Home Cooking

Carrot Pound Cake


Eating a piece of carrot cake with a cup of coffee always gives me a feeling of luxury due to its super moist taste and unique texture. Juicy carrot flavor mixed with crunchy walnut texture makes the perfect pound cake good for high tea time. The fact that carrot pound cake doesn’t even need any butter, milk or yogurt indeed makes baking super easy and time-saving and it surely is!

Prep Time: 15 min

Bake Time: 42 min at 170 Celsius (Convection oven)



Bread: All purpose flour 170g, brown sugar 85g, granulated sugar(white sugar) 85g, canola oil 140g, chopped walnut 55g, grated carrots 200g, 2 eggs, vanilla extract  1 tsp, cinnamon powder 1 tsp, nutmeg 1/4 tsp(optional), baking powder 1 tsp, baking soda 1/2 tsp, a pinch of salt

–  Icing: Cream cheese 120g, butter 55g, powdered sugar 60g, vanilla extract 1 tsp

Preparation: Using cheese grater, grate all he carrots and sift dry ingredients twice




1. Put sugar and eggs in a stand mixer and mix them for 2 minutes at low-medium speed.


2. Add canola oil little by little and mix well for about 1 minute.


3. Add grated carrots and mix roughly. Carrots are incorporating well in the mixture.


4. Add the pre-sifted dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon powder, nutmeg and salt) and mix roughly until no trace of white dry part is visible.


5. Add walnut to the above prepared mixture

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pound pan and bake at 170C (Convection oven) for about 40-45 min(I did exact 42 min) in the preheated oven.



7. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove the pound cake from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.


Crispy outside, super moist inside, crunchy walnut texture all contribute to the success of this carrot pound cake!





As I grated carrots, colors of the carrots are not clearly visible in this bread but the very sweetness and flavor of the carrots are all intact. So my son who isn’t really a big fan of vegetables devoured this bread without knowing that he’s actually eating plenty of carrots, haha.


I am enjoying my carrot cake together with a homemade burdock tea from my neighbor friend and it is truly a heaven!


I didn’t do cream cheese icing part as bread itself has enough sweetness coming from the natural juicy carrot flavor. But if you want something extra, try making this cream cheese icing following the steps below.

  1. Put room temperature cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract into the mixer and mix well until they become creamy for about 1 minute.
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix well.
  3. Add a pinch of salt or lemon juicy for a zest.

Thanks for reading my post and my next post is about homemade basil pesto sauce.

Home Cooking

Sweet potato muffins

Recently, I’ve made so many chocolate chip muffins, which are undoubtedly delicious. But I want something different to try this time and this yummy sweet potato muffins were a huge hit with family.

Prep Time: 20 min

Bake Time: 20 min at 170C (convection oven)

Yield : 12 muffins


– 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, all purpose flour 210g, butter 100g, sugar 130g, 2 eggs, 100g plain yogurt, vanilla extract 6g, baking soda 2g, baking powder 8g, salt 2g


Method : This recipe is adapted from the book whose the author runs this website “https://blog.naver.com/asy1347551”. Her recipe is amazing, only if you can read Korean, though.

1. Bake sweet potatoes for 7 minutes in oven . Cut one and half sweet potatoes as square cm size and half of one as shown in the picture.


2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugars and make them creamy and beat in the eggs until combined (we used stand mixer).

4. Add vanilla extract to the above batch. Beat until combined well.

5. Combine 1/3 dry ingredient into wet mixture. Stir gently and just until the flour is mixed incorporated.

6. Add 1/2 plain yogurt and combine with a mixer at a low setting.

7. Add all the remaining dry ingredient to the mixture and stir gently, don’t over stir.

8. Add remaining 1/2 of plain yogurt and stir well with a mixer.

9. Gently mix the prepared sweet potatoes with the prepared batch.

10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake on center rack at 170C (onvection oven) for about 20 minutes .



8. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.


This delicious yet healthy sweet potato muffins will give enough boost for the endless activity of your little ones! I can’t wait to see my kids’ smile when they are back from school.




