Spicy & Crispy Indian Fish

A dear family friend of ours is an AMAZING cook and she recently made her specialty fish dish for my mom when she was recently unwell. This is my attempt to recreate it from what I remember, but this is an adaptation since I have added coriander powder and tested my own variation on how much of each ingredient goes into the paste. My favorite part of this dish is the crispy exterior and succulent interior combined with the spicy, garlic paste that the fish is coated with.

Pair this with rice, bread, tortilla, or eat it by itself withs one veggies for an absolutely gorgeous weeknight (or weekend!) meal. πŸ™‚




6 white fish filets of your choice (tilapia works really well as it is flat and crisps beautifully!), but you can use other fish
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1.5 teaspoon red chili powder (you can reduce or increase this based on your spice preference or to make it more kid-friendly)
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon of ginger paste (or finely minced ginger)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
the juice of one lemon (or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice)
Optional garnish ideas: fresh cucumber, red onion, avocado


In a blender, pureΓ© all of the marinade ingredients until well-incorporated. Using gloves (to avoid smelling like fish as well as saving yourself from the hot chili powder), spread the marinade paste all over both sides of the fish filets. If you have a few minutes to spare, let them sit in the marinade for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat up your skillet over medium-high heat.

Once the skillet is hot, turn down the heat a notch and add the filets.

Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish you are using), undisturbed so you get a nice crispy crust. Flip the fish and cook the filets until cooked to your liking.

[Note: when I am using tilapia, I cook the first side for about 4 minutes, and the other side for approximately 3 minutes for a total of 7 minutes.] Plate the fish, sprinkle it with Kosher salt, drizzle fresh lemon juice on it, and enjoy fresh & hot! πŸ™‚

Grilled Corn with Cotija Cheese, Cayenne & Lemon

Hi my loves! This summer, you MUST get outside and grill some beautiful corn! This preparation of eating whole corn on the cob is a mix of my experience eating road-side roasted corn in India with my love for Mexican flavors (i.e. the salty Cotija cheese!). This is an easy appetizer to complement your grilled vegetables and meat at your next outdoor soiree. Enjoy!



4 corn on the cob, husks removed but stem attached for easy handling on the grill
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (available at most mexican supermarkets)
1 lemon, cut in half

Grill the corn on the cob directly on the grill until done to your liking. Meanwhile, prepare your cayenne-lemon paste. In a small bowl, juice the lemon halves and add the cayenne pepper. Using one of the lemon halves as a ‘spoon’, mix these two ingredients into a paste and reserve this lemon half to apply the paste to the corn! Just leave it in the bowl.

Once your corn is grilled, apply the cayenne-lemon paste to the corn using the lemon half. Finish the preparation by sprinkling the beautiful cotija cheese on top and enjoy hot! πŸ™‚

Japanese Broiled Fish

Have you ever been in a rush to put together a delicious meal? Well, I certainly have. And there have been many (perhaps too many) nights where I’m craving a delicious, yet healthy fish dish but I don’t have the energy to marinate overnight or be fancy about things. This is by far, my favorite and quickest Asian-style fish recipe that makes my taste buds tickle with happiness. The beautiful color of the fish and the charred bits from the grill are the most beautiful part of this dish. The simplicity of the flavor (and low calorie count) make this recipe a true winner!

Try it out – you won’t be disappointed! πŸ™‚




1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 tablespoon miso paste (yellow miso, not red miso)
1 fish filet of your choice (can use salmon sea bass, cod, or even mackerel)
Kosher or sea salt, to taste


Method: You can either broil the fish in your oven, use an indoor grill pan, or use an outdoor grill! I like putting my fish indirectly on the flame as pictured below, which I am told is the best way to cook the fish! [Note: if you cook it the way I did, remember to line your stove with aluminum foil as I did for a quicker clean-up!]


Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl and marinate your fish filet while you heat up your grill (up to 20 minutes, but less is fine!). Once your grill (or oven) is hot, cook the filet for about 5-8 minutes, flipping and basting occasionally until the fish is flaky and cooked to your liking.

Sprinkle a little salt on top of the fish and serve on top of a fresh arugula salad and squeeze a lemon wedge over your fish and salad. Dinner is ready! πŸ™‚

Chipotle Marinade – Chicken or Tofu!

I know there has been a lot of recent buzz around ‘Chipotle’ food having a lot of sodium and calories – and being unhealthy, in general. So, what better way to tackle those cravings than to make your own, delicious ‘chipotle’ meats at home? πŸ™‚ Sites like LiveStrong.com, and others, have posted tips on how to keep your calorie count low while eating at a Chipotle (e.g. ‘How To Eat Healthy at Chipotle‘) too, in case cooking at home isn’t an option.

