Orange Julius Wannabe Drink

I love Orange Julius. So here's a wannabe Orange Julius drink recipe I made that tastes pretty good.  Give it a try!

Ingredients

  • 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate (I use Minute Maid)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put everything in a blender except the ice.  Blend until smooth.  Add in the ice.  If your blender doesn't fit or is too full, you may have to blend it twice in separate batches.

Enjoy!

Ben's Birthday

Food display
 

Sweet Pork

 

Rice Cakes

 

BBQ Pork

 

Blue Crabs
 

Pork Larb

We had a great time celebrating Ben's 19th Birthday! He invited his friends and cousins to help him celebrate his special day. A few of his friends pitched in and they went to kill a whole pig. This was the first time these boys went out together and butchered a whole pig without any help from the elders. Good job boys! Every hmong man has to learn this at some point in his life!

 

 

Pho Broth Recipe

This is how I make my pho broth recipe:

Ingredients:

  • beef bones with marrow (leg bones) cut up in 2 inch pieces
  • 2 charred onion (then rinse and remove black parts)
  • 1 thumb (about 4 inches) charred ginger (same as above)
  • 1 spice packet (get it at the asian store, put in the small white mesh bag - coriander, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cardamom)
  • 1 inch chunk rock sugar
  • lots of water (about 1-2 gallon)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • Pho broth seasoning

     

  1. Wash the beef bones clean.
  2. Add the bones to a large pot and fill with water until covered.
  3. Boil the bones for 5-10 minutes to get rid of the impurities
  4. Dump water out and rinse the bones
  5. Put the bones back in pot and add lots of cold water
  6. Bring back to boil, cook for 1 hour
  7. Add the charred onion, charred ginger, spice packet, rock sugar, fish sauce, salt, pho broth seasoning
  8. Cook for additional 1-4 hours. Cook longer if you want stronger flavor.
  9. Season to your tasting.

Condiments: (optional and up to you!)

  • basil leaves
  • bean sprouts
  • sliced jalapeno
  • lime
  • hoisin sauce
  • sriracha sauce
  • crushed peanuts
  • culantro
  • chopped green onion
  • chopped cilantro
  • sugar
  • oyster sauce
  • fish sauce
  • meatballs
  • sliced beef
  • tendons
  • sliced tripe
  • other
 

Sesame Seed Balls

Home made sesame seed balls with mung bean filling. I don't like eating a glob of flour, so I don't use baking powder in my recipe.

Here's how I make mine:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (add more sugar if you like)
  • 1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1 cup hot water

Mix all with your hand until it looks like play dough. If it's too dry, add a little more sprinkles of water. Then roll them into 1 inch balls.

  • 1/4 cup split mung beans (soak 1 hr then steam until soft)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
 
Mash up and form into little balls.
 
  1. Take the dough and flatten with palm of your hand.
  2. Make indentation with your thumb.
  3. Put in the filling.
  4. Fold/wrap the dough edges around the filling and snip off extra dough.
  5. Add white sesame seeds. You can dip the balls in water and then roll them in the sesame seeds.
  6. Fry in peanut oil on medium heat. Try not to use vegetable oil because this burns too easily.
  7. When the ball starts to float, press on it lightly to release some air. This will cause the dough to expand. Keep doing this while rotating the balls in the oil. It needs to cook evenly for about 15-20 minutes. Use lots of oil becaues the balls need to be submerged.
 
Stuffing alternatives
 
  • Try mashing up oreos and adding Nutella. Then form them into little balls.
  • Try cream cheese and sugar.
  • Try red bean paste or azuki beans.
  • Try peanut butter and vanilla wafers. Form them into little balls.
  • Try Andez chocolate mints, yum.
  • Try any kind of chocolate bar

Frequently asked questions:

How do I get them hollow?
When they start to float, lightly press on them. It will cause the dough to expand.

My balls become flat after they are out of the oil. How do I keep them crispy?
This all depends at the temperature and duration of how you fry them. Keep in mind, you must fry them for at least 15-20 minutes on medium heat, preferably using peanut oil. If yours cooks too fast, the outside will be golden but the inside will not be cooked. You also must turn these balls continuously so that they cook evenly.

Do you have any recommendations for beginners? I am making them for the first time.
Try making mini sesame balls. Make them smaller and fry them so you get a feel for how it should taste. Then gradually make them bigger until you get comfortable with the technique to get them to expand.

How do I get a lot of sesame seeds on the ball?
Dip the ball into water and roll them around in a bowl of sesame seeds. Then use your hands to lightly press the seeds on so they stick.

I don't have mashed potato flakes, do I need it?
You can leave it out if you don't have it.

Some recipes use baking powder, why doesn't your recipe use it?
I'm not a big fan of biting into globs of dough. I've tried a lot of recipes that use it with rice flour but I didn't like the texture. I like mine similar to the chinese sesame balls.  If you like it chewier and thick, you can add 1/2 tsp of baking powder.

 

If you have any questions, leave a comment below!

October Giveaway Winner

The new winnter is Abigial Yang from Minneapolis! Joey Yee didn't respond to my emails to claim the prize, so Abigail gets the free items!

