Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Steamed Striped Bass (蒸鱸魚, Zing1 Lou4 Jyu6)

Copyright © 2016 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
Striped bass is used to make this steamed fish dish, but you can steam any fish that’s available. Like the previous steamed fish recipe, Steamed Fish (蒸魚, Zing1 Jyu6), a bed of baby bok choy is used for presentation purposes, but you can omit the baby bok choy and just eat the fish all by itself. I generally buy a fish tail rather than a whole fish, since a whole fish is usually too much food for dinner (unless you’re feeding a whole family), but the cooking time is the same for either.

The fish is always finished with heated oil and a soy sauce mixture. You can use a small pot or a wok to heat the mixtures, but I’ve been using the microwave to heat the soy sauce mixture. As always, you need to be very careful when you pour heated oil and liquids on the fish, as the hot oil and liquid will pop and splatter off the fish.


Grilled Hard Root Beer Pork Rib Chops (燒烤根汁汽水酒豬排, Siu1 Haau1 Gan1 Zap1 Hei3 Seoi2 Zau2 Zyu1 Paai4)

Copyright © 2016 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
This recipe for pork rib chops uses hard root beer in a soy sauce marinade. You can of course use regular root beer in place of the hard root beer; just use whatever’s available. The marinade is discarded and freshly ground black pepper is used to coat the pork before grilling.



Pork rib eye chops (豬排, zyu1 paai4), about 1 lb. (500 g.) each
½ in.
15 mm.
Knob of ginger (, goeng1), crushed in a garlic press
4 cloves
4 cloves
Garlic (, syun3), crushed in a garlic press
12 oz.
355 ml.
One bottle hard root beer (根汁汽水, gan1 zap1 hei3 seoi2 zau2)
½ cup
125 ml.
Soy sauce (豉油, si6 jau4)
½ tsp.
2.5 ml.
Ground white pepper (白胡椒, baak6 wu4 ziu1)
1 Tbs.
15 ml.
Sesame oil (麻油, maa4 jau4)

Freshly ground black pepper (黑椒, hak1 ziu1) to coat the pork


Garlic press
4 qt.
3.8 L.
Covered bowl

Tongs and an oil coated paper towel
22.5 in.
57 cm.
Covered charcoal or gas grill (or larger)

  1. Use pork chops at least 1-inch (2.5 cm.) thick – the thicker the better. Marinate the pork in a covered container for at least one hour or overnight in the refrigerator with the ginger and garlic crushed in a garlic press, hard root beer, soy sauce, ground white pepper, and sesame oil. If marinating the pork overnight, take it out of the refrigerator at least one hour before cooking.
  2. Discard the marinade and remove as much liquid from the surface of the pork (a paper towel to blot the pork chops works well). Coat the pork surfaces with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Prepare the charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking following the manufacturer’s instructions. Light the charcoal or preheat the gas grill accordingly. Soak the smoking wood (pecan, oak, or any other wood can be used) for one hour if desired. I use dry and not soaked wood.
  4. If using a charcoal grill, arrange the lighted coals on one half of the grill. The side of the grill with the coals (the “hot” side) will be used to grill the pork and the side without the coals (the “cool” side) will be used to pre-heat and smoke the pork. For a gas grill, follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to which burners to leave on for indirect cooking. Clean the grill grate and then, using tongs and a paper towel coated with oil, lubricate the grate to prevent the pork from sticking. Put the smoking wood onto the coals or as per the instructions for the gas grill.
  5. Place the pork on the cool side of the covered grill for 3-5 minutes. Uncover the grill, turn the pork over, and cook covered for another 3-5 minutes.
  6. Uncover the grill and move the pork to the hot side of the grill. Grill the pork uncovered for 2-4 minutes before rotating 90⁰ to produce the grill marks, and grill for another 2-4 minutes. Turn the pork over and repeat the process to produce the grill marks on the other side.
  7. Remove the pork from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Be careful not to overcook the pork. The thickness of the pork, the temperature of your fire, and previous experience with your grill will determine the total cooking time for the pork.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Steamed Chicken with Dried Shrimp and Salted Radish (菜脯蝦米蒸鷄肉, Coi3 Pou2 Haa1 Mai5 Zing1 Gai1 Juk6)

Copyright © 2016 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
Ground chicken makes a good alternative to pork when making steamed dishes. My previous steamed ground meat recipes used pork: Steamed Pork with Salted Duck Egg (鹹鴨蛋蒸豬肉, Haam4 Aap3 Daan6 Zing1 Zyu1 Juk6) and Steamed Pork with Salted Fish (Haam4 Jyu4 Zing1 Zyu1 Juk6, 鹹魚蒸豬肉). Dried shrimp is common addition to steamed pork dishes, while salted radish is not. In general, any salted ingredient can be used in steamed meat dishes. While I marinate my ground meat overnight, this step can be omitted if you’re pressed for time.


