In the Healthy Asian Cooking, Ian Lai described the Chinese cooking as lots of greens and a little meat. Chinese likes to cook with quick stir fry which is quite oily in the sense of splattering and strong odour. That the reason why in many Chinese homes, they have two kitchens where one of the kitchen is located outside the house for stir frying.
Chinese likes to use lots of green vegetables like mustard green, sweet peas, snow peas, green beans, broccoli, water crest, green onions, cilantro, etc.
Here is the recipe for the Garlic Green Bean:
- 1 pound green beans
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 slices of ginger
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon pf togarashi (a Japanese Spice Mix)
The above is the bottle of the Togarashi. You can click on image to view it larger.
Togarashi is typically made of coarsely ground red chili pepper, ground sichuan pepper, roasted orange peel, black and white sesame seeds, hemp seed, ground ginger and seaweed.
The Richmond Food Security Society organised a Healthy Asian Cooking workshop in conjunction with the Asian Heritage Month celebrations. The 2 days workshop is hosted by Chef Ian Lai. Chef Ian Lai is a Chinese who grew up in South Africa. Chef Ian Lai told us that he became more comfortable with the Chinese culture only after he came over to Canada which is very cosmopolitan.
The Chinese culture evolves around the kitchen. Whether it’s a birthday, baby full moon, marriage and even funeral will evolved around food. Besides his Chinese background, Ian Lai is married to a Japanese lady. Therefore, his cooking is more of a global Asian cooking and not traditional Chinese cooking.
Ian Lai prepared 3 recipes for the workshop. The first recipe is Potato Noodle with Mustard Greens and Chinese Sausage.
The Potato Noodle with Mustard Greens and Chinese Sausage is more like a salad noodle dish. I did not have the step by step picture of this recipe. But here is the what I learned from the workshop.
Ian Lai likes to use potato noodle because the noodle remain soft even the next day, unlike other noodle which will harden if leave overnight. Ian Lai likes to prepare extra food so that he can used them for lunch or dinner the next day.
The Potato Noodle Salad dish has a distinctive flavour which comes from the hot bean sauce as shown above. It is fermented soy bean or broad bean and you can get them spicy or plain version.
Here’s the recipe for the Potato Noodle with Mustard Greens and Chinese Sausage: Continue reading
Joanna decided to demonstrate a Chinese Assorted Vegetable Stir Fry at the Caring Place Community Kitchen when approached by Minoo. She told us that she just watched this stir fry recipe on the TV and want to put it to practice. Joanna had demonstrated Fried Magu Rice Vermicelli in this kitchen earlier.
This Chinese Assorted Vegetable Stir Fry is a vegetarian dish. Joanna got the inspiration from another TV show to add lily bulb into the stir fry.
- 2 carrots, peel and thinly slice
- a small bag of snow pea, destring and cut into half
- a handful of dry lily bulb, soak in cold water overnight
- 6 to 8 fresh shiitake mushroom, slice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 green onion, green part only, slice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- salt to taste
If you use dried shiitake mushroom, you will need to reconstituted in warm water for 2 hours.
Dry lily bulb can be bought from Chinese herbal or groceries stores. Fresh lily bulb is also available from Chinese groceries stores. Lily bulb looks like garlic and the bulb is made with layers that resemble onion. It is a crunchy texture.
According to Joanna, lily bulb is good for the skin, cancer control and prevent inflammation. From my earlier post on Ching Po Leung, lily bulb benefit includes moisten the lung, cooling the body, stop cough and sore throat, lower fever, etc.
Joanna came from the province of Jiang Xi, China. Joanna told us her province has beautiful mountains. Her village has a small river but the people there do not like picnic at the river because there is no facilities like picnic table and toilet. The villagers have rice fields and raise their own chicken, grow their own vegetables and fishing for food. She said the life there is hard as there is not enough food. When asked if she misses her hometown, she said she usually feels homesick during Chinese festivals like Chinese New Year, Ching Ming, Dragon Boat Festival and Moon Cake Festival.
Santoosh shared three Indian recipes in the Caring Place Community Kitchen. We were very eager to learn from Santoosh. We love to cook ethnic food. Such demonstrations broaden our knowledge on the multicultural cuisines we find in Vancouver.
