Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lisa - New Year Resolution

For the coming new year 2010. I will focus on health first from eating to working out. crossing my fingers!!
As you can see I started little early. For lunch today I had a salad from Guy and Gallard -Lemon Chicken with Romaine Lettuce , Tomato, Broccoli tossed with Red Wine Shallot Vinegar.
Em and I agree on starting  by having less carbs. I will have to be more careful with the portions and it's going to be tough! That means easy on the pasta and rice!!
Will keep you posted on my new mission.....anyone care to join and share tips?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Chinese Christmas Eve

I was in cooking bliss today. Went to Whole Foods (which was crazy!) at noon and got all the meat and last minute things. Came home, ate some ramen and went to work. It went smoothly and everything turned out delicious. I timed everything well and the food was all warm when served. Everyone was happy including Molly who LOVED the almond jello! Here are some recipes (portions are for 8 people!) and pics from the night. I am snacking on leftovers as I am posting...mmmm! (See previous post for complete menu)

I started the chicken first since it takes the longest and is okay served room temperature. I served it with ginger scallion sauce which is usually for white poached chicken but I love it with soy sauce chicken too.

Em's Soy Sauce Chicken
1 4LB chicken
7 cups soy
2 cups cooking wine
2 cups broth
3 strips of fresh orange rind
1 lb rock sugar
cloth and string bag with a few cracked cardamon pods, tsp anise seeds, 3 star anise, 2 tsp cloves, 1 cinnamon stick crushed
  • bring all ingredients but chicken to boil in pot and stir until sugar is dissolved
  • put in chicken and bring to simmer
  • simmer on low covered for 20 mins
  • turn chicken and simmer for another 20 mins
  • turn chicken, remove from heat and sit for 20 mins
  • take chicken out and let sit for half hour
  • cut and serve

Ketchup Shrimp

2 lbs shrimp with shell on, cut on backside and de-veined
4 tbls ketchup
2 tbls oyster sauce
1 tsp white pepper
dash sesame oil
scallions big pieces
  • heat oil in wok and fry shrimp on both sides so its crispy but not cooked all the way, work in 2 batches
  • add scallions, I used the whole bunch and stir fry for a few minutes
  • combine the sauces and add
  • saute for another few minutes and serve immediately

Pork spare ribs, tofu and mushroom stew
1 small rack baby back ribs cut into bite size pieces
3 strips tofu foo jook
8 mushrooms
ginger (few slices)
garlic 2 cloves
1 square fu yu
1 tbls black beans soaked
dark soy and splash cooking wine for marinade
soy sauce to taste
  • soak foo jook and mushroom for an hour, cut into bite size pieces
  • marinade ribs in dark soy and wine for hour
  • brown ribs, remove from pot
  • brown ginger and garlic, mix in fu yu and black beans saute for a couple mins
  • put ribs back in and stir together for a few mins, let everything get very hot
  • pour in 2 cups water and bring to boil
  • simmer on low for 1 hour
  • mix a tsp of corn starch into a little cold water and make a slurry
  • put slurry into stew and stir well
  • bring back to boil and serve
Mok kwa (hairy gourd) with XO sauce
2 medium mok kwa peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic rough chop
1 tbls XO sauce
2 tbls oyster sauce
  • heat oil in wok and add garlic
  • add mok kwa and saute
  • reduce heat to med and saute until tender
  • add XO sauce (I used LKK), oyster and salt to taste
  • saute until sauce thickens and serve
I also served steamed halibut filets with black bean sauce, sauteed chinese broccoli and almond jello for dessert. I was a happy host!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rice Ball Soup - Tong Yuen

While some are celebrating their winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah , we welcome the Chinese Winter Solstice ( mom calls it the Chinese Christmas). This holiday is also called Dong Chi, welcoming the winter, this year it is Dec.22 to Jan.5.
I love this holiday when families get together to make Tong Yuen which symbolize unity and prosperity. Remembering my childhood, my mom will be the one to prep the rice flour and start rolling them into rolls so that we can start rolling pieces into bite size balls. We somehow always end up with all different sizes which was fine with me(I probably was the one not following...oops!) There was flour everywhere and on everyone. So fun!
For Winter Solstice the tradition is to make rice balls in a in a sweet or savory broth. As you can see we had the savory one last night and it was simply delicious and comforting. Ahh.......

