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Category Archives: Appetizer Recipes

孜然雞翼 Soy Cumin Chicken Wings

 

Ingredients:

  • 15 medium mid-joint chicken wings
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon ginger juice
  • 2 tablespoon cumin powder
  • Dash of white pepper

Directions:

  1. Defrost chicken wings.   Clean and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Combine the first 7 ingredients with chicken, marinate for couple hours in the refrigerator, preferably overnight for the best flavor.
  3. Heat skillet and pour in 1 tablespoon oil.  Put in chicken wings and fry until light brown.  Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, then flip the chicken wings over and cook for another 8 minutes until cooked through. Do not use too high heat as otherwise you’ll have burnt skin but raw meat inside. Stir in cumin powder and white pepper. Lightly pan fry for another minute.
 

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Steamed Eggplant with Garlic Soba Sauce

A refreshing appetizer is always a delightful way to begin a summer meal.  Eggplant is quite tricky to cook well, however, as it readily absorbs a lot of oil. Here, we first steam and chill the eggplants, before applying the sauce in the end to avoid the dish being soaked in oil.

Some people find eggplant is bitter.  You can remove the bitterness by salting:  first cut the eggplant in thin strips, soak them in salt water for 20 to 30 minutes.  Rinse, and squeeze out the water then proceed with your recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons Soba sauce*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful of katsuobushi, bonito flakes
  • Few drops of sesame oil

*Please note that some soba sauce comes in concentrated form and needs to mixed with water. Be sure to refer to instructions on the bottle.

Directions:

  1. Slice eggplant into thin slices and place on a plate. Place plate in a steamer, cover with lid and steam for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the plate from the steamer and let it cool down for 30 minutes and refrigerated for an hour.
  3. Combine soba sauce with garlic in a small bowl.  Pour it on top of the eggplant.  Drizzle some sesame oil and bonito flakes on top.
 

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Beer Marinated Chicken Wings

Who doesn’t love wings (besides vegetarians and vegans)? It is great for all occasions as a snack with drinks or a main dish at home. For a lot of people, the only thing that are better than wings, may be, well, having wings with beer. Today, we combine these two things that people frequently ingest together to make a dish.

This recipe is quick to cook and easy to prepare, but it does require a day to marinade for best results so a little planning is required.  You’ll be rewarded with wings that are loaded with flavor with a marinade that keeps them moist and tender.
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup any lager (I used Yuengling)
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 lbs frozen mid-joint chicken wings
 

Directions

  1. Defrost chicken wings.   Clean and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Combine all the ingredients with chicken, marinate for 24 hours.
  3. Heat skillet and pour in 1 tablespoon oil.  Put in chicken wings and fry until light brown.  Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, then flip the chicken wings over and cook for another 8 minutes until cooked through. Do not use too high heat as otherwise you’ll have burnt skin but raw meat inside.

Source: Beer100.com

Other chicken wings recipe:

南乳雞翼 Chicken Wings with Red Fermented Bean Curd

豉油雞翼 Easy Soy Sauce Chicken Wings

鎮江醋陳皮雞中翼 Chicken Wings with Dried Tangerine Peel and Zhenjiang Vinegar

Honey Lemon Chicken Wings

 

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紅豆年糕 New Year Red Bean Cake

紅豆年糕 New Year Red Bean Cake

年糕, or “nian gao”, is a type of food made with glutinous rice. It is commonly prepared and eaten during Chinese New Year. There are 2 main types of nian gao, the Shanghainese style, which is prepared as a savory dish, and the Cantonese style, which is typically a sweet food that is pan fried for a crispy exterior and sticky interior. The preparation for the Cantonese style is presented here.

Some people like to just have it plain, but personally I like it with a filling. The cake it self is only lightly sweetened so that the sweetness is not overwhelming. With the sweeter red bean filling, the level of sweetness is just right.

After the nian gao is prepared and put into the fridge, the pan frying process is also very important when you’re ready to eat it. The key is the slice it in thin slices, about 0.5 centimeter thick, dip it in some whipped eggs, and pan fry under a small amount of oil under low heat. The key is to heat it all the way through so that you have soft interior and crispy, but not burnt, exterior.


Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of red beans
  • 1 lb of Rice Flour 糯米粉
  • 2.5 oz of Dried Wheat Starch 澄麵 (about 1/6 of the package)
  • 3.5 pieces/sticks of sugar cane

Directions:

  1. Soak red beans overnight in a pot of water.  Bring it to boil and simmer for an hour.  Turn off the heat and cover for 2 hours.  Repeat the process for two times until the beans are soft.   At the last simmer, add about 1 cup of brown sugar or 2 pieces of sugar canes.  Drain and reserve the liquid.
  2. Melt 3 sugar canes with the liquid from red bean (about 2 cups).  Remove from heat and let the ”sugar water” cool down.
  3. Place the rice flour and dried wheat starch in a large bowl.  Slowly stir in the “sugar water”.  Add more water if the mixture is too thick, but only add enough water that allows you to stir.
  4. Slowly stir in red beans, be careful not to break them apart.
  5. Lightly grease the pan with oil and pour the mixture in there.  Steam for 1.5 hour (for a  9″ Round Cake Pan) or until the edges of the cake pull away from the pan. *This recipe makes two 9” round cake pans of red bean cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the heat and cool.  Then cut them into square slices.
  7. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Dip the slices in egg wash and pan fry each side over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the slices is soft inside.

 

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Guacamole

Looking for a perfect side dish for a New Year Party?  Guacamole may be what you are looking for. The simple combination of ingredients creates a flavorful condiment as a dip for nachos. You can also use it as a spread for sandwiches or a side with the main course.  It is also great for the health conscious – it is rich in fiber and full of vitamins.

The most important part of the guacamole is, of course, a great avocado. They must be soft—but not too soft. It is slightly preferable to have one that is too hard than too soft, as you run the risk of having the avocado turn brown when overripe. When it is at the right level of ripeness, you’ll feel a slight give when pressing on it. If your finger punctures the skin easily, it definitely too soft.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon scallion/cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Direction:

In a small bowl, mash the avocado until is pureed.   Combine all ingredients above and refrigerate for an hour for best flavor.

 

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紅燒魷魚 Braised Whole Squid

While the dish is named “braised” squid, the cooking time is actually very short. Squid, like some other seafood, can be cooked very quickly until just done, or can be simmered for a long period of time until very tender.  Anything in between, and the squid will be very tough, with a rubber band texture.

There are three main steps in the preparation of the dish, and it is important to understand them as the cooking time is quite short. Firstly, the squid is quickly stir fried under high heat. Secondly, seasonings and water is added to begin the braising process. Lastly, the squid is removed when it is just cooked through, and use a thickening agent (corn starch) to prepare the sauce with the cooking liquid

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium size squids
  • 1.5 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 Chinese star anise 八角
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rock sugar
  • 1 red birdeye chili, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine – Hua Diao 花雕酒
  • 1 green onion/scallions, chopped

Directions:

  1. Remove head and cut right below the eyes, keeping the tentacles intact. Remove the beak and discard. Clean out insides
  2. Wash and pat dry the squids.
  3. Heat wok over high heat and pour in 1 tablespoon oil.  Add ginger and garlic, cook until fragrant.
  4. Add squid and lightly pan fry the squids on both sides, until the squids just turn opaque on the outside.
  5. Add cooking wine, rock sugar, star anise, birdeye chili, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and 1/2 cup of water.
  6. Bring it to boil, cook for a few minutes.  Remove squids from the wok when just cooked through
  7. Drain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving liquid; discard solids.
  8. Pour the mixture in a saucepan.  In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 2 tablespoon of water.  Bring the mixture to boil.  Add the corn starch mixture to the saucepan.  Bring it to boil then remove from heat.
  9. Let the squids sit for 10 minutes or until cool before slicing into rings.
  10. Pour the sauce on top of the squids and sprinkle some chopped scallions to serve.

