Archive for June, 2011

June 30, 2011

Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

by tina

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size garlic clove
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 pack of tofu
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (depends on personal salt taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (depends on personal salt and spice taste)
  • 2 stalks green onion or scallion

Mince the garlic, dice the tofu, and chop the green onion into thin slices.

Set the temperature to high.  When the pan is pretty warm, pour in about 1 tablespoon of oil.  When the oil is hotter, place the garlic in. Let the garlic sizzle a little and put in the ground pork.  Quickly divide and separate the pork into smaller pieces.  Do this until the pork is partially cooked (half cooked, half raw).  Pour in the soy sauce, stir, and continue separating the pork.
 
 
When the pork is almost fully cooked (you should still be able to see a few raw areas), place the tofu in the pan.  Mix it around a couple times and add the chili garlic sauce.  Continue mixing to evenly distribute the sauce.  Cover the pan with the lid and let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
 
 
Add the green onion, mix, and cover the pan again.  After about 1 minute, turn the heat off, wait until the mapo tofu simmers down a little and then transfer it into a (deeper) plate.  Enjoy.
 
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June 20, 2011

Kale

by tina

Kale: is considered to be the most nutritious vegetable in the world with extremely powerful antioxidant properties; kale is considered to be anti-inflammatory.

Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of the anti-cancer compounds; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.

With that being said….. Want to read more? I’m sure you do!  I got this info straight from Wikipedia :P

This rumply veggie was introduced to me by my sister sometime late last year.  I wish I had learned about it earlier so that I could’ve started this healthy kale eating habit earlier.  Well, it’s never too late to start.

Green Kale was part of my dinner tonight! (sauteed)

I bought the Green Kale (organic) from Whole Foods.  Be careful not to buy the Lacinto Kale (darker leaves) because that one’s pretty different and does not taste as good.  Always wash kale very thoroughly.  Those rumply leaves hide some flies and aphids..

Cooking wise, simply chop up some garlic and chop the kale (about 5 leaves) into small pieces. (I like to cook my veggies in a stainless steel dutch oven pot with a lid–reason is, a high pot allows me to stir wildly without having to worry too much about the contents flinging out.)  Place the pot on stove and set temperature to high.  Once the pot is a little heated, pour in some oil, about a 2 sec pour.  When the oil is hotter, place the garlic in. Let the garlic sizzle a little and when it becomes very light brown, toss in the chopped kale.  At this point the pot will be crackling a lot, so quickly stir and flip the kale around.  Then, quickly pour about 1 cup of water in (it should continue crackling a little) and place the lid over the pot. (you are now smothering the kale so that it cooks faster).  Remove lid after about 30 secs, stir it around, dash some salt all around, and continue stirring so it cooks evenly.  After about 3-5 more minutes, it should be ready.  Feel free to test out a piece of the stem and if it still tastes a little raw, cook it a little longer.

This is pretty much how I sautee all my veggies.

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June 18, 2011

Taiwanese Tea Eggs (茶葉蛋)

by tina

My first post!! :)

Recently, I’ve started making these delicious taiwanese tea eggs.  They’re cheap, low maintenance cooking, and good for anytime of the day.

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs

for the flavor bath:

  • 3.5 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 tablespoon five spice powder (pack this down a little when measuring)
  • 2 star anise
  • 2.5 tablespoon regular soy sauce
  • 2.5 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2.5 tablespoon dry tea leaves (I used Taiwan’s “high mountain” tea, but black tea would work.  If you like more tea flavor, use a little more tea leaves.  If tea bags, use 2-3 bags)

Boil the eggs in a water bath that barely covers the eggs for about 10 minutes. Put the eggs in the pot first, then pour the water in. (This prevents the eggs from cracking if you drop them in the water instead).

Scoop out the eggs into a bowl and run/wash them through cold water.  Wait about 15 minutes for them to cool down. Take the back of a spoon and crack the shell, all around, for each egg.  Do NOT remove the shells from the eggs.

For the flavor bath:

(You could probably make this in a slow cooker, but I cooked this in a pot)
Put all the ingredients in the pot (preferably a smaller girth pot that’ll fit the eggs just right because you want the bath to cover all the eggs almost completely).  Stir the bath and bring the temperature to high.  When the bath is almost at its boiling point, place the cracked eggs in the bath.  Once it reaches the boiling point, turn the temperature down to medium-medium low, so that it reaches a low simmer. Eventually, the temperature would be at medium low-low. For best results, simmer the eggs for 3-4hrs.
 

Drain the flavor bath. Enjoy it hot or cold!

This recipe is just my version of making it.  I’ve heard that some people use cinnamon sticks instead of five spice powder and some even add a little coca cola (so-called secret ingredient) in their flavor bath.  It’s all based on personal preference.  If you think you’d like a more cinnamon flavor or a tint of sweet flavor (coca cola), then you should try that out!

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