Black Pepper Beef

Black Pepper Beef Canadian-Style

The Chinese tend to prefer White Pepper for many preparations but Black Pepper does appear in some dishes, most notably Hot and Sour Soup, and it is not infrequently used in recipes that include beef. Here, I am doing a quick stir-fried dish using these two ingredients and I am also adding both zucchini and button mushrooms. You can, of course, easily replace these vegetables with any number of other combinations you like.


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Zha Cai - Sichuan Preserved Vegetable

Zha Cai - Sichuan Preserved Vegetable 四川榨菜

Zha Cai – Sichuan Preserved Vegetable 四川榨菜

Zha Cai, or Sichuan Preserved Vegetable, is a spicy Sichuanese specialty featuring a type of mustard stem pickled by packing it with salt, garlic and chili.  It is a very versatile pantry ingredient that packs a powerful flavor punch and can be added to soups and stews, as well as steamed or stir-fried dishes.


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General Tso Chicken at the New Mitzi Restaurant in Vancouver

General Tso Chicken at the New Mitzi Restaurant in Vancouver

General Tso Chicken at New Mitzi’s Restaurant in Vancouver

When I reviewed the General Tso’s Chicken at the Oriental House in Ottawa, I gave a brief introduction to the origins and composition of the dish. I also noted that the Oriental House version was one of the better ones I have had. I later contrasted this with the really awful General Tso’s at Sushi Village which, it can only be said, was little better than Chicken McNuggets in Tomato Ketchup.

The version you see pictured above was served to me at the New Mitzi’s Restaurant on Pender Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown (which, I have just learned is now permanently closed). In terms of quality, it fell between the two extremes mention above, and was pretty much the same as the mediocre renditions available most everywhere.

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Roast Duck Breast at the Juniper in Vancouver

Roast Duck Breast at the Juniper in Vancouver

Roast Duck Breast at the Juniper in Vancouver

I previously mentioned the Juniper Bar and Kitchen in Vancouver in my review of their Bone Marrow Appetizer. I wasn’t taken terribly with that dish, actually, although that was a matter of personal taste and not a reflection of the quality. The Roast Duck Breast plate you see pictured above, however, was very nicely prepared and I enjoyed it a good deal more.

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