Black Glutinous Rice Porridge with Red Beans 紫米紅豆粥

This is a very popular dessert dish, which can be served hot or cold. In the winter time, it’s especially appreciated when you’re served a hot bowl of Black Glutinous Rice porridge! Not only is it delicious, but it’s also got many health benefits, such as warming you up and getting rid of excess water in your body. The success of this dish is in achieving the perfect creaminess and thickness. With a pressure cooker, it’s easier to get to the right texture, but with my “Pet-Bo”*- a small amount of the short grain glutinous rice (shhh…..don’t tell anyone! ;p ) – you’re sure to wow your family and friends!

Ingredients :

Red Beans x 120g
Black Glutinous Rice (aka Purple Rice) x 160g
Short Grain Glutinous Rice x 40g
Water x 2500ml
Rock Sugar or Honey to taste


Recipe:

  1. Rinse red beans, black glutinous rice, and short grain glutinous rice, separately, a couple times until clean.
  2. Add everything + water into the pressure cooker.
  3. Pressure cooker setting : Pressure – 50, Time – 40 mins.
  4. When it’s done, let sit for another hour.
  5. Add in rock sugar or honey to desired sweetness.

*Pet-Bo means Secret Tips in Taiwanese.

Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes 蕃茄炒蛋


Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes 蕃茄炒蛋

If there’s a list of all-time favorite Chinese comfort foods, this one will definitely be in the Top 3! Not only is it super simple to make, but it is sooo delicious! I’m sure all home cooks agree that sometimes it’s easier to impress people with a fancy dish, but a lot harder to make an easy dish stand out! Guess what?! You’re in luck! I have a few “Pet-Bo”* that can guarantee your success, even when it’s your first time making this dish. With just a few ingredients, let me lead you to our family dinner table!

Ingredients for Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes 蕃茄炒單材料

Ingredients :

Tomatoes x 2 ( Diced )
Eggs x 4 ( Beaten and seasoned with salt )
Green Onions x 2 ( Finely chopped, separate the green and white parts)
Garlic x 1 clove ( Finely minced )
Corn Starch Mix ( Mix 1 tsp corn starch with 2 tsp water )
Salt to taste
Cooking Oil x 3 tbsp

Recipe:

1. Heat up the pan with 1 tbsp oil.
2. Put in garlic and the white part of the green onion into the pan. Sauté until fragrance is out.
3. Add tomatoes in, saute until tomatoes are soft and juice is released, then season with salt to taste.
4. Stir the corn starch mix really well, then add ½-1 tsp into the tomatoes, depends on how “saucy” the tomatoes are.
5. Add the scrambled eggs in. Don’t stir aggressively, but gently.
6. When 60% off the eggs are cooked, add the green part of the green onions in.
7. Continue to stir and cook until eggs are 80% cooked. Turn the heat off. The eggs will continue cooking with remaining heat. So when you serve the eggs, it will be completely cooked and perfectly soft!

Video:

Watch how I make this dish and all my “Pet-Bo”!!!

https://youtu.be/_atO3s6kTAI

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*Pet-Bo means “Secret Tips” in Taiwanese!

 

Sweet Sesame Soup 芝麻糊

Sweet Sesame Soup – a traditional Chinese dessert that has great health benefits!! You don’t find “healthy” desserts all the time, but this is one of them! 😎 It can be served hot or cold, but Chinese people prefer it hot.  Why am I making this? My twins have been on the smaller side of the growth chart, since they were born.😔 Recently, we took them to a child growth doctor, and he recommended us to increase calcium intake. The easier way, of course, is drinking milk. However, the twins don’t really like milk, which is probably why they are short and don’t have enough calcium! I never forced them to drink cow’s milk because I, too, don’t enjoy the taste. (But I do like everything that’s made from milk, such as cheese. Big fan!  The stinkier the better!) Instead, I researched all the foods with high calcium. Sesame is top 1 on the list, along with seaweed, black fungus, and some other great food. Now that I have found so many foods that contain even higher amounts of calcium than milk, I’m on a mission of making them into yummy food for the kids to eat! This way, they don’t have to drink so much milk, and they will have a variety of choices. Sweet Sesame soup is one of them! It’s pretty easy to make and the kids love it. That’s a win-win for momma!! 🙌

