Cooking with Alison

Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Food’

Thai Mango Salad Recipe

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, Asian, Other Asian Foods, Sides and Sauces on September 1, 2013 at am


This Thai mango salad is delicious and very easy to make.  The key to success is to use mangoes that have the perfect ripeness, just starting to ripe and still firm.  Some recipes call for green mangoes, but I’ve found that using green mangoes results in a crunchy salad that lacks mango flavour and colour.  I made this for my sister’s lunch group at work and everyone loved it.  I served it as an appetizer to a cold Thai noodle salad (recipe here).

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Favourite Slow Cooker Fish Recipe

In Asian, Fish / Seafood, Seafood on August 28, 2013 at am


I have had the toughest time trying to figure out how to cook using a slow cooker.  I’ve tried different recipes from different cookbooks and websites, and I’ve tried using different meats and/or vegetables, but 9 times out of 10, I end up with overcooked slop.  I’d love to hear how you mastered the slow cooker!  The only other recipe that I’ve had success with is this slow cooker pulled pork.  So I tested this fish recipe a few times and even had John (a beginner in the kitchen) make it once by himself before I shared this new favourite slow cooker recipe with you.  We love this dish.  It is Thai inspired, mild, and light yet creamy.  My family approves of this dish too, and that’s saying a lot because they strongly dislike slow cooker cooked food.  But I should warn you, this recipe requires a bit more work and attention than typical slow cooker recipes.  In my opinion, it’s worth the extra effort, because your meal won’t look or taste like it came out of a slow cooker.

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Malaysian Cincalok Dip and Steamed Pork Belly Recipe

In Asian, Meat and Eggs, Seafood on August 25, 2013 at am

I traveled to Malaysia for the first time in May 2013.  It was an amazing food experience and I am excited to share what I learned about Malaysian cuisine with you.  The best part of the trip was watching my dad enjoy nostalgic food from his childhood.  While souvenir shopping in a Malaysian grocery store, my dad spotted a bottle of cincalok and told me that when he was a child, his family’s servants would toss nets into the ocean during shrimp season to catch tiny shrimp for his mom to make cincalok from scratch.  After hearing that story, I had to bring some home.

Malaysian cincalok

Malaysian cincalok

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Chinese Chicken and Rice Wine Soup

In Asian, Drinks, Soups, Soups and Salads on June 24, 2012 at pm

Cooking with Alison’s Mom (Part 1)

I have always wanted to learn how to make traditional Chinese soups and health drinks.  So this chicken and rice wine health drink/soup is the first of my new recipe series, Cooking with Alison’s Mom.  (Be sure to check out the Cooking with Alison’s Grandma recipe series.)

This Chinese soup is often served to women who have just given birth as it is supposed to be nourishing and warming.  I particularly like drinking this healthy soup in the winter.  It’s also a great way to enjoy/use up homemade glutinous rice wine.  This soup could be made using only 2 ingredients – chicken and glutinous rice wine, but my mom likes to add a few more ingredients to enhance the health benefits and flavour.

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Hot Chili Oil Recipe

In Other Asian Foods, Sides and Sauces on June 19, 2012 at pm

Chinese hot chili oil is versatile, delicious, and cheap and easy to make.  Use this as a condiment (e.g. for dumplings), use it in sauces (see bang bang chicken recipe here), soups (hot and sour soup recipe here, Chinese borscht (lor sung tong) recipe here), add this to a noodle dish (even instant noodles), or use it as a substitute for cooking oil to add heat to any dish.

Normally, this is made using whole, dried red chilies, which gives the hot chili oil a red colour.  However, I happened to have a lot of red chili flakes on hand, so I used that instead.

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Stir Fried Shanghai Noodles Recipe

In Rice and Noodle Dishes on June 8, 2012 at pm

Shanghai noodles are thick and chewy.  At Chinese restaurants, they are usually darkly coloured and stir fried with thin strips of pork and cabbage.  Since the noodles are so thick, they don’t tend to be as flavourful as they appear.  That’s why I like eating this dish with Chinese red vinegar.  I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I find that the red vinegar adds flavour, helps to cut the oil, and makes the dish feel less heavy.  Try serving these noodles alongside sticky rice rolls (recipe here).

