Asian Beef and Broccoli Pasta Salad

Asian Beef and Broccoli Pasta Salad



I have been on an Asian kick lately. We had little Asian Sliders for dinner over the weekend. They were amazing, but my family was starving, and I didn’t get pictures. It’s a constant struggle of a blogger and their family. Getting the picture before anyone can touch the plate! That just means the sliders will be on the menu again very soon, and that’s a good thing!

This Asian pasta salad is another new recipe. I found the recipe in an old Fresh Market cookbook that I bought on a recent thrift store/treasure hunt. I’m not much of a yard sale person, but I do love finding a good thrift store! It seems that Savannah has started to enjoy it too so it’s possible that we could get into some trouble together!

Okay, I got a little off subject…back to the salad. This pasta salad is full of fresh, crisp vegetables and with the addition of beef, this salad is a complete meal! You could leave out the meat completely if you prefer or substitute shrimp, chicken, or even pork for the beef.

This salad is a simple, prepare ahead meal, that would be perfect for a weeknight dinner. Toss the pasta mix with the dressing just before serving. If you are feeding less than about ten people, toss a portion of the pasta mix with a portion of the dressing because you don’t want to store the mixed salad for very long. The vegetables will become limp, and you will loose the fresh, clean taste of the salad.


Asian Beef and Broccoli Pasta Salad
Serves: 10-12
  • Soy Ginger Dressing:
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • ⅛ c. sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, sliced thin
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • Pasta Salad:
  • 2 lb. sirloin steak
  • 1 (10-oz.) bottle teriyaki sauce or marinade
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 (16-oz.) pkg. rotini pasta
  • ½ lb. broccoli florets
  • 3 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 c. bean sprouts
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ c. cilantro, chopped
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic cloves, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, sweet chili sauce, mayonnaise, and lemongrass. Blend into a paste. With the food processor running, drizzle the vegetable oil in a slow stream until well mixed and vegetable oil has been incorporated. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Marinate sirloin steaks in teriyaki sauce or marinade for 6 hours or overnight. Preheat grill to medium-high and oil the grates. Grill 5 to 6 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Remove and leg stand 5 minutes, the slice into think 2-inch strips and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, bring 1 gallon water and 2 tbsp. salt to a boil over high heat; add pasta and boil according to package directions, stirring frequently. Add broccoli during the last minute of cooking and remove from heat, drain and rinse with cold water; set aside.
  4. In a large serving bowl, combine pasta and broccoli with beef, carrots, red pepper, bean sprouts, green onions, and cilantro; chill until ready to serve.
  5. To serve, pour Soy Ginger Dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat.


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Fish with Soy Glaze and Cucumber Salsa

Grouper with Soy Glaze and Cucumber Salsa 1


When I first read this recipe, I must admit that I was a little skeptical. However, because I have a freezer full of fish, I decided that I didn’t have much to lose by trying it. My family is so glad that I did! It is incredible and the best “new” recipe I have tried in a while.

Greg has been on three deep-sea fishing trips in the last six weeks and has another trip planned in October. It seems like this is happening more frequently than it did when we lived in Florida! However, we have snapper and grouper galore, which makes me a happy wife. Both are favorites at our house, and I have been cooking fish at least once, sometimes twice, a week lately. I was in a rut using the same recipes, so I started looking for something new. I found this recipe in Big Bowl of Love by Cristina Ferrare have now made this a few times, and I’m still impressed with how easy and delicious it is.

I make the cucumber salsa and the sauce several hours ahead and store in the refrigerator. By doing this, I can have the fish prepared in very little time. It’s delicious with mashed potatoes or mashed garlic potatoes! I buy the toasted sesame seeds in the Asian section of the supermarket rather than toasting them myself.

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Fish with Soy Glaze and Cucumber Salsa
  • Cucumber Salsa:
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1½ tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • Sauce:
  • ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ c. rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. dry white wine
  • Fish:
  • 6 (3-oz.) flaky white fish fillets
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  1. Make the cucumber salsa first. In a bowl, combine cucumber, soy sauce, vinegar, scallions, and cilantro, and mix well. Cover and set aside. You can make the salsa the day before and store in the refrigerator.
  2. To make the sauce, in a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and wine. Stir frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Dredge the fish in the flour. Heat a skillet on medium-high until hot. Add the olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Sauce the fish for 2½ minutes on each side, until browned. Reduce the heat to medium, then pour in the sauce mixture and cover with a lid. Cook until the fish is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Place the fillets on a platter, and pour the pan juices over the top. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and the salsa on the side.




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Sesame Chicken Kabobs

Asian sesame chicken kabobs


I wanted to start this post by saying something about “grilling weather”, but truth be told, grilling weather is year-round at our house.  We have a Traeger and love to grill on it all year.  It’s just a little bit nicer when the weather cooperates!

This is an easy and delicious recipe that doesn’t require a long marinating time.  It’s great with rice and a salad and of course Yum-Yum sauce.  (I really wish I didn’t like that stuff!)

I was short on skewers so you’ll notice I have one skewer per kabob.  However, food tends to rotate when you use one skewer, which often makes it difficult to turn on the grill.  If you will use 2 skewers per kabob it works much better.  Also, if you’ll soak your wooden skewers in water at least 30 minutes before grilling, your skewers will not burn, as mine did.


