Cowpea is one kind of the popular vegatables on Chinese dinner table. It can be cooked in different ways, stire fry, boil, salad, braise, etc. I put some in pot roast before, and it turned out very good.

For what I know, most of cowpea plants are ivy plants, but there is one kind is growing with no ivy. Unforturnately, the seeds I had for no ivy kind didn’t grow any seedling this year. Maybe I can find more seeds later to grow them.

I have to say, cowpea has a good yield of crop. You can find the seeds at Asian supermarket if you want to plant them.

For more info., please click the link below:

For dishes using cowpea, please click on following links:

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!

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

Zanthoxylum = Pepper?


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 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:

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:


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 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.

There is a saying that if you cook luffa in boiling water along with some white vinegar first, then luffa won’t change color.

For more info., please click on wiki link:

For dishes using luffa, please click on following links:

Stir Fried Luffa with GarlicStir Fried Luffa with Garlic


Stir Fried Luffa with Eggs

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:


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


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.