Get ready to dive into a flavor-packed fusion across Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese cuisines. The key flavors for this week are sweet and spicy!

If you’re not too keen on spicy, you can always adjust the heat to your liking. Don’t skimp out on the other stuff though!

For vegetables, we’re keeping it simple by using some repeat ingredients like lettuce and tomatoes. You’ll be amazed at how they tie everything together for a week of tasty meals.

What to do with leftovers?

When you’re shopping, you might end up with more carrots and daikon than you need. No biggie! Double up on the pickled carrots and daikon recipe and pop the extras in the fridge. They’ll come to the rescue for future meal plans, and you’ll be so glad you did.

a Fun Fact on Sriracha

Did you know? That classic Huy Fong sriracha (you know, the one with the rooster) we all love has seen some flavor changes lately, thanks to a wild shortage and a whole contract drama. And last I’ve read about it, the classic flavor is never coming back.

So, now what? My research points to Underwood Ranches’ sriracha (yep, the one with the dragon label) as the closest match nowadays. If you’re out of sriracha, give theirs a shot next time you hit the store!

First time here?

Check out my Getting Started guide to learn how to use this meal plan.

Meal Plan Menu

Prep Summary

  • 5 clove garlic finely minced
  • 2 stalk cilantro roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce roughly chopped
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 small thai chili sliced thinly (if using)
  • 6 slice bacon chopped
  • 0.75 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1.5 oz parmesan finely grated

Make Vietnamese Pickled Carrot and Daikon

  • 4 oz carrot julienned
  • 4 oz daikon julienned
  • 1 medium hass avocado sliced
  • 0.25 head iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 0.75 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 3 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce roughly chopped
  • 6 slices bacon chopped
  • 1.5 oz parmesan finely grated

  • 2 clove garlic finely minced
  • 2 stalk cilantro roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 small thai chili sliced thinly (or a pinch of red pepper flakes if preferred)

For the Vietnamese Pickled Carrot and Daikon (make this 1 day ahead)

  • 4 oz carrot julienned
  • 4 oz daikon julienned

Blanching vegetables serves 2 purposes: (1) It prevents loss of flavor, color, and texture—extending the “life” of the vegetable throughout the week, and (2) it gives us a head start in the cooking process for stir-fries. Stir-frying generally only takes 5 minutes. If you start from raw, some pieces won’t cook as evenly as others (especially hardy vegetables like broccoli). Blanching pre-cooks each piece of veggie so you will have a consistent tasting stir-fry every time. This is a well-known technique used in many Chinese restaurants!

Here’s how:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil (about 6 cups) and add 1 Tbsp kosher salt. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl on the side.
  2. Blanch vegetables for the time indicated on the recipe/prep summary. The countdown starts when the water comes back to a boil, so don’t overcrowd! Once done, immediately transfer the vegetables with a sieve to the ice bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.
  3. When vegetables have cooled, drain well and transfer to a storage container or Ziploc bag. Use a salad spinner to remove excess water for leafy greens or use clean hands to squeeze out remaining water.
  4. You can repeat this process with all the vegetables using the same pot of water. Bring water back to a rolling boil before starting a new batch. Replenish ice to ice bath as needed to keep water cold.

Chopped Aromatics

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge to keep maximum freshness. Use them within 7-10 days. If you suspect it has gone bad – the color has changed (e.g. turns brown), there is visible mold, the texture is mushy – toss them. Always err on the side of caution to avoid food poisoning.

Chopped Veggies

Store in meal prep containers or in the bags they come with in the crisper drawer. If a vegetable has a high-water content and tends to go limp quick, wrap it with a paper towel before storing it in the fridge. The paper towel absorbs excess liquid that will prevent it from wilting or turning mushy.

Meat and Seafood

As a general guideline, vacuum seal seafood if you won’t be using it within 2 days of purchase. For this reason, I always place recipes with seafood earlier in the Meal Plan Menu. For meat, vacuum seal if you won’t be using them within 4-5 days of purchase or the product’s “best by” date. Vacuum seal ASAP to keep maximum freshness. Vacuum sealed meat and seafood keep for over a week without any issues. However, if you know you won’t be able to use it within the week, date them and pop them in the freezer for later use. They are good for up to 6 months before their flavor and texture start to lessen.

If you do not have a vacuum sealer, wrap fish and meat tightly with saran wrap, then wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Store in a Ziploc bag, squeezing as much air out as possible. Date them and pop them in the freezer for later use.