-Rice Ball - Rice flour mix with hot boiled water until right texture , slowly add the water and knead for few minutes until it does not stick to your hands, roll into rolls and divide with knife into bite size pieces and begin to roll into balls. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the rice balls one by one. They are cooked once they float to the top. Set aside the cooked rice balls in a bowl of water to prevent sticking.

Savory Rice Ball Soup
-Broth - Bring a pot of water to a boil and add chicken ,chinese sausage , mushroom and celery leaves
Let it simmer for an hour and then add the rice balls, fish , and turnip as they are delicate . Simmer for 1/2 hour to 45 mins.
When done stir gently and serve into a bowl topped off with a healthy amount of shopped cilantro. Have it with a side dish of soy sauce mixed with white pepper.

Sweet Rice Ball Soup
-Heat a pot of water and add knobs of ginger and cane/rock sugar, simmer to a nice golden color. Make it as sweet as you like, remove the ginger and add the rice balls bring back to a boil and done!
You can also add sweet potato.

There you go! Two delicious options. I prefer the savory and 2 of the cookngs loves the sweet version. Please comment if I have missed something or your version of the Tong Yuen Soup!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Eve menu

It has been too busy to cook. BUT! I am looking forward to Christmas Eve as I am hosting dinner at our home for John's family. I can't wait because I am making chinese food!

Here's the menu:
soy sauce chicken
spare rib/tofu sheets/mushroom stew
ketchup shrimp
steamed fish with black bean sauce
sauteed chinese broccoli
mok kwa with XO sauce
almond tofu with lychees and strawberries

What do you think? I'll post pics and recipes this weekend!

Saturday Lunch - Congee Village

Lately with the Holidays and moving, I have not had time to post as much as i like to. But as soon as my new kitchen is set up and ready, I will be back with more serious cooking.
For now I am grateful for the yummy restaurants in my neighborhood.
Here sharing what we had for a lunch the past Saturday at Congee Village on Allen St. I wonder if their other location on Bowery is as good as Allen's or better... Has anyone been to both? let me know?

Stir fry Frog Legs with Mushroom and Golden Chives
for those who never tried frog legs...
they do taste like chicken just more on the tender side!

Rice Noodle Rolls with Pork Liver and Spring onion Casserole
the rice noodle gave this savory dish a fresh light touch*
I like to add a dash of red vinegar on the liver,goes really well together.

and what do you think this dish is?

Thai Style Phoenix Claw
De boned pickled Chicken Feet

These three dishes goes well with bowl of congee or rice.
Have you tried any of these dishes?

Click here to view their Impressive Massive Menu

Friday, December 18, 2009

Quick Stir Fry - Beef Cubes Eggplant & Chinese Greens

Who doesn't like a nice quickie meal especially when you're tired from work.
Here is a dish with easy prepping and all you need is a pan or a wok.
For a good stir fry try to use a wok, that way it maintains the heat with the ingredients.

Ingredient: A
beef - cut into cubes
eggplant - slice into 2"
chinese greens - slice in half

Sauce: B
Lee Kum Kee-Black Bean Sauce
fish sauce

Marinade for Beef Cubes: C
soy sauce
rice wine
sesame oil

1. Marinate beef cubes with "C "for 10 mins.
2. In a bowl mix together "B". You can add water or broth to thin the paste (black beans are fermented and are very strong in flavor , so be careful with amount you can always add more when tasting)
3. Heat wok with oil, oil must be hot , add the beef cubes - work them around the wok to give it a quick browning. Remove and put aside.
4. Add the vegetables and cook until done then add "B" on the inner side of the wok ( i like the sauce to thin out so it can distribute evenly)
5. Add the beef cubes back to the wok and give it another quick stir with the rest of the ingredients. Done!

