October 14, 2010
Sichuan Style Eggplant! 魚香茄子

It’s been a while since i’ve been back. actually i haven’t checked my tumblr since the last time i updated. Anyhow, tonight i decided to try to make sichuan style eggplant 魚香茄子. it’s really not that difficult, and tastes really good too!

ingredients:

  • A. 2 tblsp. cooking wine (i used rice wine)
  • B. 1 tblsp. oyster sauce
  • C. 3 tblsp. hot chili bean paste
  • D. 1/2 tblsp. sesame oil
  • E. 1 tblsp. sugar
  • F. 1/2 lbs. ground pork
  • G. 4 eggplants
  • H. 1tblsp. ginger (minced)
  • I. 2 tblsp. garlic (minced)
  • J. 2 stalks scallions (minced)

Directions:

1. Cut eggplant into sticks and soak in lightly salted water for ~10 minutes.

2. drain the water from the eggplant. heat oil in a deep frying pan to deepfry eggpants.

3. deepfry eggplants for 2-3 minutes or until the eggplants appear to turn into a lighter hue of purple. remove from oil.

4. start another frying pan with some oil to stir fry the ground pork. stir fry until the ground pork is cooked, then add hot chili bean paste.

5. stir fry, then add minced garlic and ginger. stir fry until aromatic.

6. add the oyster sauce, sugar, wine and stir fry until well combined and cooked.

7. add eggplants into pan and stir fry until well combined.

8. add scallions and sesame oil. stir fry until even.

there you have your si chuan style eggplant!

it went so well with rice for dinner tonight! how spicy it actually is will depend on how spicy your chili bean paste is. I usually get lee kim kee cuz i feel the spiciness is pretty moderate. of course there are also spicier options out there depending on your preference.

nom nom nom (o^_^o)

-Ney

September 29, 2010
泰式打拋肉 Pad Kapaw! :D

It finally stopped raining today, so i went to chinatown to get my asian groceries, and LOTS of basil (for some reason basil is really expensive in american supermarkets, but really cheap at c mart). Since i got all my spices ready, i decided to make some pad kapaw for dinner tonight! :D

Ingredients:

  • A. 1 Tblsp Sugar
  • B. 1 - 1.5 tblsp golden mountain seasoning sauce
  • C. 4 tblsp lemon juice
  • D. White pepper (add according to preference)
  • E. 2 tblsp chicken powder’
  • F. 4 - 5 cloves garlic(minced)
  • G. 2 cloves shallots
  • H. 2 stalks scallions
  • I. 1/4 onion
  • J. 4 red chili peppers
  • K. few stalks basil (leaves only)
  • L. 1/2 lbs. ground pork

Directions:

1. combine ingredients A - E in a small bowl with a little bit of water, mix well and set aside for use later.

2. heat up an oiled pan/pot and fry red hot chili peppers, garlic, and shallots together until aromatic

3. add ground pork and a lttile bit of water. turn to large fire and stir fry until meat is cooked.

4. pour the combined sauce preared in step 1 and pour it into the meat in the pot/pan and stir fry together.

5. add in the onions, stir fry. then add in the scallions, and stir fry until even.

6. add in the basil leaves and stir fry until even.

There we have our homemade pad kapaw! :D

goes SOO WELLLL with rice! so make sure there’s some around too! :D

yum yum! :D

-Ney

September 19, 2010
Custard Mooncakes (奶皇月餅) for Moon Festival!

I know its been a while since i’ve experimented with something new in the kitchen. my younger brother is really obsessed with gyudon, so my mom made me make it a lot this past month or so, so i’ve been told to do that in the kitchen for the most part. Since the moon festival (mid autumn festival) is coming up on wednesday, I thought i could try to make some moon cakes. I’m pretty sick and tired of common flavors like date paste, redbean paste fillings, so i decided to try custard filled mooncakes and they turned out fairly well!

The recipe told me to bake it at 200 CELSIUS, and the oven i usually runs on a celsius scale, but today i used an american oven, and forgot about the difference in units used on the dial between the ovens so for the first 10 minutes, i baked it at 200F instead of 200C -_-

i think that might be why the mooncakes appeared a litted cracked on the sides ._.

they did taste really good tho!