However, for those of you that can spare a few minutes, this chipotle marinade recipe of mine is AMAZING on proteins like chicken, fish, and even tofu! This can be a spicy dish, depending on how much chili powder you put, and how much spice you can handle, so try the marinade BEFORE you put the chicken into it to make sure you can handle it! This marinade keeps incredibly well in the fridge for up to a week in case you make a little extra and keep it away before you use it on the chicken. It’s also great to brush onto fish when on the grill! πŸ™‚

I hope you try this out – Enjoy!


1/4 cup chipotle pepper, from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon adobo sauce, from the canned chipotles
4 tablespoons olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 large white onion
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Protein: chicken (cut of your choice: drumsticks, legs, thigh, etc) or cubed firm tofu


Add all ingredients a food processor or blender and process until well-combined and pureed.

Transfer mixture to a bowl or ziploc bag, add chicken (or tofu) and let sit in marinade overnight. [Note: if you don’t have time to marinate, no problem! It will still be delicious!]

Grill chicken for 6-8 minutes per side on a hot grill, or roast in the oven at 400 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165 degrees F. Let it rest, covered with foil, for 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to settle (you will end up with a much juicier and tender chicken!)

Spiced Grilled Carrots with Mint Yogurt

My husband and I recently discovered a DELICIOUS, new restaurant in Redwood City called ‘Vesta‘. All I can say is, WOW – their menu is creative, simple, yet delicious and fresh. We ordered a wonderful pizza, accompanied by some grilled carrots that were both a beautiful presentation and outright delicious. I had no choice but to replicate it at home for a get together recently, and they were a smash hit (and a healthy one too!). The natural sweetness of the carrots mixed with the paprika and cumin, dipped in a spiced yogurt sauce is perfect. Just when we almost forgot that grilling carrots in a beautiful manner was even an option, the perfect crispy, yet charred taste through this cooking method is divine. This is the perfect side dish to any meal.

I hope you enjoy this in your kitchen as much as it was enjoyed in mine! ❀


Spiced Grilled Carrots

Yields: 4-6 servings


4 carrots, cut into strips (don’t worry about making these even – this is a rustic and beautiful dish!)
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic paste
Kosher salt, to taste

Yogurt Sauce
1 cup of yogurt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt, to taste
2 teaspoons fresh, chopped mint


Heat up your grill or grill pan and make sure it is hot! Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the carrots, spices, and extra virgin olive oil. Make sure the carrots are well-coated with the spices.

For the yogurt dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside. Place in refrigerator covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Can be made 1 day ahead.

Once the grill is hot, place the marinated carrots onto the hot grill and let them get a nice char by not moving them for 2-3 minutes. Rotate them to allow beautiful grill marks all over them and serve hot with the yogurt dipping sauce!!

Marinated Mediterranean Chicken

DISCLAIMER: This recipe doesn’t take 48 hours to COOK – it’s a 48 hour marinade so don’t run off quite yet! πŸ˜‰

If you enjoy tender, delicious meat – this recipe is for you! If you need to take a short cut (e.g. cutting down the marination time to 4-6 hours, or even 24), do it and you will still be glad you tried this out! Simple but satisfying flavors that are beautiful cooked on the grill (or on a grill pan), but you can just as easily oven-roast the chicken in your oven.

Do notice that I prefer using skin-on chicken simply because the chicken ends up being more succulent. Often times the skin will come off/burn off during the grilling period anyway, but having that extra layer to lock in the marinade while in the fridge is essential. Stick the marinated meat on a hot grill, get a beautiful char on it, and there you have a scrumptious meal.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

NOTE ON MY PICTURE: This recipe is the line of chicken that is second from the left. If you add paprika and chili powder to the below recipe, you will end up with chicken looking like the line of meat all the way to the left πŸ˜‰ The cedar-planked salmon and Korean style beef are just accessories at my grilling party! πŸ˜‰

Yields: 8 generous servings


14-16 chicken thighs (skin-on) or 8 chicken breasts

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
the zest of one lemon
3 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (or onions)
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley


Mix all ingredients except chicken together into a large and deep bowl and whisk until well-incorporated.

