Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pan Fried Rolled Rice Noodles

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It's a cold Sunday here a week before Christmas. After days of shopping, I'm really not in the mood to put in a lot of effort to make a meal, but I know that I'd rather make something somewhat healthy rather than order food in. For a lazy Sunday, I can make Congee (Plain Congee Recipe), but I still want something to bite on, so Pan Fried Rolled Rice Noodles it is!

At your local Chinese grocer, you can find fresh packages of Rolled Rice Noodles. Poke the packaging lightly and if the noodles have a lot of bounce, they're fairly fresh. You can store these packages in your refrigerator for roughly a week and a half and they'll still taste great!

For a quick and easy meal, you'll only need the following ingredients:
  • 1 package of rolled rice noodles (I had the shrimp ones)
  • Dark Soy Sauce
  • Regular Soy Sauce
  • Sugar
Pan-Fried Rolled Rice Noodles in 10 minutes:
  1. Open the package of Rolled Rice Noodles and chop them diagonally into bite sized lengths
  2. Heat a pan on medium heat and add a small amount of oil
  3. Place the Rolled Rice Noodle pieces into the pan and lightly brown the outsides
  4. Add a dash of sugar to the rice noodles. This will help balance the saltiness of the soy that you'll be adding later
  5. Put a splash of Dark Soy (1/2 tsp should be enough) for colour
  6. Add 1 tsp of regular Soy Sauce
  7. Serve!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Egg Fried Tomato (Tomato and Egg)

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Egg Fried Tomato is a simple and rustic dish that is truly a homemade classic. This dish is intended to be eaten with rice and is simply one of the first dishes to be learned when entering the foray of the kitchen. As a student, I always ensured that I had several large tomatoes in the refrigerator at all times just to make this dish.

The ingredients are:
  • 2-3 Eggs (Beat in a bowl)
  • Several large tomatoes (chopped into large pieces)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 stick of brown sugar (granular sugar can be substituted to taste)
  • green onions as a garnish
  • soy sauce to make the sauce
  • cornstarch to thicken the sauce

To make Egg Fried Tomato:
  1. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt
  2. Chop the tomatoes into large chunks
  3. Heat up a wok on high heat add oil to the wok
  4. Pour the beat eggs into the wok and let an omelet form before flipping it over. Once the other side is semi-formed, break up the omelet into smaller pieces
  5. Remove the egg from the wok, and toss in the tomatoes along with the stock of brown sugar
  6. Turn the wok down to medium-high heat and cover the wok.
  7. Cook the tomatoes until they break down almost completely
  8. Add in the pieces of egg
  9. Make a sauce by adding 1 tsp cornstarch, a light splash of soy sauce, and a small amount of water in a small bowl. Dissolve the cornstarch fully then add to the wok
  10. Garnish with green onions if desired

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Are there any recipes my readers would like?

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Hello to all my readers,
It's been a while since I've made any new updates, and it's not because I'm not cooking and eating. However, I seem to have come across a case of writer's block. Although I'm still making lots of stir fries and steamed dishes, I've found it's just a variation on a familiar theme that I've already uploaded. As readers of my blog, e-mail me what ingredients or ideas for future posts that you'd like to see.

Homemade Chinese Cook =)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wrapping Shrimp Wontons

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This recipe is for making wontons. If you've gone to your local Chinese restaurant, especially the mom and pop type of establishments, you'll know that wonton noodle soup is a timeless classic. This blog posting is for the preparation step in making wontons because you can make a batch of several dozen at one time. Store the wrapped wontons in the freezer so that on a lazy Sunday all you need to do is boil them for a hassle free meal.

My rendition of shrimp wontons also uses minced pork as part of the recipe. I find that having the pork provides some variation in texture and also helps to elevate the taste of the wontons.

