Category: Recipes

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

How many times have you heard, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”?  Now….how often do you actually eat breakfast? Yeah, me too. It’s just a lot to expect a person to get up and do everything they have to do to get read more

Beef Udon

Beef Udon

So after a couple weeks of traveling through chilly Central Europe, I’m home again and what do you think I’m craving? Asian Noodle Soups! But more specifically- Beef Udon! This Beef Udon is everything good in a bowl. Flavorful, simple, fast, and oh so comforting. read more

Banana Cake

Banana Cake

This recipe sits somewhere between cake and bread. If I need a quick dessert, it’s Banana Cake; lusciously light and tender and baked in a Bundt pan so it’s automatically festive. When I have a hankering for something a little sweet at breakfast however, it magically becomes Banana Bread. Full of wholesome ripe bananas and not overly sweet, it makes a perfectly reasonable breakfast. It’s delicious either way, so you decide!

I know there are a million recipes for Banana Bread. Why would I even waste my time or yours posting yet another recipe for Banana Bread? Well do you love yours? Would you bet it’s the best one ever? Does every person who has a bite ask for the recipe? If you answered no, then I have you covered. My friend’s mother, who’s often told hers is amazing, even asked for the recipe. So if you’re looking for THE recipe, let mine be a contender.

This Banana Cake is the culmination of over 2 decades of improving on what’s essentially a simple quick bread. I’ve tried them all and I’ve taken the best of what I’ve learned to make the most delicious version. But this is not a crazy recipe with a lot of convoluted steps like microwaving and boiling down banana juice (hello Cook’s Illustrated) or that makes you add ingredients like vanilla pudding, you don’t normally have on hand (looking at you Chrissy Teigen). Ultimately, the best banana cake is one you can make and eat right away! So let’s get to it.

banana ingredients

I don’t bake often, but a lifetime of trial and error has taught me a few baking basics that help to guarantee good results, even if you too are not a professional baker:

  • Always read through the recipe before you begin. Oftentimes there are specific instructions for the type of pan you’ll need, and how to prep it. And there’s nothing worse than getting halfway through making a cake and realizing the recipe calls for baking soda AND baking powder.
  • The temperature of ingredients is very important. Use room temperature eggs. If your eggs are straight from the fridge, put them in warm water for 10 minutes.
  • A kitchen scale is your best friend when baking because it is the most accurate. If you do not have one, make sure you always stir your dry ingredients before scooping. Never pack flour into a measuring cup. And always level off with the back of a butter knife if using the scooping method. If your cakes come out dense rather than light and fluffy, too much flour could be to blame.
  • If you do not bake often, check the expiration date on your baking powder and baking soda. Many times old powders will be the reason your cake did not rise properly.
  • Preheating your oven is crucial. Turn on your oven before you start the recipe. If you do not have an automatic beeper letting you know your oven is ready, let your oven heat up for 30 minutes before you start baking.
  • Ovens differ- some run hot while others are cooler. Test your baked goods on the shorter bake time when you’re given an approximate time just to be safe.

Use Ripe Bananas for the Best Banana Cake!

This banana cake is perfect for all those bananas in your fruit bowl that look past their prime. The riper and softer, the better. The ones on the left won’t really impart much banana-y flavor, the ones in the middle are better, but to borrow from Goldilocks, the bananas so ripe that they are black are just right. I know they look scary! But trust me, you’ll be thrilled with the results.

We always have bananas at the restaurants for drinks and desserts. And often, someone will hand me an overripe bunch with a knowing smile. I make this bread/cake so often, it literally takes me about 10 minutes to get it in the oven. There’s nothing fancy or difficult about this recipe. Just use those scary ripe bananas and carry on.

Make the Banana Cake Batter

mash bananas

Mayonnaise in a cake?! A thousand times yes! At its core, mayo is oil and eggs and it adds a lush texture. It doesn’t impart flavor, it just helps make an exceptionally moist cake. I use mayo because I always have it. But sour cream or even yogurt work well too. If you don’t have any of those items, just skip it. Your Banana Cake will still be great.

eggs banana cake

dry stuff banana cake

For those of you who hate to wash dishes, this recipe only uses two bowls. You could also make it a one bowl cake, but I always like to stir all of the dry ingredients together first. It ensures that the flour and leaveners are well mixed and it keeps me from over-mixing the batter. I use a fork to whisk the dry ingredients together, then use the same fork to mix the the wet ingredients.

bundt spray

bake banana cake

I like to pour in the chocolate chips rather than mixing them into the batter. I find that when you mix the the chips into the batter, they sometimes stick to to the pan and tear the cake when you turn it out. Also, I like the ribbons of chocolate that run through the cake. Chocolate too much for a breakfast bread? You can replace them with toasted nuts, dried fruit, or anything else you like in your banana bread.

I check for doneness at about 30-35 minutes. A toothpick test should come out with some wet crumbs still clinging; you don’t want it to be totally dry. It will continue to bake when you bring it out of the oven. And a little too wet is definitely better than bone dry. I cool it completely in the pan and then turn it out onto a platter. I love this banana cake (or breakfast banana bread) just as it is. But you could certainly sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar on the top. Try this out and let me know what you think! Comment below or tag us on Insta @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

Are you looking for more tried and true, failproof baking ideas? Try my Matcha Cake and Japanese Cheesecake!



