Basics of stir-fry: baby bok choy

I love going to the Chinese or Asian supermarket to buy my vegetables. However, nowadays you can easily go to Whole Foods or Berkeley Bowl and find a vast selection of Asian vegetables. We like to buy baby bok choy, because it lasts at least a week in the fridge and its super easy to cook. Most vegetables are really easy to stir fry once you learn the basics. You can easily switch it up by adding different seasonings such as soy sauce, hot sauce, garlic, onions…

Ingredients:

4-6 baby bok choi
1 tbsp diced garlic
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions:


1. First wash and clean the vegetable. Sometimes lots of dirt gets trapped in the leaves and you don’t want to be eating dirt later. Also, try to dry the leaves as best you can to avoid the oil splatter when you add to the pan later.


2. Prep time. Chop the garlic or onions if you have. Trim the ends of each bok choy, about 1/2 an inch.


3. Turn heat on med-high. Add vegetable oil to your pan. (Note: vegetable/corn oil cooks at a higher temperature than olive oil, so always use it when stir frying) At this time, if you have garlic or onions, add and cook for ~1-2 min to flavor the oil (and the room).


4. Add the vegetables in the pan. Be careful of oil splatter if there is water on the leaves. Use your spatula to mix the vegetables to evenly distribute the heat. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until the whites are tender and leaves are soft. Sometimes if there are a lot of vegetables, I will add a little bit of water (less than 1/4 cup) to steam and cover for 1-2 minutes.


5. Add salt to taste. You want to add salt at the very end because if you add it early, it will change to a darker shade of green. You can add other seasonings as well such as soysauce (instead of salt), miso (instead of salt), dash of hot sauce…

6. Enjoy your healthy and tasty vegetables!

Bookmark and Share
4 Comments »

Tags: , , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Green Onion Pancake – 蔥油饼 – cōng yóu bǐng

I always thought that green onion pancakes (蔥油饼 – cōng yóu bǐng) were beyond my capabilities and had accepted that I would only have this treat in restaurants until ellen’s 婆婆 (pópo – grandma on the mother’s side) taught me. The trick to the twisty layers of these pancakes is mixing warm and cold dough together.

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup hot water
1 bunch of green onions
2-3 tbsp butter
salt

Directions:
1. Mix 2 cups flour and 2/3 cup cold water into a ball.

2. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup flour and 1/3 cup hot water into a ball and then combine with the cold dough ball and knead it  for a few minutes.

3. After letting the dough rest for 10 minutes, roll the dough ball out thin.

4. Spread about 3-4 tablespoons (1/3 to 1/2 stick) of softened butter to thinly coat the entire surface, as shown below. If you only have cold butter, then 5-10 seconds in the microwave usually works.

5. Chop at least one bunch of green onions (about 5-6 stalks) and sprinkle them evenly. There’s nothing wrong with using more green onions or substituting with yellow onions and even garlic.

6. Sprinkle some salt (less if you used salted butter) and then roll up the pancake-to-be.

7. Cut the roll into 4-5 inch segments. Pinch closed the ends of each segment and then twist a few rotations.

8. Flatten all of the twisted segments.

9. Roll them out thin. You can cook the pancakes immediately or freeze them. A layer of plastic wrap between pancakes will prevent them from sticking in the freezer.

10. To cook, pan fry with some vegetable oil for a few minutes on each side on medium-low heat until golden brown.

11. Cut and serve.

Bookmark and Share
6 Comments »

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

How to wash grapes

Here’s a quick tip on how to wash dirty fruit such as grapes. They always seem to be covered in dirt when you buy them at the market and seem to be impossible to scrub off with just water… This is a little secret my mom taught me. Only one ingredient is needed- CORNSTARCH or BAKING SODA!

How to go from dirty to clean!


1. Put in colander and fill with water.


2. Here is the crucial step! Add 1 tbsp cornstarch or baking soda (cornstarch was used here)


3. Mix grapes in water with your hands.


4. Rinse


5. Serve and enjoy clean grapes!

Bookmark and Share
23 Comments »

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Three-Cheese Mini Macs

It’s always hard to decide on what to bring to someone’s house, or what hors d’oeuvres to make if you are hosting a cocktail party. Food & Wine had another great recipe for these three cheese mini macs using a mini muffin pan! genius! (Note: these are not as healthy as the healthy carrot macaroni I previously posted). These are super easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time (through step 5) , refrigerated, and then baked when the guests arrive. This is always a crowd pleaser! If you like them extra crunchy, just let them bake an extra 5 minutes to give it that crispy edge.

Ingredients

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.


2. Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.


3. In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes.


4. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.


5. Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.


6. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 min­utes. (Very important! If you don’t let it cool, they won’t stick together) Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.

Bookmark and Share
3 Comments »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Lasagna

Everyone likes a good lasagna, especially Garfield! Whenever I need a quick and easy meal, I look to lasagna.  It’s also real easy to make a large amount to feed guests or bring to a potluck.  There will be many different variations of lasagna, but the basic steps are the same.  You can be creative and add veggies (sliced zucchini, eggplant), change the meat to beef, turkey, chicken or leave it out for vegetarians, or even replace the pasta with battered eggplant and turn it into eggplant parmigiana. If you don’t want to make your own sauce, use ready made sauce in a jar. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients

Pasta Ingredients Pasta Ingredients

1 box Barilla Lasagna, uncooked
2 eggs
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
4 cups (16 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese (I used fresh mozzerella)
1/2 cup (2 oz.) Parmesan cheese
1 lb. italian sausage or ground beef
~3.5-4 cups of marinara sauce (you can buy the sauce or see recipe below)

Sauce Ingredients
Ingredients for sauce:
2 cans of diced tomatoes (unsalted)
1 clove garlic
pinch of dried basil
pinch of dried oregano
salt to taste

Directions for sauce

1. In a food processor (or blender), add the garlic and dice finely.

2. Pour in the cans of tomatoes, add basil, oregano and salt. Puree.

Directions for lasagna

1. Preheat oven 375 degrees. Spray baking pan (13x9x3) with non stick cooking spray.

Sauce Ingredients

2. If you are using meat, cook with sauce and have nearby.

3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, stir in ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, parmesan.

