Three Chinese Summer Cold Dishes – Tomato Cucumber and Wood Ears

When you think of summer food, salad usually comes to mind (got to love a good summer salad). They are, actually, just as common in Chinese cooking, although instead of having a mix of different leaves, Chinese veggie cold dishes are usually made from a single ingredient. These are all very easy to make, so here are three salads with different flavours! They can all be prepared in advance and left in the fridge for dinnertime – no need worry about wilting leaves. Continue reading “Three Chinese Summer Cold Dishes – Tomato Cucumber and Wood Ears”

Courgette pancakes hu ta zi

Courgette Pancakes – a Hu Ta Zi Recipe from Beijing

Summer has brought courgette spaghetti/noodles onto the shelves in some supermarkets here, so yes, this is another courgette recipe! If you can’t buy courgette spaghetti, then just spiralise a normal courgette.

Hu Ta Zi is a snack from Beijing, and is originally made with calabash (bottle gourd), but as that’s difficult to buy in many countries, I’ve adapted the recipe using courgette, and it’s just as delicious! The pancakes is best served hot, and usually dipped in a rice vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder/chopped garlic sauce. However, they are also delicious by themselves. Continue reading “Courgette Pancakes – a Hu Ta Zi Recipe from Beijing”

Homemade Fries with Egg on Top

Very few meals are as simple as fried eggs. Anyone can make them in a matter of minutes, perfect for those midweek express meals. Sure as eggs, you would probably have a few ingredients at home to make your meal more special: potatoes, for example. Forget those frozen fries you find at the supermarket, I’m talking about those potatoes you forgot in the cupboard for a week already. We are going to turn those into homemade fries. Continue reading “Homemade Fries with Egg on Top”

Tofu and Chinese Cabbage

Tofu and Chinese Cabbage

Just home from a trip to Kyoto, the city of tofu, I’ve been thinking more about easy home-cooking tofu recipes, and this tofu and Chinese cabbage combo is a typical one to make at home. It’s not quite a completely stir-fry recipe, so I haven’t called it as such. You will need to drop the tofu and the cabbage leaves into boiling water to remove the slightly odd taste that tofu sometimes has when you just unwrap it, and will need to wilt the cabbage a little so that you don’t need to stir vigorously once it’s in the oil pan – so as not to break the tofu apart. Continue reading “Tofu and Chinese Cabbage”

Savoury Courgette Tart

I don’t call this recipe a quiche because the method used for the Italian torta salata is slightly different. For these sort of homemade savoury tarts, Italians don’t add eggs to the short crust pastry, unlike the French. Also, a quiche will require the mixture of creme fraiche with the egg inside the filling, while in torta salata we use cheese (usually ricotta or chewy cheese like mozzarella or sweet provola) as the main ingredient that brings the flavours together. Admittedly, I had never made a torta salata before, and I was a bit disappointed with the results of this recipe, inspired by this one on Giallo Zafferano. I felt that the pastry should have been blind baked before adding the ingredients, as the bottom of my tart stayed very white, even if the top crust was well cooked. It was crispy and had a nice texture, but I decided not to use pancetta, so that my vegetarian friends could also eat it. This made the flavours a little bland, because I didn’t think to use a stronger flavoured cheese to make up for it.
Overall, I suggest you blind bake, and if like me you want this recipe to be vegetarian, choose a type of cheese that will bring out the flavours rather than making them shy away.

Continue reading “Savoury Courgette Tart”

Mediterranean_Mung_Bean_Soup

Mediterranean Mung Beans Soup

Never mind the Singaporean heat, we do crave for a good bowl of soup every now and then. And after discovering mung beans, it was hard to resist the succulent idea of making a vellutata of them. Traditionally, mung beans are actually believed to be refreshing for the body, and often used in dessert recipes as a way to cool down your stomach after a meal and prevent inflammations. Of course, I went exactly the opposite direction and made a Mediterranean style soup and hand-blended it to obtain a velvety, creamy result. I’d hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Continue reading “Mediterranean Mung Beans Soup”

Steamed_Sea_Bass_Fish

Steamed Sea Bass

As a continuation of our steamed recipes, here comes a really simple Chinese-style steamed fish recipe. The fish we’re using here is sea bass, though other kinds of thin white fish fillets such as sole will also work well.

Steaming fish is a bit different from steaming the veggies from previous recipes, as the timing and heat is important. Fish can easily get dry and overcooked. Make sure that the steamer is boiling before you put the fish in, and when it is in there, boil on high heat then mid heat. Continue reading “Steamed Sea Bass”

Steamed_Tofu_with_Minced_Pork_and_Mushrooms

Steamed Tofu, Minced Pork and Mushrooms

Here comes another steamed recipe for this week – tofu with minced pork and mushrooms this time. This one can be served hot or cold, so is good for spring and summer. In a similar way to the aubergine and mushroom recipes from the previous weeks, the basis of the recipe is to steam the main ingredient for 10-15 minutes and then to pour the sauce on top.

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Steamed Enoki Mushrooms with Garlic – a ‘Cooked Salad’ Recipe

In hotter weather, salads are a go-to food. This enoki mushroom recipe is a Chinese cooked salad, which means that like last week’s aubergine recipe, the mushroom is steamed before the sauce goes on, and the mushrooms soak up the flavours as it cools with the sauce.

You can also look into using other sorts of mushrooms, like oyster mushrooms, although it would be best to slice them thinly, as enoki mushrooms are naturally so thin and absorb the flavours easily. Continue reading “Steamed Enoki Mushrooms with Garlic – a ‘Cooked Salad’ Recipe”

Steamed_Aubergine_Eggplant_with_Tahini

Steamed Aubergine with Tahini Sauce – a Chinese Salad

Aubergines (or eggplants) are my favourite – not only healthy, but they are a veggie that can be cooked in so many different ways! Now that the weather is getting warmer, this simple Chinese salad recipe is very tasty – and can be prepared in advance. Not only so, steaming preserves the vitamin content really well.

Continue reading “Steamed Aubergine with Tahini Sauce – a Chinese Salad”