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Tag: snacks

Korean Stir Fried Potatoes

Korean Stir Fried Potatoes

In my recent travels through Seoul, I rekindled my love with all the little side dishes, known as banchan, that accompany a meal. These sides often end up stealing the show from the main dish. Kimchi, spicy beansprouts, steamed eggplant, cucumber salad…the variety is dizzying. read more

Corn Cheese

Corn Cheese

You don’t see a lot of cheese in most Asian cuisines. But boy does that change in South Korea! Dating back to the war when American army bases would hand out some of their rations like Spam, canned corn, corn meal, and sliced cheese, Koreans read more

Granola

Granola

Like many college students, I had a serious carb addiction. But not just any addiction, it was very specific. In the dining halls, we had multiple tables set up for cereal (this was before they had the towering plastic dispensers). And at these tables, I became addicted to crack- Cracklin Oat Bran that is. In a bland, painfully boring box hid a ridiculously delicious cereal that had me salivating just thinking about it. What was this devil in cereal disguise you ask? Seemingly plain old granola formed into boxy little “O”s. And this is how they get you, because as innocent as it looked, one crunchy, sweet, slightly coconuty, vanilla-y, bite of this taste sensation had me hooked. Meal after meal, this was all I could eat.

Fast forward several decades and I still need to stay away from it. For one thing, it’s outrageously expensive. And this is not one of those cereals that is BOGO ever-not that I would trust myself near two boxes. Besides, it tends to have a lot of sugar and oil, more like dessert than breakfast. And finally, a grown woman with adult children really shouldn’t be salivating over boxed cereal, it’s frowned upon and just sad… So what do I do when I have a hankering for crack, but need to act like an adult? Make my own Granola of course!

This is a decidedly adult version of Granola that incorporates nostalgic flavors but also has an elevated mysterious twist- a Granola that has so much going for it. Toasty, cinnamon spiced nuts and oats with chewy dried fruit… but not just any fruit: mango, orange, shaved coconut chips, and the mystery ingredient, candied ginger. Your house will smell amazing while it cooks. It lasts for weeks, and does double (triple?) duty as a snack, cereal, or topping for yogurt or ice cream. And please don’t blame me for your addiction 😉

ingredients granola

One of the things I love most about making my own granola is completely controlling what’s in it. My granola is sweet, but not cloyingly so. I sweeten it with honey because it does such a good job of making the granola clump and stick together, but you can use maple syrup to make it vegan. I love to add chia and sesame seeds because they add a really nice crunchy pop. I used almonds here, but pecans or any other nut you love will work beautifully too. If you have a nut allergy, you can substitute an equal amount of pumpkin or sunflower seeds. And if you prefer more traditional fruits, have at it, the possibilities are endless. Raisins are traditional, but any of your favorites would work: cranberries, blueberries, figs, apricots, etc. Just make sure to chop any large fruit so they are around the same size.

It’s important to use rolled oats instead of the instant oats. The instant kind are too thin and will burn before everything is as crispy and toasty as we want it. Extra thick oats, if you can find it, are a great use here.

oats granola

chia granola

honey

I like to use coconut oil because it enhances the soft coconut flavor that is clearly my kryptonite, but you can use whatever oil you like.

Mix everything really well and then it’s time to bake your granola! I line a baking sheet with parchment paper so nothing sticks. Putting the raw granola into a thick disk keeps little bits from burning. Baking low and slow is the key to golden brown granola that has a lot of delicate ingredients like almonds and coconut shavings mixed in.

I don’t really feel like the shape helps with clumping at this point. Despite what others may advise, no amount of shaping, pressing, or careful handling at the baking stage will help your granola clump. The clumping will come later. And it really doesn’t matter anyway, because you still have to mix in fruit later.

bake granola

While the Granola bakes, I chop up the dried fruit. Cut all of the fruit the same size, except for the ginger which I cut into tiny pieces. I like the fruit cut so that it’s about the size of a raisin so it mixes in well with the Granola, but feel free to cut it larger if you like.

dried mango

The granola will be nicely browned and crisp when it’s done, and then I add in the fruit while the granola is piping hot. Once the granola is well mixed, take a couple of spatulas or wooden spoons, and press the granola together. As the granola cools, it will clump and harden. Resist the urge to touch it until it has completely cooled to room temperature. You can break up the bigger pieces if you wish.