  • 1 egg (yolk and white separated)
  • 2 stalks of green onion
  • 1 lb. shrimp, de-veined and shells removed. Use salt to marinate for 10-15 minutes, then rinse clean under cold water, then pat dry
  • 1/4 pound of pork, finely chopped
  • 1 package of wonton sheets
To make the filling:
  1. In a bowl, mix together the shrimp and pork.
  2. Add the egg white, a heaping tablespoon cornstarch, dash of salt, 1/4 tsp. sesame oil, and green onion.
  3. Mix throughly, then cover with saran wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour
To wrap the wontons:
  1. Set up your workstation like I have below, with the egg yolk in a small saucer.
  2. Take 1 sheet of wonton wrap and scoop a small amount of the filling onto the centre of the sheet. If you use too much, the wonton will burst when you cook it, so use your judgement for this part.
  3. Using the back end of a spoon, apply a line of egg yolk to the top and bottom corners of the wonton sheet
  4. Fold the top and the bottom of the sheet towards the centre
  5. Fold the sheet from left to right, rolling into a ball shape
  6. Store the wontons in the freezer for consumption at a later date.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Steamed Lotus Root Pie

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This next recipe is also one of my personal favourites. If you've tried our my recipe for Meat Pie here (Meat Pie Recipe), you'll discover that this dish is also very easy to prepare ahead of time.  Lotus root is one of those ingredients that can be cooked in many different ways.  In a soup or stir-fried it has a very crunchy texture, yet in this recipe it's grated and ends up being very soft.  I can assure you that if you prepare this dish, it will quickly become a staple of your household!

The list of ingredients are:
  • Lotus root (3/4 pound, roughly 3 sections of the root)
  • 2 Shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 or so small dried prawns (optional)
  • 1 link of Chinese sausage
  • 1 stalk of green onion
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 heaping tsp of cornstarch
  • 1 whole egg
  • salt, sugar, vegetable oil

To make Lotus Pie:
  1. Use a knife to peel the Lotus Root. The grocery store may still have the lotus root linked up together, so separate them.
  2. Using a cheese grater, grate the lotus root into a bowl using the fine grater setting. I've found that if you use a course grating, the cooking becomes uneven.
  3. Finely chop all of the other ingredients
  4. Place all the ingredients including the Lotus Root into a large mixing bowl/pan. Add 1 heaping tsp of cornstarch, dash of salt, 1/4 tsp of sugar, and a light drizzle of oil to the bowl.
  5. Crack the whole egg into the bowl and proceed to mix all of the ingredients together to form an even mixture.
  6. Lightly oil a casserole dish with 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Transfer the Lotus Pie mixture and spread evenly.
  7. Prepare a steamer or double-boiler on high-heat. Steam on high heat for 20 minutes.
  8. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Plain Congee (Rice Porridge)

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With winter here (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), it's fitting that the next upload is for Congee. Congee, (粥 or "juk" as pronounced in Cantonese) is a type of rice porridge or gruel that's made by boiling rice in a large amount of water. The rice breaks down and as the water evaporates, the contents thicken up.

The reason why Congee is appropriate for the winter time is because it's commonly served to those who are under the weather with the cold or flu. Think of it as the Chinese version of chicken soup, especially true for plain Congee since it's only lightly flavoured. The following recipe is for plain Congee, which serves as the foundation for all other types of Congee that I will likely upload in the future.

The ingredients list is short:
  • 1 cup of long grain rice (I find 1/4 cup of rice is enough for 2 large servings)
  • salt and/or flavouring agent (I use Knorr's chicken powder)
  • water
To make plain Congee:
  1. Soak the rice in a large mixing bowl of water.  It's best if you can soak the rice overnight, but if you forget, soaking it as soon as possible the next morning would work as well.
  2. The next day, drain the water and use your hand to squeeze the rice, breaking the rice into pieces. Don't worry about how large the pieces of rice need to be.
  3. On high heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in the rice
  4. Use a pair of chopsticks to hold up the pot's lid and continue to boil. Boiling Congee has an element of skill. Early on, the vigorous boiling will prevent any rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. However, as the rice breaks down and the Congee begins to thicken, the potential for burning the Congee increases as well. You may turn down the heat to medium high once the Congee is thickening well.
  5. The water will go from a clear state to a white one as the rice breaks down during the boiling process. Once you can see the Congee forming, add in the salt or the chicken powder. You can add extra salt in later, but you should cook the chicken powder if you're using it as it helps bring out the full flavour.
  6. Normally, I may boil Congee for an hour to 2 hours because that's how long it takes to break down the rice and obtain the porridge consistency. For those who would like a shortcut, you can use a hand blender once the Congee begins to form. This will save you boiling time.