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Archive for May, 2012

Recently I have been hooked on “wok hei” stir fry foods, especially the spicy version. I bought a container of spicy anchovies stir fry from a Chinese deli but just couldn’t get enough of it, so I decided to make it at home.

Spicy Anchovies with Five-Spiced Tofu

Spicy Anchovies with Five-Spiced Tofu

Spicy Anchovies with Five-Spiced Tofu

Ingredients:
1 cup of dried anchovies– rinse and drain
4 pcs five-spiced pressed tofu– cut into strips
6-10 fresh hot pepper– chopped
1/2 red bell pepper– cut into strips (optional– for its texture and color for the oil)
3-4 cloves garlic– thinly sliced
3 slices fresh ginger– cut into thin strips
1 tsp dry fermented black beans– rinse
cilantro for garnish

Seasoning:
salt
chicken bouillon powder
few drops of soy sauce

Method:

  1. Add some oil to a very hot wok, drop tofu and saute until lightly brown. Dish out and remain the high heat. Repeat with red bell pepper, adding little more oil if needed. Dish out bell pepper.
  2. When the wok is smoking hot again, add more oil and fry anchovies, garlic, hot peppers and black beans until aromatic and anchovies are dry but not crisp. Return tofu and bell peppers to wok, add seasoning to taste and stir few times quickly. Toss in cilantro and dish out immediately. Serve immediately with steam rice or porridge.

Note:

  • Sauteing red bell pepper will give out some red oil– making the dish look spicy without adding too much hot peppers, especially good for those can’t take the pepper heat.
  • This kind of quick saute dish is all about “wok hei” (the flavor and essence of the food cooked using a smoking hot wok), thus the wok must be on smoking high heat during the cooking process. The dish is best served immediately or it won’t taste the same.
  • Any leftover of this dish can also be served as a cold side dish– don’t heat up again or the bell pepper will be soggy.
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Banana Muffins with Chocolate Filling

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Filling

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Filling

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Filling

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Filling (makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 egg yolk
1/2 cup milk
2 ripe bananas– mashed
2 egg whites
1/2 cup chopped walnuts– toasted
bittersweet chocolate chips for fillings

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a muffin pan with 10 paper muffin cups or grease with cooking spray.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Stir in 3 tbsp of sugar. In another bowl, hand whisk egg yolk, milk, melted butter and mashed bananas until blended well. Pour the yolk mixture over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined (do not over mix– the batter will be slightly lumpy). Add walnuts to the top but do not mix yet– you will fold in walnuts when you fold in egg white in next step.
  3. Use a electric hand mixer, beat egg white until fluffy. Add in 1 tbsp sugar gradually and continue beating until soft peak appears as for meringue. Gently fold in whipped egg white into the batter until just blended.
  4. Fill each muffin cup half full, drop in 2-4 pieces of chocolate chips in the center. Then fill each muffin with more batter to cover chocolate chips.
  5. Bake the muffins until golden, for about 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on the rack.
Banana Muffins with Chocolate Filling-- added chocolate chips for the fillings, then covered with some batter on the top.

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Filling– added chocolate chips for the fillings, then covered with some batter on the top.

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Nam Yee Sauce 南乳醤

Nam Yee Sauce 南乳醤

This sauce is what I used for basting my nam yee roasted spare ribs, but I think it’s also good on grilled chicken wings…

Nam Yee Sauce 南乳醤 Recipe (this recipe makes enough basting sauce for 3 lbs of meat)

Ingredients:
3 tbsp maltose
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 cube nam yee– mashed
4 tbsp nam yee liquid (the liquid in which nam yee soaked in the jar)

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, stir to blend well on medium heat until  it turns bubbly. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool. The sauce will thicken when it cools.

