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Posts Tagged ‘hot peppers’

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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Look is deceiving– this speaks so well for this wonderful vegetable dish. Everyone, including myself, who first look at this dish will think that there’s nothing special about it, but after the first bite then there’s the treasure. My sifu Aunty Wang brought this dish for our CNY potluck, I love it so much that I decided buy the ingredients and make it that weekend. Richard told me that when he saw the food he thought it is made of all kinds of yucky veggie leftovers, but then he was hooked after the first bite. This dish is best eaten at cold or room temperature as you can really taste the different flavors– and that is why I can eat it 3 days straight and still don’t get tired of it, because each type of vegetable has its unique flavor, and all the flavors go very well together.

According to Aunty Wang, this is a typical Shanghai CNY dish. Chinese is very particular about new year food. Combo in Mandarin is called ‘Shi Jin’– sounds like ten ‘Shi’, and thus the name is called Ten-Veggie Stir Fry. Of course, you don’t have to include all ten ingredients. You can also substitute one for the other like shredded tofu puffs, preserved sweet turnip etc…, but avoid using vegetable that has high liquid content or draws out liquid over time like bell peppers, black fungus etc… so the food can be kept longer in the fridge without turning slimy or watery.

10 Veggie Stir Fry Combo

Ten-Veggie Combo

Ingredients for Ten- Veggie Combo

Ingredients for Ten- Veggie Combo

Ten-Veggie Combo Recipe

Ingredients:
*4 pcs five-spiced tofu–slice each piece horizontally then cut into thin strips
*1 cup dry lily flower ‘jin zhen chai’– soaked till soft, then tie a knot and remove the stem part, rinse 2 times to remove any yellow color.
*1 carrot–cut into thin strips
*1 cup preserved salty & sour mustard green stems (hum swiin choy)– cut into thin strips, then rinse two times to remove the saltiness.
*1 cup frozen bamboo shoots– cut into thin strips. See note below.
1 pack shredded white tofu (tou kan si)– available in Chinese grocery stores– soak in water to loose up
1 lb soy bean sprout– remove the brownish bottom, rinse and drain
6 medium Chinese mushrooms– soaked overnight– remove stems and thin sliced
2 1/2 cup Chinese celery stems– remove the leaves and the “string”, cut into 2-inch long
10 red hot peppers– chopped
2-3 cloves garlic (optional)– finely chopped
1 tbsp sugar

seasoning:
salt to taste
soy sauce to taste– for ingredients with *
chicken bouillon powder to taste

Method:

  1. Heat up wok. Add a little oil and saute the first 8 ingredients, one at a time, until aromatic. Lightly season to taste. For ingredients with *, add a little soy sauce too. For soy bean sprout: saute on very high heat. When the liquid draws out, continue sauteing until the liquid dries out. Dish out all veggies into a big bowl.
  2. Heat wok again, saute garlic and peppers until aromatic. Return all sauteed veggies back to the wok, add celery stems and stir for a few more times to combine. Add sugar and seasoning to taste.

Note:

  • Bamboo shoots: frozen is better than canned ones. I seldom use bamboo shoots so I skip this ingredient.
  • Once cooling down completely, this dish can be chilled in the fridge and can be kept for 8-10 days, just use a clean dry spoon to take out the portion you need each time.

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Crab season is here again. If you are tired of same old steam/boil crab, or the deep fry, saute version, try this buttery crab– it is finger licking good especially the sauce! This recipe requires very few ingredients, one of the must have is curry leaves. If you can get curry leaves I strongly recommend you to give this recipe a try.

Creamy Buttery Crab

Creamy Buttery Crab

Creamy Buttery Crab Recipe (original recipe from Rasa Malaysia— ingredients written in black is original version, with my modification written in blue)

Ingredients:

2 lbs. mud crab (dungeness crab or stone crab is a great substitute)— I use 2 Dungeness crabs, about 2 lb each
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk— I use 1 small can
1 stick butter— will try to cut down to 3/4 stick next time
1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 stalks curry leaves (you can get the curry leaves at Indian grocery stores)
5 bird’s eye chilies (lightly pounded)
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped (I add garlic for more flavor)
10 Chinese buns (mantou/馒头)— I served it with steam rice instead of buns

Method:

  1. Clean the crab and cut into pieces. Use paper towels to pat dry the crab. If serving with buns, deep-frying the Chinese buns or mantou to golden brown and set aside. Lay them over paper towels to soak up excess oil. Mix the corn starch with water and set aside.
  2. Heat up a wok to medium heat. Melt the butter in the wok before adding the curry leaves, garlic and bird’s eyes chilies. As soon as you smell the aroma from the curry leaves and bird’s eye chilies, add in the crab and stir continuously until the crab starts to turn color.
  3. Add the evaporated milk and cover the wok and turn the heat to low. Simmer for about 5 minutes, add salt and sugar to taste, then add in corn starch to thicken the creamy butter sauce. Dish out and serve immediately with buns or steam rice.

Note: I tried the recipe using jumbo prawns/tiger prawns instead of crabs, the result is good too but lack of the fresh seafood sweetness as with crabs.

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