Please check out all new posts on www.soupbelly.com. It’s just like Dumpling, but a slightly funnier name.
Thank you! :)
Please check out all new posts on www.soupbelly.com. It’s just like Dumpling, but a slightly funnier name.
Thank you! :)
Gai lan is a Chinese broccoli served mostly in Cantonese cooking. The flower buds and stalks are both eaten. The recipe I’m about to show you can be used as a universal way of stir-frying any vegetable; you can use this for green beans, spinach, bok choy, choy sum, snow pea leaves, Chinese cabbage, etc. Gai lan has a slightly bitter flavor, and that’s why we cook it in garlic and oyster sauce.
I know, I’m using a non-stick wok. I look like a total amateur, with no authentic Chinese cookware. I gave my real wok away when I moved out of my apartment years ago, and never got a new one, due to laziness.
This is a fairly easy recipe. It actually shouldn’t be a recipe at all; after you do it once, you’ll always remember how to do it.
Gai Lan with Garlic and Oyster Sauce (serves 4)
*You will need tongs and a wok
1) Soak the gai lan in a big tub of water for a few minutes. Pat dry; the water on the gai lan will make the oil splatter, so the dryer the better.
2) Heat oil in a wok on high. Immediately after you drop the garlic in, put the gai lan in. Use a lid as a shield from splattering oil.
3) Using tongs, flip the gai lan from bottom to top, so all the leaves are coated with oil. Sprinkle salt over the leaves, this will flavor it plus force the water out of the vegetable.
4) Put a lid on it, turn heat down to medium. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
5) When it is done, the gai lan should be a vibrant green, and the stalks should be tender and crisp. You can put the oyster sauce in now, or drizzle it on top when you serve it.
1) Soak the gai lan in a big tub of water for a few minutes. Trust me, if you saw my post on salad earlier, the state of gai lan is worse, given that you don’t purchase it pre-packaged in a fancy container. Pat dry; the water on the gai lan will make the oil splatter, so the dryer the better.
2) Heat oil in a wok on high.
3) Immediately after you drop the garlic in, put the gai lan in. It will splatter (no matter how much you dried the leaves), so use a lid as a shield.
4) Using tongs, flip the gai lan from bottom to top, so all the leaves are coated with oil. Sprinkle salt over the leaves, this will flavor it plus force the water out of the vegetable.
5) Put a lid on it, turn heat down to medium. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
6) When it is done, the gai lan should be a vibrant green, and the stalks should be tender and crisp. You can put the oyster sauce in now, or drizzle it on top when you serve it.
See how easy that was?
I know that when I’m watching chefs on TV prepare food without washing things, I cringe. Like plucking herbs off a plant and putting them right into a salad, dirt ‘n all. I know it’s because they’re on camera and they are in a make believe world where everything is perfect and clean.
And I’m worried my salad at the restaurant isn’t being washed either. On top of many other things I worry about at restaurants. It doesn’t matter if the bag of salad you purchased says triple washed, you should still wash it, because even a little particle of bacteria can multiply exponentially in that bag. Especially in raw foods nowadays.
Paranoid yet? You will be, just as I am.
So I washed a colander of salad under the faucet. This is enough washing for most of us. Then I decided to see how much dirt still remained on the leaves.
I soaked the leaves in a big bowl of water for a few minutes, swishing it around.
Then I put the leaves back in the colander, and this was what was left over.
I mean, it’s really not that big of a deal. I’m still alive. My husband is still alive. I never got sick eating my own salads I made at home. But I don’t know many people who wash fruit before consuming it. So I wonder who even washes their salad at all.
Wow. Only 5 ingredients. The great thing about this mango salsa is it keeps the salmon so moist when it is baked altogether. This is an adapted recipe from my free Costco cookbook. Hahah. The only thing I changed was I added mango and removed cumin. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, make this a little less wordy, wrap it up and enjoy my Friday morning.
Salmon with Warm Mango Salsa Coating (serves 2)
*Double ingredients for 4 servings.
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix mayo, drained salsa, and cubes of mango in a bowl.