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Ingredients:

Black Sesame Seed x 120g
Rice (White rice/purple rice/black rice are all ok) x 120g
Sugar (Optional*) x 120g
Coconut Oil / Lard / Goose Oil (Optional**) x 2 tbsp
Water x 2000 ml

Recipe:

1. Rinse rice 2-3 times until the water is not very cloudy and the rice is clean. Soak rice in water for 48 hours.
2. Roast black sesame in a non-stick pan with NO oil on low heat for 3-5 minutes until fragrant. Then soak black sesame for 24 hours.
3. Drain water from the rice and black sesame, then put rice and black sesame into a blender.
4. Add about 500 ml water into the blender, blend until very smooth with no grainy texture. ( Kinda like a real fine smoothie texture)
5. In a pot, boil 1500 ml water with sugar until sugar is all dissolved.
6. Pour in the rice and black sesame “smoothie” into the pot. Turn the heat real low.
7. Constantly stir the pot and bring the sweet sesame soup to simmer. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
8. Turn the heat off, drop in coconut oil, then stir until all is well-mixed in the sweet sesame soup.
9. Plate and serve hot or cold; Enjoy!

*If you skip sugar, you can add honey right before serving.
**The oil is to make the soup texture more glossy, smooth, and creamy. It doesn’t effect the taste if you don’t add oil.

 

Seafood noodle soup 海鮮麵

Just a simple dinner tonight, it’s getting cooler and rainy! A steaming bowl of noodle soup should be a perfect fit! Simple, but not boring!

In my mom’s house, a bowl of soup was never started from canned or store-bought broth. Making hearty bone broth from the freshest ingredients and slow cooking it for hours, is my mom’s weekly routine! She always had ready-to-use chicken/pork/beef bone broth in the freezer, which is packed with flavor and nutrition.  Anyone who came to our house and ate all the noodles but left the soup, would get the stink eye from my mom (and most likely wouldn’t be invited over again!!) LOL!

Being raised by a hard core mom like that, I adopted her skill and passion for food. I, too, always have some ready-to-use homemade broth in my freezer!

For this dish, I use pork bone broth as the base and boil the pork cheek meat in the simmering broth with lid covered for 30 minutes.  Then,  I cook the clams, shrimp, and fish separately, one batch at a time, in the broth, taking them out and letting them cool on the side, once perfectly cooked. I do this because all the ingredients take different times to cook, and I really don’t like over-cooked seafood.  Finally, I add in the taro roots and shredded bamboo shoots, and cooked for about 15-20 mins. After all the ingredients are cooked, I prepare a separate pot of boiling water for the noodles. My “pet-bo” (means secret tips in Taiwanese) for the noodle soup is to the boil the noodles until only 80% done; then I drain and add the under-cooked noodles to the boiling broth to finish cooking. This way, the noodles will suck up all the yummy flavors in the soup! (I even cook pasta this way. So delicious!!).  And for the grand finale, add all the seafood back into the noodles and broth, garnish with some garlic leek, serve, and slurp away!

Taiwanese Raw Drunken Clams 鹹蜆仔

One of my favorite appetizers for Summer, and it’s also one of the easiest recipes I have! Served cold, the clams are “cooked” by the marinade, making them juicy, bursting with flavor, and perfect with rice or a nice adult beverage.  Mix Chinese rice wine, Mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), soy sauce, garlic, and hot chili peppers to make the marinade. Sit the prepared clams in the marinade over night in the fridge, and voila! You’ve got yourself a refreshing, delicious, and savory appetizer! As easy as it is, there is one Pet-Bo (secret tip in Taiwanese) that you need to know to make the raw clams to open up. Follow me, and I’ll send the Pet-Bo and recipe your way!

