Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Hot Pot

** Please see recipe below for the Thai Coconut Curry Broth before making the Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Hot Pot


Thai Coconut Curry Broth

This soup has so many layers: the creamy coconut milk soothes the complex curry paste, the brininess from the fish sauce gives it all the salt you need, while the pineapple and lychee make it slightly sweet and sour. From poultry to meat or seafood, this soup base is very versatile, plus gluten free, low carb, paleo. With the option to make it vegetarian by swapping out vegetable stock for the chicken, it can please anyone - so I like to make it ahead and store in my refrigerator for quick, flavorful meals. On a busy weeknight, I serve it poured over a hot bowl of steamed rice finished with a mess of fresh herbs on top.

Skill Level: Moderate

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 8 cups (2 quarts)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons red curry paste

3 ¼ cups full-fat coconut milk (approximately two 13.5 oz cans)

4 cups Chicken Stock (you can substitute store bought low-sodium broth) or 4 cups Vegetable Stock if you want it vegetarian.

¼ cup lychee (about 6 small canned lychee), finely chopped

¼ cup pineapple, finely chopped

1½ tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon grated palm sugar (you can substitute with light brown sugar)

4 kaffir lime leaves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. In a 4-quart hot pot or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high (about 425 degrees for an electric hot pot). Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  2. Stir in the the coconut milk, stock, lychee, pineapple, fish sauce, sugar and lime leaves and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until very flavorful, about 20 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD The broth can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove top.


Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Hot Pot

The most difficult thing about this recipe was coming up with a name for it. My Thai friend Katie was explaining to me that you cannot call a curry a hot pot in Thailand because they are two separate things. Thai curries are traditionally thicker in consistency, while Thai hot pots are more similar to traditional dashi-based Japanese recipes. I think the creaminess of the coconut milk and the robust profile of curry lend themselves well to hot pots - the meat and vegetables soak up so much of that flavor in a brief time. Here, I use a base that has all of the complexity of a creamy Thai curry, but it is thinned out with a bit of chicken broth so it’s thin enough to swish your vegetables around in.

Skill Level: Moderate

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

To Make in Advance: Thai Coconut Curry Broth (above)

Preparation: Stovetop

3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

Kosher salt and pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 cups (2 quarts) Thai Coconut Curry Broth (see Note)

6 baby eggplants, such as Thai or fairy tale, stemmed and quartered (you can substitute 1 medium eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces)

½ small kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), seeded and thinly sliced

¼ head Napa cabbage, cored and the thick white parts cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup cherry tomatoes

2 cups loosely packed thai basil leaves (you can substitute regular basil)

¼ cup Red Thai chili - stemmed, seeded and minced (you can substitute Fresno chilies; optional)

Steamed rice, for serving

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook, stirring once or twice, until browned, but not cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and chicken.

  2. Heat a 4-quart hot pot or large saucepan over medium-high (about 425 degrees for an electric hot pot). Add the broth and chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant, kabocha, cabbage and tomatoes and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the basil leaves and chilies, if you would like a spicy soup.

  3. Ladle into shallow bowls and serve with steamed rice.


This recipe is easy to scale up or down depending on the size of your group and hot pot. Just be sure that your hot pot is filled about halfway with broth. If the liquid reduces overtime, add more.

Easy Peasy Knife Skillzzz

To have knife skillzzz, you need a good knife. The one I’m using here is an 8” Miyabi birchwood chef’s knife.


How to make an oblique cut:

  1. Peel the carrots and cut off the stems.

  2. Hold each carrot on a cutting surface with your non-dominant hand and hold the knife with your dominant hand at a 45-degrree angle.

  3. Cutting about 1-inch (2.5 cm) slices on the diagonal, roll the carrot a quarter turn toward you after each cut. Repeat until the carrot is completely cut. The cuts should be angled towards each other.


How to make a shiitake mushroom star cut:

  1. Wash, rinse and de-stem your mushrooms.

  2. Hold a mushroom with the cap-side up in the palm of your non-dominant hand.

  3. Using a small paring knife, make a beveled cut straight down the middle, removing the portion of which you’ve cut out so it reveals the white flesh.

  4. Repeat on the diagonal twice so that you have a star shape with 6 points as shown in the image.

Super Bowl Sunday with a Japanese Twist!

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up and there’s no reason you can’t have ribs, chili AND sushi! If I were to host the ultimate Superbowl Party, here my fave picks to score a touchdown with your guests.

