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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Popeye’s on Hawkins Street, Coquitlam

After the walk at the Lights of Lafarge, Nanzaro recommended to have dinner at Popeye’s in Coquitlam since we were in the neighbourhood.

Popeye’s is located in the Fremont Village. Luckily, it’s opened on Christmas day.

The seating area is partitioned into 2 sections by this spice display unit, quite creative.

Since this is a fast food place, you order at the counter and pick up your order. They will call your name when the order is ready.

The walls are decorated with the Popeye’s history and how the chicken is made.

We ordered the 8 pc family deal for $19.99. It came in a paper box.

The top layer are the big pieces from chicken breast and thighs. Continue reading

Stir Fried Pork Belly with Garlic Stem

Garlic stem is in season. It is 99cents for a bunch.

We cooked this Stir Fried Pork Belly with Garlic Stem as a side dish to go with steamed rice.

Ingredients

  • a bunch of garlic stem, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • half a pound of pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon mushroom seasonings
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

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Stir Fried Chicken with Ginger and Green Onion

Ben cooked this homey dish for dinner as we bought a lot of chicken legs which was on sale, something like $1.06 per pound.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken legs cut into small pieces
  • 3 inches of ginger knob, cut into thin slices
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed lightly
  • a bunch of green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces, white and green parts separated
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine, divided
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • white pepper to taste
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • a dash of sugar

Marinate the chicken pieces with a tablespoon of oyster sauce, a tablespoon of light soy sauce and a teaspoon of Shaoxing wine for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

P/S: You can adjust the seasonings to your preference

This recipe is from Cooking Ah Pa.

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