Star Anise

Star Anise

Star Anise is one of the popular spice when doing braise. At lease I hardly use it for something else.

It has a strong flavor, so I normally would let it stay in pot for about 15-20 minutes, then I would take it out and throw away.

I don’t really know much about it. luckily, we have wiki, HA!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illicium_verum

For dishes using Star Anise, please clikc on following link:

Zanthoxylum = Pepper?

Zanthoxylum
Zanthoxylum

This is what I called ‘Chinese Pepper’. Today, I looked up online, and found out that its offical name is Zanthoxylum.

It is a very popular seasoning in Si-Chuan dish or Hunan Dish, anything hot and spicy. It is the spicy!

This is one of my favorite seasoning when it comes to slow cooking or braise. But since it has a very strong flavor, so I won’t let it stay in pot for a long time.

Zanthoxylum
Zanthoxylum on Plant

I happen to have a Zanthoxylum plant, so you can see what it looks like when it’s still fresh.

Here is the wiki link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum

For dishes using zanthoxylum, please click on following link:

How to Chop Napa Cabbage

 

Chop Napa Cabbage

Chop Napa CabbageWhen I cook napa, I normally separate napa leaves and the white since they require different cooking time.

Napa leaves are easy to chop, most of the time, I don’t chop, I just tear them into pieces with fingers.

Chop Napa CabbageTo chop the white part, I normally lean the knife with an angle to chop, this way, when you chop it, it can thin the white part at same time.

When cooking, always cook the white part first, then cook the leaves, so they can be done at same time.

 

Chop Napa Cabbage

 

Napa Cabbage

 

Napa Cabbage

I love napa cabbage, much better than regular cabbage.

It’s cabbage, but doesn’t taste like cabbage, and it doesn’t smell like cabbage.

For more info., please check with wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napa_cabbage

 

When I chop napa, I normally separate the leaf and the white part, since the white part is tougher and takes longer to cook.

The leaf can be torn into pieces by hand after you separate it from the white part. White part can be cut at an angle so the pieces won’t be too thick.

Napa Cabbage     Napa Cabbage     Napa Cabbage     Napa Cabbage

 

For dishes using napa cabbage, please check the following links:

Korean Kimchi with Napa Cabbage and Daikon

Kimchi with Napa and Daikon

 

 

Garlic Leaves

 

Garlic Leaves

When you plant garlic, you get garlic leaves.

Garlic leaves can be used as herb in cooking. They bring some of the garlic taste, but a lot weaker compare to garlic.

Garlic can be planted in soil or water. It grows better and stronger when planted in soil. I normally plant them in winter, in water when planted inside, in soil outside.

To use garlic leaves, just cut them for any length you need, and they will keep growing. Normally you can cut at least twice. Of course, once you start cutting leaves out of the garlic plants, you won’t be able to harvest garlic later.

Below are garlic leaves from my vegetable garden after raining:

 

garlic leaves

 

Luffa

 

Luffa

 

Luffa to me, is one kind of vegetables only. I noticed that wiki says it’s fruit.

LuffaLuffa can be cooked as vegetable when it’s young. You can stir fry, or cook it in soup, any way you like. If you let it grow too old, the center part can be used as sponge for cleaning purposes after it gets dry.

There are 2 popular kinds of luffa, one has smooth skin, the other kind looks like giant okra.

One thing you need to know is, if you let chopped luffa stays in air too long, it will change to darker color. Sometimes even after you cook it. So luffa means eat when fresh.

For more info., please click on wiki link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa_aegyptiaca

 

For dishes using luffa, please click on following links:

Stir Fried Luffa with GarlicStir Fried Luffa with Garlic

 

 

Potassium Carbonate Solution

 

Potassium Carbonate Solution

 

This is a requirement in one of my recipes, It’s too hard for me to understand all the word.

All I know is this is the mixture of Potassium Carbonate and water.

For more info., please click the wiki link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_carbonate

 

For dishes using Potassium Carbonate Solution, please click on the following links:

Moon Cake with Red Bean Paste and Egg YolkMoon Cake with Red Bean Paste and Egg Yolk

 

 

Make Filling with Chinese Chive and Egg

 

Make Filling with Chinese Chive and Egg

 

This is one of my favorite fillings for stuffed buns. I think most Chinese love the Chinese chive.

Make Filling with Chinese Chive and EggIngredients:

Chinese chive, eggs, dried shrimp, cellophane noodles, seasoning

Method:

cellophane noodles1. Soak cellophane noodles in water until they get tender. Then soak in hot water until they get clear. Drain good.

2. Stir Fry eggs, when eggs start getting firm, stir quickly so they turn into chunks instead of a whole piece. Transfer to cutting board, wait until it’s cool, then chop into small pieces.

Make Filling with Chinese Chive and Egg          Make Filling with Chinese Chive and Egg

3. Clean and chop the Chinese chive into really short string. Transfer to container, then coat with cooking oil.

4. Chop dried shrimp and cellophane noodles into small pieces, mix everything together, add seasoning to your taste.

For seasoning, I normally just use salt and little bit sugar, nothing else since Chinese chive has a strong flavor itself.

 

Notes: Cellophane noodles can be replaced with shrimp or vegetables or anything you like.

Eggs can be replaced with ground meat.

 

Chinese Chive

 

Chinese Chive

 

Chinese chive is very popular vegetable in China. So far, I haven’t see it in American Supermarket.

Compare to regular vegetables, Chinese chive has a strong taste/smell, similar to onion and garlic, but different and lighter. It normally is used in fillings, sometimes in stir fry dishes, but not very often. One of the popular dish is stir fry with eggs.

Chinese chive is a perennial plant, when you harvest, all you need to do is cutting the part about ground, it will keep growing. You can harvest as many time as you like.

For more info., please click the link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_tuberosum

 

For dishes using Chinese chive, please click on following links:

 

 

Dried Shrimp

 

driedshrimp

 

Dried shrimp is mainly used for flavor. Compare to fresh shrimp, dried shrimp can bring a much stronger flavor and different for fresh one.

Dried shrimp is normally made with small shrimp.

Dried shrimp is mainly used in fillings, sometimes is used in simmer dishes, once a while in stir fry dishes.

For more info., please click the link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_shrimp

 

For dishes using dried shrimp, please click following links:

Pancake with Zucchini and Dried Shrimp