Ingredients :

Clams x 300g
Chinese Rice Wine x 3 tbsp
Mirin x 2.5 tbsp
Soy Sauce x 4 tbsp
Garlic cloves x 2-3 (Smashed)
Hot chilli pepper x 1-2 (depends on how spicy you like it and how spicy the chili pepper is)

Recipe :

  1. Use cheap salt to scrub on the clams and rinse. Repeat 3-4 times till the clams are nice and clean.
  2. Put the cleaned clams into a freezable bag or container. Freeze the clams over night.*
  3. In a glass container, mix together Chinese rice wine, Mirin, Soy sauce, smashed garlic and hot chili peppers.
  4. Take the frozen clams out of the freezer and put them directly into the glass container with the marinade. Let the clams sit for 10 hours up to over night. The clams will be drunken and well marinated when thawed. 
  5. Serve cold. Enjoy!

*Pet-Bo (Secret tips in Taiwanese), once the clams are frozen, it will open up on its own when it’s completely thawed!

KatsuDon (カツ丼) – Japanese Fried Pork Cutlet with Egg Sauce Over Rice 日式豬排丼

It’s no surprise I was raised with mostly Chinese and Taiwanese food, but actually, Japanese food also plays a big role in our food culture! Taiwan was colonized by Japan for 50 years, and most of our grandparents speak fluent Japanese. Although I may not be an expert on Japanese food, I definitely have some great recipes of Japanese comfort food. Katsudon is one of them! Especially when this is also one of my kids’ fav, I have to master it, right?!

The truth is, when you get some crunchy fried pork cutlet with some yummy sauce on top, nothing in this world can bring your down! Adults sure enjoy this dish, but kids … they devour it. So, why don’t we just cut the crap and get cooking?!!

Ingredients:

(Serving for 4)

For the Katsu

  • 1″ thick Pork Cutlets x 4
  • Salt x 4tsp
  • Ground White Pepper x 2 tsp
  • Flour x 1 cup
  • Eggs x 1
  • Panko Bread Crumb x 3 cups

For the sauce

  • Green Onions x 2
  • Onions x ½
  • Dried Shiitake Mushroom x 2 (soak in 1 cup of hot water to rehydrate)
  • Water x 3 cups
  • Mirin x ½ cup
  • Hondashi 2-3 tsp ( Bonito Soup Stock )
  • Salt x 3-4 tsp
  • Eggs x 4
  • Cooked rice

Recipe:

For the Katsu

  1. Tenderize each cutlet . ( Watch video for a good tip to minimize the mess)
  2. Make a little cut at 4 corners of the cutlet. (Watch video for this tip)
  3. Season each cutlet with 1tsp of salt and ½ tsp of ground white pepper. Let them sit for 15 mins.
  4. Set up the ” Cutlet Spa”.
    1. – Using a dish with a little depth to beat an egg in.
    1. – Using a dish with a little depth for flour.
    1. – Using a dish with a little depth for panko bread crumb.
  5. Heat up the oil to 375 degree for deep frying.
  6. While the oil is heating, bread each cutlet in the order of “Flour-Egg-Panko”.
  7. Deep fry the breaded cutlets till golden brown.
  8. Take them out and let them rest on a cooling rack for 3 mins, then cut each cutlet into strips.

For the sauce

  1. In a bigger sauce pan, sautee onions, mushrooms, and green onions till softened.
  2. Add in water, Mirin, Hondashi and salt to taste, then bring to boil.
  3. Prepare a plate with desired amount of rice in it.
  4. Beat one egg in a bowl.
  5. In a smaller sauce pan, heat up sauce one serving at a time. Bring to boil vigorously.
  6. While the sauce is boiling vigorously, drop the beaten egg in, right away turn the heat off. Move the pan around to swirl cook the egg in the pan with remaining heat.
  7. When the egg is 70% cooked and set, pour the hot sauce on top of the rice.
  8. Place one pork cutlet on top and voila!! YUM!!!

If you like my recipe, don’t forget to FOLLOW me,  and be the first to know when more yummy dishes are coming! Also, stay tuned!  We will be making some amazing videos to share how to cook authentic Chinese, as well as fun stories about our bi-cultural life!!!