Store the Granola in a sealed container away from moisture. It will soften a bit from the dried fruit the longer it sits but will still be delicious! It’s fine stored at room temperature but you can also store it in the freezer. Let it sit out for 10 minutes before eating so it’s not rock hard.

dried fruit granola

This Granola is excellent just by the handful or tucked into a lunch box. You can also use it to top these Overnight Oats and of course you can enjoy it with your favorite kind of milk or with yogurt.

Whip this up over the weekend; you will be so glad you did. Let me know if you have any comments or questions about this recipe, and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

 

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recipe card granola closeup

Granola

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups whole rolled oats
  • ½ cup chopped roasted almonds (or any kind of nuts)
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ cup coconut flakes (I used large flakes for texture and visual appeal)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil or neutral vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup

Dried Fruit:

You can use any combination you like up to 1 cup total

  •   cup finely chopped dried mango
  • ¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger, optional
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped dried orange, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F and move the oven shelf to the middle.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the dried fruit: oats, almonds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, coconut flakes, almonds, cinnamon, sea salt, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and honey. Stir well to combine.
  4. Scoop out the granola into the pan and press into a 1 inch thick disk in the center of the lined pan. 
  5. Bake for 20 minutes and then stir the granola with a fork and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Take the pan out of the oven and add the dried fruit. Mix well and then use a couple of spatulas or wooden spoons to press the granola together. (This will encourage clumping and the formation of larger pieces).
  7. Let the granola cool completely in the pan, about 30 minutes. Break up the granola with your hands or a fork as desired. Transfer to an airtight container.
  8. Store the granola at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let the granola thaw for 10 minutes before serving for best texture.

Notes

*you can use whatever dried fruit you like: raisins, cranberries, figs, and apricots are all good choices. Chop the larger fruit so they match the other ingredients.

*I use roasted nuts because I like nuts extra toasty and they do not burn or get overly dark. You can of course use unroasted nuts if you prefer.

*If you are allergic to nuts, use pumpkin or sunflower seeds instead.

Gimbap

Gimbap

You may have seen some of the viral Tiktoks about Trader Joe’s latest Korean offering, their seaweed rice roll. Gimbap (“gim” being seaweed, and “bap” being rice) have long been a beloved snack in Korea. And they’ve really taken the states by storm lately too. read more

Tamagoyaki Frittata

Tamagoyaki Frittata

Tamagoyaki is a favorite Japanese lunch box item, often found in purchased bento boxes or made by a home cook for school lunches. Dashi flavored thin, delicate layers of cooked egg are rolled together to make a large fluffy omelet. It’s deeply savory from the read more

Ube Pancakes

Ube Pancakes

Last week I showed you how to make Ube Halaya, also known as purple yam jam, and this week I’m going to share a truly magical way to use it. Breakfast, brunch, a late night snack…there’s really no time that a person would turn down Ube Pancakes. From the beautiful deep violet color to the dreamy condensed milk poured over the top, these aren’t your ordinary pancakes. Kids love them, and so do adults, so let’s get into it!

Is it a little pretentious to call these Tres Leches Ube Pancakes? Maybe it sounds too sweet? Well that was the name I considered calling these plush little beauties because they do use three different types of milk. But they’re not anywhere close to the sweetness you find in the indulgent super soaked dessert. Instead they’re an Asian level of sweetness, just perfect as a special breakfast treat.

ingredients ube pancakes

Ube Pancakes Batter

The base of this ube pancake is the ube halaya. If you’ve never had it, it’s like a creamy sweet potato mash flavored with vanilla and a hint of coconut. It’s awesome and easy, so I highly encourage you to make it. You can also find it at Asian markets in jars on the shelf. If finding or making ube halaya seems out of reach, you can substitute sweet potatoes. Any mashed sweet potatoes (a good use for leftovers) can be used.

