Chinese Fried Spring Rolls (炸春卷)


INGREDIENTS (材料)

1 jicama (bangkuang) or 1/2 napa cabbage, shredded for about 5 cups, shredded
1 carrot, grated
2 chinese dried mushrooms, soaked in warm water
1 cup chicken or pork loin, sliced thinly
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
seasoning:  2 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar
1 packet of spring roll wrapper
1 tbsp cornstarch mix with 3 tbsp water
 

METHOD (做法)

(1) Soak chinese mushroom in warm water til softened.  Squeeze out excess water, and cut mushrooms into small pieces.  Reserve mushroom water.
(2)  Marinate pork loin with 1/2 tsp soy sauce, little pepper and 1 tsp cornstarch.  Set aside for 30 minutes.
(3)  Heat 1 tsp oil in wok.  Add minced garlic and ginger, and stir fry till fragrant.
(4)  Add mushrooms and stir fry for another minute. 
(5)  Add marinated pork slices, and stir fry till cooked.
(6)  Add shredded cabbage, carrot and 2 tbsp of mushroom water.  
(7)  Stir fry till vegetables are cooked.  Add seasoning and cooked till vegetables softened.  Sprinkle mixture with little flour.  Stir well.
(8)  Remove vegetables from wok, and discard all remaining liquid. 
(9)  Spread vegetables filling on a plate for cooling.
(10)  Transfer wrapper on a plate, and cover with wet paper towels. 
(11)  Take one wrapper, and place about 1 tbsp of filling along the bottom third of the wrapper.
(12)  Take one side of wrap closest to your body, and fold over the ingredients.
(13)  Fold in the side towards each other and firmly roll up the wrapper.  Do note that the rolls have to be tightly wrapped. 
(14)  Repeat with the remaining wrappers and ingredients, and place the rolls on a plate.
(15)  Heat frying oil in wok till very hot.  Add 2 spring rolls and fry till golden brown.  Do not fry many spring rolls at one time. 
(16)  Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
 

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Easy Banana Bread


Do not throw away overripe bananas!  Turn these bananas into delicious banana bread for your family.

INGREDIENTS

3 or 4 overripe bananas, depending on size of banana (the skin of banana turns black)
1 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp banana essence (optional)
2 cup flour, shifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted lightly
few pecans, halved for decoration
 

METHOD

(1)  Preheat over to 350 F.  Spray baking pan with oil. 
(2)  Mash bananas with fork.  Add sugar, and whisk with hand or electric blender till the mixture is well combined, about 3 minutes. 
(3)  Add melted butter, vanilla essence, banana essence and eggs.  Whisk gently for another 3 minutes. Do not overblend.
(4)  Add shifted flour, baking soda, and salt.  Using a spatula, mix well in the mixture.
(5)  Fold in walnuts and stir to combine.
(6)  Pour gently into baking pan, and tap gently on counter to remove air.
(7)  Decorate the top with pecan halves, and put in oven for baking. 
(8)  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Turn the baking pan every 25 minutes for even browning. 
(9)  Using a wooden skewer, insert in the middle of bread to check whether the bread is done.  If the wooden skewer comes out clean, the bread is done.
(10)  Before serving, slice the bread and toast till crispy.  Serve with your favorite butter or bread spread.
 
Note:  Don’t get nervous if the banana bread cracks in the middle.  It is typical 😉 
 

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Fried chicken wings in fermented black beans 豆鼓鸡翅


INGREDIENTS (材料)

10 chicken wings or chicken parts (十只鸡翅)
Marinate chicken with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp sesame seed oil, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp cooking wine and 1 tbsp corn starch. (鸡翅已酱油,糖,芝麻油,酒,胡椒腌至入味)
1 stalk green onion, finely minced (青葱)
1 tbsp red chili, finely minced (红辣椒)
1 tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and finely minced (黑豆鼓)
1 tsp minced garlic (葱末)
 

METHOD

(1)  Marinate chicken wings for 3 hours or overnight.  
(2)  Heat frying oil in wok till hot.  Coat chicken wings with cornflour, and set aside on plate.
(3)  Deep fry chicken wings till golden brown.  Double fry for extra crispy.
(4)  Place fried chicken wings in a plate.
(5)  Heat 1 tsp oil in a clean pan.  Add garlic, red chili and black beans.  Stir fry till fragrant.  
(6)  Add green onion and chicken wings.  Stir fry till chicken wings are coated with black bean ingredients.
(7)  Serve hot and enjoy!
 
 

Breakfast Waffle served with warm blueberry syrup


MAKING BLUEBERRY SYRUP

INGREDIENTS

1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon zest
 

METHOD

(1)  Heat pan to medium, and add blueberries, sugar, and honey.
(2)  Cook over medium heat till berries cook.  When berries begin to release their juices, remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest.
(3)  Set aside and keep warm.
 
