Wok Wednesdays – Stir-Fried Watermelon Rind

Stir-Fried Watermelon with Ginger Pork is an adaptation of the recipe on page 232 of Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge by Grace Young. See page 230 for information on watermelon rind. And, check out Wok Wednesdays on Facebook, a group of over 500 members cooking their way through Grace’s fantastic cookbook.

Peeled and chopped. So little waste.

Peeled and chopped. So little waste.

Waste not, want not. That came to my mind when preparing this recipe. After removing the outer skin of the watermelon with a peeler and cubing the inside flesh, very little remained of the watermelon. In doing research,I found that he watermelon rind is has some nutritional benefits. It contains an amino acid, citrulline, that aids circulation. 

Mainly used as pickles in the US , the rind has the consistancy of a cucumber. In China, it is mainly used in stir-frys , and it offers a nice backdrop for other flavors. I used chile sesame oil on the finishing touch and the little bit of watermelon flesh left on the rind gave a little hint of sweetness.

Sitr-fried watermelon rind Stir-Fried Watermelon Rind 2

Would I make this recipe again, absolutely especially during the summer months when watermelon abounds.

Tip from Grace Young: Look for seeded watermelon rather then seedless, because the rind is a bit bigger. I could not find seeded watermelonn in the market and it was a bit thin by the time I peeled the outer skin, but it worked fine.

Wok Wednesdays – Stir-Fry Fuzzy Melon with Ginger Pork

Stir-Fried Fuzzy Melon with Ginger Pork recipe comes from page 232 Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge by Grace Young. Check out Wok Wednesdays on Facebook, a group of over 500 members cooking their way through Grace’s fantastic cookbook.

Fuzzy melon in the wet market of Hong Kong

Fuzzy melon in the wet market of Hong Kong

As a Weight Watchers leader, a common summertime theme was to get members to try a new vegetable as there are many fresh options for vegetables available. I was always astounded by the limited vegetable palate of most members. Sometimes trying the zucchini was an adventure.

For me, I struggled to find vegetables that I had not tried and incorporated into my cooking repertoire. Asian vegetables opened a whole new world of things to try. Strolling through the enormous Asian markets in Minneapolis with my favorite Asian cook, Ari, was fascinating. I learned so much. What to buy, how to cook, frozen vs. fresh, canned vs. frozen. Little did I know that her help in Minneapolis would improve my cooking in Hong Kong. And, Wok Wednesdays has guided me along the way in finding new ways to prepare and cook the common Asian vegetable.

Fuzzy Melon

Fuzzy Melon

I have seen the fuzzy melon in the wet markets in Hong Kong. It is available year round. The fuzziness is not detected until you touch. It is a little prickly, but not too bad. These melons were tender and a bit on the small side. I selected two, and they were the perfect amount for the recipe.

Chopped melon

I did not peel them. My mistake but when I realized the recipe called for peeling, I tasted the uncooked piece, and the skin was tender and not bitter, so I proceeded. I actually think that visually, the dish, I think, is more appealing with some or all of the skin unpeeled.

In the wok and very pretty!

In the wok and very pretty!

It is amazing how far protein can go in a stir-fry dish. With only two ounces of pork in the dish, it was still very flavorful and filling. I thought the fuzzy melon was very close to zucchini. It had great texture, and the ginger was very nice with the pork and the melon.

The finished dish! Filling and tasty stir-fried fuzzy melon with ginger pork

The finished dish! Filling and tasty stir-fried fuzzy melon with ginger pork

Ok, I met the summertime challenge of trying a new vegetable. Actually, I meet that challenge a lot living in Hong Kong. Fuzzy melon was new for me. It was nice, and I would cook with it again. Maybe in a soup or fresh on salad. What could be next in tasting new and different things? Durian? Not likely at this time, but one never knows.

