Panko Fried Shrimp

I’m back in the kitchen again! These past couple of weeks have been hectic- from going to Nicaragua (I’ll blog more about that later), moving in to my new summer apartment, starting new classes, volunteering in clinic, and still making the time to study and do homework in between. Cooking has become a little outlet for my roommate and I, and it’s something that I find myself looking forward to at the end of every day.

Living on our own temporarily has definitely made me feel even more independent-going grocery shopping, learning to shop on a budget, meal planning, scheduling my day out, going to clinic, coming back home, having to make my own dinner and knowing how to take care of myself. Being on my own definitely feels like a challenge at times, but there are also plenty of perks.

Now that we have our own kitchen, we’ve been able to experiment a lot more, and there have been plenty of successful meals along the way, which I couldn’t be more proud of. Good thing I have a roommate to experience it all with me. Hurray for awesome cooking partners!

For my WIAW this week…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. shrimp
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • Oil, for deep frying
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Clean, peel and de-vein shrimp, making slight lengthwise slit down middle of shrimp. Remove head and tail.

Flatten out shrimp or “inside butterfly” the shrimp.

Season shrimp lightly with salt and pepper.

Mix egg and flour (you can add more flour if necessary). Add milk.

Coat shrimp evenly in batter, then roll in Panko bread crumbs until completely covered in bread crumbs.

Heat oil over medium-high heat, around 325 °F. To test if oil is ready, drop a few pieces of Panko in oil-if ready, it should immediately start bubbling/sizzling.

Deep fry shrimp in batches (about 3 or 4 at a time).

Flip halfway through deep frying, making sure both sides are golden brown and crust has formed around shrimp.

Transfer to paper towel to drain oil.

Serve with ketchup, Tonkatsu sauce, tartar sauce, or Worcestershire sauce. Or whatever else makes you happy.

Enjoy!IMG_3396_ipc

We enjoyed our Panko fried shrimp with a classic Chinese dish-stir-fried egg and tomato seen here.

Bon appétit! ♥

#100HappyDays: Day 100

Day 100. I did it! Well, I never actually thought I’d end up following through with this challenge and though I’m glad to have completed all 100 days of this challenge, a part of me is also sad that it’s over. I never really expected I’d have something to look forward to at the end of every day, reflecting on my daily life and all the little bits and pieces that made me feel so grateful to feel joy, and just to be able to have these simple moments that could be cherished day by day.

Today, like every day, is special in its own way while not really being that all that special, or particularly out of the blue, if that even makes sense. What I mean to say is that each day offers us the chance to learn something new, whether it’s about ourselves, other people, the community, the world we live in, maybe even humanity in general-you never really know what each day holds. Sometimes it’s the good, and sometimes it can be a bit uglier. But as with all things in life, there is always a little something to learn from even the uglier parts, the parts we don’t really want to face.

At the same time, we as humans like to stick to a routine, find some sort of stability in our lives, function by a schedule, use time to keep track of every single task and chore, which I guess makes every day not so special-because it’s kind of just the same old, same old, right? We go through the same thing every day-what’s so special about that? Wake up, eat, school, work, eat, break, more work, come home, eat, sleep. During this past year in college, schedules are never really the same, even on a day-to-day basis with different classes every day and what not. But, for the most part, I still like to stick to a schedule and get in a familiar habit, and this usually results in me being entirely drained of energy and just barely dragging myself through the week.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that through it all, this challenge has not been easy at times and I’ve realized that this is just a part of my nature. Maybe even a part of human nature if you want to go there. I want to have a balance in my life and stick to a plan and go through with it. But that’s not always the case, is it? Maybe we’re supposed to force ourselves to do the extraordinary, challenge ourselves to do the impossible, push ourselves to do the things that scare us, face the things that are just plain hard. Perhaps that’s how life is meant to be lived at times. I don’t really know.

What I do know, however, is that each and every one of us has been given a life, an opportunity to make the best of what we are given and if we don’t take the chance to seize every single opportunity, lesson, and moment that comes our way or fight like hell to push through the hardships and trials, then who will? We’ve got to learn to live for ourselves. People often associate living for others with being selfless, but this isn’t always necessarily true. Living for yourself doesn’t make you selfish, ignorant, close-minded or unhappy. It means learning to love yourself, trust yourself, find power in yourself, know yourself, accept yourself, believe in yourself, and value yourself. And if you can do all of these things while being your best self, then there’s really nothing that can stop you from doing the things that are truly important to you and matter, the things that you are passionate about, or the things that make you genuinely happy.