My Mom’s Crispy Chicken Wings


Savory, sweet, crispy, delicious. Addicting. Recipe here.

Chinese Chicken Salad


The perfect side and it’s healthy. Recipe here.

Make Your Own Sushi Station


Who doesn’t want sushi? This is super easy because you can make everything ahead of time and lay it out for your guests to make their own hand-rolls. Recipe here.

My Mom’s Salty Baby Back Ribs


My mom’s baby back ribs are super easy and tender. You just need to pop them in the oven at least 5 hours before the party so that they can sit and tenderize and are warm and ready to go when guests arrive. Also, don’t forget to set your oven rack to the middle, otherwise the ribs will burn when you broil them.


2 racks baby back pork ribs

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup garlic salt


  1. Preheat broiler to high with rack set on the middle.

  2. Make a dry rub out of the salt, pepper and garlic salt.

  3. Sprinkle the dry rub on both sides of the ribs very generously.

  4. In a roasting pan or cookie sheet on top of a rack, lay the ribs (rib side up) and broil for 10 minutes. Watch your oven, you might want more or less time depending but you want them browned and crispy.

  5. Flip them over and broil on the meat side and broil for another 10 minutes or until nice and crisp.

  6. Turn off the oven and keep the ribs in the oven until they tenderize (about 3-5 hours).

Tina’s Turkey Chili

This recipe is from my sister’s sister-in-law Tina. I’ve added Mexican chocolate and Guinness beer to the recipe to make it a bit more layered in flavor. It’s super easy if you have a crockpot because you just throw it all in and it’s done.


2 lbs ground turkey

30 oz can tomato sauce

30 oz can chili beans, no need to drain

30 oz can kidney beans, no need to drain

8 oz can chopped green chiles

4 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp ground red pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 block of Mexican Chocolate (I use Nestle Abuelita Authentic Mexican Chocolate Drink Mix)

1 Guinness beer (1/2 for the chili and the other 1/2 for you to enjoy!)


Chopped green onion, sour cream, cheddar cheese, Fritos


  1. If you have a crockpot with a removable pot, brown the turkey in this. If not, brown it separately in a large saute pan.

  2. Put all of the other ingredients into your crockpot and set it to high.

  3. Add the turkey (or if you cooked the turkey in the removable pot, leave it in).

  4. Combine well but gently so you don’t crush the beans.

  5. Cook on high for at least 3 hours, stir occasionally, then turn down to warm.

  6. Serve with garnishes on the side for people to add as they please.

Skewered BBQ Veggies with Miso Dip


Skewered Vegetables:

Any combination of veggies really. I like to use red, yellow and green peppers, shiitake mushrooms caps, red onions and Japanese eggplant. Just choose a colorful variety. Skewer, salt and pepper and BBQ until charred on all sides.

Dip Ingredients:

¼ cup Red Miso paste

2 tbsp mirin

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce, preferably low sodium


  1. Whisk all ingredients together and serve in a nice dipping bowl with the vegetable skewers.

Japanese Pumpkin Fries (Kabocha – カボチャ)


These fries are a big hit with the kids.  Dunked in catsup or alone, they are a nutritious side dish to any meal and they’re better because they are baked, not fried.


1 Japanese Pumpkin – Available at most natural food stores or Japanese grocers

2 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Choose your spices - add paprika for a nice kick or make them sweeter with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar!


  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.

  2. Cut the kabocha in half and remove the seeds with a spoon.  (The seeds can be used just like pumpkin seeds for roasting so save these! )

  3. Cut the stem and bottom off.  No need to peel, just leave the skin on.  Cut into 4 inch lengthwise strips.

  4. Place on a cookie sheet.  Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and spices.  Mix to incorporate.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until they are browned - turning once.

My Mom's Best Apple Pie

What can I say, I’m a little biased but I have tasted a few apple pies in my day and I think my mom’s is hand’s down the best. I remember growing up seeing her test out different types of crust with butter vs. lard, making sure not to over mix the batter, adding an ice cube to the batter to keep it cold, rolling out the dough in a frenzy before it got warm. It has taken over 40 years to perfect (a small hint to my age) but I think it’s at its best right about now.

