Archive for ‘Stir Fried’

August 13, 2013

Lotus Root with Beech Mushrooms and Ground Pork

by tina


While traveling in Japan, lotus roots appeared in a lot of my dishes. As I perused my local Japanese market the other day, I saw some nice looking lotus root so I decided to buy a pack. (Experiment time! So exciting.) This would be my first time cooking lotus root and I wasn’t quite sure what I would cook it with, but right next to the lotus roots at the market were a variety of mushrooms. I figured mushrooms could go together with the lotus roots, sure why not, so I picked up some Japanese brown beech mushrooms (buna-shimeji). I didn’t think I would get much of a full flavor from just lotus root and mushrooms, so I also picked up some ground pork. In my head, I thought to myself that these three ingredients shall go together, and it did (luckily)–This dish turned out quite tasty!


  • 1/4 lb ground pork
  • ~0.4 lb lotus root
  • 1 pack brown beech mushroom
  • 1/2 green onion, thickly chopped (preferably just the green part)
  • oil


  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons honey (use more or less to taste. the sugar content of different types of honey will be different)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon rice vinegar



Sauce: mix honey, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Make sure the honey is fully dissolved.

Take the lotus root and peel off the outer skin. Then slice very thin cross section pieces.

For the beech mushrooms, cut off the bottom part and separate the mushrooms out.


Place the pan on the stove and turn the temperature to high. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil in. Once the oil is hotter, add the green onions. After the green onion sizzles for about 30 seconds, place the ground pork in. Stir and separate the ground pork out with a spatula.


When the ground pork looks about 70% cooked, add in half of the sauce. Stir.


Then immediately place the lotus roots in. Stir.


Place the mushrooms in. Add the rest of the sauce. Stir and mix well to evenly distribute the sauce.


Turn the temperature to medium high and continue cooking and stirring for about 4-5 minutes, or until lotus root is slightly caramelized from the soy sauce.


October 19, 2012

Black Pepper Pork and Onion

by tina

I made this dish so often during my college days, and sometimes my meals would only be this one dish.  I thought I had already posted the recipe for this long ago, but I guess it slipped through the cracks. =]


  • 4 pieces of pork center loin thin cut (~0.75 lbs)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves (medium sized), minced
  • sesame oil (a dash)
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 onion (large)
  • black pepper
  • salt

(~4 servings)


First, wash and tenderize the pork.

Prepare the marinade–in a medium sized bowl, place the garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine in. Mix.

Slice the pork into thin short pieces and place them in the marinade. Mix. Let is sit for about 30 mins for the marinade to seep into the pork.

Slice the onion in half at the top of the onion (see picture). Slice longitudinally. Then separate the slices out.

Place the pan on the stove and turn temperature to high.  Once the pan is hot, place the oil in (about 1 tablespoon).  When the oil is warm, place the pork in.

When the pork is about 3/4 cooked, add the black pepper in.  I like to put a lot of black pepper. Stir.

Add the onions in. Dash a little bit of salt.  Mix. Let the onions cook for about 3-4 mins or until they look withered. Stir a little while to ensure they’re cooked evenly.

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August 25, 2012

I love Sin Qua

by tina

also known as “silk squash” (the loofah vegetable!). This has been my favorite summer veggie, my lazy veggie–It’s perfect for the summer because I don’t have to spend a lot of time in my warm kitchen sweating and washing them leafy greens. (I have no air conditioning).

I bought these from my local farmer’s market.


  • 2 sin qua’s
  • 1 large clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups water
  • salt
  • fish sauce (to taste. optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fried shallots (optional)

When picking out sin qua’s at the market, I tend to avoid the big belly shaped ones.


Peel the outer skin of the sin qua.

Chop the sin qua into semi thick, triangular, pieces.

Place a large pan (that has a cover) on the stove and turn temperature to high. Place 1 tablespoon of oil in. Once the oil is warm, add the minced garlic. Stir for 30 secs and add some salt. Place the chopped sin qua in and stir for about 1 min. Add 1 1/2 cups of water in and place the cover over the pan. Just as the water starts to boil, take the cover off and stir. At this point, you can add the optional fish sauce (about 1 teaspoon) and fried shallots. Feel free to add more salt to taste as well. If the water is running a bit dry, add 1/2 cup more water. Stir again and place the cover back on for about 3 minutes. You’ll know that the sin qua is fully cooked when it looks softer and the color changed to grey-ish.

June 27, 2012

Thai Curry Chicken

by tina

My friend recently visited Thailand and took one of those cooking classes in Chiang Mai. One of the dishes that she learned was the Thai curry chicken along with a few other dishes. She emphasized on how easy this dish was to make, so it inspired me to give it a shot. Considering that I had zero experience with making any sort of Thai food, I had her give me a little direction on the recipe and the ingredients that I needed. :)

It’s indeed a very simple dish–I’ve made it twice already, first time with potatoes and the second time without. The dish with potatoes seemed to have been thicker (starchier/heavier because of the potatoes I’m guessing) and the dish without the potatoes was the opposite, thinner and less heavy.


  • 1 lb chicken breast fillets
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons panang curry paste
  • 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (to taste)
  • 8 small potatoes or 2 large potatoes (optional)
  • basil for garnish (optional)


(optional potatoes) Boil the whole potatoes for about 8 minutes. Drain the water and let the potatoes sit to cool down for about 10 mins. Slice each potatoe in half and remove the potato skins.

Slice the chicken fillet into thin slices, medium pieces.

Turn the temperature to high. When the pan starts heating up, place the oil in. When the oil heats up, place the sliced chicken in. Stir around and let the chicken cook for about 1 min. Add half (or a little more than half) of the coconut milk. Wait for the coconut milk to heat up and then stir for 1-2 mins.

(optional) Add the potatoes in. Stir.

Add the curry paste and stir/mix it in. Add the fish sauce. Turn the temperature down to medium high. Stir and cook for about 4 mins. The sauce should become a little thicker.

Add the rest of the coconut milk in. This is to thin the sauce out. Stir and cook for about another 2 mins.

and there you have it, Thai Curry Chicken (w/potatoes)! yum!

if you cut out the potatoes, this dish will be a lot faster to make.

April 25, 2012

Fresh Catch: Catfish

by tina

Since the weather has gotten warmer and nicer, my friends and I decided to go fishing.  It was my first time and I was definitely excited.  The lake that we went to was stocked with crappies, sunfish, catfish, bass etc.  We started in the afternoon and there were no catches until sunset… not until the last 30 minutes we were there. We eventually caught 3 catfishes–one caught right after the other. It probably would’ve been a sad trip if we didn’t end up catching anything.

I caught one–my first catch, ever. :D

Afterwards, we randomly asked an Asian restaurant to clean the fishes for us.

Then I cooked my catfish… was quite scared of taking it out of the bag for some reason. Probably because it has fangs and whiskers and I was the one who killed it. :\

I cut the pieces in cross sections and peeled the fish skin off.

I stir-fried a few garlic cloves, ginger chunks, and green onion chunks. Added a little salt. Then, after placing the fish in, I added a soy sauce/sugar combination as the sauce and thickened it with corn starch.

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