Posts Tagged ‘fish sauce’

Before I forget, I better write down the kimchi recipe. I learned this kimchi from my neighbor Aunty Wang. The main difference from the normal kimchi is that this recipe uses green cabbage, the American type shaped like a ball and not the Taiwan cabbage which is flatter. The result is a much crunchier texture. As long as the cabbage (and other veggies like cucumber or daikon, if used)  is air dried long enough before marinating, the kimchi will remain crunchy for a couple of weeks.

Cabbage Kimchi

Cabbage Kimchi

Cabbage Kimchi Recipe

1 small green cabbage (about 2 lbs)
1 small daikon
1 carrot
2-3 stalks green onion

Marinating sauce :
1-2 tbsp finely minced garlic
1 tbsp finely minced ginger
3-5 tbsp fish sauce
2-3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. Take out the core of cabbage and tear the leafs into big pieces, cut a slit at the thick stem if necessary for the sauce to penetrate through. Pour in good amount of salt and toss around. Set aside.
  2. Peel off the skin of daikon and cut into 2 inch strips. Pour in good amount of salt and toss around. Set aside.
  3. When the cabbage and daikon has soften and liquid drains out, rinse them under water a couple of times. Lay them evenly on a big tray and air dry for few hours– the longer the better because the kimchi will remain crunchy longer.
  4. While the cabbage and daikon are drying, peel and julienne carrot. Cut green onions into 1 inch long. Set aside.
  5. In a bowl combine all sauce ingredients and mix well. I like mine a bit garlicky and spicier but adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.
  6. Mix all veggies in a big container/bowl with the sauce. Use your hand to toss around to coat evenly. The sauce will look dry but over the marinating process a little more liquid will come out.  Transfer the marinated kimchi to a air tight container (glassware preferred), pat the veggies down tightly. Use plastic wrap before closing the lid to prevent the smell get to the lid. Let it sit on cool spot at room temperature for 1 1/2 days (no more than 2 days).
  7. Transfer kimchi to clean glass jars, pack tightly. Wrap the jar opening with plastic wrap before closing the lid so the smell won’t penetrate to the lid as much. Keep refrigerated. Kimchi is ready when chilled. Best to consume within 2-3 weeks. When taking kimchi out of the jar, always be sure the utensil is dry and clean.

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Drunken chicken wing is ordinary, but it is the preserved fruit that adds twist to the flavor, and I decide to try it  out for a potluck party. Amazingly, the flavor of preserved kumquat goes very well with the wine, but I find the wine is too strong to my taste. Next time I will dilute the wine with water. This is also a very easy dish and can be prepared ahead of time, perfect for busy days and great as party food.

Drunken Chicken Wings with Preserved Kumquat (话梅鸡翼)

Drunken Chicken Wings with Preserved Kumquat (话梅醉翼)

Drunken Chicken Wings with Preserved Kumquat Recipe


2-3 lbs chicken wings mid joint
1/2 tbsp salt

water for boiling wings

lots of ice cubes– I used 4 trays

750 ml ShaoXing Hua Diao Wine (绍兴花雕酒)– will try 300 ml wine mix with 300 ml water next time
20 preserved sweet kumquat (话梅金桔)– or preserved sweet plum (甜话梅)
8 tbsp fish sauce– I used ‘3 Crab’ brand
4-5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt


  1. Clean chicken wings and season with salt. Cook wings in a big pot with boiling water (water must cover the wings) uncovered until chicken is cooked, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl, stir until sugar dissolves. Lightly smash kumquat for the flavor to come out quicker.
  2. Drain chicken wings to a big bowl cover with ice cubes (I did one layer of chicken follow by one layer of ice to ensure even coldness). When the wings are cold they will be firm to the touch.
  3. Remove cold wings and soak in the marinade, cover and chill in the fridge for at least half day or overnight for the flavor to come out. Serve chill or room temperature.


  • The  longer the wings soak in marinade, color of the wings will turn darker.
  • I freeze the marinade– we’ll see if it’s still good for reuse.

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Stir Fry Bitter Guard with Shrimps

Stir Fry Bitter Melon with Shrimps

Growing up, I always hate bitter melon and don’t understand why people would eat it. But since some not so bad bitter melon tasting last year, I start to accept this vegetable– what can I say with me and the family eating lots of “heaty” food all the time, I need the “ying” of this vegetable to cool down :). This summer I pretty much had a bitter melon dish once a week– what a big change to my diet! Since Richard and Alexander don’t take bitter melon, I only cook it for lunch. When Ethan first saw me eating bitter melon, he wanted some too and so I gave him a bite. Surprisingly, he didn’t spit it out– he ate it followed with a drink of water. Since then he will want a bite or two of bitter melon every time I cook it.

One of the popular way to cook bitter melon is using fermented black bean. My friend Amy suggested using fish sauce and shrimp. If you have fish sauce in your pantry, do give it a try. When I want shrimp in the dish, I would stir fry with fish sauce, or add an egg and make it scrambled egg style. If it’s just stir frying bitter melon alone, I would use fermented black bean. My mom cook it with tomatoes and thus adds tangy flavor to the dish– quite refreshing taste. Hochiak! Delicious Asian Food have it fried with salted egg— hmmm… sounds delicious. I would have to try it next time.

Stir Fry Bitter Melon with Shrimps Recipe

1 medium bitter melon–cut in 1/2 vertically, discard seeds and inner spongy stuff with a spoon, then thin slice
8-10 small shrimps– shelled and deveined, lightly seasoned with salt
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped
few drops of fish sauce
1/2 to 1 cup hot water
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put sliced bitter melon in a bowl and sprinkle with some salt and little water. Rub salt into bitter melon. Let it sit for a while to draw out bitter juice. Rinse under water 2 times. Drain.
  2. Heat wok on high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and quick saute shrimps until just cooked. Dish out.
  3. Add 1 tbsp oil to  the hot wok. Stir fry garlic until aromatic, add bitter melon and keep stirring. Add enough hot water, little at a time, and cook bitter melon until tender. Add fish sauce, salt and pepper and stir well. Return shrimps to wok. Quick stir and dish out.

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