Tag Archives: food

Cook One Fish In Two Ways

Compared to fried fish in western countries, Chinese people always choose to cook fish in different ways, like fish soup, braised fish in brown sauce, or steamed fish.
I bought this sea bass from supermarket. Yet, I found it too big and we didn’t have a pan big enough to cook it. So I decided to divided it into two parts. Fish head for the soup. Fish body and tail for the braised one.


Fish head soup is very popular in China, since many people think this dish is very good for health. Nutritious elements in fish will be contained in the soup.

It is not difficult to make fish soup.

1. Heat the oil in the pan, and fry two sides of the fish head. When the color turns a little brown, pour in the hot water. 

2. Add two or three ginger slices, salt and green onion.

3. Cook the soup with low heat. The longer you cook it, the whiter will the soup color become.

4. When the soup color turns milky white, add some tofu ( better be silken tofu) slices into it.

5. Cook for another 20 minutes or so. 


I really think silken tofu is a perfect match to fish soup.

Braised fish in brown sauce
This dish can be done while fish soup on the stove.
1. Similar to the soup above. Heat the oil in the pan, and fry two sides of the fish body. When the color turns a little brown, add in a little light soy sauce, dark soy sauce (light soy sauce contains salt, dark soy sauce is for dark color) and sugar.

2. Make the fish coated with sugar soy sauce. And pour in hot water.

3. Put in some ginger slices. Cover the pan with lid.

4. When the sauce in the pan become less than 1/4. Take the fish out.

5. Keep hearing the sauce in the pan until it becomes very condensed. And pour it onto the fish.


Dip the fish with sauce before put it into mouth. It really tastes great.

Braised Pork With Potato And Vermicelli


Apart from dumpling, vermicelli is another food to help me with my nostalgia.

Vermicelli is a commonly seen food in northern part of China, especially in winter. Just imagine, it’s chilling outside, and you have a bowl of braised pork with vermicelli on your table. All the coldness will be gone.
Ingredients:

Oil, pork (cut into slices), potato ( chopped into medium pieces), vermicelli, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, salt, water.

1. 


Heat oil in the pan, put in pork slices. Pork with a little fat would be perfect and it will taste better. The oil will come from the fat. Stir fry till the pork turn a bit brown.
2.


Add in potato pieces. Keep stir frying till the edge of potato turns transparent.
3.


Add in a little dark soy sauce and some light soy sauce. Keep stir frying till each pork and potato piece coated with soy sauce.
4.


Add in water enough to cover all ingredients in the pan. Then cover the pan with lid. Braise with medium heat.
5.


When the water becomes less, and potato softens, put in vermicelli. The vermicelli I used is easy to cook. Only takes five minutes to be cooked. And no need to be soaked in the water before cooking. Please read instruction on the vermicelli’s pack before cooking.
Vermicelli will be softened. Then stir it with potato and pork.


You can use chopsticks to stir vermicelli, because it’s easy for them to stick together.
After around 5 minutes, the dish is done when vermicelli is done. You’d better try it to make it’s truly done. Add in salt. And stir evenly.

Vermicelli will become transparent. And potato also tasty for braised with pork and soy sauce for such a long time.

Sweet & Sour Lotus Root


Lotus root is a very healthy vegetable. And there are many ways to cook it. Sweet & sour lotus root is an easy dish and it can bring you good appetite.

1. Chop lotus root into pieces. And put them into boiling water for around 3 minutes. Then drain them.

2. Heat a little oil in the pan. Put the drained lotus root pieces in the pan. Stir fry a little.

3. Add in 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 2 tsp vinegar, 3 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2 or 3 tsp water. Stir fry evenly for 2 minutes or so.

4. After each lotus piece coated with sauce, add in a little starchy water. Quick stir fry a little. You can sprinkle some chopped green onion if you like. 

Some people like the sweet and sour taste, but some don’t. I think it’s also a good appetizer. 

Scrambled Egg With Tomatoes


If one dish should be chosen to represent China, I think it probably be this dish. It’s also the very first dish for most Chinese to learn how  to cook. And it also shows up very often on Chinese’s table. It’s a quick, easy and delicious dish as well.

Ingredients:

3 medium tomatoes ( peeled off, cut into even sized pieces. One tomato can be cut into 8 small pieces)

3 eggs

Oil, salt, sugar, chopped spring onion, starch, water.

1. Make omelet. Take omelet out once it solidify.

2. Heat a little oil in the pan. Put the tomato pieces in. Stir fry a little.

3. Add in salt and sugar. Keep stir frying. Juice will come out from tomato.

4. Put the omelet in and mix well with tomatoes. Omelet will be coated with tomato sauce.

5. Add in a little starchy water. Quick stir fry a little.

6. Sprinkle chopped spring onion before taking out into the plate.



In many Chinese small restaurant, they have rice topped by scrambled egg with tomatoes or noodles topped by scrambled egg with tomatoes in their menu. And it’s true that the sauce of this dish is a very good match for rice.

Zucchini Pancake

I used a half zucchini and made it into shreds.


In a large bowl, put in zucchini shreds, an egg, a small bowl of flour, a small bowl of water, a tsp baking soda, some salt and some black pepper powder. Then stir evenly.


Heat oil in the pan. Put a spoonful batter in the pan. When the downside turns golden brown, flip it over.


It’s very soft, so it’s ideal for kids. Zucchini can also be replaced by carrot, potato or white radish. It’s very popular in China. And it’s a good choice for breakfast. Very quick and easy.

