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Posts tagged ‘Food’

Spicy Coleslaw

Spicy Coleslaw 1

I have been eating a fair bit of coleslaw these past several moons. Not just because I like it, but, as long as it is homemade, and doesn’t use any of the commercial coleslaw dressings that contain a fair but of sugar, it fits quite nicely into my diet. There are generally two types of slaw; the vinegar dressed sort, and the creamy type based on a mayo dressing. I like the latter but I also like to jazz it up a little by changing the usual sort of dressing recipe. This particular one uses some of the fresh Horseradish Root I posted about recently, and also some of my Spicy Pickled Bell Pepper (although, if this is not an option for you, you can just use the standard slivered or grated carrot instead)… Read more

Tiger Peppers (hu pi jian jiao – 虎皮尖椒)

Tiger Peppers 1

It has been years since I last made Tiger Skin Peppers (as many as twenty, maybe). For a long while now, I have wanted to prepare the dish for my blog but I waited in vain for the right sort of peppers to turn up in local stores and it wasn’t until this past week that some finally appeared. I grabbed a good quantity of them and will devote a small portion to this present offering.

The origin of this dish is, I believe, Sichuan, but it is very popular elsewhere. It is so named because the characteristic patterns formed on the chillies when seared at very high heat in a wok or other pan gives it a ‘tiger skin’ like appearance. Personally, I actually think that ‘Leopard Skin’ might be closer but I won’t quibble.

Anyway, once seared, the chillies are finished with a simple sauce composed of Chinese Black Vinegar, soy sauce, and, usually a little sugar. I am rounding that out with a little chopped garlic here (which is sometimes, though not always, used) but, in any event, the result makes for a very nice appetizer or side-dish… Read more

Foodstuff: Eel Sauce

Eel Sauce 1

Eel Sauce is a Japanese preparation sometimes known as ‘Nitsume’ or ‘Kabayaki Sauce’. While it is quite commonly used as a glaze for grilled eel dishes (indeed, the ‘Unagi’ on the bottle label means the freshwater eel commonly appearing on sushi menus), the name arises because it was traditionally made by making a stock by boiling eels and reducing it to a syrupy consistence. Nowadays, sugar, Mirin, sake and soy sauce are all commonly used in the basic recipe and Dashi often replaces eel stock.

I often think of Eel Sauce as being the Japanese equivalent of Chinese Oyster Sauce and the two can be used almost interchangeably. Indeed, the taste is very similar, although, some varieties, especially those made with Dashi, have a slightly smoky taste that goes very well with grilled foods… Read more

Pork with Preserved Radish

Pork with Preserved Radish 1

Today’s dish illustrates one use of the Preserved Radish that I introduced to you not long ago. In this case, it is a stir-fried dish with the primary ingredient being water-velveted Pork along with some Black Chinese MushroomRead more

Experiment: Tea-Fried Squid

Tea-Fried Squid 1

Somewhere, in my Chinese cookery book collection, I have a recipe for Shrimp that are prepared by poaching in green tea (complete with reconstituted tea leave shreds). As yet, I haven’t tried it but, not long ago, I saw a picture of squid that had been fried after dusting with greenish fragments that weren’t identified. It was clearly an Asian preparation (I forget where I saw the picture), and I suspected the green ‘bits’ weren’t any common herb as might be used in the west. I wondered if, perhaps, it might be powdered tea. Anyway, the idea sounded interesting and so I put together the little appetizer you see pictured above. The idea is still rather a ‘work in progress’, but the first attempt was interesting enough that you might like to try something along the same lines yourselves… Read more

Kimchi with Shrimp and Scallop

Kimchi with Shrimp and Scallop 1

Recently, I posted a recipe for a Simple Kimchi, and I mentioned that, in more complex varieties, Korean often boost the umami quotient of the pickle by include things like oysters, brined shrimp, or even fish guts. Today’s recipe does just that using shrimp and scallop except that, in this case, I am using Chinese style dried shrimp and scallops (the latter known as ‘conpoy’. I am also departing from the method I used in the Simple Kimchi recipe by using the slightly more traditional method of making chilli paste from scratch rather than using the pre-made Korean ‘Gochujang’ … Read more

Beef Tataki with Horseradish Sauce

Beef Tataki with Horseradish Sauce 1

The little appetizer you see above is made with the Japanese style rare beef, which I have already introduced to you as Beef Tataki, and pairs it with a Horseradish Sauce and a little salad garnish made from lightly salted shreds of cabbage. If you look at my post on Horseradish Root, you can see the basic sauce I made from it in the last picture. The sauce here is essentially that, although I blended it to be a little smoother and added some finely minced scallion and parsley. The combination that results here is something of an east-west fusion, although the spirit is mostly Japanese as the horseradish is very similar to Wasabi and shredded raw cabbage is the standard accompaniment for Tonkatsu. Anyway, although I found the beef needed a little salt at the table, this was a very nice little light lunch…

Pork with Green Chilli and Cashews

Pork with Green Chilli and Cashews 1

I frequently use the Chinese Velveting Technique with both chicken and beef to produce that silky, tender ‘mouth-feel’  one experiences with meat in Chinese restaurants, but rarely have I used it with pork. Mostly, this is because I prefer the fattier cuts with have their own unctuous softness but, a few days ago, I purchased a large pork loin which, as you probably know, is very lean and rarely as juicy and tender as the fattier bits when cooked.  I don’t often buy the tenderloin (for the reason as aforesaid), but the price was right and so I bought a good hunk with a view to doing a few different dishes. Most of it was divided into three separate pieces for later use, but I decided to use the trimmings in a stir-fried dishes with the meat first nicely ‘velveted’ … Read more

Pickled Shallots

Pickled Shallots 1

When I was growing I loved pickled onions. Not the tiny, cocktail type silver-skins, but whole, regular onions. Sadly, in these past many, many years, I have been unable to buy them in local stores. The cocktail types are easily found, and I like them too, but they just aren’t the same.

Unfortunately, after deciding to remedy the situation and make my own, I waited in vain for suitable size ‘pickling’ onions to appear in my store. Accordingly, I hit on using shallots as a suitable substitute as the ones available are about the same size as the onions I would have liked to have used. Naturally, if you wish to reproduce the basic recipe here, you can use onions instead… Read more

Jicama with Broccoli and Bell Pepper

Jicama with Broccoli and Bell Pepper 1

When I first published a ‘Foodstuff’ post on Jicama back in May of 2012, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t see them again in local stores for nearly five years. Anyway, a batch showed up the other day and, naturally, I grabbed one before they disappear again for who knows how long.

Now you are probably wondering where the Broccoli is in the dish you see above but, if you look closely, you will see that the pale green cubes visible here and there are actually pieces of the stem, rather than florets. The recipe today actually uses three separate cooking techniques, which sounds a bit involved but really isn’t that complicated. The Jicama is first seasoned and roasted, the broccoli is simmered to tenderness in chicken stock, and then the whole is sautéed with nothing else added but a splash of dry sherry… Read more

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