Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008


I've got a couple pictures from Thanksgiving this year. There were a bunch more dishes including one of my mom's bread & butter dishes : baked string beans with cream of mushroom soup and fried onions but unfortunately the pictures didn't come out great so I got rid of them.

In addition to the turkey and string beans, we had the usual fixings (stuffing, cranberry sauce), in addition to some mashed sweet potato, fresh bread, and apple pie for dessert. Yum! I got to make the mashed sweet potato and helped with the stuffing and I also picked up a few tips on preparing a turkey from my mom and grandfather.

I don't know how he does it, but my grandfather always manages to get the turkey to come out nice and juicy, with the white meat soft and tender but not undercooked!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Noodle Soup!

Noodle Soup

With the weather turning cold, I've been turning to much more comfort food type dishes lately. After making chili a while ago and a new batch of wontons, I've been on a soup noodle kick as of late. There's a myriad of different kinds of noodle soups available at all of the different eateries around town (I'll have another post detailing many of the different kinds as soon as I finish sampling them :P), but I decided that I should be able to have this at home too.

So in celebration of the first snowfall of the winter, I set off to make myself a steaming hot bowl of soup. With a trip to Super 88, I had all of the necessary ingredients for just a few dollars. There's not much of a recipe but I'll try my best to detail the steps I took.

Rice Noodle Soup

Rice Noodles (Pho noodles) - 4 ounces (or more, depending on whether you want more or not)
12-16 oz Chicken Broth (I just used one can)
6 oz Water (half the can of chicken broth)
beef balls
fish balls
fish cakes
pork wontons
bok choy
dash of 5 spice powder

1. Depending on if you have fresh rice noodles or not, you may be able to skip this step. If you have dried rice noodles, follow the directions on the package. Strain noodles and put in a bowl.
2. Blanch the bok choy, set aside.
3. Heat up the chicken broth and water, add the dash of 5 spice powder. Bring close to a boil.
4. Add the wontons, beef balls, fish balls, and fish cakes. Cook wontons through.
5. Add the bok choy in for a minute or so.
6. Pour soup over the noodles in a bowl and chow down

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Everytime I end up in Davis Square, I always stop by Dave's Fresh Pasta and pick up some form of fresh pasta. This last time, I picked up some basil & lemon papardelle (I think it was basil & lemon at least) among the usual sandwich and multitudes of other tasty goodies :)

So, with that in mind (and in hand), and with some freshly made tomato sauce (for another post anyway), I set off making one of the classic dishes that you seem to find in almost every Italian restaurant, Chicken Parmesan. I remember eating this all the time growing up whenever my family went out and occasionally, I'll see it in the cafeteria at work but otherwise, I don't have it very often.

The recipe I used was inspired by Simply Recipes, one of the most well-designed and easy to use sites around (And that's not even mentioning the wealth of great recipes!). As soon as I looked at this recipe, I knew I had to try it out, and sure enough, it turned out well! I did make a couple substitutions but they were rather minor, chicken breast for chicken thighs and eggs instead of butter for dredging.

Chicken Parmesan

Serves 4-6
Time: 30-40 minutes

- 2-3 eggs (Can substitute butter)
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup bread crumbs (plain)
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning (basil, parsley, oregano)
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 lbs chicken breasts/thighs, pounded, cut into large pieces
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated


1. Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic salt, parsley, and black pepper in a bowl. Put eggs (beaten) and flour in two separate bowls.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3. Dredge the chicken first in the flour, then the eggs, then the bread crumb mix.
4. Set on a baking sheet (greased or foiled)
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
6. At 15 minute mark, drizzle some mozzerella cheese on top. Or, remove into a bakeable dish, spoon some tomato sauce on, and drizzle mozzarella cheese.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Glazed Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce

Glazed Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce

Most of my recipes are not actually my own inspiration (I'm not that creative!). But tons of other bloggers are (and cookbooks :P) so with a little bit of adjusting to my tastes, I try my best to recreate their dishes. This one was inspired both by my desire to have fish at least once a week and by a local Boston blogger, Beyond Salmon.

I've been trying to eat a bit healthier lately and fish was one of the first things I thought about. In addition to having all kinds of variety, fish is easy (a plus for me!) to cook and doesn't require a whole lot of seasoning to taste good.

