Homemade Tahini recipe – v1

Part of the reason I wanted to try and make my own tahini, was just to see if it could be done. Since really how hard could it be to turn whole sesame seeds into a smooth paste? (see side notes) So with a little bit of searching on the interest, I found three recipes that I could use as a starting point, so here is the recipe that I came up with:

Ingredients & Technique:

  • 1/2 cup of white hulled sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
  • 10 TB of Warm water
  • 4 TB of Vegetable oil

Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Then add the sesame seeds, the vegetable oil and the warm water to the food processor and process for about 10 minutes until very smooth.

Side Notes:
1) On first glance, my version of tahini looks pretty close to the stuff that you get at the store. Though it does look just a little bit less brown in color than the store bought variety. Additional toasting would probably solve this issue.
2) Also this tahini seems thinner than what you would get at the store. So I might need to decrease the amount of water in the recipe, to thicken things up.
3) Here is something funny that I only realized after I finished making the tahini. I had toasted sesame oil in my kitchen cabinet the whole time, but I forget to use it, and used vegetable oil instead. So next time I make tahini I’ll have to use the toasted sesame oil instead of vegetable oil.
4) Personally I’m on the fence, about making my own tahini again. Yeah it was easy and cheap and it tasted pretty good, but the final product really doesn’t compare to what you would get from the grocery store. But I’m willing to try and make it a couple more, if only to use up the rest of the 1 lb sack of sesame seeds that I picked up at Penzeys for a couple of bucks.

GroupRecipes – Homemade Tahini Recipe
Suite101 – Make Your Own Tahini Sesame Seed Paste
Food.com – Homemade Tahini

Beef Short Rib Stir Fry – v1 – November 2010

For some reason I’ve been on a kick for beef short ribs, (call it a case of having Korean barbecue on the brain.) And since there are no Korean barbecue places in town to get my fix, I quickly brainstormed on what to make as a quick substitute. And what kept popping up in my head was to make a “stir fry”, which is funny because I haven’t made “stir fry” in years. And looking back in retrospect, most of the “stir fry” that I did make back in the day, I won’t even consider cooking again. So I thought, why not try to re-boot the stir fry with all the cooking know how that I’ve picked up over the years, and make a better stir fry. So here are the ingredients that I was able to cobble together around the house to make this dish:


  • 1.25 lbs of boneless beef short ribs, cut into thin & short strips
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • couple of shakes of fish sauce
  • 1 TB Hoisin sauce
  • 2 TB light brown sugar
  • 1 TB Toasted Sesame oil
  • 3 TB Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lb Frozen Broccoli
  • 4 carrots, sliced on a mandolin
  • 1 small can of button mushrooms
  • 1/2 a can of bamboo shoots
  • 1 TB Corn Starch
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes

Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar and sesame oil into a quick marinade, add in the sliced beef, and let it soak for 30 mins. Then heat up a large stock pot to medium high, and added 1 TB of the vegetable oil, and cook the beef in three batches until browned, about 2 mins total cooking time per batch. Reserve and strain all the marinade liquid, as well as all the juices from the cooked beef.

Now in the empty stock pot, add the remaining vegetable oil, keeping the heat on medium high, and cook all the vegetables for about 15-20 mins until tender. While the vegetables are cooking, add the corn starch to the water and then whisk it into the saved marinade and cooking juices. With the vegetables done cooking, add back the cooked beef and the corn starch mixture, and mix everything up until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 mins. Then serve with white rice or ramen noodles.

Total cooking time: 60 minutes, broken down as follows; 30 minutes to marinade the beef, and 30 minutes to get everything cooked up (beef, vegetables and sauce).

Final flavor – 11/1/2010 @ 8:45pm
This ended up turning out way better then expected. But really how hard could it be to screw up a stir fry? (Answer: Pretty easy if you don’t know what you’re doing in the kitchen.) First thing first, the short ribs were totally awesome in the stir fry, got to love that heavy marbling in the meat. But as for changes next time around, I would add another pound of broccoli to the mixture (for two pounds total), since there wasn’t enough broccoli with my beef. Plus I would add a bit more of the red pepper flakes, since you really didn’t get much heat from eating the stir fry. But other then that, this recipe is a pretty good start point in any stir fry adventures.

Beef Satays – v1 – July 2010

Since I had so much peanut sauce leftover from making chicken satays, I thought that I would make another batch of satays. Originally I was thinking about going with pork. But on Saturday morning I was watching Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen, and he made beef satays on his Lodge Hibachi. So after seeing that episode, it sealed the deal for me to make beef satays with some of the leftover peanut sauce. Continue reading

Chicken Satay – v1 – June 2010

You know, I’ve made chicken satays once before, but that was many many years ago. And since I don’t have central air in my house, I’m looking to cook as much food outside as possible. So doing some grilling fits the bill.
I had two recipes on file for chicken satay, but I really don’t remember which one I used when I made this dish years ago. So I kind of combined parts of both recipes (here & here) and create a new recipe. My usual cooking notes are listed below, so lists get on to the ingredient list:

  • 2 Chicken breasts and 2 chicken breast tenders (which were from a whole chicken that I de-boned myself)
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 TB Fish Sauce
  • 1 TB Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TB of fresh ginger, minced

Combine all the ingredients listed in a bowl ( minus the chicken) and whisk it all together. Personally I used my Braun stick blender to get it all mixed up. Then cut up the chicken so that it is in pieces about 1/2″ wide by 1/2” thick and 2” long. Take the chicken and skewer about two or three chicken pieces onto each bamboo skewer. Once all the chicken is skewered give it a pretty heavy coating of the peanut sauce, and let it marinade for about 24 hours in the fridge. You’ll have more then enough sauce to coat all the chicken skewers, plus 2 cups of leftover sauce.
Once the chicken is done marinating overnight, I cooked the satays on the Weber for about a minute or two a side, but basically until browned and firm to the touch.

And the results, pretty good if I do say so, but check out the side notes for what I would do differently next time. Enjoy.

Side notes:
1) Don’t bother using bamboo skewers. Sure they look cool, but stick with stainless steel skewers.
2) Needs more spice, since I barely tasted any of the red pepper flakes that I did add. So I’d probably pump it up to a full teaspoon the next time.
3) I’m also thinking about tweaking the liquid ingredients. Since I really don’t think that the sesame oil added anything extra, so I would just increase the vegetable oil to 1.5 cups.
4) Also I just happened to find out that fish sauce is totally awesome, so I would cut back on the soy sauce and increase the fish sauce, so that each was a 1/4 cup.
5) Have you noticed that there isn’t any salt in the recipe? It because the soy sauce and fish sauce have plenty of salt to begin with, so adding in some kosher salt doesn’t make any sense.
6) If you don’t want any leftover peanut sauce, just cut the sauce recipe in half.