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Dongbei Stew – Luan Dun with Ribs and Winter Vegetables

Stew is one of the best hearty and warming winter foods, and North-Eastern Chinese (Dongbei) cuisine is full of these. Luan Dun (cooked here with ribs and winter vegetables) literally means messy stew, so as you can imagine, the recipe is far from precise. It also involves ripping as many ingredients apart with your hands as possible (instead of cutting it neatly with your cleaver/kitchen knife), so it’s a great way to relieve stress!

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Chinese Dried Meat – Rou Gan

What do you do with left over minced meat? Try this Rou Gan recipe and turn your meat into a jerky-like snack! It’s saved a lot of expiring meat for me. I’m using minced pork here, but it also works for other types of meat, and of course if you have some leftover meat that’s not minced, you can always put it in a blender.

Bear in mind though that the end result is usually better if you have a cut with a high fat percentage, as the “drying” process will make the lean meat too hard. You can try and add a little vegetable oil to the mince mix if your meat is too lean – feel free to experiment, as this is more of a method than a recipe.

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Imitated Crab – Sai Pang Xie – a Beijing Imperial Recipe

There’s a story behind this imitated crab (sai pang xie) recipe, and it starts with the Empress Dowager Cixi craving crabs. Unfortunately, being based in Beijing means a lack of fresh crabs, so the imperial chefs found a clever way to cook eggs to make them taste as good as crab meat. I love this recipe because you can make a huge quantity of the “crab” without breaking the bank – and the bonus is that there’s no need to get fiddly with crab shells!

There are many variations of the recipe, starting with the poor-man’s version with just eggs. Others use white fish and a touch of prawns to achieve a texture closest to crab meat. I’ve used only prawns here, as I prefer that more seafood-y taste. I’ve also used a salted egg, as this adds a little extra punch to the recipe, but you can use normal eggs. If you’re using normal eggs, then make sure you add more salt in the egg white and egg yolk mixes.

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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”

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Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji)

One of the most common questions associated with this Chinese recipe is: why is it called three cup chicken? Simply because it’s mainly flavoured with 3 cups: 1 cup of sesame oil, 1 cup of soy sauce and 1 cup of rice wine. That’s the idea anyway! In reality, you don’t want to use a full cup of everything – otherwise it will be far too oily and sa Continue reading “Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji)”

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Chinese New Year Recipe – Bak Kwa

It’s Chinese New Year , I’m in Singapore and there’s so much information to take in about the uses and traditions of this special day. To avoid any faux pas, I kept it simple and decided to make at home one of the best known delicacies in Singapore and Malaysia. Bak Kwa (Chinese barbecued pork jerky) is often given as a present for CNY, and it is usually bought at one of the various stores that are famous for having a long tradition or an old family recipe for it. But as we all know, the best present to give is time, and I love spending time in cooking or baking something special for friends, so I followed this recipe from The Burning Kitchen and it was absolutely spot on! Continue reading “Chinese New Year Recipe – Bak Kwa”

Chinese Big Plate Chicken Stew (Dapanji) with Homemade Flat Noodles

A big plate of chicken is a great dish to share for a festive gathering, and for winter, this stew really warms you up! The name, Dapanji, literally means a big plate of chicken, and, as you can probably imagine with a name like that, there are many variations of this recipe. Dapanji is actually a fusion dish between Sichuan and Xinjiang cuisine, so it’s definitely spicy! We’ve made it here with a poussin as we didn’t have that many mouths to feed, but as you can imagine, it’s easy to scale up. Continue reading “Chinese Big Plate Chicken Stew (Dapanji) with Homemade Flat Noodles”