Glazed Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce

Serves 4
Time : 20-30 minutes

- 4 salmon fillets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp honey
- salt and pepper

- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tbsp hellmann’s real mayo
- 2 tbsp parsley flakes
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp whisky, cognac, or white wine (less if you prefer)
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Wrap broiler pan with foil
2. Rub salmon with oil, salt, and pepper on both sides
3. Place salmon, skin down, on pan. Drizzle honey on top
4. Put salmon under broiler for 4-6 minutes, check every 2 minutes. As soon as the top browns, turn broiler off, move salmon to the middle of the oven from the top shelf, and keep in the heat for another few minutes. Depending on how rare you like the fish, you could change this. I broiled for 6 minutes and that was about it.
5. Mix sauce together, spoon over top of the salmon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lowell's Restaurant and Bar - Seattle

Lowell's Menu

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving! I got to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner this time and as soon as I find time to process the pictures, I'll have a post :)

Anyway, back to the exploits from my Seattle vacation! I wrote about Pike Place's different markets and stores last time, now I'd like to highlight one of the dining experiences there. The morning before my flight back to the East Coast, a buddy and I got up super early (well, 7:30am is early for being on vacation :P) and hiked our way over to Pike's Place for a hearty breakfast at Lowell's Restaurant and Bar.

Earlier in the weekend, I asked some of the local merchants about where a good place to eat would be and the majority first choice was Lowell's. So I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to eat there for sure, especially if it's popular among the local population!

I ended up with the oyster scramble (seafood breakfast every day while I was in Seattle :P) and my buddy had a salmon scramble, both were excellent and Lowell's definitely lived up to expectations.

Lowell's oyster scramble
Lowell's salmon scramble

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pork Kimchi

Pork Kimchi

A few posts ago I wrote about Misono Wok in Super 88 and one of my favorite dishes there is Pork stir fried with kimchi. It's definitely been one of the tastier dishes I've had, and it's a very home-style type dish (especially because it's quick too!). So after asking around for some tips, I decided to give it a shot and make it myself!

I bought kimchi from John's Market in Allston to use with the pork belly from super 88. Now, making the pork kimchi was already adventurous enough for me so there was no way I was going to try to make kimchi as well :P Maybe next time! But anyway, John's makes fresh kimchi and packages it with a date so that you know the freshness. They also sell all sorts of other goodies for Korean cooking and even will provide thinly sliced meat and such, perfect for Korean BBQ or hot pot!

So, with some pork belly, kimchi, an onion, and gochujang, I set off to my task! The verdict? It was good, but I think I used too much kimchi and next time, I'm going to use pork shoulder instead of pork belly. Now I love pork belly...but it's pretty fatty and didn't really fit the dish I don't think.

Pork Kimchi

Serves 4-6
Time:20-30 minutes
- 1 lb pork (shoulder or belly), sliced thin
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp Gochujang
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- dash sesame oil

- Kimchi – close to a pound
- 1 medium onion
- 2 stalks green onions, chopped

1. Marinate the pork in the rice wine and black pepper. Set aside for 20-30 minutes
2. Mix together the Gochujang through the sesame oil into a paste. Mix the paste with the pork.
3. Heat a wok with some oil. Add pork and stir fry, shouldn’t take too long because the pork needs to be sliced thin.
4. Add onions, and green onions. Stir fry quickly for a couple minutes
5. Add kimchi and rice cakes. Stir to mix well. Add ¼ cup water and steam for a few minutes. Add some more chili sauce or gochujang if you want it spicier.
6. Serve over rice

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mongolian Beef

Gotta start by giving credit to Rasa Malaysia, one of my favorite blogs (excellent recipes and superb photography. Much better than this guy) for this delicious recipe! It was one of those moments where I looked at a few pictures, drooled all over my desk and then decided I had to make it. I did add an onion and a pepper to the dish for some more veggies in the diet though.

Beef stir fried with just about anything is a good way to make me happy for sure. Any meat really, but beef more than most because it seems to absorb a marinade so well. Combine that with a tasty gravy and a couple scoops of rice and you've got an absolutely fantastic meal in a matter of minutes!