Where to eat in Tokyo: budget to mid-range sushi


When it comes to the quality and diversity of food, Tokyo is truly unrivaled. Before you are overwhelmed by the vast choice of restaurants of this mega city, you’d better turn to the tabelog, the crowed-sourced restaurant grading website. You will find yourself enormously relieved in choosing the food of your craving on each occasion.

It works similar to Yelp or Openrice, but what makes tabelog stand out is its sophistication, showing the grading scale up to 1/100, such as 3.68 or 3.94, not a simple 3.5 or 4.0 scale. Unlike inflated Yep or Openrice rating, 3.5 grade on Tabelog is considered very good, with over 4.0 rating exceptional (over 4.5 rating can be once-in-a-lifetime meal).

Below are Sushi restaurants that I’ve tried during my visit to Tokyo last Oct and Dec, 2017 and honestly, I didn’t find any single restaurant that I didn’t like in Tokyo so far. Each and every place shined with its never-compromising quality and service like a 5 star hotel.

1. Namazu Uogashi: Tokyo Station, 1F Kitchen Street, Marunouchi 1-9-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo





One of my favorite budget sushi restaurants in Tokyo, conveniently located in Tokyo station, a serious food mecca. Various sushi sets which come with a big bowl of crab miso soup and salad were so satisfying that I didn’t even bother to find other high-end sushi restaurants during my stay in Tokyo.

Not just value for money, absolute quality of food in Namazu Uogashi left us almost nothing to be desired. Highly recommend if you want to experience local sushi place with the best bang of the buck.

2. Numazuko: 3 Chome-34-16 Shinjuku, Tokyo





If you are new to the city and don’t know what to eat in this busy Shinjuku area, why not trying Japan’s quintessential gaiten sushi, aka conveyor belt sushi? If you are traveling with kids, it can be another focal point for entertaining them.

Conveyor-belt sushi is not high-end sushi, but as in most Tokyo’s restaurants, quality is never compromised, while delivering fresh and yummy cut of sushi at an unbelievably reasonable price.

3. Otaru Masazushi: 14F Takashimaya Times Square, 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo





Mid-range sushi place in Takashimaya Time Square in Shinjuku, filled with local patrons who enjoy conversations with the master sushi chef. You will easily forget that you are right in the heart of busy Shinjuku area once you step into this restaurant perched on 14F of the fancy department store. Going to spacious underground Depachika (food hall) is an added pleasure if you like to take some sweets home along with you as gift or souvenirs.

4. Manten Sushi: 2 Chome-6-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda. Tokyo





It is in Manten Sushi where you can taste virtually over 15 different kind of Omakase sushi at about USD 60 so it is no wonder that this place is always bustling with travellers. Good place to go if your appetite is hardly satiable with a regular sushi set and walking around this beautiful Marunouchi area will give you an ample time to digest all the food.

5. Sushi Sei: 4 Chome-13-9 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo


Good budget sushi restaurant if you are in Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market area. Surrounded by over 50 sushi restaurants in the vicinity, it is easy to get lost but Sushi Sei did a great job satisfying my Sushi craving in an orderly and cheerful manner.

Next, I will take you to “good to great” non-Japanese restaurants that you will love in Tokyo, so stay tuned.



Home Cooking

Chocolate yogurt muffin


I made this chocolate yogurt muffin for my daughter’s 10th birthday class party and it really rocked. (of course, helped by whipping cream added on top)! Kids loved this chocolate muffin made with flavorful yogurt and chocolate chip added double joy!

Prep Time: 20 min

Bake Time: 20 min at 170 Celsius(Convection oven)

Yield : 10~12 muffins


– All purpose flour 130g, cocoa powder 25g (or 45mil), butter 100g, sugar 100g, 2 eggs, plain yogurt 150g, chocolate chip 110g, vanilla extract 5g, baking powder 6g, salt 3g


1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix the butter (room temperature) and sugars and make them creamy  a couple of times for about 3-4 min.

3. Add egg yolks and whites one by one so that they mix well into the batch. Add vanilla extract.

4. Add 1/3 dry ingredients to the wet mixture 4 and mix toward vertical direction

5. Then add plain yogurt little by little (about 1/3 batch each) and mix well . Combine the remaining 2/3 dry mixture and stir gently and just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over stir. Add chocolate chips.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake at 170C (Convection oven) for about 20 min(I did exact 22 min) in the preheated oven.

8. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Tips: If there are too much wet ingredient(yogurt or milk), muffins will fall apart, losing the texture.



Home Cooking

Chocolate pound cake

Who can resist the homemade chocolate pound cake with its finest ingredients? Let’s make chocolate pound cake with this simple yet fall proof recipe!


Prep Time: 30 min

Bake Time: 60 minutes /50 minutes (325F/170C)

Yield : 1 loaf

190g all-purpose flour, 40g unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tsp teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/3 tsp teaspoon fine salt, 200g unsalted butter, 100g granulated sugar, 100g brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 egg yolks, 150g plain yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla extract, espresso coffee 10g, hot water 10g

Chocolate Glaze: dark chocolate, heavy cream


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, making sure there are no racks above it, and heat to 325°F(170C for convection oven). Coat a 9×5-inch metal loaf pan with baking spray, dust with flour, and tap out the excess; set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt through a strainer onto a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low to medium speed until it just begins to be fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat on medium speed until paler in color, a light caramel brown, and very fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes more.
  5. Beat in the eggs and yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture and beat at low speed until fully combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again.
  7. Add the plain yogurt, espresso, and vanilla and beat on low to medium-low speed until fully incorporated.
  8. Add the remaining flour and cocoa mixture and beat on low to medium-low speed until combined.
  9. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  10. Place the pan on its baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 55min to 65min (45-55 min for convection oven)
  11. Place the loaf pan on a wire rack and let cool until the cake is no longer warm to the touch
  12. Make the ganache by mixing heavy cream and dark chocolate in a low-medium heat.IMG_8163

Enjoy this bread with a cup of hot tea or coffee and it will be a true antidote to a hectic day!

Home Cooking

Banana chocolate chip bread

This is our go-to bread at home with its easy recipe and delicious taste. Kids enjoy this bread as their school snack(without walnuts) while I enjoy this as afternoon tea cake with a cup of camomile tea.


Prep Time: 30 min

Bake Time: 55 minutes (170C at convection setting)

Yield : 1 loaf


– 2-3 ripe bananas(2 if big, 3 if small), all purpose flour 260g, butter 120g, brown sugar 140g, 2 eggs, 120g plain yogurt, walnut 70g, chocolate chip 80g (dark and semi-sweet), vanilla extract 1 tsp, baking soda 1/2 tsp, baking powder 2 tsp, salt 1/4 tsp


1. In a medium size bowl, mash bananas until creamy and set aside.

2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

3. In a large bowl,  mix the butter (room temperature) and sugars and make them creamy and beat in the eggs until combined (we used stand mixer) followed by vanilla extract.

4. Add half of plain yogurt and the mashed bananas to wet mixture. Beat until combined and mix with half of dry ingredients.

5. Then add remaining half of plain yogurt and the mashed bananas to the mixture. And add rest of the half dry ingredients and stir gently, just until the flour is mixed incorporated. Do not over stir. And add chocolate chips and walnuts.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake on center rack at 170C convection oven for about 55 minutes.

8. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the bread from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.





Home Cooking

Zucchini stir-fry with garlic and olive oil

This is a very easy recipe that is also wallet-friendly, but it works great in just 15 minutes. With its sautéed garlic and shrimp paste aroma perfectly matching the smell of just-cooked rice, this lightly stir-fried zucchini in olive oil is as delicious as it gets. Let’s make this no-frills, everyday Korean side dish, which can pair easily with any kinds of food.


Prep Time: 8 min

Cook Time: 7 min

Yield : Makes 3 servings as side dish


–  1 good sized-zucchini, 1/4 onion

– 1t chopped garlic, 2T olive oil, 1t shrimp paste, 1/2T chopped scallion(optional), 1/2T sesame oil, 1/2T sesame seed, a pinch of salt and pepper


1. Thinly slice zucchini into circle shape and cut half to make them half-moon shape.

2. Thinly slice onion and set aside with zucchini.

3. Heat large pan for 30-40 seconds or until hot and add olive oil, followed by sliced zucchini and onion with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir fry vegetable for 2 minutes and add shrimp paste then keep stirring another 2-3 min.