Here is a savory dish with tender beef cubes, crunchy greens and eggplant that just melts in your mouth mmmm
This was very good with a bowl of rice and chili garlic sauce.
Let's Sic Faan!
Anyone want to share their quickies?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Top Chef thoughts

Did the best chef win? I think the most creative chef won. Brian should have taken the prize if judging solely on food. His food was amazing and solid. What happened to Kevin? He totally did a Jen C and lost his game to nerves. I can't believe his pork belly was mediocre!!! Like, that's his signature meat! He was also the most unlucky with his sous chef draws....OMG Preeti??? I would just lock her in a closet and do it all myself which he kind of did do it all himself. Sigh, we all still love him and I'm sure he'll win fan favorite. So the least favorite contestant won and to give due credit, he did seem like he wanted it most. He was always focused and consistent throughout the show. He's still a putz tho!
Here are some complaints because blogging would be no fun without yammering a little:
  • Why would the show invite the mothers to only let them taste the first course?
  • They totally did not show enough interaction with the sous chefs.
  • Who the hell invited Sam Nazarian? I was embarassed for him. He's so not Top Chef worthy. You could tell the other diners thought so too by the looks they were giving.
  • Besides Drew, all the dining guests sucked.
Sigh...another season done. What city are they doing next?? When is Top Chef Masters???

Friday, December 4, 2009

Top Chef thoughts

Ok I'm late but really, I don't have too much to say this week. I always wonder why they do a two part finale. The lead up episode always leaves me feeling a little flat. Why don't they just do regular episodes until they have the final 3. Why do they have the final 4 just to get rid of one person and then have the real finale? Strange. Anyhow, it was sad to see my favorite go but it was really time for Jen's departure. She just lacks the ability to perform under pressure which is so strange because she's the same person who ran the entire show when they all cooked for the armed forces. Everything else was really no surprise; the food, the comments, the sibling rivalry.
Michael Chiarello was surprisingly gracious. Did he get a lot of slack for being such a jerk on Masters? Did he just turn it on for the competition and is really a nice guy? He seems like a nice guy in his shows. Hey, someone please give Gail some more foie gras and turnip to go with her soup!! Jeeze! I though Padma was the hungry one! Like my comrads at PPYKAG, I also do not like Padma's bangs. The baby bump is awesome but the bangs, not so much.
These are my thoughts. One more thing... It's going down next week!!

The Sexy Shun Santoku 7" Gift!

So I ordered chinese for lunch few days ago and got this fortune.
Like the way the way it sounds so I held onto it and guess what came in the post today!
A very surprising gift indeed!!

Look! It's a Shun Santoku 7" Hollow Ground knife.
look how sexy.....

A big thank you to my sister Emily!!!!
Please excuse me....Santoku and I have business to tend to..
whoosh .........

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday Lunch at An Nhau Vietnamese Restaurant

How lucky are we ?!
We get to visit our baby sister at An Nhau Restaurant, with such charming decor and most importantly, delicious dishes. Talk about a pleasent welcome, she ran to me with open arms , so adorable! ! ( wonder if she greets everyone that way )
We decided to sit in the open garden surrounded by cozy gazebos and bamboo. Oddly the weather worked out for us in the month of November. Here I will share what we ordered:

Shrimp Summer Roll served with peanut * traditional sauce

Salt * Pepper Crispy Calamari

Shaken Beef Cubes with Watercress serve with
side of sliced lime and S*P
( squeeze the lime juice into the S*P dish and dip the beef cube, a nice twist and a first for me )

Caramelized Pork Belly, delicately sliced .served with pickle greens

do i need to say more.... just that i'm getting hungry posting this.

Slow Drip Espresso with Sweet Condense Milk

A little bird told me something lovely is going to happen to the Garden*
Definitely Returning..