She makes her apple pie for Thanksgiving and that’s it. I like it that way because I get to look forward to it every year and I know it’s going to be pretty special. I like it heated a la mode but it’s also great a bit chilled for breakfast. #mymomspieisbetterthanyours


8-10 large pippin, granny-smith or gala apples - peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thin (depending on size of pie pan)

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 heaping tbsp AP flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 pinch salt


  1. Prepare apples before making the crust by mixing apples with ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

Fabulous Crust:

1 1/4 cup AP flour plus 1/4 cup AP flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

3/4 cup butter (Irish Butter preferred)

1/4 cup butter sliced in small pieces

1 egg beaten

1/4 cup sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

  2. Sift together 1 1/4 cup flour, salt and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.

  3. Cut in 3/4 butter. Leave in large pea-sized chunks.

  4. In a separate small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons ice-water with 1/4 cup flour to make a paste (this is the secret to the crust).

  5. Combine the ice-water mixture with the cut-in butter mixture to form a ball in the medium-sized bowl. Mix with a fork, do not use your hands.

  6. Mix as little as possible. Add a sprinkle of ice-water if the dough is not binding.

  7. Divide the ball into 2 parts for upper and lower crust and wrap in saran wrap. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes minimum to chill.

  8. On a well floured board, roll one of the crusts out into a long oval and fold over into thirds to make the crust flaky. Repeat. Work quickly and handle as little as possible. Keep the other crust in the refrigerator until ready to use. Roll out in a large circle for the bottom crust to fit your pie pan with enough to go over the edges by 1/2 inch. Place in a large pie pan.

  9. Sprinkle the bottom crust with flour. Do not prick the crust.

  10. Heap in the apples and press down lightly to compact the apples.

  11. Add butter slices on top evenly.

  12. Roll out the top crust the same as the bottom crust by rolling out into a long oval and folding over to make the crust flaky. Repeat. Work quickly and handle as little as possible.

  13. Roll out into a large circle. Cut in vents.

  14. Roll the top onto the rolling pin to place on top of the apples.

  15. Trim around the raggedy edges with a scissors so dough hangs over 1/2 inch from rim of pie plate. Roll the edges under to seal the crusts together and flute the edges.

  16. Brush top of crust with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

  17. Place in 450 degrees oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Chocolate Mochi Cake

Mochiko is a glutinous rice flour made from mochigome (a short-grained Japanese rice) that is ground into a fine powder. The mochiko in this cake gives it more density and moisture, while the cake flour and baking soda help it to rise like a more traditional cake. But, there’s nothing traditional about it - the result is a rich, not-too-sweet, chocolatey confection that sticks to your fork and is somewhere between a brownie and a cake. My family prefers it heated up a bit and served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Skill Level: Moderate

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 18 to 20 servings



Non-stick cooking spray, for greasing

2 cups Mochiko (280 grams; Japanese sweet rice flour)

½ cup cake flour (See Note)

½ cup unprocessed cocoa powder (43 grams)

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups whole milk

1 (12 oz) can coconut milk

½ cup melted dark sweetened chocolate, cooled slightly

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup salted butter, softened

2 cups packed dark brown sugar (320 grams)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Ice cream, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-13 inch pan with cooking spray.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients - mochiko, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients - whole milk, coconut milk, melted chocolate, vanilla extract and eggs.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl and using a hand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides

  5. With the mixer running, gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating between the two until smooth and just incorporated.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. Cut into thin slices and transfer to plates. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with ice cream.  

Note: Cake flour is finer and has a lower protein content (therefore less gluten) than all purpose flour, so when used it gives a more delicate texture.


Blue Apron Kahn Family Pork and Miso Ramen

ORDER YOUR BLUE APRON BY NOON ON MAY 31ST TO GET OUR KAHN FAMILY PORK AND MISO RAMEN! Send me an email at and I'll send you a free voucher to try! If you get a chance to order it for the week of June 5th, we hope you enjoy it!

This past August we entered the Blue Apron Kids Cooking Camp Contest and WON a trip for our whole family to go to NYC and help the Blue Apron team create a recipe! We had so much fun, week after week, following the rules of the contest and submitting our posts on Instagram. Here are some of our favorite posts:











When we got the email from Blue Apron telling us we won, we were beyond thrilled. They arranged to fly us to NYC, put us up in a hotel and take us to their secret Blue Apron test kitchen where we would create a recipe with them. We had such a fun time seeing where they keep all of their many spices and ingredients, learning about their recipe creation process (how they are limited to 10 ingredients and 10 steps or less) and watching the photographer take pictures of the final recipe.

