Recipe Index (by Ingredients)

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Recipes that include sugar

Vegetarian Yellow Sparrow

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Soo Hwang Chue sounds a little better in Chinese than it does translated into Vegetarian Yellow Sparrow, and like the Lion’s Head Casserole, these don’t really look like birds. Naming issues aside, it’s a fabulous dish. It takes a little prep work and a bit of finesse, so it’s one of those dishes that you want to make for your special vegetarian friend to show them that you went the extra bit for them. It’s full of so many nutritious ingredients like shitake mushrooms, black fungus, and lily buds, all considered to have medicinal properties to enrich good health. The edamame, dry bean curd, and  bean curd sheets round-out this dish with an abundant source of protein. In my opinion, this is the perfect vegetarian dish.

Vegetarian Yellow Sparrow

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Chinese Chicken Roll

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Some Chinese dishes are so well known that there’s already an accepted English name for them. It certainly minimizes confusion when all the restaurants use the same name on their menu. We have no doubt what Hot & Sour Soup is. We recognize the word wontons and Ma Po Tofu signals heat to us.  For every widely known Chinese dish, there’s at least 5 that have not met with such fame and fortune. I don’t read much Chinese so even I get confused when reading the English translations on menus.

It always causes me to think about naming when I write these recipe posts. Sometimes, like this time, I really didn’t know what to call this dish. In Chinese, it’s called Jee Jwen, which translates to Chicken Roll.

Chinese Chicken Roll 6

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Lion’s Head Casserole

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lion’s Head Casserole is a simple dish of pork meatballs and napa cabbage. The meatballs supposedly look like lion’s heads, which is a stretch, I know, but that is the name. Last week, I wasn’t feeling that great and got in that I want my mommy mood. (Yes, I’m 30.) I whined and asked my mom to make me a pot of this umami-powered dish that feels so nurturing. It feels mommy-made. I took pictures and notes, not remembering that I already posted this dish over a year ago.

I decided that it was worth re-posting for the new pics and some added thoughts. It’s interesting to compare the notes since my mom does not ever use recipes. It’s amazingly similar in making the meat mixture, but you’ll notice that you can vary the size of the meatballs if you want.

Lion's Head Casserole 2

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Lu Ro Fan (Chopped Pork Belly Rice)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We’ve been on a Taiwanese kick lately. I think it all started when my mom told me that the food court in Flushing Mall had closed. Taiwanese restaurants are already hard to find and now some of the last little booths standing are forever gone. Where will we get our Stinky Tofu (my family loves but I don’t), Oyster Pancakes, Pork Chop Rice, and Taiwanese Ice? When we were kids, we used to go to Lai Food but it changed to 66 Lu’s (Chinese name stayed the same) and it never tasted the same. There was a place in Elmhurst called David’s Taiwanese that also changed it’s name to something like Taiwanese Specialties Corp. It’s still decent but again, not the same.

We were at that restaurant, formerly David’s Taiwanese, and had the Lu Ro Fan. It was so sub par that the next week, my mom insisted on making me a good one. Of course, I did not protest. The secret is having the right mix of lean and fatty pork meat in little chunks, dancing together in a rich sauce that spills over onto the rice. The Pickled Mustard Green Relish is essential for the acid that balances the fatty juices. It is an ultra comforting home-style dish.

Lu Ro Fan

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Taiwanese Cucumber Salad

Friday, July 16, 2010

This is turning out to be a record hot summer, when even mornings and evenings may not bring about a cool breeze. My long morning walks with Ice have been cut really short, and I dread riding the subway in fear of the 5 minutes on the platform. It started out as a great excuse for extra ice cream, but then I turned to lemonade, watermelon, grass jelly, anything for relief.

I called my mom, complaining about the heat, and leave it to mom for some more great ideas. She says, come over, I’ll make you my cucumber salad. We’ll have it with some cold noodles with peanut sauce, and we’ll go buy Do Fu Hwa for you to take home. Then it occurred to me. I never shared my mom’s Taiwanese Cucumber Salad, a summer staple at our house. How could I have let this go un-published for so long?

