Month: April 2014

Rollmop Sushi

Rollmop Sushi 1

A while ago, I did a ‘Notable Nosh’ post featuring a particular pickled-herring preparation known as Rollmops. At that time, I mentioned that I would be interested to see how the pickled fish would work in Sushi. Originally, I thought in terms of a ‘Nigiri’ style sushi but, instead, I went another way…

There is a Japanese preparation consisting of very lightly pickled Mackerel that I just love and often have as a sashimi selection. Whole fillets are sometimes pressed with large blocks of rice to make a specific sort of sushi and I thought that Rollmops, though not nearly as delicate in flavor, would work nicely. An added incentive to trying this dish was that it gave me an opportunity to use my ‘Maki Sushi Ki’ mold…  Continue reading “Rollmop Sushi”

Appetizer: Wensleydale Bites

Wensleydale Bites 1

There is no actual recipe today (none really needed, actually)… Rather, I just thought I’d show you a little canapé I put together as a snack for my wife and me. I have called them ‘Wensleydale Bites’ because I used lovely Wensleydale Cheese which comes from Yorkshire in England and is a bit like a sharp white Cheddar.

Basically, I toasted some slices cut from a small baguette, brushed each with some of my homemade Garlic Oil, and then spread them with liver pate. On top of this, I put strips of the cheese straddled by slivers of pickled gherkin and then I grilled everything just until the cheese started to bubble. Finally, I drizzled over a little Cranberry-Chipotle Jelly and garnished with chopped parsley.

I have to say these were very good and I am looking forward to playing with the basic theme as my wife and I love this kind of ‘snackie’. I only used a cheap, canned pate on this occasion but maybe something a little more expensive and decadent will get used next time. I may even try making a flavored jelly of my own as well….

 

Culinary Chinese: It’s all in the Stroke…

CC All in the Stroke 1

Every single Chinese character is composed of a specific set of brush strokes that is formally prescribed both in form and number. Now… repeat that last sentence to yourself and digest it for a moment.

Chinese calligraphy is a fascinating subject in its own right but we won’t actually be spending too much time on it in these posts for a couple of reasons. First, I am pretty darn awful at drawing Chinese characters (and therefore in no way qualified to instruct others) and, secondly, this series of posts is more about reading, rather than writing. Still, that being said, we can’t completely ignore the rudiments of the latter if we are going to be any good at the former.

 As already discussed in our post ‘Look me up sometime…’, being able to look up Chinese characters in a dictionary is an essential skill and I asked you, in that post, to consider the ways that lists of characters might be organized. Kudos to those of you who then read ‘A Character Study…’ and guessed that the number of strokes in a given character might be a useful indexing method. As it happens, listing characters according to their ‘stroke count’ is just one of the ways of organizing them into dictionaries…  Continue reading “Culinary Chinese: It’s all in the Stroke…”

Miso Soup – The Basic Form…

Miso Soup 1

You would be hard-pressed to find a Japanese restaurant that does not have a miso soup somewhere on the menu, and any aficionado of Japanese cuisine will have tried it at one time or another. Strictly speaking, a miso soup could be any soup given an umami boost with the addition of the Japanese fermented soy-bean paste known as ‘miso’ but generally, the soup base is the rich sea-stock called Dashi. There are countless other additions that can be made, of course, but a traditional favorite version simply includes a little tofu, along with scallions and Wakame seaweed. This is the type I will be making for you today… Continue reading “Miso Soup – The Basic Form…”

Foodstuff: Crisp Fish Skin – Un Chi Brand™

Crisp Fish Skin - Un Chi Brand 1

When I grill or fry Salmon or Arctic Char, I usually leave the skin on and cook it so it gets nice and crispy. A few times, I have even cooked the skin separately from the rest of the fish as it makes a lovely snack but, until I found this package at Kowloon Market in Ottawa I had no idea that a commercially packaged variety was available …  Continue reading “Foodstuff: Crisp Fish Skin – Un Chi Brand™”

Culinary Chinese 101: Let’s Chow Down…

Lets Chow Down 1

The title of today’s post may not make much sense to many of my overseas readers unless they have seen a lot of older American movies. ‘Chow’ is a somewhat dated American slang word for food and to ‘Chow down’ once meant to eat. Now, I am not sure of the origins of the word but I doubt it actually had much to do with stir-frying, or Chinese food in general for that matter. However, the similarity does make for a nice segue into the subject of today’s post, which is … what puts the ‘Chow’ in ‘Chow Mein’…  Continue reading “Culinary Chinese 101: Let’s Chow Down…”

Three Shred Duck – 三絲鴨肉

Three Shred Duck 1

Today’s recipe is a very Chinese sort of preparation you can use for leftover duck. In many Chinese restaurants specializing in Peking duck, one often gets the skin and some of the meat served as a first course with Mandarin pancakes, the carcass is used to make soup, while the leftover meat is typically shredded and made into a stir-fry.

The meat I am using today actually came from a regular roast duck but it will do nicely here in this typical sort of stir-fry used for Peking Duck leftovers. Since my dish will use julienned celery, carrot and spring onion I am giving it a Chinese name that reflects the preparation. There are three shredded ingredients in addition to the duck, so it will be:  三絲鴨肉, or ‘three shred duck’ ….  Continue reading “Three Shred Duck – 三絲鴨肉”

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Japanese Cucumber Salad 1

This very simple little preparation is an example of a Japanese Sunomono, or ‘vinegared’ dish. There are all sorts of variations on the general theme but this is about as basic as it gets. You can, if you like, simply use plain rice vinegar for the dressing but, today, we will be using a prepared nihaizu seasoned vinegar preparation… Continue reading “Japanese Cucumber Salad”

Chinese Superior Stock

Chinese Superior Stock 1

A good Basic Chicken Stock is essential in the Chinese kitchen but for very special soups and other banquet-quality dishes (Shark’s –fin soup, for instance), a very rich broth known as ‘Superior Stock’, or 上湯 (shàng tāng), is required. Basically, a Superior Stock is prepared using chicken, pork and ham, very often the prized Chinese ham known as ‘Jinhua ham’. A select few other ingredients are used, ginger and scallion usually, but not much else in the way of other vegetables are added. It is a very rich and complex preparation and a good stock can make all the difference between a mediocre dish and one that is truly special…  Continue reading “Chinese Superior Stock”