Whole Dried Squid
Whole Dried Squid

Dried Squid and Octopus are common cookery ingredients in China and all across Asia. The flavor of both of these sea-creatures, as with many other food products, becomes concentrated and intensified by the drying process, and this allows them to act as flavor enhancers in all sorts of dishes.

If you are unfamiliar with these particular foodstuffs, the prospect of even purchasing them can be daunting, but if you would like to take advantage of the umami-boost they can give to your recipes, read on and learn how to prepare and use them in your own kitchen…


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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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Dough being rolled for dumplings

Dough being rolled for dumplings
Dough being rolled for dumplings

The Basic Dumpling Wrapper Dough we are making here is of the unleavened, wheat flour variety. It is probably the most common dumpling wrapper dough all around the world, especially among home cooks. You will find it in such diverse types as Chinese Jaozi, Xiaolongbao, and Wontons, as well as the Korean Mandu, Japanese Gyoza, and the internationally ever-popular ‘Pot-Stickers’. The ingredient list is very short, as you will see, and virtually anyone can learn how to make a versatile dough with this extremely simple little recipe.


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Broccolini
Broccolini

Broccolini may very well look like some sort of ‘Baby Broccoli’, or perhaps regular Broccoli that shot up a little too quickly before the ‘flower’ top grew, but it is neither of these. There is a relationship, though, and the two vegetables are similar, but broccolini tends to be a bit more delicate in texture and flavor. Accordingly, it is even enjoyed by those who don’t much care for its better-known cousin…

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