We had decided ahead of time that we would work on a ramen recipe. What was most challenging was the limitation of ingredients and steps. I really feel like the final result is one that gives depth and flavor in a short amount of time. I also had a new respect for Blue Apron and the recipes it sends me, knowing that they always have to follow the parameters of 10 ingredients or less and only 10 steps or less. Given those limitations, don't expect the best ramen you've ever had - but this is pretty darn good. Here's the description right from Blue Apron...

This summery take on ramen was developed in collaboration with the Kahn family of San Francisco, Calif., winners of the 2016 Blue Apron Kids Cooking Camp. A satisfying, earthy broth gets its savory flavor from three ingredients: miso paste, dried shiitakes, and kombu—a type of dried seaweed with a delicately briny flavor. It's the perfect base for fresh, springy ramen noodles topped with seasonal asparagus, cooked to retain its tender bite. Sweet-tart marinated cucumber, served on the side, adds a refreshing crunch to the dish.

Scroll through to see the epic day with had creating Pork and Miso Ramen with the Blue Apron team!

My Japanese Candy Box Review and Contest!

I'm doing some consulting work for a subscription box company and in my research stumbled upon a website for all kinds of subscription boxes. This one caught my attention. It's called and you guessed it, every month based on the subscription plan you choose - they'll send you a super cool box filled with interesting, delicious and unique Japanese treats.  Each box has 8-10 different candies or snacks and it's FREE SHIPPING. They run about $20 a box (unless you opt for 6 months or more and then it's discounted) but the value is definitely more than that. I'm hooked. 

It was so fun getting my box and opening it with my kids. Can you imagine their excitement when I told them we HAD to try each of the candies and they had to tell me what they thought of each one?  Let me show you what we found inside. SO FUN! 

Maggie and her friend Emma after we opening the box! 

Maggie and her friend Emma after we opening the box! 

Here's what the May box came with along with our feedback:

Kracie Popin Cooking Ramen DIY Kit - The coolest thing ever. We made ramen out of a kit and it all tasted like candy - gummy, sweet, lemony gooey candy. Not super edible but really fun to make. And yes, that is a tiny tiny bowl of ramen with fake egg and kamaboko on top and yes, those are mini dumplings filled with a sugar confetti candy bits. Delicious and kind of serendipitous given I wrote a book on ramen!  

Bourbon Fettucine Peach Gummies - Our favorite. Sour, tangy, sugary peachy, just delicious and shaped like fettucine noodles. Those Japanese, so creative! 

Shin Chan Ramune Candies - You know the Japanese soda in a glass bottle with the marble on top that you can't get out?  So these taste like little ramune jawbreakers. Funny packaging with a boy pulling his pants down from behind. Those Japanese, so crazy! 

Coris Shari To Puru Gum - Packed with flavor, tart apple flavored gum with a jelly filling.  My personal favorite because of the delicious apple flavor. 

Meiji Wata Pachi Ramune Gum - Tasted like ramune soda flavored fizzy cotton candy. Unique and not like any gum we've had before - it fizzed in your mouth and slowly turned into gum - weird but good! 

Doraemon Green Tea Chocolate - Cute Japanese Anime character Doraemon with strong green tea and chocolate flavor encased in a light crispy wafer. A bit dry but very flavorful. 

GyoGyoGyo Taste Changing Gum -Cool because you could break apart different flavors in little segments and combine them to make combined flavors. 

Tohato Yokai Watch Caramel Corn - Butterscotch caramel corn, crunchy and sweet - as if Pirate Booty and Caramel Corn had a baby. 

Tohato Kotsubu Breano Pea Snacks - Pea flavored, crunchy a little lacking in flavor but seemed pretty healthy. Reminded us of those snap pea crisps. 

Glico Calpico Mini Ice Cream Snack - A sweet chocolate filling inside a light and sweet wafer. Simple but yum. 

Ryan and Ellie were beyond thrilled when they came home to a tasting table of Japanese treats. And all of this BEFORE dinner...made their day!

Ellie said, "This is awesome!" also gave me a contest to run for one of you lucky peeps to win a free box of candy so enter now for a chance to WIN! 

