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Saute Spicy Chicken Hearts 酱爆鸡心

Saute Spicy Chicken Hearts 酱爆鸡心

Saute Spicy Chicken Hearts 酱爆鸡心 Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb chicken hearts
3 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic– chopped
2-3 hot red peppers– chopped
1 inch ginger– peeled and shredded
1 piece five spice press tofu 五香豆干 (optional)– cut into strips

seasoning:
3 tbsp thick soy sauce 酱油膏
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1 tbsp rice wine

Method:

  1. Trim off excess fat and the top part of chicken hearts. Butterfly and make some slits on exterior side of the hearts.
  2. Remove stringy fiber of celery, and cut into slightly less than 1/4 inch slices.
  3. Poach celery in boiling water for a few seconds to remove the celery flavor, drain. Then poach chicken hearts for 30 seconds, adding 1 tbsp rice wine (extra) to the poaching water. Drain.
  4. Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a wok on high heat. Saute tofu strips until slightly brown. Move to the side of the wok but remain the heat.
  5. Add in 2 tbsp oil, saute ginger, red peppers and garlic until aromatic and spicy. Add in chicken hearts and seasoning. Stir everything to mix well, until the chicken hearts are just cooked. Add in celery, make a quick stir then dish out. Serve immediately.

Regina’s Note:

  • The wok must be very hot while sauteing this dish in order taste the “flavor/spirit of the wok 镬气” . If cooked right, the chicken heats taste tender almost like pork kidney. Don’t over cook or it will be tough.
  • If you cook chicken hearts without poaching ahead, this dish will become watery as the liquid draws out from chicken hearts during cooking process.
  • Just like sauteing other internal organs, rice wine is always a must and seasoning is always heavier than average to yield a very flavorful dish.

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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

Ingredients:
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

Methods:

  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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In the past the only way I cook lotus root is making black bean, lotus root & spareribs soup. So I am glad to find a new way to enjoy this root vegetable. This is yet another recipe I learned from my neighbor Auntie Wang. The key is to choose young  fresh lotus roots (they are lighter in weigh than those you use for soup) that have clean holes– when you see the sides of lotus root, the holes should be free of mud and flesh is whitish in color. Don’t buy the processed/bleached lotus roots that come in a can or vacuum pack.

The flavor of this dish is sweet, sour and also spicy at the same time. The texture of the ingredients are all crunchy to the taste. For those can’t take the heat, skip hot peppers and make the dish into sweet and sour version (I made some non-spicy lotus root for Ethan)– it’s just as good. This is a very appetizing side dish, and especially good on hot summer days as it is served as a cold dish.

Spicy Lotus Roots

Spicy Lotus Roots

Spicy Lotus Roots Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh young lotus root (free of mud in the holes and flesh is whitish in color)
1/2 red bell pepper (optional– for texture and color)
1-2 young tender celery sticks (optional– for texture and color)
3-4 cloves garlic– finely chopped
6-8 hot peppers– chopped

Seasoning (adjust to taste):
salt
sugar
rice vinegar
chicken bouillon powder (optional)

Method:

  1. Prepare lotus roots: Cut off both ends and peel off the skin. Thinly slice. Then rinse a few times with water. Transfer lotus root to a pot filled with boiling water, let it boil on high heat for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. According to Auntie Wang, rinsing and boiling lotus root will prevent it from getting dark.
  2. Clean, remove seed and stem of bell pepper. Cut into strips. For celery, clean and remove any fiber on the stem, cut into strips. Then blanch in boiling water, drain and set aside.
  3. When the wok is hot and ready, add little oil and quick saute celery. Dish out. Repeat with bell pepper and dish out.
  4. Add little more oil to the hot wok, saute garlic and pepper until aromatic. Add lotus roots and seasoning to taste (there should be a little liquid in the wok from rice vinegar). Return bell pepper and celery to the wok, stir quickly and dish out. (Note: The 1st time I used my iron wok to saute lotus root, I guess the acid from the vinegar react with the meta and so my lotus root turns blueish in color after cooking. The 2nd time I use Corning cookware (as I don’t have non-stick pan in my house) to saute lotus root and it turned out perfect– of course non-stick pan is okay too).

Notes:

  • For sweet & sour version, omit hot peppers.
  • This is a cold dish but you can eat it hot or room temperature. Any extras should be kept in the fridge and would last about 1-2 weeks.

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