How to cook: Chinese sesame chicken

sesame-chicken

Sweet, salty, a bit spicy, loaded with texture and color... Well, I can be describing a hundred different dishes with those words but it's just not wise to get overly dramatic nor romantic in describing a dish so simple and so good, and just end up with a description that does not even begin to approximate what the dish … [Read more...]

How to cook: Steamed sticky rice and pork wrapped in banana leaves

pork-sticky-rice6

The Chinese zongzi -- sticky rice wrapped in leaves then steamed -- has many variations all over Asia. Some are savory while others are sweet. Although bamboo leaves are traditionally used for zongzi, elsewhere in Asia, other leaves like lotus and banana are used. The filling that goes with the rice varies from region to … [Read more...]

How to cook: Pork version of P.F. Chang’s Mongolian beef

Pork version of P.F. Chang's Mongolian beef

No, I've never been to P.F. Chang's although I read that the U.S. food chain opened its first Asian branch in Alabang two months ago. It's easily a two-hour drive to Alabang and... I just wouldn't. The copycat recipe for P.F. Chang's Mongolian beef, I found via Pinterest. I posted it on my cooking, wining & dining board … [Read more...]

How to cook: Chinese-style braised beef

Chinese-style braised beef

I can't resist a good recipe when I come across one. I was browsing food sites a couple of days ago, saw a one-pot Chinese-style braised beef recipe at BBC Good Food and I immediately experienced an adrenalin rush. It looked so good. I checked the ingredients and, in my mind, I just knew that the dish would taste good … [Read more...]

How to cook: Tofu, General Tso’s style

general-tso-tofu

One of the most widely known Chinese dishes outside of Asia is General Tso’s chicken -- floured bite-size chicken pieces fried until crisp then tossed in sweet-salty sauce. This is the no-meat version using silken tofu. Instead of the usual onion leaves, the saucy tofu cubes were garnished with snipped cilantro and toasted … [Read more...]

Shrimps and sesame seed oil in dumpling filling

dumpling-mixture

For as long as I can remember, because of an allergy to crustaceans that began when I was still in grade school, when making dumplings, I've never added chopped shrimps to my pork and vegetable filling. Never mind that every decent cook I knew told me that dumplings just aren't the same without shrimps.Well. Now that I … [Read more...]

How to cook: Sweet & Sour Pork

Sweet and sour pork

When I first published a sweet and sour pork recipe in June 2003, I thought it was a pretty good one. Well, it was. In a manner of speaking. The pork was tender and moist with a crisp crust, the sauce was a wonderful balance between sweet and sour, and the addition of crisp vegetables provided that interesting contrast in … [Read more...]

How to pleat and steam shu mai (steamed pork dumplings)

siomai

The steamed pork dumpling that we call siomai in the Philippines comes from a traditional Chinese dimsum dish. It is ground pork wrapped in dough, steamed and served with a dipping sauce. In the English-speaking world, the spelling varies -- shumai, shaomai, shui mai, shu mai, sui mai, shui mei, siu mai, shao mai, or siew … [Read more...]

How to make: Sago (tapioca pearls) and mango dessert

mango-tapioca-balls3

Common need not be boring. This very common Chinese dessert made with soft and chewy sago, pureed mangoes and coconut cream is a refreshing break from heavy cakes and pies. In Asia, sago can be bought cooked in many markets. If you can get your hands on cooked sago, then, this is a no-cook dessert. If not, you can buy dried … [Read more...]

How to cook: Kung Pao chicken

Kung Pao chicken

Sweet, sour, salty and spicy, kung pao chicken is a dish that originates from the Sichuan Province of central-western China. The most important ingredient of Kung Pao chicken is the Sichuan peppercorn. Curious that by the time the dish became a hit in America, the recipe rarely included Sichuan peppercorns. Perhaps, it's … [Read more...]