3) Cover surface of baking pan with thin layer of chicken broth. Place salmon fillets on, and slather mango salsa coating on top.
4) Bake for 20 minutes. Serve.
1) Gather ingredients for salmon coating. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Use a strainer to filter out unwanted salsa juices.
3) Collect 1/2 cup of drained salsa.
4) Put mayo and salsa together.
5) Score squares on mangoes. Make smaller squares for smaller cubes. Pop em inside out.
6) I used a little cheese spreader to take my mango cubes off the peel.
7) Mix mangoes, mayo and salsa together.
8) Pour about 3 Tbsp. chicken broth into small baking pan with lip. Or if you’re using a larger pan, pour enough broth to cover the surface.
9) Slather on mango salsa coating on surface of salmon fillets.
10) Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered.
11) Take out of oven, and enjoy! We eat like this allllllllllll the time (not really).
Whoever says my husband doesn’t eat well, I will punch in the face. HE ALWAYS EATS WELL. Sometimes I think that’s the only reason he married me. Or maybe because I pour him a nice big glass of wine after work every night. Keep him all relaxed and happy.
Just to prove the coating keeps this salmon moist, take a look!
Enjoy your weekends everyone.
Woohoo. #5 on 1,723 posts that day. My moment of fame. I was flying high that day. And my profile name is Dumpling29 on Foodbuzz, if you want to look me up and be foodie buds. I will be your BFF.
MANGOES. I love them so much I make artistic (stupid) flower patterns with them and take their picture.
Words to go with this dessert: Refreshing. Or Coconuttiness. Or Mangolicious.
Mangoes are my favorite fruit. And I’m quite a fruity person. I like the smoothness in their taste, and that subtle sweetness when they are at their peak of perfection. And what better way to accompany them than with coconut? This sticky rice has an ooey gooey texture that binds the coconutty flavor of the milk it is cooked in. Most recipes say this takes an entire day to prepare, but I’m very impatient, and I don’t want to wait for my dessert. This takes about an hour. Because when I want it, I want it now (or within the hour). That’s what cravings are made for, instant (sort of) gratification.
Thai Sticky Coconut Rice and Mango Dessert (serves 4)
1) Soak one cup of rice with one cup of water for 20 minutes.
2) After 20 minutes, add 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup coconut milk, pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar to the rice. Mix thoroughly.
3) Cook in rice cooker until it clicks off. Let steam with the cover on for 5-10 minutes. If you do not have a rice cooker, simmer in a pot on the stove for 20 minutes or until the water absorbs into the rice.
4) Use a small pot to prepare the sauce. Add remaining coconut milk, pinch of salt, 1 tsp. vanilla and handful of coconut flakes. Obviously I have a rediculously enormous bag of coconut flakes, but that’s just because I wanted to show it off. Just use a handful.
5) Cook on medium low for 5 minutes, stirring consistently. Do not boil. Stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken the sauce, take the pot off heat. It sure smells co-co-nutty.
6) To cut cubes out of the mangoes, cut the two largest surface areas parallel to the mango seed. And score squares with knife as seen below.
7) Invert (flip) the slice so it pops out like so. Spoon the cubes out into a bowl.
8) To prepare dessert, pile the sticky rice into a pyramid (which I didn’t do a good job of) in the middle of a bowl. Ladle a generous amount of coconut sauce on top. Plop mango slices around the rice.
This recipe was adapted from a cookbook a friend gave me, ‘Journey into Cooking’, by Maria Gray. It’s even an autographed copy. There is more content in this book than any illustrated, commercial cookbook has nowadays, with 270 pages with 1-4 recipes per page.
Next time you go to the bookstore or Amazon.com to purchase the next celebrity chef’s new cookbook, go to the bargain section and look for an old-school, un-illustrated, un-trendy cookbook someone cared to pass on to you. You’ll find treasures.
Italian Meatballs (serves 8-10)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak real bread crumbs in a cup of milk.
2) In large bowl, mix all ingredients except tomato sauce together. If you’re not afraid to get dirty, use your hands to mix. It is finished mixing when you get that springy, bouncy texture from the meatball mixture.
