Cooking with Alison

Archive for the ‘Meat and Eggs’ Category

Chinese Steamed Pork Belly with Muy Choi

In Meat and Eggs on March 30, 2011 at am

I remember the first time I tried this dish.  It was at Magic Wok Restaurant in Markham, ON and my family liked it so much that for a long time after that, we ordered two of them every time we went.  The sauce and muy choi are a combination of salty, sour, and sweet flavours that are delicious on plain white rice.  The meat is tender from a multi-step cooking process.  But the best part is the rind.  The fat gets broken down into a soft and slightly gummy texture.  Since most of the fat has been boiled and steamed out of the rind, you get all of the deliciousness without the grease.  If you make this a day in advance, you can remove even more fat after it chills through in the refrigerator.

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Teriyaki Chicken with Bean Sprout Medley (and a teriyaki sauce recipe)

In Meat and Eggs, Sides and Sauces on March 6, 2011 at am

Teriyaki sauce ranges from thick to thin and salty to sweet depending on where you’re getting it from.  This is my favourite teriyaki sauce recipe.  Adjust the consistency and flavouring to your taste.  Serve this with miso soup (recipe here) and Japanese restaurant style salad with miso dressing (recipe here).

Photos above:  Teriyaki sauce used as a marinade (left) and used as a sauce poured over cooked chicken (right).

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Steamed Minced Pork (3 Variations)

In Meat and Eggs on February 16, 2011 at am

In many Chinese homes, this quick and simple dish is served with rice and other dishes for dinner.  I have provided recipes for 3 different variations, but you could use any ingredients and any combination that you like.  My favourite combination is the steamed minced pork with salty duck eggs.  (I will load a photo the next time I make it.)

Steamed minced pork with muy choi (Chinese salted mustard) is shown below.  Note that traditionally, the meat is seasoned with soy sauce and the muy choi is simply scattered over the top.  However, I’ve reduced the sodium of this dish by omitting the soy sauce and mixing the muy choi (which is already salty) in with the meat.

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Curried Beef Brisket, Tendons and Daikon Radish

In Meat and Eggs on January 23, 2011 at am

We love ordering braised beef brisket on rice or soup noodles from Cantonese (Chinese) restaurants and cafes.  One of the variations that we like is the curried one.  The best parts are the connective tissue and the tendons that get broken down and become soft and chewy.  🙂  (See the plain, braised beef brisket and tendons recipe here.)  If you have leftover daikon radish, see here for a list of other recipes.

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

In Meat and Eggs on January 21, 2011 at am

We love ordering braised beef brisket (nguw lam / ngow lam) from Cantonese (Chinese) restaurants and cafes.  It is served over rice or noodles in soup.  The best parts are the connective tissue and the tendons that get broken down and become soft and chewy.  🙂  Although it’s very easy to make, I had failed several times to recreate the restaurant flavour.  Then I heard that the secret ingredient is chee hou sauce, so I bought a jar and tried again.  It was exactly what I had been missing (other than MSG).  The closest substitution that I can think of is hoisin sauce, but chee hou is more acidic, has more punch, and tastes more like fermented black beans.  So, I don’t recommend substituting anything for chee hou.  (See my curried braised beef brisket and tendons recipe here.)  If you have leftover daikon radish, see here for a list of other recipes.

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Stir Fried Chicken with Ginger and Scallions

In Meat and Eggs on November 22, 2010 at am

Ginger and green onions go great together, especially when they’re paired with chicken.  For example, many Chinese poached chicken recipes use ginger and green onions in the poaching liquid.  I usually use them as a condiment for chicken when I make ginger scallion dip (recipe here).  You could also make a simple stir fry with these healthy and fresh ingredients.