Mongolian Beef

Serves 4-6 with rice
- 1 pound beef
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 stalks leeks (sliced diagonally)
- 1 inch ginger (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 onion, medium (chopped)
- 1 small bell pepper of your choice (chopped)
- 1 stalk shredded scallions (white part, for garnish)

- 1 tsp corn starch
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp ShaoHsing rice wine

- 3 tsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp Kecap Manis (dark sweet soy sauce)
- ½ tsp dark soy sauce
- ½ tsp white pepper
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- salt & sugar to taste

1. Marinate beef for 30 minutes
2. Heat wok with 1 tbsp oil, stir-fry beef until half done, remove and set aside
3. Add 1 tbsp oil and sauté garlic and ginger. Add beef back in then sauce. Stir-fry until beef is almost done, add leeks into wok, add salt and sugar to taste, garnish with shredded scallions. Serve.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pike Place Market - Seattle

Back at the end of August, I ended up in Seattle on vacation with some friends from high school. We were there for different reasons than food, but I quickly discovered that Pike Place Market was just a few blocks away from our hotel! Thanks to the concierge (and no thanks to my pre-vacation preparation :P), we were all introduced to a fantastic market, with fresh fish, meat, vegetables, and a myriad of other shops and stores!

One of the first sights was the largest fish counter I'd seen in recent memory. Several workers stood out front taking orders and stacking the shelves with the day's catch. I was actually there early enough one day to see the workers setting everything up. Whole fish being chopped and cleaned behind the counter, and more whole fish and sacks of shellfish being hauled in from the harbor with an assembly line of workers throwing the day's catch all the way up the ramps!

Right next door was a large meat counter, with many cuts that you don't normally see in a supermarket...all fresh and ready to cook! And next to that was a small bakery, a donut stand, and a gourmet tea shop!

I could write a book on all of these different places, but maybe it's better if I just show some pictures :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Misono Wok (Super 88) - Allston

If you went to college in the Boston area (or if you live nearby), you've probably heard about the Super 88 supermarket and food court. The first time I ate there was in 2002 at a Ramen stand that, unfortunately, no longer exists. Before then, I always thought ramen was something you make in 30 seconds and comes in individually sized bags. Needless to say, it was an eye-opening experience.

That Japanese ramen isn't around anymore, but its replacement, Misono Wok, is a more than ample replacement. They serve home-style Korean food, which isn't exactly easy to find in the city. But to be honest, until I got to Boston, I never really had a lot of Korean food, maybe because Korean food is even rarer in New Jersey!

But anyway, back to the food. When I think Korean food, the first thing that comes to mind is Korean BBQ (bulgogi, kalbi, etc), kimchi, and bibimbap. While Misono Wok does have some of these dishes available, my favorite dishes are their noodle dishes, especially the Tukboki (rice cake noodles), or Japche (glass thread noodles). I've also been a huge fan of the pork kimchi lately, and even tried making it myself (I'll save that for another day).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chicken Katsu Curry

There are a few local Japanese restaurants, including one of my favorites Cafe Mami, that serve some very homestyle Japanese food. Simple, tasty, and cheap. And one of my regular dishes is a Katsu Curry, a fried pork/chicken cutlet with curry on top, served with a fried egg, cheese, and sometimes some pickles.

But sometimes I'm a little lazy to travel across the river to get to Cafe Mami so I tried my hand at making it myself. I do use the boxed curry though, I've read through the ingredients on how to make curry paste and decided it wasn't for me (probably to the chagrin of many). I also add onions, carrots, and potatoes, to make it a heartier stew-like meal. Boiling the carrots and potatoes in advance does help too, as it lessens the amount of time to simmer the curry.

I used to make this without cheese but after reading a couple other blogs and getting some testimony, I added the mozzarella and it does actually add a lot of taste!

Chicken Katsu Curry

Serves 4-6
Time : 1 hour 30 minutes

- 4-6 chicken breasts, pounded thin
- 2-3 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs

- 1 box S&B Hot curry
- 15-20 baby carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- Optional (A couple boiled potatoes, chopped)
- 3.5 cups water (or stock)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

- Eggs for afterwards
- Some mozzarella cheese

1. Dredge chicken in flour, eggs, then bread crumbs (Can do twice if you like)
2. Bake or pan fry chicken (bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 or pan fry for 5-10 minutes), set aside
3. Heat a sauté pan under medium, add a little canola oil, add garlic. Stir fry for 30 seconds until fragrant, add onions and carrots.
4. Stir fry vegetables for 3-4 minutes, then add water/stock. Stir in the curry mix and add boiled potatoes (if you have them)
5. Simmer for 45 minutes until potatoes and carrots are soft
6. Serve chicken over rice. Add some mozzarella cheese on top and pour curry over. Top with a fried egg if you like.

