Home Remedies to Make Beard Grow a Whole Lot Faster

Growing a beard is easier said then done. Most of us, do not have the right genetics to grow a full beard. We were born into the wrong pool. Growing a beard takes months and sometimes we don’t got the time. We try to do it anyway, but it fails to reach its full length. All these things, are more then enough reason to not grow a beard and accept the odds against you. However, some men do not care about the odds. If your one of those men who don’t care, then I suggest you read what I have to say below. There is a way to make the beard growing process a little faster. It won’t won’t perfectly work. Just give you an edge.

Use Coconut Oil On Your Face

Your beard needs a little incentive to grow. That little incentive is coconut oil. A natural oil that comes form the Earth. Your face needs water stimulation deep in the skin. Coconut oil has the ability to dive in your skin and promote hair to grow that has been dormant. There is a lot of hair that sleeps under your skin. You probably wouldn’t believe all the hair that is dormant down there. Awaken the hair down there and have a fuller face. Look less patchy and have the confidence that comes with it. Will everything grow back? It is hard to say everything will. But, you can try your best to get some results and a face that looks 2 times better then before. Use the best natural oil for beard growth to speed up the growth process.

Put Amla Oil on Face

Amala oil is often used to make beard hair grow really fast. Leave the oil on your face for 20 minutes each day. The results will appear and you will see your face look more together. Those patchy beard hair party night days can end, if you make your beard hair grow back and use beard growth products weekly. A man wants look like a man at some point in his life. Its not something I say. It is part of nature that you can not ignore once you get a certain age. You should strive to look like a man. Put the oil on and look close to being a man. Every edge counts to win.

Clean Face With Skin Cleaners

Washing your face with a good skin cleaner, promotes the hairs on your face to expand in number. Using this and the best natural oil for beard growth will make your face reach its fullest potential. You want your face to look full. You want the face to be patchy no more. Clean your face with special cleaning beauty products to make it clean and more stimulated for beard growth. Its not just a wash for your beard. It is a wash to make it grow properly.

The Guide to Wash Your Hair That You Won’t Forget

You probably think you wash your hair the right way, but is it right? You have no idea do you. You can stick to your same old routine, and wash it the same way you always have. But, what if there is a better way? A way that will make your hair cleaner and provoke it to grow. A way that will make the best natural shampoo and conditioners for men even better. That is secret we are about to tell you. We set up a guide to get you to wash hair in a way that makes you look like a professional. Who knows, you might not need a hair stylist again. Look below for more details.

What Should I Look For In Shampoo or Conditioner

It depends on what type of hair you got. Its not as simple as getting the best natural shampoo and conditioner for men. No, it requires to do some research and tests. Figure out what type of hair you got first. Is it really curly or really oily. There are some hair types in between, but you got to find out what side are you on. Then, you get the shampoo that fits the level of the side your on. For example, some shampoo and conditioner have normal and high for oily hair. Pick shampoo for extra oily hair if you got extra oily hair. Pick shampoo for standard oily hair if you got standard. If your still not sure, then you got to try both and see which works best.

You should also look for natural shampoo and conditioner. Make sure the hair products you buy are always natural. The natural products tend to cause less problems to your body. Natural is called natural because it was used by people thousands of years ago. Those people are the reason humans still live today. That should be enough reason to get you to go natural with hair products.

How Much Do I Need to Use

The answer is little as possible and as much as you feel you need to. In other words, take the shampoo or conditioner and put on a little each time you decide to wash your hair. Don’t put too much because ti leads to left over soap residue. Put in a little. No matter what shampoo you use. Even if its the best natural shampoo and conditioners for men, you still need to use a little of it. Always use a little when you wash your hair and you will be fine.

The Proper or Right Way to Wash

Yes, your put shampoo in first and conditioner second. Take the shampoo first and rub it in your hair. Do it gently and for 2 minutes. Once you finish doing that, rinse it out with water. Next, take the conditioner and place it in hair. Rub it all around your head and wait 10 minutes. While your waiting, wash the rest of your body. Then, rinse out the conditioner and you are all done. Its not hard to remember. After a few times, you won’t have to read this again. A simple step for you to get everything clean and good.

The Ultimate Summer Quencher: Watermelon Agua Fresca

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While I ate my share of fancy food in Austin, it’s a simple food cart that has been on my mind since we left. At Veracruz All-Natural, the migas breakfast tacos were unbelievably fantastic, which makes sense since they border on legendary, but it was the watermelon agua fresca that inspired obsession.

