Recipe Index (by Ingredients)

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Recipes that include vegetable oil

Chinese Breadstick Twists (Dza Ma Hwa)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Do you ever feel so conflicted, like how could something feel so right yet be so wrong? Or was it, be so wrong but feel so right? Uhm…let me start over. You know the rule of eating fried food right? You eat it as soon as it comes out of the fryer, as soon as you can take the heat. Thin and crispy French Fries are one of my favorite things on Earth! Yet, ten minute old fries, I don’t want it, not even in a doggie bag. Hot Tonkatsu – hip! Cold Tonkatsu – poor college student food. Fresh, hot, crispy bottomed Potstickers = dangerous stuff your face food. Cold Potstickers = hang-over breakfast. You got the point. Well, Dza Ma Hwa (let’s call them Chinese Breadstick Twists) are deep-fried, but don’t even think of eating them while they’re hot. They’re no good. You have to wait till they cool completely, for hours! Doesn’t that make your brain twist and turn?

Chinese Breadsticks in paper cone 2

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Basic Mei Fun

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Since I don’t have a kitchen, I’ve been spending lots of time in my mom’s kitchen, which explains all the Chinese recipes up recently. Every time we get together to write down one of her recipes, we discuss which one we’ll do next time. As we brainstormed, my mom started thinking we shouldn’t do certain recipes because she felt like my non-Chinese audience might not like it. Things like tripe, pig feet, duck feet, pig ears, or innards might be unappetizing to some. Dishes with fermented flavors or unfamiliar textures might be hard to handle. I thought about it and decided that I want to share as much as I can, and you can decide which recipes you want to make, right?

plate of basic mei fun

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Vegetarian Za Jiang Mein

Friday, March 12, 2010

Since I posted my mom’s recipe for Za Jiang Mein (a Chinese staple I could not live without), I’ve promised to post my mom’s vegetarian version. I know it took forever (four months), but all good things come to those that wait, right? Well, this is a good thing, a very good thing. Plus, you will not get this anywhere else. Though every Chinese family has a recipe for Za Jiang Mein (always made with pork), this Vegetarian Za Jiang Mein is my mom’s own recipe that she developed herself. I guess the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.  She’s often creating new dishes or figuring out a restaurant dish. She doesn’t write her own blog though, so this is the only place you’ll get a Kelly Lee recipe.

Vegetarian Za Jiang Mein

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Parsnip Gnocchi with Braised Oxtail

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I’m quite fond of fatty meats and root vegetables together. It’s possible that both being winter foods, it becomes a familiar combination. But I’m convinced that it’s more than that. Parsnips, carrots, yams, sweet potato, and more are storage organs for the plant and typically contain more sugars and starches than other vegetables. It just works exceptionally well with fatty meats, standing up to it with more flavor and texture.

I’ve been thinking about parsnips and oxtail for a while, flipping from some kind of ravioli, to a mash, to a terrine, and finally deciding on a Parsnip Gnocchi with a Braised Oxtail Sauce.

Parsnip Gnocchi with Oxtail and flower background

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Abalone and Oyster Amuse

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I hope no one is deterred by the word amuse, short for amuse bouche. It literally translates to mouth amuser, basically a one-bite hors d’oeuvres that is a gift from the chef. It can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be, and you can really make just about anything into an amuse, even left-over meatloaf cut into 1″ cubes. It just has to be served in a one bite portion. Start off your next dinner party with an amuse and everyone will think you’re so fancy, when all it was, was a slice of prosciutto wrapped around a chunk of melon on a toothpick.

set of three Abalone and Oyster Amuse 7

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Make Chicken Soup, Not War

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I’ve been working on this post since the beginning of winter, when I first started thinking about chicken soups. The variety of chicken soups across so many cultures is just so interesting to me. They are all different, yet share that common bond, the ability to comfort anyone, and make each of us think of home.

Chicken Orzo Soup

There isn’t anything scientific in the post. I did not set out to prove or disprove anything, or even test any theories. This is not about one being better than the others. I just wanted to try several different recipes and methods, just to take notice and appreciate what each had to offer, and each one did have something special to offer. I will make all of these again, and I hope this post is useful for you each and every winter.

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Fancy Crab Fried Rice

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

There are so many versions of fried rice. I’m not even going to try and guess how many there are. Yet, what makes it a fried rice? My mom once told me that the very basic Chinese version is just scallion, egg, and rice. That’s all you need for fried rice and any other additions are your choice.

Fancy Crab Fried Rice 4

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Hot & Sour Soup

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I consider Hot & Sour Soup a stuffy nose remedy. Like wasabi, it instantly opens the flood gates, and for a heavenly 10 minutes after drinking this soup, you can breathe, through both nostrils if you’re lucky.

Hot & Sour Soup 5

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Lamb Sauce

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When you’re introduced to new people, do you start chattering immediately, or does it take you time to warm-up and get comfortable? It always surprises me when Lon starts talking to random people outside, a guy waiting on line in front of us, the check-out clerk at Bed Bath & Beyond, or the couple standing in front of the restaurant we just walked out of. Though my friends and family can’t shut me up, I’m cautious around strangers. I just need to melt the ice a little.

Lamb Sauce on Egg Fetuccine 2

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Luo Bo Gao (Daikon Radish Cakes)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One of my fantasies is to become a master dim sum chef. One day, I will move to Hong Kong and do a traditional 8 year apprenticeship, learning every type of dough, every way to fold a dumpling, and become of master of teas as well. One day…right after I become a master sushi chef.

Luo Bo Gau (Daikon Radish Cakes)

When I saw Luo Bo Gao (Daikon Radish Cakes), a dim sum classic, on Asian Dumpling Tips ( a wonderful site by cookbook author Andrea Nguyen), I was happily surprised by how easy the recipe looked. It seemed like the perfect starter dish to learning dim sum.

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