Saturday, January 14, 2017

Steamed Ground Turkey and Salted Radish with Salted Duck Egg (鹹鴨蛋菜脯蒸火雞, Haam4 Aap3 Daan6 Coi3 Pou2 Zing1 Fo2 Gai1)

Copyright © 2017 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
Steamed meat dishes are a staple of many Chinese-American home-style dinners. The dishes are simple to prepare and cook quickly. I’ve previously posted some steamed pork recipes: 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). Pork is usually the meat of choice, but ground chicken and turkey can also be used. Corn starch plays an important part in producing a tender mouthfeel to the meat. I have found that 1 Tbs. (15 ml.) corn starch per ½ lb. (250 g.) ground meat results in the best texture in the cooked dish. In this recipe, ground turkey is used together with salted radish, shiitake mushrooms, and an uncooked duck egg. Uncooked duck eggs can be hard to find and luckily my local farmer’s market has a vendor that sells them, but cooked salted duck eggs can be substituted and are sold at your local Asian market (just follow the Steamed Pork with Salted Duck Egg (鹹鴨蛋蒸豬肉, Haam4 Aap3 Daan6 Zing1 Zyu1 Juk6) recipe to find out what to do with a cooked salted duck egg).

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oyster Sauce Green Bean Scallops (蠔油青豆角扇貝, Hou4 Jau4 Ceng1 Dau6 Gok3 Sin3 Bui3)

Copyright © 2017 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
Cooking scallops in a wok needs to be done quickly, otherwise the scallops become tough if overcooked. So that means you need to use the scallops that are not cold (i.e. just taken out of the refrigerator), the highest setting available on your heat source, and the scallops should look undercooked after cooking in the wok. Ideally, small whole Shiitake mushrooms are paired with the scallops so that they visually match the size of the scallops, but if you don’t have Shiitake mushrooms the size of the scallops, just cut the Shiitake mushrooms into pieces. Finally the dish uses Japanese chilies for added flavor, which can be purchased at your local Mexican market. Japanese chilies provide more flavor than spiciness to a dish and the amount to use is a personal preference, so feel free to increase or decrease the amount (or omit) from the dish. Dried red chilies can be used if you really like more spiciness (heat) in your dishes.

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Black Bean Chili Oil Ground Turkey with Zucchini (黑豆辣椒油意大利青瓜火雞, Hak1 Dau6 Laat6 Ziu1 Jau4 Ji3 Daai6 Lei6 Ceng1 Gwaa1 Fo2 Gai1)

Copyright © 2017 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
This dish is usually made with ground pork, but ground turkey makes a good substitute when it’s handy. The dish is really simple to make and if you’re pressed for time, marinating the ground turkey can be omitted. This is a very inexpensive dish to make, since it’s basically ground meat with vegetables in a (spicy) sauce, and it’s one of the dishes I grew up eating. You can use any ground meat and any vegetable that’s in season to make variations of this recipe. I added Shiitake mushrooms, but the mushrooms can also be omitted if desired.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dungeness Crab Scrambled Eggs (北美大肉蟹炒蛋, Bak1 Mei5 Daai6 Juk6 Haai5 Caau2 Daan6)

Copyright © 2017 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
Scrambled eggs and seafood is a tasty combination, with the most common Chinese restaurant dish using shrimp. My versions of these dishes can be found here: Shrimp and Scrambled Eggs (蝦仁炒蛋, Haa1 Jan4 Caau2 Daan6) and Shrimp and Dungeness Crab Scrambled Eggs (蝦仁北美大肉蟹炒蛋, Haa1 Jan4 Bak1 Mei5 Daai6 Juk6 Haai5 Caau2 Daan6). Since Dungeness crab, a local delicacy, is in season now, here’s a recipe just using cooked Dungeness crab meat. If you’re not fortunate enough to be able to obtain Dungeness crab meat, any frozen or canned crab can be substituted.

Personal preference determines the amount of eggs to use in this dish. The ratio of eggs to seafood depends (obviously) on the number of eggs used to the amount of seafood. If more eggs than seafood is desired, use more eggs, or use fewer eggs if more seafood than eggs is desired. You can, of course, reduce the amount of seafood used to increase the egg ratio. The dish pictured in the recipe used six eggs.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Steamed Egg Custard Scallops (蒸水蛋扇貝, Zing1 Seoi2 Daan6 Sin3 Bui3)

Copyright © 2017 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
Happy New Year to everyone! For my first recipe of the year, here’s a quick cooking (and it’s really easy to make) steamed egg custard dish using scallops. The classic Chinese-American dish uses ground pork instead of scallops. I can’t take credit for substituting scallops for pork, since I got the idea from a restaurant menu. I also found out that one pound of frozen scallops yields one-half pound thawed, so be sure to use enough thawed scallops in this dish. I’ve also had a version of this dish using clams in their shells, so there must be more variations that I haven’t run into yet.

The taste of this dish is greatly influenced by the quality of the stock used to scramble the eggs. The dish will taste different if canned or homemade stock is used, so I try to use homemade stock from the Bone Soup (, Tong1) recipe whenever possible. Since scallops are such a luxurious ingredient, using homemade stock is a must in my mind. The scrambled egg mixture needs to cover the scallops. The amount you’ll need depends upon the size of the scallops used and the size of the steaming plate. The classic recipe uses 2 eggs and ½ cup (250 ml.) of stock, but in this case I needed more egg mixture to cover the scallops, so I increased the recipe to 3 eggs and ¾ cup (375 ml.) of stock. All the air bubbles need to be removed from the egg mixture after pouring onto the scallops or the surface won’t be smooth once it’s steamed. I’ve seen some recipes where the egg mixture is strained or the bowl is covered with aluminum foil before steaming to prevent any water from settling on the egg custard surface (which mars the cooked surface). I don’t bother to strain or cover the egg custard while steaming, but they are options you can consider.

