Ginger

Green Lip Mussels, Lai Fen Rice Sticks And Chopped Broccoli Rabe In Red Curry / Coconut Soup

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Last night I wanted to have a spicy snack at around midnight. Had to be quick and easy. Here is what I prepared. It took about 3 minutes of actual prep time and less than 15 minutes from start to finish. (I had some blanched rapini and cooked lai fen in the fridge from yesterday’s lunch and green lips on the half shell in the freezer). What a convenient product fresh frozen seafood is. If you make sure you buy quality merchandise and handle it with care, frozen seafood will make for a great snack or quick meal in no time. This soup was just awesome  🙂
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Green Lip Mussels, Lai Fen Rice Sticks And Chopped Broccoli Rabe In Red Curry/Coconut Soup

Green Lip Mussels, Lai Fen Rice Sticks And Chopped Broccoli Rabe In Red Curry / Coconut Soup


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Ingredient’s :
Green lip mussels,   frozen, on the half shell
Lai fen rice sticks,   cooked, tossed with sesame oil
Rapini,   blanched, coarsely chopped
Clam juice,
Coconut milk,
Tomato,   chopped
Onion,   julienned
Chilis,   julienned
Scallions,   sliced
Almonds,   slivered
Limes,   juiced
Curry powder,
Turmeric,
Garlic,    paste
Ginger,   grated
Fish sauce,
Red curry paste,   canned
Maggi seasoning,
Scotch bonnet sauce,
Kosher salt,
Peanut oil,   to saute

Method :

Saute onions in peanut oil until translucent, add tomatoes and chilis, saute for one minute. Add curry paste, garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric and almonds and saute until fragrant. Add all other ingredients except mussels, noodles and cilantro and simmer for 7 minutes. Strain. Add mussels and noodles. Return to heat until heated through. Remove from heat.  Add fish sauce and scotch bonnet sauce to taste  (be careful with the fermented fish sauce, check  HERE   first).  To serve, top with cilantro.
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Asian Inspired Duck & Udon Soup

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This  soup is my  “to go to”  soup when I have leftover duck or goose (yesterdays roast duck) . It is quick and easy and oh so delicious. The vegetables and noodles are interchangeable with any vegetables and pasta you might have at hand, such as cabbage, bok choy, shiitake or spinach, or egg noodles, rice noodles, mung bean noodles. Use whatever is at hand and tickles your fancy 🙂
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Chop up the carcasse and other leftover bones and bits of meat and simmer with garlic, ginger, salt, lime slices, a bit of sugar and sriracha sauce for 45 minutes. Skim of all foam which rises during this time. Strain stock and discard solids. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Place hot udon noodles and blanched vegetables in a serving bowl, top with sliced duck pieces and cover with broth. Drizzle with some hot chili oil. Serve with a side dish of hoi sin sauce and sriracha sauce to dip the duck.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Asian Inspired Duck & Udon Soup

Asian Inspired Duck & Udon Soup

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Chicken, Bok Choy & Rice In Spicy Coconut Broth

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Usually  I prefer rice sticks or mung bean noodles in this kind of soup,
but last night rice seemed to tickle my fancy even more.
Quick and easy to prepare and oh so delicious 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Ingredient’s :

Chicken Drumsticks,   (use any part of chicken you prefer)
Chicken stock,
Bok choy,   blanched
Coconut milk,
Chili flakes,
Rice,   cooked
Lemon grass,   pounded
Scallions,   finely sliced
Ginger,   grated
Garlic,   paste
Kosher salt,

Method :

Simmer chicken, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chili and salt in chicken stock until tender but not falling appart. Remove chicken, set aside. Strain broth, add coconut milk and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. add bock choy and rice to heat through. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
To serve, add chicken to serving bowl, ladle sou on top. Sprinkle with and sliced scallions and more chili.
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Chicken, Bok Choy & Rice In Spicy Coconut Broth

Chicken, Bok Choy & Rice In Spicy Coconut Broth

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Chicken, Bok Choy & Rice In Spicy Coconut Broth