It could have been because we had drank a good amount the night before and then walked 2 miles in 90 degree weather to the cart, but one sip of that agua fresca was enough to knock my socks off. Sadly it’s one of my biggest vacation regrets that we never made it back for a second one.

And oh, we wanted to — in fact, every other day we tried to plot a trip back to the cart. But every time something else distracted us (either in the form of brisket or beer).

To make it up to me, last weekend my husband brought me home a huge watermelon. We shared a meaningful look and then I immediately turned to google.

Happily, there’s not much to making a great agua fresca (though I still hold Veracruz’s up to level far above just ‘great’).

You need a watermelon, some sugar, water and a lime. And a blender. It’s that easy.

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Homemade Watermelon Agua Fresca

Serves 2

  • 2 cups cold, ripe watermelon, diced
  • 1/8-1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 lime
  • Ice

Put first three ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and slightly frothy. Taste for sweetness, adjust as needed. Add a generous squeeze of lime. Pour into glass with ice, garnish with lime and serve.

For a super refreshing, more “slushie” version, freeze the diced watermelon for an hour prior to blending.

Optional: Add booze! I have no doubts this would taste delicious with alcohol.

Now go forth and quench your summer thirst with the best thing possible. Or, if you are lucky enough to live in Austin, visit Veracruz All-Natural and drink one for me!

Watermelon Agua Fresca

We didn’t just stuff our faces in Texas (and evidence to prove it)

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In case you couldn’t tell, when my husband and I travel, our trips revolve around food. When we each made our lists of “what to do” in Austin, my husband’s list was fine-dining focused (Qui, Uchi, Barley Swine) while my list was mainly beer (Craft Pride, Hops & Grain) and food carts. But at the very bottom of my list was a separate (tiny) category called “Things that don’t involve eating.”

On that list, there were three items: visit the Barton Springs Pool, walk down 6th Street and hike around Lady Bird Lake.

I am happy to say we did all of those things and more — which is kind of shocking considering how much time we spent eating!

We checked out the Texas Capitol Building, which sprawls across the metro area.

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Everything is bigger here in Texas and the Capitol Building in downtown Austin is no exception!

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Inside the dome — the Lone Star.

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Inside the Senate Room — look close and you’ll see that the lights spell out Texas.

We took the bus out to Zilker Park so I could swim in the Barton Springs Pool — a man-made pool using water from the natural springs. When I first read about the pool I expected it to be a hot spring. But when it’s 90 degrees outside, it’s a blessing that it’s actually a “cool” spring. The temperature rarely varies from a (very brisk) 68 degrees. Which means it’s best just to dunk yourself, don’t try to do it slow — once you’re in, it feels great.

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After that we played some miniature golf:

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Yes, this place is totally creepy but super fun! And you can BYOB.

Did some kayaking on the Colorado River:

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Walked down 6th Street (known locally as the “dirty sixth” for good reason) — which is like Austin’s very own Bourbon Street. Imagine lots of bars, clubs and intoxicated college kids. I’d post a picture here but it’s probably best to just leave it to your imagination…

We rented a car and drove to the Lockhart (the BBQ capitol of Texas as well as a stop along the historic Chisholm Trail ) and the Lockhart State Park:

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Lockhart Courthouse

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And I spent a fair amount of time at the hotel’s rooftop pool. During the day it was a great place to relax with a beer, at night it was the perfect spot for watching sunsets.

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And we walked. Oh did we walk. We walked so much that I don’t think I gained an ounce on the trip even though we were constantly eating. I think the shortest day we walked 2-3 miles, the longest days we were walking somewhere around 4-5. Mostly we would walked the “Bike and Hike” trail which was gorgeous. It was a perfect way to get from our hotel to downtown — offering glimpses of the city center and Lady Bird Lake through the trees.

All in all, I think we managed to balance out our eating obsession with enough local sights and culture to make it a well-rounded trip!

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View of Congress Bridge from the trail

Waiting in line at Franklin BBQ (doing what has to be done)

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Fatty brisket, ribs and sausage at Franklin’s BBQ

Franklin BBQ is legendary. It is supposed to be the best barbecue in the country. Aaron Franklin started his company as a food truck back in 2009 and moved into a brick and mortar building in 2011. Every day, without fail, he sells out of his amazing brisket.

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The doors open at 11am…the line starts as early as 6 am! People bring chairs, books, coolers and make waiting for 3-6 hours as much fun as possible.

This was on our list as the one “must do” thing in Austin so we bought an inflatable cooler, a 6-pack of local beer and woke up at 7am yesterday to brave the line.

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The line already forming!

