Ingredients

Introduction to various foodstuffs and ingredients, along with recipes and information on how to prepare and use them in your own kitchen.

Saijan aka Drumsticks

Saijan aka Drumsticks

Saijan aka Drumsticks

The curious looking vegetables you see above are, for fairly obvious reasons, popularly known, in English, as drumsticks. I have seen many, many recipes using these over the years, but it took many years for me to try it because they have not yet gained much of a foothold in North America. As yet. If you are able to source these locally, it is well worth trying out this interesting ingredient.

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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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An Octopus, or 八爪鱼, at the Fishmonger’s

An Octopus, or 八爪鱼, at the Fishmonger’s

How to Cook Octopus, or 八爪鱼

The above picture shows a large Octopus reposing on ice at my local fishmonger’s. For many, the prospects of preparing and cooking one of these beasts can be quite daunting but, really, there is no need to be hesitant. The larger ones take a little bit of work to tenderize before they can be used in dishes but, after that, the flesh is one of the sweetest and most tasty of seafoods.

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