Chicken, Bok Choy & Rice In Spicy Coconut Broth

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Chicken, Bok Choy & Rice In Spicy Coconut Broth

Chicken, Bok Choy & Rice In Spicy Coconut Broth

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Chicken, Bok Choy & Rice In Spicy Coconut Broth

Chicken, Bok Choy & Rice In Spicy Coconut Broth

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More Udon

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Udon Noodles,  Broccoli Rabe,  Shrimp  and Shiitake Mushrooms In Spicy Beef Broth ”
I still had some fresh udon noodles and the beef broth from a few days ago, so what better midnight snack  (1.30 am actually),  then a nice noodle soup. Obviously, this would be fine for any time of the day, breakfast, lunch, dinner or any time in between   🙂
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Ingredient’s :

Beef stock,   ( from beef ribs, see  HERE  )
Udon noodles,
Broccoli rabe,   blanched
Shiitake mushrooms,   soaked
Onion,   sliced
Shrimp,   peeled and deveined
Chilis,   sliced
Garlic,   paste
Ginger,   grated
Cilantro,  chopped
Chili flakes,
Lime,   juiced
Kosher salt,
Soy sauce,
Sesame oil,
Sriracha sauce,

Method :

Saute onion, garlic, ginger, mushroom and shrimp.
Add all other ingredients except cilantro and sesame oil,
simmer for one minute. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning
if necessary. To serve, drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle
with cilantro and chili flakes .

Bon Appetit !   Life is good !
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Udon, Seafood & Bok Choy

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As far as I am concerned, all noodles could be udon noodles.
I just love them in any prep variation, be it with seafood, beef,
mushrooms, in a soup, sautéed, stir fried, any which way will do it for me 🙂
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Click here to read all about UDON
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Ingredient’s :

Udon noodles,   fresh, from your Asian market
Mixed seafood,  any type you prefer
Baby bok choy,
Onion,   sliced
Cilantro,   coarsely chopped
Garlic,   paste
Ginger,   grated
Soy sauce,
Sherry,
Sriracha,
Oyster sauce,
Sesame oil,
Chili oil,
Lime juice,
Peanut oil, to saute

Method :

Saute seafood in very hot peanut oil, remove onto absorbent paper. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute until translucent and fragrant. Add noodles, bok choy, soy sauce, oyster sayce, sriracha and a bit of sherry wine and saute until noodles are heated trough. Remove from heat, add seafood and sesame oil, mix well. To serve, drizzle with lime juice and chili oil, sprinkle with cilantro.

Note:
As you can see from the mis en place picture, I used inexpensive  (but nevertheless good) mixed seafood since this was only a go-between snack. For a more elegant and important meal, use large prawns, scallops, lobster, mussels, etc. However, the taste of the dish and the texture of the noodles should be satisfying either way.

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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Vietnamese Ginger / Caramel Chicken ( Ga Kho )

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I  remember when, many years ago, I got my first whiff of fermented  fish sauce. It was one of the most disgusting smells I had ever encountered in a kitchen and there was no way I would ever put something this vile into my food !
Forward a few years. Fish sauce  (and it’s cousin,  shrimp paste)  has become a permanent staple in my cup board. I use it for many of my favorite asian dishes, although I still don’t use it as a dipping sauce. In this dish, it is one of the three seasoning pillars . Fish sauce, caramel sauce and ginger play the major part, while garlic, salt and pepper play second fiddle. If you are not used to using fish sauce or shrimp paste, just don’t smell it before you cook it. Once you add it to your food and cook it for a while, it transforms itself into pure magic, giving the final product great flavor and debt.  ( Umami, if you must  🙂
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Ingredient’s :

Chicken,  thigh’s  slashed to the bone
Caramel sauce,  see below *
Pearl onion,  blanched
Chiles,  mixed colors, whole
Onions,  sliced
Cilandro,  coarsely chopped
Black pepper,  fresh ground
Chili flakes,
Fish sauce,
Rice vinegar,
Garlic,  paste
Ginger,  sliced
Kosher salt,
Peanut oil,  to saute

