March 30, 2015

Chinese Pickled Garlic 醃蒜頭

Chinese, Pickled Garlic, pickles, 醃蒜頭, recipe, garlic, sweet

Ah, garlic!  That humble culinary bulb, the stinking rose!  People always say that garlic is one of those things where either you love it or you hate it.  For myself, I have found that my personal relationship with garlic fluctuates.  

Sometimes, in some forms, I love it!  And sometimes, in other forms, I can find myself avoiding it.  I can't imagine cooking without it and yet, when I was pregnant and for a long time after, I could not stand raw garlic.  And then I swing back, ruminating on the creamy flavor of garlic after a deep slow long roast...or the flavor layers one smashed bulb can add to a simple stir fry!  

One thing I have always found harder to like is raw uncooked garlic.  Recently we decided to try making Chinese Pickled Garlic, or 醃蒜頭, and I was really, really pleased to find that this sweet vinegary pickled garlic is not only immensely more yummilicious than raw garlic, but also packed with great health benefits and you also end up with the most amazingly garlicky flavored vinegar syrup in the world!

March 22, 2015

Pan Fried Tofu Stuffed with Fish Paste 煎釀鯔魚滑豆腐

comfort food, easy, Fish Paste, pan fried, recipe, Stuffed, tofu, 煎釀, 豆腐, 鯔魚滑

A simple and homey Chinese classic.  Easy to prepare and delicious and fun to eat.  An intriguing play on textures and tastes.  The smooth silky blandness of tofu contrasted against the sea sweet fragrant chewiness of ground fish paste.  Pan Fried Tofu stuffed with Fish Paste, or 煎釀鯔魚滑豆腐, is such a comfort dish and it's super easy to prepare!

March 18, 2015

Chinese Cooking Stories from the Heart 煮食故事

authentic, chinese, cookbook, cooking, cooking stories, giveaway, memories, 煮食, 故事, 中國, 香港

Dear readers, I want to first of all thank all of you that wrote in to tell us your wonderful Chinese cooking stories for a chance at our cookbook giveaway!  We reviewed 'Chinese Feasts & Festivals: A Cookbookand made the delicious Homemade Chinese Pork Jerky Bakkwa  自制猪肉干 from a recipe in the same cookbook.   For a chance to win a free copy of the cookbook we asked for your best Chinese cooking stories.

 Well, we have chosen our two favorite stories (the winner's cookbooks are on their way!) and we thought that you might enjoy reading the winning stories as much as we did.  I have to say, (excuse the cheesiness!) that it was wonderful to see how cooking really brings people together!

March 14, 2015

Crystalline Iceplant Salad with Soy Sesame Dressing 冷拌水晶冰菜

Crystalline Iceplant, iceplant, ice plant, Salad, chinese cold dish, Soy Sesame Dressing, chinese dressing,  冷拌, 水晶冰菜, chinese salad, recipe

After stuffing ourselves on festival foods merrily all through the Chinese New Year celebrations, we really felt like taking a breather and eating light for a while.  So we've been oohing and aahing our way through platefuls of our latest discovery, a plant/vegetable that, delightfully, looks as though it is covered with ice!  

Its dewy sparkles caught my eye one day at the local wet market and I immediately asked about it.  The vegetable vendor enthusiastically vouched for this strange new vegetable, telling me that it was absolute perfection when eaten as a cold dish.  She even suggested a recipe!  

And indeed she was right, this unusual vegetable made for a fabulous Crystalline Iceplant Salad with Soy Sesame Dressing 冷拌水晶冰菜, an easy to make, light, Chinese style cold dish.  Not only was this dish yummilicious, we have gotten seriously addicted to this icy plant!

March 5, 2015

Braised Dried Oysters with Black Sea Moss and Roast Pork 髮菜蠔豉燜燒肉

Black Sea Moss, braised, cantonese, chinese new year, dried mushroom, Dried Oysters, fat choy, feast, Roast Pork, 燒肉, 燜, 蠔豉, 髮菜, 好市發財

First of all let me greet you with this hearty Chinese New Year Greeting: Wishing you Prosperity and Good Fortune!  祝你好事發財!  And now let me invite you to eat that exact same greeting!  Whaaat, you're probably thinking, she's too much in the kitchen and has finally gone nutso!!  Wait...what I really mean is let me invite you to feast on the very traditional and very fabulous Chinese New Year's dish of Braised Dried Oysters with Black Sea Moss and Roast Pork, or 髮菜蠔豉燜燒肉.  

The Chinese characters for dried oysters and sea moss is 蠔豉髮菜  which sounds almost exactly like 好事發財 which means Prosperity and Good Fortune.  Thus, through this auspicious twist of words,  you can actually feast on a savory dish of Prosperity and Good Fortune to start off the New Year of the Sheep!  

And, indeed, what better way to start off the Chinese New Year than to partake of this intriguingly mysterious yet surpassingly yummilicious combination of unique Chinese ingredients that is the Braised Dried Oysters with Black Sea Moss and Roast Pork!