4. Add garlic and scallion to the mixture and lower heat to medium heat and keep stirring for 1 minute. Add sesame oil and quickly stir the mixture. Turn off the heat and sprinkle sesame seed. Serve immediately.


Above-pictured zucchini stir-fry, sautéed mushrooms and shrimp with garlic and  white wine were my dinner menu tonight, with a bowl of white rice. I will share the recipe of the other two dish with you in my next post, so stay tuned!





Hello, welcome to this blog recording my journey in food.

I love cooking, eating out and also working out (to digest food that I’ve had). In my free time, I like reading Japanese mystery novels, watching Japanese dramas and films.

While I love eating out, I believe the foundation of healthy and yummy life starts from home cooking. Naturally, I enjoy cooking and baking and would like to share my joy of home cooking with you all.

Hope you enjoy reading my blog and I welcome any feedback or suggestions from you.   Thank you.



Home Cooking

Japchae: Vermicelli with a mix of vegetables and beef

I bet anyone interested in Korean food has heard about this amazing dish “Japchae“, vermicelli with a mix of vegetables and beef. It is not an everyday dish, mostly served at special occasions, like family birthdays or housewarming parties. However, it doesn’t mean that it is hard to make this at home. Rather, with this foolproof recipe, you will find making Japchae as easy (and delicious) as it gets~!


Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Yield : Makes 4 main servings or 8 appetizer servings


– 250g Korean dried vermicelli noodle, 200g lean beef for stir-fry, 1 medium-sized onions, 2 carrots, 1 bunch of spinach

– Sauce: 4T soy sauce, 2T Korean cooking syrup(물엿 or 올리고당), 1T brown sugar, 2T sesame oil, 1T sesame seed, 1t chopped garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper

– Olive oil for boiling vermicelli and stir frying.


1. Soak dried vermicelli in a big bowl filled with cold water (30 min).

2. Thinly cut onions, carrots. Heat 1T olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion cook, uncovered, stirring often for 3-4 min or until it softens slightly. Repeat the process for carrots.

3. In a large bowl of salted(1T) water, blanch washed spinach for 30-45 seconds. Rinse and drain the spinach with cold water and squeeze any remaining water. Season the spinach with salt, pepper, 1/2t chopped garlic, 1T sesame oil, 1/2T sesame seed.

4. Thinly slice beef and season it with salt, pepper, 1/3T soy sauce, 1T sesame oil. In a medium-high heat, stir fry the beef for 3-4 min or until medium-well done.

5. In a large pot, boil the water(3L) and pour 1/3 cup of soy sauce, 2T brown sugar and 2T olive oil together with vermicelli for 5 min. Stir vermicelli occasionally to prevent sticking.

6. Drain vermicelli then quickly rinse with cold water and put it in a large bowl. Add the sauce to the noodle and toss to combine. Add all the cooked ingredients above and mix well.

7. In a large pan, drizzle 1T olive oil and lightly stir-fry the mixture 6 (better not to pour all the mixture at once, half each time) for 2-3 min. Serve hot (or lukewarm is also fine) and enjoy with your loved ones!



*Any questions or comments are welcome!


Trip to Busan: Serious foodie’s guide

“So your kids must be studying at the school in USA.”

Curious taxi drivers in Busan cut us off in conversation every time when my two kids chatted each other in English. In a country where there’s a national interest(closer to an obsession) with language-learning, their (endless) chitchat was enough to draw taxi drivers’ attention. When explaining that we’re actually living in Hong Kong, a flurry of questions keep continuing. “Isn’t Hong Kong a part of China? Is English the official language of Hong Kong, not Chinese?”

Well, how can I explain (or do I need to explain) things like, international schools, our kids’ experience prior to HK, status of Hong Kong as SAR (Special Administrative Region) and somewhat not-so-simple relationship with China during such a short ride? Although inquisitive, Busan’s taxi drivers are super-gentle and extremely soft-speaking, so don’t feel uncomfortable in case you encounter something like this.

It appears that the relaxing atmosphere of this beautiful port city even made taxi drivers mellow-tempered, indeed a rare characteristic found in the big cities. True, during the last 4 weeks of summer in Busan, I’ve never felt freer and more excited, owing to leisurely ambience and mind-blowing food.

