Tuesday, May 7, 2019

the economy of a meal

I thought I would have some fun with the title. It is something that piqued my interest in preparing this dish. I splurged and bought some Alaska king crab legs and 3 pieces of halibut steaks from Costco. Both items I very seldom purchase especially halibut.

porsche love - part 2

Porsche is an aspirational brand and so is Apple. The main difference is the latter is an affordable one that is more accessible for most. I bought myself a little something - to borrow the Amazon's not so subtle tag line to entice you to spend.

Monday, May 6, 2019

trailex open car trailer towed by brunnhilde - part 2

When I bought Brunnhilde I would not have imagine that one day I would tow a car trailer. She served me well over the the years for my silent water sport. Now that I am really into performance driving on race tracks I managed to equip her with an open car trailer that is a marriage in heaven for this wonderful compact motorhome. Something that I nearly dismissed not being impractical given the 8,000 lb nominal weight of the James Cook plus circa 4,500 lb of car and trailer weight, all to be towed by a engine with 154HP/243 lb-ft.

mini love - part 50

I was very happy to complete the supercharger swap. The other major maintenance for the Mini is the diagnose of the vibration and shake which has been gotten worst started as a subtle tremor triggered by hard braking at the end of a long straight at the track. I suspected it is due to the CV joint(s) of one or both axles.

mini love - part 49

I had taken a month long trip to Asia in mid March. I planned all along to partake in HPDE days upon my return, and wanting to drive in the last two days of April. The problem is there is a long list of things to take care of in the street car named Desire before any track days can be entertained.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

hong kong style stir fried noodles with seafood 港色三鮮炒麵 - part 3

From making Hong Kong style stir fried noodles with seafood 港色三鮮炒麵 I have about two serving worth of cooked toppings that I saved. I knew that I can improvise a couple of dishes from it. I used up all the stir fry noodles. My option is to drive to the store to pick up another pack or be versatile and use what I have at home. I chose the latter.

Friday, March 8, 2019

hong kong style stir fried noodles with seafood 港色三鮮炒麵 - part 2

I made Hong Kong style stir fried noodles with seafood 港色三鮮炒麵 again. I often would make the same dish a number of times consecutively because of the leftover ingredients. In this case is the mung bean sprouts and a bit of stir fry noodles. Even making the same dish consecutively there is always something to be learnt. I often refer back to my older posts and see the progresses that I have made over time.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

hong kong style stir fried noodles with seafood 港色三鮮炒麵

I made this stir fried noodles with seafood 港色三鮮炒麵. You can call it Hong Kong or Cantonese style. While I call it a stir fried noodles, the noodles was fried separately from the toppings. I used three kinds of seafood for the toppings, which include cuttlefish, shrimps, and scallops. All came out of the freezer.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

daikon cake 蘿蔔糕 - part 5

This is a boring post as there is not much new to write about of my culinary ventures to make a perfect daikon cake 蘿蔔糕. It is just that I finished the small loaf and dug into the large one. The small loaf was made out of necessity to use the remaining mixture when the large round cake mold was filled to the brim.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

stir fry of beef, cuttlefish, and choy sum 牛肉菜心炒墨魚

This dish was born out of my freezer clearing effort. There is this cuttlefish that I took out. Cuttlefish is meaty and delicious just about anyway you prepare it. With some ingredients I have on hand I made a stir fry of beef, cuttlefish, and choy sum 牛肉菜心炒墨魚 using a bit of the cuttlefish. I like mixing seafood with meat in the same dish.

daikon cake 蘿蔔糕 - part 4

With the momentum of my first serious attempt to make daikon cake 蘿蔔糕 only a week ago, I want to improve upon the firmness and density that I had in mind. I like my daikon cake 蘿蔔糕 firm and dense. When it is firm it cut easier and has less drags on the knife blade. It is also easier to lift the cut slice out of the steaming container which tends to be deep and has steep near vertical sides. So I went and bought 3 pounds worth of daikon. I even made a point to buy a pack of Chinese sausage.

re-fry of a stir fry

I made a stir fry of assorted ingredients with Chinese celery 什錦炒中芹 and it ended up with a rather generous serving. There were enough leftover for two more meals. Rather than reheating it I re-fry this stir fry. Why not just re-heating it in a microwave oven, you ask?

