Ginger fried rice II

Adapted from The Woks of Life

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat your wok over high heat. Add ¼ cup oil to the wok and heat over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and fry until fragrant (the color will darken, but the ginger will not necessarily become crisp). Next, add the garlic. It should be lightly toasted; if it’s still white in color, it needs more cooking time. In total, it will take about 10 minutes time to cook the ginger and garlic.
  2. Next, turn the heat up to high and add the rice to the wok. Stir-fry the rice so the ginger-garlic mixture is evenly distributed. Spread the rice out in one layer so it can evenly toast. Occasionally stir-fry the rice and re-spread it. Next, season the rice with the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and white pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another 3-5 minutes.
  3. Next, pour the eggs evenly over the rice, and stir-fry quickly to distribute. The egg will coat the grains of rice, and you’ll have egg throughout instead of large clumps. If you’d prefer to pre-scramble the eggs and then stir them in at this step, you can do that too.
  4. I added some frozen vegetables (green peas to be exact) and pieces of soy sauce-stewed chicken my grandmother made.
  5. Add the scallions, stir-fry to combine, and serve!

I didn’t have shrimps. I ran out of scallions. I have been trying to be healthy cooking at home instead of always eating frozen dinners or Starbucks. It is hard though!

~Jessie

Stir-fried tomato and scrambled eggs

Adapted from The Woke of Life

Ingredients:

  • 4 small to medium tomatoes (about 500 g, 1 pound)
  • 1 scallion
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp salt (divided, or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil (divided)
  • 2 tsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Start by cutting tomatoes into small wedges and finely chop the scallion.
  2. Crack 4 eggs into a bowl and season with ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon white pepper, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine. Beat eggs for a minute.
  3. Preheat the wok over medium heat until it just starts to smoke. Then add 2 tablespoons of oil and immediately add the eggs. Scramble the eggs and remove from the wok immediately. Set aside.
  4. Add 1 more tablespoon oil to the wok, turn up the heat to high, and add the tomatoes and scallions. Stir-fry for 1 minute, and then add 2 teaspoons sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup water (if your stove gets very hot and liquid tends to cook off very quickly in your wok, add a little more water). Add the cooked eggs.
  5. Mix everything together, cover the wok, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the tomatoes are completely softened.
  6. Uncover, and continue to stir-fry over high heat until the sauce thickens to your liking. Serve!

My mother never made this often, possibly because it’s more Cantonese than Taiwanese, I couldn’t say, but a lot of my college friends were Cantonese, so when I saw some nice tomatoes on the vine on sale at C-town, I thought, what the heck. I ran out of scallions for this second batch, but they do add a lovely color.

I served it with some soy sauce stewed chicken my grandma made me, and some edamame I picked up in Flushing over Jasmine/wild rice.

~Jessica

Bao-zi

A recipe from Steamy Kitchen but this recipe comes from Magic Ingredients YouTube

“Baozi (Chinese: 包子), or bao, is a type of filled bun or bread-like (i.e. made with yeast) dumpling in various Chinese cuisines.” ~Wikipedia

Ingredients:

  • all-purpose flour 400g little bit more than 2.5 cups
  • 160 °F – warm water 250g ( 1 cup)
  • water 250g 1 cup
  • Sichuan peppercorns 1g 1/2 teaspoon
  • star anise 1g
  • big green onions 200g – 3 of them
  • salt 6g = 3/4 teaspoon
  • ground pork 500g
  • Sichuan peppercorn powder 1g = 1/2 teaspoon
  • white pepper powder less than 1g = 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 egg white

Directions:

  1. Dough – Mix all purpose flour and warm water, knead for 3 minutes then cover let it rest for 20 minutes, then knead it again so it looks smooth … let it rest for an hour.
  2. Filling – I boil a small pot of water on the stove then put the first 3 ingredients in the pot, cook for 15 minutes, after it cools off then pour in a big bowl with pork in it, add salt, pepper, egg, stir in a circular direction one way only …. after 5 minutes then add chopped green onions …. difficult task for me because it’s my first time to make this, I watched Youtube so I learned how to shape them like a pro, mine doesn’t look professional but not too ugly I think.