Mirin (Japanese Sweet Rice Wine)

Hondashi (Bonito Soup Stock)

Japanese Popcorn Chicken

Who doesn’t like fried chicken?! Especially if it’s bite size! I think many cultures have their own version of popcorn chicken. They are all similar, but all so different! This is a simple recipe that I’ve been making for a long time. Even my mom, who has no interest in any fried food (kind of a rare species), likes this Japanese popcorn chicken that I make. That says a lot!!

Some Pet-Bo* for you, put your beer glasses in the fridge while prepping this dish, cuz beer and this Japanese popcorn chicken are the perfect match!

Ingredients:

Chicken thigh (skinless, boneless)x 5 pcs
Corn starch (or potato starch) x 5 tbsp
Pastry flour x 5 tbsp
Oil for deep fry

Marinade:
Soy sauce x 3 tbsp
Mirin x 1.5 tbsp
Minced Garlic x 1 tsp
Minced Ginger x 1 tsp
Lemon juice x splash

Recipe:
1. Cut chicken thighs into bite size.
2. Mix well all marinade ingredients, and put the chicken in. Marinate for at least 30 mins or overnight.
3. Mix the corn starch and pastry flour.
4. Dip the marinated chicken in the corn starch and pastry flour mixture. Make sure it’s lightly coated all over.
5. Let the floured chicken sit for 5-10 mins until you can see some of the moisture wetting the coated flour.
6. Heat the oil to 375 F
7. Fry the chicken in 3 batches. First, fry each batch for about 1-2 mins until it’s light golden color.
8. Take the first batch out, and let cool on a rack. Repeat for 2nd and 3rd batch.
9. Put the chicken back into the fryer for a second fry. Fry until golden brown. Take them out, and cool on the rack to get rid of excess oil. Repeat for the 2nd and 3rd batch.
10. Plate and serve!
11. Psst…. Don’t forget your beer!

If you like my recipe, don’t forget to FOLLOW me,  and be the first to know when more yummy dishes are coming! Also, stay tuned!  We will be making some amazing videos to share how to cook authentic Chinese, as well as fun stories about our bi-cultural life!!!

*Pet-Bo means “Secret Tip” in Taiwanese.

Shrimp and Egg Drop Gravy Over Rice

This is one of my favorite comfort foods growing up! When I was a little girl in Taipei, my stomach would growl and my mouth would start to drool, every time my mom called this Cantonese restaurant in our neighborhood to order this Shrimp Egg Drop Rice for our dinner. When I first moved to Seattle, I often called my parents and couldn’t stop crying, saying how much I missed Taiwan and the flavors of home. My mom flew over to visit me, and the first thing she did was to teach me how to make this dish.   So, I got to fix my own homesickness as well as create comfort food memories for my own family! It was to my surprise, how simple and quick it is to make this dish. When you are homesick, the best way to dry your tears is to taste a little bit of home!

Feel free to add more shrimp if you’re a shrimp lover!

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Serving : 4 people
Ingredients :

Eggs x 2 ( Beaten)
Peas x 1 cup
Shrimp x 8 ( Depends on how much you like shrimp, you can put in up to 16; Peeled & Deveined)
Chicken Stock x 4 cups ( Depends on how much Gravy you’d like to pour over your rice, you can use up to 8 cups of stock )
Corn Starch 1 tbsp ( if you only use 4 cups of Chicken Stock )
Salt to taste
Oil x 1 Tbsp

Shrimp Marinade : ( for 8 shrimps )
Chinese Rice Wine x 2tbsp
Salt x 1 tsp
Ground White Pepper x 1 tsp

Recipe:
1. Marinate the shrimp with all the “Marinade Ingredients” for 10-15 minutes.IMG_0029.jpg

