Halushki and Dill Pickle Soup

2013_02_12aI decided to cook Polish this year for Fat Tuesday to accompany my pazckis. My mom made halushki when I was growing up and I loved it. It was such an odd combination of ingredients. Noodles, bacon, cottage cheese, potatoes, and topped with sugar. Something about it really works. Aya loves when I make this one. Even her mom loves it!

As far as authentic Polish, I really have no idea if this is or not. This recipe could be Polish, or it could be Hungarian. My aunt makes a halushki dish too, but it is completely different than this.

This was Ellie’s first time eating halushki and I found it funny that in being a true halvsie kid, she used her chopsticks.

This was my first time making dill pickle soup. I used a recipe recommended from my friend. I really liked how it turned out. It was just the right amount of pickle flavor. I didn’t add the extra chicken bullion cubes and used soy milk instead of regular milk. But everything else I did according to the directions.



My mom wasn’t very detailed with this recipe. There was a lot of “a little bit of this,” “approximately,” and “maybe” when she told me the recipe.

Potatoes(3) peeled and cubed
Onion (1) diced
6 strips of bacon
About 8oz. wide egg noodles
Almost 16oz. of cottage cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Dried parsley

Cook the bacon and set aside. Brown the onion. Cook the potatoes in boiling water. Cook noodles in a separate pot. Once everything is cooked, combine in same pan as the onion. Crumble the bacon on top and mix. Add the cottage cheese while noodles are hot and combine. Serve on plate and sprinkle with sugar. It sounds so gross, but it’s really good.

2013_02_12bDill Pickle Soup

8 cups chicken stock
2 cubes chicken bullion
1 large carrot – grated
2 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
5 small dill pickles – grated
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbs flour
1 egg
5 Tbs sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh dill – finely chopped

In a large saucepan, combine chicken stock, bouillon, carrot, potatoes, and celery. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook covered over low heat until potatoes start to get soft.

Add pickles and continue cooking about 15 min. In a small bowl, beat milk and flour until smooth then stir in a small amount of the hot soup. Add this mixture to the soup pot and bring all to a boil until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, beat egg and sour cream until smooth and stir in a small amount of the hot soup. Add this mixture to soup. Keep soup warm but do not boil, as this will make it curdle. Garnish with dill.

Yakisoba (やきそば) and Oden (おでん)

We had our friend Mike (my IT guy for this site) over to celebrate his birthday. We decided on a Japanese menu of oden, yaki soba, and gyoza. This was a big deal for me because I’d be cooking things that Aya has never made. But luckily what we picked is pretty simple.

Oden is a very traditional winter Japanese food which ingredients consist of hard boiled egg, konnyaku, daikon radish, and various processed fish cakes cooked slowly in a light soy flavored broth. Japanese Seven Elevens sell this instead of hot dogs. It’s also a very common bar food. To be honest, this is far from my favorite dish, but to me as an outsider, this tastes and smells like Japan.

Yakisoba is a stir-fry noodle dish with sauce that has many variations. Some with or without meat, and all kinds of vegetable variations. We used carrots, cabbage, onions, and pork. You can buy packages than come with sauce, or you can make your own.



(Ingredients and quantity vary)

1 konnyaku
6 chikuwa (ground fish cake)
3 gobo maki (ground fish cake)
4 boiled eggs
1/2 medium size daikon radish in 1 inch slices
1 package of oden soup mix

This was easy. I bought a package that all I had to do was add water to make the broth. I boiled the eggs, sliced the daikon radishes, cut the fish cakes, tossed them all in the pot and let it cook on low for a few hours.


3 packages of yakisoba cooked noodles (just follow the instructions on the package. Some noodles are already cooked and some you need to cook. The pack we used were already cooked)
3 carrots cut matchstick style
1/4 head of cabbage sliced
1 onion sliced
2 pork filets sliced thin lengthwise

Sauce (we tripled this for three servings, so adjust accordingly)
2Tbs Worcester sauce
2Tb tonnkatsu sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce

Saute pork, carrots, cabbage, and onions with a little oil. Set aside. Heat 1 table spoon of oil in pan on medium-high. Add noodles and cook for a few minutes. Turn heat to low and add vegetables and pork. Stir in sauce and serve. We served ours with a fried egg on top garnished with beni shoga (pickled ginger) and aonori (seaweed powder. It’s the Japanese equivalent of garnishing with parsley).

Ponzu and Soy Sauce Sauteed Japanese Vermicelli w/ Green Pepper(ピーマンと春雨のポン酢醤油炒め)

While we were in Japan, I didn’t copy any of Aya’s mom’s recipes, but with her here, I’m determined to copy as much as I can. A lot of these seem fairly simple and easy and I’d love to be able to cook Japanese more for Ellie and Aya.

This normally calls for asparagus, but since it isn’t in season anymore, Aya’s mom used green pepper that was plentiful from our garden.


Ponzu and Soy Sauce Sauteed Japanese Vermicelli w/ Green Pepper

100g Japanese vermicelli (harusame noodles)
200g (about half a lb) ground pork
1 large green pepper thinly sliced
40g (about a 1/3 cup) thinly sliced carrot
30g (about a 1/4 cup) sliced Chinese leek (or green onions if leeks are not available)
A) 1tb vegetable oil
1/2tb sesame oil
1tb minced fresh ginger
1tb minced garlic
1 chopped chili pepper
B) 4tb Ponzu sauce
3tb “straight” somen tsuyu
2tb water
C) 1/2tb potato starch
1tb water

  1. Boil the vermicelli and cut it randomly to prevent long strands.
  2. Cook A and add the ground pork until browned.
  3. Add the cooked vermicelli and B.
  4. Add the thinly sliced carrot, green pepper, and Chinese leek.
  5. Once everything is stirred and cooked together, add C.

Hiyashi Chyuka

These are noodle packets similar to ramen noodles, but you serve them cold and not with a soup. You can add whatever you want to them, but this is how Aya has done it in the past. It  has sliced egg, tomato, cucumber, carrots, and crabmeat. There’s no cooking involved, just chopping.