Sweet Red-Cooked Pork with Bamboo
Sweet Red-Cooked Pork with Bamboo

Sweet Red-Cooked Pork with Bamboo is an interesting and delicious variation on the Chinese classic Twice-Cooked Pork – 回鍋肉, except that, rather than the meat being simply boiled with a few seasonings in the first cooking step, it is first ‘red-cooked’ in a Chinese Master before being later quick fried with Bamboo, Celery, and Chili Paste.

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Red-Cooked Pork Hocks - 紅燒豬腳
Red-Cooked Pork Hocks – 紅燒豬腳

Red-Cooked Pork Hocks – 紅燒豬

Red-cooking (紅燒) is a Chinese cookery technique involving braising or simmering meats or other food products in a medium containing a good amount of soy sauce. When cooked this way, the food in question takes on a rich, red, or mahogany color, thus giving the cookery method its name. One way of doing this is by using a Chinese Master Sauce as the cooking medium. Not only does the Master sauce benefit by acquiring some of the flavors of the meat, but the meat become beautifully tender while being infused with the rich seasonings of the sauce. Here, Pork Hocks are first simmered in a full pot of the sauce, then some of the sauce is drawn off and the Pork is baked in it along with a little celery and onion.

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Shrimps Stir-Fry Eggs
Shrimps Stir-Fry Eggs

Shrimps Stir-Fry Eggs虾仁炒蛋

This very simple preparation is somewhat similar to my recipe for Spiced Eggs with Shrimp. The fundamental differences, however, are that, in this recipe, I use tiny little cocktail shrimp, and very few additional seasonings or other ingredients. The reason for both choices are that, as a general rule, the smaller the shrimp, the more flavor they have, and if you are trying to capitalize on that, it would be counterproductive to add spice seasonings, or other larger ingredients whose taste might overwhelm the tiny shrimp themselves.


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Spicy Bay Scallops with Peanuts and Peppers
Spicy Bay Scallops with Peanuts and Peppers

Spicy Bay Scallops with Peanuts and Peppers

This dish is the sort of thing that could easily be called ‘Kung Pao’ style Scallops in your typical Westernized Chinese Restaurant. If served in such an establishment, it might have a few other vegetable ingredients to cut down on food costs, but the mere inclusion of both Chili and Peanuts would be sufficient to call it a Kung Pao dish. This preparation doesn’t actually meet the requirements of a properly traditional Kung Pao specialty, though, as it omits the characteristic scorched dried chillies and replaces the sweet and sour notes with Garlic and Red Bell Pepper.

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Naan Pizza with Lamb and Feta
Naan Pizza with Lamb and Feta

Naan Pizza with Lamb and Feta

One of my fellow bloggers once visited the Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China and later posted a picture of something he called ‘Xinjiang Pizza’. It consisted of an oil and spice topping on the local version of Naan Bread and the idea inspired me to try something a little more complex. I have used Naan from my local supermarket for this recipe (though you could make it yourself, if you like), and I have given it a meat and two cheese topping enhanced with the flavors of Central Asia. Naturally, you can start with the basic idea and add whatever topping suit your fancy.


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Black Bean Scallop and Shrimp
Black Bean Scallop and Shrimp

Black Bean Scallop and Shrimp

In this simple stir-fried dish, crisp green pepper chunks are paired with succulent, tiny bay scallops and shrimp in a very light, thin sauce made with Rice Wine, Oyster Sauce, and just a dash of Sesame Oil. The umami component of the shellfish is enhanced by the fermented richness of Chinese Salted Black Beans.


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Spicy Beef with Daikon
Spicy Beef with Daikon

Spicy Beef with Daikon

The long, giant white radish most commonly known as Daikon is milder in flavor than other radish varieties, and what peppery bite it has when raw is diminished considerably by cooking. As such, the vegetable does well in dishes where it can take on, and be enhanced by the stronger flavors of other ingredients. In this dish, julienned Daikon is paired with tender strips of Beef in a hot and sour sauce aromatic with Ginger, Garlic and Scallion.


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Beef Stir-fried with Leek
Beef Stir-fried with Leek

Beef Stir-fried with Leek

This tasty little dish is very easy to prepare and uses a two-step cooking process, commonly used in Chinese restaurants, in which the main ingredient is marinated and then deep-fried before being cooked a second time with the other ingredients.

Here, Beef takes center stage, and the initial deep-fry not only shortens the cooking time, it produces a tender, succulent result when the meat is then stir-fried with julienned strips of fresh Leek.


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Filipino Pork Binagoongan
Filipino Pork Binagoongan

Filipino Pork Binagoongan

In the cuisine of the Philippines, a Binagoongan is a dish in which the primary ingredient is cooked with the Filipino fermented shrimp paste known as Bagoong Alamang. This particular version features pork as the main ingredient, and the tangy sweetness of the tomato based sauce is rounded out by both the umami depth of the shrimp paste, and just a touch of chili heat.


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Dry-fried Sour and Spicy Beef
Dry-fried Sour and Spicy Beef

Dry-fried Sour and Spicy Beef

Dry-frying, in Chinese cookery, can mean both that a dish is fast-fried with little or no sauce, and also that the main ingredient is fried, often in more than one step, to yield a dry, chewy result. In this recipe, both ends are achieved in that the beef is first deep-fried, stir-fried slowly until it is dark and bordering on crispy, then tossed with celery and carrot with lots of Garlic, Chili and Cumin.


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