Sunday, March 3, 2019

stir fry of assorted ingredients with chinese celery 什錦炒中芹

This is a dish resulted from clearing out the refrigerator and freezer. With the exception of the vegetables all other ingredients are from the freezer or dried from the pantry. It is a stir fry of assorted ingredients with Chinese celery 什錦炒中芹. I retrieved a good amount of frozen shrimps that are freezer burnt, and a bit of leftover marinated beef. The beef was not enough to make a meal. The vegetables are also close to the limit of shelf life.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

daikon cake 蘿蔔糕 - part 3

Daikon cake 蘿蔔糕  has been my sustenance all day today. Our local PBS station has a marathon of a NOLA cooking shows by Kevin Belton. I made a few snacks of this between the breaks. Watching all those delicious NOLA dishes made me wanting to go cook up a NOLA storm. However I cannot help but to wonder the impact to one's health especially with the size of the chef.

Friday, March 1, 2019

daikon cake 蘿蔔糕 - part 2

Patience, patience, and good thing would come. I put the steamed daikon cake 蘿蔔糕 into a tub of water to cool it. I then place it into a refrigerator to further cool it so it would be firm to be cut into slices.

daikon cake 蘿蔔糕 - part 1

Daikon cake 蘿蔔糕 is something that I really crave here in North America. When I travel to Hong Kong last time I had it a couple of times at Lin Heung Kui 蓮香居 during morning dimsum hours. It was good but not great. Without much notion of what are needed to make it, I tried once and failed miserably. It turned into a gluey mess as I didn't know what kind of flour to use.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

scallion "pancake" 蔥油餅 - part 5

Scallion pancake 蔥油餅 has become my regular fares now. It is so easy to make and great substitute for bread or rice. I refined the procedure and found the techniques that make this simple snack great.

stir fried sticky rice cake 炒年糕 - part 1

This is a difficult dish to make. Stir fried sticky rice cake 炒年糕 (lian gao) is a stir fry dish with glutinous rice cake, which is also called lian geo (年糕), meaning new year cake. It is a dish enjoyed during Lunar New Year holiday. I have write a post a few years ago on Stir fried sticky rice cake 炒年糕 (lian gao) a few years ago.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

east meets west

This is an improvised simple meal that I made. It is a meal that I would make when I don't feel like spending much effort.

Monday, February 25, 2019

shanghai thick wheat noodle stir fried with julienne pork 上海肉絲炒粗麵 - part 3

Each time I had Shanghai thick wheat noodle stir fried with julienne pork 上海肉絲炒粗麵 I was not satisfied. I could do better at home making my own. In the past my noodles were the biggest impediment. Slowly I gained some insight into the reasons why. This is a great dish if you are a hungry man and need to fill the voids in your empty stomach.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

test, test, this is a test

I have been on the lookout for alternative oil for cooking. As I learnt more about cooking I begun to realize the importance of matching the oil to the cooking method. More important is the realization of the overhyped health benefit of common vegetable oils that is mass produced. Some oil like olive oil is not suitable for frying as it has very low smoking point.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

chiuchow pickled oysters 潮州醃蠔

I watched every episodes of this Netflix documentary about cuisines in Chaoshan 潮汕 and really enjoyed learning dishes that I didn't know. One that piqued my interest is the pickled oysters 潮州醃蠔. As it is a food and culture documentary there is no recipe nor the ingredients are listed, except the few that were mentioned. As soon as I watch this may be 2 minutes segment on this dish I had a very good idea how to make it even though I have never tasted it. I can taste it in my imagination. It is analogous to ceviche in which raw seafoods are cured in vinegar or citric juice, except high salinity condiments are used.

chiuchow oyster pancake 潮式煎蠔餅 - part 2

Based from the few improvement ideas that I had I made a small serving of Chiuchow oyster pancake 潮式煎蠔餅 for breakfast.  The holy grail for me is to achieve one with complex texture and mouth feel, that is crunchy outside and succulent inside without overcooking the oyster.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

chiuchow oyster pancake 潮式煎蠔餅 - part 1

Over the years I had attempt to make Chiuchow style oyster pancake 潮式煎蠔餅. I used my intuitions from what I observed the Chiuchow hawker making them on the street in winter. I didn't get to taste them as I couldn't had afforded one. The fragrance and sights etched in my young mind and I can still recall it vividly.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

chiuchow inspired fried rice with chicken scraps 潮州氣味炒飯

When I bought a chicken to make Taiwanese three cups chicken 三杯鷄 I made a vow that I would use all that came with the chicken. It came with a paper bag of chicken scraps, which included the liver, the gizzard, and the neck. I saved the liver and the gizzard, and use the neck to extract a chicken stock with the bones. Today I set out to cook the liver and the gizzard.