Add your chicken and toss so that the meat is well coated with the marinade.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let marinate in refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours (The meat is just blissfully delicious after a 48 hour marinade!! Do it on a Wednesday (like today!) for a Friday meal! :))

Halfway through your marination period, use tongs to toss the chicken in the marinade once to evenly distribute the marinade.

1 days later (or 2 days after marination began)….

Drain meat and grill on a hot grill, basting with marinade until meat is cooked through. Serve hot and use leftovers to make exquisite quesadillas, salads, burritos, and more! πŸ™‚

Grilled Pizza with Fresh Arugula

I love pizza. It’s versatile, delicious, kid-friendly, vegetarian-friendly, meat-friendly, everyone-friendly. Also, a lot of my love for it has to do with the fact that no two pizzas have to be the same – ever! Toppings and sauce choices make pizzas SO fun and SO delicious. For example, who ever said that if you have two people at home who have different tastes, you can’t make half a pizza with one set of toppings, and the other half with another set? (see picture below from a fun pizza night at my place – I’m the mozzarella lover, hubs like everything else ;-)).

If you’re a meat lover or vegetarian alike, you will LOVE my grilled pizza recipe. Not only is the crispy texture of the pizza dough heavenly, but this recipe uses store-bought pizza dough which makes everyone much much happier!! Don’t get me wrong – homemade pizza dough is AMAZING, however it does take practice and it does take some time. Why fret all of that (especially on a weeknight) when both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell 1 lb bags of pizza dough (in the refrigerating sections!) ranging from whole wheat, garlic herb, regular plain pizza dough, and whole grain? And just when you thought it didn’t get better, they sell them for around $1.29 a pop.

Oh wait, and there’s more. I make 2 pizzas out of each bag of dough. If you’re on a budget but like eating DELIRIOUSLY DELICIOUS food, this recipe is for you. πŸ˜‰ So what if you don’t own a $6,000 wood-fired brick oven pizza? After this recipe, you won’t even miss it πŸ˜‰

The ending step of adding fresh, peppery arugula on top of the fresh, hot pizza makes this recipe even healthier and more delicious – it’s like a pizza salad! πŸ™‚

P.S. – the pictures I have included below were so beautifully taken by Derrick Jang of Derrick Jang Photography at a recent party I hosted for one of my dearest friend S’s big birthday party! πŸ™‚ He’s incredibly talented. Thank you! πŸ™‚


Yields: 1 beautifully thin and crispy grilled pizza!


1/2 1 lb. store-bought fresh pizza dough (if you want a thicker pizza, use the whole ball of dough for one pizza!)
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup of either tomato sauce or pesto (it’s your pizza so it’s your choice!) πŸ™‚
1.5 cups of shredded cheese of your choice
chopped vegetables for toppings, if desired (my favorites are: red onion, thinly sliced zucchini, fresh mozarella, tomatoes, olives, and sliced garlic!)
sliced meat, if desired

Garnish: fresh, organic arugula and freshly cracked black pepper


Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

On a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin, roll out your dough as much as you can to the thickness you enjoy (I like mine thin!). Just be careful not to rip holes in the dough.

Coat your pizza tray with cooking spray and lay out the rolled dough on it, using the edges of your fingers to expand the dough to fit the pan properly. Push along the edge of the pan/dough and pat it down gently.

Using a fork, gently prick the dough throughout to prevent the pizza from having large air bubbles (which makes spreading sauce on it very difficult!).

Brush the extra virgin olive oil onto the dough and sprinkle salt on top, evenly. Place pan directly onto heated grill and let it heat up for 3-4 minutes. Remove from grill and top the pizza with sauce of your choice, cheese, and toppings of your choice.

[Note: If you look at this picture of me grilling pizzas, you see that I am using BOTH a pizza stone and a pizza pan. It’s really your choice if you want to invest in a pizza stone, but I love the result from both methods of grilling pizza. Just be sure to a) preheat the stone per the directions on the package and b) spray the pizza stone with cooking spray so that your pizza doesn’t stick!]

Close the grill hood to allow the cheese and toppings to cook, and allow further grilling for approximately 3-4 minutes. At the very end, remove the pan from underneath the pizza if you desire grill marks on the bottom of your pizza, and let it grill for 30 seconds-1 minute (note: your grill might be hotter/cooler than mine, so use your judgment on cook times!)

Slide the pan back under the pizza, remove from heat, top with arugula and freshly cracked black pepper, slice, and enjoy hot! πŸ™‚ [Note: If you want to try this out, there are more economical pizza peel and pizza stone sets! Cooking well doesn’t always have to break your bank! πŸ˜‰