Mixing up the ube pancake batter isn’t much different than making regular batter aside from adding the ube halaya. I start by mixing the wet ingredients together. This first step helps loosen up the base and will keep you from over-mixing the flour later.

bowl for ube pancakes batter

vanilla ube pancakes

Ube extract is totally optional, but I like both the deep purple color it adds as well as the flavor.

Once the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed, I add in the dry. Use a gentle hand when mixing. A few small clumps of flour are fine.

sprinkle flour ube pancakes

overmix

Cooking Ube Pancakes

Cooking the ube pancakes is very straightforward. I start by heating a nonstick skillet and adding the oil. I use paper towels to blot and wipe down the pan; I don’t want puddles of oil. In fact, I learned from Cooks Illustrated many moons ago that a mostly dry pan will give you the most evenly browned pancakes. So make sure you leave just a bare coating of oil. Then save the oily paper towel to wipe the pan between batches.

Then flip the pancakes over and cook on the other side for another couple minutes. Transfer them to a plate and repeat with the rest of the ube pancake batter. Because there is some sugar in the pancake batter, these pancakes will brown deeper than traditional pancakes. If you find the first batch too dark for your liking, simply lower the heat a bit on subsequent batches. Personally, I like the toasty caramel-like flavor that comes from the well browned pancakes.

Serving Ube Pancakes

These ube pancakes are incredibly delicious with the classic butter and maple syrup pairing. But of course, I like to add a little razzle dazzle. A drizzle of luscious condensed milk takes these to another level. Condensed milk features prominently as a sweetener and ingredient in many Asian sweets because it is shelf stable, not requiring refrigeration. So it is very common in the Philippines and my husband fondly remembers his siblings slathering it on toast, much like jam or nutella.

Lastly, it does indeed remind me of a Miami favorite, tres leches cake, the Latin inspired sponge cake soaked in different milks. It’s a cultural mashup that really works!

Whip up these Ube Pancakes this weekend and see for yourself! And let us know what you think, we love hearing from you! You can leave a comment here, or tag us @funkyasiankitchen.

Looking for some more breakfast ideas? We’ve got you covered, check out our Halo Halo, Overnight Oats, or these popular Green Smoothies.

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Ube Pancakes

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pancakes 1x
  • Category: breakfast
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup prepared ube halaya*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces evaporated milk (or any kind of milk you like)
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour (3.25 ounces)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ube extract (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon neutral oil (for the pan)
  • Butter and condensed milk or maple syrup for serving

Instructions

  1. Put the ube halaya, eggs, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. 
  2. Add the ube extract and whisk again to combine.
  3. Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, and salt on top of the ube. Stir gently until just combined. It is fine to have some small lumps but do not overmix.
  4. Set a large 12” non-stick skillet over medium heat for several minutes. Add a tablespoon of oil and use a paper towel to wipe the oil around the pan (you don’t want any pools of oil left. The pan should be dry.) Keep the paper towel to oil the pan between batches.
  5. Lower the heat to medium low and drop ⅓ cup portions of batter onto the skillet, making sure to leave enough room to allow the batter to spread. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes until bubbles start to form on the top and the edges of the pancake look dry. 
  6. Flip the pancakes over and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a plate. (You can also keep the pancakes warm in the oven if you are making a lot of them. Preheat the oven to 250 and keep the pancakes on a baking tray covered with foil.)
  7. Use the oiled paper towel to wipe the surface of the pan and continue making batches of pancakes until the batter is finished. You should yield about 8 pancakes.
  8. Serve the ube pancakes with a pat of butter and condensed milk or maple syrup on the side.

Notes

*You can refrigerate or freeze any uneaten pancakes. Microwave for a minute or two covered with a damp paper towel to heat before serving.

Keywords: ube, ube halaya, sweets, breakfast, snacks, pancakes,