Monthly Archives: April 2015

Recipe: Dai-Style Stir-Fried Tofu Bamboo

NOTE: This is Teddy’s Cooking’s blog’s one-year anniversary! YAY!!! Celebration!

Returning from travel, I always eat a lot of Chinese food since it is my favorite and I get really tired of other cuisines after eating too often… hehe, sorry! But once I feel like I can stand to eat Turkish cuisine again I will make a recipe for something yummy. 😀

I introduced “tofu bamboo”, which is dried sticks of tofu skin, in the Buddha’s Delight recipe. Please check it out 🙂

Anyways, since I LOVE tofu bamboo, this is a really good dish to make with it. I adapted it from the book Beyond the Great Wall which is about China’s ethnic minority cooking, including Tibetan, Mongolian, Uyghur, Hmong, Yi, Dai, etc. and it is also very interesting because it is sort of a memoir, with stories between the recipes. This recipe is from the Dai ethnic group in southern Yunnan Province. They are one of the Tai peoples, a group of ethnic groups originating Southern China who migrated south a thousand years ago. The Tai peoples have related languages, cultures, and traditional religion, and include the Thai people, Lao people, and many smaller ethnic groups.

This recipe is very delicious. It requires some soaking time though. Unlike the picture in the book, more than half of my tofu bamboo became tiny pieces, but still a very delicious dish.

Ingredients:

3 oz (half of my package) tofu bamboo (dried tofu skin sticks)

water

1 tbsp oil (preferably peanut)

red pepper flakes to taste (I use 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp Korean coarse red pepper powder for red color)

1 to 2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp white rice vinegar (or Chinkiang vinegar)

1/2 tsp white sugar

finely chopped cilantro leaves (I didn’t have any so I skipped. But use if you have)

Directions:

1. Boil a pot of water. Add tofu sticks and wait a while until you can submerge all of them (break in half if you want, so you do not need to do this). Boil 5 minutes, mix well and cover. Leave for 30 minutes. Mix every 10 minutes and try to submerge all of it. It is ready when all of it is a lighter color.

2. Drain and rinse if too hot. Then cut each stick into 2 inch lengths and in half crosswise. The bend parts of the sticks may still be hard, but don’t worry. If too hard to cut, discard it. Drain well. (By the way, if the sticks have become mushed into tiny pieces, don’t worry. It happened to me! Maybe I will try a different brand next time)

3. Heat a wok or pan. Add oil.

4. Add pepper flakes. I add the Korean one last. When oil is red, then add tofu sticks quickly. The oil may splatter because the tofu sticks have water. Be careful!

5. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes or so.

6. Add the soy sauce and sugar, stir-fry a couple minutes again to combine. Lastly add cilantro and vinegar and stir.

7. Serve in a Chinese meal (with rice and other veg/meat dishes) or as a snack/appetizer. Enjoy!

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Recipe: Tomato and Eggs Stir-Fry(番茄炒鸡蛋)AND Authentic Egg Drop Soup

This is one of the easiest Chinese food! Almost every Chinese person can make this dish. You can serve with rice for basically a complete meal!

Ingredients:

3 or 4 roma tomatoes, cut into wedges, large bite size

3 or 4 eggs, beaten with salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp oil

1 or 2 green onions, finely chopped (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat wok, add oil.

2. Add beaten eggs, stir fry until halfway cooked. Very fast!

3. Add tomatoes, stir-fry one minute.

4. Add green onions, stir-fry until hot.

5. Enjoy!

Variation: It is common in Hong Kong to add ketchup with the tomatoes. Really! If using, add 2 tbsp ketchup with the tomatoes. Also, you can add sugar to taste if you wish.

Another variation, I like to cook the tomatoes a little more. After adding tomatoes and stir-frying 1 minute, I cover and cook on high heat for another minute or two. Then mix 1/2 tsp corn/potato/mung/tapioca starch with a tbsp of water, and add with green onion. Stir until hot and thickened, enjoy! This one is especially good with ketchup. 🙂

Variation: Egg and Tomato Soup(番茄鸡蛋汤)

Use 2 roma tomatoes and 2 eggs.

Do steps 1-2. Add tomatoes and 1 liter chicken broth, Chinese stock preferred. Cover and bring to a boil. Add green onions and bring to a boil. Enjoy!