Recipe was for soup dumplings (xiao long bao), but I did not want to make soup (as it takes more work and time). I used ground pork. The hard part was that this was my first time making this recipe. They are not pretty like what is sold in stores, but once I practice a few more times, then they will be better probably. I only used half of her recipe, because it was my first time and I did not want to waste flour if I messed up. I used a non-bleached flour, therefore it was not as white as what is sold in stores. I need to learn more about kneading dough, because she made it look so easy, I think she has a lot of experience…
~Kai-ling

You-tiao

A recipe from The Woks of Life or the YouTube from Magic Ingredients

“You-tiao, also known as Chinese fried churros, Chinese cruller, Chinese oil stick, Chinese doughnut, and fried breadstick” ~Wikipedia

Ingredients:

  • all purpose flour 2 1/4 cup / 350g
  • cold milk 1 cup / 250g
  • baking powder 1 tablespoon / 10g
  • baking soda 1/2 teaspoon / 3g
  • salt 1 teaspoon / 6g
  • oil 1 tablespoon / 12g

Chinese fried sticks did not come out as big as chefs made it; I need to practice more on kneading! A deep-fried strip of dough eaten in East Asia, my children grew up having it as 燒餅油條. You-tiao are normally eaten at breakfast, but as my children never grew to like soy milk, they would just have it with the sesame seed wrapper (shao-bing).
~Kai-ling

How to pan-fry frozen dumplings

IMG_20180327_194010.jpg

With frozen dumplings, either prepared or homemade, you can boil the dumplings by 1) adding the dumplings to the pot, waiting for the water to re-simmer, adding a cup of water, wait to re-simmer, repeat again with another cup of water, then serve immediately as they float to the surface.

But the tastier version is to fry-steam them. Following Amber’s methods, pour some vegetable oil in a non-stick pan, coating the bottom thinly. Add your dumplings (I usually eat seven at a time) and allow them to fry over medium heat until golden brown on the bottom. Get your lid ready. Add a couple spoonfuls of water per dumplings, or enough to cover the bottom of the pan, and cover immediately, as splattering will commence. Steam them until most of the water is gone, which you will be able to hear. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Shou-wen’s Dipping Sauce
For the dipping sauce, I chop some garlic, boil some peanut oil until sizzling, then add the garlic to the oil. Pour the sizzling garlic oil on some dry chilli powder. Serve.

My dipping sauce
Slice thin some ginger, add some sesame oil, sliced scallions, and enough soy sauce.

~Jessica

Kombucha tea

Best summed up by The Kitchn

Ingredients to brew Kombucha:
4 cups of filtered water, then 8 cups of cool filtered water
6 bags of black tea (6 grams of loose tea)
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of “starter tea” from last kombucha brew (if you have it)
1 active Kombucha SCOBY

Equipment:
Stock pot to sterilize bottles
1 gallon glass jar
organic cotton cloth / bag
six swing-top bottles w/ caps – 16.9oz, Amber Glass
glass measuring cup

Directions:

  1. Boil four cups of water.
  2. Add the cup of sugar and dissolve it in a glass receptacle.
  3. Steep the tea bags in the sugar water for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Measure out the eight cups of cool water into your gallon glass jar (emptied and cleaned and rinsed).
  5. Add the four cups of tea to the gallon jar.
  6. If you have two cups of “starter tea” from the last kombucha brew, add it to the gallon jar.
  7. Once the gallon jar is room temperature-cool, slip your scoby into the gallon jar.
  8. Cover the jar with an organic cotton cloth, secure with twine / rubber bands, and set aside in a warm place out of direct sunlight. Ferment for 7 to 10 days.
  9. After seven days, taste the kombucha daily until the sweet-tart flavor is balanced to your preference.

Ingredients to bottle brewed Kombucha:
orange, ginger, lemon, lime, berries, mint, etc.

Directions for second fermentation/bottling:

  1. Prepare fresh tea (as directed above) for your next batch.
  2. Take out the scoby with cleaned hands (rinsed well). Remove the bottom (momma) scoby layer to give away to a friend or toss or save for back-up. Set aside the top (baby) scoby carefully for your next batch in a glass receptacle.
  3. Set aside two cups of this kombucha homebrew as “starter tea” for your next batch.
  4. Pour the fermented kombucha into your sterilized (5 minutes boiled) bottles.
  5. Add sliced flavorings (see above) to bottles — experiment! Leave 1.5 cm. head space in the bottle before capping.
  6. Prep your next batch: clean the gallon jar after emptied. Combine the 4 cups tea, 8 cups cool water, 1 cup sugar, and 2 cups of “starter tea” in the gallon jar. Slip (newest) scoby carefully into jar.
  7. Store these bottles at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 2-4 days, and pop the cap open each day to release excess carbonation.
  8. Refrigerate to stop fermentation. Drink within a month.
  9. Repeat

I picked up a scoby from a kombucha-brewing friend (Amber) and used regular Lipton tea bags and white sugar (my grandma saves them from her senior community center in Queens). Avoid any teas that contain oils, like earl grey or flavored teas. Avoid touching metal, especially aluminum. Peel off the bottom (oldest) layer every few batches. Can’t wait to try a berries and mint combination, as recommended by a friend!