We arrived around 8:30am and I felt pretty good about our spot. It was just around the corner from the doors, about 40 people back. We started chatting to the people next to us, and ended up spending the whole time talking to them. One of the girls used to live in Portland, the other girl is moving to Seattle so much of the focus of conversation was on the Pacific Northwest.

Around 10 am a server came by to ask us what we thought we would order — their way to gauge how much brisket they will sell since that’s by far the most popular item. Then another server followed letting us know we’d most likely be eating by 1-1:30 pm. (So 4-5 hours of waiting!)

Luckily our new-found friends were very entertaining. I even took a walk with one of the girls to the Quickie Pickie to re-stock on beer and buy a few breakfast tacos for the wait.

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The new friends we made in line — these guys were super fun to talk with.

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Migas taco and a cold IPA. Breakfast of champions!

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If you look past the green construction fence you’ll see the line just keeps going and going.

Around 12:30pm (ahead of schedule!) we were inside the doors.

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Old school menu

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Then we were up to the front:

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The menu: we opted for a brisket and rib plate, a pulled pork sandwich and a sausage link.

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The good stuff! Fatty brisket cut to order.

Then, around 1pm (right on schedule — they have that timeline dialed in!) we feasted:

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Now that is a sandwich!

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Brisket and rib plate, side of sausage, slaw, potato salad and the ubiquitous white bread.

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Bourbon Banana Cream Pie (at Franklin’s, made by Cake and Spoon)

So was it worth it? Hell yes. Would I do it again sometime? Undoubtedly. The brisket was incredible. In fact we just polished off the last of it for breakfast today and it was still incredible. The fat just melts, the bark is thick and the flavor is all smoke and love.

If you end up in Austin, even for a day, make yourself happy — go to Franklin.

Halfway through my trip to Texas…and I’m so full!

Don’t worry — I haven’t vanished! I’m just on vacation mode (and I had a bit of camera drama) so I haven’t posted since arriving in Texas on Sunday. My husband and I have been busy enjoying Austin and its surrounding areas so expected some fun pictures soon. Here’s a few to tide you over — and make you hungry!

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Fried chicken sandwich, biscuit, red eye gravy and lemon jam. Foreign and Domestic, Austin.

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Pork chops, brisket and sausage from Kreuz Market in Lockhart — the BBQ capitol of Texas!

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The famous wall by Jo’s Coffee in SoCo, Austin, TX.

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So far we’re loving the Lone Star state!

Homemade tortillas, smoked brisket tacos & a trip to Texas

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Smoked brisket tacos on homemade tortillas

My mind is on BBQ, Tex-Mex and tacos.

This could be because my husband and I will soon be traveling to Austin for a week to eat and drink our way through the city. (Hello Franklin Barbecue — we’re coming for you!)

Or it could be because of Podnah’s Pit — a Portland BBQ institution that within the last few years opened La Taq, their sister restaurant. La Taq specializes in seriously tasty Tex-Mex and is responsible for introducing my husband and me to a previously unknown form of deliciousness: smoked brisket tacos.

Ever since January, when we first dined there, my husband has been dreaming of them. In fact he’s already slipped away once without me to indulge in a late-night taco fest. Not that I’m bitter. Well I would be but he was smart enough to bring me home a chicken sopa.

A few weeks ago I found myself at home with the remainder of my bag of masa and a pound of smoked brisket (bought straight from Podnah’s). It seemed like the kitchen gods had a plan for me!

I wasn’t doing to totally replicate the La Taq taco, but I did want to try my own hand at making a smoked brisket taco. I started with the accoutrements. First up was some pickled corn relish, a treat I made for the first time last summer. It’s super easy to whip up and adds zing and kick to just about anything.

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Pickled Corn Relish

Next I made a simple cabbage slaw with sliced green cabbage, green onions, lime juice and a touch of plain Greek yogurt.

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Cabbage Slaw & Pickled Corn Relish

Then it was on to making my very first tortillas ever, something I was SO excited about. I’m kind of a food nerd like that.

I was doing some recipe research when I got hit by a wave of inspiration. When I made pupusas with masa and water (basically the same recipe for corn tortillas) I thought the dough was a little bland, even with a good sprinkling of salt. I started wondering what would happen if I mixed the masa with stock instead.

While my initial investigation didn’t turn up any recipes using chicken stock, I did find one that blew my mind in terms of “why didn’t I think of that?!”

Aptly titled “Double Corn Tortillas,” the recipe called for mixing the masa with corn stock.

Brilliant!

After all – I had two lovely cobs from making the corn relish. I tossed them in some water with onions and let the mixture simmer for an hour or so. Once it was drained and cooled, I added it to my masa and mixed up the dough.