Sesame Chicken Kabobs
Serves: 6
  • 6 chicken breast halves, skinned and boned
  • ¼ c. + 2 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
  • ¼ c. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. dark sesame oil
  • 6 to 12-inch wooden skewers
  • bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • onion wedges
  1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces; arrange in a shallow container, set aside.
  2. Combine teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, sesame seeds, vegetable oil, and sesame oil and whisk together. Pour over chicken, toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
  3. Soak wooden skewers in water at least 30 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Thread chicken alternately with peppers and onions onto skewers. Grill kabobs over medium hot coals for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is done, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Yum-Yum Sauce
  • 1¼ c. mayonnaise
  • ¼ c. water
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • dash cayenne pepper
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

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Thai Chicken Burgers with Peanut Sauce, Slaw and Tangy Dipping Sauce

Thai Chicken Burgers with Peanut Sauce, Slaw and Dipping Sauce


This burger is my new favorite food.  It is so, so, so delicious, that when I woke up in the middle of the night last night I honestly thought about heating up a leftover burger.  They were simply amazing!  This recipe took a little work though.  A tweak here and a tweak there until I had what I wanted.  Then to figure out what kind of toppings would be good and when I felt that it still needed something I added the dipping sauce.  In the end I think this combination is spectacular!

If you can’t find ground chicken you may need to ask your butcher to grind it, I did.  I used 1 cThe Thai ingredients are available in most supermarkets.  Also, you may recognize the slaw recipe, I also use it on my fish tacos.  You’ll notice in the picture that I was out of cilantro by the time I made the slaw.  I think the slaw is the perfect condiment for this burger with the crunch of the cabbage, the  tang of the lime juice and the great taste of cilantro.  The peanut sauce is one of my favorite recipes from The Chew.  Then finally the tangy dipping sauce just adds that extra something.  I have this idea that the dipping sauce would be awesome on French fries!  Yes, French fries, but I love vinegar on my fries too!  One last thing…my picture of the burger is on a bun because it looked more like a burger for the picture.  It was actually just a prop, we did not eat our burgers on buns so honestly I don’t know if the buns do the burgers justice or not.

Thai Chicken Burgers with Peanut Sauce, Slaw and Dipping Sauce
Serves: 6
  • Burgers:
  • 2 lb. ground chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ⅔ c. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped green onions
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. red curry sauce
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ c. Thai peanut sauce
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2½ c. Panko bread crumbs
  • Sriracha hot sauce, to taste
  1. To make the burgers:
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high. Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix to combine. Divide evenly into 6 balls (1 cup mixture). Pat out into 6 burgers, about ½ inch thick. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill burgers for about 8 minutes on each side or until well done. Serve with peanut sauce and slaw with dipping sauce on the side. (On buns if desired).

Peanut Sauce
  • 6 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1½ tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1½ apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. chili flakes
  • 3 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1½ garlic cloves, smashed into a fine paste
  • 1½ tsp. sesame oil
  • salt
  1. Place peanut butter in microwave for a few seconds, until it's just liquefied. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine, set aside.

  • 2 c. finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  1. In a bowl combine the shredded cabbage, lime juice, salt and 3 tbsp. chopped cilantro, set aside.

Tangy Dipping Sauce
  • ½ c. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ c. + 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ c. fish sauce
  • 3 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Sriracha hot sauce, to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving.


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Shrimp Sushi Unrolled

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When I was growing up my summer started when my mother would allow me to go barefoot. It didn’t matter what the calendar said, only what mama said. It was typically sometime in May, even though I would occasionally throw my shoes off without her knowing. These days summer is more about chores than running around barefoot. My biggest summer chore is mowing. I probably cut more grass than I should, because it generally takes me all day. It’s a dusty, hot job but I enjoy it.

Summer is also about cook-outs with family and friends. I found this Shrimp Sushi Unrolled recipe in the latest edition of Grape, a Publix magazine. I prepared it for a weekend fish fry over the weekend and loved it! The original recipe had a dipping sauce recipe that we didn’t care for. My friends and family preferred the traditional pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi paste.

If you aren’t familiar with sushi, or think you may not like it, give this recipe a try. It doesn’t have raw fish that is common in sushi. Only short grain rices varieties have the sticky texture required to hold the sushi together. Wasabi is also called Japanese horseradish. It’s pungent and spicy so try just a small taste to begin with. Picked ginger is thin slices of ginger preserved in a sweet vinegar marinade. I adore picked ginger! Keep the sushi cook when serving. I placed ice in a baking pan and placed my serving tray on top.

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Shrimp Sushi Unrolled
Serves: 48
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 3½ c. sushi rice or short grain rice
  • 3½ c. water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ c. sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. wasabi paste
  • 2 medium English cucumbers
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely shredded
  • 4 green onions, very thinly sliced
  • 48 thin slices avocado
  • 48 peeled and deveined cooked small shrimp, chilled
  • pickled ginger, for serving
  • additional soy sauce, for serving
  • additional wasabi paste, for serving
  1. Place rice in a bowl and cover with cool water. Stir rice and pour off water. Repeat about 3 times until water runs clear. Drain rice and transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the 3½ cups water and salt. Bring rice to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan combine rice vinegar and sugar. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over rice. Stir until well combined. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Line a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with plastic wrap. Sprinkle an even layer of sesame seeds over plastic wrap. Carefully spoon about half of the rice mixture over sesame seeds. Dip fingers in cold water and press rice down into a firm, even layer.
  4. In a small bowl gradually stir the 2 tablespoons soy sauce into wasabi paste until well blended. Brush evenly over layer of rice.
  5. Peel cucumbers. Halve and scoop out soft centers. Slice crosswise into half-moon strips. Arrange cucumbers over rice. Top with carrots and green onions. Spoon remaining rice mixture over vegetables. Press with wet fingers into a firm, even layer. Cover with plastic wrap. Using another pan, press down gently. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
  6. To serve, remove top plastic wrap and invert onto a cutting board. Remove plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, cut into 48 squares, wiping and dipping knife in cold water after each cut. Transfer to a platter. Top each sushi square with a slice of avocado and one shrimp. Serve with pickled ginger, additional soy sauce, and additional wasabi paste, if desired.



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