Use different cutting boards for your proteins and veggies. Always wash and disinfect knives when switching from meat to veggies to prevent cross-contamination. It goes without saying that you should clean your produce before consumption and preparation.

During prep, always start with food cooked at the lowest temperature first, working your way up. For example, chopped scallions are often used as garnish and will be consumed raw, so chop them before potatoes (which you will cook so the risk is lower). Likewise, you would prepare salad greens first.  

The same principle applies when keeping them in the fridge. Don’t stack raw chicken above fish – any juices from the chicken that trickle into the fish would pose a risk. Should the chicken be contaminated with salmonella, the time and temperature at which you would cook fish to perfection is not enough to kill the bacteria.  

Meal 1

A white plate with air-fried shrimp on top of a bed of shredded lettuce and white rice with a side of sliced cherry tomatoes and avocados, topped with honey sriracha drizzle

This Air Fryer Honey Sriracha Shrimp recipe is a delightful mix of succulent shrimp coated in a heavenly sauce with tantalizing blend of sweetness and heat. This dish pairs perfectly with a bed of crisp lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado slices.

Pro tip: save your egg yolk and add it to the Gochujang Carbonara in your next meal. No waste!

Substitutions

  • Shrimp: If shrimp isn’t your preference, try using extra firm tofu or chunks of chicken as an alternative.
  • Kewpie Mayo: While Kewpie mayo adds a unique flavor that I always highly recommend, regular mayonnaise can be used as a substitute without much difference in this instance.

Alternative Cooking Methods

  • Oven Option: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the breaded shrimp on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  • Shallow-Frying Approach: Heat a skillet with an 1/2 an inch of oil over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the breaded shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side until they achieve a golden, crispy texture.
A white plate with air-fried shrimp on top of a bed of shredded lettuce and white rice with a side of sliced cherry tomatoes and avocados, topped with honey sriracha drizzle
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Air Fryer Honey Sriracha Shrimp*

Looking for a dish that's a tantalizing blend of sweetness and heat? This air fryer shrimp recipe is a delightful mix of succulent shrimp coated in a delicious Honey Sriracha sauce!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Fusion
Keyword: 30-minute recipes, air fryer shrimp
Servings: 2

Equipment

  • Air fryer

Ingredients

  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium Hass avocado sliced
  • 12 oz large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Cooking spray

Marinade:

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt use less if shrimp is already salted from frozen
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg white only, lightly beaten (reserve egg yolk in an airtight container)*
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp sriracha or more to taste
  • 2.5 Tbsp Kewpie mayo
  • 2 tsp lime juice preferably freshly squeezed

Instructions

  • Mix sauce together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Mix marinade together in another bowl until smooth and thick. Add the shrimp and coat well with the marinade. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Meanwhile, dip each piece of shrimp into the breadcrumbs and coat well on both sides. When the air fryer has reached temperature, lightly spray the basket with cooking oil. Place the shrimp into the air fryer, making sure they do not touch. Spray another light coating of oil over the shrimp. Cook until golden brown and crisp (about 5 minutes).
  • Transfer the shrimp to the bowl of sauce and toss to coat well. Serve over a bed of lettuce with steamed rice and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle remaining sauce over avocado if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Save the egg yolk for Gojuchang Carbonara for your next meal.

Meal 2

Gochujang Carbonara is a Korean twist on a classic Italian dish. You’ve likely seen lots of talk about “gochujang”, otherwise known as Korean red pepper paste, all over social media. And for good reason! It imparts a slightly sweet, smokey, and spicy flavor to anything you add it to!

I intentionally kept the salad simple to let the pasta’s flavors shine. This dish is bold. But if you’re looking for more than just plain oil and salt as a dressing, you can make a zesty vinaigrette with lemon if you have that on hand.