MAKING WAFFLES
 

INGREDIENTS

2 large eggs
1 cup multi-grain waffle mix or any of your favorite waffle mix
1/2 cup water (optional) add water if you prefer light and  fluffy waffles
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp oil
 
Confectioner sugar for dusting
 

METHOD

(1)  Beat eggs in a bowl first.  Add waffle mix, water(optional), oil, vanilla essence and cinnamon powder.  Whisk with fork till everything combine well. 
(2)  Heat the waffle machine, and gently pour waffle mixture into waffle iron.  Close the lid and cook according to waffles are crispy.
(3)  Arrange the waffles on plate, and drizzle with blueberry syrup.  Sprinkle with the confectioner’s sugar and serve hot. 
 
 

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Thai Red Curry Chicken


INGREDIENTS

2 chicken thighs or chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp minced garlics
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup red pepper. cut into chunks
1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced
1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp chopped fresh Thai basil 
 

METHOD

(1)  Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok.  Add garlic and stir fry till fragrant.  Add red curry paste and stir fry for 30 seconds.
(2)  Add chicken stocks, sugar, fish sauce and bring to a boil.
(3)  Add chicken meats and boil till chicken is almost cooked.
(4)  Add all vegetables and boil for another 3 minutes.
(5)  Add coconut milk and Thai basils, and reduce heat.  Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
(6)  Remove from heat, and garnish with cilantro or basil.
(7)  Serve hot with rice! 
 

Szechuan shredded chicken (怪味鸡丝)


怪味鸡,是中国四川常见的凉菜食品,味道又麻又辣又甜还带点酸味

One of the cold dish in Szechuan Cuisine.  Taste is spicy, numbing hot, sweet and little sour.  Perfect appetizer dish during Summer.

INGREDIENTS (材料)

2 chicken breasts
 
Sauce ingredients:
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp green onion, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp szechuan peppercorn powder
1 tsp sesame seed oil
2 tsps sugar
2 tbsp szechuan red chili oil
1 tbsp fermented bean paste
1 tsp white vinegar
4 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chicken stock
 
1 tsp toasted sesame seed
1 tbsp green onion, minced for garnishing
 

METHOD

(1)  Clean chicken breasts.  Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Once water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium low. 
(2)  Place chicken breasts in water, and add 1 tsp salt.  Poach gently for 30 minutes or until chicken breast is cooked
(3)  Remove cooked chicken and add into cold water.  Drain and shred chicken thinly.
(4)  Place shredded chicken in a plate.
(5)  Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl, and stir well.  
(6)  Drizzle the sauce over the chicken, and sprinkle with white sesame seeds and green onion.
(7)  Serve as a cold dish.  

Fresh Mango Salsa


INGREDIENTS

1 peeled mango, diced
half of red pepper, diced
1 tbsp minced cilantro
1 tbsp minced green onion, green part only
1 fresh serrano chili, seeded and diced
few cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
Sauce:  1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp finely diced lime peel, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp vinegar, dash of salt and black pepper
 

METHOD

(1)  In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
(2)  In a medium bowl, combine mango, red pepper, green onion, chili, tomatoes and cilantro. 
(3)  Pour in the sauce mixture, and stir gently.
(4)  Serve as a dip with tortilla chips, or serve as salad. 
 

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American Chili


I made this chili for my husband’s company’s chili contest, and won Second Prize. The prize is a pair of kitchen mittens as shown in the picture.  My first time taking part in cooking contest, and also my second attempt in making American Chili.  I felt very honored!  Thanks for your vote!

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs ground beef (95% lean)
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 medium onion, chopped finely
3 jalapeno or serrano chili, minced (optional)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
4 tbsp ground hot Mexican Chili powder (reduce portion for less heat)
2 tbsp ground oregano
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 can of petite tomato or plum tomato
1 can of pinto beans, drained
1 can of kidney beans, drained
1/2 of water
1/4 cup of Mesa (Mexican corn flour) mix with 1/2 cup of water (adjust to own consistency)
 

METHOD

(1)  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in pan.  Add minced onion, jalapeno and garlic.  Stir fry till onions softened.
(2)  Add ground beef and stir fry till cooked. 
(3)  Add all spices, salt and tomatoes, and simmer for 30 minutes.
(4)  Add kidney and pinto beans.  Stir fry to combine.  Add mesa mixture and water, and stir till mixture has thickened.
(5)  Transfer to slow cooker, and simmer for 3 to 5 hours.
(6)  Taste and adjust to own preference.
(7)  Serve hot with sharp cheddar cheese and/or sour cream (optional). 
(8)  You can spoon chili over hot dog, and it makes one delicious Chili dog! 
 
 

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