- Can substitute the baked chicken (with eggs, flour, bread crumbs) with chopped beef chuck. Add the beef after the garlic in this case.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chez Henri - Cambridge

I'd been hearing great reviews about Chez Henri for over a year, more specifically about how ridiculously good their Cuban sandwich was. So, like a genuinely interested foodie, I procrastinated. But this summer I finally made it over there with a friend.

We ended up both getting the Cuban and splitting some seafood croquettes (The picture came out a little blurry so I left it out). The Cuban definitely was one of the best I've had, stuffed full of meat and served with fried plantain chips and a tasty homemade salsa. Definitely one of the better meals I've had (a little pricey though) but worth it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chili - For cold weather and football!

There's nothing like a hearty bowl of chili on a cold day on Football Sunday. And it's definitely good on a day where I was just doing chores around the house and cleaning! Throw everything in and simmer for a few hours. But the only problem was that I'd never cooked chili before, though from everything I've heard, chili isn't exactly the hardest thing to cook :P

After searching far and wide (there seem to be hundreds of recipes!), a buddy of mine offered up this nugget. With a few adjustments (more meat) and an extra dose of spices, I think I've stumbled onto something! So, after a morning and afternoon of chores, I was able to finally dig into the chili that was on the stove all day :)

Meaty, hearty chili

Serves : 6-8 people
Time : 20 minutes prep, 3-4 hours cook time

- 1 – 1.5 lbs ground chuck
- 1 lb pork, diced
- 1 lb beef chuck, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1-2 Jalapeno peppers, chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto/kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 (8-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
- 1 12-oz bottle dark beer
- 1 (14 ½oz) can beef broth
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1-2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp hot sauce (or more, depending on your spicy tolerance)
- Optional : 1/4 tsp cocoa

1. Cook garlic with some oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat for 30 seconds until sizzling.
2. Add meat, cook through, add onion, cook another minute or so
3. Combine meat mixture, beans, and the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Jang Su Korean BBQ - Burlington MA

Spicy Squid and Pork stir fry

So it's been another long while since the last post! To tell the truth, I didn't cook the whole month of September, horrible isn't it??? That, coupled with vacations to Las Vegas and Seattle, and wow, my body was hating me!

Anyway, enough of that and back to the food huh? This post is about New Jang Su Korean BBQ, and as the name suggests, a Korean BBQ in Burlington MA. A very good friend of mine rants and raves about this place, and believe it or not, it was over a year before I managed to arrange dinner there :)

So, a bunch of us finally went a couple months back, and wow, definitely worth the trip (and nearly the year's wait too!) The Kalbi was incredibly juicy and the Bibimbap was one of the best I've had. My friend ordered more than enough for 10-12 people (There were 8 of us) and it's a good thing too, since we ended up finishing it all!



Sunday, September 7, 2008

More random photos - New Jersey

Well, it definitely has been a while since the last post...August was quite a busy month and I honestly just lost track of posting! But that doesn't mean I didn't take pictures! I have a few from both my long weekend trips to Las Vegas and Seattle and will be posting those soon along with some notes!

Here are some pictures from the last few times I was in New Jersey, from a family BBQ and from Nagoya, a Japanese restaurant in town (And also my favorite!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Vietnamese Style grilled pork

One of my fixations at any of the local Vietnamese restaurants (besides Pho) is the marinated grilled pork over rice. I don't know what's in the marinade (well, I sort of do now) but it just was that tasty with rice and a small salad! So one day, I was able to convince a friend of mine to show me the way her mother cooks the pork chops, homestyle! And wow, the food did not disappoint!!!

As with a lot of Southeastern Asian cuisine, fish sauce is a staple. The pork is marinated along with some sugar and honey to diffuse the saltiness. Add that to some stir-fried scallions and some other veggies and you've got a nice meal (plus leftovers!)

This dish is also meant to be grilled but a frying pan would have to work this time.

