Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Experiment: Shrimp with Chayote in Ginger Black Bean Sauce

For my first culinary experiment with Chayote, I decided to do the sort of dish that would work well with Bitter Melon as the two ingredients are quite similar in texture, if not in taste. I have used the Bitter Melon in different dishes with both shrimp and salted black beans and I thought that combining the two together with chayote would turn out very nicely indeed… Continue reading “Experiment: Shrimp with Chayote in Ginger Black Bean Sauce”

Posted in Experiments

Steamed Ribs with Salted Black Bean

I wanted to do a dish to showcase salted black beans, which featured on a recent ‘Foodstuffs’ post, so I decided to whip up a batch of steamed pork ribs. I love steamed pork ribs done many different ways and I frequently order them in dim sum restaurants. They are particularly good with black beans and garlic and, while they can also be good with slivered ginger, in this case I used red chili. This is also quite a popular addition as it not only adds a spicy kick but a nice touch of color as well. Continue reading “Steamed Ribs with Salted Black Bean”

Posted in Experiments

Experiment: Hunan-style Smoked Ham Hock


Few North Americans would associate smoked meats with China but, in fact, the smoking of various foodstuffs is not at all uncommon. Tea-smoked duck is a well-known favorite in Sichuan cuisine and Jinhua-ham from Zhejiang Province is used in a variety of preparations across the country. Other foodstuffs, like shrimp, tofu, and chicken are often also smoked in various ways before being used as ingredients in more complex dishes.

Hunan Province is also reputed to produce smoked pork products that rival the best equivalents in the west like Prosciutto, Smithfield, and Westphalian Ham. I can’t recall actually ever coming across anything identified as being Hunan smoked ham in any stores I have visited but I did once buy something identified as ‘Chinese Ham’ which could, I suppose, have been Hunanese in origin. Continue reading “Experiment: Hunan-style Smoked Ham Hock”