Category Archives: cooking

Sesame Garlic Pasta

Of all the pasta meals I make, this one is Bear’s favorite. It is so simple and easy . The ingredients worketogether in harmony and is truly the “less is more” meal since it is not a saucy pasta dish nor completely dry.

Kitchen Gadget
Pasta Noodle Measurer (1-4 servings)

Measure 4 servings of pasta. I use this kitchen gadget to help. I make 4 servings so we have leftovers for lunch or if Bear decides to go for a second or third serving.

Yes… you read correctly. Boil your pasta in a frying pan. After discovering this, I no longer boil my pasta the traditional way – fill a pot of 8-9 cups water with salt, wait for it to boil, then throw in my pasta. I use the method above for all types of pasta.

Add pasta to pan and add cold water and turn on stove. The pasta will not stick to each other. As the water becomes a simmer, give the pasta a stir. Cook pasta until al dente. I do not follow the recommended package cooking time since the pasta is already started cooking while the water was heating up. You’ll find less pasta water in the pan and perfectly cooked pasta.

While boiling your pasta, prepare ingredients for the sesame garlic sauce.

Sauce Ingredients

Combine ingredients into small pan and simmer for 1-2 minutes until brown sugar dissolves and ingredients soften and blend together, reserving 2 tsp green onion for garnish. I ran out of sesame seeds as my usual garnish for this dish.

Simple Sauce

It may not seem like there is enough sauce to coat the pasta but it is.

Simmer sauce

When pasta is done, drain over another bowl so you can obtain some pasta water.

Drain pasta

Reserve 4 tbsp pasta water

Pasta water

Season shrimp with salt & black pepper and fry in the same frying pan you used to boil pasta, 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on the size of shrimp).

Fry shrimp

Add the 4 tbsp of reserved pasta water

Add pasta water

Mix in the drained pasta with shrimp and toss toss immediately.

Pasta & Shrimp

Turn off heat and add sesame garlic sauce and toss until pasta is fully coated

Pour sauce and toss

Add the 2 tsp reserved green onion. I would also added sesame seeds but that’s on my next grocery run.


Enjoy! This is the point where Bear would sarcastically tell me to stopping eating it because it’s horrible and he would spare me from such a terrible dish by eating all of it 🙂

Sesame Garlic Pasta

Sesame Garlic Pasta

4 servings pasta
4 tbsp reserved pasta water
14 pcs large shrimp
salt & black pepper

4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk green onions, chopped
– – reserve 2 tsp for garnish
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp spoon brown sugar (dark or light)
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp butter
Sesame seeds

Boil pasta in frying pan until al dente. While pasta is cooking make the sauce.

Combine all sauce ingredients into simmer for 2-3 minutes until brown sugar dissolves and ingredients soften & blend together.

Once pasta is cooked, drain in colander over large bowl and reserve 4 tbsp pasta water.

Season shrimp with salt and black pepper. Fry/saute in the same frying pan used to boil pasta until fully cooked, 2-3 minutes per side. Add reserved pasta water to shrimp then add drained pasta and toss immediately.

Turn off heat and add sauce to pasta. Toss until fully coated. Garnish with sesame seeds and 2 tsp reserved green onion.

screen-shotBear’s way of showing his love for this pasta.

Passion: Kitchen Kreations

Honey Garlic Wings & Bear’s Poor Man’s Tuna Poké

Tonight’s dinner was a treat from Bear and he was more than happy to be my model for this post and ever so patient while I snapped away at everything he did so I could get the perfect photo. Let’s say dinner took longer to prepare than usual. He typically kicks me out of the kitchen until dinner is ready. I helped a little but big props to this man for doing most of the work.

We are not professional chefs and simply love to experiment in the kitchen. So we encourage you to give these a try and let us know how it turned out. If you have any suggestions or tweaks you made to your recipe, we would love to hear about it.


Bear had a craving for his poor man’s tuna poké /poʊˈkeɪ/. Although I don’t eat poké and he would love for me to one day try it… he’s more than glad to have the entire dish to himself. “You’re loss… more for me,” he says.

Poké can be served with your meal but is normally prepared as an appetizer/pupus. Many would say that poké is best paired with a nice super cold beer that has been in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

SAMSUNG CSCCube tuna into bite size chunks.

SAMSUNG CSCAdd to medium size mixing bowl

SAMSUNG CSCAdd sesame oil and stir

SAMSUNG CSCthen add rock salt

SAMSUNG CSCsprinkle in furikake and stir

SAMSUNG CSCAdd cucumber

SAMSUNG CSCthen onion

SAMSUNG CSCStir all ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 1 hour in refrigerator to let the ingredients to get cold and blend together.

Bear’s Poor Man’s Tuna Poké
1 lb Tuna, cubed
4 tbsp Pure Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Alaea Hawaiian Rock Sea Salt
2 tbsp Sushi & Sashimi Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Nori Fumi Furikake
1/3 Cucumber, cubed
1/3 Onion, cubed

Cube tuna and add to medium mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow ingredients to get cold and meld together. Enjoy!


It was our first time making the honey garlic chicken wings and it turned out as tasty as it sounded. I am also excited to share two kitchen gadgets that I frequently use.

