along with the rest of the khao soi paste ingredients. Keep adding the reserved chilli water as needed until you get a consistent paste.

Making the soup:

Heat the coconut oil (or vegetable if you don’t have any, but you should!) and add the khao soi paste on medium heat. Cook the paste while stirring for about 5 minutes, until it starts to darken and become fragrant. Add the coconut milk and the chicken stock, and then bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and add the chicken, cook for about 25 minutes. With about 10 minutes left add the shrimps.

Remove the chicken and shred it, or slice it into thin pieces. Then add back to the soup, and add the fish sauce and the palm sugar. Add salt to taste (remember you can put it in but you can’t take it out!).

Serve, along with the added toppings you wish (lime wedges, sliced onion, bean sprouts, etc.).

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Basque country spans the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast. It is made up of the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre in Spain and Norther Basque Country in France. Piperade is the national dish of the Basque people. It’s basically a hash without the potatoes.

Pipperade is served in restaurants and cafes throughout France. There are many different styles and variations of the dish, but here is one that I particularly like. If you want to add ham, consider prosciutto  The saltiness and fat renders nicely into the dish and give it an extra layer of flavour. This dish is perfect for breakfast or brunch; as it takes about an hour and change to cook from beginning to end, having someone get up a little early to get things started will result in a happy house by the time everyone wakes up.



  • Olive oil, 1 tbsp
  • Onion, chopped, 1 cup
  • Green Peppers, cut into thin slices, 6
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 2 cloves
  • Bayonne, Parma, or Prociutto ham, thinly sliced, 4 ounces
  • Tomatoes, peeled and seeded, 4 pounds
  • Eggs, 6 (Optional)
  • sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste

1: Slice x’s into the top and bottom ends of the tomatoes and place into boiling water. This will make it easy to peel later. Leave the tomatoes in there for about 3-4 minutes, then remove. They will be really hot, so you can give them an ice water bath for a minute afterwards to speed things up. Once you can handle the tomatoes, peel the skin off with a knife, then dice. Reserve.

2: Heat the oil in a large sauce pan (a cast iron pan works well too) over medium heat and cook until the onions soften and have begun to turn translucent. Add the peppers and cook until they have softened.

3: While the onion and peppers are cooking, cut the ham into small pieces and stir into the onion/pepper mixture. Also, add the tomatoes to the mixture now as well.

4: Once all the ingredients are in, give it one more mix and then let simmer for about an hour on low heat. By the time you’re done simmering, the tomatoes should be fairly reduced and the entire mixture should have thickened somewhat.

5: Add the cayenne and black pepper to taste and cook an additional 5 minutes. If you don’t want to add eggs, serve now. Otherwise, move to step 6.

6: (Optional). Crack half a dozen eggs or so and place gently along the top of the mixture. Place pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes at 400. Serve Immediately.

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Flourless Pancakes

I came across this recipe in Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution and loved it (shout out to David for the show). If you are on the Paleo diet, or you have a gluten allergy, or you just want to eat something without flour in it, this is a great recipe for breakfast or as a snack. I’ve only made this as a sweet dish, but I’m sure you could find ways to make it savory.

You might need to do a bit of hunting for the cashew or macadamia butter. I found some at Sobey’s, but if your local grocery store doesn’t have any, then you probably have to go to a health food store. I’m sure there are a dozen places in Kensington market that sell it.

Also, it’s super easy to make applesauce from scratch. Just quarter a couple apples, and put them in a covered pan with an inch of water or so and cook on low for 15 minutes. The apples will completely break down and turn into applesauce. Just get rid of the apple skin, and put in a bowl for later use.  Don’t buy it unless you really have to!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup nut butter, use macadamia or cashew, peanut butter doesn’t work
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • coconut oil

Mix everything together but the coconut oil. Next, grease a pan at medium heat with the oil, and wait for it to melt.  Then just pour out the batter into pancakes, flipping after a couple minutes. You might ruin a few until you get a feel for what the right temperature should be and how long it should take before you flip them (everyone’s pans and stoves are different). About two minutes for the first flip worked for me, and the  maybe another minute for the second side.

You can dress these up however you want. I got a little fancy with it and made some apple-strawberry coulis, but you can do any fruit sauce, more applesauce, etc.





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Super quick baked fish

Baking fish is super easy and requires literally no active time. I got a couple yellowtail snapper from Kensington market. Have the fishmonger clean it for you (descale and gut it). When you’re ready to cook it, sprinkle liberally on the outside and inside with salt and pepper, and rub some oil on there (I used olive oil here, just make sure the oil you use doesn’t have a smoke point lower than 400 degrees). I also added some “Bangkok Blend” spice that I got from The Spice Trader on Queen west that is quite nice. Just preheat your oven to 400 degrees, wrap the fish in foil and throw it in there for 40 minutes, depending on your oven. That’s it.

I like to finish with some lime juice and more salt before eating. The meat should just flake off, and chopsticks are best to use I think, but you can also use a fork.

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Garlic-Rosemary Steak

I came across this recipe in Bon Appetit last month and have made it a few times since. I’ve become totally addicted to the flavour combo of rosemary and garlic. I especially like cooking with rosemary in autumn, probably because to me it just smells like that time of year. In this recipie you are basically making two infused oils, one with rosemary and the other with garlic. These, along with salt and peper, form the flavour for the steak. To make garlic-rosemary steak you can use hanger steak but I prefer flank. When cutting it, it helps to partially freeze it first, about 40 minutes or so, and then make thin (1/3 inch) cuts at a 45 degree angle.

Remember that it takes a few hours to properly steep the rosemary into the olive oil, overnight is even better. In contrast, the garlic oil can be made on the spot while cooking. So you need a bit of foresight when making this.


• Olive oil, 1/4 cup and 7 tbsp.
• Rosemary sprigs, 1/3 cup
• Flank steaks, 1.5 lb, cut into thin 1/3 ” slices cut at 45 degrees
• Kosher salt, to taste
• freshly ground pepper
• Garlic cloves, 6 sliced
• Course sea salt, to taste


1. Heat 1/4 cup of oil and rosemary in a small saucepan over medium heat until oil is hot, around two minutes. Let the rosemary steep in the oil at room temperature for at least two hours, overnight is even better. When you are ready to use, strain the oil, discard the rosemary, and set the rosemary oil aside. It might be a good idea to just strain the oil directly into a small plastic container that you can seal for later use, as you probably won’t use all of it. This can keep for at least a few weeks, and can be used in many applications after the fact. Finishing some small potatoes or other vegetables is one of them.
2. rub the stakes with 1 tbsp. of olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Sear the steaks on all sides and transfer to a cutting board, about 1 minute or less. They will still be rare, you’ll finish them later. Let them sit for 10 minutes.
3. with a clean and dry skillet, Cook the remaining 4 tbsp. of oil and garlic in a skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until garlic is dark brown but not burnt, 3-4 minutes. Remove pan from heat, discard the garlic. Transfer 2 tbsp. garlic oil to a small bowl and reserve.
4. Heat remaining garlic oil in skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add half of sliced steak to skillet and cook, turning once, until cooked to desired doneness (1-2 minutes for medium rare). Add 1 tbsp rosemary oil, toss. Transfer steak and oil to a platter. Repeat with reserved garlic oil, steak, and 1 tbsp. rosemary oil.
5.Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with more rosemary oil, if desired.

You can either plate the entire batch in a pile on a plate and serve, letting people take as they want. You can also serve on a salad, a oil and feta vinegrette would be pretty good with that.

I paired this with a baco noir red from Peller Estates. A merlot-like grape but I like it a lot better.

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