It’s almost Thanksgiving in US.  While everyone is getting ready for the big turkey dinner, I could really care less about having any turkey. LOL.  It took me couple of days to prepare for the Thanksgiving dinner.  I got my shopping list, I had to make sure I got to the grocery store at least a week ago to get a good size turkey, ie, whatever smallest one I could get. LOL.  I had to defrost the bird a couple of days before. I had to get up early to start cooking the bird, the stuffing, the side dishes, the pies, … And guess what?  Everyone ate a couple of pieces of turkey, a little bit of everything.  There were just too much leftovers after that.  It would be a waste to throw them out, and yet no one wanted to see or hear anymore turkey after Thanksgiving.  See, too much stress.  I really can skip turkey if I could.  I prefer the Chinese gathering food instead, something like hot pot.  There is nothing like hot pot in my opinion.  Besides a lot of varieties of food, it is really the atmosphere that I missed.  Friends and family gathered around the table, we each make our own food, we eat a little bit, we talk more, we drink more.  It would be a relaxing dinner. I would forget about crazy work or stress.  We dedicated a few hours to spend with each other, and catching up.  That is truly wonderful. The best part is that whatever leftover, we can cook it for only one more meal and it would be gone forever, not like the turkey dinner leftover that I had to convert it into countless meals like turkey soup, turkey sandwich, turkey pot pie, … You know what I mean.  LOL.

A lot of food for Chinese hot pot

Chinese daikon radish and sweet corn soup base

A lot of vegetable and different kinds of mushrooms

Must have different kinds of balls - fish balls, fish cakes, beef balls...

Another must haves - good cut of beef

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I came across a video that showed the fancy Wolf Integrated Steamer in the kitchen.  I wish I could afford a Wolf stove. But you know what? As fancy as this steaming device is built into the kitchen, it somehow looks complicated to me.  Steaming doesn’t need to be this complicated.  I’m not a gadget queen.  I stick with very basic pots and pans.  That reminded me that I owe my friend Sally a Steamed Water Egg recipe.  She asked me a few months ago when I just started this blog.  I made this dish last night.  It was a good timing for me to make more steamed dishes cos now I decided to exercise again and get healthy.  I literally translated the name of the Cantonese dish into English.  You can guess that it is a very basic dish – steam the water and egg mixture, that’s pretty much it.  But it is a very authentic and comforting Cantonese dish.  If you add sugar instead of salt to the dish, it’s like the egg custard, which could be a dessert.  I only learned how to make this dish a few years back from my mom.  She was fuzzy about the look of the dish, making sure that there were no bubbles when pouring the egg mixture to the serving plate for steaming….  Mom, I don’t care about these!  LOL.  I made this dish like a dozen of times now.  But I didn’t write down any recipe, so the results were inconsistent.  Sometimes the eggs get too overcooked, sometimes I added too much water,  sometimes the surface got too many bubbles, sometimes the dish was no taste,… So I made the dish again last night and it turned out very good, and I got to write down what I did.  I modified mom’s recipe.  I skipped the “getting rid of the bubbles” step. LOL.  I added some diced scallion on the surface.  The weight of the scallion killed the bubbles.  Pretty smart, right? ;p  The texture was very good too. It was like silken tofu.

Put eggs in a container. Use the eggshell as measuring unit.

Put eggs in a container. Use the eggshell as measuring unit.

Pour egg mixture in a serving bowl

Pour egg mixture in a serving bowl

Put egg mixture in a pot for steaming

Put egg mixture in a pot for steaming

Add soy sauce when it is done

Add soy sauce when it is done

Steamed Water Eggs

Steamed Water Eggs

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Large eggs, 3
  • Hon Dashi or chicken powder, 1 tsp (I used Hon Dashi last night. Hon Dashi is a Japanese Fish Stock powder)
  • Scallion, 1 or 2 stalks (optional, it’s perfectly fine if you skip this)
  • Water, 9 units (each unit is a half eggshell)
  • Salt, a dash
  • Cornstarch, ¼ tsp
  • Soy sauce, 1 tsp

 

Steps:

  1. Chop scallion into small dices, put them aside.
  2. We’ll be steaming the dish. You need to prepare a big pot with a lid, and a serving bowl that will fit into the pot.  If you have a fancy steamer, then you’ll all set.  Add sufficient water in the pot.  Boil the water first.
  3. While waiting for the steamer to get reader, prepare the egg mixture.  Use a large bowl or container, break 3 eggs and add them in it.  Save a half eggshell and use it as measuring unit.  For each egg, add 3 half eggshell of water to the container.  So we have 3 eggs here, total of 9 half eggshell of water.
  4. Add Hon Dashi or chicken powder, cornstarch and a very small pinch of salt to the mixture.  Mix it well.  Yes, you’ll see bubbles while mixing it.
  5. Get a shallow serving bowl.  Pour egg mixture to the bowl.  If you are fuzzy about the bubbles of the mixture, you can get rid of them with a spoon.  I didn’t do that cos it didn’t bother me.
  6. Sprinkle scallion dices to the surface of the mixture.  Put it aside.
  7. When the water boils, BE CAREFUL of the heat, put the bowl into the pot.  Cover it with a lid (or a piece of aluminum foil if you don’t find a lid that fits).  Let it steamed for 15 minutes on medium heat.  After 15 minutes is due, turn off the heat.  Let the dish sit in the pot with the lid on for another 5 mins before taking it out.
  8. To check if the dish is cooked or not, run a small knife through the mixture and pull the knife out.   The knife should not have any egg stick to it.
  9. Add a teaspoon of soy sauce to the surface of the dish.  Serve hot.
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I love eggplant.  Every time I eat out at Chinese take out for lunch, I would either order Eggplant and Chicken, or Singapore Noodles.  Those are my favorite lunch food.  But I couldn’t find a classic Chinese dish that is made with eggplant and ground beef from any Chinese restaurants.  This could be because most Chinese restaurants sell Americanized/fake Chinese food, nothing ‘s too authentic. LOL.  Well… let me back off, they do have Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, but there’s no meat in it.  I did order it once in a take out place, and I asked the chef, “Where’s the BEEF?”  LOL… Again, they put a ton of oil in it, yucky.  I never ordered it again.  The other day, I saw some baby eggplant in the grocery stores.  I thought I gave it try, never had baby eggplant before.  It was very yummy.  I made it for lunch today. 20 minutes, that’s all it took. 

 

Baby Eggplants

Baby Eggplants

Cook beef first

Cook beef first

Add eggplant

Add eggplant

Eggplant and Beef in Garlic Sauce

Eggplant and Beef in Garlic Sauce

 

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Eggplant, about a pound (I used two baby eggplants)
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Ground beef, about 1/3 pound
  • Soy sauce, 1 tsp
  • Oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Cornstarch, 1 tsp
  • Water, 4 Tbsp
  • Chinese chili sauce or chili oil, a few drops (optional)

 Steps:

  1. Finely chop garlic. Put it aside.
  2. Cut eggplant into big cubes like 1.5 inches long.
  3. Spray cooking oil in a frying pan.  Use high heat.  Add garlic, ground beef and cooking wine to the pan.  Stir fry it until the beef is almost cooked.
  4. Add eggplant.  Stir fry it for about 5 minutes or so.  Wait until it softens a bit, then add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.  Stir fry it for another 3 minutes or until the eggplant looks soft.
  5. Mix cornstarch with cold water in a small bowl first. Then add it to the eggplant.  Mix it well. Wait until the sauce thickens.  Taste it.  Add a little bit more soy sauce if needed.  Add chili sauce if you desire.  Mix it well.  Serve hot.
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Someone I know at work was posting a bunch of pictures of veggies on facebook.  He has started a detox diet.  I was like ok, that sounded good. But I don’t really like uncooked veggie or salad much.  I’m not a rabbit. LOL.  But I could make something with no meat for a change.  I could skip meat for breakfast and lunch, and that would be my own detox diet for now :)   I had a piece of whole wheat bread for breakfast with a little bit peanut butter and a tea.  For lunch, I made Fried Tofu Cellophane Noodle Soup with Chinese bok choy.  I used to get this from a Shanghai style restaurant in the morning, and that was one of my favorite breakfasts growing up.  It was simple and comforting.  It’s amazing how the combination of the ingredients turns out to be yummy.  Fried tofu doesn’t have much taste.  Cellophane noodle (or clear noodle) does not have any taste either.  Same thing for the bok choy, almost tasteless.  All these things just absorb whatever the taste of broth or soup.  It’s a very subtle dish.  I added a few dried shrimps to add some taste.  It was yummy.  If you skip the dried shrimp, that’s totally vegetarian.  Besides, the cellophane noodles have lower calories than egg noodles.  I’m going to try this no-meat-breakfast-and-lunch for a week, and see if I look leaner.  LOL.  Oh I forgot to mention that this is super easy to make. It only takes about 15 mins or so, can’t beat that!