So, I guess to end off my long and nonsensical rambling, here I am writing about my last day of this challenge. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been volunteering in a dental clinic in the free student run dental clinics serving the underprivileged communities of San Diego. Each day in clinic, we’re always presented with something new-different patients, cases, dentists, procedures, fellow volunteers, etc. It’s both fun and tiring at the same time, but I’ve loved all of the various opportunities I’ve been given to learn more about the technical aspects of dentistry, dealing with patients, caring for them in a humanistic approach, empowering them as individuals, communicating with dentists and other staff, learning about running a private practice, and just so much more. I’m just going to be honest and say that there have been a countless number of times where I’ve questioned my motives for wanting to go into this career, whether or not I am actually suited for this type of job, whether all the time, work and money is really worth it, and I can’t say that I’ve found an answer yet to all my doubts and concerns. There’s no resounding “no” or “yes” that tells me that this is the right path for me, but parts of this journey are out of my own hands. One dentist did, however, give me a solid word or encouragement that’s always good to hear-if you really want it, you’ll always get it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you it’s too hard, you can’t do it or it’s not worth it. If you truly love it, you’ll get there.

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The dentists and group of volunteers I got to work with today!

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“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” ~Woodrow Wilson

Hope your day is filled with happiness ♡

#100HappyDays: Day 99

I’ll admit that in my freshman year of high school I probably never would have expected to become close to some of the girls that I ended up getting close with my junior and senior year. And I’m so glad that I was wrong about that, because I never realized just how much these group of girls would mean to me, even now when we’re all busy with our own lives and schedules. Despite going off on our own separate ways in college, one of the most reassuring things is coming back home and reuniting with each other, picking up where we left off last summer. It’s such a great feeling. We just made breakfast today in the morning, reminisced on our high school memories, shared new memories of college, and just enjoyed each other’s company after months of not seeing each other. It barely feels like we’re older, but everyone is a lot more busier this summer-many of us have jobs, summer classes, internships, mentorship roles, etc. I feel like a proud mama sometimes when I see how mature and independent all of my friends are becoming and how they are so driven. If anything, these friends have truly changed me for the better in always pushing me when things get hard, motivating me, and inspiring me to go after my dreams.

To end off the day, I headed back to San Diego to volunteer at the dental clinic. This was my first time volunteering as X-ray technician since I got my X-ray license and it wasn’t easy at all. In fact, it was frustrating to be completely honest. Working in a professional and highly-paced environment requires you to be on your toes at all times, be efficient and execute properly, many of the things which I feel like I failed to do. Anyways, since it was only my first time, I’m hoping that I’ll get better at what I do over time, but of course, it’s a slow learning process. So until then, I just have to keep trying and we’ll see where that takes me!

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Bite down, don’t move, hold still…ok!

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Have a lovely day ♥

#100HappyDays: Day 98

I’ve had a journal for as long as I remember. This blog essentially serves as my online journal in its own way, but apart from this, I’ve also kept plenty of diaries and journals from the time I was in elementary school. When I went to visit Allison today, we found a shared journal that we kept in high school and would pass back and forth to reflect on daily high school stuff and all of that sort. In our own group of friends back in middle school, we started this tradition too and I still have one of the journals that a we used to pass on to each other every week. Such a fond memory. Anyways, looking back on all of our thoughts from when we were still in high school is so crazy-us talking about how we were stressed about our SATs, boyfriends, friends, college, family, etc. To think that we have already finished our first year of college makes me feel so old but I wouldn’t trade any of the experiences along the way for anything, despite all the challenges we’ve had to overcome to get where we are now. It’s safe to say that while the ride has definitely been tough at times with stuff that we’ve both had to deal on our own, we’ve both ended up where we wanted, and every day is a chance to continue striving for our dreams and goals.

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Thank you for the endless laughs, countless memories, the occasional disagreements, the thought-provoking conversations, and for showing me what true friends are made of.

