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Recipes that include ginger

Red Cooked Fish

Monday, November 24, 2014

At the risk of making this sound like a joke, Chinese people will “red cook” anything.  The thing is I’m serious. Whether it’s pork, beef, squid, tofu, or eggs, we can red cook it. On a basic level, that means cooking in a mix of soy sauce and a sweetener (sugar, rock candy, or honey). The recipes vary a little depending on what you are cooking. Sometimes you add ginger, garlic, scallions, orange peel, cilantro, chilies, or a combination of those things. While the ingredient list is so similar, many of these Red Cooked dishes come out tasting very different. (Try Red Cooked Pork Belly and Cuttlefish or Red Cooked Tee Pong.)  Right now, let’s talk Red Cooked Fish. It is a classic you’ll find in the home of most Chinese families. It’s also commonly sold at “real” Chinese restaurants. It’s a must know recipe!

Red Cooked Fish on grey

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Chinese Pork Stock (Stove and Slow Cooker Methods)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hello! I’m back from my self-granted maternity leave and I’ve missed you! Hopefully we’ve been keeping in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As I ease my way back into food life again, I thought that this Chinese Pork Bone Stock would be the most suitable post. After all, I have drank a lot of this in the last few months because the Chinese believe that it helps build your breast milk supply.

Chinese Pork Stock is so easy that I debated if it warranted it’s own blog post for a long time. It’s such a no-brainer and the exact measurements are not even that important. I’ve given some here for those that like to measure and feel secure yet you should know that I eyeball this one every time I make it, which is all the time. It’s more of a pantry item that I always need to have around. As easy as it is to forget about this as a “recipe”, it’s a crucial and important one to know because it’s the base to many many other soups and dishes. While this is technically a stock, the Chinese translation is just “bone soup” and it can be drank as is (with a little salt and pepper). I had mugfuls for the first few weeks after Remi was born. And, when you make stock, you get soup bones…I love picking through for bits of meat and dipping it in a mix of soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. Yum!

soup bones title pic

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Red-Cooked Pork Belly and Baby Cuttlefish

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Very early readers may remember that I was a professional figure skater in my early life. (Lon too! I swear. Isn’t that crazy?) In my early 20s, I joined a hip-hop and breaking crew. My 30s seem to be shaping into my partner dancing era. I am in love with Argentine Tango and I also enjoy some salsa, bachata, cha and cha, and hustle. Just last night, I went to a workshop for BachaTango and it was wild! You dance on the count for Bachata with Tango moves thrown in. In the beginning, it was a little bit of a mind game for me not to switch to one or the other but once I got the hang of it, it was super fun. It seems to be growing in popularity in Europe and I hope I see more of it here.

BachaTango reminded me of this lovely Red-Cooked Pork Belly and Baby Cuttlefish dish because it fuses two elements, a surf & turf of Chinese sorts. Red-Cooking is a classic Chinese cooking method. In a very basic sense, it’s a sauce base of soy sauce and rock candy. How can that go wrong, right? Nearly anything can be red-cooked if you ask a Chinese person. We’ve done a Red-Cooked Picnic Shoulder in the past, a traditional dish called Tee Pong, and we’ve even done a Red-Braised Pork Belly on FoodMayhem. Don’t be surprised if you see more in the future! Here, we’re Red-Cooking rich little chunks of pork belly with plump baby cuttlefish. Double the textures, double the fun!

Red-Cooked Pork Belly & Cuttlefish 3

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Clams with Black Bean Sauce

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I wish I could convince more people to cook bi-valves and it’s not just because I love them so much. I hear from nearly every novice cook that they are afraid to cook clams and mussels. They just assume it’s going to be difficult. On the contrary, it’s easier than learning how to cook chicken or pork (in my opinion). The key to all proteins is to NOT over-cook them and clams tell you when they’re done. When they open up, they’re done!

Clams in Black Bean Sauce 2

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Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It’s taken a very long time for winter to come this year and I’m not complaining.  However I have been waiting for my noodle soups; they are one of my favorite categories of food. (Have you ever thought about what your favorite food categories are, as opposed to favorite foods?) Credited for getting me through the freezing cold days, I just love wrapping my hands around steamy bowls bigger than my head. I slurp away my chills with Wonton Noodle Soup, Ramen, Pho, any noodle soup, I love them all! It seems crazy that FoodMayhem is nearing it’s fifth anniversary and yet I’ve never posted the noodle soup I grew up on: Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 4

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Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffin

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Perhaps I was subconsciously still thinking of that Pumpkin Cider Cocktail. Consciously, however, it hadn’t occurred to me until completing this pumpkin muffin recipe, tasting the muffins a few times, and even editing the photos, that there are notable similarities, yet important differences. One is a cocktail, perfect for an evening affair. The other, a muffin, perfect to start your morning.

If you like to use seasonal ingredients, pumpkins and apples are going to dominate right now. And you know what?  I don’t mind that at all! These muffins taste like autumn and there’s a comforting feel that comes with that.
Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins 5 (more…)

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Pigs’ Feet and Peanut Soup

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chinese women traditionally stay home for 30 days postpartum. There are all these rules about what you can and cannot do; what you should and should not eat. My mom stayed with us for five weeks and cooked vigorously. I could hear her muttering menu planning all day long. No Chinese leeks, no daikon radish, plenty of fish and plenty of soup. She yelled at me every time I drank cold water and frowned because I wouldn’t drink any medicinal tonics.

I did agree to drink soup daily and the weather suited it in February and March. I gladly slurped and even drank many by the mug fulls one handed while breastfeeding Caya. Pigs’ Feet and Peanut Soup is classically known as a milk supply boosting soup. I have no scientific proof of this, but I do have a healthy milk supply. If anything, this collagen rich soup can’t hurt and it’s a pretty mauve-ish color.

Pigs Feet and Peanut Soup

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Calabaza and Butternut Squash Soup

Monday, January 3, 2011

I’m extremely proud to serve up this soup as the first recipe of 2011. It’s actually a soup that I made for Thanksgiving, when I decided to work with Calabaza pumpkin for the first time. Being unfamiliar with this pumpkin, though it is not so far off from sugar pumpkins, I didn’t expect to get a winning recipe on the first try. I made the soup intending for it to be a work in progress.

When I served the soup, it got such rave reviews, I quickly tried to jot down notes for what I put in. Luckily, the steps are simple and the soup was easily re-created. I made it again in New Year’s Day for some guests, and again, I received such sweet compliments. Lon reiterated: this is a winning recipe. Why haven’t I posted it? I am. I am…

Calabaza and Squash Soup 8

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Daikon Soup

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Once we hit fall, I start cravings soup. The refreshingly crisp air is not yet fierce and chilling so I’m not thinking hearty rich soups like lobster bisque or beef stew. I want the warmth of a hot liquid so I can cup my hands around the bowl, slurp in that soothing throat feel, and rejoice in watching the leaves turn.  I need the soup to remain light since I’m not ready for the bulky layers yet. Fall is the perfect time for clear broths and consommes, and Daikon Soup hits that spot for me.

What’s even better is that when the urge hits, this soup can be prepared relatively quickly in the world of soups. Roughly 40 minutes will do and most of that is not active time, just waiting. It’s also a forgiving soup where exact measurements are not necessary. Just use the recipe as a guide once and you’ll probably never need to look at it again.

Fall Daikon Soup

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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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