For location information and to view the complete An Nhau Menu ,click HERE*

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dried Beancurd Pork Barley Soup - Fu Jook Tong

I think this is the best soup I ever made! This was the first time I made it and I think I nailed it! I wish I can say the same of all my dishes. The results vary a lot especially when working with new ingredients. I love this soup and all its wonderful ingredients. Chinese soup is so enjoyable and simple to make.
Ingredients: A
  • pork neck - parboil first
  • dried shitake mushroom - soak until soft
  • gingko nuts
  • pearl barley
  • garlic
Ingredient: B
  • dried bean curd sticks -break into desire size ( i like it 1-2") break into bits for creamy texture - soak until soft.
In pot of boiling water add ingredients A, bring to boil again then let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Add * B , the softened beancurd sticks (skin, sheets - there so many variations, looks like a stick and I will call it a stick)
Simmer for 30 mins on low flame.

Seasoning : salt , white pepper , and oyster sauce.
First taste..starts with the bold flavors from the pork and mushroom, then you get the great textures of the barley and gingko nuts and finally a creamy finish with the soy bean curd, some of it melted in the soup.
How lovely ..

This is actually also a base for a very popular dessert,
just remove the pork, mushroom, garlic
and add rock sugar!

Top Chef thoughts

I know. There isn't even a new episode and I'm posting and it's only Tuesday. BUT! Checked the Bravo site today and saw this:
Why do they do this? This obviously is a recent party and why is Kevin the only one there. Perhaps because he is the WINNER??? Why do they do this?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

I spoke to baby cookng yesterday and she did not mention the password. I've started to feel bad about calling her out so publicly. To her defense she has posted on the blog in the last 10 days and I love that she asked me for my recipe so here goes...
This is a great cookie base for chocolate but you can add any of your favorite cookie items. My favorites are callebut milk chocolate chips and pecans. A few years ago during the holidays I added peppermint bark which was a big hit! I must warn that if you like cake-y cookies with a dry crumb, you will not like these. These are crispy and chewy, perfect for the Cookngs.

  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 stick soft room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1/4 stick cold margarine
  • 3/4 cup golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • chocolate chips, a few handfuls (I personally do not like a lot of chips)
  • couple handfuls chopped pecans
  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. sift dry ingredients together
  3. cream butter, margarine, sugars with mixer on med until creamy
  4. add vanilla and egg to butter mix
  5. incorporate dry ingredients with mixer on low, add in a third at a time
  6. fold in chocolate chips and nuts
  7. bake for 10 to 13 minutes depending on your oven, start watching them after 10 mins, they are done when edges are brown
My favorite cookies are these and my friend Kristen's oatmeal cranberry cookies. I had to beg to get the recipe from her so you know, its super top secret which means I can't post it. If you're lucky enough to be her friend, you would know about these cookies.

Happy holidays!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chocolate chip cookies

Baby cookng has requested my beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe. It has been a few days and I haven't given it to her yet. She hasn't told me what the secret password is. She doesn't even know that she has to give me a password for it. In truth, this is a test to see how grossly negligent she has been to this blog because if she reads this, she will know she needs to give me the password. Will she know what the password is? Maybe she can ask the other cookng that has been living at a retail store on Madison Ave. This blog misses the triple shift workaholic cookngs.

Hey, don't you guys love Molly? Because if you do, you would read and contribute to this blog. In fact, Molly's new word is "mamawhydoesn'tyeeyeethreeandfivewriteontheblog"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pasta tossed with Marmite & Butter and Chinese Greens

