Tag Archives: cilantro

My New Favorite Sauce!

My New Favorite Sauce!

My Lunch Today – Quesadilla with Zhoug Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes

Ron and I were introduced to a delicious new sauce called zhoug (pronounced zoog) when we were visiting our friends, Bonnie and Don, in Long Beach, California early this year – just before COVID-19 changed the world.

Bonnie is the queen of making fabulous food – FAST! I treat cooking as an exercise in meditation and I putter and play while I create. Bonnie, on the other hand, has learned the art of getting meals prepared quickly so she can move on to do other things she’d rather spend time on. She picked the zhoug sauce up at Trader Joe’s and Ron and I absolutely fell in love with it. We picked up extra to bring home to Mexico, but the supply didn’t last very long. The answer, then, was to figure out how to make it myself!

Zhoug originated in Yemen but is now enjoyed in many other parts of the world (our friend, Henry, remembers having it while living in Israel). I’m a huge fan of chimichurri, but find that zhoug is brighter, spicier, greener and fresher. I use it on and in everything, literally, and it makes the BEST guacamole when mixed into mashed avocado. Using a food processor, this literally takes 10 minutes to make and clean up. Give it a whirl – literally!


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Serrano chiles, seeds and membranes removed and cut in big chunks
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, washed and dried
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chile flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice


Place all ingredients (except olive oil and lemon juice) into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped fine. Add olive oil and lemon juice and blend into a coarse paste.

Store in a sealed, glass jar in your refrigerator for up to a week (if it lasts that long!).

Asian Pork Noodles with Spinach

We’ve been going out so much lately that I haven’t cooked a great deal. Ron had a busy day of tennis yesterday and we wanted to stay in, relax, watch O.J.: Made in America, the new documentary about O.J. Simpson on ESPN, and prepare our own food for a change. I saw a recipe on the Food and Wine website that I wanted to try as we had a lot of spinach in the refrigerator to use: Asian Pork Noodles with Spinach.

Asian Pork Noodles with Spinach

Asian Pork Noodles with Spinach

I wasn’t able to find ground pork at the local grocery store, so I decided to use ground turkey instead. The other changes that I made to this recipe were that I added 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes when I added the spinach, about 2 tbsp. of sesame oil just before serving for extra flavour and to balance the acid, and garnished with both chopped cilantro and basil. To give the dish a little crunch, you could garnish with some chopped peanuts as well.

This was a very good dish (4 out of 5 stars), quick to prepare, nutritious and delicious. I would make it again, for sure.

As with all Thai food, this dish would pair well with a well-chilled, fruit-forward, lower-alcohol white wine like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Viognier or Pinot Gris.