Chinese New Year Gathering

M & J opened their home for the “Mamak Stall” Chinese New Gathering as usual. We are always grateful for their generosity.

It was a beautiful sunny day after the wind storm a day before.

Mandarin oranges for fullness and wealth, i.e. good fortune.

J made a lot of Chinese New Year goodies. We can always find some comfort food here. The above were some pineapple cookies in the shape of tangerine and little piggy. J is so creative. Continue reading

Crispy Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

Ben found a bag of dried chickpeas in the pantry. He decided to make some chickpea snacks that he used to have in his childhood. In the old days in Kuala Lumpur, we had mobile Indian snacks trader who sell peanuts, chickpeas, etc. They used old newspapers or magazine to roll into a cone as the packaging material for the products.

Photo credited to pinosy.com

We called them “kacang puteh man” because when they come to a residential area, they will shout “kacang puteh” to promote their presence. They are often found outside the cinemas, school, wet market, etc.


Ingredients

  • 20 ounces dried chickpeas or a large can chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Source: this recipe is adapted from itdoesnttastelikechicken.com

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Braised Pork Hock

Ben and the boys like fatty pork. Me, not so much.

Ben made the above Braised Pork Hock in a pressure cooker.

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces of cinnamon bark
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1 bulb garlic with skin on
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 10g of rock sugar
  • 1 piece of bay leaf
  • 2 cups of Chinese white rice wine
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 pork hocks, hair removed

Source: this recipe is from spicenpans.com

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Golden Coin Eggs

Ben got this recipe from Reddit. It sounded auspicious and great to be served during Chinese New Year.

In plain English, this dish is known as Spicy Fried Hard-Boiled Eggs Hunan style. We enjoyed the crispiness of the eggs and the aromatics from the green onions and of course the spiciness of it.

Ingredients

  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 inch ginger, finely minced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 to 4 spring onions, chopped
  • cornstarch for dusting the eggs

Source: Reddit.com/Cooking – mthmchris

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Chongqing Restaurant on Commercial Drive, Vancouver

A few of the participants from the Experience Works program which I attended in early 2018 got together for lunch.

Eva suggested Chongqing Restaurant as she and her gardening group used to dine here. The restaurant was not very busy on the Saturday that we met here.

Elena and I arrived first. She ordered a pork dumpling from the dim sum section to start off as she was hungry. When the rest of the group arrived, she took charge of the rest of the ordering. We had fried rice with shrimp to go with other dishes.

Since Eva is a vegetarian, we ordered one of her favourite dish, Fried Green Bean Szechuan style. Continue reading

Pork Belly and Mushroom Rice

Here is another recipe from The Woks of Life, one of Ben’s favourite following.

We made this for one of the Christmas potluck gathering.

Ingredients

  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted for 2 hours, squeezed dry (saving the soaking liquid), diced
  • 1/2 pound pork belly, diced
  • 1 piece of spiced tofu, diced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 slices ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup mushroom soaking liquid
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped

Source: this recipe is adapted from The Woks of Life

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Spicy Black Bean Twice Cooked Potatoes

We bought a bag of very cheap white potatoes from a grocery store along Fraser St, something like $1.49 for a bag. It was on sale because some of the bags were wet. I found one bag that was not wet and I made sure I pad dry the potatoes with paper towel when I got home.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 medium yellow or white potaotoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • salt to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes (depending on your tolerance for heat)
  • 2 tablespoons black beans
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine or rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced diagonally

Source: this recipe is adapted from The Woks of Life

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Daikon and Carrot Pickles

Ben made some daikon and carrot pickles as appetizer at home. I’m impressed by his patience in cutting the daikon and carrot into the match stick size.

These daikon and carrot refrigerator pickles are found in Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and is known as “do chua”. Some Chinese restaurants also serve this as appetizers along with fried peanuts.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of daikon, peeled (we used 1 large daikon)
  • 2 pounds of carrots, peeled (we used 1 large Asian style carrot)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water (warm enough to dissolve the sugar)

Source: this recipe is adapted from simplyrecipes.com

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