dipping sauce

Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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I prepared this soup on February 16th, the day of the Chinese new year and the beginning of the year of the dog.
I had planned to prepare and publish this post well before the 16th, in order to give my readers a chance to bring this wonderful, traditional dish to the table as part of the new year’s dinner celebration. Alas, some unforeseen events kept me from doing so. Now then, here it is, “Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup, two weeks late for the New Year celebration, but NOT TOO late, since these wonderful dumplings can, of course, be enjoyed anytime during the year. 🙂
Chinese egg dumplings, also known as dan jiao, are also often served in hot pots, in other soups or just as is, with a tasty dipping sauce.
These dumplings may look a lot more complicated and difficult to prepare as they actually are, so there is no reason not to enjoy them often. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
These dumplings cook in a very short time when simmered in soup, so you should add them towards the very end of the cooking time !
They can also be prepared ahead and frozen, then easily reheated in simmering soup.
However, if you serve the dumplings without soup, bake them or steam them for a short time, since the original short cooking time in the omelet is not enough to cook the meat through !
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P.P.S.
This soup is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year because of its long noodles (longevity),
and the color of the dumplings, which resembles the color of gold coins ( prosperity)
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Kecap Manis

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Kecap Manis

Kecap Manis


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Kecap manis  (ketjap manis), pronounced KEH-chup MAH-nees is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce with a molasses consistency and a dark brown color.
Sometimes flavored with garlic, star anise, chili, five spice powder, etc, the sauce is more syrupy than commonplace soy sauce. Sold in most Asian markets, kecap manis can be used as a condiment or marinade for satay’s and grilled meats or as a dipping sauce. Basically just sweetened soy sauce, it is by far the most popular type of soy sauce used in Indonesian cuisine, where it plays a important role in signature dishes, such as nasi goreng, mie goreng, satay, tongseng and semur.
Sambal kecap is a type of sambal dipping sauce of kecap manis with sliced chili, tomato and shallot, a popular for sate kambing (goat meat satay) and ikan bakar (grilled fish/seafood).
Since soy sauce is of Chinese origin, kecap asin is also an important seasoning in Chinese Indonesian cuisine. It is also a staple ingredient in many other traditional dishes of Indonesia.

Kecap manis is also a staple in my kitchen. I use it mainly for my “lazy meal” day’s, when much cooking is not on my list and a simple plate of stir fried vegetables with mushrooms, noodles or rice mixed with kecap manis, garlic and chili is all that’s on the menu for a quick yet satisfying dinner. I usually have both store-bought and homemade kecap manis in the fridge. When a original recipe calls for it, I use the more complex store-bought version which usually contains star anis, garlic and sometimes other flavor agents.
On the other hand, if I prepare a “lazy meal”, the simple home-made version described below suits me better. I’s not a question of quality but rather a personal taste-preference 🙂
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Happy Cooking !   Life is Good !

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P.S.
If you decide to prepare this homemade version of ketsap manis, I highly recommend that you don’t leave the sauce unattended while simmering. If it boils over, the high sugar content makes it a nuisance to clean off the stove 🙂 😦
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mix 2 cup cane sugar with 2 cups soy sauce

mix 2 cup cane sugar with 2 cups soy sauce

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bring sauce to a VERY SLOW simmer

bring sauce to a VERY SLOW simmer

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while simmering, skim off all foam that rises to the top; cook sauce until it has the texture of syrup, let cool; it will then further thicken to the texture of thick molasses

while simmering, skim off all foam that rises to the top; cook sauce until it has the texture of syrup, let cool; it will then further thicken to the texture of thick molasses

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Kecap Manis

Kecap Manis

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Crispy Pata

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This  super tasty and crispy dish is one of my all-time favorite Pinoy dishes. Usually it is made with a whole pork leg, but I also like it just the way I was introduced to it many years ago while living in the Philippines, with the cheapest cut of the leg, the feet.
The first time I had this dish was in Manila, when the maid I employed offered to share some of the food she cooked for herself and her husband that day. She was a bit shy to offer, since she thought the food might not be good enough for me, what with all the bones and stuff. She also used only the Feet, since she could not afford to buy the whole pork leg. I remember how happy and proud she was when I loved her cooking. After that, I had her cook for me this and other local specialties often, which we usually shared on the rooftop terrace which was a big deal for her and her husband. (This was in the early 80’s – a maid used to make $20-$30 a month, even less in the countryside. My maid’s husband was the caretaker at our apartment-building of 6 apartments, he made about the same salary. But, to their luck, they were allowed to sleep under the staircase on the ground floor, which they closed off with cardboard and a curtain and therefore considered them self fairly safe, comfortable and overall lucky with their living accommodations.)
Thankfully, times have changed, but there is still way too much poverty around the world and too many people must endure this kind of poverty or, sadly, worse 😦
But thinking about food should be a happy occasion, so back to the present and our Crispy Pata. While it is easy to prepare, you might want to do the frying outside if you can (think deep-fried turkey) In any case,be extremely careful when frying the feet or the whole leg in deep fat, because the moist meat tend’s to splatter a lot. A covered fryer will give some protection but still – use the utmost care !!!
Serve with atchara or avocado.
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Bon Appetit !   Kainan na !
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Click here for Atchara
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More Crispy Pata on ChefsOpinion
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More Pigs Feet on ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
Don’t even think about discarding the pork stock! It will make a very flavorful soup, as you can see below.
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Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata

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Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata

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Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata

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Pork Soup With Corn And Egg

Pork Soup With Pasta, Corn And Egg

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Fried Tomato-Noodles Pillow

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I did  not intend to post this dish when I started preparing it. After all, what can be so special about some re-heated leftover tomato pasta. But then I thought maybe I am on to something. So, instead of just re-heating the pasta with a bit of butter and a few drops of stock or cream (or both), I proceeded to make a non-traditional noodle pillow. Noodle pillows are of course widely eaten in Asian cuisine, but the pasta is never mixed with tomato sauce before frying/sautéing. I am happy to report that this version was super delicious and the tomato taste added to the overall flavor and gave a hint of Unami. Absolutely a new addition to my repertoire of simple comfort food, either eaten as a snack by itself with the addition of a bit of sauce drizzled over it as shown here, or as tasty side dish which will add extra flavor and texture to a variety of dishes.
Next noodle pillow up: Noodle pillow made from curried noodles. I’ll let you know of the result 🙂
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Bon Appetit !    Life is Good !
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Fried Tomato-Noodles Pillow

Fried Tomato-Noodles Pillow

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More  “Noodle Pillow’s”  on ChefsOpinion
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Easy does it # 26 – Char Siu Bao

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Dear  Friend’s,
Although most of my followers are culinary professionals, there is also a large segment of followers who are just starting to enjoy cooking on a slightly higher than basic level. I have therefore decided to publish, under the moniker “Easy Does It“,  from time to time some very basic recipe variations of dishes (and even pre-cooked dishes) which otherwise might seem too complicated to some folks. I will break them down to the easiest, most simple instructions, so that those of you who are intimidated by elaborate recipes will be able to prepare these dishes properly, adjusted to your taste and liking, right from the get-go. After all, just because you are not (yet ?) a professional chef should not prevent you from enjoying great food at home. 🙂
Enjoy !
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If only  Char Siu Bao (Cantonese barbecue-pork-filled buns) would be as easily available as our western buns in any restaurant, supermarket, bar and dive ! I would devour them at least once a day, everyday :-).
In the not so distant past, I have made Char Siu Bao many times from scratch. After all, over the years (decades), I was in charge of a few Chinese restaurants and even cooked in one on a daily basis (in Pakistan), so I am lucky enough to know the basics of some delicious Chinese food preparation.
However, with a great international/Asian food market close by, there is no need to do all the work by myself anymore. In fact, some of the prepared, frozen food items such as Baozi , Shumai or many other baked, steamed and boiled dumplings which are available frozen at  “Foodtown Supermarket” in Davie are better than what I can get in most of the Chinese restaurants around here. And, as a quick dinner after work or a lazy lunch or just a snack in-between, these frozen marvels are unbeatable for convenience, quality and price. So I suggest that if you want to have another great standby for a rainy day, surprise guests or just a quick “different” meal, put some of these into your freezer and be prepared for anything. 🙂
Foodtown Supermarket” has many varieties of steamed buns, filled with all kind of fillings, but I always come back to the Char Siu Bao which are my favorites.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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For more about Foodtown Market click here
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Char Siu Bao

Char Siu Bao

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Char Siu Bao

Char Siu Bao

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Char Siu Bao

Char Siu Bao

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Udon Noodles With Tenderloin Tips And Bell Peppers

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Udon,  the Japanese noodle-love of my life !

Apparently, Alison Spiegel (and many others) caught the same love bug) :

( Excerpt from : | By  )
“Ramen may be everyone’s favorite Japanese noodle soup these days, but just because it’s the trendiest doesn’t mean it’s the best. We’re huge fans of ramen — don’t get us a wrong. We could eat ramen for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snacks any day of the week, instant or otherwise. But it’s time to get to know other Japanese noodles, like soba and udon. Because they’re made with buckwheat, which is gluten free, soba noodles have gotten their due lately. Udon noodles, however, have been falling by the wayside, and we’re here to tell you why you should give them plenty of attention this winter.