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Goodnight world ♥

#100HappyDays: Day 97

Since the beginning days of college, this little ball of craziness has always brought such happiness into my life. Coming to know Dipika has been one of the greatest privileges this year in so many ways. Had we not made the decision to be suitemates with each other, there’s no way that I would have been able to have the amazing year that I had. We were friends in high school, but mainly because our friends were friends with each other, and naturally we saw each other and talked to each other. Living together, however, gets you to a whole new level of friendship and you just become so close and comfortable with each other. We lay on each other’s beds, don’t care about the fact that we’re lazy and have no motivation to do anything, make each other feel better about the fact that we’re so lazy, actually motivate each other when we have interviews, tests, dance competitions or anything like that, distract each other when we have homework and midterms the next day, and do dumb things together-whether it’s dancing in public with no shame whatsoever, laugh until we’re out of breath at stupid things that people don’t even find remotely funny and just think we’re crazy, making farts at each other and other people, watch the sunset together and get stranded because we drained the car battery, get excited over pointless stuff like Mexican food and wine glasses, wait 30 minutes for a bus when we could just walk for 10 to get to our destination, and overall just learning to embrace our weirdness. I can be my complete self around Dipika, even in those times when I literally don’t feel like doing anything and just lying on her bed because we’re just that close with each other. So, to end off a long day today, I went over to Dipika’s house and we both just laid in her bed, talking about anything and everything for a couple of hours. When you find someone with whom you can do completely nothing with and still enjoy each other’s company so much, I think that’s when you have found a true friend.

The rest of my day today was spent with family-taking a yoga class with them, going out to lunch, shopping around, eating more, and just spending quality time was such a nice break. Despite not doing anything particularly special today, being with family and just finally taking the time to relax and giving myself alone time was so amazing.

Have a lovely day ♥

#100HappyDays: Day 96

Well, here I am trying to write about all of the happy memories that freshman year has brought me and trying to wrap it up into a brief post, but this is becoming more of a challenge than I expected. Aside from meeting so many new people, being able to explore La Jolla/ San Diego, learning to live with 16 other girls, going on food adventures, getting down and crazy at dances, cooking in the lounge, satisfying our dessert cravings in the middle of the night, celebrating the holidays together, attempting crazy yoga poses in the suite with my roommates, getting connected with the church life here, having my first opportunity to volunteer in a dental clinic, surfing for the first time, hiking and enjoying the beauty of La Jolla, showing visiting friends the area and talking with them until the wee hours of the morning, pulling 4-am’ers to finish essays, having emotional breakdowns from too much stress, travelling to beautiful Rosarito and having an amazing time, dressing up for no special occasion and eating at a nice restaurant and having the time of my life here, I’ve also learned to take care of myself, survived through three quarters of midterms and finals, cried with my friends over breakups and broken hearts, cried from laughing too hard, experienced unprecedented growth as an individual, been exposed to people of different backgrounds and stories, felt genuine happiness, learned about myself, managed to keep in contact with all of my high school friends, found my best friends here, made lifelong memories, and found a second place to call home.

Even though I’ll only be gone for a short few months before being reunited with all these amazing people again, it seems like I keep forgetting or simply not realizing just how much of an impact my experiences have had on making me the person I am right now at this very moment. Had I not met some of the people I had the privilege of meeting and getting close to this year, I guarantee I would be very different from who I am and I wouldn’t want to change a single thing about this year, all ups and downs included.

Before coming into college, I never imagined how 8 short months could change me. Sure, I still may be the same weird and loud girl, but at the same time, I feel as if everything has changed. My friends here have shown me a whole new side of friendship that I didn’t think was possible, whether it’s coming to deliver dinner to me during the middle of finals week, knowing exactly when something’s wrong just by a simple look, confiding in me and sharing some of the more private and personal stories with each other…basically everything that has allowed me to see why they say that you find your lifelong friends in college. My family here consists of so many loving people who continue to give and provide simply out of the goodness of their hearts. My passion for learning about real world experiences and using my skills to help others has increased tenfold through my interaction with professional dentists and actual patients in clinic and seeing just how grateful they are for what we are able to do for them. My desire to connect with others on a deep, personal level has led me to create so many valuable friendships that I hope to never lose. My love for life has just grown exponentially and I can’t adequately describe everything that college has done for my happiness, my growth, my independence and just me. So I guess while this is the end of a small chapter of my college career, this is also a beginning to the future college years and memories down the road, and if one year in college can already do so much for me, then I can only wonder what the next few years down the road will bring. When you can look back on your experiences and still find so many things to be grateful for despite all the stress, mistakes, disappointments and failures you go through at one point or another, that’s always a reason to smile. Here’s to an incredible year.

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Hope your day is beautiful ❀