*If you’re using a large piece of rock sugar (see the size of the sugar from picture above), remove the rock sugar when it’s half-way melted, or the sauce will be too sweet.   It’s better to use the smaller piece of rock sugar that is just enough (about 1 tablespoon)

 

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Black Bean Soup

This is a dish that is perfect when It’s raining outside or if for whatever reason you just don’t want to go out to do food shopping.  All you need here is a can of black beans and some onions, tomatoes, or peppers. If you don’t have these either, you might even experiment with whatever you have lying around the house. Try accompanying with rice or simply some bread for a healthy and complete meal. Also adding a dash of hot sauce, or even add in some jalapenos when cooking to give it a bit of a kick!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Direction:
  1. Saute onion, bell peppers, and garlic in a small pot with the juice from the can over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until vegetables soften.  Add the beans, tomato, white wine vinegar, cumin, oregano, bay leave and salt.
  2. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, covered, simmer for 20 minutes or until the soup thicken. Garnish with diced red onion, tomatoes and pepper.
 

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Butternut Squash Apple Soup

A hearty soup that is also nutritious with plenty of vitamins and fiber. Chicken stock was used in the recipe below, but the soup can be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, diced (5-6 cups)
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, diced (1.5 to 2 cups)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • Pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, basil, salt and pepper
Directions:
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat.  Sauté onions and carrot for 5 minutes.
  2. Add squash, apple and the broth to the pan. Bring to boil. Cover, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until squash and carrots are soften.
  3. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Return the soup to the pan.  Add curry powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, basil, salt and pepper.

*Add water to the soup for the consistency you like.

 

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三杯田雞 Three Cups Frog

As it was mentioend from previous post 三杯素雞 Taiwanese Three Cup Vegetarian Chicken, the three cups consist of sesame oil, rice wine and soy sauce.  It’s a simple yet presentable dish that is fit for anything from a small gathering to one of many dishes for a celebration banquet.  The strong flavoring and spiciness go well as a main dish with rice or an appetizer with wine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 frogs
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 5 garlic, mashed
  • 2 red bird eye chili (optional)
  • 1 green Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4  red bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Rice Wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
Directions:
  1. Heat wok and pour in sesame oil.  Add ginger, garlic, bird eye chili, cook until fragrant.
  2. Add frog pieces and onions, pan fry until lightly browned.  Add rice wine, soy sauce, sugar and peppers.  Lower the heat, cook until the sauce thickens.  Stir in basil and transfer to a pre-heated clay pot to serve.
 

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砵酒焗生蠔 Braised Oysters in Port Wine

Oysters is one of those foods you either love or hate.  If you love it like I do, you will never have enough of it.  Whether they are raw, baked, fried, scalloped, or braised like in this recipe.  My favorite is to eat them raw on the half shell, but when live oysters are not available, cooking them is another favorite option.

I used to think that oysters are high in cholesterol, like most other shellfish, so I used not to eat them very often. However, newer research shows that oyster the has much lower cholesterol than we used to think before. So, even those who are trying to avoid cholesterol can safely eat away and not worry about it!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oysters (1 can of 16 oz oysters)
  • 2 stalk scallions/green onions, sectioned
  • 5 pieces of gingers

Sauce Ingredients: (See Step 4)

  • 4 tablespoons chicken stock or water
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons of port wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn starch

Directions:

  1. Clean the oysters in a bowl of water, with dash of salt and 3 tablespoon of corn starch.  Rinse with clean water and be careful not to break them apart. (see above)
  2. Lightly pat the oysters with corn starch.  Heat oil over medium-high heat and pan fry the oysters until golden on both sides.
  3. Wipe off the oil with paper towel.  Place oysters in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of Port Wine, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce with a dash of white pepper.
  4. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  5. Heat oil over medium-high heat in skillet or clay pot.  Add gingers and scallions, stir fry until fragrant. Add oysters and the sauce.  Stir until the sauce thickens, then stir in another tablespoon of port wine, cover, turned off the heat.
More Oyster Recipe:
 
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Posted by on August 6, 2011 in Appetizer Recipes, Chinese

 

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