 

Cellophane noodle

Cellophane noodle

Fried tofu

Fried tofu

Dried shrimp

Dried shrimp

Add everything except the veggie to the pot

Add everything except the veggie to the pot

Fried Tofu Noodle Soup with Dried Shrimp

Fried Tofu Noodle Soup with Dried Shrimp

Ingredients (Serve 1):

  • Cellophane noodle, 1 small pack
  • Fried tofu, 2 pieces
  • Dried shrimp, a small handful (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Chinese bok choy, 2 or 3 leaves
  • Scallion, 1 stalk
  • Water, 3 cups (you can use chicken stock and skip the chicken powder)
  • Chicken powder, ½ tsp
  • Fish sauce, 1 tsp

 Steps:

  1. Cut Chinese bok choy into edible sizes.  Put it aside.
  2. Cut scallion into small dices.  Put it aside.
  3. Add water to the pot. Add cellophane noodle, dried shrimp, and fried tofu to the pot. Use high heat.  Let it cook for 10 minutes or until the noodle soften and is tender.  The more you cook the cellophane noodle, the more it absorb the water.
  4. Add chicken powder, fish sauce and boy choy to the pot.  Let it cook for couple of minutes.   Taste it.  Add more water or salt if needed.
  5. Turn off the heat.  Add scallion.  Serve hot.
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It has been a tough week for me dealing with a sick cat.  I’m sure it is tougher for him since he is the one suffering physically.  I really wish I could do something to help.  I didn’t really feel like making anything fancy for dinner.  I found some leftover rice, some roast pork and some shrimp. Hm.. I could make Yeung Chow Fried Rice.  That would be yummy.  Yeung Chow is probably the name of some place in China.  Ya, my Chinese geography is pretty bad.   Anyway, the basic ingredients for the dish are roast pork and shrimp.  If you have these two, you are good to go.  I made Yeung Chow Fried Rice for a gathering at work once.  I got some boneless spareribs from a Chinese take-out place and used that instead of the roast pork.  They tasted very similar.  My ex-boss was asking me for recipe, so I knew it tasted good.  hehehhehe… I put some carrots to add a bit of veggie there. Usually, you’ll find small peas in most of the fried rice dishes including this one.  But I really don’t like peas at all.  I usually picked all of them out whenever I had fried rice.  My friends teased me said I acted like a kid.  LOL.  Anyway, within 20 mins, I finished making the dish.  I also made some pan fried dumplings to go along with it. It was a simple and satisfying meal.

Basic ingredients for Yeung Chow Fried Rice

Basic ingredients for Yeung Chow Fried Rice

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Cook the carrot, garlic, ginger first. Then add roast pork

Add rice, and then shrimp.

Add rice, and then shrimp.

Add an egg, and then slowly fold the rice in with the egg.

Add an egg, and then slowly fold the rice in with the egg.

