Thursday, December 1, 2016
Only very recently that the Western press talks about Japanese washoku 和菜 . Washoku 和菜 means Japanese home cooking in a not so good translation. The two Kanji 漢字 words - 和 means in harmony and 菜 means a dish. A similar term in Chinese is 家菜 (pronounced as gar-choy in Cantonese) though the Chinese one has a connotation of being simple and prepared with unassuming ingredients, except for special occasions. The alternate term for is chang-chai 常菜, meaning daily routine home dishes.
The definition of gar-choy 家菜 can be quite problematic as China is so vast. The ingredients or the lack off can vary significantly from cities to rural village, and from rich to poor. A few characteristics that are typically common are cook with the ingredients available locally to make the most out of them. Contrary to the misrepresentation of Chinese cuisines in the West deep fry and greasy dishes are not the norm. Almost always there are plenty of vegetable dishes and often a soup accompanies a typical family meal.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Years ago when I first encounter matsutakes 松菇 I had little idea what they are. Their strange appearance and the high price intrigued me and I brought a pack home to try. Later on I would realize matsutake 松菇 is one of the Pacific Northwest forest bounties. Matsutake 松菇 means pine mushroom in Chinese and Japanese. I would eventually found my prefer ways to prepare them.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
I bought a whole piece of pork butt to make braised pork (charsiu) for ramen. However I didn't want to have that much of ramen charsiu. I decided to only use one half. What to do with the other half? I initially thought I would make tasso with it. Then seeing the jar of Chinese fermented red bean curd that has been sitting on the kitchen counter for months, the decision was easy. I would just make Chinese charsiu with it. Sound strange? What is the difference between the charsiu that is used as topping for a bowl of ramen and the Chinese charsiu?
Saturday, November 5, 2016
The air is getting damp and cold. It is near the season for clay pot rice. Clay pot rice is one of the most versatile dish once you master the fundamentals of the preparation. It is very fast to prepare and involves only one cooking vessel. I have written about clay pot rice in many posts over the years. In recent weeks I have made many meals of clay pot rice, each time with some variations of the ingredients.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Monday, September 19, 2016
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Friday, September 16, 2016
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
A friend met up with me to go try the new ramen place that is in Uwajimaya. We have high hope that it serves half-decent bowls of ramen. I have to admit I am very hard to please and I have yet to be impressed by any that I tried in this country. The decor and presentation of the restaurant looks right, and so is the menu. Usually if the place try to be everything of Japanese it is a sign to avoid. You want to see they serve nothing else but ramen and Gyoza, and drinks.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
I have been evaluating this NVR security camera system for 10 days now. While I jumped from the initial cash outlay of $250 to $1000 I have no disillusions that this is nothing like the systems used in commercial applications. Then there is law enforcement equipment that a camera alone cost a few thousand dollars. I think I have a well informed level of expectation of what to expect. I am very glad that I opted to spend a bit more. The network based NVR is the way to go for the ease of camera installation if you want to maintain unobtrusive professional installation.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Hummingbird feeders are some of the worst ripoffs of consumer goods. Most are very poorly design and made. The prices for one of this cheap plastic thing that cost may be $0.30 sold for 50 folds. I never want to pay over $5 each. The secret is to way for autumn when the stores are making room for Christmas merchandise.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Looking back it has been a while since I ate pig stomach. While shopping in my regular Asian grocery stores I was disappointed at the lack of selections of live seafood. This year the Pacific Northwest crab and other shellfishes harvest must be abnormally low. I came across the nice looking pig stomachs. They were 2 in a pack so I bought a pack.