From that point on, tortillas are a super easy thing to make. Roll into dough balls, squish inside a tortilla press (use plastic wrap to keep them from tearing or sticking) and then cook in a hot pan. The Double Corn Tortilla recipe also gave me a good piece of advice — when cooking the tortillas you want them to puff. This will only happen if your pan is hot enough (but don’t get it too hot or the tortillas will burn). The puffing separates the top and bottom of the tortilla making it more pliable and less likely to break.

To get the ideal “puff” the recipe calls for using two pans — one at a lower heat to begin with, and a second one at a high heat to finish the tortillas in. Worked like a charm!

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Squish!

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Yum!

 

 

 

 

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Flattened trtilla

 

 

 

 

 

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Warm and toasty

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Fresh tortillas 

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The spread!

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Smoked brisket tacos

Once I had a pile of fresh, warm tortillas, it was time to feast!

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dsc_4246.jpgdsc_4247 It was so good! Exactly what I had been craving. The smoke from the brisket adds a lovely flavor to the taco and the crunch from the slaw brings the texture. And my first batch of tortillas were also super good — I’m going to be making corn stock all summer!

Pearl Sugar & the Liege Waffle: A story of sweet obsession

 

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Liege Waffle w. Fresh Berries

I have always been a waffle lover. I remember my mom making them for my friends the morning after slumber parties and as an adult, they remain a favorite of mine.

While nothing beats the beautiful simplicity of a buttermilk waffle with melted butter and real maple syrup, I have branched out quite a bit in the waffle department: gingerbread waffles, corn waffles with pork belly, waffles with berries soaked in vanilla rum. Heck, I even threw a Waffle Party once, a slightly crazy soiree filled with fruit curds, compound butters, whipped cream and lots of sparkling wine.

But, sadly, I didn’t discover the reigning ruler of waffles until a few years ago — the liege waffle, made with Belgian pearl sugar. The specialized pearl sugar is added to the unsweetened batter before cooking and melts in the waffle iron, creating crispy crunchy pockets throughout the waffle.

 

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Belgian Pearl Sugar

The sugar also caramelizes the entire outside of the waffle, making it sweet enough to eat on its own. In fact, these are a popular street food in Belgium where people often buy a waffle to snack on while they walk. The sweetness of the waffle negates the need to dress it up with messy toppings (though that’s part of the fun!) making it a great thing to eat on the go.

I had my first liege waffle after my friend Oliver gave me a gift certificate to The Gaufre Gourmet, a Portland food cart that serves up “wonderous waffles” in an array of sweet and savory ways. Since that initial introduction, I have also enjoyed several liege waffles at the Waffle Window, a bustling little spot with oodles of waffle options.

And with every crispy, crunchy bite I took, I vowed to learn how to make these addictive waffles myself. (If you haven’t noticed, my main cooking motivation seems to be to recreate things I love — probably hinged on a combination of frugality and laziness!)

The first step was finding the special sugar, which I bought at an upscale grocery store, though you can find pearl sugar online very easily as well. Lars Own seems to be the most popular brand. They do a larger Belgian sugar (which is what I used) and a smaller Swedish sugar (which I have in my cupboard, stashed away).

I’ve read in a pinch you can also use broken up sugar cubes, which I find intriguing. Might have to try it out sometime just for kicks!

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Once the pearl sugar was procured, I moved on to finding a recipe. I had actually intended to use this one but ended up going with the one of the back of the box due to the shorter rising time.

What sets these apart from any of the waffles I’ve made before is that the batter is a yeasted dough. This means that these waffles require some forethought and time because they will need about 30-60 minutes to rise depending on the recipe used.

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Yeasted Dough for Liege Waffles

Once the dough is ready to roll, stir in the sugar. The recipe called for the whole 10 oz package to be thrown in. In hindsight I’d say you could use half of that and they will still be plenty sweet. These waffles were very, very good, but they quite certainly would have been just as tasty with less sugar.

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Adding the pearl sugar

Then put the dough in your heated waffle iron and you’re ready to go! They will take about 3-5 minutes to cook.

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You can just see the caramelized sugar coating shining through!

When I made my first batch I was with Oliver, a fitting coincidence given his role in leading me to the world of liege waffles. We topped ours with fresh berries (which gave the dish some much-needed tartness) and slight dusting of powdered sugar.

They were crack on a plate. I kid you not.