YeungZhouFriedRice5

Yeung Chow Fried Rice :D

 Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Leftover cooked rice, about 2 cups
  • Shrimp, ½ pound
  • Roast pork, 1/3 pound
  • Onion, ½
  • Carrot, 2 sticks (Optional. I put it in. You don’t have to)
  • Peas, ½ cup (I didn’t put them in, but they usually appear in any fried rice dish)
  • Egg, 1
  • Scallion, 2 stalks
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Ginger, 3 slices
  • Water, 2 Tbsp
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp
  • Oyster sauce, 1 tsp
  • Salt, a dash
  • White pepper, a dash

 

Steps:

  1. Finely chopped garlic and ginger, put it aside.
  2. Cut onion and carrots into small dices. Put it aside
  3. Cut scallion into small pieces, put it aside
  4. Cut roast pork into small dices. Put it aside.
  5. Cut shrimp into smaller pieces.  I cut each shrimp into 3 pieces.  You can keep it as a whole instead if you prefer.  Put it aside.
  6. Use a large non-stick frying pan, spray a little bit of oil.  Use high heat.  Put garlic, ginger, onion and carrots and peas into the pan.  Let it cook for 2 mins.
  7. Add roast pork.  Stir it well for a minute.
  8. Add rice.  Mix the rice well.  Add 1 teaspoon of cooking wine.  Depends on how dried the rice is, add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan.  Stir well.  Let it cook for 2 minutes or so.
  9. Add shrimp to the rice.  Stir well and let it cook until it is no longer translucent. 
  10. Dig a whole in the middle of the pan.  Put the egg in the middle and don’t touch it and let it cook for 20 seconds. Then slowly fold the rice in with the egg.  Mix it well.  Let it cook for a minute.
  11. Add a dash of salt and white pepper and oyster sauce for taste.  If the rice is still too dry, add another tablespoon of water. Mix it well.  Turn off the heat.
  12. Add scallion.  Mix it well.  Serve hot.
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I looked around at people I know, everyone works like crazy to make a living in this economy.  I know I age fast with the stress I have.  I used to pluck my white hair whenever I see it.  Now, I got so many that I don’t even care. My vision is getting worse.  I do feel my body is getting old.  Can I do something about it?  Yes, I can  exercise more to keep my mind and soul young. But it’s just hard to find time.  Also diet is important.  One thing I know I’m missing all these years in my diet is soup.  Soup is a very important part of Chinese diet.  I’m not talking about Wonton Soup or Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup.  I’m talking about traditional Chinese soup like Ginseng Chicken Soup that takes a few hours to make.  All the good flavor and nutrients of the ingredients are released in the water after the cooking process.  Growing up, my mom made soup almost every day.  We would have a bowl of soup at the end of each meal.  It was like taking daily supplement in an organic way.  All these years, mom has been telling me that I need to make soup, but I kept telling her I have no time.  She said I can cook it in a crockpot and it didn’t take much effort.  I felt guilty that I have not done anything with the soup mix that she packed for me.  I promised her that I would do so.  After I hang up the phone with her on Saturday night.  I put a soup mix package that she gave me with Gogi Wolfberries in a crock pot. I added some chicken drumsticks in it.  I filled up the pot with hot water. I put the lid on.  I turned the cooking temperature to be high. And I went to bed.  6 hours later when I woke up on Sunday morning.  The soup was ready!  I just made the soup while I was sleeping!!! How cool was that!  Mom was right again. It was effortless.  The soup was delicious.  I ate everything including the Gogi berries.   Gogi Wolfberries are getting more traction these days as Westerners recently discovered the nutritious values of these little guys.  Gogi berries have amazing anti-aging power, improve your vision and boost your immune system.  They are packed with tons of antioxidants.  I will put Gogi Chicken Soup as part of my regular meals instead of wasting money on buying anti-aging creams that don’t work. LOL.

Chinese Soup Mix:

You can get a pack of Chinese soup mix from a Chinese grocery store that contains Gogi Wolfberries.  They are inexpensive.  Or you can buy separate ingredients from the store.  I would suggest to include these 3:

  • Gogi Wolfberries  – They are tiny dried berries, red in color. They are great for anti-aging and vision
  • Dioscorea Opposita – It’s a kind of Japanese Yam, white in color. Use the dried ones here.  They are also pre-sliced. They are good for the immune system.
  • Dried Logan fruit (aka dragon eye fruit) –  They are dark brown in color when dried.  They are rich in Vitamin A and C. Good stuff for improving vision and immune system.
Chinese Soup Mix with Gogi Berries