4. Spread one cup of sauce on the bottom of the baking pan.

Layer
5. Layer 4 uncooked sheets, 1/3 of ricotta mixture, 1 cup mozzerella, and 1 cup sauce. You can add other vegetables if you’d like.

6. Layer 4 uncooked sheets, 1/3 of ricotta mixture, and 1.5 cups of sauce.
Layer

7. Layer 4 uncooked sheets, the remaining ricotta mixture, and 1 cup of sauce.

8. Layer 4 uncooked sheets, the remaining sauce, and the remaining mozzarella.

9. Bake, on the middle rack, covered with foil until bubbly, 50-60 minutes

10. Uncover and continue baking until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes). Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
Layer

11. Enjoy!

Bookmark and Share
Be the first to comment! »

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

The New Year has been off to a slow start!

Happy  New Year!

Happy MLK Day!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy President’s Day!

Sorry for the hold up people, but life has been inundated with work work work.  I am finally getting around to updating the blog, and my resolution for the year to have more consistent posts! :)

Bookmark and Share
Be the first to comment! »
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Stewed Beef 滷味肉

This is one of those dishes I grew up eating and watching my mom make. When I got older, I asked my mom how to make this dish, and of course she had no recipe as it was all done from her head with no measurements. Measurements to her were- pour the soysauce until the broth is dark and tastes right… or add enough water to cover the meat.

I’ve practiced this dish plenty- I’ve probably made this dish about 6 times now, never using exact measurements and just going with my gut feeling. I’m happy to say the dish always turned out well! But for you, my readers, this last time, I meticulously took notes down, scribbling, scratching out, and revising until I could get it to somewhat resemble a recipe. So here we go…

Time: 2-3 hours active and let sit overnight.

Ingredients

soysauce wine seasoning
Cooking wine, soy sauce (left), and the stew packet (right)

ingredients 8jiao
Soy bean cake, peanuts, seaweed(left), and the anise star (八角) (right)

sugar
sugar- rock candy

1 banana beef shank (i picked mine up at 99 ranch)
2 cups soy sauce, more if necessary
1.5 cups cooking wine, more if necessary
4 cups water, more if necessary
2 inch piece of ginger
1 anise star (八角)
1 stew (滷味) packet
1 package soy bean cake
1 package peanuts
1 package seaweed
2 medium sized pieces rock candy
1 package 燒餅 (shao bing)
cilantro to garnish

Directions

clean beef shank
1. In a large pot (enough to hold the beef shank with room to spare) fill 2/3 full with water and let boil. Add the raw beef shank and let boil for ~10 minutes to clean the beef. Then carefully pour out the water into the sink and rinse the inside of the pot to clean. Put the pot back on the stove.

boil beef shank
2. Add 2 cups soy sauce, 1.5 cup cooking wine, ~4 cups water (enough to cover the meat), ginger, 1 anise star (八角), 1 stew (滷味) packet. The color of the liquid should be somewhat dark, as that will be the color of your meat. So, if it is looking light, add some more soy sauce. Let boil, then turn down heat to low, cover, and let simmer for ~45 minutes.

3. After the first 45 minutes, check on the level of the liquid. If it is low, add more soy sauce, water, wine as necessary. You can also flip the meat in the pot at this time. Taste the soup at this time, and add salt if necessary. Let simmer for another 45 minutes on low heat.

4. Check to see if the meat is done- you can poke it with a chopstick and if it goes through easily, it is done. Also add 2 medium sized pieces of rock candy at this time and let cook for another 30 minutes.

beef shank
5. Take meat out and reserve remaining broth. Let the meat cool ~10 minutes and then wrap in foil and put in fridge.

sides
6. Add the soy bean curd, peanuts, and seaweed to the broth and let simmer on low heat for another 45 minutes. Taste to make sure the flavor is in all the sides. If the flavor is strong enough, you can take everything out into a plate, otherwise, you can leave it in the pot and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Next day, or after the meat has cooled in the fridge.
cut the meat
7. The meat is MUCH easier to slice when it has cooled. So go ahead and slice away!

serve
8. Take the sides out, plate with some cilantro and serve! I like to serve with 燒餅 (shao bing) or just eat with rice.

Bookmark and Share
11 Comments »

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Chinese Style Marinated Chicken

This is a simple dish and always turns out delicious. If I had entries with 5 ingredients or less, this is one of them. And if I had 30-minute meal entires, this would be one too. Plus, with the smaller drumettes, they cook faster and make great finger foods.

Ingredients:


1 package of chicken drumettes
1 bottle Chicken Marinade
1 cup cooking wine
1 quarter sized chunk of ginger

Instructions:


1. Boil water in a medium sized pot (large enough to hold the drumettes). Add the drummettes and boil for ~5 min to clean the meat. Drain the water and put back on stove.


2. Add the ginger and wine to the pot with the drumettes. Pour in the chicken marinade until the meat is covered. Boil then turn down heat and let simmer for ~30 minutes.


3. Eat and enjoy! I like saving the broth and adding some with my rice…

Bookmark and Share
3 Comments »

Tags: , , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
 Page 5 of 10  « First  ... « 3  4  5  6  7 » ...  Last »