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Sticky Rice Rolls with Pork Floss

In Rice and Noodle Dishes on June 1, 2012 at am

Sticky rice rolls make delicious breakfasts and snacks.  They are easy to make, can be filled with any flavourful toppings that you like, and can be eaten on the go.  These originated in Shanghai but personally, I prefer the fillings that are more commonly used in Hong Kong.  Strongly flavoured fillings work best in these glutinous rice rolls.  Some common fillings include pork floss, preserved vegetables, and Chinese deep fried dough stick, etc.

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Chinese Salted Egg Recipe

In Meat and Eggs on May 11, 2012 at am

Cooking with Alison’s Grandma (Part 3 of 4)

During my last visit with my grandma, she showed me how easy it is to make your own Chinese salted eggs!  Chinese salted eggs are simple, delicious, cost-efficient side dishes.  Personally, I find them addictive.  They can be enjoyed as a side dish to compliment a plain bowl of white rice or congee, or they can be used to flavour many different Asian dishes; just to name a few: steamed egg dish, claypot rice, steamed minced pork, rice dumpling (joong/zhong zi), etc.  You can even add salted eggs to simple Chinese vegetable soups.  This recipe makes a very large amount, which is perfect for making a large batch of Chinese rice dumplings (joong / zhong zi).  Feel free to scale it down if you’re not making rice dumplings.  My family never has trouble finishing a batch.

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How to Boil or Poach Chicken

In How To, Meat and Eggs, Poultry on April 19, 2012 at pm

Cooking chicken by boiling or poaching is easy and great for making healthy, oil-free, meals.  It may sound bland, but this results in deliciously moist meat and a pot of chicken stock.  When boiling or poaching chicken, you want to use meat that still has the skin on and the bone in, so you can purchase cheaper cuts of meat and save money while eating healthy.  You can boil a whole chicken or pieces of chicken.  Shred the cooked meat and use it in salads, sandwiches, wraps, soup or, my favourite, bang bang chicken (recipe here).  Another healthy and simple way to cook chicken is by steaming (see recipe here).

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Best Jien Duy Recipe (Chinese Deep Fried Sesame Balls with Red Bean Paste)

In Asian Desserts on January 27, 2012 at pm

Jien duy are deep fried, sesame seed coated, glutinous rice balls with a sweet red bean paste filling.  These homemade jien duy are the best that I have ever had and I’ve even tried the jien duy in China.  These are crispy on the outside, light and airy on the inside, and they have a perfectly thin layer of sticky and chewy glutinous rice flour.  These are best when served warm and the day that they were made.  They’re surprisingly easy to make, but getting the oil to the right temperature can be a bit tricky.

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Baked Nian Gao (Chinese New Year Cake Variation)

In Asian Desserts on January 22, 2012 at am

Happy Chinese New Year!  “Nian gao” or “leen go” (translation: year cake) is a cake that is traditionally eaten at Chinese New Year.  It has a soft, dense, sticky and chewy texture and is not meant to be very sweet.  Traditionally, it is vegan and steamed.  See the traditional recipe here.  However, the non-traditional, non-vegan baked variation tastes even better (in my opinion).  This baked version combines a Western cake-like crust with the traditional sticky and chewy middle.  Traditional nian gao / leen go is usually made in 9″ or 10″ pie plates, but for the baked version, I prefer to make small individual sized cakes, because the crispy edges are the best part.  These make cute gifts for Chinese new year and are great for introducing people to Chinese new year cake, because nian gao could be considered an acquired taste.  Baked nian gao tastes best when served hot.

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Cooking with Alison’s Two Year Anniversary!

In Random on January 15, 2012 at am

Cooking with Alison was created two years ago, today!  A lot has happened in the past two years, including adopting my dog, Blue, and moving back to Toronto, ON (this very weekend actually).  To the surprise of everyone (myself included), I’ve maintained the momentum of recipe testing and writing.  I’d like to thank everyone for making my efforts worthwhile.  (See the one year anniversary stats and shout outs here.)  Hopefully I can keep up with the cooking and baking for a third year of Cooking with Alison!

The Statistics:

Total number of views:  300, 366

Number of views on the busiest day (January 14, 2012):  991

Total number of posts:  327

The most popular posts to date are:

Four Different Sauces for Mushroom Ravioli

Asian Bread Making Technique (Soft Chinese / Japanese Bread)

Braised Beef Brisket, Tendons and Daikon Radish (Chinese Restaurant Style)

Number of email* subscribers:  96 (plus 27 followers)

*Unfortunately, I don’t currently have a way of knowing how many RSS subscribers there are.

Most Importantly, The Thank Yous:

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