A good friend shared one of his favorite marmite recipes, pasta with butter and marmite! Nice and simple. Sounds good to me! Here is a quick simple healthy lunch I whipped up one day. It was very good, the flavors were great together with the freshness from the greens, the deep flavors from the sausage, marmite sauce and a nice kick from the white pepper.
Why don't you give it try..
  • pasta of choice ( here i used macaroni)
  • butter
  • marmite
  • snow peas
  • baby bok choi
  • chinese sausage ( lop churn)
  • salt and white pepper
Start with the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, steam the greens and sausage together until done ( sausage a little longer then the greens)
In sauce pan , heat the butter and marmite together
When pasta is done, drain, return to pot and toss with desire amount of marmite & butter mixture.
Add the cooked greens and sausage.
Season with salt and pepper.
All Done .....Molly would say...
and a thank you to D.Corio for the birth of marmite and pasta for me.
Such a versatile dish ....what to do next...hmmmm.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The freezer

I've been giddy all day. Partly because I had a nice lunch date with the hubby on a rare day off with the munchkin at day care. But really because I salted 2 whole chickens and a rack of baby back ribs and threw it all in the freezer. I went to Trader Joe's and bought 2 packs of Empire kosher chicken, you know the one that's a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces and some ribs. The ribs were in place of pork neck bones. I can only find those at the Asian market and figured the ribs would work for soup just as well. I got home and broke open the chicken, took off the skin, trimmed the fat rinsed and dried. Then I poured kosher salt into a bowl and got to work. I salted, wrapped and bagged the chicken into portions for chicken rice. Then I did the same with the ribs. Then I spent the rest of the day thinking about what soup I was going to make with the ribs. Maybe I'll make sae mae tong? Maybe I'll make Lisa's soup again. I also thought a lot about the salted chicken and how it was going to be so easy to make chicken rice on one of those work nights that I'm exhausted. I'm so giddy. Think I'm going to go to 99 Ranch and get some more bones to salt next week. Should I salt a fish while I'm at it?

Top Chef thoughts

Now that was an episode!! Finally some good all around excitement and cooking! I liked all the dishes and the elimination challenge. I thought using the Bocuse d'or platform was really exciting and of course the all star panel added to the overall buzz! Like all foodies, I just LOVE Thomas Keller. He just opened a Bouchon here in LA and I can't wait to go. Its not French Laundry or Per Se but it'll do. The man himself is so gracious and commands respect in such a warm and fuzzy way. He was a great guest panelist! This is also the first episode where I'm compelled to talk about the food. Everything looked so delicious and thoughtful. I was even impressed by Eli who unfortunately had to go home. You know it is getting towards the finale when Tom starts praising everyone instead of throwing confused looks. It seems that Michael V. got put in his place after being overconfident. Loved how Kevin won cooking food Michael cooks on his day off. Just love that Kevin, always sincere with his cooking. Jen finally got her mojo back and it was cool when Padma said "Welcome back" at the quickfire. When she is at her best, her food really is the most interesting and sophisticated. Hopefully she will continue on this upswing and maybe even win as I predicted??? Brian's food was exciting even though it wasn't executed so well. Its a good thing his food is not like his personality. I often wonder if he is capable of showing any more emotion than a member of the queen's guard. Hey Brian! Boo! snoooze.
I'm starting to feel the sadness that comes on towards the end of the season of a show I love. Although not as profoundly sad as for the finale of BSG, btw Ellen is going to join the cast of Heroes!! Ok, I'll stop before the tangent goes too far. I just hope top chef masters airs right after the Vegas finale!! We know that Marcus Samelsson (sp?) will be one of the cheftestants!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shanghai Nice Green Bo - #2

Another Sunday visit to Green Bo. We can't help it everything on the menu sound so delicious we must try them all. Can't wait to try their Rice Cakes.
Here we started with an cold dish of aromatic beef (chilled sliced five spice marinated beef tendon ), side with roasted sesame oil jelly fish ( crunchy and slippery with hints of sesame oil and vinegar).
Gave Soup dumplings a rest ordered Wonton soup instead ( the wrap just melts in your mouth)
Dry stir fry string beans with pickle greens.
Fish Belly in brown sauce.
All good except the fish was a bit on the sweet side.