Chinese Soup Mix with Gogi Berries

Mom's Chinese Soup Mix including Gogi Berries (red ones), Dioscorea Opposita (long, white slices), dried Logan/Dragon Eye fruit and other good stuff

Mom's Chinese Soup Mix including Gogi Berries (red ones), Dioscorea Opposita (long, white slices), dried Logan/Dragon Eye fruit and other good stuff

Gogi Wolfberries Chinese Chicken Soup for Anti-aging

Gogi Wolfberries Chinese Chicken Soup for Anti-aging

Ingredients:

  • Dried Gogi Wolfberries, 2 Tbsp
  • Dioscorea Opposita, a big handful
  • Dried Logan fruit, a small handful
  • Chicken, 1.5 pounds. I used 7 drumsticks, or you can put 1/2 a chicken, or breast meat or dark meat. Or pork, if you prefer that.

Steps:

  1. Boil a big pot of water.
  2. Put soup mix in a colander or strainer.  Rinse it under water.
  3. Add the soup mix in a crock pot. 
  4. Add chicken to the crock pot.
  5. Add hot water to the pot. Leave about 1 inches room on top.
  6. Put the lid on. Turn the temperature of the crock pot to be high.  Set your timer to 5 or 6 hours or so.  The soup will be done.  You don’t have to do anything while it cooks.
  7. Add a pinch of salt for taste when it is done.
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You know how some people like to do the same things over and over again?  I used to tease my friends that they should order new dishes when they go out to eat.  Try new things, mix it up.  But I found out that eventually I’m turning into one of them.  I do similar things every week.  Life becomes very routine.  One of my college buddies used to order Tomato and Beef every time we went out for dinner.  We were in a very small town back then where there were only a couple of Chinese restaurants around.  Of course, the chef would know right away that it must be some Chinese ordering that dish because no one would order that, it was not even on the menu.  We usually made friends with the restaurants staff that way by ordering things that were not on the menu.  They knew we were Chinese and would treat us nicer, gave us bigger portion.  Tomato and Beef was not a dish that I grew up with.  Mom never made that.  So I learned how to make this from my college buddy.  It was good.  But I only like it cooked a certain way.  I have never ordered this dish from a restaurant.  Well, I don’t usually order any beef dish from any Chinese restaurant.  You know, most of them give us cheap cut of meat, and it’s yucky.  So for most Chinese beef dishes, I prefer to make it at home. 

  
 

 

 

 

 

Sirlon Tips

Sirlon Tips

 

 

 

Stir fry beef slices

Stir fry beef slices

 

 

 

Stir Fry Tomato

Stir Fry Tomato

 

 

 

 

Add beef back to the pan

Add beef back to the pan

 

 

Tomato and Beef

Tomato and Beef

  

 

Ingredients (Serves 2): 

  •  Beef, about a pound (use some good cut of meat, I used sirlon tips)
  • Tomatos, 2 small ones, about 1 pound
  • Garlic, 2 cloves
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 Tbsp
  • Soy Sauce, 1 tsp
  • Oyster sauce, 1 tsp
  • Ketchup, 2 Tbsp
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Cornstarch, 1 Tbsp
  • Salt, a dash
  • White pepper, a dash
  • Vinegar, 1 tsp (optional)

Steps:

  1. In a big frying pan, spray non-stick cooking oil. You can use regular oil. (I’m just more cautious about the amount of oil I use as I’m on diet)
  2. Finely chopped the garlic.  Put the garlic into the pan.
  3. Cut tomatos into cubes, put them aside.
  4. Cut beef against the grain into thin slices.   Put them in a bowl.  Add a dash of salt, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, a dash of sugar, a tablespoon of cornstarch and a dash of white pepper.  Mix it well. Put it aside.
  5. Use high heat.  Let the pan heat up for 1 minute and let the garlic cook a little bit.  Then add beef slices to the pan.  Keep stiring. Let the beef cook for a couple of minute or until it is about 80 or 90% done.  Dish it up.  Don’t worry, we’ll put the beef back to the pan later so it is ok that it’s only 80 or 90% cooked.
  6. Add tomato to the pan.  Keep stirring.  Let it cook for a few minutes until the tomato starts to break down a little bit. You will see it is getting mashy.   Add 2 Tbsp of ketchup and mix it well. 
  7. Optional: If you like it a little bit sour and sweet in taste, add a teaspoon of vinegar.  Mix it well. 
  8. Add the beef back to the pan.  Mix it well.  Add 1 Tbsp of oyster sauce and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Mix it well.  Taste it.  Add a dash of salt if needed. 