SAMSUNG CSCIn a small mixing bowl add flour, garlic & onion powder, salt, and black pepper

SAMSUNG CSCCoat chicken wings on both sides

SAMSUNG CSCFry wings in peanut or vegetable oil heated to 375°F for 4 minutes on each side

SAMSUNG CSCAnother 4 mins on 2nd side of wings

SAMSUNG CSCPlace cooked wings on platter or baking trey lined with paper towel to soak excess oil

I use this garlic peeler tube often and it has been a time saver. Made of silicone, 1-2 pieces of garlic cloves with husk are placed inside the tube. Press down on tube where cloves are located and roll back and forth with firm pressure. The cloves are cleanly separated from the husk. No more smashing and peeling.

Finely dice garlic and add to a medium sauce pan. For each clove, I slice vertically then horizontally and finally across the grains to get perfectly diced garlic. No… I don’t have a garlic chopper kitchen gadget 🙂 but the next gadget is awesome.

SAMSUNG CSCCut off the tough skin of the ginger and then mince with either the next gadget, a garlic press, handheld grater, or with a knife. There are many tools out there but this was given to me by my cousin who bought it from a vendor who made these and sold them at a Kailua, Hawaii craft fair. and I’ve had it for over 12 years.

This ceramic grater/mincer is about the size of a cup saucer. What makes it unique is that crevices or indentations were made in the ceramic and hand painted prior to being fired in the kiln. I use it for garlic, ginger, and even onion if a good mince is needed. The brush came with it which helps get every good bit of the ginger.

SAMSUNG CSCAdd ginger, butter, soy sauce, honey, and brown sugar to sauce pan with garlic.

SAMSUNG CSCSimmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes until brown sugar has dissolved and the garlic and ginger has had time to infuse the sauce.

SAMSUNG CSCPlace wings in large mixing bowl and pour in honey garlic sauce

SAMSUNG CSCTwirl. Toss. Flip. Mix. Whatever gets the job done. Don’t let the wings sit in the remaining sauce that settles at bottom of bowl. Remove from mixing bowl and set onto serving plate.

SAMSUNG CSCSuccess! Yummy! Gone!

Chicken Wing Batter
1/2 c flour
3/4 tbsp garlic powder
1/4 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in small mixing bowl. Coat wings on both sides. Fry in 375°F oil for 4 minutes on each side. Place cooked wings on paper towel lined baking sheet or platter. Set aside and make sauce.

Chicken Wing Sauce
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp diced/chopped garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce

Mix all ingredients together in medium sauce pan. Coat wings on both sides. Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes until brown sugar has dissolved and the garlic and ginger has had time to infuse the sauce mix.

Transfer wings into a large mixing bowl and pour sauce over wings. Twirl. Swirl. Flip. Mix. Whatever gets the wings coated. Serve with rice and Bear’s Poor Man’s Tuna Poké.


Passion: Kitchen Kreations

Tuna Sushi Bake

Sushi bake is one of those dishes the is accompanied by a craving for it. It’s a simple dish but is not one of those dishes that you can just whip up. Depending on Bear’s mood, I make it with either tuna, chicken, crabmeat, or salmon. I made tuna the other night after thinking about it all day at work.

Sushi bakes were made popular by the crabmeat version but it evolved with the use of other meat products. It’s a musubi type dish that is baked with the meat product on top and wrapped with laver/seaweed sheets.


I purchase the seaweed at San Jose Supermarket. At $1.59 for 1 package of 8 trays containing 6 pieces of seaweed per tray is a steal.


Sushi Rice
6 cups cooked white rice
3-4 tbsp rice vinegar or 1/2 packet rice vinegar powder
4 + 2 tbsp TastyIsland rice seasoning (nori fumi furikake)


Let cooked rice cool a bit where it is not piping hot and the steam can barely be seen. Mix in the rice vinegar with rice in the same pot you cooked your rice. There’s no need to dirty another dish. Rice vinegar has a pungent smell and taste so start with 3 tbsps. Add furikake. Taste and adjust vinegar or furikake. Keep in mind that the furikake mix I use contains salt so 4 tbsps is enough for the amount of rice used.


Transfer sushi rice to 9×13 baking dish press to into pan. Tip: wet your rice spoon with water to prevent rice from sticking as your spread and press rice.


Sprinkle the 2 tbsps of furikake onto of pressed rice.

Preheat oven to 350°F.


Strain your tuna from the juices. So let me just say that I take pleasure in straining my tuna because of this kitchen gadget. The struggles I used to have prior to finding this at a local $1.99 store, Sweet Home Dededo.


Add tuna to mixing bowl along with other ingredients. If you like a spicy kick, feel free to add more siracha.


Spread tuna mix on top of sushi rice. Be sure to spread the tuna evenly.


Bake for 10 mins and then turn oven from bake to broil and broil for 5 mins additional minutes.


Remove from oven and cut into bite size pieces. Best served hot.

Tuna Topping
6 cans 5oz chunk white tuna, drained
1/8 piece of white onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup mayonnaise – I only use Best Foods
2-3 tsp siracha or more depending on your spice level
Salt & Pepper


Wrap with 1 seaweed sheet like I do or…


…sanwich between 2 sheets like Bear does. You find that the seaweed sheets disappear much faster that the sushi so buy enough.

Passion: Kitchen Kreations