Tonkotsu Ramen Soup Base

The Tonkotsu Base is the holy grail of ramen soup bases, and this recipe follows the traditional recipe I learned to make from Sensei Miyajima Rikisai at the Miyajima Ramen School in Osaka, Japan. Tonkotsu, known as “white soup,” comes from two different regions in Japan. This version comes from the Kanto region of Tokyo. It uses a double-soup method, where two separate broths are combined right before serving, making a more complex and flavorful soup. Once you master the Tonkotsu Base, you’ve basically made Tonkotsu, Shio and Shoyu Bases in one go, so it will be worth your hard work!

Serves 10
Prep time: 4 hours, plus time to make Chashu
Equipment: 30-quart pressure cooker (always read and follow the instructions provided with your
pressure cooker before you start)
Make in Advance:
Chashu - recipe found here

Seabura (boiled pork back fat)
11⁄2 lbs (700 g) pork back fat
Water, to cover

Tonkotsu Soup
1⁄2 lb (225 g) chicken feet, cleaned, extra skin removed and
nails cut off (approximately 6 feet)
8–10 lbs (3.6–4.5 kg) pork knuckles/trotters, pounded with
a mallet to release marrow
1 lb (455 g) potatoes, unpeeled and sliced in big chunks
5 qts (4.7 L) water

Shiodare (salt flavor component)
1 large rectangular piece kombu (about 10 inches/25 cm long),
cut into large squares
1 large or 2 small dried shiitake mushrooms, crumbled
1 qt (946 ml) water
2 tbsp bonito flakes
11⁄2 cups (300 g) baby clams
1⁄2 cup (140 g) salt

Shoyudare (soy sauce flavor component)
Equal parts Shiodare and Chashu Braising Liquid (do not assemble until ready to use)


1. Before cooking, you must have the Chashu with its braising liquid on hand to use later.

2. Start making the Seabura: Place the pork back fat in a large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 4 hours, uncovered.

3. Start making the Tonkotsu Soup: In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch the chicken feet,       drain, and then add them to the pressure cooker along with the pork knuckles or trotters and the potatoes. Cover with up to 5 quarts (4.7 L) water, making sure the total volume of water and food combined does not exceed half of the pot.

4. Leave your pressure regulator weight off of the vent pipe. Turn heat to high until steam flows from the vent pipe (this may take up to 20 minutes) and continue to let vent for 10 minutes more to get all of the air out. Maintain high heat setting and place your pressure regulator weight on. Start timing your cooking when the regulator weight begins to jiggle or rock. It may appear as if it is leaking, but this is normal. Regulate the heat so that the weight only jiggles 1–4 times per minute. Start the timer and cook for 1 hour.

5. Start making the Shiodare: In a medium-sized pot, bring the kombu, shiitake, and 4 cups (950 ml) water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the kombu and shiitake and put the soup into a clean medium-sized pot.

6. Return this drained soup to the stove, add the bonito flakes, and heat to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the bonito flakes and put soup into your other empty pot, pressing the flakes to release all their liquid.

7. Return this drained soup to the stove and add the clams, bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the clams and put soup into your other empty pot. Add almost all the salt and whisk in. Note that the salt to soup ratio should be 20 percent, resulting in a very salty soup base or Shiodare. To be exact, before adding your salt, pour the soup into a quart measure and multiply by 20 percent to get the exact salt to add.

8. After 1 hour, take the pressure cooker off the heat and allow the pressure gauge to return to 0 before gently removing the cover. Push down the pork bones to get the bone fat out and make the soup creamier and thicker. Cook on a medium low heat with the cover off for about 1 hour longer, mixing periodically.

9. Directly into your serving bowls, add 1 tablespoon braising liquid and 1 tablespoon Shiodare per serving.

10. Drain and remove the pork back fat that has been simmering. Cut the strips into smaller 2-inch (5 cm) pieces. Into a medium-sized bowl, take a large-holed sieve and push a couple of pieces at a time through the sieve so that you see it come thorugh the other side in small little bits. Repeat until all pieces are pushed through. Your Seabura is ready. Set aside.

11. Strain all of the solids from the Tonkotsu soup in the pressure cooker and transfer the soup to a separate pan and keep warm. Right before serving, crank it up to a boil.

12. Start boiling your water for your noodles and have all of your other components ready. When the noodles are nearly ready, assemble your bowls by adding 1 cup (235 ml) of piping hot Tonkotsu soup to each of your prepared bowls of Shoyudare (Step 9) and 1 tablespoon of the Seabura (Step 10) to each serving portion, then add your noodles and place the sliced Chashu on top along with desired toppings. Congratulations, you've done it. Slurp, swallow, enjoy, repeat.