Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tamarind Chicken/ Assam Ayam

This is a variation of the Babi Assam that I tried many years ago.  Since I am going to cut down on buying pork these days and just stick to chicken or turkey from now on, unless that is a particular pork dish that I really wanted to cook, I will refrain from buying pork.  There is no special reason just that I want to switch to my original diet plan before I started slacking and buying more pork few years back.

The Babi Assam kept calling me as I remembered I liked the sauce and flavor a lot.  So, I attempted to recreate this dish with drumsticks and with the ingredients I have at home.  This sauce went so well with rice even my girls enjoyed this slightly spicy sourish sauce with their rice.  If you want to cook something different with chicken, give this dish a try!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Korean Tofu BuChim/ Dubu BuChim

This recipe caught my eyes when I was browsing Aeri's Kitchen for some Korean recipe ideas.  It caught my eyes because it looked exactly like a tofu dish my friend served at her house recently.  So, I added this dish because it was so simple to make and I have the organic firm tofu at home.  This tofu buchim didn't fail me, the sauce was delicious and did I say it was so easy to make?  Give it a try if you are having a lazy night and want a quick and delicious side dish for your dinner.  Oh, I liked Aeri's website for Korean food as she also made the trouble of making videos of her preparing the dishes.  I really kudo to those who did the extra step.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Korean Spicy Chicken/ Dak-Galbi

I didn't know what gotten into me, I just felt like having a Korean meal.  When I got that planned, I didn't know what I gotten myself into.  I made three out of four banchan (side dish) before and everything seem simple on the surface.  Only when I started working on it, only did I realize that it was actually quite a lot of work when making it all in a day, like slicing the Korean radish and scallions.  Then, the different methods of cooking the anchovies and bean sprouts.  Anyway, to cut it short, I spent the whole afternoon preparing and washing and ended with a sore back, that's mean I stood for too long.  Hahaha....  I have to admit, I like to take my time in the kitchen, that's why I cannot work in a restaurant setting, I would be so slow that all the customers would walk away and I would be left stressful. 

For the banchan recipes, I provided the links below:

Korean Scallion Salad (Pa-Muchim)

Mu- Saengchae (Spicy Korean Radish)

Myulchi Bokkeum (Stirfried Anchovies)

Mungbean Sprout MuChim/ SukJu MuChim 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Stir Fried Yam Leaves

My family loved yam leaves and sweet potato leaves.  So when shopping in the Asian market, I often would buy this veggie.  Usually I would cook it with the shrimp paste in soy bean oil but today I wanted to try something different.  I wanted to cook it without the paste and just seasoned it with some fish sauce and fragrant it with bird eye chili and garlic.  You might be familiar with this way of cooking too.  I had to cut the stem with kitchen scissor after I done cooking for easy swallowing.

This picture did not do the veggie justice.  It definitely taste better than it looks.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chinese Scallion Ginger Chicken (葱姜油鸡)

This recipe was inspired by a Chinese cooking show that I watched, called 美女私房菜.  Her recipe called for cooking the chicken in a spice soy sauce broth and then deep-fry the chicken until crispy before adding the scallion ginger fragrant sauce on top.  I bookmarked it because it seem so interesting.  My chance came when I had some leftover oven roasted chicken wings and drumettes.   While I was thinking of what to make of this leftover wings, her recipe came to mind.  So, I pan-fried my wings and drumettes and then cooked this scallion ginger fragrant and put it on top of the chicken to serve.  I truly loved this scallion ginger fragrant sauce and it can easily be used to top with fried fish, deep-fried pork ribs, shrimps, or anything you can think of.  My attempt at recreating a leftover to another new dish. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stir-Fried Romaine Lettuce Heart with Tofu

I prefer the romaine lettuce heart which sold three in a packet instead of the romaine lettuce sold individually.  I found it more suitable for stir-frying as it hold it's shape better and provided more crunch to the dish.  This veggie has to be cooked quickly to preserve the green color or else it will turn black and it will look unappetizing.

For vegetarian, just omit the dried small shrimps and add the tofu for protein.  You can also read more about dried small shrimps here.  It has calcium and magnesium which said to prevent osteoporosis, reduce blood cholesterol level, regulate the blood flow and help in hypertension.  We only use a little bit of this in each dish.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Braised Black Vinegar Chicken (红烧黑醋鸡)

I created this dish because I saw a Chinese food show that talked about the many benefits of consuming black vinegar. Black vinegar originated in China and then spread across Asia.  It is made from fermenting grains such as rice, barley, millet, wheat and sorghum.  My Chinese friend introduced me to Chinkiang black vinegar (鎮江香醋) which is made from fermented glutinous rice.  Black vinegar made from rice has a slightly sweet and more complicated flavor.  Chinese has been using it as a marinade, in braising, as dipping sauce and as a stir-frying sauce.  In Japan, a lighter version of black vinegar called "Kurozu" is bring sold as a health tonic.  One in eight Japanese drinks a small amount of black vinegar daily because of its health benefits.

So, what are the benefits and what's so great about black vinegar?  Black vinegar contains acetic acid which can prevent cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension (lower blood pressure), coronary heart disease and stroke.  It also contains citric acid which helps to increase body energy and metabolism.  It is high in antioxidants and contains many essential amino acids that help to repair muscle tissue, balance the body's pH level and to heal everyday ailments.

Since I am not sure I can drink this like the Japanese, but I can certainly use more of it in my cooking.  Now I am thinking is that why in Chinese confinement, we have a black vinegar pork knuckle soup for woman who just gave birth.  I drank bowl and bowl of this sweeten black vinegar soup during my confinement.  Anyway, how did you use your black vinegar?   I used it in my Bean Threads Noodle too.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Pan-Fried Lemon Pepper Salmon

I have not pan-fry salmon for ages.  I always took the least time consuming method by baking it in the oven.  After a while, I guess I miss the crispy crust of pan-frying salmon.  This salmon dish is super duper easy especially if you already have the McCormick Lemon & Pepper seasoning salt in your cupboard.  I saw this seasoning in my pantry and realized that I hardly used this seasoning.  So, I took it out to be used in my salmon.  The salmon fillets that I bought was without skin.  So, in order to get the crispy crust that I was looking for, I patted both sides of my salmon with cornstarch.  And this got the job done.  I served it up with my Asian style stir-fried broccoli.  Or you can do my American style microwave butter broccoli, even easier.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Pear Preserves Cake

One of the reasons I made the pear preserves was I wanted to make this cake.  This cake was soft and moist and well received by my girls.  In fact, I am going to make this cake again.  I could taste the pear preserves in the cake.  The dried pineapple that I added increased the cake sweetness.  I would omit the dried pineapple next time I made this cake as I wanted to taste the pear alone without any competition from other flavor.  The dried pineapple sank to the bottom of the cake pan while baking and sort of glue to the pan and resulted the finished cake got stuck to the pan.  Hence, I advice you to line the pan with parchment paper if dried pineapple is used.

You can definitely substitute pear preserves with apple sauce or apple butter.  It should come out equally good even though I have not tried it before.