Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower
Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower

Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower is not a traditional dish in the cuisine of any particular country as far as I know. Rather, this dish was put together to use and showcase some of my own homemade Simple Cauliflower Pickle. The result does rather have the flavors of South Asia, though, and it would probably fit, both in terms of taste and appearance, in a meal alongside other Indian dishes.


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Dry-fried Green Beans and Bamboo Shoots
Dry-fried Green Beans and Bamboo Shoots

This recipe for Dry-fried Green Beans and Bamboo Shoots is based on a very popular Sichuan dish called ‘Dry-Fried Four-Season Beans’. In that particular dish, the long green beans are first deep-fried in order to make them deliciously crisp-tender, and then pan-fried with other ingredients. Here, bamboo shoots get the same treatment as the beans, and then they are both stir-fried together with ginger, chili, and umami-rich reconstituted dried shrimp.

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Eggs with Dried Scallops
Eggs with Dried Scallops

Eggs with Dried Scallops, also known as Conpoy, take the very simple dish of basic scrambled eggs to a new level. In China, and across south-east Asia, other ingredients are often included to eggs to add an umami boost. Dried mushrooms or cured ham both work very well, and fish sauce is sometimes used. Here, conpoy, are added to the same effect. To offset the natural sweetness of the dried scallop, a little chili paste is included as well.

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Bok Choy with Dried Scallops
Bok Choy with Dried Scallops

Bok Choy with Dried Scallops is a good illustration of how a simple basic ingredient like can turn an otherwise plain vegetable dish into something special. Bok Choy is the vegetable of choice in this recipe, but the basic idea works well with almost any other greens.

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A dish of Octopus Stew
A dish of Octopus Stew

You can find many different versions of Octopus Stew all around southern Europe, but there is a remarkable commonality in those dishes hailing from Greece, Malta, Spain, Italy and Portugal. The basic theme involves octopus stewed in a tomato base, generally with wine, along with herbs favored in the region. Olives, and sometimes capers, are frequent additions, and many incorporate potatoes. The following preparation is an amalgam of all of these…

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