Moo Shu Pork (Fried Pork With Scrambled Eggs And Fungus)


I think many people are very familiar with this Chinese dish. The first time I saw this dish’s name on the menu, I was surprised. Because its Chinese name is “木须肉”( mu Xu Rou), while “mu” means wood, ” Xu”means beard. I was like what kind of dish is that! 🙂

But it turned out to be a delicious dish with pork, egg, carrot, black fungus and cucumber. 

It’s not a difficult dish to cook.

Ingredients:

Pork ( cut into pieces, marinate with a little salt, light soy sauce, and starch for 10 or 15 minutes)

Eggs (2 or 3)

Black fungus ( if you use dry ones, please soak them in water for several minutes. Please note that black fungus soaked in water for a long time could be poisonous, so just several minutes is fine. Romove their bottoms, and tear them into small pieces with hands)

Carrot ( chopped into pieces)

Chopped Celery ( because I didnt have cucumber, so I use celery instead. Cucumber would be better. )

Oil, salt, starch, water, sugar, chopped garlic (optional)

1. Make omelet. Take the omelet out once they solidify.


2. Heat a little more oil in the pan. Put the marinated pork slices in. Stir fry till they get brown and take out.

3. If there is no oil in the pan, add in a little. Put in the garlic, then carrot. Stir fry for around 2 minutes, then add in celery (or cucumber ). Stir fry for another minute or two. 

4. Put in pork and black fungus. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add in salt, light soy sauce and sugar. Stir fry evenly.

6. Put into the omelet. Stir evenly with the other ingredients.

7. At last pour in a little starchy water and quick stir fry for a minute.


Ready to serve.

Quick Fried Dumplings

I love dumplings. Maybe because I come from northern part of China, I have an affection for dumplings. Every time I miss my hometown, I feel like having some dumplings.

Except commonly seen dumplings cooked in boiling water, another way is to fry them. 

It’s not complicted. And it’s also a quick and convenient dish, since I always buy some frozen dumplings in the fridge in case that I miss them or I feel tired and not like cooking.

1. Pour a little oil in the pan. ( non-stick pan) Swirl the pan a little to make the oil cover the whole pan.

2. Put the frozen dumplings ( freshly-made ones are also ok) in the pan. Better place them in order. 


In a square shape or circle.

3. Let dumplings stay in the pan and fry for a while. When their bottoms get golden brown, add in water to the height as tall as 1/3 height of the dumplings. Then cover the pan with lid.

4. After several minutes, water in the pan will become less. Before it’s almost dry, pour in some flour water. ( ratio should be flour: water=1:10) Sprinkle some black sesame and chopped spring onion as well.


Just wait till the water is dry with low heat.



Dumplings’ bottoms taste crunchy.

Braised Chicken in Brown Sauce


This dish is perfect for rice. 

1. Prepare a boneless chicken leg. 

2. Heat the pan. ( no oil is needed here, because chicken leg contains fat. )

3. Put the chicken leg into the pan with the skin side down. The fat will come out. When the down side is a little burnt, flip it over and fry the other side.

4. After both sides turn golden color. Add in dark soy sauce, some sugar and water. Cover with the lid.

5. When the sauce becomes much less, remove the lid. Spread some black sesame. 

6. Turn up the heat. Keep stirring to avoid being burnt. The sauce will become less and more condensed. Make sure the chicken coated with sauce evenly.

7. When the sauce is almost dry, turn off the heat.

8. Cut chicken into slices and put them on rice.


Brown sauce also makes rice yummy.

Chinese Food Treatment

There is a concept of “食补” (shi bu) in China, which means food treatment approach or using food as medicine. 

Some of them are really interesting. Like if you hurt your ankle, then you need to have trotter. As the saying goes, what part of animal you have will do well to the same part of your body. Another saying is some food look like our human bodies, and they are good for the part they look like. For example, black soy beans look like kidneys, so they are good for kidneys. Walnuts look like human brain, they are indeed good for human brain.

Many people in China know the saying ” medicine is always 30% poisonous”. It’s an exaggerating way to express that medicine always has potential side effect. So many Chinese people prefer to have natural food and get nutrient substance they need instead of taking medicine when they are not seriously sick. They will certainly seek for doctors’ help when they really need. 

Over centuries, Chinese people have got methods of food treatment for many common illness. Each ingredient is considered to have its own property. Mutton belongs to “hot”, that’s why it’s a good choice in autumn and winter. Bitter gourd belongs to “cold”, so when you feel very hot inside your body or have oral ulcer, bitter gourd will be helpful.

Chinese food treatment is kind of like philosophy of yin and yang.

Stir Fry Beef With Onion


I always think beef and onion are a good match. And it’s easy to cook.

1. Cut beef into evenly thin slices. Chop onion and bell pepper into medium pieces.

2. Marinate beef with some salt, light soy sauce, cooking wine and starch. Make sure each slice is coated with starch.

3. Heat the oil in the pan. ( a little more oil than usual)

4. Put beef slices in the pan. Keep stir frying till the beef’s color turn light and a little burnt.

5. Add in the chopped onion and bell pepper. Stir fry till they get cooked.

6. Add 1 tsp oyster sauce. Stir fry a little.

7. If it’s a little plain, add in some salt.

This dish is very common in China’s restaurants. And it’s not that hard to cook at home.