Mesquite Grilled Boneless Beef Chuck Steak (燒烤豆科灌木牛排, Siu1 Haau1 Dau6 Fo1 Gun3 Muk6 Ngau4 Paai4)

Copyright © 2016 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
I’ve totally changed the way I grill beef steaks after reading the method used by America’s Test Kitchen. The recipe was for rib-eye steaks, but it can be used for other cuts of beef (this recipe is for boneless beef chuck steak) and other meats (e.g. pork). Their method produces a charred exterior with a tender medium-rare interior, and uses both the oven and the grill. The basic premise for their method is to preheat the steak in the oven before grilling the steak over a hot fire to produce the desired results. I adapted the method to use the grill only to produce similar results. In my previous grilling recipes, I would place the meat over a hot fire first to char the outside and then move the meat to the cool side of the grill to roast and/or smoke. This produced a charred exterior and medium-rare interior, but the medium-rare interior was sandwiched between a well-done exterior, whereas the America’s Test Kitchen method produced a consistent medium-rare interior without the well-done exterior layers.

So my adaptation is to reverse the previous order of cooking the meat to first pre-heat the meat on the cool side of the grill to smoke it before moving to the hot side to char. This produces similar results to America’s Test Kitchen’s original method even though the fire is reduced in heat when the meat is charred after pre-heating, and you don’t need to use your oven. The new method does take longer to cook the meat, but it’s worth the extra time to get the desired results. The cooking time varies with the thickness of the meat, temperature of the fire, and your previous experience with the barbeque grill, so you’ll have to experiment a little to get the desired results. I think if you try cooking steaks using my adapted method, you’ll also change the way you grill meat.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Pickled Chili Sugar Snap Pea Scallops (風味糟辣椒蜜豆帶子, Fung1 Mei6 Zou1 Laat6 Ziu1 Mat6 Dau6 Daai3 Zi2)

Copyright © 2016 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
Scallops were on sale at my local market, so I decided to make a dish using pickled chilies. Pickled chilies are available bottled at your local Asian market. The picked chilies are broken into pieces, as opposed to being whole, so all you have to do is add them to the sauce mixture. Since the scallops were on the large size, I decided to use Shiitake mushrooms that were roughly the same size. The mushrooms were also the high quality mushrooms purchased at my local Asian herb and dried goods store, so they’re meatier than the mushrooms found at Asian markets.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Black Bean Chili Oil Shredded Spice Tofu Asparagus Chicken (黑豆辣椒油五香豆腐絲蘆筍鷄, Hak1 Dau6 Laat6 Ziu1 Jau4 Ng5 Hoeng1 Dau6 Fu6 Si1 Lou4 Seon2 Gai1)

Copyright © 2016 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
Shredded spice tofu adds texture to this dish and provides needed contrast to the softer chicken. The tofu is formed into long noodle-like pieces that must be cut smaller in order to eat. I think the shredded spice tofu also provides a great visual element to the dish. Shredded tofu can be purchased in a package at your local Asian market. If shredded tofu is not available, marinated five spice tofu (which comes in blocks and must be cut into pieces) can be substituted. I used a spicy black bean chili oil to give the dish some spiciness, but a black bean garlic sauce can be substituted if spiciness is not desired.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Grilled Sriracha Capsicum Lamb Ribs (燒烤紅油辣椒是拉差香甜辣椒醬羊扒, Siu1 Haau1 Hung4 Jau4 Laat6 Ziu1 Si6 Laai1 Caa1 Hoeng1 Tim4 Laat6 Ziu1 Zoeng3 Joeng4 Paa4)

Copyright © 2016 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
This recipe uses lamb chops marinated overnight with spicy chili oil and Sriracha, together with a pepper and star anise spice mix. This recipe is very similar to the Grilled Oyster Sauce Capsicum Lamb Chops (燒烤紅油辣椒蠔油羊扒, Siu1 Haau1 Hung4 Jau4 Laat6 Ziu1 Hou4 Jau4 Joeng4 Paa4) recipe. I use a bottled spicy chili oil that has ground bits of chili made by Ming Teh Food, but you can use any chili oil that’s readily available at your local Asian market. Combining the chili oil with Sriracha produces a spicy and tasty combination when the lamb chops are grilled. Lamb chops are easily overcooked, so the lamb grilling and smoking time needs to be based upon the heat of your grill and previous experience. The trick is to quickly grill both sides of the lamb over a very hot fire before smoking.

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