The three recipes were Indian Cauliflower, Dal Mong and Indian Roti. These are her staple food.
Santoosh is seen here demonstrating how to make Indian Roti. I will not blog about how to make roti because I had blogged about how to make roti here.
Can you guess how old is Santoosh? We were surprised when she told us she will be 80 years soon. Her secret to have such good complexion is to apply milk on her face daily 30 minutes before she takes her bath. She also shared with us that she eats a clove of raw garlic daily and she incorporates lots of garlic and onions in her cooking. She never had a cold for the longest time.
The above is an Indian Cauliflower dish that Santoosh shared called Phool Gobi. The bright yellow colour comes from turmeric. Cauli in from Latin which means cabbage. Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and Vitamin C. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane which protect against cancer. It also contains Indole-3-Carbinol, a chemical that enhances DNA repair and acts as an estrogen antogonist which slow the growth of cancer cells.
Turmeric is used as an anti-inflammatory agent and remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders. Some may use turmeric in skin creams as an antiseptic agent for cuts, burns and bruises.
- 1 medium size head of cauliflower, cut into flowerets
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup water
- cinnamon powder for sprinkling
Serves 4 to 5
Marian also prepared another stir fry dish for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. It is an Orange Beef Stir Fry.
This citrus beef stir fry is also another west meets east recipe. The use of oranges in stir fry is not very Chinesey.
- 2 cups slice flank steak
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- orange segments from 2 oranges
- 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch length
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- sesame seeds (optional)
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoons ground pepper
The second Chinese theme recipe which Marian shared in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is Mix Vegetables Stir Fry which also common known as Chop Suey.
You can be creative in this recipe that you can used up all the leftover vegetables and meat. It is a great recipe to clear your refrigerator.
- 1 cup chicken, cut up into bite size
- 1 cup broccoli, cut into flowerets
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup cauliflower, cut into flowerets
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1 medium carrot, scrub and thinly sliced into coins shape
- 1 red pepper, cut into medium pieces, same size of the carrot
- 1 can chestnut or fresh ones
- 1 can baby corns
- 1 can mushroom of your choice, Marian used oyster mushroom in this recipe
- 1 medium onion, peel and slice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce or soy sauce
- garlic powder, ginger powder, salt and pepper to marinate chicken
- cooking oil
- sesame oil
Minoo shared a couple of bok choy recipes in the South Arm Community Kitchen. The reason is she got some bok choy from the Richmond Sharing Farm for the use in the community kitchens.
The first recipe is Wilted Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Cashews. This is just a simple stir fry and it makes a good side dish for any meal. The cashew nuts add some crunch to the simple stir fry bok choy.
- sesame oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 bunches bok choy, wash and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cashews, toasted
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (optional)
Source: this recipe is adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com by Robin Miller
Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 5 minutes; Serves 4
Asparagus is a seasonal vegetable and spring is the best time to enjoy it.
This Orange Glazed Asparagus is easy to prepare and the orange juice reduction adds sweetness to it.
- 1 bunch medium thick asparagus
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice
Source: adapted from Pam Anderson
Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 10 minutes; Serves 3
Linda served the Pancit Bihon with Stir Fried Mix Vegetables on the side. Cooking the vegetables separately will ensure that the vegetables are crisp tender and not overcooked.
Linda prefers her vegetables to be crunchy. The vegetables is stir fried with Annato flavoured oil too.
- 1 medium carrot, sliced but not too thin
- 2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
- 1 medium onion, cut into cubes
- 2 packs sweet peas, string removed
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced
- 1 head broccoli, cut into floweretes
- mushroom seasing to taste
- sesame oil
- oyster sauce
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 package of frozen cooked shrimps, defrosted
Prep time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 15 minutes; Serves 8 to 10
The South Arm Cooking Club for seniors celebrated Vaisakhi with an east Indian theme recipes. Charlene prepared 4 Indo-Canadian inspired recipes for this meeting.
The first recipe is a simple Stir-Fried Green Beans with Coconut. It takes a few minutes longer to cook than a Chinese style stir-fry. The green beans are tender and aromatic instead of crisp and light.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound green beans, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 3/4 cup roasted peanuts (optional)
Source: this recipe is adapted from Suvir Saran
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time 25 minutes; Serves 4 to 6