Regina’s Note:

  • This sauce can be made ahead of time, and stored in the fridge for at least several weeks.
Nam Yee Roasted Spare Ribs 南乳烧排骨

Nam Yee Roasted Spare Ribs 南乳烧排骨

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For readers who are not familiar with nam yee 南乳: Nam Yee is a fermented bean curd that is deep red in color. People usually use nam yee in marinating meat. It has a pungent smell during marinating, but the smell goes away after the meat is cooked. Nam yee flavor goes very well with meat especially pork. A good nam yee should not just taste salty– it should also bring a hint of sweetness at the end of the taste.

Nam Yee Roasted Spare Ribs 南乳烧排骨

Nam Yee Roasted Spare Ribs 南乳烧排骨

Nam Yee Roasted Spare Ribs 南乳烧排骨-- Drooling...!!

Nam Yee Roasted Spare Ribs 南乳烧排骨– Drooling…!!

Nam Yee Roasted Spare Ribs Recipe 南乳烧排骨

Ingredients:
3 lbs spare ribs– cross cut into 2-inch length
1 tsp salt

Marinade (mix together):
4 cloves garlic– minced
3 cubes of nam yee 南乳– mashed
2 tbsp nam yee liquid
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp chili powder

Nam Yee sauce:
3 tbsp maltose
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 cube nam yee– mashed
4 tbsp nam yee liquid (the liquid in which nam yee cubes are soaked in the jar)

Method:

  1. Clean spare ribs, season with salt.
  2. Mix together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add spare ribs, mix and marinate at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roast ribs on a rack over shallow pan for 1 hour. In the meantime, make nam yee sauce: combine all nam yee sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan, stir constantly on medium heat until it turns bubbly, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool. The sauce will thicken further when it cools.
  4. Remove ribs from oven. Pour nam yee sauce over the ribs, toss to coat well. Serve immediately.

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My Chinese drawing classmate Jane inspired me to try out this dim sum dish. Why are they called pearl meatballs? This is because after steaming, the rice coating makes the meatballs look like giant pearls from a distant. The first time I made it, the meatballs were gigantic, and way too salty. This time around, they all turned out pretty good. I’m happy with the result, so… time to enjoy my pearls!

Pearl Meatballs 珍珠丸子

Pearl Meatballs 珍珠丸子

Pearl Meatballs 珍珠丸子

Pearl Meatballs 珍珠丸子

Pearl Meatball Recipe 珍珠丸子 (makes about 50 pieces, fish ball size)

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup glutinous rice– soaked at least 4 hours
1 1/2 lbs ground pork
1 tbsp dried shrimp– minced– see note below
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped
1 egg white

meat seasoning:
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tapioca starch
2 tbsp water

Method:

  1. After soaking glutinous rice, drain out as much water as possible. Transfer to a deep dish plate.
  2. In a deep bowl, season the pork with the meat seasoning, then add in remaining ingredients(except egg white) to mix well. Use a pair of chopsticks/wooden spoon/flat rice scooper, stir the meat in a circular motion(same direction), until it binds and turns sticky. Add in egg white and continue stirring motion, until it mixes well and sticky again.
  3. Scoop some ground pork , lightly shape to a small ball of fish ball size or US quarter(25 cents) size. Roll the meatball in the rice so the rice coats the surface, press to stick the rice. Shape it to a ball again if necessary. Repeat until all meat are finished.
  4. Gently transfer coated meatballs to a steam tray with hole (do not place meatballs on a plate–see note below). Steam on high heat for 10 minutes per batch. Do not put too many meatballs in one tray, as there must be room for the steam to come up. Transfer pearl meatballs to a plate. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce (chili sauce, venegar, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce etc..)

