Wok Wednesdays – Cashew Chicken

This recipe comes from Stir-Fry to the Sky’s Edge page 123 by Grace Young and is part of the Wok Wednesdays cooking project that can be found on Facebook or on Wok Wednesdayas¬†

cashew chicken

cashew chicken

 

Cashew Chicken. It is not a dish I would order in a restaurant. It was very easy and good, but not very remarkable compared to other dishes.

I deciced when I joined Wok Wednesdays that as I would always try to make the recipe as written when I can find all the ingredients. I then make notes and suggest changes I would make. for me and my family.  On this dish, I would definately add some heat in the form of thai chilis, serrono or jalepenos. It would be a great dish to serve to those that do not like heat, but enjoy an nice Chinese stir-fry.

Wok Wednesdays – Stir-Fried Garlic Snow Pea Shoots with Crabmeat

This recipe comes from Stir-Fry to The Skys Edge page 156 by Grace Young and is part of the Wok Wednesday Project that can be found on Facebook

The finished dish. Stir-Fried Garlic Snow Pea Shoots with Crabmeat

The finished dish. Stir-Fried Garlic Snow Pea Shoots with Crabmeat

This fairly easy, really decadent dish was a cinch to make and was packed with a very rich flavor. Pea shoots are sweet and tender when young. It was an easy find in the wet markets of Hong Kong. Lump crabmeat was more of a difficult find, but in the more western-style groceries we did find them.

Fresh, tender pea shoots.

Fresh, tender pea shoots.

Crabmeat and egg white.

Crabmeat and egg white.

Crabmeat is mixed with chicken broth and egg whites are whisked to form the sauce.

The stir-fry of pea shoots and garlic

The stir-fry of pea shoots and garlic

The garlic and pea shoots are stir-fried to make the base for the delicious crab sauce.

The first time I had pea shoots was in a pasta dish made by my daughter, Kam. The recipe came from the NYTimes Mark Bittman and and included morel mushrooms. It is a really wonderful dish, and a a perinneal favorite when we are in Oregon in spring and have a weath of delightful morels. Like the crabmeat, the morals are rich and lovely with the sweet and tender pea shoots.

Not a photgenic dish, but it did not last too long.

a picture is worth a 1,000 words

a picture is worth a 1,000 words

Need a Guide in Burma (Myanmar)? – Look No Further

Steve and Mr. Han (in his signature hat) outside a Kachin restaurant in Bhamo, Myanmar

Steve and Mr. Han (in his signature hat) outside a Kachin restaurant in Bhamo, Myanmar

My husband and I just completed a 16-night trip to Burma. It was, without a doubt, the trip of a lifetime. On planes, trains, boats and cars from Yangon to Mandalay, to Mogok and Began; we experienced the beautiful people and rich culture of this land. Only because of our guide, Mr. Han, were we able to see and experience so much. It is fair to say that Mr. Han might be the most well-traveled guide for his age in all of Burma. As a child, he spent his summer holidays travelling with his father who was a lorry driver for the military. With his father, they covered every road in Burma transporting goods in every direction. For fun, Mr. Han memorized the names of all the villages they were in, in the order they visited and made note of the uniqueness of each place. With these experiences and his pride in his country, he is able to put together terrific itineraries based on personal requests and interests.
One of the things that sticks with me most about our trip is a memory of the request we made when starting to plan. I told him that I wanted to see the country and not just the touristy sites. He said to me, “I see, you don’t want to see a tourist, but you want to be one.” I loved the frankness and he was correct! I can say that, in several places on the trip, we were definitely the only western or European tourists for miles. We were told at the gem market in Mogok that we were the first Americans one man had ever seen there. We had lunch and cooking lessons in private homes and saw the relics of one of the most famous Buddhist monks in Burma.
From hiking the ice mountain outside Patao to river cruises on the Irrawaddy or Chindwin rivers to the dry lands of the temple-rich Began, Mr. Han can arrange it all for you. You will meet and support local enterprises, and villages, spread the wealth to the people in this emerging tourist destination.
One more thing to note, Mr. Han is a dedicated supporter of the National League for Democracy and Aung San Suu Kyi. If you are lucky and it is your wish, he might even be able to arrange a sighting of Burma’s most famous and dedicated servant. Mr. Han is amazing and so is the tours he provides!