Method :

Season chicken with salt and black pepper and saute until golden brown on both sides. Remove onto absorbent paper. Saute  pearl onions and chilies. Remove to absorbent paper. Saute sliced onions, garlic and ginger until translucent. Add vinegar, caramel, and all seasoning. Add chicken and slowly simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce has reduced enough to cover the chicken. If the sauce becomes too thick before he chicken is cooked all the way, add a bit of water. If the sauce is too thin when the chicken is done, remove chicken and reduce until desired texture is achieved. At this point, strain the sauce if you like it smooth, otherwise, serve it more rustic with all the bits and pieces still in the sauce. Now, return the chicken, whole chiles and pearl onions. Simmer for another minute while basting the chicken to make sure it is well covered in sauce. To serve, add chicken to plate, cover with remaining sauce, top with chilis, onions, cilantro and lime wedges.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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*  Saute sugar until lightly browned. Add water. If you have not done this before – BE VERY CAREFUL ! This splashes easily and burns right throuhg your skin if you are not careful. I suggest to put the pot into the sink and open the waterspout just a bit while keeping your head as far away as possible  🙂 Stir until smooth and all sugar is desolved. You should now have a light brown liquid. If the sugar solidified, don’t worry. Just put it back on low heat, stir frequently and simmer until all solids are liquified.
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Congee With Smoked Pig’s Tails & Vegetables

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Rice Porridge.
First thing that comes to mind is probably baby food or hospital gruff. Most folk’s would never think of ordering it from a menu in a restaurant, much less wake up and crave it for breakfast, if they hadn’t tasted or at least seen it before.

Now, let’s try again :
Congee. Lúgaw. Chok. Xifan. Juk. Okayu.
OK, that’s better  🙂

Sounds more interesting and exotic? These are just a few names given to rice porridge around the world. If there is a country or region which traditionally eats rice, then there is some form of rice porridge eaten.

Congee can be enjoyed as breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner. Congee most often contains rice, but other grains can be used. Ideally it is made with strong, tasty stock that infuses great taste and debt into the dish. But from there on, let your fantasy run wild. Congee can be made with seafood, meat, vegetables or a combination thereof. Then there are the toppings. Pickled vegetables, fried shallots, sliced scallions, pulled mushroom stems, crisp fried garlic, dried shrimps, 100 year eggs, cilantro, etc, etc. If you like it, put it on.
Below is a version I made on sunday for breakfast. The texture is more like a filipino Lugaw, with the rice VERY soft but still keeping it’s shape. At first I was not so sure about the smoked pigstails. I was worried they might be too  overpowering. But not to worry. The taste was very rich with only a hint of smokiness. Another slightly unusual ingredient (served as condiment) was the freshly grated horseradish, although when you think of the japanese version Okayu, wasaby seems to be a fitting condiment. I prepare congee at home often, this version is definitely special and a great addition to my congee repertoire.
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All about   CONGEE
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Previous CONGEE posts :         1     2     3
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Ingredient’s :

Jasmin rice,
Smoked pig’s feet,
Corn on the cob,  cut into thick slices
Chinese unsmoked sausages,  thinly sliced
Bell peppers,  diced
Ginger,  grated
Garlic,  paste
Cilantro,  chopped
Scallions,  sliced
Salt,
Soy sauce,
Horseradish,  freshly grated
Sesame oil,
Chili oil,
Peanut oil,  to saute

Method :

Saute garlic and ginger in peanut oil until fragrant. Add water and pigstails. Simmer pigstails in unseasoned water for about an hour or until starting to become tender. Taste stock and if necessary season with salt and pepper. (Some smoked meats can be overly salted, so don’t season at first) Add rice and very slowly simmer for another hour or until the rice is close to the texture you desire. Now add the corn, diced peppers and sausages. Simmer for another fifteen minute. At this point, adjust texture and seasoning if necessary. If the congee is too thick for your liking, add some hot stock. If it is too thin, simmer longer or strain some of the liquid.
To serve, sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Drizzle with chili oil.
Serve with horseradish and soy sauce.  Acompanied by Oolong tea.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Stir Fried Chicken, Mandarins, Walnuts & Bok Choy

