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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Restaurant-Style Honey Garlic Ribs
Restaurant-Style Honey Garlic Ribs

Honey Garlic Ribs are a standard on almost every westernized Chinese restaurant menu. There are endless permutations on the theme, of course, but the basic requirements are that they be garlicky and sticky sweet.  One characteristic they do share is that virtually none of them actually contain honey as an ingredient, and that the sweetness invariably comes from plain-old sugar. The following recipe keeps very much to that tradition and will let you easily   reproduce your own version of the ever-popular Restaurant-Style Honey Garlic Ribs.


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Spiced Eggs with Shrimp
Spiced Eggs with Shrimp

Spiced Eggs with Shrimp

Scrambled eggs with shrimp is one of those fairly common combinations in Chinese cuisine that can easily be served as a light repast, or as one of several dishes in a more substantial meal. The recipe here, builds on the basic theme by drawing from different Asian cuisines and enhancing the main ingredients with garlic, and the fiery and umami-rich flavors of Sambal Oelek and Fish Sauce.


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Chicken with Sichuan Preserved Vegetable
Chicken with Sichuan Preserved Vegetable

Chicken with Sichuan Preserved Vegetable

This simple little dish is very easy to prepare, but it packs a pretty potent flavor wallop from the addition of the spicy and sour Sichuan Preserved Vegetable, known as Zhà Cài (榨菜). I have augmented the usual heat and tanginess of the pickle with a little chili paste and vinegar, and then rounded out the flavors with just a dash of sugar. Cashews add a nice flavor and textural contrast to both the chicken and vegetable.


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Black Pepper Beef
Black Pepper Beef

Black Pepper Beef

The Chinese tend to prefer White Pepper for many preparations but Black Pepper does appear in some dishes, most notably Hot and Sour Soup, and it is not infrequently used in recipes that include beef. Here, I am doing a quick stir-fried dish using these two ingredients and I am also adding both zucchini and button mushrooms. You can, of course, easily replace these vegetables with any number of other combinations you like.


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Spicy Dragon Balls
Spicy Dragon Balls

Spicy Dragon Balls

I would first assure anyone reading this that absolutely NO dragons were harmed, or even painlessly neutered, in order to make this dish. The balls are actually made with ground pork, mixed with Conpoy and minced green chili, and then served with sweet bell peppers in a slightly sweet sauce containing red chili paste.

Also, although this dish may sound like one of those classic Chinese dishes with a hopelessly romantic and poetic story behind the name, it is a creation of my own kitchen and I came up with the name for the simple reason that I couldn’t think of anything better other than a clunky, cumbersome one identifying the ingredients. The fresh green chili in the balls, and the red-paste in the sauce, do, I suppose, suggest the sort of fiery-heat associated with dragons, so… there’s that, at least, I guess….


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Steamed Chicken with Mushrooms
Steamed Chicken with Mushrooms

Steamed Chicken with Mushrooms

This dish is similar in some ways to my recipe for Imperial Concubine Chicken. Indeed, that Chinese Classic has so many versions that you could very easily serve this dish as ‘Imperial Concubine Chicken’ without straying too far from culinary tradition. In any event, the dish requires only a little preparation and steams quickly for a delectable result.


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Vietnamese Coconut Water Pork
Vietnamese Coconut Water Pork

Vietnamese Coconut Water Pork

Vietnamese cuisine has two very popular pork dishes which are very similar. One is known as ‘Thịt kho tàu’, or ‘Caramelized Pork’ in English, and the other is just simply referred to as ‘Pork braised in Coconut Water’.

In both of these dishes,  Fish sauce and caramelized sugar syrup are essential to the basic flavor, but Thit Kho To is generally sweeter, may include hard-boiled eggs, and often doesn’t use Coconut Water at all. Naturally, that particular ingredient is an absolute requirement for today’s recipe…


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Cardamom-Lemon Chicken
Cardamom-Lemon Chicken

Cardamom-Lemon Chicken

This little dish very is Indian in spirit, although I don’t think I have ever actually seen cardamom paired with lemon zest in any of my Indian cookery books. The two flavorings do, however, work very nicely together with chicken and the result, using the spice blend and cooking method used here, makes for a novel twist on the ever-popular Indian restaurant favorite, Tandoori Chicken.


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