Serve it with a bowl of rice.

 

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After posting the funky Zongzi yesterday, I’m still in the mood of adding more funky Chinese food here.  LOL.  This one is definitely weird looking – Chinese Thousand Year Egg.  They look like regular eggs except the shell has tons of tiny grey dots.  If you peel the shell, it is black in color and has a very strong sulphur smell.  Then I cut it in halves. The egg white is totally black and translucent. The yolk is dark greenish in color. I couldn’t help thinking what the heck have people done to turn regular eggs to look like this?  I used to love Thousand Year Eggs when I was a kid until one day I asked my mom how they were made.  Mom told me that they were soaked in horse urine for a few months.  From then onwards, I stop eating them for years.  I didnt know whether it was a myth or not, it just grossed me out.  A few years ago I saw the Fear Factor TV show asked the challengers to eat mashed Thousand Year Eggs.  Of course, they make it look so gross that no one could bypass the vision part.  In fact, they are not bad in taste.  My sister’s Japanese buddies tried the Thousand Year Egg for the very first time a few years ago.  After the first bite, they all said “oshi”, which means delicious.  My buddy’s American boyfriend tried it as well, and he loved it.  She even sent him a few Thousand Year Eggs in mail one summer when she was working in a different state for internship.

Thousand Year Egg

Thousand Year Egg

Thousand Year Egg Looks So WEIRD

Thousand Year Egg Looks So WEIRD

Thousand Year Egg Congee

Thousand Year Egg Congee

Note: I did not put any meat in this congee. The traditional dish should be pork and thousand year egg congee.  If your prefer, you can put some pork or chicken in it.

Ingredients:

  • Uncooked rice, or leftover rice, 1.5 cups
  • Water, 8 cups
  • Thousand year eggs, 2
  • Ginger, 5 slices
  • Scallion, 3 stalks
  • Fish sauce, 1 Tbsp
  • Salt, a dash

Steps:

  1. Cut ginger slices into very fine strips.
  2. Cut the scallion into small dices.  Put it aside.
  3. If you are using uncooked rice, rinse it under the water 2 times.
  4. Put 8 cups of water and rice (cooked or uncooked) in a big pot.  Use high heat, bring it to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat to medium, add ginger strips and let it cook for 30 mins.  Stir occasionally.  Add more water if needed.  The congee should be very soupy.
  6. Add fish sauce to the congee.  Stir well.
  7. Peel the Thousand Year Eggs. Cut them into eight slices, then cut them into dices.  Add them to the congee.  Mix it well.
  8. Let it cook for another 15 mins.  Taste it. Add a dash of salt if needed. 
  9. Add scallion to the congee.  Mix it well. Turn off the heat.  Serve. 
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I haven’t cooked pork chops for a long time.  I have almost forgotten pork is the other kind of white meat if you choose the lean one.   I am kind of tired of cooking the same few dishes over and over again.  I made King Do style Pork Chops last night.  The original dish should be called King Do Ribs. I used the pork chops instead of ribs to cut down the fat.  Ya, every little bit helps.  But it was still good.   My buddies and I used to order set dinners at some Chinese restaurant when we were in college.  With a set dinner, it was fixed price, and the dishes were pre-selected as well.  We usually ordered a fixed dinner for 6 or so.  It included some Chinese soup, some appetizer dish, stir-fried crabs or shrimps,  steamed or fried chicken, a steamed fish, King Do Ribs or some meat dish, some stir-fried vegetable, rice, fruit or dessert.   It was a great deal for the variety and amount of food we got.  It was like a mini-banquet.  We definitely got our money worth it.

