Archive for ‘Stir Fried’

March 22, 2012

Stir-Fried Zha Tsai and Pork Belly (榨菜肉絲/Chinese Pickled Vegetable)

by tina

Zha tsai is a type of chinese pickled vegetable that has a combination of a spicy, sour, and salty taste, and has a crunchy texture. My auntie had made this tasty dish while I was in Asia, so I had her teach me the works. =) which turned out to be pretty simple.


  • 1 whole head of zha tsai
  • ~2/3 lbs of thin sliced pork belly
  • 1-2 stalk green onion
  • 2-3 thai chilis
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • salt to taste

*I brought the zha tsai back from Asia, but I believe you could buy them at the chinese market and they even have the ones that are already sliced.


Chop the zha tsai into thin slices. Cut the pork belly into thin pieces. Chop the green onions. Remove the seeds from the thai chilis and chop into small pieces.

Wash and soak the chopped zha tsai in cold water for ~5 mins to soak some of the salts away. Then drain the water.

Place the pan on stove and turn the temperature to high. Once the pan is hot, place the oil in. When the oil is hot, place the green onions in. Stir a couple times and then add the chilis. Stir and dash some salt in.

Place the pork belly in the pan. Stir and cook for 2 mins or when you see no more pink in the pork belly. (You could add more salt at this point if you like)

Add the zha tsai in. Stir for another minute and add the water in.

Continue to stir and cook until the water is soaked up (could take up to 5 more mins). And then it’s ready!

February 24, 2012

Bamboo Shoots, Stir Fried and Soup

by tina

It’s been a while since my last post. During the past month, I’ve traveled to Asia and back. Had a bunch of delicious foods and learned some new recipes that I can’t wait to attempt to make and share!

From this trip, I brought back some fresh whole bamboo shoots that my relatives had harvested for me. Since they are highly perishable, I’ve had it just about everyday since I’ve gotten back and have learned to cook them two ways =)

Stir Fried recipe – Bamboo Shoots with Pork Belly


  • 2-3 whole bamboo shoots, small to medium sized (picture shows whole and halves)
  • ~0.5 lbs pork belly, thin sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2-2 1/2 tbsps soy sauce (to taste) *this measurement will be split in 2 parts.
  • 2 star anises
  • 1/4 cup water
  • five spice powder
  • sugar


Slice the bamboo shoots into thin and smaller pieces. Slice the pork belly into small pieces (where you can see the short layering of fat, meat, fat, meat. not sure what that kind of cut it’s called).

Turn the temperature to high. When the pan is hot, place the vegetable oil in. Place the garlic in when the oil is hotter. Stir the garlic until you smell the aroma/turning golden light brown. Add the sliced pork belly in. Stir around and when it is half cooked, add 1 tbsp of soy sauce in. Mix thoroughly. Add the 2 star anises. Continue to mix until the pork belly seems more cooked.

Add the sliced bamboo shoots in. Mix. Add the water. Stir for 1-2 mins. Add another 1-1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (to taste). Stir and mix thoroughly. 

Add a thin layer of five spice powder all around. Dash a little bit of sugar. Mix. Turn the temperature down to medium and let it simmer and cook for 5-7 mins to let the flavors seep in. Stir when needed.

Look at this yumness =D

Soup recipe – Bamboo Shoots with Pork Ribs


  • 2-3 whole bamboo shoots, small to medium sized (picture shows whole and halves)
  • ~0.5 lbs (or 4 strips) pork ribs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ~4 cups water
  • salt


First, in a pot, boil about 4 cups of water.  After the water comes to a boil, place the strips of ribs in. Continue boiling until you see a little bit of blood coming out of the bones (about 2 minutes). Turn the temperature off and bring the pot over to the sink.  Drain the hot water immediately and then run cold water through the pot. Wash the pork, especially where the bone is to rid of any bone shards (wouldn’t want those to end up in the soup).  Then cut the ribs into small pieces keeping the bone in the center of each piece.

(You may think that boiling the ribs for this first step may be a waste of perfectly good pork soup, but I’ve tried it before where I didn’t boil it and the soup just ended up looking cloudy, and there were pieces of bone shards, so it makes the soup less enjoyable in my opinion).

Slice the bamboo shoots into thin slices.

Place the water in the pot. Smash the 2 garlic cloves and place them in as well. Turn the temperature to high. When the water comes to a boil, place the ribs in.  Place the lid over the pot and let it boil for a good 3 mins. When you open the lid, you’ll probably see some marrow and fat floating on the surface of the soup.  Scoop out the marrow and skim the fat.  Some people, like me, like to leave some fat in for more flavor.

Let it boil for another 3 mins.  Add the sliced bamboo shoots in. Wait for it to reach a boil again. Add salt to taste (I put about 1/2 tsp). Continue boiling for a minute or so and then bring the temperature down to medium low.  Let the soup cook for another 12-15 mins.

I’ve also experimented in making bamboo shoots with chicken soup, and it did not taste as good as pork.