The recipe can be halved to make slightly less

Vietnamese Style Grilled Pork

Serves 6-7 with rice and vegetables
2 lbs pork chops (12-14 thin sliced pork chops)
6-7 stalks scallions, chopped (whites separated, green for garnish)

Sprinkle of kosher salt
2 tbsp black pepper
5 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1-2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 shallots, minced
1/2 cup water (or stock)
white parts of the scallions
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1. Marinate the pork for at least 20 minutes
2. Heat the frying pan over medium heat. Add a little oil, cook some of the pork with some of the juice.
3. When pork is close to finished, bring the heat to high to evaporate the juice and caramelize the shallots. Rub the pork in the reduced sauce to get a singed look to the pork.
4. Repeat 2-3 for as many batches as necessary.
5. In a small frying pan, heat some oil and saute the green parts of the scallions for a minute to garnish the pork.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Miscellaneous food pictures

Sorry about the lack of posts over the past two weeks, life got in the way a little bit, but I should be back at it soon! As soon as I get some free time, I'll be building the queue back up (Got about 40-50 photos on the camera that're waiting to be :P). I'd also been cooking a few dishes that I already posted about so I'll probably have a small post devoted to re-hashes of recipes I've already made :)

But in the meanwhile, here are a few miscellaneous photos of things I've made/eaten over the past month or so.

Spicy Beef over Rice

Egg Noodles with chicken and onion

Chicken Teriyaki

Chinese broccoli in ginger/garlic sauce

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cantonese Stuffed Tofu

Hope I'm not tiring out the palette with all of these Chinese recipes, but I've got another one today. I also made this a little while ago but just hadn't had a chance to post it yet. I never tried making this type of tofu dish before, I usually just stir fry cubes of tofu with some other ingredients, so this was a new experiment!

The hardest part was turning the tofu in the wok without breaking the triangles. Other than that, the prep is pretty straightforward (and a lot of fun!).

The recipe comes from Grace Young's Breath of a Wok. This cookbook focuses more on the specialty dishes of many different chefs/cooks and has a great variety of different Chinese dishes, each with a very thorough description of preparation and instruction.

Cantonese Stuffed Tofu

Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal
1 tbsp dried shrimp (haw mai)
4 squares firm tofu (14 ounces) rinsed
3/4 tsp salt
4-8 ounces ground pork
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup minced scallions
2 tbsp canola oil
1 minced garlic clove
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce (I used the thick ketjap manis)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
cilantro for garnish

1. In a small saucepan, boil 1/2 cup water. Add the shrimp and simmer for a minute. Drain and reserve the water. Mince the shrimp and set aside.
2. Place the tofu on some paper towels, sprinkle 1/2 tsp of the salt evenly over the tofu and set aside.
3. Combine the pork, 1 tsp cornstarch, sugar, pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, and the minced shrimp. Stir in 1/2 tsp sesame oil, the scallions, and a couple tablespoons of the reserved shrimp liquid.
4. Cut each tofu square diagonally into 2 triangles. With a paring knife, cut a shallow pocket along the long side of each triangle, removing some bean curd and discarding the excess. Stuff each triangle with the filling.
5. Bring your wok under high heat until a bead of water vaporizes in a split second. Swirl in the canola oil and add the tofu triangles, pork side down (may need to do multiple batches if your wok is smaller). Pan fry for 2 minutes over medium heat and then scatter the garlic in the pan. Cook for another minute.
6. Add the broth and 1/4 cup cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to med-low and simmer for about 3 minutes.
7. Using a spatula, loosen each triangle and turn on its side. Add the soy sauce, cover and summer for another 4 minutes. Add the rest of the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.
8. With the remaining 1 tsp cornstarch, mix it with a tablespoon of cold water. Increase the heat to high, add the cornstarch slurry and cook for 30 more seconds. Garnish with cilantro

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Stir Fried Scallops with Snow Peas and Peppers

One of my favorite types of dishes during the summer is fresh seafood. Whether it's some form of sushi or a nicely cooked fish fillet with a tasty glaze, it's no matter, I'll eat it all! And as much as people say that too much shellfish is bad for you, I absolutely love having scallops. I even add it to macaroni and cheese :)

So when I was at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago, imagine my delight when the big sea scallops were on their "weekly buys!" So I had to buy a pound of it and cook it up. Normally, I'll cook this dish but I decided that I needed to experiment this time. So out came Grace Young's Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen and lo and behold, I found a recipe! Enjoy :P

