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Pickled Bamboo Dumplings

When I featured Chili Bamboo Shoots in a Foodstuffs post some time ago, I mentioned that I would like to try using them as a dumpling filling. After a couple of other experiments using the stuff I only have a little left in the jar and I need to use it up. There really isn’t enough to use them alone as a dumpling stuffing, so I decided to use some of my homemade Pickled Mustard Greens and ground Pork to round out the volume. Anyway, for this experiment, we will be essentially be doing the Chinese style dumpling known as Jiaozi, or more specifically, 蒸餃子(zhēng jiǎozi), since we will be steaming them… Read more

Pork with Black Fungus and Cucumber

I decided to put together this simple little a preparation in order to illustrate one possible use of the Chinese Black Fungus I featured the other day in a ‘Foodstuffs’ post. Basically, this is a dish that I have cooked many times in the past and it is very simple. It also works very nicely with snap peas or even lettuce in place of the cucumber… Read more

Announcing… an Award!

Nope, I haven’t won the Golden Quill Award. In fact, nobody has as yet…

Back when I wrote a post about accepting blog awards, I explained my reasons for declining two that were bestowed upon me in quick succession. In that same post, I also suggested that I might try and design a new award with rules for nomination that didn’t lead to the sort of ‘chain letter’ progression that many current ones employ. It has taken a while, but I finally got around to coming up with something.

Anyway, the basic idea behind the ‘Golden Quill’ is that will be bestowed upon only one blogger at a time with the result that nominees can give some real consideration as to whom they will in turn nominate and not be stuck with having to come up with a whole bunch of names. In addition, I have also proposed some temporal rules so as to limit the number of awards per year to a reasonable number. Here is my idea so far… Read more

Squid Pakora

Pakoras are an Indian snack consisting of various vegetables, and sometimes meats, mixed with a batter (most commonly made with chick-pea flour) and then deep fried. I have never before seen squid being used in any of my Indian recipe books (at least not for pakoras) and I am departing from tradition by using a combination of wheat and rice flour for this experiment. My creation is actually quite similar to Korean preparations but the spice usage is definitely Indian in spirit and so I am giving them the Indian name… Read more

Foodstuff: Chinese Black Fungus

It’s not strictly correct to call these ‘Chinese’ black fungi since they are also used in south-east Asia, most notably Thailand, and in the Philippines as well. However, I certainly associate them mostly with Chinese cookery as I generally only see them used in recipes from Chinese cookbooks and have never been served them anywhere other than at a Chinese restaurant as yet.

Serious fans of Chinese cookery have probably heard of ‘wood ears’ or ‘cloud ears’ and both of these terms refer to the fungus. As yet, however, they have not become widely recognized in the west and, indeed, most people, if they have experienced them at all, have probably only done so, possibly unwittingly, in the popular ‘Hot and Sour Soup’. Still these are interesting culinary item and well worth a look… Read more

Chicken with Lemongrass and Basil

This recipe is not inspired by, or adapted from any particular recipe, but the ingredients I am using are very southeast Asian in spirit and would likely be quite at home in Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand. Lemongrass plays a very central role here, but the fire in the recipe comes from the Sambal Terasi I prepared some weeks ago… Read more

Foodstuff: Seafood Medley – Aquastar Brand

I’ve been meaning to feature this product for sometime now but my current package has been languishing in the freezer for ages waiting for the right meal. For a long time, I was using another very similar frozen seafood mixture made by a different company (whose name I can’t now recall) and I was originally going to feature that one in a ‘Foodstuffs’  post but didn’t get around to it. That brand was pretty good but the Aquastar version is actually much better…. Read more

Prosciutto Rolls stuffed with Shrimp

I had some Prosciutto leftover from making  a Braciole and needed to use it up. I thought briefly about simply doing Shrimp wrapped with Prosciutto but we have had that many times and so I decided to go with the same ingredients but jazz things up a little with a new twist. The result I came up with is vaguely Asian and, while it is not based on any particular recipe, it does seem to have a bit of a Taiwanese flair to it… Read more

The Sunday Gravy Project Part 8 – Barbecue Sauce Ribs

Recently, Carla over at Expat Chef in Barcelona ( a great blog, by the way, so please check it out), made some great comments to Part 6 of my Sunday Gravy experiment (The Pulled Pork Sandwich).  I was looking for something to do for part 8 and her BBQ sauce idea prompted me to cook some ribs in the gravy (thus adding yet more depth to the flavor) and then use them to play around with barbecue sauce ingredients she suggested.

I plan to update you on the status of the gravy shortly (we are now at Day 45, of the experiment), but, basically, Carla inspired me to use a little of the current result with some simple additional  additions in order to make a tangy sauce. There won’t be any actual barbecuing involved in this experiment, actually, but I am looking forward to seeing how her general theme works with the ribs cooked in the oven… Read more

More Naughtiness and… Asparagus Nipples

Readers of my Naughty Cooking Tips article posted in early September will recall the exercise was nothing more than a shameless attempt to drive up traffic to my blog by including salacious terms like ‘naked’, ‘nude’ and ‘boner’ in an otherwise innocent posting. I did, however, promise at the time to do a follow-up post and share the results of my efforts.

Well, after two months or so of watching the search term statistics of my blog I have to report that the yield has been disappointingly bereft of the truly ‘dirty or really demented’ (to use the words of my blogger friend, Madam Weebles). It was, in fact, Ms. Weebles’ own ‘Obligatory Search Term Post’ that inspired my project, but, thus far, my use of her suggestion has resulted in not much more than just visits from the merely mildly demented. Still, the returns have been somewhat interesting… Read more

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