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January 18, 2012

Taiwanese Ground Pork Over Rice (肉燥飯)

by tina

There are many variations of this dish in Taiwan. Some use spices (star anise, 5 spice powder), or there’s the saucy (thickened with corn starch) slow cooked kinds. As for my version, I like to keep it simple. =]


  • ~0.5 lbs ground pork (good quality recommended)
  • 7 shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • fried shallots (about a spoonful)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • black pepper
  • cilantro/coriander (optional)

(~4-5 servings)

Set the temperature to high. Add the oil once the pan is warm. When the oil is hotter, place the garlic in. Let the garlic sizzle a little and place the ground pork on one side of the pan and place the shiitake on the other. Quickly divide and separate the pork into smaller pieces while also stirring the shiitake.

When the pork is partially cooked (half cooked, half raw). Mix with shiitake. Pour in the soy sauce, stir, and continue separating the pork. Add the shallots. Stir.

Add black pepper to taste. Continue stirring for 2-3 minutes.

Super quick and easy. You could garnish it with cilantro/coriander.

December 21, 2011

Stir-Fried Japanese Mushrooms

by tina


  • 1 pack king trumpet mushrooms (Eryngii)
  • 1 pack white beech mushrooms (Bunapi)
  • 1 pack beech mushrooms (Buna Shimeji)
  • 2 stalks green onions
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • thai chili peppers (optional)

All the mushrooms in their packaging:

Wash the mushrooms (although they’re actually pretty clean looking already) and green onions. Slice the trumpet mushrooms into thin pieces. For the beech mushrooms, slice off the bottom portion (and throw away) and separate the mushrooms with your hands. Slice the green onion into wide pieces. Mix the sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce together to make the sauce. Mix the corn starch thoroughly with the water (for thickening. not pictured).

Place the pan on stove and turn temperature to high. Pour in the oil when the pan is hot. Once the oil is warm, place in all the cut and separated mushrooms. Stir fry the mushrooms for 1 min. Add the green onions (and chili peppers, optional) and stir fry for 1 min. Add the sauce. Stir and mix it evenly with the mushrooms. Let it cook for 3-5 mins, with in between stirrings.

Turn the temperature down to medium low. Have the corn starch mix ready. When the dish has simmered down a little more, add the mix all around and stir. (It is crucial to have it simmer down because the corn starch mix may become lumpy at high heat). Stir and cook on medium low for another 2 mins.

These mushrooms are so good AND healthy for you.
According to the site, they also cultivate Maitake mushrooms, but I have yet to find that one in the grocery stores near me.

December 3, 2011

Three Dishes in 30 Minutes

by tina

For dinner the other night, I decided to make salmon, vegetables, and an eggplant mushroom dish. All this surprisingly only took me 30 mins! And then I had leftovers for 3 more meals.

I decided to make fish because I heard on the news a couple days ago that eating fish may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  ^_^

Dish 1: Baked Salmon

Before you start anything in the kitchen, preheat the oven to 350F!


  • 2 wild alaskan sockeye salmon 5-7 ounce fillet (frozen and individually vacuum packed, from Costco. *Defrost the night before in a tub of water placed in fridge)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • lemon (optional)
  • soy sauce (optional)

1) Wash the salmon fillets. Semi dry them. Rub two thin layers of salt on both pieces. Then rub on black pepper.
2) Place the salmon on foil in a baking pan. Add a small splash of vegetable oil.
3) Wrap the foil over and completely cover both pieces.
4) Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

In the meantime, while the salmon is baking, make the other 2 dishes!

*After the salmon is done baking, you could add either soy sauce or squeeze some lemon juice over it.

Dish 2: Sauteed Chinese Broccoli


  • A handful of chinese broccoli stalks (about 8 stalks)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, longitudinal slices
  • 1/2 cup shiao hsing wine.
  • salt

1) Wash and separate leaves from stems. For the stalks portion, thinly slice off the outer layer (may be too fibrous). Then slice the stalk in half (or thirds, if stalk is pretty thick).
2) Place pot on stove and turn temperture to high. Once the pot is warm, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the garlic. Stir fry the garlic until it is light brown.
3) Add the chinese broccoli. Quickly stir it around and add the shiao hsing wine. It will sizzle, so quickly cover the pot with a lid.
4) After 1 min, open lid and add a few dashes of salt. Stir for about 2-3 more minutes and it should be done. Remember that you can also try it to see if it is cooked to your liking.

Dish 3: Eggplant and Oyster Mushroom


  • 3 chinese eggplants
  • A bag of oyster mushrooms (about 6 mushrooms)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar

1) Wash the eggplants and mushrooms and slice them into small pieces.
2) Mix the sauce. In a bowl, add the sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
3) Place pan on stove and turn the temperature to high. Once the pot is warm, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the garlic.
4) Add the eggplants. Stir fry for 30 secs.
5) Add the mushrooms. Stir for 1-2 minute or until all the oil is soaked up by the eggplants.
6) Add the sauce in and stir. After the sauce has been evenly distributed, place the lid on the pan.
7) Open lid every 3 minutes to stir the contents around (don’t want the eggplant/mushroom at the bottom of the pan to get burnt). Repeat about 3 times or until the eggplant becomes soft and almost mushy.

I didn’t actually time myself when I was making these dishes, but when the salmon was done baking, the other 2 were done cooking as well. :D

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