Regina’s Note:

  • Optional ingredients: Personally, I would love adding some chopped shrimps, dried mushrooms (soaked to soften of course), water chestnut, green onion for more flavor and texture. However, since my kids are picky about these stuff so I just skip all the goodies 😦
  • Dried shrimps and salt: Since dried shrimps add saltiness to the meat, take care not to add in too much salt– I added too much dried shrimps in my first trial, ended up with pretty salty pearls…
  • Steam tray: In my first trial, I steamed pearl meatballs in a greased metal plate, but because there’s no hole on the plate for the liquid to drain during steaming, the bottom of my pearls were all mushy rice. So, I thought of steaming the pearls directly on the steam tray with holes, this way the liquid can drip back to the boiling water below, keeping the rice from getting mushy.
Pearl Meatballs 珍珠丸子-- before steaming

Pearl Meatballs 珍珠丸子-- before steaming

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I got some lobster tails from Safeway when they were selling at $5 each a while back. I used some in making seafood linguine, and here are the leftovers. Originally I wanted to make buttery lobsters in dry style (meaning more like a saute version instead of a gravy version), but I just don’t know what to do with that little can of evaporated milk leftover… so, I decided the very last minutes to pour it all in. The lobsters still taste delicious, but just not the way I want to present. Oh well, there is always next time…

Buttery Lobsters

Buttery Lobsters

Buttery Lobsters Recipe:

Ingredients:
3 lobster tails (about 2-in wide, 6-inch long for each tail)
1 stalk fresh curry leaves– remove stalk and chop the leaves
3 cloves garlic– chopped
4 tbsp butter
2 tsp curry powder– use good one
1 tsp cayenne chili  powder
1/2– 1 tsp salt
2-3 tsp sugar
1 small can (5 fl oz) evaporated milk

Method:

  1. Rinse lobster tails. Cut into bite size pieces, with shell intacted. Pat dry.
  2. Melt butter in a wok over medium heat. Add curry leaves, garlic, curry powder and chili powder. Saute until aromatic. Add in lobster meat. Stir until the shells turns red.
  3. Add in evaporated milk, salt and sugar. Stir until the lobster meat is just cooked. Serve immediately. The extra sauce is very good with steam rice. For a dry version, use only a few tbsp of evaporated milk instead of the whole can.

Regina’s Note:

  • For a dry version of buttery lobsters/prawns: saute all the spice until aromatic, add in lobsters/shrimps. Cook until the seafood is half cooked, add in 1-3  tbsp of milk/evaporated milk, continue cooking until the seafood is just cooked thru.
  • You can also use milk instead of evaporated milk.

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I made this dish from the leftover laksa noodles ingredients. All I added to it was a little salted fish to bring out the salted fish flavor.

Noodles with Salted Fish鹹魚炒鴛鴦面

Noodles with Salted Fish鹹魚炒鴛鴦面

Noodles with Salted Fish 鹹魚炒鴛鴦面 Recipe

(Please note this is not a detailed recipe, adjust the ingredient portions according to number of serving)

Ingredients:

Noodles– rice noodles or combination of cooked fresh yellow noodles and rice noodles
seasoned meat– can be ground pork, chicken or pork thin strips
small shrimps– shelled and deveined
sliced fish balls– boiled or soak in hot water to remove the frozen fishy taste
egg omelet strips
bean sprouts
green onion– cut into 2 inch length
gloves of garlic– finely chopped
salted fish– remove the bone if there’s any

Seasonings to taste:
salt
ground white pepper
chicken bouillon powder
drizzle of fish sauce (optional)

Method:

  1. Prepare noodles: for rice noodles– soak in cold water to soften, then boil in water until they turn transparent (do not overcook rice noodles or they breaks easily). Strain and set aside. For fresh cooked yellow noodles– since they are already cooked, just blanch in hot water to loose up. Strain and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok on high heat until it’s smoking hot.  Add fish balls and fry to slightly brown. Add garlic and salted fish, stir briefly until aromatic. Add in meat and stir until the meat is half cooked. Add in shrimps and stir until meat is cooked and shrimps are just cooked. Dish out but maintain the heat.
  3. Add in more oil to the wok, stir fry noodles on high heat. Return meat, fish balls, and shrimps to the wok. Add in egg omelet strips, bean sprouts, and green onion. Stir a few times to mix all ingredients together. Add seasonings to taste.

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