Variation: Egg-Drop Soup(蛋花汤)

Use 2 roma tomatoes and 1 egg. Do not add salt and pepper to egg.

Bring 1 liter chicken broth and tomatoes to a boil. Add salt and white pepper powder to taste, then pour in eggs and stir 3 times quickly with chopsticks, add green onions and bring to a boil. Enjoy!

Tip: For any of these recipes, especially soups, use the best and ripe tomatoes. Otherwise it does not taste very good!

  

Recipe: Nori Tofu Soup(紫菜豆腐汤)

Nori seaweed wraps sushi, and can also be made into a super easy yummy soup with tofu!

Ingredients:

1 liter chicken or vegetable broth, unsalted or low sodium, Chinese stock is preferred

1/2 block soft or medium-firm tofu, cut into cubes

4 sheets nori, torn into bite-size

1 egg, beaten, optional

Directions:

1. Boil the broth.

2. Add nori and tofu. Stir. Bring to a boil.

3. Add beaten egg and stir quickly 3 times with chopsticks to create egg flowers, if using.

4. Serve.

Recipe: Stir-Fried Crunchy Potato Slivers with Dry Red Chilies and Sichuan Pepper(炝土豆丝)

This is another easy Chinese vegetable dish! It is quite spicy though. So I have some non-spicy variations too 🙂

In Sichuan, this is the most common way to make potatoes. The al dente and crunchy texture may be off-putting to westerners though. Potato is treated as a vegetable in Asia as opposed to a staple food. Only the poorest peasants eat potato as a staple food.

This version is spicy. There is also the sour version with vinegar and no chilies, which is below the spicy version. Sometimes green bell peppers are added and sometimes not.

In Sichuan, while I was touring, this dish (or the variation) was found in every meal. Also tomato and eggs. I have a post for that recipe too.

Don’t eat the chilies and Sichuan pepper. You can eat a few Sichuan peppercorns if you want if you like the “ma” flavor though. hehe

Adapted from Land of Plenty

Ingredients:

250 grams potatoes

1 small green bell pepper (optional) (or other color but green is traditional)

4-6 dry red chilies, cut in half and deseed. Use Japones, Arbol, regular Chinese, or Facing-Heaven (authentic) (if you use bell peppers, you may omit chilies if you wish)

1/2 to 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

2 tbsp oil

salt and sugar to taste (a scant 1/2 tsp each)

1 1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)

Directions:

First wash, peel potatoes, and julienne very finely. Then soak in cold, lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Drain before using. Finely julienne bell peppers too.

1. Heat a wok or pan. Use a well-seasoned one!

2. Add oil. When hot, turn heat to medium to not burn the spices.

3. Add Sichuan peppercorns, fry 10 seconds or so.

4. Add chilies, fry quickly, don’t burn.

5. Add potatoes and bell pepper if using, then turn the heat up.. Stir fry for 4 to 5 minutes over high heat. My parents like it more crunchy so I would do less. About halfway through add the salt and sugar. At the end, turn off the heat, add sesame oil and stir well.

6. Enjoy!

Variation: Vinegar Potato Slivers(醋溜土豆丝)

Skip chilies and Sichuan pepper, make everything the same way. At the very end, stir in Chinkiang or Baoning Vinegar to taste, 1 tbsp maybe. It should be flavorful in the dish. Taste it too see if it’s enough. Or Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is good for fusion 🙂 You can also keep the chilies and Sichuan pepper to make a unique hot and sour dish.

Other vegetables: This method of cooking with chilies and Sichuan pepper is very common for vegetables. You can do either the version with chilies and Sichuan pepper, or the one with vinegar, or the one with both. For example, you may use bean sprouts. If using mung bean sprouts, cook for a shorter time, maybe 2 minutes. If using soybean sprouts, cook maybe 4 minutes because they take longer to cook. You can also use napa cabbage, cut into rectangle slices. 

Recipe: Stir Fried Romaine Lettuce with Garlic (蒜炒生菜)

This is another easy vegetable recipe. In the most simple Chinese meal, there is a protein dish, a vegetable dish, and rice, sometimes a soup. Easiest is all stir fries. Cantonese people include a steamed dish too, and sometimes other regions too.

This is my own recipe! Yay!

