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Beef and Sea Cucumber Dumplings

Beef and Sea Cucumber Dumplings 1

After making a dish using Sea Cucumber, I had a little under half of one left and I thought it might make an interesting textural component in a dumpling filling. I decided to use ground beef as the main ingredient and that I would cook the dumplings as Guōtiē (鍋貼), more popularly known as ‘Pot Stickers’ …  Read more

Experiment: Grilled Zucchini Pickle

Grilled Zucchini Pickle 1

I had a rather large zucchini leftover from a bunch I bought for other purposes and, being left home alone for the past few weeks while my wife is away, I decided to play around a little. A first, I thought I might do a pickle of some sort based on a minted vinegar (and I still plan to do so sometime), but then I decided to do something spicy in a vaguely Indian type of preparation that could be used as a side condiment, or even a ‘bread and butter’ type accompaniment.

Now, I will say at the outset that, though the result of this experiment was pretty, I did find that some tweaking is necessary. Accordingly, if you are inclined to play around with the basic idea yourselves, you may wish to read my notes at the end of this post…  Read more

Foodstuff: Sichuan Preserved Vegetable

Sichuan Preserved Vegetable 1

This particular foodstuff is something I have bought and used in a variety of different forms. The name on the can label, ‘Preserved Vegetable’ is further amplified in the Chinese script as being a Sichuan specialty, and one might be excused for thinking that the contents are any sort of vegetable that has been preserved in the style of Sichuan. In fact, any time you encounter the name ‘Sichuan Preserved Vegetable’, you are almost invariably dealing with a specific plant, sometimes known as a ‘Mustard Tuber’, which is fermented with salt and then quite heavily spiced, chiefly with chili paste or powder… Read more

Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower

Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower 1

The Pickled Cauliflower I made a little while ago turned out quite nicely and I was interested to see how it might be used as a cooking ingredient. The dish I came up with for today’s post is something of a fusion, incorporating a little of India, China, and the American Southwest. That being said though, I’m going to save you the trouble of scrolling all the way to the end-notes and tell you right away that the result was not quite as good as I hoped… Still, some of my readers might like to see what I did and suggest how it might be improved…  Read more

Foodstuff: Guyabano Nectar

Guyabano Nectar 1

The name ‘Guyabano’ meant nothing to me when I picked this beverage up at our local grocery store and I didn’t immediately recognize the picture on the can that shows a fruit somewhat resembling a Chayote with a nodular, almost spiny skin. As it turns out, however, ‘Guyabano’ is the Filipino name for what is elsewhere known as a ‘Soursop’ and some of my readers will recall that I tried Soursop Juice a while ago.

This particular product is a ‘nectar’ rather than a juice, which means it is made from a puree of the fruit with sugar added, and the taste experience was somewhat different. To my mind, this was very like a ‘creamy’ grapefruit juice but with a very floral aftertaste. One of my readers commenting on my Soursop Juice post likened the juice to Persimmon and I would tend to agree that there is a similarity, but without the rather nutty under-taste that Persimmons can have. Anyway, I rather liked it but I also found I just a little too sweet to be refreshing. It would, however, make an interesting cooking medium, I think, and I will report on any experiments along those lines.

For Iqaluit residents who would like to try this, it can be found at Northmart in the same aisle as the exotic foods…

 

Black Pepper Beef

Black Pepper Beef 1

The Chinese tend to prefer White Pepper for many preparations but Black Pepper does make the odd appearance (notably in some versions of Hot and Sour Soup), and it goes very nicely with Beef. Today I am doing a quick stir-fried dish using these two ingredients and I am also adding both zucchini and button mushrooms. However, you could easily replace these vegetables for all sorts of other combinations if you like… Read more

A ‘Murta-Dilla’ ?

Murtadilla 1

The rather whimsical name of today’s feature comes from the fact that it is something like a cross between a Quesedilla and he lesser known mid-eastern/south-east Asian snack known as a Murtabak. I wasn’t actually planning this dish with a blog-post in mind (I was just hungry) but it began to get interesting as I worked on the idea and so I thought I would share…

Anyway, a proper Murtabak uses a raw flat-bread dough (of the Roti type) folded to enclose a thick filling of meat, eggs, or whatever you like, which is then griddle fried. This particular version, like a Quesadilla, uses a prepared Tortilla as the wrapper, but it incorporates cheese with a spicy beef mixture and is folded Murtabak style before being grilled…  Read more

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