Nice Green Bo Shanghai Restaurant - Click for the full MENU *

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Top Chef thoughts

I really enjoyed last night's episode for a few reasons. There was a week's hiatus with last week's boring reunion dinner so there was more anticipation than usual. I'm also a big fan of Nigella Lawson, even though I think she would be more beautiful without all that botox. The biggest reason of all? ROBIN FINALLY GETS BOOTED!! I mean, she was just horrible and really did not belong in the competition.
I think I've given up on Jen, sigh. She was my favorite but has totally let me down. She has totally lost her mojo and is totally sabotaging herself to get sent home. The only thing worse than sucking is giving up.
Even though the challenges have been entertaining, I've yet to see them really take advantage of being in Vegas. Where's the glitz?
Next week's goner? A no-brainer, Eli. Well, unless Jen continues to be a debbie downer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the march...

I love the penguins on the bottom of the page!!! We;re marching to food!!! Let me I the little gray fuzzy one?!

running back with open arms...

So I'm back! I've been away at the world of fashion, but alas! I came running back to the food and restaurant world! I realize that I love talking about food way more than fashion.
So what's new?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The List for the Curious

Ever wonder what the ingredients are in your favorite chinese dish?  The range of chinese cooking ingredients is daunting even to me who grew up eating chinese food.
I've stumbled upon this very useful list and hopefully it will be helpful with your cooking or just eating out
Sunflower Recipes is the Blog's name and I very much enjoyed it!
Here is a list of Chinese Ingredients which you will find in authentic Chinese cooking.

 Hopefully I will find more list like this for all types of cooking!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Flu flu go away!

I'm so sick. This flu has kicked my behind since Sunday!! I'm so miserable but much better after having some homemade congee with salted pork bones, dried scallops and preserved duck egg. Congee/jook is a constant topic with the Ngs and today is no exception. Lisa has been keeping me company virtually and insisted I post the recipe, even as simple as it is. It made me feel so much better and I am having a second serving as I type this entry. I heart jook!
  • 1 cup rice
  • 13 cups water
  • salted pork bones
  • dried scallops (soaked and re-hydrated) a handful
  • salt to taste
  • 3 preserved duck eggs (available at most Asian markets)
Bring to boil in large pot, rice, water, bones and re-hydrated scallops. Simmer on low until desired consistency (you have to watch the pot; stir often so the rice doesn't settle on the bottom). Add sliced preserved duck eggs right before serving. Serve with chopped scallions and thin slivers of fresh ginger.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bitter Melon ( Gourd ) Carrot Pork Soup

Flu Season is here ...eck! What do we have in the tool bag to fight this nasty ailment ?
Visit the Doc for the Flu Shot , excercise , daily vitamins , Purell, ignore it button , Mothers, don't touch anything or anyone..( I personally need to work on this list )I do know a delicious and very beneficial way!
Mama's Bitter Melon Soup!
This is another soup with healing powers, packed with vitamins and rich in nutrients.
The star of this soup is the Bitter Melon. To learn more click here*


2 Bitter Melon - Clean , cut in half , scoop out the cotton like seeds and cut into 1-2" bite size
( to ease the bitterness rub salt on the melon and let it sit for 15 mins, it really works)
Pork Ribs - 1/2 lbs
1 lg Carrot - chop in chunks
Goji berries - hand full
Red dates - hand full
Ginger - 1 knob
Garlic - 1 clove
White pepper
Fish sauce
Oyster Sauce

Start a pot of water, bring to boil and add all ingredients.
( parboil the pork to remove impurities before adding to the pot)

Bring to a boil then let it simmer for 1 hour. I added a dash of fish sauce ,white pepper and oyster sauce.

