Posted in General, Recipes

Oil Sizzled Shrimp

Oil Sizzled Shrimp 1

Today’s little appetizer is adapted from a Chinese recipe I first tried many, many years ago. I can’t quite recall where I saw it, but I am fairly sure it is Cantonese. Although it is ‘oil sizzled’ the shrimp are actually first steamed with some aromatics, and hot oil is drizzled over them just before serving to really enhance the flavor. Once you have done the finicky part of ‘prepping’ the shrimp, the process is pretty easy… Continue reading “Oil Sizzled Shrimp”

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Chicken Wings Steamed with Sichuan Pickle

Steamed Chicken with Pickle 1

A decade ago, I wouldn’t have thanked you for steamed or poached chicken in any fashion as I really disliked the texture of the finished product, especially the skin. Nowadays, after persisting with trying various Chinese recipes I have come to love it and I find that the wings are especially delectable treated in this manner.

For this experiment, I took as my inspiration a Cantonese recipe I came across in a book my wife bought me for my birthday. It steams a whole cut up chicken with a variety of ingredients, including mushrooms, white fungus, and Chinese Sausage, and it also includes pickled radish from Sichuan and some pickled Cabbage from Tientsin. I am just going to use some chicken ‘drumettes’ for this dish (the portion of the wing that looks like a little drumstick) and steam them with dried black mushrooms, a little scallion, and some of the very interesting Sichuan pickled vegetable I featured in my recent Korean-Style Beef Ribs post… Continue reading “Chicken Wings Steamed with Sichuan Pickle”

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Mussels Steamed with Black Beans

Steamed Black Bean Mussels 1

Steaming Oysters with a sauce made from Salted Black Beans is a favorite Cantonese preparation, and one I have enjoyed many times. Unfortunately, fresh oysters are just about impossible to come by in this part of the world and so, for this experiment, I  am going to improvise using some lovely New Zealand Mussels I happen to have in my freezer. The variety, somewhat erroneously sold as ‘Kiwi Clams’, is the same type I used (and photographed) for my Bouillabaisse experiment over the Christmas holidays and they should work very nicely with the rich, umami flavor of black beans paired with garlic and chili… Continue reading “Mussels Steamed with Black Beans”

Posted in Restaurants

Review: Le Piment Rouge

1170 rue Peel, Montreal – 514-866-7816 – Website

Piment Rouge 1

Date of Visit: January 10, 2013

While traveling for work purposes recently, I had a full day layover in Montreal and took the opportunity to check out a couple of restaurants in the downtown ‘Golden Square Mile.’ I would have liked to have visited Chinatown for a Dim Sum brunch on this trip but it didn’t quite fit with my plans and so I scanned the web for a Chinese establishment closer to my hotel and discovered Le Piment Rouge to be the only one that remotely interested me. Of all those I found, it looked like the only establishment (with one possible exception) that didn’t wasn’t a highly highly westernized, ‘sweet and sour/chop suey’ type of place, and the online menu actually looked quite interesting. As it happened, however, although the establishment has earned something of a stellar reputation (and, indeed, prominently displays several prestigious awards), I left the place feeling somewhat less than favorably impressed… Continue reading “Review: Le Piment Rouge”

Posted in Restaurants

Review: Café Orient

808 Somerset St. West, Ottawa – 613-563-2422 

Date of Visit: July 28, 2012

I was hoping to visit this restaurant on a couple of past trips to Ottawa but time constraints always made it impossible. I was thus very glad to be able to finally give the place a try on my most recent culinary expedition to the capital as it has a very large menu with all sorts of interesting items not to be found in many run-of-the-mill places… Continue reading “Review: Café Orient”

Posted in Book

Review: Chinese Cooking Cantonese

By Margaret Leeming

1990 Ward Lock Ltd.  ISBN-13: 978-0706368611

This book is apparently part of the ‘International Gourmet’ series but, as yet, this is the first one of the set I have come across. I am always on the look-out for books focusing on specific regional cuisines rather than those dealing with general Chinese cookery but, these days, Cantonese cookbooks are more heavily represented than those of any other culinary school and it is hard to find ones that are special.  Unfortunately, there is not much about this particular publication to lift it above the growing crowd… Continue reading “Review: Chinese Cooking Cantonese”

Posted in Book

Review: Chinese Dim Sum

By Lee Hwa-Lin

1993: Wei-Chuan Publishing  ISBN-13: 978-0941676243

This is the first Dim Sum cookery book I ever purchased and so I have something of a sentimental attachment to it, I suppose. Still, to be fair, I have to say that, although I have found a lot of inspiration just browsing through the pages, I have never found it to be much of a practical cookery manual…  Continue reading “Review: Chinese Dim Sum”

Posted in Restaurants

Review: Hung Sum Restaurant – Ottawa

870 Somerset West, Ottawa, Ontario, (613) 238-8828

Date of Visit: March 22, 2012

I wanted to visit this place after reading a brief review at Ottawa Foodies, where it was misidentified as the ‘Hung Sun’ restaurant. Apparently, the establishment is quite new and the reviewer in question described it as something of a gem that he hoped would be kept ‘secret’. I suspect that the owners of the place might have some different thoughts on the subject but I can certainly appreciate the sentiment as I very much enjoyed my meal there and would hate to see it change its character to cater to more ‘mainstream’ tastes…  Continue reading “Review: Hung Sum Restaurant – Ottawa”

Posted in Book

Review: The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen

By Grace Young

1999 Simon and Schuster Ltd.  ISBN 13: 978-0684847399

The title of this book suggests that it provides a broad overview of dishes from across China but, as we learn in the introduction and notes to the reader, the focus is almost exclusively on Cantonese cookery. It is not just a bare collection of recipes, though; Ms. Young, who grew up in a Chinese-American family, spends a lot of time introducing the reader to some of the philosophy and traditions of this particular regional cuisine…  Continue reading “Review: The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen”