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Pepper Steak

Pepper Steak 1

Peppers may often be paired with beef-steak in the cookery of China, but the dish well-known as ‘Pepper Steak’ is much more a classic of American-Chinese cuisine. Today, I am presenting a version of the time-honored favorite, but I am doing it with a bit of a twist. First, I am using marinated Flank Steak, which is not commonly used, and I am first grilling my meat, before stir-frying, in order to impart another level of flavor… Read more

Foodstuff: Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha 1

For years, I used Huy Fong™ Brand Sambal Oelek, as my ‘go to’ ingredient whenever I wanted to add a touch of chili heat to a dish without the inconvenience of the fresh article. Of late, however, I have been using the ‘Sriracha Sauce’, also made by Huy Fong Foods Inc., in place of the rather chunky paste.

Anybody who has spent much time eating in Asian restaurants of the more casual, less up-market, variety, will no doubt recognize the bottle appearing on the right of the above picture. Indeed, the Rooster logo  is so ubiquitous nowadays, being widely available in supermarkets as well as restaurants of all sorts, that it is often called ‘Rooster Brand Sauce’,  ‘Rooster Sauce’, or, somewhat less salubriously, ‘Cock Sauce’.

Sriracha, it turns out, is named after ‘Si Racha’, a town in Thailand that is known for its own particular style of chili sauce. In the mid 1970’s, a Vietnamese gentleman by the name of David Tran founded the Huy Fong company and began marketing a ‘Sriracha Sauce’ along with a few other condiments. Unfortunately, perhaps, Mr. Tran never did trademark the name ‘Sriracha’, and thus allowed several other big companies, notably Golden Mountain, Frank’s, and now Lee Kum Kee  to get in on the action. Accordingly, this means that my blog-post introduction to the condiment can include a taste comparison of two of the main brands available… Read more

Sausages and Peppers

Sausages and Peppers 1

Sausages are frequently combined with Bell Peppers in Italian cuisine and the various permutations on the basic theme are just about endless. When grilled or fried together, often with onions or tomatoes as well as other seasonings, they make a great sandwich filling and they can even be served cold as an antipasto dish. With extra tomatoes, one can use them, as I am doing today, as a delicious sauce over pasta… Read more

Foodstuff: Furikake

Furikake 1

If you have never encountered Furikake before, the easiest way to think of them is as ‘Japanese Savory Sprinkles.’ Essentially, the name refers to a wide range of seasonings that can be sprinkled on to food, not just as an attractive garnish, but to pack an additional flavor punch. The labels on the two jars pictured above both identify the contents as ‘Rice Seasoning’ but, though the condiment is especially favored for enhancing the taste of bland items, like rice, or noodles, Furikake sprinkles are often used on cooked vegetables, and, increasingly more commonly, on fish and fried snacks.

Apparently, the forerunner of today’s Furikake arose about a century ago as a combination of ground fish bones, roast sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and seaweed that was intended to be a dietary supplement during a period of widespread calcium deficiency. Modern blends commonly include seaweed, sesame seeds, and some sort of dried fish or shell-fish product, but the number of additions, and the possible permutations in both commercial and home-made varieties, is just about endless. Today, will take a closer look at two fairly straightforward mixtures… Read more