3) Gently shape meatball mixture into balls (little smaller than golf ball size), but do not handle them much, or they will be very tough after baking.
4) Cook sauce in pot over low heat. Lightly drizzle olive oil to grease 2 cookie sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, turning over once.
5) Spoon into sauce, simmer for 5 minutes – 1 hour. Serve over pasta.
- 1/4 cup sour cream instead of 1/3 cup milk
- The longer the meatballs simmer in the sauce, the more it enhances the flavor/saltiness. You may want to add a little more salt to the meatball mixture if you don’t want them to cook in the sauce for a long time.
Kikkoman!! The soy sauce warrior.
This chicken salad is surprisingly delicious with a unique flavor combination of sweet red grapes and walnuts. Think of Waldorf salad, but instead of apples, use grapes. And add chicken. Ok, so the only thing this has in common with Waldorf is the walnuts. But you get the idea. It is delicious on a bed of salad greens, or in a sandwich, or on crackers. Use a croissant if you’re not afraid of a heart attack.
Chicken Salad with Red Grapes and Walnuts (serves 8)
1) If you have the time, to get really juicy chicken breasts, cook on medium low heat in a pot of half chicken broth/half water for 1.5 – 2 hours. Take out of pot and let rest for few minutes, then chop. Or, use cooked leftover chicken chunks. Place chicken cubes in bowl.
2) Trim bottom of 2 washed stalks of celery. Cut thin vertical strips.
3) Finely chop. Add to bowl.
4) Add minced onion to bowl.
5) I’m not being accurate with saying ‘1 small bunch of grapes’. But this is how much I used. Chop into quarter slices. Add into bowl.
6) Add walnuts to bowl.
You can see the bottom of my wine glass in this picture. Yes, please drink wine when you make something as simple as chicken salad.
7) Add one cup mayonnaise to salad. I used Hellmann’s made with Canola, it tastes just as good as regular, and about half the calories. Or you can use the mayo of your preference.
8) Squeeze half a lemon into salad. Mix with spoon, and salt/pepper to taste.
9) Serve as a sandwich, on a bed of salad, on crackers, etc. Refrigerate unused portions in airtight container.
Soooooooooooooooo gooooooooooooood. I will never make chicken salad without grapes again.
Foodstalgia. It happens when you eat/smell something and it brings you back to another time you’ve eaten the same thing. I have 10 pictures of my husband eating gelato on our honeymoon. 10 different instances he ate gelato. Obviously, because it’s so good, he kept going back for more each day. Not because he’s a gelato pig, but because tasting it brings back good memories. Isn’t that why we all eat?
I have foodstalgia about McDonald’s, school cafeteria food, and cheap shitty beer. Yea, I know, three disgusting things. Going to McDonald’s was a great treat when I was little, since we usually ate 5 course meals every single day made by my mother slaving over the stove (see how deprived I was?). So, cheap greasy french fries and hamburgers were the smell of freedom. We got to act like Americans at McDonald’s. Of course, a Chinese family of 4 splits each meal in half, since we can’t eat the enormous quantities they serve, and we’re quite cheap. I finally was able to finish an entire happy meal by myself at age 14. Practice!
Do you remember sitting in the school cafeteria complaining how gross your meal was everyday? I said it was gross just to fit in. But I secretly loved it. I never ate so many things cooked in butter. Chinese people rarely cook with butter, unless they’re baking something, and even then it’s baking with lard most of the time. I loved pizza day, which was once a week. The dough was made from scratch every morning by the cafeteria ladies. Then it was slathered with over-seasoned tomato sauce and generously piled with mozzarella cheese over an inch thick. And we also had daily alternatives if you didn’t prefer the main lunch. The alternatives were PB&J, or toasted cheese. Imagine each of those sandwiches 2.5-3 inches thick. Imagine the toasted cheese cooked with half a stick of butter. Can you picture how good it was?
Cheap, shitty beer. Reminds me of college parties. The ‘good ol days’. Not really. But I recently had a sip of something really nasty (Genesee beer in a can) and I felt like I was unwillingly dragged back in time to some stupid frat party all over again. It’s funny how our brains work.