Sucess Tips

  • Temperature Matters: To achieve the perfect sauce consistency, ensure the gochujang, gochugaru, eggs, egg yolk (if using), and parmesan are at room temperature. This aids in achieving a smooth and creamy sauce. But if you’ve forgotten, I’ve got you! Check out the notes in the recipe card below.
  • Tossing Technique: Toss the hot pasta in the sauce immediately after draining. This step allows the pasta to absorb the flavors and ensures an even coating of the sauce.
  • Adjusting Sauce Consistency: If the sauce is too thick, gradually add a bit of the reserved pasta water while tossing to achieve the desired consistency.
A whi
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Gochujang Carbonara*

Gochujang Carbonara is a Korean twist on a classic Italian dish. Bringing the eggs and gochujang to room temperature helps achieve a creamy consistency in the sauce. Adjust the spiciness by varying the amount of gochugaru to your preference.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Noodle Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Fusion, Korean
Keyword: gochujang pasta, gochujang spaghetti
Servings: 2

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Skillet
  • Tongs

Ingredients

  • 1/4 head head iceberg lettuce roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 5 oz spaghetti
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 6 slices bacon chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Cooking oil

Sauce:

  • 1.5 Tbsp gochujang brought to room temperature*
  • 1 tsp gochugaru i.e. Korean red pepper flakes
  • 2 large eggs brought to room temperature*
  • 1 egg yolk optional, brought to room temperature*
  • 1.5 oz parmesan finely grated*
  • 1/2 cup pasta water reserved from cooking the pasta

Instructions

  • Add all sauce ingredients (besides pasta water) to a large bowl and mix well. Ensure the bowl is large enough to toss the pasta in. If the ingredients are not at room temperature, see notes below.
  • Cook the pasta in 6 cups of water with 1 tsp kosher salt until al dente, following the recommended instructions on the pasta package.
  • Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet until crisp and cooked through. Discard excess bacon grease, leaving about 1 Tbsp. Add the minced garlic and cook until lightly browned and fragrant (30 seconds – 1 minute). Transfer the mixture to the large bowl with the sauce.
  • When the pasta has cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Immediately transfer the hot pasta into the bowl and mix everything together with a pair of tongs until well incorporated. The pasta needs to be hot for this to work. If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of pasta water and keep tossing to loosen it. Discard any unused pasta water.
  • Serve immediately with a side salad of lettuce and tomatoes. The pasta will be very strong, so keep the salad simple with a quick toss of neutral oil and some salt and pepper. Top with shaved parmesan if desired.

Notes

Choosing a block of parmesan cheese rather than pre-grated is crucial because of its superior melting properties. Pre-shredded varieties often contain a starch coating that hinders proper cheese melting and coating of the pasta.
If you forgot to bring eggs to room temperature: If you haven’t brought the eggs to room temperature, opt for a large, heat-resistant mixing bowl, such as aluminum or glass, for your sauce.
When the pasta water reaches a boil, create a makeshift double boiler by placing the bowl on top of the pot, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the bottom of your mixing bowl.
Continue to whisk the ingredients until the eggs, gochujang, and cheese are fully incorporated and have reached room temperature. Remove from heat promptly and proceed to step 2.
A note on raw eggs: If you have reservations about consuming raw eggs, consider using pasteurized eggs or pasteurizing them yourself with a sous vide at 135°F for 90 minutes. It’s important to note that eating raw eggs carries a risk of salmonella and listeria. Individuals who are elderly, pregnant, immunocompromised, or young children should avoid raw eggs and egg-containing foods.

Meal 3

A blue plate with lettuce cups filled with meatballs and topped with pickled radish, daikon, and cilantro

I originally whipped this up as a snack to use up leftover ingredients I had in the fridge, but it was so good that I ended up having it as my dinner instead. Just add rice and this is a complete meal with meat, veggies, and carbs.

Here’s another tip: If you can’t be bothered making the lettuce cups, these taste just as good deconstructed. A little less fun, yes, but with all the flavors!

And there you have it. Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of another week! See you again in another meal plan very soon. 🙂

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Vietnamese-Style Meatball Lettuce Cups*

Juicy meatballs bursting with bold and bright flavors nestled in crisp lettuce cups, topped with zesty pickled daikon and carrots. Perfect as both a snack and dinner!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings: 2

Equipment

  • Air fryer optional
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 3 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 stalks cilantro roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Oil for spraying

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice preferably fresh squeezed
  • 2.5 tsp sugar
  • 1 small Thai chili sliced thinly (or a pinch of red pepper flakes if preferred)
  • 1/2 Tbsp water

For Serving:

  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce leaves separated and torn to about the same size for wrapping
  • 1/4 cup pickled daikon and carrots see recipe for Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon
  • Steamed white rice

Instructions

  • Whisk dipping sauce ingredients together into a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved (you can microwave this for 30 seconds to help this along). Set aside.
  • Mix meatball ingredients together in a mixing bowl with clean hands. Mix/stir in one direction until the mixture is well combined and becomes sticky.
  • Roll 1.5-inch sized meatballs. Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Place the meatballs in a single layer. Spray generously with cooking oil and cook for 6-8 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  • Fill each lettuce cup with the meatball and pickled daikon and carrots. Drizzle with dipping sauce and garnish with more cilantro if desired. Serve with steamed white rice.

