Saturday, July 7, 2012

dungeness crab with ginger and scallion


Ginger root, scallion, and garlic are probably the hardest working "herb" in Southern Chinese cooking. They are so versatile in their use and you are unlikely to find an Asian household does not have some.

Sometimes we take things so much for granted. In my case is the excellent dungeness crabs here in the Pacific Northwest. They are cheap, so tasty, meaty, succulent and is sustainable. For years I have been eating them the typical Western method - steam or boil and dip in melted butter.


some collection of dishes - part 1

I have accumulated quite a collection of photo of the dishes I prepared. It is rather interesting to review them and I can see my progress over time. Most of my cooking are dishes I prepared without following any recipe. All of these are true Chinese food, and closer to the Hong Kong and Cantonese style.

Here are some.

congee 粥 made with dried shitake mushroom, fresh mussel, tofu skin, pork, and pork broth

fixing mower

I am not a fan of grass lawn. It is just a never ending chore with no reward and there is nothing worst than the noise of gasoline powered gardening equipment rudely shattering the perfect tranquility of a peaceful, cool, and overcast morning.

My previous house was situated on a corner lot. After I moved in I tore up all the grass on my lawn and replaced it with gravel, rocks, and ornamental grass. But I also required to maintain the very large expense of grass strips along the sidewalk that is not within my property. That is the reason I purchase this used Honda mower. It had serve me well for a long time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

tatyana's broken key

Anything to do with automotive lock and key gets very expensive. Get a rusty nail and scratch these words on your windscreen: "never, ever, lose or break a key"


All my life I tried hard to avoid the service of tow truck, funeral home, and locksmith

salmon sashimi 三文魚刺身

I wanted a bit of variety using up the Chinook salmon 三文魚  I brought back from the Columbia River Gorge. I am getting down to the last fillet. Last night I decided to make sashimi 刺身 for snack. The fillets are all quite small so it is a bit of work to cut the sashimi 刺身 and clean the finer bones.

It was absolutely worth the effort take to prepare it. It was as delicious as the great sushi I had in Tsukiji fish market 東京都中央卸売市場 in Tokyo, albeit only salmon. It is so creamy and full of umami, without a hind of fishiness. The soy sauce and wasabi  really enhance the very delicate salmon. Normally I don't eat salmon at sushi places in the US unless they clearly declare it is wild. I don't eat farmed salmon for many reasons.

just a snack - I ate 2 servings in one session and wanted more

Nothing was wasted. I saved the skin and the portions with more bone. I pan sear them and OMG, the skin with just very little meat is heavenly. If you like fried pig skin as snacks, you owe it to yourself trying pan seared salmon skin. It is much better and very good for you instead of very bad for you due to Omega 3. Salmon ranks top amongst all fish in the world.

I keep a small can of wasabi in my camper. I would make sashimi more in the future when I encounter fresh fish during a trip.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

brunch with chinook salmon 三文魚

I am determine not to let any of the chinook salmon 三文魚 I brought back from the columbia river gorge pass its prime. to this end I been eating it every meal for 3 days now.

portland still has the most comfortable cool mornings and nights this few days. I love it in the 60s F, perfect for breakfast in the back yard. today it is more a brunch with a very slow start at 10am.

 pan seared salmon with scrambled egg made with grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

i am getting pretty good at searing it to perfection with an oily and somewhat crispy skin on the back side. good salmon is best kept simple, with just coarsely ground black pepper and salt. nice thing about salmon oil especially that from the belly is it does not go straight to your belly like pork belly would.

out on the raised deck - served on this chic fiberglass tray from france i have for years waiting for an excuse to get used

gorge trip


This sailboarding trip to the Columbia River Gorge is my first after 7 years hiatus from the sport. It took forever to gather all the equipment and figure out how to best load them into the camper. So too is all the grocery supply for the entire 3-4 day trip.

sailboarding gears - my 35-litre 7'6" board barely fit using the bathroom for maneuvering onto the upper berth. the tail and fin projects only a few inches from the end of the bed so it is not a head strike hazard. So too are the two-piece carbon masts.

day 1 at Rufus, Oregon - near Maryhill State Park, Washington

the river flow rate was at all time high of about 12 knots; more than twice considered as sailable condition; john day dam was dumping a lot of water; additionally the gusty 20-knot wind coming from NNW did not help

Sunday, July 1, 2012

abalone 包魚

abalone 包魚 is one of the most treasured delicacy in chinese cuisine

slow braised served with napa cabbage - this is rare large one that was fresh farm raised
live farmed abalone
even farmed, large one like this costs a lot of money

Today some of the best one are dried one from Japan, Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand. They are unreachable for average folks due to extreme high price driven up by the ever increasing wealthy and their discovery of this delicacy. Over harvest and illegal poaching has becoming a serious problem that threaten the population health of them as with many sea creatures.