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Usually  I am not a big fan of fruit in my savory dishes,
but here it just seemed to be the right thing to add, and
it made the taste so much more rounded.
The mandarins were a bit on the acidic side, not very sweet,
I think that’s what made it at the end. Very enjoyable dish  🙂
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Ingredient’s :

Chicken Breast,  wing separated, cut into large strips
Bok choy,  cut on the bias
Mandarines,  peeled, segmented
Walnuts, shelled, halved
Chilies,  finely sliced
Cilantro,  coarsely chopped
Sesame seeds,  toasted,
Chicken stock,
Kosher salt,
Corn starch,
Garlic paste,
Ginger,  grated
Soy sauce,
Sriracha,
Oyster sauce,
White wine,
Sesame oil,
Peanut oil,  to saute

Method :

Silken chicken by mixing corn starch,
egg white and water with seasoning and chicken.
Saute chicken wings until almost done, add breast
strips and cook until golden and 3/4 cooked.
Remove chicken, set aside. Sautee bok choy,
add garlic, ginger, chilies, walnuts and mandarines.
Deglaze with a bit of chicken stock and white wine,
simmer for one minute only. Remove from heat,
add the chicken, sprinkle with sesame seeds and
serve with soy sauce and chili sauce.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Vegetables In Fermented Black Bean Sauce

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By  now my readers will have discovered that I am not exactly a vegetarian.
I love my meat and seafood and can’t imagine how one can miss this exciting
part of our culinary world.
However, once in a while, I have a sudden urge for rice and  vegetables.
The first thing that usually comes to my mind during such a rare moment is
soup or  fried rice  of some sort. What usually makes me especially look forward
to a vegetable dish is the inclusion of  fermented bean paste.
It gives the food such a special flavor that it is, in my opinion at least, the one
seasoning which can bring a vegetable dish to a whole other level of goodness  🙂

Here is what I have concocted for dinner today :
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Ingredients :

Asparagus,  blanched
Snow peas,  blanched
Mushroom, sliced thick
Grape tomatoes,  whole
Onion,  sliced
Scotch bonnet, thinly sliced –
(  Careful !!!  Extremely spicy ! Omit if you can’t stand the heat )
Mini Peppers,  thinly sliced
Scallion,  thinly sliced
Ginger,  grated
Garlic,  paste
Bean paste,
Oyster sauce,
Soy sauce,
Kosher Salt,
Vegetable stock,
Corn starch,  slurry
Peanut oil,

Method :

Saute onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant,
deglaze with stock, add seasoning, add slurry.
Simmer for one minute, add all vegetables and heat through.
To serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallion.

Bon Appetit ! Life is Good !
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” Canton Noodles, Beef & Vegetables In Ginger/Garlic Broth “

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I know these are great pictures, but boy o boy, the fragrances from this dish  🙂
Yesterday I made a great beef stock in order to have a rich soup today.
This soup was just so flavorful and the different textures made it one of my
favorite asian dishes in a long time.
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Ingredient’s :

Beef stock,
Flank steak,  sliced into baton
Broccoli rabe,  blanched
Canton noodles, cooked, drained
Bamboo shoots, sliced
Radish,  sliced
Black mushroom,  soaked in hot water, quartered
Garlic,  paste
Ginger,  grated
Cilantro, coarsely chopped
Salt,  to taste
Cayenne pepper,  to taste
Sesame oil,  to taste
Sherry,  to taste
Oil,  to saute

Method :

Saute steak until nicely browned but still medium on the inside.
Remove, set aside. Saute garlic and ginger until fragrant,
add mushroom and radish, deglaze with sherry, add stock and
simmer for one minute. Add bamboo shoots and rabe and bring
back to simmer. Remove from heat, add beef, sesame oil and salt
and pepper. To serve, sprinkle generously with cilantro and
soy sauce and chili sauce on the side.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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