The winner of my October giveaway is -- Joey Yee from San Francisco! Congratulations!! Joey Yee is submission #69.



How I picked this random winner for this contest:
    •    I asked the fans of my Hmong Food Facebook page to pick a number 1-700.
    •    Three people selected the same number '69'
    •    Submission #69 of the contest wins!


Joey wins:
    •    16 oz can Knox Unflavored Gelatin (valued at $13)
    •    Oxo food container (valued at $13)
    •    3 powder food coloring (valued at $10)
    •    6 packages vanilla sugar (valued at $11)

A very heartfelt thank you to everyone who entered. ♥ Stay tuned for the next contest!

Soft sweet milk bread

This bread is soft, sweet, and delicious! This bread was inspired from my experience eating soft sweet japanese bread. I used a chinese method to make the flour paste. This helps the bread be soft!

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 packages of instant yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter, softened and cut up in slices

Step 1

  1. Add 1 cup water and 1/3 cup of bread flour to a sauce pan. Mix on medium heat until it forms a thick paste.
  2. Remove and set aside to cool

Step 2

  1. In a mixer, mix 5 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together.
  2. Mix wet ingredients together: 1 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 eggs, the flour paste from step 1.
  3. Make a well in the mixer and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  4. Using the bread/kneading hook, knead until smooth.
  5. Add the softened butter one at a time.
  6. Knead for 20 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth.
  7. Set in a dry place and let it rise until double in size.

Step 3

  • Shape the dough into any shape you like.
  • Mix 1 egg white with 2 tbsp of water.
  • Brush onto the buns before baking.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes on 350 degree oven OR until the top is golden brown.
  • Do not overbake, it will make your bread hard.
  • Remove and let cool.
  • Enjoy!

October Giveaway

The contest is now closed. Thanks for all who entered.

Enter your information below to be entered in this giveaway contest! The giveaway ends October 21, 2012 at midnight.

Please only enter once. Multiple entries will not increase your chances of winning.

One lucky winner will receive:

  • 16 oz can Knox Unflavored Gelatin
  • Oxo food container
  • 3 powder food coloring
  • 6 packages vanilla sugar

 

Hmong Pork Sausage

Hmong Pork Sausage, Asian Sausage

It's been a fun journey making hmong sausages over the past year.  Prices have really peaked here where I usually buy hmong pork sausage. Now it's about $10 for a 2 pound pack.  So I opted on my quest to make my own home made Hmong style pork sausage.  I am happy to share with you what has worked for me and that I've received great feedback on my sausages.  The recipe below will make about 10 pounds of pork sausage.  They keep very well in the freezer, so you can keep them there for months and they will still taste great!

I also have another recipe for an herb infused hmong pork sausage. I will make a video of that one another day.  For now, the one below is for the spicy hmong pork sausage.  If you don't like spicy, omit the thai chilies.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds pork belly grounded up
  • 5 pounds ground pork
  • 1/4 cup thai chilis minced
  • 1 cup red onion minced
  • 1 cup green onion minced
  • 1 cup ginger minced
  • 1 cup lemon grass finely minced
  • 1/4 cup lime leaf minced
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce in peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sodium nitrate (seasoning salt meat tenderizer)
  • 1 tbsp MSG (optional)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce (three crabs brand)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • hog casings
     
  1. Remove the hog casings and let sit in cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse each hog casing with cold water until the salt is removed. May need to repeat several times.  Set aside.
  3. Mix the water, chili sauce, and thai chilies in a small bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and pour the sauce in step 2 into the mixture.
  5. Stuff the sausage in the hog casings.  You can use various methods to stuff your sausage.  In my video below, I will demonstrate to how stuff sausage using a sausage stuffer I bought from Gander Mountain.

Tips and Advice

  • Get a good quality sausage stuffer if you are going to make a lot of sausage.  Doing it manually takes too long.
  • I bought a Kitchenaid sausage stuffer attachment for under $20 but it took too long and my arms got sore pushing the meat into the stuffer.
  • I tried doing it manually with a milk jug and 2 liter bottle. Too long.
  • Do not overstuff the sausage, leave it loose so that the meat can expand and cook.  If your sausage explodes, it means it was too packed too tight.
  • If your sausage comes out too salty, it usually means you left a lot of salt in the hog casings and didn't rinse all the salt out.
  • Sodium Nitrate is the same thing as the Morton Tender Quick salt. You can find this at most grocery stores.
  • MSG is optional. It's a meat flavor enhancer, if you don't like it don't use it.
  • Don't skimp on the chili sauce in peanut oil. This gives the sausage that nice flavor and color.

 

 

Asian Pork Sausage, Hmong Sausage, Lao Sausage

Hmong Newborn

hmong newborn, hmong baby, hmong babies

I just absolutelylove this picture I took of Baby Peyton! This is my friend Kaying's son at 7 days old. He is such a darling and cutie! I hope to take more pictures of this little guy soon. It was a pleasure taking pictures of him! 

I really love the colors of the Hmong Nyias ... it's so vibrant and colorful. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's what Hmong women use to carry their babies on their backs. Kind of like those baby slings you see today but this has straps you tie around your body. It's been used for centuries. Passed down from mother to daughter when a baby is born.

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