Taiwanese cucumber salad title

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West Lake Beef Soup

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lon’s grandma Rose loves Chinese food. Her favorite course is soup and her most favorite Chinese soup is Egg Drop Soup. Her doctors want her to lay off the sodium so Lon’s family hasn’t been taking her to the Chinese restaurants she used to frequent; and of course, that made her sad — I think we can all relate to being told not to eat something. So this week, when I went to cook with my mom, I asked to learn one of my favorite soups: Shi Hu Neo Ro Gung. This translates to West Lake Beef Soup.

I thought Grandma Rose would like to try this authentic Chinese soup (rarely known by the non-Chinese) because it has a white egg drop in it, as well as little bits of beef, so she can get a little more nutrition. We made it low sodium for her and packed individual containers that could be heated easily in the microwave.

East Lake Beef Soup in stacked bowls 2

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Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sweet & Sour dishes are commonly known Chinese dishes. They’re probably even in the top 5 most popular. Yet, what I’ve seen at “fake” Chinese take-outs rarely resembles what I know of as Sweet & Sour. They’re often neon orange ( I don’t even know where that color comes from), taste like pure fried batter without meat, sweeter than a lollipop, or all three atrocities.

I’m not claiming that the real thing is healthy. It’s not. These spare ribs are deep-fried. There is still a lot of sugar, though I have to believe less than whatever “they” put. Plus, I know I’m still using meat. It is delicious, in addictive little chunks that work well as finger food at parties. Of course, Sweet & Sour Ribs goes over well with the kids too.

Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs 2

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Red Bean Zong Zi (with Video)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Duan Wu Jie is a Chinese holiday and this year it will be on June 16th. Traditionally, this is the time of year you make Zong Zi for your family and friends. (See our Pork Zong Zi from last year.) I’ll admit that it’s a lot of work and this is probably the most difficult recipes on FoodMayhem, but that’s why you should make a batch and share. The hardest part is really the assembly so this time, we have video!

Before you get dicouraged, just know that it took me years to make acceptable looking ones, but all the mis-shapen practice ones will taste just as good. After years of wrapping, my mom still gives me tips as we stand and wrap. Hers still look better and anyone could pick ours apart. It’s a tradition that I cherish, one that I hope to pass to my kids. One day, mine will be the perfect looking ones. The fragrance of the bamboo leaves will permeate my kitchen and I’ll get to watch my kids smile, mouths stuffed with sticky rice. One day…

Tradition

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Green Bean Soup (for the Slow Cooker)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finally! We moved, but it’s not all smooth sailing yet. We’re living out of boxes and we don’t have a kitchen yet. While our perfect kitchen is being built (which we will be talking about soon), I’m going to have to get crafty. I do have many plug-in appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, panini press, waffle maker, microwave, etc.) so we’re still going to have a ball here. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised with how much I (or you) can do without a kitchen. (Gulp) Determined to eat well every single day without exceptions, here goes…

Chinese people believe that some foods are “cool” (or Yin) by nature, like cucumbers, crab, and mung beans. Others are “hot” (or Yang), like pineapple, alcohol, and spicy food.  Eating too much of one type may throw off your chi. There are many other factors as well, and Eastern medicine doctors also tend to believe that a person may naturally lean one way or the other, needing to compensate with foods.   When your chi is too hot, you may get nose bleeds, and I was that kid that was always getting nose bleeds. On several occasions, I had to sit at the nurse’s or in the principal’s office with a wad of tissue stuck up my nose.

cool beans 2

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Eel with Yellow Chives

Saturday, May 29, 2010

When I went to mom’s to learn Tee Pong (Red Cooked Picnic Shoulder), there was a theme that day. I was learning my grandfather’s favorite dishes, and after that fatty pig centerpiece, his next favorite was Eel with Yellow Chives. And just to let you know, he always finished every meal with oranges.

My grandpa insisted on eating these favorite dishes so much that my mom had to make it constantly, and we ordered it at restaurants too. Now, long after my grandfather passed away (in 1996), I realized that my mom hasn’t made Eel with Yellow Chives in years. I asked my mom why and she said it’s kind of a pain to make. Fresh eel requires a lot of cleaning. She also told me that sometimes she would be lazy and by frozen packs of prepped eel strips, ready-to-use, but in the last few years, she hasn’t seen it at the market. The yellow chives require some cleaning too.

Eel with Yellow Chives 2

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