I like shopping for groceries on my own because

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doing so with my husband and kids invariably means a lot of items that are not on the grocery list. Nevertheless, the grocery trips end up being fun (albeit tiring) and a good way to introduce the kids to new food.

One of the things my hubby got during out last trip was two packs of Nori – one plain and one wasabi flavored. If you don't know what nori is, it's the rather fishy-smelling papery ingredient they use as sushi wrap. Nori, which by the way is dried edible seaweed, is actually used in Japanese cuisine not just as sushi wrap, but topping and condiment for noodles and various dishes.

Feeling rather adventurous with the kid's palate, who by the way are still toddlers, my husband gave each a strip of nori (not the wasabi flavored of co

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urse!). We were expecting to see scrunched up faces and little tongues sticking out as they spit out the nori in disgust. Surprise! Both kids finished of their little strips in minutes and promptly held out their hands for more.

So what's my point? The point is simply that it's never too early to start training your kid's palate so that they will be able to appreciate all kinds of food better

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as they grow. Not only will you be helping them in case they do end up as aspiring chefs when they grow up, but you'll also have an easier time feeding them as they grow up because chances are they won't be such picky eaters.

Oh, and here are links to some recipes that use nori as ingredient from celebrity chefs Dale Talde (Nori Seared Tuna Steak) and Janella Prucell (Brown Rice Tempeh Nori Rolls).

Image via RemixYourHealth

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Last night's pad thaiLast night saw me craving for some Thai food, which meant that the whole family ended

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up in the local Thai restaurant. Of course, when it comes to Thai food, the best kind you'll get will still be straight from the experts – the street vendors. Unfortunately, that would mean having to fly over to Thailand just to get my favorite Thai dish – the Pad Thai.

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If you're craving for Pad Thai though, you don't even have to go to fly to Thailand for an authentic tasting dish. I've found one of the best Pad Thai recipes that you can try at home. If you do it right, you'll end up with a dish that tastes just like the best that Thai chefs make. Just make sure you always prepare the sauce first, because that's how any self-respecting Thai chef does it!

Ingredients for Pad Thai Sauce (makes four large servings)

  • 1/4 cup palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce

Directions for Pad Thai Sauce

  • Put tamarind concentrate into a measuring cup, and add enough water to make

    1/4 cup, stir, this is your

    tamarind juice.

  • In a small sauce pan, put palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind juice, and sriracha sauce. Cook on low heat until the palm sugar dissolves, then increase heat. Let it start to boil, then quickly remove from heat, and set aside. You can make this Pad Thai sauce ahead and put in a jar in the fridge up to a week.

Ingredients for Pad Thai (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup (or more) fresh shrimp, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon sliced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped salted radish
  • 1/4 cup diced firm tofu
  • 1 handful rice stick noodle
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, cut into one inch long pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanut
  • vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  • Rinse the radish several times under cold water, gently squeezing off the water. Chop it and add a little bit of sugar to sweeten, mix well.
  • Soak the rice stick noodle in warm water for about 15 minutes, leave in water until you are ready to use.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok at medium-high heat. Add egg and cook it quickly, scrambling into small pieces (see video below). Remove, set aside.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil in the same wok. Add shrimps and cook until done. Transfer to a bowl, set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add shallot, radish and tofu fry until aromatic. Increase the heat of your wok. Add a handful of soaked noodles followed with water. Stir-fry this mixture for about 5-6 minutes. The noodles will start to get soft. Add 1/4 cup of Pad Thai Sauce and mix well. Add sugar, cooked egg, bean sprout, chive and cooked shrimps. Stir well for another 1-2 minutes until everything blends together. Turn off heat, transfer to serving plate with sliced fresh lime, roasted peanuts, and more bean sprout on the side.
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