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Asian Grilled Chicken Wings

In Meat and Eggs on November 6, 2010 at am

When I was growing up, my parents used to throw a giant bbq every summer.  How I miss those bbqs, because I’ve never seen anyone serve anywhere near as much food (meat in particular) as they did.  I remember there always being hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, beef short ribs, skewered fish/squid/beef balls, kebabs, and of course, chicken wings.  They would often throw in a few steaks, chicken breasts, salmon steaks and shrimp skewers too.  The beef short ribs and chicken wings were always my favourite.  I remember watching my dad brush honey onto the wings.  I’d get excited because that meant that they were almost done  🙂  I’ve never seen anyone else make wings this way, but I’m pretty sure it’s a Malaysian thing.  I use just a touch of honey for the subtlest sweetness because I think these wings are best when the flavour of the honey is barely recognizable.

Alternatively, you could bake the chicken wings in an oven until just cooked through, brush with honey, and finish them off on the grill.  Note:  I don’t own a bbq (yet) so I used my electric grill.  A grill pan would work better because electric grills have difficulty maintaining high heat consistently.  So adjust the suggested heat and cooking times according to your equipment.  Read the rest of this entry »

Stir Fried Chicken and Peppers with Black Beans

In Meat and Eggs on October 6, 2010 at pm

One of my family’s favourite Chinese restaurants in Markham, ON, has a stir fry dish where the chicken and peppers are cut into very small pieces.  I think this method enhances the flavour of the dry sauce.  This is my recreation of that chicken and pepper dish.  It is simple, colourful, and flavourful, and is best enjoyed with a hot bowl of white rice.

On a side note, my family always refers to that Chinese restaurant as “sketchy place”, because it’s such a dirty hole in the wall, but the food is unique, delicious and relatively low in price.  The best food often comes from the sketchiest establishments.  Someone will ask, “Where are we going for dinner tonight?”  The reply will literally be, “Sketchy place.”  We go there quite often and the family that runs the restaurant knows us well.

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Chinese Drunken Chicken

In Meat and Eggs on August 22, 2010 at pm

This is served cold and can be eaten as an appetizer or part of the main course.

I made this several times using different concentrations of alcohol.  I tried shaoxing cooking wine, shaoxing cooking wine with 14% alcohol, and whiskey (40% alcohol).  In my opinion, the 14% shaoxing cooking wine was the best choice (strong enough to come through in the meat and not too strong like the whiskey was).  I’ve also found that it’s important to make the chicken noticeably salty (without overdoing it) to compliment the bitterness of the alcohol.

[I just found a recipe for Chinese drunken chicken served hot in a broth that uses mirin.  I can’t wait to try it.  I have a feeling it will taste even better than cold drunken chicken.]

Note that I prefer my chicken to be JUST cooked through so I’ve adjusted the cooking time in the recipe (to 12 minutes) for those of you who prefer your chicken a bit more well done than this.

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Cashew Chicken Recipe

In Meat and Eggs on August 4, 2010 at pm

I tried several different cashew chicken recipes in search of my favourite and came up with this one.  The best part about this recipe is that you don’t have to marinate the meat because the sauce is flavourful enough.  I like the simplicity of using sugar snap peas or snow peas.  Many people prefer to use a combination of peppers for the colour, so use any vegetables that you like.

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Beef and Broccoli

In Meat and Eggs on July 10, 2010 at pm

Beef and broccoli comes to mind for many North Americans when they think of Chinese food.  I have nothing against this dish, but my mom never made it when I was growing up.  You’ll never see me order it from a restaurant, either.  But since it’s so popular (and broccoli was on sale), I thought I’d make it because stir frying meat and vegetables is still in the spirit of Chinese cuisine.

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Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken (Salt Pepper Chicken)

In Meat and Eggs on May 30, 2010 at pm

This Taiwanese popcorn chicken dish is called salt pepper chicken in Chinese (yan su ji).  It makes for a delicious snack or it can be served with rice for dinner.  My family used to order this every time we went to a particular Chinese restaurant in Markham, ON.  It was so good that we sometimes ordered two of them.  The best part of this dish is the garnish – deep fried thai basil leaves.  Even though I haven’t had it in a very long time, I still think about it from time to time.  So I finally got around to making it for myself.  In the authentic version, Asian five spice powder is dominant, but personally I prefer to reduce it.  Note:  This recipe was recently updated and improved!

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