 

Tenderize the pork chop

Tenderize the pork chop

Pan fried the Pork Chops

Pan fried the Pork Chops

Cut the chops into strips

Cut the chops into strips

Making King Do Sauce

Making King Do Sauce

King Dor Style Pork Chops

King Dor Style Pork Chops

Ingredients (Serves 2) :

  • Pork Chops, 1 pound  (boneless would be better)
  • Small Onion, 1
  • Ketchup, 2 Tbsp
  • Worchestershire sauce, 1 tsp
  • Oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp
  • Chinese cooking wine, 2 Tbsp
  • Corn starch 1 Tbsp
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Garlic powder, a pinch
  • Pepper, a pinch

Steps:

  1. Cut the onion into thin strips.  Put it aside.
  2. You need to tenderize the pork chops first. If you have one of those fancy thing that looks like a rubber spikey hammer, use it, or you can do what I did.  Use the back of a knife and hit the meat a few times.  This could help to create more surface area for the meat to absorb the sauce later.
  3. Add the corn starch to the meat, and just kind of dust or coat it.
  4. In a large frying pan, spray or add a tablespoon of cooking oil.  Use high heat. Put the meat on the pan.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Let it cook for 2 mins on one side.  Flip it over, and cook the other side for another 2 mins or so.  If you have very thick chops, cook each side for 3 mins.  Remove the pork chops from the pan and put them on a cutting board. They are not fully cooked at this point, that’s ok. We’ll have to cook them with the sauce later.
  5. Cut the meat into big strips, about an inch wide.  See, if you have boneless chops will make this easier. Mine had bones :(
  6. Use low heat.  Add onion to the pan, and stir fried it for 3 minutes or so.
  7. Add ketchup, oyster sauce, cooking wine, worchestershire sauce to the pan.  Mix it well with the onion.  Taste it. Add a pinch of salt if needed. 
  8. Add the meat back to the pan and mix it well with the sauce.  Use low heat.  Cook it for another 3 mins or until the meat is fully cooked.
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Today is one of those days that I carved something sweet.  It could be a rebounce action that my body is hungering for more to sweet stuff since I put myself on diet, or I was exhausted after a long work day and I need something to make me feel good.  I made Salmon for dinner. That was a quick, and easy to make.  While I waited for the fish to be cooked, I boiled some water, and cut a couple of sweet potatoes, and got ready to make Sweet Potato Soup.  I haven’t had this for years.  I have almost forgotten about this.  As I mentioned before, you don’t see too many desserts from any Chinese menus.  And you shouldn’t expect to have cakes or ice-cream as Chinese desserts.  Instead, most Chinese desserts are “Tong Shui”.  Tong means sugar, shui means water, ie sugar water.  I found it very soothing to have a bowl of Sweet Potato Ginger Soup especially in winter as the subtle heat of ginger could help to warm me up.  In fact, sweet potato is very nutritious, it contains vitamin A and C and a lot of fiber that can help with bad digestion.  Ginger helps with the digestive system as well.  Mom always told me that ginger helps to release the gas from the body… hehheh.. you know what I mean.   If you have never tried Chinese Tong Shui or sweet soup before, this is a classic one that you should try.  Again, it’s super easy to make or I won’t put it here :)   

     
 
 

Cut sweet potatoes into cubes

Cut sweet potatoes into cubes

  
 
 

Add sweet potato to the pot

Add sweet potato to the pot

Sweet Potato Ginger Soup, so simple and yet so good
Sweet Potato Ginger Soup, so simple and yet so good

 Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Sweet Potatoes, 2 small ones
  • Brown sugar, 2 Tbsp
  • Water, 5 cups
  • Salt, a pinch

Steps:

  1. Put water in a pot and boil it.  Use high heat.
  2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, cut about 7 or 8 slices of ginger.  You can use less if you prefer. I like the heat :)   Put the ginger slices into the pot. 
  3. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into cubes, about 1 inch length.  Add them to the pot.  Add a pinch of salt.
  4. Use high heat and bring it to a boil.  Then lower the heat to medium.  Let it cook for 20 minutes or so.
  5. Add brown sugar to the pot. Let it cook for another 5 minutes.  Taste it.

Serve HOT.

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