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December 2012

Stir Fry Assorted vegetables with Chicken (雜菜炒雞絲)

I think every culture beliefs in the benefit of vegetables and the more varieties the better the benefits are. Westerner prepares their vegetables in the form of salad. The Indonesian has gado gado (assorted vegetables), in which assorted steamed vegetables mixed with peanut sauce. The Chinese has their own way of preparing them and one way is to stir fry the assorted vegetables.

I had a stir-fried vegetables with chicken last week. Any preferred vegies with or without meat will do. For this dish, I used cauliflower, carrots, snow peas and I added chicken for extra flavor.

Preparation:
1. Cut the chicken into thin slices and marinate it with soy sauce and corn starch for few minutes. This would give the chicken flavor as well as retain the moisture during cooking.
2. Then cut the vegetables and mince the garlic.

In pre-heat wok with two table spoons of oil, fry the garlic till slightly brown. Add the chicken and fry it for a minute, then add all the vegetables in. At last add a table-spoon of the oyster sauce, wine (optional) and mix well.

This dish is called “chop Suey” which literally means mixed small bits of everything. There are lots of way preparing it and no right or wrong way of doing it. It just depends on our taste buds. We can use light soya sauce instead or dash of salt. Try it and let me know which is better. 🙂

Bon appetit and Happy Saturday.

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Ma-Po Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

Have you ever heard of Sichuan Ma-Po tofu? This is a popular Chinese dish. It is hot and spicy stir fry tofu and ground meat. I am posting this dish that we had at home last week.  Hopefully, it is to your liking. For those who can’t take spicy food, just use the bean paste without chilly. I might say that It tastes much better if spiced.

We need tofu, ground meat, minced ginger garlic and chopped spring onion. Cut the tofu into small pieces. Fry the minced garlic ginger into the pre-heated oil wok till fragrant. Add the ground meat and fry them briefly. Add spicy bean paste and mix them well.  Then add tofu and stir well before adding stock (optional), one table-spoon soy sauce, wine (optional) and mix them well. Then thicken it with corn/potato starch water. Lastly, add the chopped spring onion and a tea-spoon of sesame oil.

Please do not be alarmed of the red-hot color of the dish. In fact, it is not as spicy as I thought it was.   Happy Saturday!

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Sweet & Sour Cucumber Chicken(酸甜黃瓜炒雞絲)

Do you cook your cucumbers? Does anyone know how to cook cucumbers? Besides making pickles, what else do you think you can do with cucumbers? I remember when I was young, my mom liked to cook sweet and sour chicken with cucumbers in it. It was so tasty and delicious that I always remember the taste of it. She still cooks the dish though, but I rarely go to her place to eat and I miss out most of her home cook food. Last week I tried to cook the sweet and sour chicken cucumbers the way mom did. I am so pleased to say that as it turned out, the dish was not bad at all.

Preparation: All we need is chicken, cucumbers and garlic.

  1. To marinate the chicken: cut strips add soy sauce and corn starch. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Cut cucumbers into half on its length, and half again. Cut away the seeds and cut it slant the same length as the chicken strips.
  3. Minced the garlic.

Sweet and sour sauce:

Mix vinegar, water, sugar and corn starch and a bit of salt (or soy sauce) to your taste.

In a heated oil wok, fry the garlic till slightly brown then add chicken, stir fry it for a few minutes. Add slices of cucumbers to it and continue to stir fry until they are tender. Finally before out of wok, pour in the sauce, stir fry a minute. Bon appetit!

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Stir Fried Bell Pepper mushroom (燈籠椒炒蘑菇)

Many times when I go to the supermarket and am in the middle of the abundancement of fresh produce, I usually would feel so lost. There are so many fruit and vegetables to choose from and yet I do not know which one to buy. It seems like every vegetable on display has been bought and cooked at home. Now all I need is to cook something different from what we usually have. Something simple to prepare and which my family loves it.

The colorful sweet red yellow bell peppers and mushroom looked so good that day, so I decided to have them for dinner. With the food scare nowadays, I preferred to have my vegies cook instead of eating them raw. It gives me peace of mind to know that the meal is safe. Now how does stir fried bell peppers mushrooms sound? They are quick to prepare and a simple stir fry just like any other stir fry vegetables.

We begin with stir frying the minced garlic in pre-heat oil wok/pan until it is slightly brown. Add the sliced peppers and mushrooms, stir fry them for few minutes until they are soft and tender. Season them with a table-spoon of oyster sauce. (I usually do not use any other seasoning besides oyster sauce when cooking vegetables). At last add a mixture of corn starch (a tea-spoon) and water (a table-spoon) on top of it and stir fry for a minute is all we need. This way it will give a nice texture to the vegetables when they are done. For those who preferred to have gravy in their vegetables, just add a bit more of corn starch water in it. Please enjoy and Happy Saturday!

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Lets Have Egg Rolls! (炸春卷)

Cooking for a family can be a bit of frustration sometimes. I do not want to have repeated food on the table for every two weeks, but have no idea what to cook for them. A simple meal which does not take up so much of my time preparing and cooking it would be a great idea. Besides having recipes data bank, I too have to have ideas and creativity.

Lets have something which is light and not too greasy instead. Let’s just have egg rolls then. We have not had the rolls for quite sometimes. I tried to have it the way we like it. Egg rolls filled with vegetables instead of just cabbages inside. As you can see, I used shredded carrots, bean sprout and any ground meat you preferred.

Pre-cooked the filling by stir fried the meat and shredded carrots until it is soft, then add seasoning and at last add the bean sprout. Please do not over cook the sprout. It is fine even they are raw because we will fry the egg rolls later.

Spread egg roll sheet, fill and roll them just like the one in the pictures. If you preferred, you may eat it without frying them, but please steam the sheets for a few minutes before you wrap the filling. I might say the fried rolls taste better than the steam one. Enjoy and Happy Saturday.

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