Thick, chewy and ridiculously satisfying, udon noodles are in a league of their own. These long, Japanese wheat noodles are great hot or cold, and with a neutral flavor, they’re an unmatchable foundation for everything from miso soups to curry. In Japan,kake udon is one of the simplest and most common ways to eat these soft yet sturdy noodles. Udon noodles are served in hot dashi, a Japanese broth made with kombu and bonito flakes, and are topped with scallions. They might also come with tempura or fish cakes. Other popular ways to eat udon noodles include yakiudon, in which the noodles are stir-fried, and zaru udon, in which the noodles are served cold with a soy-sauce based dipping sauce. However you eat udon noodles, they will leave you feeling full but not stuffed, comforted but not sluggish, and completely nourished.”

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All about Udon
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Udon Noodles With Tenderloin Tips And Bell Peppers

Udon Noodles With Tenderloin Tips And Bell Peppers


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Udon Noodles With Tenderloin Tips And Bell Peppers

Udon Noodles With Tenderloin Tips And Bell Peppers


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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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EASY DOES IT # 17 – Hans’ Homemade Buffalo Sauce

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While  buffalo sauce is most famously used for chicken wings, I use my recipe for many other dishes, such as steak sauce, light coating for sautéed shrimp, sautéed vegetables, sautéed potatoes, etc, as well as fried foods such as  chicken hearts, duck gizzards, chicken wings ( pictured below). I also use it as a spicy dipping sauce for french fries and whatever else needs a bit of a pick-up 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Recipe :
Melted butter                  1/2 cup
Sriracha                           1/2 cup
Green tabasco                 1  tablespoon
Confit garlic paste          1  tablespoon
White vinegar                   1  tablespoon
Honey                               1  tablespoon
Maggi seasoning              to taste
Kosher salt                        to taste
Mix all ingredients well, check / adjust taste

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Easy Does It # 17 - Hans' Buffalo Wings

Easy Does It # 17 – Hans’ Buffalo Sauce

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Easy Does It # 17  Hans' Buffalo Sauce

Easy Does It # 17 Hans’ Buffalo Sauce

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Easy Does It # 17  Hans' Buffalo Sauce

Easy Does It # 17 Hans’ Buffalo Sauce

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Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog,
please be so kind and click on the video below.  Thank you 🙂
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Boiled Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

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Boiled  dumplings are one of the more common daily food items in Chinese cuisine. Yet, while most dumplings served in restaurants are steamed, the more common cooking method in private homes is boiling them in salted water.
These dumplings are very easy to make and take no time at all, especially if you use ready-made won ton skin’s.
However, tonight I used regular pasta dough (all-purpose flour, whole eggs, water and salt), which I rolled very thin and cut with a round cutter into even shapes) Add a stuffing of half minced pork and half minced shrimp with finely sliced scallions, grated ginger, garlic paste, sesame oil , soy sauce and cayenne pepper. Wet the edges of the dumplings with a wet finger, fold them over and press lightly. Boil in salted water until stuffing is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and toss with sesame oil and chili oil. To serve, sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander and a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, lime juice , sugar and chili flakes.

Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !

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Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

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Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

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Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

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Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

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boiling pork and shrimp dumplings

boiling pork and shrimp dumplings

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Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog, please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.
(You don’t have to watch it, just click once)   Thank you 🙂
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Tonkatsu & Dipping Sauce

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Tonkatsu !  Sounds exotic and foreign ?
Rightfully so. However, tonkatsu is a common japanese dish, usually served with shredded cabbage and a worcester based dipping sauce. But, if you take the japanese name and replace it with the english name, what you get is ” breaded pork cutlet”.
In this version I have used a pork chop instead of pork cutlets and have omitted the shredded cabbage. Anyway, I usually prefer vinaigrette dressed shredded iceberg lettuce instead of the cabbage. I also use my own modified tonkatsu sauce recipe which I prefer to any store bought version.
But, can you still call it Tonkatsu ?  You be the judge 🙂
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Tonkatsu & Dipping Sauce

Tonkatsu & Dipping Sauce

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Tonkatsu :

Season the pork chops with kosher salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Bread with flour, egg and panko bread crumbs. Saute in peanut oil until golden and cooked through, but not dry. Remove to absorbent paper and pat dry. Let rest for five minutes before cutting into wide strips. Serve with dipping sauce and lemon wedges. Enjoy !

Tonkatsu sauce  (my way) :

Mix 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tblsp soy sauce, 1 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp mustard, 1 tblsp white wine (or sherry), 1 tsp sriracha and a few drops of maggi seasoning.

Note :

I love this dipping sauce and use it for lot’s of other fried, grilled and sauted dishes.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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“ VERY Crispy Chicken Wings ”

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I love chicken wings !
But then again, who doesn’t ?
What I don’t like are the over-greasy, over-sauced,
limp skinned wings you get in so many joints.
I love my wings crispy, VERY crispy.
Here is what I do in order to achieve that:
Simmer the wings in seasoned oil at 220 F for 5 minutes,
remove from heat and let wings cool in oil.
Remove wings from oil, reheat the oil to 375 degrees.
Fry until VERY crispy.

Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.
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Bon Appetit !    Life is Good !
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