^ making the custard filling with corn starch, flour, eggs, condensed milk, sugar, and custard powder

^mixing it together with butter while adding coconut milk!

^steaming the custard filling batter

^making the skin with flour, butter, egg yolk, custard powder, sugar, vanilla

^custard filling (left), and skin (right) ready to be made into mooncakes!

^wrapping the filling in the skin!

^putting it into the mooncake mold!

^fresh out of the mold!

^brushing on some raw beaten eggs! then in the oven they go!

fresh homemade custard mooncakes!

I originally thought theyd be really sweet like most mooncakes u find around, but then tehy actually came out to be pretty pleasantly average in sweetness. May i’ll try some other fillings next time too. but these went pretty well with some tea this afternoon ^_^

-Ney

August 18, 2010
Snowman Redbean Soup!

Today i went to the bookstore to read some books; of course i would go to the food/recipe section to read some recipe books that i might find to be interesting. I came across this recipe for this ridiculously cute dessert that didnt seem that difficult to assemble - Snowma Redbean Soup! So i decided to buy some redbean soup (i didnt have time to cook it today) and made everything else myself to put it together as dessert after dinner!

^my snowman riceballs. ready to be cooked!

^cooking my snowman rice balls in hot water!

^ cooling them off in ice water so they’re extra chewy!

^some cooked redbeans from the soup

^put some whipped cream on top, and then set the snowmen in (decorate with sesame as eyes)!

^pour in hot red bean soup before eating, and it’ll melt the cream (snow)! :D

August 15, 2010
Healthy Diet Plan!

I’ve been reading men’s health for quite a few months now. It all started this past semester, when i picked one up and found much of the content to be suprisingly interesting. So in addition to love, sex, working out, and all the whey protein ads that fill the magazine, there’s also a large section on how to eat healthy. So under their influence i decided to make something along the lines of the kind of stuff they introduce in the mag. Here’s my first little attempt with a semi-healthy-ish sandwich:

so the sandwich includes:

  • chicken breast meat marinated in olive oil seasoned with spices
  • fresh avocado slices
  • fresh tomato slices
  • fresh purple onions
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • cheese

so here comes my little experiment!

^ marinatin the chicken!

^putting my sandwich together! (yes i did pan sear the chicken before putting it together-_-) the bread is seasoned with the same seasoned olive oil used for the chicken! :D

^after adding the onions and avocado slices!

^snap the 2 sides together! nom nom nom… :D

yummy yummy in my tummy! (o^_^o)

-Ney

August 9, 2010
Homemade Bacon Scallion Pancakes 蔥花培根發麵餅 ! (Pictures inside!)

My mom used to make this on special occasions like when friends abroad come visit, or on occasions worth celebrating. Although everyone loves it, but it just takes so much time to make, so she doesn’t make it nearly as often as all of us wishes she would. It’s actually been a while since i last had it, probably cuz i’m not at home for most of the year. She was going to make it yesterday to celebrate father’s day in taiwan (8/8), but we were all pretty busy so she decided to push it back to today! So we made the dough around noon today, and allowed it rise for most of the afternoon, then put everything together, allowed it to rise for another hour or so, then cooked it (so yes, it does take a long time to make). I took some photos along the way so i thought i’d share it with all of you!

This recipe is a family recipe passed down from my paternal grandfather. I think the  recipe traces back to the origin of my family - shanxi province in China. So it’s pretty legit! My grandpa used to only put scallions in it, and used lard. My mom had kinda altered the recipe and uses olive oil now (much healthier), and added bacon to the filling (much tastier)!

here we go!

^preparing the dough!

^lots of airbubble compartments in the dough after rising! :D

^kneading!

^seasoning + adding scallions + bacon!

^roll roll roll!

^roll it out!

^sprinkling some sesame seeds!

^pan frying!

^almost done!

^cutting into slices!

^ nom nom nom nom! :D

August 6, 2010
Tiramisu Taste Testing! (+ improved edges!)

Just as J had pointed out to me earlier on, that the edges to my tiramisu looked really jagged and messy, so i went online to do some research on how to make it look nice and clean. So today, i cut a few pieces out to share with my family, and used the hot-water technique i learned (basically, dip the blade into hot water, wipe it dry, then slice) and it gave me really clean cut edges (yay!)