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dungeness Crab Clay Pot Rice (煲仔北美大肉蟹飯, Bou1 Zai2 Bak1 Mei5 Daai6 Juk6 Haai5 Faan6)

Copyright © 2016 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
This will likely be my last post for 2016. Since Dungeness crab, a crab local to where I live, is in season now and making this tasty recipe is real easy, I felt that this would be an appropriate last dish for the end of the year. I hope you’ve enjoyed, and maybe tried, a few of the recipes that I’ve posted this year. I wish you and your family a Happy New Year for 2017!

As I stated earlier, Dungeness crab is a local delicacy and it’s in season right now. I’m fortunate enough to be able to buy cooked Dungeness crabs at my local Asian market. I find that to be a real time saver since I don’t have to cook the crabs before shelling to separate the meat from the shell. Dungeness crabs are usually weigh around one pound (454 grams) and yield about half their weight in meat (1/2 lb. or 277 g.). So you’ll need at least two crabs to get approximately 1 lb. (454 g.) of meat. If you’re pressed for time or can’t obtain Dungeness crab, you can always use canned or frozen crab. The crab is added at the end of cooking (when the clay pot rice rests for 10 minutes) to heat up the crab and preserve the crab flavor.

I followed the same procedure outlined in the Clay Pot Rice (煲仔飯, Bou1 Zai2 Faan6) recipe, but add mini-Shiitake mushrooms, together with the Dungeness crab meat. The rice is made even tastier by using chicken stock and the Shiitake mushroom rehydration liquid to cook the rice instead of water. I made my own stock using the Bone Soup (, Tong1) recipe, but if you’re pressed for time, canned or boxed stock can be substituted. The other option is to just use the Shiitake rehydration liquid.

Using a clay pot to make rice is very similar to making rice in a pot. A crust is produced on the bottom of the clay pot, similar to cooking rice in a pot, and you don’t have to reboil to release the scorched rice from the bottom. The taste of the rice is very similar to making rice in a pot. The sequence of cooking the rice in a clay pot is:
  1. Pre-heat the clay pot over medium heat for 5 minutes to prevent shocking the clay pot and possible breaking it.
  2. Bring the clay pot rice to a boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Simmer the rice for 15 minutes over low heat.
  4. Scorch the rice using medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and allow the clay pot to sit for 10 minutes to release the scorched rice from the bottom.
  6. Serve the rice.

Given that there are many variables when cooking rice in a clay pot, the cooked rice will vary from every time you cook it. If more water is used, the rice will take longer to cook. If too little water is used, the rice becomes more al dente and the volume decreases because the rice doesn’t get fluffy. Burner heat will determine how quickly the rice cooks and how scorched the rice will get. You just have to experiment and watch for the indications that signal when the rice is cooked to your personal preference. Making rice in a clay pot seems like a simple task, but you’ll find that it takes practice to get consistent results.

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Clay Pot Chinese Sticky Rice (煲仔糯米飯, Bou1 Zai2 No6 Mai5 Faan6)

Copyright © 2016 Douglas R. Wong, all rights reserved.
I’ve been cooking all my rice in a clay pot rather than a rice cooker since I prefer the results. For my family’s 2016 Thanksgiving dinner, I made Chinese Sticky Rice (糯米飯, No6 Mai5 Faan6) in a clay pot. I followed the same procedure outlined in the Clay Pot Rice (煲仔飯, Bou1 Zai2 Faan6) recipe, but used the ingredients for Chinese Sticky Rice. I also used dried shrimp and scallops that I buy in bulk from my local Chinese herb and dried seafood store rather than the prepared packages at my local Asian market. If you’re fortunate enough to have a Chinese herb and dried seafood store nearby, you’ll find a wide selection of dried shrimp and scallops (and other seafood) that’s not available at Asian markets.

Using a clay pot to make rice is very similar to making rice in a pot. A crust is produced on the bottom of the clay pot, similar to cooking rice in a pot, and you don’t have to reboil to release the scorched rice from the bottom. The taste of the rice is very similar to making rice in a pot. The sequence of cooking the rice in a clay pot is:
  1. Pre-heat the clay pot over medium heat for 5 minutes to prevent shocking the clay pot and possible breaking it.
  2. Bring the clay pot rice to a boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Simmer the rice for 15 minutes over low heat.
  4. Scorch the rice using medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and allow the clay pot to sit for 10 minutes to release the scorched rice from the bottom.
  6. Serve the rice.

Given that there are many variables when cooking rice in a clay pot, the cooked rice will vary from every time you cook it. If more water is used, the rice will take longer to cook. If too little water is used, the rice becomes more al dente and the volume decreases because the rice doesn’t get fluffy. Burner heat will determine how quickly the rice cooks and how scorched the rice will get. You just have to experiment and watch for the indications that signal when the rice is cooked to your personal preference. Making rice in a clay pot seems like a simple task, but you’ll find that it takes practice to get consistent results.

Enjoy!
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