hoi sin sauce

Ginger And Soy Braised Cornish Hens With Spicy Cucumber Pickles

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Going  shopping at the grocery store involves ever bigger monetary transactions 😦 .
I used to enjoy shopping for food, usually buying way too much food and therefore giving away much of it in order to avoid waste.
Well, those times are nothing but happy memories. Whereas spending $200 a week was usually plenty enough to buy enough perishables, groceries and general household supplies for our family of 3 humans and 3 dogs just a few short years ago, the same amount now hardly covers the basic needs just for myself and Bella.
(Hearing the politicians in power tell the story, America is doing better all the time ???? – I wonder who really still believes this crap ?! )
Real income for the masses has actually decreased during the past decade, while cost of living has increased at an alarming rate, and a large part of the population can’t afford the basics anymore, such as good nutrition, healthcare, proper clothing, proper housing, transport etc. MANY people have to make a choice which essentials they will enjoy and which one’s to forgo, because a combination all of them together is out of their reach.
And now for the good news:
Cornish Hens are still one of the most affordable proteins, at around $ 4.00 a pop in most big city supermarkets 🙂  Even secondary cuts of other proteins usually cost at least the same or more. In this context it is great that most folks are not so familiar with cornish hens, which results in less demand and therefore keeps the price at an affordable level.
So, there you have it: A great quality protein at an affordable price 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Cornish Hen  on  ChefsOpinion
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Ginger And Soy Braised Cornish Hens With Cucumber Pickles

Ginger And Soy Braised Cornish Hens With Spicy Cucumber Pickles

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Ginger And Soy Braised Cornish Hens With Cucumber Pickles

Ginger And Soy Braised Cornish Hens With Spicy Cucumber Pickles

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Mongolian Beef

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Fact: Mongolian Beef is not Chinese food.
Fact: Mongolian Beef is not Mongolian food.
Fact: Mongolian Beef is an American creation from the 40’s.
Fact: Mongolian Beef can be pretty awful.
Fact: Mongolian Beef can be pretty good.
Fact: Mongolian Beef has a million and one recipes – different beef cuts, different vegetables, different sauce, etc.
Fact: Mongolian Beef  should contain beef strips and scallions stir fried in peanut oil and finished in a savory, spicy brown sauce.
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Fact: THIS Mongolian Beef recipe is super delicious 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for Chinese Steamed Rice ( 飯  Fan) on  ChefsOpinion
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Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef

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Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef

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Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef


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Preparation :
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Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

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Ahhh,  the refreshing, liberating, exciting, sinus-clearing effect of eating a dish as spicy as one can handle.
The key here is –
as spicy as one can handle” !  (Hot as hell in my case)
To season something beyond a level of spiciness which is comfortable and enjoyable would not make sense – but to stay just below, on a level that hurts but feels good at the same time can be very addictive. While not all the food I eat at home is spicy, once in a while I need the rush which comes from a healthy dose of chili.
If you plan to re-create this dish, simply and sensibly adjust the amount of chili you use to your personal preference.
Like I said on other occasions concerning spicy food  –
“It should kick like a lady, not like a mule” 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Spicy Food  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Noodles  on  ChefsOpinion
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Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

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Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

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Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

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Preparation :
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Best Snack – Ever !?

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Pork Rinds, Pork Skins, Pork Scratchings, Pork Crackling, Chicharrones, Scrunchions, Oreilles de Christ, Chicharrón, chicharrón con Gordo, Gratons, Khaep Mu,  Tóp Mỡ, škvarky,  Grieben, Griaba, Torresmos,  Couratos,  Knabbelspek, Flæskesvæ, etc, etc, etc.
Fried pork skin is eaten in most if not all areas around the world where pork is consumed. (Many other animal skins, ears and intestines are also used to make cracklings, but today I just want to talk about pork skins, most widely known as Chicharrones, but also by the many other names listed at the beginning of this post.
I sometimes buy them ready-made in bags and have found a few very good brands in the supermarkets around here, especially in the Latin-Markets. But nothing comes close to the freshly made homemade stuff, still warm and with a texture, flavor and aroma which you just don’t get from a bag. I happened to have some pork skin in the fridge which I removed from a pork butt I cooked yesterday, anticipating the chicharrones I wanted to prepare today. (I usually cook the butt skin-on).
However, pork skin is widely available from butchers and markets so you should have no problem sourcing it.
The process is very simple :
To fry the skins, use duck fat, pork fat or peanut oil. Simmer the skin in salted water until very tender, drain, let dry for a couple of hours. Cut into strips or cubes and fry at low temperature until very crisp. Remove to absorbent paper and season to your liking. Just plain kosher salt will do, but you can experiment with additional seasoning, such as cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, curry powder, za-atar, old bay seasoning, or my favorite,  five spice powder, which I have used in today’s dish. I also like to sprinkle finely sliced scallions and chili flakes over the cracklings and use a dipping sauce of chili oil and hoi sin sauce.
WARNING !!!!
I recommend to cook the chicharrones outside in the open air; splattering of fat WILL occur !
In any case, no matter if you cook the chicharrones inside or outside, cover the fryer 3/4 with a lid while frying to minimize the fat going all over the place and possibly ignite on the hot stove.