Friday, February 15, 2019

taiwanese three cups chicken 三杯鷄 - part 2

I made another pot of Taiwanese three cups chicken 三杯鷄 using the other half of the American big breast chicken. I used more the less the same procedure and ingredients. The main addition are some red bell pepper that I forgot that I have in the fridge. I also used some Chinese drinking white liquor (aka rocket fuel) in addition to the cooking liquor. This pot tastes even better than the one from the day before.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

chaoshan 潮汕 and vicinity food documentary series

I can never have enough of culinary shows, especially ones that are well made. Netflix just released a new Netflix Original documentary series - Flavorful Origins. Season 1 covers Chaoshan 潮汕 and vicinity (including Chiuchow 潮州) food even to me I discover so much I didn't know and how diverse and blessed the region is.

taiwanese three cups chicken 三杯鷄

I don't generally buy whole chickens. The reason is American chicken are bred to have a lot of breast meat, and I dislike white meat especially when a chicken has disproportional amount of it. I can buy Asian breed chickens and I have occasionally over the years. My experience here have been they have been frozen and often for too long so the flavors are lost.

Monday, February 11, 2019

roasting coffee at home - part 2

I have been roasting my own coffee for 4 or more years now, with the most elemental of equipment and that is not about to change anytime soon. I am still using the same pieces of equipment that I blogged in 2014.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

shanghai thick noodles with dungeness crab meat 上海蟹肉粗麵

This is what I call opportunistic meal made from the assorted ingredients, most from leftovers of other dishes. I had a Dungeness crab a few days ago and as always I could eat it all in one setting. I harvest the meat from the body and saved some juice and tomalley in the refrigerator. I need to use them up before they go bad so what to do?

chiuchow fried rice with salted radish 潮州菜脯炒飯

I have a bag of Chinese preserved radish that I recently opened to make pan fried beef buns 生煎牛肉包 with. I also have abundance of ground beef that I try to use it up for different dishes. I thought of using some of the beef to make a beef fried rice dish. Then I conceived a rough recipe to make a Chiuchow fried rice with salted radish 潮州菜脯炒飯 inspired by the one that I had while in Hong Kong five years ago.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

cantonese steamed beef meatballs 鮮竹牛肉丸 - part 3

鮮竹牛肉丸, 即製即吃. One of the reason that I diligently blog about my culinary journey is I would look back in later days and review my own progress as well as the evolution of taste and interest. I take abundance of photos as they are better than thousand words.

beef meat ball soup thick noodles 牛肉丸粗麵

This is just an improvised light meal with what I happen to have on hand. A beef meat ball soup thick noodles with home made thick noodles. I made a batch of beef meat balls and vacuum packed most of them and store in freezer. I kept the ugly five to be cooked. As making beef meat balls requires blanching them in hot water I ended up with a pot of beef broth. I use it to make this bowl of soup noodles.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

pan fried beef buns 生煎牛肉包 - part 1

This is another Shanghainese delight from childhood memory that I have been craving. It is pan fried beef buns 生煎牛肉包. The only thing that I bought to make these was a large pack of extra lean ground beef from Costco. All other ingredients are from the freezer, fridge, and my pantry.

Monday, February 4, 2019

mussels with asian eggplant

I bought some Pacific Northwest mussels without much thought of how I would like to prepare them. Mussels are the easiest to prepare like boiling water. What you need to know is they cook very fast, and release a lot of liquid. You should not waste the liquid they release but utilize it for your dish.

scallion "pancake" 蔥油餅 - part 4

This is getting out of control. I wasn't planning to make this until I give the stomach a rest. However, I wanted to improve the techniques of making scallion "pancake" 蔥油餅. This one turned out incredibly good. It is transformative.

xiao long bao 小籠包, potstickers 鍋貼, and pan fried pork buns 生煎包 - part 5

Wanting a little bit more soup in the xiao long bao 小籠包 for the remainder of the pork filling I thought I would add a bit a vegetable to it. I happen have a stalk of spring onion left over. It was just perfect and I chop it up and added to the filling. There is a bit of dough left as well so breakfast should be easy.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

xiao long bao 小籠包, potstickers 鍋貼, and pan fried pork buns 生煎包 - part 4

Success! I made some decent xiao long bao 小籠包. For me xiao long bao 小籠包 is the holy grail of a good Shanghai restaurant dishes that once I thought very difficult to make. If I succeed in making this, everything else should be cake walk. There were some challenges along the way, but thankfully I eased myself starting with other Shanghai delights that are easier to make. I also needed to get some bamboo steaming basket liners so the xiao long bao 小籠包 would not be sticking to the bamboo slats.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

home made siu mai 燒賣 - part 2

The batch of filling and the dough that I prepared for making siu mai 燒賣 just kept giving. I saved three pieces that has been steam for stemming hunger the next morning. I had them in a porcelain plate with a few pieces of cilantro that was for visual presentation. Just as I was ready to place the whole plate into the bamboo steamer to reheat, I moved the cilantro onto the top of the siu mai 燒賣 as I knew the cilantro will look terrible being steamed, but better if they sit on top of the siu mai 燒賣.