Jennifer with a brief interaction wiht Aung San Suu Kyi. Mr. Han managed to capture the moment. At National League for Democracy Headquarters, Yangon

Jennifer having a brief interaction wiht Aung San Suu Kyi. Mr. Han managed to capture the moment. At National League for Democracy Headquarters, Yangon

Mr. Han Travels & Tours.
Address:No.162 /164 ,3rd Floor,Mahabandoola Road,Pazuntaung Tsp,Yangon,Myanmar.
Hot Line:+95 9 42102 3653,Tel / Fax: +95 1 9010403.
Email: mrhantravel@gmail.com or mr.han1000@gmail.com
Website: www.mrhantravels.com
www.vacationmyanmartour.com,www.myanmartravelservices.com

Wok Wednesdays: Stir-Fried Mongolian Lamb with Scallions.

Stir-fried Mongolian Lamb with Scallions

Stir-fried Mongolian Lamb with Scallions

This recipe comes from Grace Young’s Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge page 90 and is part of the Wok Wednesday’s online cooking project that can be found on Facebook.
Wok Wednesdays just celebrated the 500-member mark. Congratulations!Keep on Wokkin!

Last month, I finished reading “On The Noodle Road from Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta” by Jen Lin-Liu. It was an excellent read, and I so wanted to set out on her path to expereince all the noodle. I also was intrigued with the use of lamb in the northern part of China chronicled in the book. It makes sense that lamb would be used in this region, but you don’t find lamb in a stir-fry here in Hong Kong. So, I was pleased to try this recipe.

This turned out to be such an effortless dish for me. Not always able to find things like lamb or beef in the markets here, I found it within 15 minutes and less then 1 km from my house. I also had all the ingredients for the sauce on hand, and I quickly found spring onions (which also is not always easy).

I used the Cantonese-style wok for this dish because I love how it sears meat, and it did not let me down. The sear was great on the bits of lamb. I marinated the meat about three hours with the garlic and the sauce. And, using my handy-dandy micro shredder made quick work of the spring onions.

I am pleased with just about everything that I make from SFTTSE, but this was truely an outstanding dish. The flavors of the sauce complimented the lamb. It had a bit of spice to it and the sauce was great. I served with just steamed green beans and some rice. I don’t think I want lamb any other way, except for maybe in a gyro!

Simple ingredients for Mongolian lamb prepped and ready to go!

Simple ingredients for Mongolian lamb prepped and ready to go!

Wok Wednesdays- BBQ Pork Lo Mein and Catch Up

BBQ Pork Lo Mein...Delicious!

BBQ Pork Lo Mein…Delicious!

It has been a while since I have been able to get back to my wok in Hong Kong, but this last weekend I made up some time and tackled three recent recipes from the Wok Wednesdays schedule.

Barbeque Pork Lo Mein was a quick and easy dish that delivered great taste. This recipe comes from Grace Young’s Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge page 273 and is part of the Wok Wednesday’s online cooking project that can be found on Facebook.

I purchased my BBQ pork at the barbeques stall near my house in the Central wet market. I also made BBQ pork from Grace’s recips in SFSE page 285. My version was not quite as good as that purchased, but not back for a first attempt. This is a simple stir-fry and a quick meal.

Choi Sum

Choi Sum


Choi Sum is a dark leafy green available all year in Hong Kong wet markets. I have always prepared choi sum steamed and with a little bit of vinegar, just like a spinach. This recipe from SSFE page 196 is excellent. The oyster sauce really enhances the flavor. You may find choi sum in US markets named Yau Choi. Same vegetable.
fresh Choi Sum

fresh Choi Sum

Southwest Roadtrip

My Driver

My Driver

Being confined in a boot, unable to drive and directed to stay off my feet is frustrating. I am trying my best but by the end of the week, a girl has to get out of the house. So, I got my driver to take me on a Southwest road trip.

Southwest desert straight roads

Southwest desert straight roads

Phoenix to Las Cruces, New Mexican was the plan. Getting out on roads that we have not traveled before and eating really good New Mexican food…red and green chile. Also experienced the best pozole I have ever eaten!

Possibly the best pozole I have ever eaten from

Possibly the best pozole I have ever eaten from Luchador in Las Cruces, NM. Also, cool invention of “holey” plate to serve the soup!

Luchador food truck at Las Cruces Saturday Farmer's Market

Luchador food truck at Las Cruces Saturday Farmer’s Market

We arrived in Las Cruces late in the day and took a quick trip to Mesilla. Light was beautiful and the public square is very sweet with the Basilica and Mary watching over all.

Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla, NM

Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla, NM


Mary against a beautiful sky.