Fresh Berries

We also made a few with crispy bacon crumbled in. Normally I am a bacon purist, I like bacon on its own but not really in things. But the batch of bacon waffles were shockingly good — the salt, smoke and generally savoriness of the meat made the sweetness of the waffle even more delicious.dsc_3685

Craving that sweet but salty balance again, I re-heated some of the leftover waffles the following night for dinner.

* These waffles keep great by the way — the melted sugar keeps them crispy and a quick trip in an oven or toaster is all they need to be just as tasty a second time around.*

After they were heated through, I topped them with fresh spinach, grape tomatoes, caramelized onions, queso fresca and some grated Parmesan.

Pure. Bliss.

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I seriously can’t wait to make them again!

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Liege Waffles with Bacon

 

Capturing the magic of the daikon “carrot” cake

 

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I was so happy with this meal, I almost cried. For real.

I have mentioned the Pok Pok cookbook on this blog a few times, as it’s one of the few cookbooks I actually use. The majority of the (hundreds of!) cookbooks in my house belong to my husband, and at most I just peruse them for the pretty pictures. But Andy Ricker, chef/owner of Pok Pok, makes food that is so addictively good I can’t help but want to make it at home — as often as possible.

Despite Ricker’s nation-wide fame, some people might not know about Ping, a restaurant that he ran in Portland’s Old Town until it closure 15 months ago. I ate there several times in its heyday, but I quite clearly remember my first dinner there — only because of the dish that made me fall head over heels in love, the savory “carrot” cake.

I had no idea what to expect from such a dish when I ordered it. The menu described it as a stir fry made with eggs, bean sprouts and seared daikon radish cake. It made no mention of carrots whatsoever. And when the dish arrived, there was not a carrot to be found. Instead it was a plate of pure magic.

It’s hard to describe what made the dish so perfect. Perhaps it was the Kecap Manis, the sweet soy sauce that seems to make every stir fry taste ‘just right.’ Or the crispy squares of daikon cake, which were chewy but tender and so full of umami flavor. Or the eggs, which were scrambled in such a way that they helped the sauce coat every single bite.

Years later, I still can’t identify what makes this dish so incredible, but I do recall that I inhaled it and promptly ordered another, to go, so I could enjoy it for lunch the next day. (It took all of my willpower to not eat it as soon as I got home!)

For a while I badgered anyone I knew who had worked at Ping to tell me the secret of the carrot cake, but it wasn’t until the cookbook Portland, Oregon Chef’s Table was released in 2012 that the recipe was finally revealed.

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A photo of the original dish, featured in the Portland Oregon Chef’s Table cookbook.

Yes, it’s taken me 2 years to try to recreate the recipe — simply because I was intimidated by the idea of making my own steamed daikon cake. I guess my culinary confidence has expanded since then because after rediscovering the cookbook, I couldn’t wait to give it a whirl.

* While I would recommend you buy the cookbook yourself, after all there is a lovely recipe from my husband in there, I will send you here for a “published with permission” link to the recipe.

I started with a quick trip to the Asian market for a hefty two-pound daikon radish, plus bean sprouts, cilantro, Thai rice flour and the ever important Kecap Manis.

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Ingredients assembled, I began the process of making the radish cake, which was surprisingly not difficult in the least.

Start by grating the daikon. Then heat up a large skillet and fry the radish in some oil. After about 5 minutes, add water and bring to a boil. Cook until softened, about 15 minutes.

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Softening the daikon in water

Then mix with a rice flour slurry:

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Softened daikon, rice flour, water and salt & pepper

Dump into an oiled aluminum pan and steam until cooked through. The recipe said 15 minutes, but mine needed much longer. Ricker never mentioned what size of aluminum pan he used though so maybe his was larger, allowing the cake to be thinner.

So just steam until it’s not mushy in the middle. It will firm up after it cools too. And if you have to “resteam” it later because you think it needed more time, that’s okay too. *ahem*

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Here it is cooled:

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Yay! My very first daikon cake!

It’s pretty sturdy!

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Then cut into cubes and it’s time to move on to the actual dish.

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Squares of daikon cake, scallions, cilantro and bean sprouts

Fry up the cakes in a non-stick pan. Get them nice and brown and crispy.

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Then add all the rest of the goodies, starting with sliced onions and garlic, moving on to bean sprouts and eggs, and finishing with sweet soy, soy sauce and the scallions. Top with torn cilantro.

The first bite I took made me giddy. It was absolutely perfect — the flavors were exactly how I remembered. And I still have half a radish cake in my freezer for when I get my next craving.

If you are feeling frisky I highly recommend giving this a try. You shouldn’t go through life without tasting some of this magic yourself!

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