Shrimp and Tofu Coconut Curry : Behind the Scenes

Sometimes when I watch back our own behind the scenes footage, I get shocked at how much work goes into every detail and scene of every video we film for Bits & Pieces, and sometimes it exhausts me!  Haha.  Take for instance our ingredients board.  It’s what… a 10 second clip that you probably don’t really notice, but it requires lights, stands, hand drawings, stop motion, and a bunch of dirty dishes to wash after we’re done.  Why do we do this to ourselves?

But at the end of the day, we wouldn’t have it any other way.  Joe and I are both visual artists and story tellers, and we like to pour our hearts and souls into anything we create and “put out there into the Universe.”  Or should I say Yooniverse?   -ahem-

So really, it’s a sickness we can’t control.  We tend to have these discussions all the time about if it’s quantity over quality.  Do we keep going down the path we started and stick to making quality work, even if it means sacrificing the frequency of “just getting content out there?”  Let me tell you, as fairly new Youtubers, that’s a hard one, and I don’t think there’s a right answer.  Maybe we’ll know over time.

Luckily, while shooting this Shrimp and Tofu Coconut Curry episode, things went a tad smoother than when we were shooting our Easy Shrimp Pad Thai episode.  If you watched our last behind the scenes, you saw that I was having a hard time talking, and we had a couple technical difficulties here and there.  This time, I think filming went a lot smoother, but nothing’s ever easy.  You can still see how things went down in this behind the scenes video:

This time, it was more about deciding where to put our white counter height table.  If you watched our latest kitchen tour video, you saw me explain that we bought that table to act as an island, since our kitchen is not really set up well for a cooking show.  It was our semi-solution to being able to shoot at a “straight-on” angle.  For the most part, it works.

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Shrimp and Tofu Coconut Curry

Should I really be calling this dish Curry in a Hurry… or even Curry Without Worry?  Hmm… maybe, but you can decide after you make it.  I think the best part of this coconut curry is that you can throw in whatever bits and pieces (ahem) you have lying around in your fridge and it will probably still come out good.  So this is a great recipe to keep in mind for those kinds of days.  You can even be prepared by keeping most of the base ingredients in your pantry.  All you need is curry powder, soy sauce, tomato paste, and coconut milk.  How easy is that?

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I’ve heard of some curry snobs who scoff at curry powder, but I really don’t understand why since it’s just a mix of different spices together, including tumeric, cumin, coriander, and mustard.  Hey, if it makes my life easier, I’m all for it.

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And I would say that the surprise ingredient in this curry is tomato paste!  But really, it’s just concentrated tomato, and it adds sweetness, tang, and color to the curry in one step.  And if you happen to have a lime lying around, then you can have a satisfying dinner on the table and clean out your fridge while looking like a BOSS.  Watch how I pull together this almost instant homemade Shrimp and Tofu Coconut Curry in EPISODE 12 of Bits & Pieces:

I know my last recipe featured shrimp and tofu too since I made an Easy Shrimp Pad Thai.  But that’s exactly the point!  As you know, our last episode was a collaboration between us and Lktoepher from 6kidsProductions.  We know her as Lee, and she was one of our Kickstarter backers.  Producing an episode of our show was one of the rewards we offered.  For Lee’s episode, she specifically wanted to learn how to make Pad Thai, but she also wanted my advice about what to do with the leftover ingredients.

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Easy Shrimp Pad Thai : Behind the Scenes

This episode of Bits & Pieces was a special one because it was a collaboration between us and Lktoepher from 6kidsProductions.  We know her as Lee.  She was one of our backers from our Kickstarter project and producing an episode of our show was a reward we offered.  Making an easier and healthier version of Pad Thai was Lee’s idea, so if you liked this episode, you have her to thank!

We thought it would be cool for Lee to make a cameo in the actual video.  So we asked for a video clip of herself asking me what she wanted to learn how to make.  She was awesome enough to send us her bloopers as well!  Of course we couldn’t let that go to waste so we included them in this behind the scenes video of our Easy Shrimp Pad Thai episode:

I’ll be honest… this one was a hard one for us to shoot.  The recipe itself is easy to make.  But shooting it was another story.  It was during Daylight Savings, and that pesky little time change threw me for a loop!  We also had a family celebration with relatives flying in from California, DC, and Korea!  One of our cousins stayed with us for a couple days, and we were busy hosting.

