Pork with Peking sauce and noodles!

Over a week ago, I made another experiment in the kitchen, and this time made pork in Peking sauce with simple noodles. It turned out alright, not my favourite dish however!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound lean pork
  • 4 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage or lettuce
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons Peking sauce* or
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hot bean paste mixed with 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
  • Extra salt, soy sauce or white pepper to taste, optional

Preparation:

Shred the pork by cutting it into thin slices, then stacking them up one on top of the other, and cutting across into shreds. In a medium-sized nonreactive bowl, combine the pork shreds with the rice wine or sherry, dark soy sauce, salt and cornstarch, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the pork for 20 minutes.While the pork is marinating, shred the cabbage or lettuce. Arrange the shredded cabbage on a plate.Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork shreds and stir-fry until they change color and are nearly cooked. Remove from the wok.

Add 1 tablespoon oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger and the Peking Sauce or hot bean paste/water mixture. Cook until aromatic. Add the pork back into the pan and mix with the sauce. Season with salt, soy sauce and/or freshly ground white pepper if desired. To serve, arrange the pork shreds on the shredded vegetable.

And for the noodles…

Those I just boiled in water, and then once they were ready, I set them aside for a while so that they completely cool. Then, I put some oil into a heated pan and then the noodles, and some diced green onions and a bit of the bean sauce and a bit of oyster sauce. These were just random ingredients I chose to use, no recipe was used! 🙂

Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls

So this post is being added quite late on my part, but it’s still here!

Three weeks ago I decided to make something new, and I made spring rolls!

It was definitely something I’d never made, and it was a very interesting experience.

Ingredients:
  • 10 spring roll wrappers
  • ½ red pepper , thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot , grated
  • 6 bamboo shoots , thinly sliced
  • some bean sprouts
  • ¼ white cabbage , shredded
  • some rice noodles , soaked in water
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • some salt and pepper
  • 1 ltr vegetable oil
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 1 wok
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 brush
  • 1 tea towel
  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 slotted spoon
  • 1 tray lined with paper towel
  • tongs
  1. Prepare the vegetables

    Begin by heating the wok. When hot, add some oil, the red peppers, carrots, bamboo shoots, cabbage and bean sprouts. Cook until the vegetables have slightly softened and their tastes have had a chance to intermingle.

  2. Finish the filling

    Add the noodles, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well, take it off the heat and place into a bowl to let it cool.

  3. Preheat the frying oil

    Place the pan with the oil for frying over a medium-high heat.

  4. Make the spring rolls

    Place the spring roll wrapper in front of you, with one corner at the bottom so that it resembles a diamond. Brush the four edges of the wrapper with the beaten egg. Next, add the filling in the bottom part of the wrapper in a thin log shape, not touching the edges. Leave the bottom few centimetres clear. Lift the wrapper over the top and tuck it in under the filling.
    Fold over the left side, and then the right side and roll it up to form a tube. Brush a little more egg along the top part and seal the roll. Repeat until all the rolls are finished.

  5. Fry the egg roll

    Once the oil is hot, deep fry the spring rolls until lightly brown, which should take only a minute or two. Put them on the towelled tray to let them drain.

  6. Serve

    Serve your crispy spring rolls as you would any appetiser. They go wonderfully with a sweet and sour sauce and many other types of dip.

    Recipe taken from:
    http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-make-crispy-vegetable-spring-rolls

    Hope the class enjoyed them!


Sweet and Sour Chicken & Fried Rice!

So on Friday, I had another experimental time in the kitchen. This time, I cooked dinner, which was sweet and sour chicken with fried rice. Both of them took a long time to make! I ended up spending almost five hours in the kitchen making everything. But the outcome was completely worth it!

Here are the recipes that I used to make this meal, if anyone’s interested:

Chicken:
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2830/sweet-and-sour-chicken

Rice:
http://chinesefood.about.com/od/ricefried/r/basicfriedrice.htm

 

Both of the recipes were altered slightly when I was making it, I made them suit my preferences more, but they are basically the same! It was surprisingly a really good outcome, and I will definitely make this again in the future!


Green Tea

Nowadays, green tea is one of the most popular teas that people drink in the world. Not everyone knows, though, that it originates from China. Green tea is made from leaves of Camellia sinesis, a plant that is grown mostly in tropical/subtropical climates.

The history of tea drinking has an origin in China, more than 4,000 years ago. Not only was green tea used as a beverage, but in Asia, they also used it for medical purposes. It would be used to control bleeding, help heal wounds, etc.