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recipe card banana cake

Banana Cake

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6-8 1x
  • Category: sweets


  • 45 large over ripe bananas (18 ounces peeled)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (7 ounces)
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise (you can also use sour cream)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 9 ounces all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Baking pan spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Peel and mash the bananas well in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, light brown sugar, neutral oil, mayonnaise, and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Use a fork and whisk well.
  4. Use the same fork for the other bowl and then mix the wet ingredients well.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix well. 
  6. Spray a 10 cup bundt pan well with the pan spray. 
  7. Pour half the mixture into the bundt pan. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips over the batter. Pour the rest of the batter over the chocolate chips. Then sprinkle the remaining chips over the top.
  8. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick test comes out with some wet crumbs. The cake will continue to cook as it sits in the pan so you do not want to bake it until the toothpick comes out clean-it will not be as moist.
  9. Cool the bread in the pan completely and then turn the bread out. Slice and serve. 


* This bread can sit out for 2 days at room temperature. Put it in the fridge or freeze slices if you cannot finish it within a couple days.

Keywords: sweets, banana, snacks, dessert, breakfast



Why are stir-fries one of the most popular Asian dishes made at home? Because they are versatile, economical, and fast. No matter what you have (or don’t have) in the fridge, a stir-fry can generally be had. So today, we’re going to introduce one that read more



Hello there, funky friends!  It’s been a little while. Between opening a new concept- local friends, check out Halo Halo Snack Shack for Miami’s only authentic Asian shaved ice desserts; and waiting for my dear husband (who happens to be not just the executive chef read more

Vietnamese Mussels

Vietnamese Mussels

I’m on a mission to get people to make and enjoy mussels at home. Mussels are sustainable, economical, and an effortless way to add drama and sophistication to any gathering. There’s no reason to save these for a special restaurant meal. These Vietnamese Mussels are part of my game plan; once you see how easy they are to prepare you’ll be making them over and over to impress guests.

mussels ingredients

What Makes these Mussels Vietnamese?

While at first glance these mussels may seem like something you would order in a French bistro- a pile of gleaming mollusks in a wine based broth, these beauties take a tour through Vietnam. Lemongrass, fish sauce, and a shower of fresh herbs, the trifecta of Vietnamese flavors, all make an appearance here. A garnish of crunchy fried shallots seal the deal.

Making Vietnamese Mussels

I start by soaking the mussels in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes. This helps them expel sand so they won’t be gritty. Then I thoroughly rinse them under running water. I also remove any long hair-life strands attached to the shell, known as the beard. Some may not have beards at all. Removing them is easy, just grab and pull.

Now it’s time to prep the aromatics-the lemongrass, garlic, chili, and onion.

mussels onion half

I use the flat side of the blade to roughly smash the garlic cloves.

garlic mussels

I love to use frozen, chopped lemongrass. It’s one of the most convenient of convenience products. It can be found in the freezer section of well stocked Asian stores. Pop it in the freezer and then just scoop out a tablespoon or two whenever you need it. If you are using fresh lemongrass, I show you how to prep it here. I like to put chopped chilis, garlic, and lemongrass in a small bowl so I have it handy when it’s time to add to the pot.

Now that everything is prepped and within reach, it’s time to cook.

wine mussels

Stir again and cook for a couple minutes more, until all of the mussels open. (Discard any that don’t.)  Taste the broth to see if it needs any more salt, it should be deeply flavorful.  Then stir in the butter for a little added richness, and top with the herbs-I like a mix, and the fried shallots.

recipe mussels vietnamese

You can serve these right from the pot, or pile them onto a platter, or portion them out for your guests. Make sure to include plenty of that glorious liquid!

Vietnamese Mussels are a perfect holiday party starter alongside a batch of Yuzu Margaritas! Make a batch and let me know what you think. Comment on the recipe or tag us @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!


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recipe mussels vietnamese

Vietnamese Mussels

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 (plus soaking time)
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minute
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 2 lemongrass stalks or 2 Tablespoons chopped lemongrass
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2.5 lbs mussels
  • 1 ½ cups crisp white wine (like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)
  • 23 bird’s-eye chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter cut into cubes
  • ½ cup (small handful) Thai basil leaves, cilantro, mint, or any combination roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fried shallots (optional)
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. Put the mussels in a large colander and rinse under running water.
  2. Pull any pieces of beard (the long hair like strands attached to the shell) off and set aside to drain.
  3. Cut the onion into thin slices and set aside.
  4. Wash the lemongrass stalks.
  5. Smash them lightly with a wooden spoon or the side of your knife.
  6. Cut off the top half and discard. Then slice the stalks into ½ inch pieces. (You can also use frozen chopped lemongrass if you prefer.)
  7. Next smack the garlic cloves with the knife or spoon to smash them roughly.
  8. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat for several minutes and add the oil, and onions.
  9. Cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly softened.
  10. Add the lemongrass, chiles, and garlic. Sauté briefly until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  11. Add the mussels, fish sauce, ground black pepper, and wine.
  12. Stir the contents of the pot, cover with a lid, and steam until the mussels start to open, about 2-3 minutes. 
  13. Stir the clams again, cover with the lid, and continue cooking until all of the mussels pop open, about 2-3 minutes. (If you still have 1 or 2 mussels that have not opened after all of the rest are open, discard them). 
  14. Taste a little of the broth to measure saltiness and add a little salt as needed.
  15. Turn off the heat and add the butter, fried shallots, and the herbs. 
  16. Stir again. Transfer to a deep serving platter or just serve the Vietnamese Mussels out of the pot and serve immediately.

Keywords: mussels, vietnamese, lemongrass, fish sauce, party food, appetizers, holiday, starters