~Jessica

White-cut chicken with ginger-scallion oil

IMG_20180106_205206.jpg

(bái qie ji) Adapted from KQED Food and The Woks of Life

Ingredients:

  • One 3-4 lb. free-range chicken, at room temperature
  • 2 whole scallions, cut into large pieces
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt, plus more to season the chicken
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons finely minced scallion (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt
  • soy sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Clean the chicken inside and out, removing any innards, rinsing with cold water. Optional: Rub salt liberally inside and out and sit for 1 hour. I didn’t.
  2. Fill a large pot with water full enough to cover at least ¾ of the chicken. Bring the water to a boil, and add the smashed ginger, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of salt. Place the chicken in breast side up, cover, and bring to a boil. Switch it to low heat and let simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Flip the chicken, cover it and cook on low heat for some more time. Test if the chicken is done, insert a chopstick near the thigh. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done. To lift the bird out of the pot, slip 2 chopsticks beneath the wings and lift up. Let cold water run over the chicken for a minute or so “to cool the skin off quickly to give the chicken skin a “crunchy” texture.”
  4. Pat the bird dry and rub with the sesame oil. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes before cutting — I started cooking late, so I just let it cool as long as it took to make the dipping sauce and boil some potatoes (my carbs for the meal, because I didn’t have a rice cooker).
  5. Prepare the dipping sauce by heating the vegetable oil just until it starts to smoke. Pour it over the scallion, ginger, and salt, and mix together. Serve with the chicken immediately.

My friend Peggy highly recommends this recipe for times of sickness — I saved the broth afterwards, and it made a pretty tasty soup! I boiled some rainbow potatoes from Trader Joe’s for 10 minutes in the broth, to make the meal a bit heartier. Stay warm!

~Jessica

Stir-fried snow pea leaves

IMG_2691.JPGAdapted from The Woks of Life and Viet World Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 lb snow pea leaves
3 tablespoons duck fat or canola or peanut oil
3-5 cloves of finely chopped fresh garlic (depending on how much you like)
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
a bit of chicken stock, or warm water if you have not
1 teaspoon cornstarch
oyster sauce

Directions:
Oil the wok, season it with some salt. Add garlic and ginger to the wok on medium-high. Stir fry the greens rapidly, not allowing any to burn, but just to wilt. Flavor with a few splashes of stock if you have on hand. Mix the pepper, sesame oil, more stock, and cornstarch until you have a nice slurry. Pour this into the wok, coat the leaves, then cover for a couple of minutes, to evaporate and thicken the sauce. Plate the greens and top with oyster sauce. Serve hot.

~Jessica

P.S. Same vegetable as my Garlic pea shoots post.

Chinese scallion pancakes, part II

IMG_2701.JPGAdapted from Sichuan Food, repeat of part I

Ingredients:
300g all-purpose flour
150g hot water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 bunch of scallions thinly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
sesame oil

Directions:
Melt the salt in the hot water. Make the dough with this water, set it aside for around 10-25 minutes. Roll out the dough into a large round cylinder. Brush some sesame oil on the surface of the circle. Sprinkle the chopped scallions evenly on the surface. Roll the dough round into a cylinder. Make sure that the chopped scallions are inside the cylinder! Wrap the cylinder around into the shape of a snail shell. Roll out and flatten the snail into another big circle. Brush some cooking oil on a pan and then fry the pancakes until each side is lightly browned.

Amber had brought back three bunches of green scallions from Flushing, on her weekly visit to her parents’. So time to use that up! Delicious fresh dough.

~Jessica

Chinese broccoli with garlic

IMG_2674Adapted from steamy kitchen Gai Lan

Ingredients:
400 g Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan)
cooking (vegetable) oil
3-4 whole garlic cloves, peeled and gently smashed but left intact
1/2 thumb of fresh ginger, cut into coins and smashed
Chinese rice wine, sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil
cornstarch mixed with cool water (1:2)

Directions:
Rinse the greens. Trim the ends. Cut diagonally, approximately splitting the leaves and (edible!) stems. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger if you prefer that. Add the oil to your wok and heat on medium-high. Saute the garlic, then ginger, until fragrant, without burning. Add the gai lan but watch out for oil splatters! Wield the wok lid as a shield if need be. I added diluted soy sauce to substitute vegetable stock, and steam covered for 3-4 minutes. Heat the oyster sauce and sesame oil and cornstarch water, all mixed together for 1 minute to thicken a brown sauce.

IMG_2671

Amber’s Method:
Soak the greens in cool water for 10 minutes, several times. Trim the end but don’t cut them in half. Smash the garlic cloves, slice the ginger. Add enough vegetable oil to coat the pan (proportionate to the amount of greens) and a pinch of salt to the wok. Saute the garlic, then ginger, then add the green and stir and toss constantly, quickly. Stir-fry, basically. Do not steam covered. After a few minutes, plate the greens. Drizzle the oyster sauce and serve immediately.

IMG_2675

Asian greens are great. I think it would have been nice to make this with mushrooms, although I hadn’t any in the fridge at the time. Next time perhaps!

~Jessica