Green tea has extreme long-term health benefits. Some of the research shows that green tea decreases the chances of hear disease and different types of cancer. Also, it is used widely among dieters, as it starts fat oxidation and raises the metabolic rate slightly. Green tea can also lower the risk of “cardiovascular disease, dental cavities, kidney stones, and cancer, while improving bone density and cognitive function.”

China occupies around 80-83% of all the production and export of green tea in the world. Other countries include Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia, but in much smaller percentages.

The way one makes a cup of green tea, is through a process called steeping, or brewing. In most cases, two grams of tea per 100 ml of water should be used. With hot temperatures, tea should be steeped for about two to three minutes before it is ready to drink. If the tea is of lower quality, the tea should be steeped in hotter water for a longer time, compared to high quality teas which can be steeped in cooler temperatures for a shorter time, and be reused.

Basically, what I’m trying to say, is that we should all be drinking green tea everyday because of all the benefits that come from it! Enjoy! 😀


History of Chinese food

Usually, the first thing that people think of when they hear  “Chinese food” is rice. Rice is an extremely important part of Chinese cuisine, and it is the first grain that was farmed in China. There is evidence that people farmed rice as early as 5000 BC, along the Yang-tse River. Since rice doesn’t grow in Northern China, though, the people there gathered wild millet instead.

Tea, is also a very important part of Chinese food. The most popular tea from China, is green tea. I’m sure you’ve all heard of that. Green tea is extremely healthy, as it provides many health benefits to the drinker. The Chinese have been aware of all the benefits since ancient times, while people in the Western world are still not all aware. I will make a full post about green tea, in the future.

The Chinese people started eating chicken only by 5500 BC, which was only on special occasions. This chicken originally came from Thailand, though. Not only was meat expensive, but Buddhists also didn’t eat it, so people started eating tofu and bean curd for their protein.

 


First attempt at Chinese cooking!

So, I just finished making my version of Strawberry Wontons. I must say, it was quite hard. It’s definitely not as easy as it seemed before I started. Below, I have the recipe I used from bbc.co.uk from their Food section, but I have changed it a small bit to suit the type that I made exactly. The photos included are from my attempt!

  • Ingredients:

– 2 sheets ready-rolled filo pastry

– 55g strawberries, hulls removed, flesh chopped

– 2 free-range eggs, beaten

– vegetable oil, for deep frying

 

  • Preparation method:

1. Cut the filo pastry into 8cm squares, and place a teaspoonful of the chopped strawberries into the centre of each of the pastry squares.

2. Using a pastry brush, brush the edge of each pastry square with beaten egg, then seal the edges to create parcels.

3. Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a bread-crumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. Carefully lower the strawberry wontons into the hot oil in batches and fry for 4-5 minutes or until crisp and golden-brown. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside on a warm plate. Repeat the process with the remaining wontons.

4. (My addition): Place the wontons on a baking tray with greaseproof paper on it. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius and bake the wontons for 10 minutes, or until they seem completely ready. Take them out, and set them on a plate to cool off. Dust the wontons with powdered sugar, and voila! They’re done.

Hopefully they’ll be good enough to eat tomorrow!


About Chinese food

The term “Chinese food” generally means any of the recipes that originate from the region of China. Since China is a big country and is divided into regions, the food also differs depending on where you are. Chinese cuisine has spread to the rest of the world, where new adaptations have been made. American Chinese cuisine and Indian Chinese cuisine are popular ones.

Rice is generally the most popular food in China. It is a major food source for the Chinese, as it is grown there locally. Although rice is usually eaten steamed, they also make beer, wine and vinegar out of it.

In Northern China where flour based products are of great importance, they eat a lot of noodles, breads, dumplings and steamed buns. Not even that but, “noodles are symbolic of long life and good health according to Chinese tradition.” I find that very interesting, because for us, we don’t really associate foods having much symbolic meaning.

As mentioned earlier, there are many different styles of Chinese cuisine. The most prominent ones are the Sichuan cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine and Guangdong (Cantonese) cuisine. Each is different, as they come from different regions in China. In each region, there are different products available and just different cooking guidelines that their recipes are based on.

This next aspect of Chinese cuisine, I found very interesting. Dim Sum is the term used for small snacks. This generally comes from the Cantonese, and I think that it’s a very good way of sampling different foods. The portions are made to be bite-sized, so that it’s possible to try many different foods rather than just one big meal. These Dim Sum dishes are combined with tea.