How good does this look!
Had this with rice and oyster sauce on the side for dipping.
Bowl of goodness with the unusual bitter flavor ( almost like black tea bitterness) it can be strong but the fish sauce mellowed it out. Hints of sweet & tangy flavors from the carrots and herbs and of course there's the ribs..mmmmmmmm

** Soup is tastier the next day**

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chinese Steamed Minced Pork with Dry Salted Fish

Here is another family favorite an authentic Tai Shan's dish -steamed minced pork with salted dried fish..Some like to use other surprise bits like dried squid, scallop, mushroom, salted duck egg, water chestnut, there's more can't think of now ( fill me in on what I missed).
I was given a bag of goodies on the day I visited mama Ng..thanks mom!
In the bag, she has given me a salted yellow croaker, what to do it! straight to the butcher and got what i needed.

salted fish
ground pork
corn starch
fresh ginger - thick slivers
dried shitake mushroom - chopped
white pepper
sesame oil
soy sauce

Wash the and slice the fish. Lined the bottom of the plate with ginger place the fish and cover with rest of ginger. Drizzle oil and steam until done. something smells fishy.....
While the fish is done remove from steamer and let it cool. Mix together the pork, mushroom, scallion (white part ),cornstarch , sesame oil, white pepper, let it sit until fish is cool.
When fish is cool to touch remove all bones and add in to the mix along with the ginger and oil the fish was steamed in.
Steam until done.

Drizzled light soy on top and serve with rice and steamed chinese broccoli.
This can be fried aswell but I prefer this way with the juice mixed wth the rice ......
mmmmm you know what I'm talking about..remember the tapping sounds of the chopsticks cleaning the last bite of tummy is growling as I'm writing this.. :)
 I believe this is traditionally made with Mui hurn - a salted dried fish with finer taste and texture.
Tastewise .....yup good old fashion Mui Hurn wins!

We can never get bored of this old time favorite.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Top Chef thoughts

I've delayed my thoughts perhaps because of lack of inspiration? The whole episode was just lukewarm for me. The quickfire was okay and predictable. The elimination challenge was a total let down particularly the quality of the dishes put out. How many of us knew that Natalie Portman was going to say that she was a vegetarian? I guess the poor chefs didn't see that coming since they were not privy to a preview of the coming episode. It was clever to set them up in a steakhouse just to give them a vegetarian challenge. So going back to the caliber of the food....everything was so BORING! The dishes were so incomplete. Where were the grains? beans? pasta??? I mean come on! Remember the beautiful vegan (far more challenging conditions) dishes that came out on Top Chef Masters? I have to say that I think Mike V. should have won. The only reason Kevin won was because after having so many wimpy little dishes, his was the most substantial and satisfying, obviously a big deal from the comments at judge's table. Once again we were thrown at judge's table. You all know I'm a Jen C. fan but she really deserved to go home again. What happened to her?? She needs to bring back the side ponytail and some sass! Poor Mike I. I was beginning to like him. Certainly Robin deserved to go home before Mike. Don't you think?? 85% of viewers want to see her gone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sunday Lunch - Shanghai Nice Green Bo

Nice Green Bo Restaurant, Have any of you tried this place yet? I mentioned on one of my earlier post that Goodies Restaurant was one of my favorite for soup dumplings but sadly they relocated out of Chinatown. Here I discovered my new Goodies right on Bayard St between Mott and Elizabeth Street.
As you walk in you will be introduced to the lovely smell of the soup dumplings steaming on the right.

Look at this perfect little dumpling !
We also ordered the Drunken Chicken, chilled marinated chicken with wine. Geoff thought it might be sherry instead of wine since the taste reminded him of Christmas. Funny enough it did kind of feel like the holidays with all the Chinese musical toys playing right outside of the restaurant.
Ding dinnng ding dong dinnng ding dong.....

-Chilled Marinated Goose web with chili sesame oil /vinegar tossed with celery, nice and refreshing!

Final dish arrives , Shrimp fried rice - it was ok the rice was fried well but the shrimp was disappointing.

Waitress asked if we like the rice "white or soy". We chose soy but I should've chosen white which probably is lighter without the soy ( you can always add the soy yourself) . Nice to have options.
I wonder how the NYC Dumpling Festival went?

