- Recipe: Yunnan-style Hongshaorou
- March 19, 2013
- Recipe: Mint and green onions
- February 27, 2013
- Recipe: Yunnan-style red beans and shiitakes
- January 29, 2013
- Yunnan-style tomato salad
- December 24, 2012
- Recipe: Shredded chicken with chili sauce
- November 29, 2012
- Recipe: Spicy taro and greens
- November 11, 2012
- Recipe: Yunnan-style pork and egg custard
- October 2, 2012
- Recipe: Yunnan-style lotus root and pork
- September 16, 2012
- Recipe: Yunnan-style edamame beans and garlic
- September 1, 2012
If you try any of these recipes, I would love to have your feedback in my Comment Box:
- Copper pot rice April 19, 2013
- Yunnan-style Hongshaorou March 19, 2013
- Mint and green onions February 27, 2013
- Yunnan-style red beans and shiitakes January 29, 2013
- Yunnan-style tomato salad December 24, 2012
- Shredded chicken with chili sauce November 29, 2012
- Spicy taro and greens November 11, 2012
- Yunnan-style pork and egg custard October 2, 2012
- Yunnan-style lotus root and pork September 16, 2012
- Yunnan-style edamame beans and garlic September 1, 2012
Since I live in China, you might wonder what I eat everyday. My meals have changed a lot over the 8 years I’ve been here. Since I learned how to cook Chinese, my meals have gotten more healthy and more consistently Chinese.
Well my breakfast resists the change. I can’t tolerate noodles cooked in spicy sauce, or garlicy food in the morning. I guess that’s a habit I’m not likely to break any time in the near future. It consists of a mug or two of decaffeinated coffee, sometimes it’s instant and sometimes it’s perked, along with a toasted home made roll or quarter of GuanDu BaBa cut in half through the centre, and spread with New Zealand butter. Often I eat it plain; periodically I top the toast with jam, most often Carrefour-brand blueberry or raspberry jam. Sometimes it’s topped with mozarella or cheddar cheese and melted in my ‘easy-bake’ oven.
I call it my easy-bake because ovens are not usually built in here…most often if you want an oven you buy a small, tabletop oven which is a little larger than a toaster oven with a higher baking temperature too.
In addition to wanting a healthier diet, I live in a third-tier city, not very foreign-food friendly. So after buying pasta in a variety of shapes, there’s not much else. Fortunately dairy products have become a bigger part of the Chinese diet, so butter, and cheeses are available in small quantities, even in this city.
Lunches and dinners are almost always Chinese food. Noodles, soups, and vegetables of all kinds, and served cooked and fresh are a daily part of my diet. Some dish with a small portion of meat for lunch, and vegetables, usually fresh for dinner.
Tonight I switched things around and had a cucumber salad for lunch and cooked this stir-fry for dinner. I love this combination in noodles and ofter change the main veggie for something different….broccoli, Chinese cabbage, usually a green one. And I change the noodles too…Udon, rice, wheat, sweet potato or vermicelli noodles; sometimes fresh, sometimes dried.
The secret to a good stir-fry is in cutting all ingredients very thin so that they cook quickly, and using a hot wok, keeping it all moving fast so as not to burn the dish! A gas stove helps to control the heat very finely and that can also aid in cooking without burning or making the ingredients soggy.
So here you have it, my dinner tonight…Noodle Stir-Fry with Snow Peas and Meat. This dish gets it’s awesome flavours from the traditional mix of ginger, garlic, green onion, Chinese Rice Cooking Wine, and soy sauce. Try it for dinner and I hope you will enjoy!
Noodle Stir-Fry with Snow Peas and Meat
1 chicken breast or ¼ pound pork tenderloin, very finely sliced
2 teaspoon Chinese rice cooking wine
4 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
4 teaspoons minced ginger, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons oil, divided
2 beaten eggs
4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1 teaspoon fresh chopped ginger
4 green onions, cut in 1-inch pieces
½ cucumber, finely sliced (optional)
1 cup snowpeas
1 teaspoon Chinese chicken bouillon granules*
2 servings fresh noodles (Udon, rice or wheat) allowed to soak in hot water for 15 minutes and then drained
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Mix the finely shredded meat with rice wine, half of the garlic and ginger, and the cornstarch and allow the mixture to marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat the wok, add 2 tablespoons oil, and wait for it to heat. Stir-fry the eggs and break into small bits. Set them aside.
Heat the wok, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and wait for it to heat. Stir-fry the chicken or pork with the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Remove and set aside together with the eggs.
Clean and dry the wok. Then heat the wok, add 2 tablespoons oil, and wait for it to heat. Stir-fry the green onion and the remaining ginger and garlic to release their fragrance. Add the snow peas and cucumber with bouillon granules, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce until brightly coloured and still crunchy.
Stir in noodles and heat for another 1-2 minutes on low heat. Add more soy sauce to taste and the fresh chopped cilantro. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly while keeping the heat on low for another minute. Transfer to a platter and serve hot.
1 cup water
2 cups milk
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups dry pasta, any variety you like
½ cup or 60 grams smoked ham, cut into thin shreds or small chunks
½ cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Italian spice
Salt and black pepper to taste
In a saucepan, boil the water, milk and garlic. Add the pasta and the shredded smoked ham. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until pasta is almost done.