But on top of it, I was recipe testing constantly for the next couple videos, because we’re always simultaneously working on multiple videos.  But that particular week, I was having a rough time.  It was one of those moments where things weren’t coming out right and I just felt emotionally drained from constantly failing.

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Easy Shrimp Pad Thai

All I gotta say is the next time you’re craving an easy and light version of Pad Thai, remember this recipe.  You don’t have to be intimidated here because I won’t ask you to make your own tamarind juice or run around to find palm sugar and dried shrimp.  All you need are ingredients that you can probably find easily in most grocery stores.  You might have to scamper towards the International foods aisle, but the only things you need from there are dried rice noodles, soy sauce, and Sriracha sauce.  But let’s not kid ourselves, you probably have Sriracha and soy sauce in your kitchen right now anyways.

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The thing I LOVE most about Thai food is how balanced it tastes. There’s always a subtle dance between salty, sweet, and sour, with sometimes a kick of spice…and that sounds like heaven to me.  So that’s what’s happening in this sauce, but simplified.  Salty= soysauce, sweet = brown sugar, sour = lime, and spicy=Sriracha sauce.  Okay…I guess there’s no need to read the rest of the recipe now, huh?  Just kidding.

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I was challenged by a lovely lady named Lee aka Lktoepher from 6kidsProductions to whip up an easier, healthier/ lighter version of Pad Thai that she could tackle at home without it turning into a hot mess.  Challenge accepted!  I feel like I just sounded like Barney from “How I Met Your Mother.”  You can watch how I make this Easy Shrimp Pad Thai in EPISODE 11 of Bits & Pieces:

This video was a collaboration between us and 6kidsProductions because Lee was one of our backers from our Kickstarter project campaign, and producing an episode of Bits & Pieces was one of the rewards we offered.  What started out to be a one-time deal morphed into a friendship, and we had a blast communicating via Skype.  Since Lee is a producer herself, she came to the table with awesome creative ideas and we’re thankful to have a partnership with her.  We plan to collaborate again, so stay tuned for that!  She has some great ideas and truly pushes me to be “resourceful and creative in the kitchen.”

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Trip to Gino’s East

We had a Groupon that Joe purchased a while back for Gino’s East and forgot about until it was ALMOST too late.  I didn’t even know he bought it in the first place, so it could’ve been a tragedy if we “wasted” it.  Luckily, Joe remembered it the same weekend it was going to expire… on Sunday!  But better late than never!  So off we went to the city to score some pre-paid pizza for dinner.  Since it was both of our first times at Gino’s East, we thought we would film our experience there.  Before we even moved here, we’ve had Chicago deep dish pizza at some of the other well-known places like Giordanos, Lou Malnati’s, and Pequods, and I can honestly say that they’re all a little different from one another.  I think that’s pretty cool though, because then you can get a unique experience with each place.

There are several locations in the city, but we went to the one located at: 162 E. Superior St. Chicago, IL 60611 because it’s the original.  I think the standout feature of this restaurant is the fact that they welcome everyone to scribble their names on their walls.  Had I known about this earlier, I would’ve come prepared with my white out pen.  Unfortunately, we didn’t leave our mark, but that just means we have to go back again one day.  We’ve heard from several friends that they really enjoyed the “atmosphere” of Gino’s East, and I’d say that I agree with them.

It’s kind of dark and almost pub-like in a way, which makes you feel relaxed and cozy.  And the pizza itself is known for its “secret yellow crust.”  I didn’t know that at the time, so I was really surprised by it.  You’ll see me mention it.  But you can watch our reactions and hear more about what we have to say in our vlog below:

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Spaghetti Squash with Easy Meat Sauce : Behind The Scenes

Just wanted to let you know that we decided to start shooting videos of us shooting videos.  HA!  We’ve always thought about taking you behind the scenes to show you what it’s like for us to film Bits & Pieces…so now we are!  If you haven’t subscribed to our Youtube vlog channel yet, then go here —>Our Yooniverse .  Or you can just click on our nifty new Youtube buttons on the right side bar of this website.  That way you’ll be notified every time we make more videos like this one.

