January 26, 2009

Tricolor Strips Stir Fry

This is a quick stir fry dish that can be eaten by itself, with noodles or with rice. Substitute meat with vegetarian meat strips to make this a vegetarian/vegan dish. A trip to any Chinese supermarket is sufficient to pick up all that is needed for this dish. Vegetarian meat strips can be found in some Chinese supermarkets in the vegetarian food section. Any mock meat or soy meat can be used as substitution. Spiced dry tofu can also be found in Chinese supermarkets. They are thin blocks of firm tofu with a brown skin (from the spices).

2 cups chicken, pork or beef, julienne (or vegetarian meat strips)
2 cups celery, julienne
2 cups peppers (red and green), julienne
2 cups spiced dry tofu, julienne
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon Lee Kum Kee Chili Black Bean Sauce
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup water (or vegetable stock)

Heat oil on medium flame. Add garlic and fry until slightly brown. Add in Lee Kum Kee Chili Black Bean Sauce, soy sauce, sugar and white pepper. Add in meat strips and saute until browned (just stir in mock meat if using). Add tofu. Fry for a few minutes until well mixed. Add in celery and peppers. Stir and mix well. Add in water (or vegetable stock). Cook for a few minutes until sauce thickens and vegetables are cooked (you can cook the vegetables longer or shorter depending on how you like your celery and peppers).

January 24, 2009

Peanut Cookies

This is my aunt's famous peanut cookie recipe. All my aunts have a famous cookie recipe and this one is from Auntie Pauline Yam. I've made these before for Chinese New Year when I was in Malaysia. Thanks Amy for forwarding me the recipe, took me awhile to convert the measurements to the US measuring system. I'm making these for Chinese New Year this year. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I know Vance would ...

350 gm (2 ¾ cups) all purpose flour
350 gm (2 ½ cups) peanuts, toasted
270 gm (1 ¼ cup) granulated sugar
250 ml (1 cup and a tablespoon) peanut oil
1 teaspoon salt

1 egg and some water, for egg wash
Some peanuts for decoration

Preheat oven to 325 ºF. Finely chop peanuts in a food processor. Mix flour, peanuts, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

Add in peanut oil and mix until the dough just holds together.

Shape dough into small 1 inch balls. Arrange balls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush a layer of egg wash on top of the balls. Decorate with a peanut. Bake until cookie is browned, about 35 minutes.

Let cool and then keep in air tight container.

January 23, 2009

Turmeric Gluten

This is a recipe that I guess-timate from one of my visits to a Chinese temple in Malaysia. It is traditional to eat vegetarian meals in a temple even though you're not vegetarian/vegan out of respect of the Buddhist philosophies. This recipe is suppose to mirror one of Malaysia's famous dish, Satay. My mum refer to this dish as "Satay gluten" but out of technicality it is not a satay because the gluten were not skewered and grilled. I know, I am anal like that.

My parents (and Vance) absolutely love this dish. I usually make a big batch of these for my parents so they can eat it for a few days. I'm making this for Vance for our Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Dinner (actually lunch) tomorrow since he doesn't eat meat. Unfortunately, most meat dishes are auspicious for Chinese New Year and without a doubt I will see a lot of those during the reunion dinner.

16 oz. gluten (I use Le Chang brand gluten rolls)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
Ginger, about 1 inch, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoon oil (for frying)
1/2 cup water

Slice gluten into thin slices. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl to form a marinate.

Place gluten in a ziplock bag and add in the marinate (Marinate food with turmeric inside a ziplock bag as turmeric stains and it's pretty hard to get the stain off). Let it marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Heat 2 tablespoon of oil. When hot, add in marinated gluten and fry in low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir constantly so it wouldn't stick. Add water, cover and cook for another 10 minutes. If the gluten mixture gets too dry, add more water.

After 10 minutes, take cover off and cook until gluten is dry. Stir constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with white rice or satay sauce (peanut sauce)

January 5, 2009

Grandma's Fried Glutinous Rice (Loh Mai Fan)

This has to be one of my favorite food that grandma makes. I still remember her standing in front of the wok, stirring the glutinous rice so it wouldn't stick and also to ensure that it cooks evenly. After a while, this task was delegated to me. Soon enough, the recipe was handed to me and now I make my own grandma's fried glutinous rice.

It's call "Loh Mai Fan" in Cantonese and there are different ways and style to prepare this dish. This recipe is my favorite. Some of these ingredients might sound foreign (it should be!) but a trip to a Chinese supermarket should be enough to get all the ingredients needed. I don't eat Chinese sausage so I tend to omit it for this recipe. I realize that without using Chinese sausage, the result doesn't taste the same. And then I started using Shao Hsing rice cooking wine. The cooking wine gives the same aroma as Chinese sausage.

1 ½ cups rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped (save the liquid)
1 cup dried shrimps
1 cup dried squid, chopped
1 cup Chinese sausage, chopped (optional)
5 ½ cups glutinous rice
½ cup oil

½ cup liquid from rehydrating shiitake mushrooms
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup water
2 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice cooking wine (if not using Chinese sausage)
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
Enough water to cook the rice

Soak dried shrimps and dried squid in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain well. Rinse glutinous rice under running water until water is clear. Drain well.

In a wok, heat oil on medium heat Add dried shrimp, dried squid and Chinese sausage. Fry for 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in garlic and shiitake mushroom. Stir. Fry for another 10 minutes.

Add in glutinous rice and mix well. Add in mushroom liquid, soy sauce, Shao Hsing rice wine (if omitting chinese sausage), white pepper and water. Mix well. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes.

Every 5 minutes, check to see if the glutinous rice mixture is too dry. Add more water, cover and let cook for another 5 minutes.

Repeat process until rice is completely cooked. Depending on the type of glutinous rice you use, it should cook between 45 minutes to an hour. Rice is cooked when it is translucent and no longer appears white.