When pasta is cooked al dente, no need to drain. Just add the remaining ingredients, mix well and cook a further 2 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and/or fresh black pepper. Enjoy!
Serves 2 – 3
½ pound ground pork, chicken or turkey
1 stalk green onion, finely chopped, white and green parts
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped, divided (amount can be adjusted to taste)
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
1 long thin Chinese eggplant sliced into 1 inch rounds, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes and drained
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1-2 cups water
oil for deep frying
3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
5 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ cup chopped cilantro
In a small bowl, mix the ground meat with the green onion, half of the ginger and cooking wine.
Slice ¾ of the way through the centre of the rounds of eggplant to make a slit, but do not cut all the way through. Stuff the eggplants with a spoonful of meat mixture.
Make a batter of flour, cornstarch and water in another bowl, using a wire whisk to blend the batter.
Heat enough oil in the wok on medium high heat to deep-fry the stuffed eggplant rounds (approximately ½ cup of oil). The amount of oil depends on the size of the wok. Add the remaining ginger and the garlic. Dip each stuffed round into the batter and fry turning often until they are lightly browned and soft inside. Turn the heat down to medium to medium-low so that the pieces can cook without browning too much. It takes take two or three batches to cook all slices. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Remove the majority of the oil from the wok, leaving about 2-3 tablespoons plus the ginger and garlic in the wok and heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil, lowering the heat to simmer and let the sauce cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the cooked stuffed eggplants to the sauce mix, stirring constantly and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Add the cilantro for garnish and serve on a platter together with rice or other dishes.
These can be served as an appetizer or a side dish for the main meal.
The stuffing for the stuffed mushrooms is easy to make. Use your imagination and change the recipe with a little more of this, a little less of that, or some completely different ingredient, but the base is always the same…chopped mushroom stems, seasonings, bread crumbs or panko…
1. Remove the stems of 24-30 medium sized mushrooms and chop finely. Add 3 garlic cloves, salt, fresh black pepper, onion powder, paprika, dried parsley, Italian spice, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or Panko and mix well.
2. Fill the mushroom caps.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
4. Then cover each cap with a small slice or mozzarella cheese and broil for 5 minutes.
Yunnan Lotus Root and Pork
The question has multiple answers:
The lotus is a beautiful and functional plant that grows prolifically from the bottoms of rivers or ponds to a height of about a meter and a half.
Its leaves float on the surface of the water with large and lovely, colorful flowers of pink, white and yellow.
The lotus root is revered in China for its health benefits as well as its beauty – containing a vast array of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. The lotus root itself is a long, round, beige vegetable that shows it’s star power when sliced into rounds that look like wagon wheels and its taste is a crunchy texture with a tangy-sweet flavor.
The small yellow lotus seeds of the seedpods are just as healthy and are usually found dried and cooked in sweet soups or fresh and added to stir-fries, even turned into teas, and other Traditional Chinese Medicine applications.
So there you have it…all the good reasons to enjoy lotus root.
The lotus root dishes served in Beijing have inspired this dish. It’s been adapted to a Yunnan style with the addition of dried red chilli peppers. In some restaurants around Kunming it’s also served with diced green chillies (la jiao) to kick it up a notch in the spice area or you can add to the numbness of the spice with Sichuan peppercorns (prickly ash). It’s your choice.
Serves 4 with other dishes or for one person with steamed rice
5-6 inch piece of lotus root, peeled and cut into ¼ inch or thinner slices and soaking water with 1 tablespoon of Chinese white rice vinegar
200 gram piece of pork (any cut – I recommend pork tenderloin), cut into thin slices
1 inch piece ginger, cut into matchstick slivers
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons and ½ cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons and ½ cup cooking oil
2-5 dried red chillies, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
½ red pepper and ½ green pepper, diced
½ small carrot, cut into matchstick slivers
1 teaspoon Chinese chicken bouillon granules
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Allow lotus root to soak for 20 minutes, submerged a water/vinegar solution, while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients. This will prevent the lotus root from turning dark to keep the white color.
In a small bowl, mix together the pork, ginger, cooking wine, soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Set aside to marinate and tenderize for 15 minutes.
Heat the wok, add 3 tablespoons of oil and heat the oil. Carefully drop in the chillies and reduce the heat to low. The number of dried chillies you use will depend on the amount of spice you wish for the dish. When the chillies have infused the oil with aroma, remove them from the oil to a bowl.
Heat the remaining oil in the wok. Add the pork mixture and stir fry to cook the meat – about 5 minutes. Remove from the wok and place in the same bowl as the chillies.
Place the remaining cornstarch in a bowl and remove the lotus root from the water – no need to rinse off the slight vinegar taste. Lightly coat the slices of lotus root with cornstarch, shaking of the excess.
Reduce the heat to low and add 4-5 slices of lotus root at a time to the oil. Fry on either side until light golden brown – the slices will still be crunchy to the taste. Remove slices to the bowl and repeat until all of the slices are light golden brown.
In the remaining oil in the wok, add the garlic, red pepper and carrot and stir fry until crisp and cooked but still brightly colored – about 2 minutes. Add the pork, chillies, lotus root, chicken bouillon granules, and sesame oil and heat for 1 minute. Add cilantro and stir-fry for one more minute. Check the taste for the need to add salt.
Remove from the wok to a platter and serve while hot with steamed rice.
Eat and enjoy this delectable dish!