Stir-Fried Scallops w/ Snow Peas and Peppers

Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal

4-6 ounces snow peas
1 pound fresh sea scallops
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp cornstarch (separate)
1 tsp + 1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp ShaoHsing rice wine
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil (I like the chili sesame oil :D)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup Chicken Broth
2 tsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp canola oil
4-6 slices of ginger
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into small squares (about an inch)
2 scallions, ends removed, sliced

1. String the snow peas, rinse, set aside.
2. Wash the scallops in cold water, drain well and slice into quarters.
3. Mix together 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp rice wine, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp sugar, and the scallops. Stir to coat well.
4. Combine the chicken broth, oyster sauce, salt, and remaining 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp rice wine, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp sugar. Stir well.
5. Add 1 tbsp canola oil to the scallop mixture. Heat a wok under high heat until hot (when a droplet of water sizzles away in a couple seconds). Add 1 tbsp canola oil and the scallops. Cook for a couple minutes without disturbing the scallops, and then use a spatula to stir fry for another couple minutes. Remove and set aside.
6. Add remaining 1 tbsp canola oil, ginger, and garlic. Let the ginger and garlic sizzle, and then add the snow peas, red pepper, and scallions. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes, add the sauce mixture and stir well. Add the scallops back in and stir fry another 1-2 minutes. Serve with rice

Friday, July 18, 2008

Beef Chow Fun

One of my favorite Chinese dishes growing up was Beef Chow Fun or rather beef stir fried with bean sprouts and haw fun (wide rice noodles). It was a great complement to a traditional Chinese lunch or dinner along with a steamed dish and some veggies (chinese broccoli, pea sprouts, etc). I could really not get enough of this dish, as well as the version made with more gravy (I'll try making that another time), and we used to order it every time we went out to eat (Not to mention it was also my sister's favorite dish!).

I'd come across many different recipes for Beef Chow Fun but they all came out much different than I was used to. Then I found a version in Grace Young's Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen and it came out amazingly. Not as greasy or as dark (probably the soy sauce I used) as in a restaurant, which was a plus, but it still had the same texture and flavor!

I always try to get fresh haw fun from the grocery store, I usually don't like using the dried haw fun and it never seems to come out right! Fresh haw fun should be cooked the day it's purchased, otherwise the noodles start to harden and will break apart on you in the wok.

Beef Chow Fun

8 ounces mung bean sprouts (I used closer to 6), rinsed and cleaned
2/3 - 3/4 lb beef flank steak, sliced
1/4 tsp baking soda
2-3 tbsp light soy sauce (or dark soy sauce, can use less)
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp ShaoHsing cooking wine
1 tbsp Chinese dried black beans (fermented dried black beans), rinsed and mashed
1 lb fresh rice noodles (haw fun)
3 tbsp canola oil
3-4 thin slices of ginger
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, ends removed, cut into inch slices
2-3 tbsp oyster sauce

1. Mix together the baking soda, 1 tbsp soy sauce, cornstarch, and rice wine. Add the beef, stir to combine and set aside.
2. Heat a wok over high heat until hot but not smoking (Good test is if a droplet of water evaporates in a couple seconds). Add 1 tbsp oil, the ginger, and garlic to the wok and stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add the beef and spread it out evenly in the wok, let cook for about a minute. Add the mashed black beans and stir fry for another couple minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
4. Add the rest of the oil with the noodles, spreading them out in the wok. Cook for about a minute and then add the bean sprouts. Stir fry for another couple minutes and add the rest of the soy sauce, toss to coat the noodles.
5. Add the beef back in, toss, then add the scallions and the oyster sauce.
6. Stir fry another couple minutes and serve.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Clear Flour Bread - Allston MA

One thing I haven't had much of in the past couple years was fresh bread from a local bakery. But lately, I've wandered to a couple different bakeries in the Allston/Brighton/Brookline area, When Pig's Fly Bakery, and Clear Flour Bread. Both places are wonderful and bake some awesome bread but today I only have pictures from the latter...I have to admit that I ate the bread from When Pigs Fly before I remembered to take pictures.

Anyway, Clear Flour has all kinds of daily specials in addition to a large assortment of staple breads including one of my favorites, an onion foccacia! They also bake many different pastries and sometimes have creative versions of a bread that are amazing! They had a loaf of Challah bread shaped like a turtle the last time I visited and I've seen bread baked in the shapes of flowers as well!

Here are the pictures! See for yourself :)