This is our first behind the scenes video and it was a rough day because it was also the first time we were shooting in our new kitchen, so we hadn’t worked out all the kinks at this point.  We were busy trying to figure out where to position the lights, and how to get the right angles.  Thankfully you can’t really tell that we’re frazzled in the video (at least I don’t think so).  But we are a little stiff and Joe is more quiet than usual.  We were just so focused on making sure to make the shoot go smoothly.  We’ll try to be more loosey goosey in our future vlogs.  In any case, hope you guys enjoy this little look behind the lens:

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Spaghetti Squash with Easy Meat Sauce

I made this dish for my husband and in-laws and they all loved it.  They thought it was so flavorful, unique, satisfying, and light at the same time!  Is that even possible?  Sure it is!  It’s lighter and lower carb, but hearty enough to fill you up so that you don’t even miss the pasta.  I’ve heard people say this line before, in regards to spaghetti squash, but I was kind of skeptical about it.  I thought to myself that there was no way a SQUASH could possibly replace a comforting plate of pasta.

But that’s exactly it.  Personally, I don’t think spaghetti squash REPLACES pasta.  I think it’s entirely it’s own thing and deserves to be recognized for what it is.  And truth be told, I might even like this dish better than regular spaghetti with meat sauce -GASP!

Spaghetti-Squash

The last time I was at the grocery store to pick up a couple of spaghetti squash, I felt like there were several eyes on me, secretly wondering what I was going to do with them.  Finally, one lady came up to me and asked if I knew how to cook spaghetti squash.  As I was explaining how to make it, she kept asking me more questions until it felt like I was completely giving her a step-by-step recipe, right there in the produce aisle.

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If I wanted to be a brat, I could’ve just handed her my card and said, “look it up on chefjulieyoon.com…there might be a recipe for it one day.”  Hmm…maybe I should’ve because today I’m sharing this recipe with all of you!  Watch how I tackle this fantastically peculiar and wonderful squash with easy meat sauce in EPISODE 10 of Bits & Pieces:

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Moving In

The first week in our new place was an “adventure,” and not what we expected at all.  The day before we were supposed to move into our condo, Joe and I went there to clean it.  What we thought was going to take a couple hours, ended up being an all-day / all-night affair.  There was just SO much dust, dirt, rubble, and paint splatters left behind from the renovation.  It was as if every surface was covered in a layer of dusty film.  But on top of that, we both had colds and were already exhausted from battling our constant coughing and runny noses in between all the scrubbing.

It took us about 8 hours to finish the job! Then I made instant ramen as our first meal in our new home.  We used our Keurig coffee maker box as our dining room table, and plopped down on the floor together to eat our dinner.  Then we went back to Joe’s parents’ house, where we were staying.

The next morning, the professional movers came, but since they charged by the hour, Joe and I loaded the truck with them.  And when we got to our new place, we told them to just drop the boxes “anywhere” in the living room, in order to save some time and money.  All the while, Joe’s cold morphed into flu-like symptoms, and he started suffering from body aches, and head congestion.

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Take a tour of our kitchen

Our renovation project is done and we moved into our new home!  To celebrate, we thought we would take you on a tour of our kitchen.  It may be small, but there’s a story behind every detail.  We were lucky enough to be able to “start from scratch,” when renovating it, so I have a personal attachment to every tile, cabinet, and appliance.  I cook our daily meals, develop and test recipes, and film our cooking show from here.  Well, technically you haven’t seen the episodes filmed from this kitchen yet, but don’t you worry…they’re coming soon!

Sometimes it’s the place that brings me joy, and other times, it’s the source of my stress.  But it’s still the heart of our home and I’m thankful for it.  I could go on and on about what this kitchen means to me, but just watch this video and you can hear more of my thoughts.  Get the first look of our kitchen below:

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Welcome to Our Yooniverse

We have really been enjoying filming Bits & Pieces so far.  Yeah, it’s a lot of work, and things don’t always go smoothly, but we can’t complain….it’s been great!  But one thing we’ve noticed since we started this show is that people often wonder what goes on behind the scenes, or what it’s really like working together as a husband and wife.  We get tons of questions like that, and we LOVE to share our lives freely.  So with that in mind, we have a little announcement to make.  Watch this video below and it should explain everything:

Up to speed?  Good!  Now go to our NEW Youtube channel and push SUBSCRIBE.  When you get there, you’ll see this intro video:

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