To sum it up – making chicharrones at home is like making love :
– if you know what you are doing, the rewards can be wonderful 🙂
– if you don’t know what you’re doing, you might get burned 😦
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Chicharrones

Chicharrones

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Chicharrones

Chicharrones

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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

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Today  I had a craving for really spicy food and I answered the call with this dish. I made it very spicy, but at the same time it was also very flavorful, thank’s to the addition of hoi sin sauce, soy sauce and lots of ginger and garlic. ( If you prefer less spicy, just tone down on the chili paste)
Fabulously tasty and satisfying, this was the perfect Sunday early-dinner dish, tasty, pretty and quick to wrestle-up 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is good !
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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

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P.S.
In order to be able to throw together these quick meals, I always have an assortment of blanched, frozen veggies in the fridge, ready to go at a moments notice.
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Also always in my fridge are grated fresh ginger (commercial, good quality) and garlic confit paste (home made, usually once a week)
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Seasoning Essentials
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On to today’s dinner:
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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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P.P.S.
I used Chor’s Food USA “Black Bean Chile Sauce” in this dish.
If not available in your neck of the woods :-(, substitute with equal parts of fermented black beans and chili paste 🙂
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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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Chili/Duck Rice Sticks

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The  other day I roasted a whole duck to have for dinner but when it was almost done a friend called me to invite me for dinner, so I put the whole shamuckus in the fridge for the next day to be used. The following dish was the result and I must say – what an extraordinary satisfying result it was, both visual and taste-wise, which just goes to show (again) that sometimes leftovers are better than the original. (Mind you – not alway’s – but often enough)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Chili/Duck Rice Sticks

Chili/Duck Rice Sticks

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Chili/Duck Rice Sticks

Chili/Duck Rice Sticks

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Preparation :
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Crispy Fried Noodle Pillow With Braised Pork Belly In Oyster Sauce

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If  there is a heaven, ( I know for sure that there is a hell), I believe this dish will be served there at least once a month……….
Crispy fried noodles and braised pork belly – a match made in heaven, available for us sinners now – down here on earth, no less 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good ! 
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Crispy Fried Noodle Pillow With Braised Pork Belly In Oyster Sauce

Crispy Fried Noodle Pillow With Braised Pork Belly In Oyster Sauce

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Crispy Fried Noodle Pillow With Braised Pork Belly In Oyster Sauce

Crispy Fried Noodle Pillow With Braised Pork Belly In Oyster Sauce

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Chili-Pork Rice Sticks

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If  this dish looks too spicy for you – relax 🙂
– The amount of chilies you can see in the pictures are good for my personal palette, but you should add the type (heat level) and quantity you prefer. I suggest you add chilies which are slightly milder than you can tolerate, so that you can add more of them and get that rich, fruity capsicum taste which you can only get by biting into a whole, fried or sauteed chili.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Chili-Pork Rice Sticks

Chili-Pork Rice Sticks

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Chili-Pork Rice Sticks

Chili-Pork Rice Sticks

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Duck “Oscar”



I figure  that since this was my dinner last night during the Oscar’s and it was my own concoction, I might as well name this dish  Duck “Oscar”.
(Otherwise known as “Hoisin And Honey Glazed Duck) 🙂
You might wonder why there are no side dishes in the pictures? – because there were none.  I ate the whole duck by myself, so nothing else was needed. The duck was absolutely delicious, spicy and sweet at the same time, tender and succulent.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !


remove the duck, let rest for 20 minutes, strain liquid from pan, cut duck, serve with pan sauce

baste duck every ten minutes for another half hour

baste the duck every ten minutes for another half hour




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