If you are a serious foodie or adventurous enough to taste exotic food that you’ve never imagined possible, this post is just right for you. From spicy cockle dish, abalone porridge to live octopus, the list goes on and on. As for the diversity and excitement offered by food in Busan, sky’s the limit!

1. Poong Won Jang (풍원장 꼬막정찬): 1409 U 1-dong, Haeundae-gu



Poong Won Jang is one of my favorite restaurants in Busan, serving cockle set meal only. It matters little whether you are a fan of cockle or not, as made-to-order seafood miso soup and delectable side dishes served along with the main dish are too good to resist, all at the unbelievable price of KRW15,000(HKD100, USD12). Its prime waterfront location adjacent to famous “Movie/cartoon street” makes this place popular destination for locals and travelers alike.

2. Obok Seaweed (오복미역): 28 Gunam-ro, Haeundae-gu


“How lazy does a housewife need to be to order Seaweed soup in a restaurant?” As a no-frills everyday dish (aka birthday soup), seaweed soup has  never seriously  been regarded as a “proper menu” by itself. But Obok Seaweed is an exception and all it serves are seaweed soups, beef/clam/sole fish seaweed soups. Take one spoon of its hours’-long simmered seaweed stock, and its deep flavor and chunky ingredient will make you nod why it makes sense to pay for seaweed soup alone.

3. Mitaki(미타키): 139, Dalmaji-gil, haeundae-gu





If I have to choose only one place to eat in Busan, this is it. Eating lunch Kaiseki while overlooking unrestricted “Haeundae beach” view is a sheer luxury. Restaurant is divided into two floors, one specializing in Kaiseki meal, the other for Teppanyaki course, and it is one of the biggest regrets that I didn’t try Teppanyaki here. If you are longing for Japanese style sashimi(숙성회) instead of Korean style fresh fish(활어), look no further than Mitaki and the whole experience will make your Busan stay absolutely memorable.

4. Millennium fresh fish house (밀레니엄 횟집): 5/F, Millennium Plaza, 110-51, Minrak-dong, Suyoung-gu




Welcome to Busan. You’ve just stepped into the heart of the local charm, meaning you ‘ve reached where locals frequent to shop for daily sashimi and fish. 5th floor seafood restaurant offers 7 course dinner feast, including fresh abalone and live octopus smothered with seaweed and sesame oil, all at the price of KRW35,000(HKD240, USD30). Considering how expensive sashimi/sushi dinner costs in HK, this is a steal and quality is also second to none.

5. Bium wine bar (비움와인바): 1459 U-dong,  Haeundae-gu




Bium is probably the most memorable wine bars in Busan, full of characters and taste. Ex-paradise hotel sommelier Mr. Kang surely knows about wine and food. Bium literally means “making empty (to fill up again)” and it is the place to make yourself empty to recharge your batteries whenever you need a rest or companion (whether wine or whisky). “Signature cheese and fruit platter” will be a good match to whatever alcohol you will choose.

6. Cheonji Halmaejip (천지 할매집): 119-3 Yeonhwa-ri, Gijang-eup, Gijang



Driving about 30 min from central Busan, you will find another local beauty “Gijang” district where tourists are hardly seen. Best quality Uni in Busan can be found here in “Gijang market“, a local chef’s most beloved place. “Abalone porridge pot” is the food for your soul and its vivid dark green color and chunky abalone slices show what “Abalone porridge” is supposed to look(taste) like.

7. Italy Pocha(이태리 포차): 247 Gobun-ro, Yeonsan-9dong, Yeonje-gu




Italy pocha is an exquisite combination of “Italian restaurant” and “Korean style casual pub” and chances are its nondescript exterior will easily fool you. But don’t underestimate this owner/chef trained at some of Korea’s top Italian restaurants, who creates awesome family-style dishes for taste bud and visual pleasure. Honestly, everything I tried was excellent, with mushroom & shrimp salad/spicy tomato seafood pasta/Tiramisu being another good combination of the meal.

Now, get the hang of the food in Busan? Next, let’s go back to Hong Kong and indulge in more gastronomical pleasure in the world’s fastest-paced city!