Notes

Oven method: If you don’t have an air fryer, you can use a conventional oven preheated to the same temperature. Bake for 5-10 minutes more until cooked through.
For the pickled daikon and carrots, please see the separate recipe provided.
Freezer friendly: Feel free to double the recipe for the meatballs and freeze for up to 2 months. Alternatively, if you have rice paper on hand, shred the lettuce and slice the meatballs in half instead. Then, layer them onto the rice paper and roll them up into a Vietnamese spring roll. Bring it to work for a mess-free bento experience!
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Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon*

These pickled daikon and carrots are a fantastic addition to various dishes, especially Vietnamese cuisine. They add a delightful crunch and tangy flavor to your meals.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Resting Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Keyword: Asian Pickled Vegetables, Pickled Carrots and Radish, Vietnamese Pickles
Servings: 8 oz

Equipment

  • 1 mason jar with lid 16 oz capacity

Ingredients

  • 4 oz carrot julienned
  • 4 oz daikon julienned
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt

For the Pickle Solution:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 Tbsp white vinegar

Instructions

  • Keep hands clean throughout the entire recipe for best results. Mix the carrots, daikon, and kosher salt in a bowl for 15 minutes to let the veggies sweat.
  • Meanwhile, add all ingredients for the pickle solution in a small saucepan and bring it to boil over medium high heat. Stir and mix well until sugar has dissolved completely.
  • Using clean hands and a cheesecloth, squeeze out the excess water from the carrots and daikon. Transfer to a clean 16 oz mason jar or a tall airtight container and pack the carrots/daikon tightly. Pour the pickle solution into the jar – it should just cover the carrots and daikon. If not, you can add a little bit of filtered water to top up.
  • Let it cool for 30 minutes before putting a lid on and transferring to a fridge. You can use it at this stage for a quick pickle. The flavor will build over time and keep well for up to 5 months if you always use clean utensils to take the pickle out of the jar.

Notes

Ensure you maintain cleanliness throughout the process to ensure the longevity and safety of your pickles.
Some food pairings that go well with pickled carrots and daikon:
  • Vietnamese fried egg rolls. Wrap egg rolls with lettuce leaves and pickled carrots for a complete meal.
  • In a banh mi.
  • As a side with Lemongrass Pork Chop or Chicken.
  • Any Asian style fried chicken (e.g. Japanese karaage, Korean fried chicken).

If you enjoyed this meal plan, please share it on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or your favorite social media platform!

Shopping List

ingredientquantityunitcategorynoteslist type
baking powder0.25tspmisc. dry goodspantry
cornstarch2Tbspmisc. dry goodspantry
panko breadcrumbs3Tbspmisc. dry goodspantry
fish sauce1.5Tbspcondiments and spicespantry
gochugaru1tspcondiments and spiceskorean red pepper flakespantry
gochujang1.5Tbspcondiments and spiceskorean red pepper pastepantry
honey1Tbspcondiments and spicespantry
kewpie mayo2.5Tbspcondiments and spicespantry
soy sauce1tspcondiments and spicespantry
sriracha0.5Tbspcondiments and spicespantry
sugar0.5cupcondiments and spicespantry
white vinegar0.25cupcondiments and spicespantry
carrot4ozproduceshopping
cherry tomatoes0.5cupproduceshopping
cilantro2stalkproduceoptional but recommendedshopping
daikon4ozproduceshopping
garlic5cloveproduceshopping
hass avocado1mediumproduceshopping
iceberg lettuce1headproduceshopping
lime juice2Tbspproduceshopping
thai chili1smallproduceshopping
bacon6slicemeat and seafoodshopping
ground pork0.5lbmeat and seafoodshopping
large shrimp0.75lbmeat and seafoodshopping
egg3largedairy and misc. refrigerated itemsshopping
parmesan1.5ozdairy and misc. refrigerated itemsget a wedge over pre-shreddedshopping
spaghetti5ozpastashopping