There are many ways to stir-fry vegetables. There is the basic one with only salt and pepper (sugar optional), like my asparagus tofu recipe. Then the one that adds soy sauce. Then the one that adds oyster sauce, this one is more common in Cantonese cooking. Then the one that fries garlic. Then the one that fried ginger. Then ginger-garlic. And sometimes green onions too. Also the one with dry red chilies and Sichuan peppercorns, common in Sichuan. And the one with fresh chilies, more common in Guangdong. And the one with fermented tofu, either red or white, also in Guangdong. And endless combinations of all of these, really. So there could be many ways to make romaine lettuce or any other green vegetables like bok choy, napa cabbage, choy sum, Chinese broccoli, pea shoots, celtuce leaved, etc. This one uses garlic and optionally soy sauce or oyster sauce. I love romaine the most since it reminds me of celtuce leaves, which cost too much and are found an hour away from my house.

Ingredients:

1 romaine lettuce head, cut large bite size, and dry well. I usually use romaine hearts for salad that are already cleaned so no washing. The less water the best.

1 tbsp thinly sliced garlic or to your liking

1 to 2 tbsp oil

salt, sugar, pepper to taste (sugar optional)

1 tbsp oyster sauce (optional, if using skip salt and sugar) or 1/2 tbsp soy sauce to taste (skip salt)

Directions:

1. Heat wok, add oil.

2. Add garlic, cook until fragrant (few sec).

3. Add lettuce, stir-fry about 2 minutes or until partially cooked. Add the sugar, salt, pepper sometime towards the end.

4. Add the sauce if using. Stir fry another minute or until almost cooked. I like to see if the stalks are mostly translucent. Then dish out, it will cook a little more.

Make sure it stays crunchy and delicious! 🙂

Recipe: Tofu Asparagus Stir-Fry(芦笋炒豆腐)

I haven’t shared many of these super easy Chinese vegetable preparations yet! These are the most common foods in Chinese households, usually with a little meat. This recipe is vegetarian though.

Also I made this recipe, not adapted from a blog or book! Yay!

Ingredients: you can half the recipe but that leads to leftover ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, cut bite size pieces

1 block tofu, cut cubes bite size

1 to 2 tbsp oil

salt, sugar, white pepper powder

Directions:

1. Heat oil in wok or pan.

2. Add asparagus. Stir fry until almost to your desired texture. I prefer al dente at this point.

3. Add tofu, salt, sugar, pepper to taste. I used 1/2 tsp sugar and about 1/4 tsp of the rest. Stir fry until hot.

4. Remove from pan. Done!

Variations: a little ginger and garlic and green onions: add all to oil except green part of green onion, then saute until fragrant (few sec) then add asparagus and continue, add the green onion right after the tofu.

Recipe: Super Easy Omurice (オムライス)

Like eggs with ketchup? Want a really easy breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Okay, here you go. This is much easier than making regular omurice since you don’t have to worry about omelette breaking and no need to fry rice 🙂

Ingredients: Serves 1

1 serving leftover cooked white rice

1-2 tbsp green peas

2 tbsp ketchup + extra for garnish

salt and pepper

2 eggs

1-2 tbsp milk (optional)

oil

Directions:

1. If using leftover rice, microwave with peas on top until very hot.

2. Add ketchup and a little salt and pepper, mix well.

3. Beat eggs. Add salt and pepper. Add milk. Mix well.

4. Heat pan. Prefer 8-in. diameter. Use nonstick or well-seasoned. If not, the omelette will stick like crazy.

5. Add about 1/2 tbsp oil. Spread very evenly. Turn to low heat.

6. Add eggs and use chopsticks to stir quickly for like 2 seconds.

7. Spread evenly. Then cover and cook some seconds until mostly cooked or fully. Depending how tender you like.

8. Meanwhile spread rice on plate in an omurice shape. Like a football but thinner.

9. Put omelette on top. I put the top part on top because the bottom could be browned and looks worse.

10. Make a zigzag with ketchup. Enjoy!

To make regular omurice: Heat a pan, 1/2 tbsp oil. Add rice and peas, fry until hot. Add salt and pepper and ketchup. Fry until mixed well. This is better tasting than the easy microwave version but I had no time to do this. Then make the egg omelette with another 1/2 tbsp oil. Once mostly cooked, make sure bottom isn’t browned if you don’t like it that way. place rice in the correct shape on top and fold in sides. This is really hard. Like, try it! Then put on plate and use ketchup zigzag. Enjoy!