Nice Green Bo Shanghai Restaurant - Click for the full MENU *

* just found a recipe for the drunken chicken!!! very similair to the Hoi Nam recipe
slow poached then steam with seasoning until done then shock with ice and marinate with wine for 24 hrs in the fridge. I might try it with a smaller bird - Cornish hen...
I knew she would have it ...wonderful blog :

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oyster Sauce

This is my homage to oyster sauce, the Chinese condiment that makes everything better! You all know about my ongoing struggle getting Molly to eat her veggies. Well, last night I made cauliflower sauteed with garlic and oyster sauce and guess what? She gobbled it right up! It is a miracle! You know if I had given it to her any other way, she probably would have refused it. Then all day today I thought about oyster sauce and how it is just perfect. I recently read an entry on Mark Bitterman's blog about veggies served with just oyster sauce drizzled over. The foodies are catching on! Here are my favorite ways to use oyster sauce:

  • drizzled over green peas and eggs on rice
  • drizzled over Chinese greens
  • in any stir fry
  • for dipping meat & veggies in Chinese soups (along with rice, heaven!!)
  • for dipping pan fried turnip cake
  • for everything
How about mini bottles of it to go? What about packets?? The brand in the picture is my favorite. Whatever brand you pick, make sure it actually contains real oyster essence so that you get that savory briny goodness!

I swear I can cook...

even though all my postings have been about dining out.
I was professionally trained to be a chef a few years ago. I thought I was going to be a culinary goddess until I started my first internship. I saw a stock pot that was the size of me and thought.. " this isn't going to work". I wasn't built for hard labor. Basically, I chickened out. So now I just cook for fun.

I've been feeling a little insecure about my culinary skill so I decided to cook one night. This is what I made....
Oven Roasted Orata with Shallots, Olives and Tomatoes

1.5 lbs Orata
4 plum tomatoes sliced
1 lemon * cut half for juice and the rest sliced to bake with fish
4 gloves of garlic thinly sliced
1/4 black olives rough chopped
1/4 cup each of rosemary, thyme and marjoram
3/4 cup of chopped shallots
4 tbsp of olive oil

Use everything fresh!

Preheat oven at 350. Season fish with salt, pepper and lemon juice. In a pan, sweat garlic and shallots about 3 minutes, add in the rest of the ingredients and sauteed about 4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Add sauce to fish, on top and inside. Cover and bake for 35 mins. Drizzle with olive oil.
Isn't that pretty??? I served it with mashed lemon potatoes and sauteed swiss chard. I think I'm going to keep cooking.
Try it!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chinese Herbal Pork and Mushroom Soup

How about a delicious homemade soup with super powers! used to make a big pot of soup almost every week and they are all delicious even the herbal ones.
It is the weekend, feeling overworked lately and decided to make a healthy soup. Here I made a nice hearty herbal soup. I used 2 nice chunky pork bones ( first time using these,  they are the blade bone near the neck )which gave the broth a nice deep flavor.

dried shitake mushroom, potatoes, fox nuts ,wolfberries, red dates , yellow soybeans
soak all until soft except the wolfberries ( soak when soup is almost done or they will get mushy)
oh yes and garlic
look at this pretty mushroom after soaking

Here are the pork bones,
a bit scary looking but very tasty.
Parboil for a few minutes to get
rid of the impurities then rinse.
Then add bones into the pot of water with soaked
ingredients and potatoes.
Bring to a boil then lower flame and let it
simmer for 45 minutes. Then remove and take
all the meat off from the bone and add back
to the pot along with the soaked
wolfberries, simmer for another 10 minutes.

Aren't you proud of me! This smells and taste so gooooood. I will try my best to explain the wonderful flavors: a hint of earthiness from the mushroom, pork so tender & sweet, tang from the wolf berries and red dates, and the fox nuts with the yellow soybeans gave this soup a velvety finish. You can add soy or salt. Have it with rice if you like.. I just love soup and rice together ! Have a bowl of nourishing yummy tong !

You can learn more about chinese herbs from one of my favorite Soup Blogs:
Great photos and descriptions!