Friday, February 1, 2019

home made siu mai 燒賣 - part 1

I didn't planned ahead to make siu mai 燒賣. It was an impromptus thing as I have some small shrimps and pork in the fridge. Why not make a few siu mai. I knew I need the special yellow warpers that most people buy from stores. I figured I would just make my own with general purpose flour, which would not have the yellow food coloring.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

shanghai thick wheat noodle stir fried with julienne pork 上海肉絲炒粗麵 - part 2

My recent jumped into making a number of Shanghainese delights reignited my desire to make my own Shanghainese thick noodles 上海粗麵. Finding good Asian noodles in the west is most frustrating and I am seldom impressed with the variety with the exception of very few, and this includes edible ramen noodles. My solutions to these frustrations have been taking matter into my own hands. Some noodles are off limit to DIYers and Hong Kong wonton noodles is definitely one. By these I am referring to the raw noodles for making all these dishes where the quality of the noodles are paramount.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

stir fried crystal shrimps 清炒水晶虾仁

Stir fried crystal shrimps 清炒水晶虾仁 is often also found in the Shanghainese restaurants that serve xiao long bao 小籠包. It is called crystal 水晶 shrimps for their near translucent appearance. When I was in Toronto a few months ago we ordered this dish. Ever since returning to the Pacific Northwest I have been wanting to recreate this dish. The challenge is finding shrimps with just the right size.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

xiao long bao 小籠包, potstickers 鍋貼, and pan fried pork buns 生煎包 - part 3

So my quest for learning to make these Shanghainese delights continues. All counted I have tried making 5 things this week. While Hunan savory braised pork belly 湖南紅燒肉 suggest it is a Hunan dish the truth is you can call it Shanghainese too as Shanghai, and many other provinces also have a basically identical dish.

Monday, January 28, 2019

hunan savory braised pork belly 湖南紅燒肉

I have never met an Asian that does not like pork belly. If there is one that must be me. I used to be very afraid of eating pork belly for the fear that it would go straight to my belly and stay there. In time I would realize animal fat is not as bad as the world health professionals make them out to be. Rather, carb and sugar are much worst, and don't even get me started with processed food-like matter. Further, I would even to go out to the limb that most vegetable oil in the west that are not cold pressed but process with heat and chemical are likely worst than eating animal oil in moderation.

xiao long bao 小籠包, potstickers 鍋貼, and pan fried pork buns 生煎包 - part 2

I am amaze how productive these wheat flour based Shanghai delights are. I prepared a modest size batch of filling for making potsticker 鍋貼 and I had to stuff myself to make some headway. Still there were what appeared a tiny bit of the filling left. I put it away in the refrigerator. The next morning I wonder what to eat for breakfast.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

xiao long bao 小籠包, potstickers 鍋貼, and pan fried pork buns 生煎包 - part 1

Being a fearless home cook I always look forward to making something new. I used to think xiao long bao 小籠包 is something extremely difficult to make at home. I have been watching some excellent videos on Youtube and I decided to jump into making a few Shanghai favorites with both feet. The worst is I just have to eat my own dog food if they turn out terrible.

an impromptu eggplants in clay pot

I wanted to make a dish that is light in calories after eating a whole scallion pancake. What has a scallion pancake has to do with wanting a meal with lighter calories. It is the starch. I subscribe to refined sugar and starch are the biggest cause of obesity, not fat or protein.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

scallion "pancake" 蔥油餅 - part 3

I have been looking forward to make a scallion pancake 蔥油餅 following this man's techniques. Today I bought some good scallion. I have never seen scallions this expensive before. Most are poor quality and the sellers makes the bundle smaller.

hong kong style stir fried noodles with julienne pork 港色肉絲炒麵

I have a small portion of mung bean sprouts left in the refrigerator. It is on the verge of going bad but I thought I can salvage it in making another stir fried noodle dish with all the ingredients I have. I only need to pick up a bag of stir fry noodles.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

glutinous rice made to order 糯米飯即製即吃

This dish is so delicious that is hard to resist the temptation of overeating one's servings. The ingredients that work with glutinous rice 糯米飯 is endless , as are the method of making one. I like to steam the rice in a bamboo KKK headwear, in a spit bowl looking contraption.