 

 

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. – Chinese Indian Vegetarian Fried Rice

This recipe comes from Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge by Grace Young page 265. It is  part of the Wok Wednesdays project which can be found on Facebook and www.wokwednesdays.com

Something close and very, very good to Chinese Indian Vegetarian Fried Rice

Something close  to Chinese Indian Vegetarian Fried Rice

 

Such a simple recipe with such simple ingredients .Or so you would think. Looking forward to making this recipe, and I was so sure I had everything I needed except the Basmati rice. Just a quick trip to the store that turned into a trip to three stores and no Basmati rice to be found in the Mid-levels in Hong Kong! Plan B was to use jasmine long grain rice, but I did not have any leftover as suggested for fried rice. Moving forward, decided to use the jasmine rice freshly cooked.

After the trip to multiple stores for rice, in pouring rain I might add, I set upon my mission to complete the the fried rice. After finding no ketchup in the refrigerator and no chili garlic sauce ( I thought I had those staples) the improvising continued. I would make this dish, or a reasonable incarnation of it or die trying! I used tomato paste diluted with a bit of sugar and worchestershire for the ketchup. Easy enough. I then opted to use some homemade Indonesian Sambal Bajak in place of the garlic chili sauce. I also used veggies on hand which consisted of red pepper, red onion and carrots.

I was so very pleased with the result, although I am sure it is nothing like what the original recipe intended. But we gobbled it up with pleasure. I served it with stir-fried lemon and salmon.

My one-time Minnesota neighbor and great friend, Ari, made me a supply of Sambal Bajak to bring to Hong Kong. She is a native of Indonesia and an excellent cook.  Although I have purchased sambal bajak at market, there is nothing like hers to be found. It is a delight and a staple in our house. A very complex mixture of flavors with an incredible heat! Not for anyone that does not like it “hot”. We use it on eggs, baked sweet potatoes, stir-fried cabbage, chicken with rice in lettuce wraps……… I could go on and on and on. Anyway, THANK YOU Ari for the sambal and THANK YOU  Grace for the inspiration. I will diligently look in local gourmet stores for some Basmati rice and attempt the recipe again with all the prescribed ingredients.

Update: Five stores later, I found the basmati rice!

 

 

 

Hong Kong-Style Ginger Mango Chicken

This recipe comes from Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge by Grace Young page 124 and is part of the Wok Wednesdays project that can be found on Facebook.

I was looking forward to making this dish. I love the savory and sweet combo. It is visually very pleasing as well. The ingredients are simple to prepare and the easy-to-find ingredients make is a cinch to prepare.

Easy to prepare and ready to wok-n-roll!

Easy to prepare and ready to wok-n-roll!

What stands out in this dish is the meat preparation. Velveting is described as an advanced technique, but the directions in the cookbook are very explicit and easy to follow. This was my second time employing the velveting technique, and it really produces moist, plump chicken pieces.

Ginger Mango Chicken in the process.

Ginger Mango Chicken in the process.

I liked this dish, but not as much as other recipes we have enjoyed from SFTTSE. However, I am a fan of velveting chicken. This dish would be good for people that do not like a lot of spice. It is a mild flavor.

The finished dish.

The finished dish.

 

 

Wok Wednesdays – Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms

This was my first posting to the Wok Wednesdays group. This is a group of people cooking their way through Grace Young’s Stir -Frying to the Sky’s Edge and meeting and posting and sharing through Facebook and blogging. It works great for me, because I am very interested in wok cooking and there is very little offered here in terms of cooking schools.

Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms was not my first stir-fry, the first engaging with the group. It is a great dish for the Chinese New Year. Also, it prompted me to go out and find some fresh noodles in the market. Found a great little shop with a long line buying noodles. There was great conversation over the lo mein noodles and they were obviously getting the seal of approval from several of the women buying, so I thought it was a good place to buy. We were not disappointed. The noodles were excellent. I was quite pleased with the result of the dish. I would work a little harder at browning the chicken, but I was pleased that the meat was not overcooked and the cabbage was crisp.

Wok Wednesdays - Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms.

Wok Wednesdays – Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms.

Yum!

Yum!