So after i cut each piece out, i garnished it with some of the mousse left over from putting the cake together + chocolate decorations!

August 6, 2010
Mask

Have you ever felt what it feels like to have worn a mask for too long? So long that you start believing that that’s your true face? So true that it appears to be seamless? And so seamless that you don’t even know where to start peeling to take it off?

August 4, 2010
Tiramisu success! (click in for the photos!)

So it’s been a while since i’ve made some new things. My parents really liked the tarte normande (apple pie) so ever since i made the first one, i made two more, and those have been keeping them happy for after dinner desserts ever since. Today i decided to try something new from the same recipe book, and so i made tiramisu! it’s been ridiculously hot in taipei these few days, and i had to look for mascarpone cheese, cuz it’s demanded as part of the recipe. originally i was thinking whether or not i could jsut use a substitute, and some people online say that 1/2part cream cheese with 1/2 part cream would also work, but it just don’t taste nearly the same as the original tiramisu recipe. So i began my mascarpone cheese hunt today. I went to welcome supermarket, and they didnt have it, so i went to city super (which i expected them to have it) but they told me it was sold out -_-|||, so finally i made my way to the baking supplies store and finally found it there.

anyways, back to the recipe. This recipe isnt really that difficult to execute. Didnt need to spend very much time decorating it just basically, a layer of cake, and a layer of the mascarpone cheese cream then another layer of cake, and another layer of cream topped with cocoa powder!

A few days ago i was at the bookstore reading some recipe books, and saw this one dedicated to teaching u how to make chocolate decorations at home to decorate your desserts, so i read it and decided to try some of the techniques i learned today, so i made flower petals, and long sticks to decorate my tiramisu! so here come some of the photos i took!

^ cake layer batter!

^batter in the mold, ready to be baked!

^boiling coffee to prepare for the syrup that’s used in soaking the cake layers! sugar, and kahlua were also added later!

^ mascarpone cheese with my dissolved gelatin for the mousse layers!

^since its a layer of cake, a layer of mousse, another layer of cake, and another layer of mousse, the cake had to be sliced in half sideways to make the two layers to sandwitch the mousse. so here’s how to cut the cake so its even in thickness!

^ 1 layer of the cake after it’s been cut!

^soaking the bottom cake layer with the coffee syrup!

^ pouring in the 1st mousse layer!

^ placing the 2nd layer of cake on top of the mousse!

^spreading the syrup over the second layer of cake!

^ pouring in the top layer of mousse!

^time to put it into the fridge for everything to set together!

^the homemade chocolate decorations i made! (these are just the sticks, i forgot to take a pic of the flower petals)

^dusting cocoa powder on top of the cake to make the top finishing!

^sticks + flower that i made from the chocolate decorations i made! :D

^final product! (just need to fix up the sides to make them look clean -_-)

i tried trimming the sides, and ate the parts i removed, and it tasted pretty good! just needed to be chilled in the fridge a little more so it’ll have an icier feeling!

(o^_^o)

-Ney

July 27, 2010
Tarte Normande! (Click in for the photos!)

So i just did my second experiment from my le cordon bleu recipe book! This time i decided to make what they call “Tarte Normande”, which after i read the recipe, realized that it’s just basically apple pie (probably french style lol). So i decided to give it a try. But again, french recipes are usually kind of convoluted with too many components to prepare so i’m not gonna go thru it step by step. Just some photos i took along the way!

^sievving the powders!

^mixing with butter for the crust!

^ adding in the egg for the crust!

^fresh apple wedges!

^frying the apple wedges!

^ apples starting to caramelize!

^adding in the brandy, then allowing the apples to fire in the pan! :D

^apples done!

^crust ready to bake!

^apple wedges lined up in the crust!

^adding in the batter!

^bake bake bake!

^fresh out of the oven!

^ done! (the bottle next to the pie is my dad’s bottle of brandy that i used for this recipe!) :D

so apparently, the last step of the recipe was to pour some more brandy over the pie and then use a kitchen torch to fire the surface so it’ll bring out the brandy aroma. I dont have a kitchen torch so i thought i could just pour some brandy then use a lighter to set the pie on fire to achieve something similar (just like how the apples caught on fire in the pan above), but it didnt happen :( oh well. it still tasted fine tho! :D

-Ney

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