Mary against a beautiful sky.

The Kitchen God

Kitchen God for the Year of the Horse

Kitchen God for the Year of the Horse


As the year of the snake comes to a close, and preparations for the new year are in full swing, it is time to pay special attention to a very important member of the Chinese home, the Kitchen God.

The Kitchen God lives close to the stove or hearth in each home. Usually in the form of red and gold sign of his name or in a photo, his purpose is to observe the health of the family throughout the year and return to the Jade Emperor to report what has been said and done in the household over the past year. He is one of the most worshiped and respected of all gods that protect the home and family. Additionally, he can inspire the cook to make healthy and flavorful food for the family throughout the year.

Before the Kitchen God returns to heaven to make his report, offerings of liquor and delectable foods are offered to make him happy and maybe a bit tipsy. Additionally just prior to his return on New Year’s eve, his lips are smeared with honey to “sweeten” his words or to stick his lips together so he cannot report. The effigy is then burned, and a new one is put in its place. If you are lucky enough to have a statue of the Kitchen God, it is removed and cleaned to begin a new cycle.

My kitchen god is in Hong Kong awaiting my return. He oversaw my purchase and seasoning of two good and trusty woks that prepared many a delicious dish. He also inspired my cooking and kept all who entered our home well-fed and happy.

The Kitchen God has been invited into our Phoenix home, and he will preside over the health and happiness if this place. Also, a new flat-bottomed wok found is way here just in time to cook for the beginning of the year of the horse.

When Life Gives You Lemons…….

AZ Lemon Tree

AZ Lemon Tree

Life is rough here in Arizona. We are enjoying a beautiful stretch of weather with crisp mornings, warm days and cool evenings and a bounty of citrus. Citrus in the form of grapefruit, oranges and a plethora of lemons. The lemons came in two forms; actual lemons and a stubborn foot injury.
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I am nursing an injury that I sustained in Hong Kong in October. All those hills and stairs and exercise resulted in a stress fracture turned full-on fracture in my right foot; second metatarsal fracture to be exact. Being tough and not believing that there could be anything wrong exacerbated the situation. So now I am sporting a lovely boot and a bone stimulating device for the next several months. This injury has put a wrench in my plans. No driving, no walking and no running (maybe ever again).

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We extended our stay in the U.S. for a month to deal with doctors and insurance companies. Both Steve and I will return to Hong Kong the first week of February. Until then, I am making lemon bars, preserved lemons, whiskey sours, lemon creams, candied lemon rind, lemon dressing, lemon chicken AND a whole lot of lemonade.

Wok Wednesdays- Spicy Long Beans with Sausage and Mushrooms

Some of the ingredients for Spicy Long Beans with Sausage and Mushrooms from Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge page 212

Some of the ingredients for Spicy Long Beans with Sausage and Mushrooms from Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge page 212

I’ve mentioned my friend, Ari, in Minneapolis that makes us sambal bajek and sends it to us so we will never be out of supply. She is a wonderful cook, and we were regularly treated to her Indonesian specialties while we were neighbors. Sometimes these dishes awaited us, hot on the counter, when we arrived home from work or a long trip. Long beans was one of our favorite dishes.

I looked forward to making this dish from Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge by Grace Young. You can find the recipe on page 212. If you have not bought this book and you are interested in the techniques of stir-frying, go get the book!

I see long beans year round in the wet makets of Hong Kong. Long beans grow well in southern China. Not exactly a green bean as we know it in the US. It does grow to about 18 inches which is a little short of the other name we know, yard-long beans. It has a softer texture than a more common green bean.

One other intriguing ingredient in this dish is the Chinese sausages. They are plentiful in the dry markets in Hong Kong. They come in a variety of textures. Some are made from duck liver and have a blue color. Some are very dry and there are also fresh varieties. I chose a dried, smoked but not-too-dry option.

Chinese sausage ready for the wok

Chinese sausage ready for the wok

Wow! Talk about comfort food! The sausage was so flavorful. Just a little sweet but tender and moist. The pork mince is very satisfying. We both just loved this. All the flavor and the crunch. I could not find Sichuan preserved vegetables, just preserved vegetables. So, I added sichuan pepper corns with the pork mince. It added the spicy flavor that we like.

Yummy! This was a great tummy satisfying dish!
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Yummy! This is a tummy satisfying dish!

This is a winner of a recipe, but maybe just once a year in our house. Definately not in the Weight Watchers recipe category.