Back to School with Tangmyun SukiYaki


Today was the kiddos’ first day back to school as a 1st grader and a brand spankin’ new Kindergartener and my first day having to make 3 trips to the same school in one day with pickups and dropoffs.    I’m hoping and praying that my kids will both be an early bird or late bird because I would NOT want to increase my trip to school to 4.  Not to mention, my youngest little will be starting preschool next week and that’s another school drop-off and pick-up to add to the list.  I think I should change my job title to: Chauffeur.  Despite the multiple trips, I did love being able to see their faces light up when they spotted me during pickup today and being able to ask them about their day, what they did, their friends, and hear about how exciting it was for my son to eat lunch in the multi-use room for the first time and hear my daughter talk about how all the boys in her class are silly except for two.  These really are all precious little moments… of them walking to school together with A holding my youngest C’s hand while B is charging ahead of them, C whining that she is tired and asking to be held, all 3 of them squealing and talking in their beds as I type this, when they should be sleeping…  One day, I will miss all of these little moments that, presently, make up my chaotic life now.


Being the first day of school and all, I thought about taking the children out for some Loard’s Ice Cream after the last pickup, but my youngest fell asleep during the short trip to school… So that called for a party in the WOK tonight!

Growing up, this sukiyaki recipe is similar to what my mom would make and is probably a Korean-ized version of the traditional Japanese sukiyaki.  I used regular cabbage instead of napa cabbage and also used Korean Tangmyun (Vermicelli), which is what my mom always used.  And we don’t have Sake lying around the house… the mirin is the closest thing you’ll get.

It was a little warm today, so I cranked up the A/C while we were eating dinner, so we wouldn’t be sweating while eating this “hot pot”.  I sent a picture of dinner to the hubby and he immediately left the office to get some before he had to go to a meeting.  I know when I make this, that hubby will run home.  muhaha.  My children all love this dish as well and asked for more “soup”, although this is not really a soup… and with all the seasoning coming from soy sauce, i did’t want them downing it like soup.


I used Shabu Shabu meat (super thin sliced beef)


About 1/2 lb, defrosted.


Soak dried Shitake mushrooms in hot water while you prep.  Squeeze excess water then slice. remove and discard stems.  Use only the “umbrella” of the mushroom.


Prep your veggies. My favorite Trader Joe’s Shredded Carrots has made yet another appearance on my blog


Heat slightly greased wok on med high heat. Brown meat quickly and transfer to plate. Don’t overcook


Add 8 cups of broth/stock (I used a mixture of 2 cups beef broth and 6 cups chicken stock), soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and garlic and bring to a boil. Start with 1/3 cup soy sauce and add more as needed. Skim the foam off the surface


Once the soup is boiling, add the cabbage and the tangmyun and let it boil.


Next, add the mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers, and carrots and bring to a boil


I slice my green onions after all the veggies are in the wok.


Add your meat back into the wok and sprinkle the green onions on top.  Serve hot. 🙂

Sukiyaki w/ tangmyun recipe

  • 1/2 lb shabu shabu or sukiyaki beef
  • 8 cups mixture of Beef Broth and Chicken Stock (2 beef, 6 chicken)
  • 3 cubes Trader Joe’s frozen crushed garlic (or 3 cloves garlic, minced)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Low-Sodium Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 cup very lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2-3 TB Mirin
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, sliced
  • big handful of tangmyun (about full spaghetti pack)
  • 6-10 (depends on size) dried Shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 fistfuls of Trader Joe’s Shredded Carrots
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  1. Soak the dried Shitake mushrooms in hot water while you prep your veggies, then squeeze the mushrooms of water, remove and discard the stems, and slice the “umbrella’ portion of the mushrooms.
  2. Heat a lightly greased (Pam spray is perfect) wok over medium high heat and brown the meat and transfer to a plate.  Don’t overcook the meat.
  3. In the same wok, bring 8 cups of beef and chicken broth/stock to a boil and add the garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and mirin.  Taste the broth and adjust as needed.  Start off adding 1/3 cup of soy sauce then add more to taste.  Same for the sugar and mirin.  Skim off any foam on the surface of the soup.
  4. When the broth is really boiling, add the cabbage and tangmyun noodles.  Then after that boils for a minute, add the rest of the veggies except the green onions.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Add the meat and the green onions and bring to a boil and you’re done!

*note: the Tangmyun noodles like to soak up liquid, so only add the amount that will be eaten.  You can also boil the noodles separately in water and add as you eat.  The noodles are less flavorful using this method since it takes away the time the noodles sit in the broth to soak up the flavor.

This Sukiyaki recipe is perfect to tuck away for the cooler weather that will be upon us as quickly as this summer has escaped us.  You’re welcome to crank up the A/C like us and make it during the last heat spell of summer too!

Thank you for reading and please subscribe~ My posts should be more regular with school back in session.

Bottle Cap Necklaces and Keychains DIY

bottlecap collage

This summer has gone by way too fast!  I can’t believe it’s already mid-August and school is just around the corner!  I’ve been swamped the last couple months with a work, trips, family, and wedding planning (not mine; been there, done that).  We welcomed summer with a trip to Yosemite with my father-in-law during his annual trip to the US from Hong Kong.  After a week of Bible Camp we made the 14 hrs drive to WA to visit my family for 2 weeks and got to experience their unusual heat spell in a A/C-less apt.  As soon as we got back, I got to help plan a wedding!  How many of you can say you helped plan your mother-in-law’s wedding? I sure can!  Now there’s only 2 weeks left before school starts and I’m prepping for one last trip to Southern California before we get back into the grind of pickups, dropoffs, ballet, soccer, etc…

While getting a few things ready for school, I made some keychains for the kiddos’ backpacks with some of their favorite characters.  I had all the materials leftover from a birthday party many moons ago. My daughter had a birthday back in March and asked for a gymnastics party after she had a blast attending a friend’s birthday party at the same venue.  She also wanted the birthday theme to be Strawberry Shortcake so I decided to make bottlecap necklaces and keychains for party favors.  I looked around online and found the following method to be the most simple and cute for making these bottlecap necklaces/chains.



Gather your materials


Carefully stick your 1″ circular image onto the 1″ epoxy sticker. Flatten back to make sure there are no bubbles


Squeeze some E6000 adhesive to inside of bottlecaps and center your epoxy image onto the center.  Make sure to work in a well ventilated area and away from children.


Lay out to dry overnight. Then punch a hole on the top of the bottlecap edge and insert split ring.  Then place on a necklace or keychain of your choice.


For the party favor, I wrapped a Strawberry Shortcake coloring book in brown wrapping paper, then placed the necklace, crayons and a Strawberry Shortcake tattoo in a pink polka dot baggy (Target). 


Finished off with green laundry rope from the Dollartree for a cute Strawberry Shortcake-esque look.


IMG_20150307_130325 IMG_20150307_134815

My daughter had a blast at her party with her dear friends and everyone got cute little cupcakes to take home too!  You can never have too much cake!