2. Heat up the chicken stock in a pot with low heat.
3. Add oil in the wok ( or you can use a pot as well), wait for 30 seconds or so for the oil to get hot.
4. Add shrimp, quicky saute till both sides turn pink, about 1 minute.
5. Add in the heated chicken stock, bring to boil, then simmer for about 2 minute.
6. Add in peas, bring to boil, then simmer for another 1 minute.
7. Season with salt to the point when you think it’s a little bit saltier than you’d like it to be.
8. Add 1 tbsp of water into the corn starch. Stir till well combined.
9. Pour the corn starch mix a little at a time into the wok to thicken the gravy.
10. Once it gets to the consistency you like, start dropping the eggs slowly along the side of the wok, and work your way to the center of the wok.
11. Let the eggs sit for about 5 seconds, then use your spatula to slowly break the eggs, like you’re drawing a cross ( + ) in the wok to create bigger “flake” of egg drops.
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12. Pour desired amount over rice and ENJOY!!!

If you like my recipe, don’t forget to FOLLOW me,  and be the first to know when more yummy dishes are coming! Also, stay tuned!  We will be making some amazing videos to share how to cook authentic Chinese, as well as fun stories about our bi-cultural life!!!

Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐

Do I even need to write an intro for this dish?! It’s one of the most famous Chinese dishes, that there’s no need for an anglicized/translated name. As famous and delicious as it is, you’d be surprised how easy it is to make at home.  All you need are the right ingredients and recipe! One important Pet-Bo* to making the tofu really flavorful, is to cook this dish ahead of time, and let the tofu sit in the sauce for 30 min. Right before you serve, bring back to boil, and then add in the corn starch mixture to thicken the sauce to your desire. Tofu can be cooked so quickly, but it takes some Kung-Fu to make it flavorful. Instead of letting it simmer or boil for a long time, letting it sit and soak while cooling on its own, is the best way to get the flavor to penetrate all the way through!

Now, just looking at this photo and writing this post makes my mouth water! I think you know what my family is having for dinner tonight! 🙂

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Ingredients :

Tofu (soft) 1 box
Ground Pork 1/4 lb
Ginger (minced) 1 tbsp
Garlic (minced) 2 tbsp
Green Onions (finely chopped, separate the green and white parts) x 4
Szechuan Pepper corn 1 tbsp
Hot Bean Paste 2-3 tbsp
Hot chili sauce (optional) 1-2 tsp to taste
Ground Szechuan Pepper (optional ) 1-2 tsp to taste
Soy sauce 1 tbsp
Corn starch 1 tbsp
Water x 1 cup (plus 1 tbsp for corn starch)

Recipe :

1. At low heat, add in oil and Szechuan pepper corn in the wok, slowly roast it until fragrance is released, about 30 seconds. Please note that, Szechuan pepper corns burn easily, so always cook with low heat and keep a close eye on it.
2. Turn the heat off, use a slotted spoon, take out all the Szechuan pepper corn and discard them.
3. Back in the wok, with medium high heat, add in ginger, garlic, and the white part of green onion, saute for about 15 seconds until the house smells like chinese heaven!
4. Add in ground pork, saute till fully cooked. Break the pork apart really well while cooking.
5. In goes the hot bean paste, saute for a few seconds before you put in soy sauce.
6. It’s time to add Tofu and water, bring to boil, then turn the heat down to simmer for a few minutes.
7. Do your final touch up with seasoning on the dish, you could add salt or hot chili sauce or ground Szechuan pepper to your taste.
8. Mix corn starch with water, then add in to the tofu to thicken the sauce. A little at a time to your desired consistency. Stir right away after you put in the corn starch mixture to avoid lumps. Also, always bring to boil to decide if the consistency is right for you.
9. Sprinkle the green part of green onions on top to garnish!

If you like my recipe, don’t forget to FOLLOW me to be the first one to know when more yummy dishes are coming! Also, we will be making some amazing videos on how to cook chinese dishes and fun stories about our bi-cultural life style!!

*Pet-Bo means “secret tips” in Taiwanese!

ChiaChia’s Savory Eggplant Salad 涼拌茄子

This is a dish that will change your mind about eggplants. The eggplant is savory and buttery! I haven’t had anyone turn down this dish when I serve it, even for those who don’t like eggplant! The secret is how you cook the eggplants, and the sauce that I created! Give it a try, and you will know why I’m so confident that you (and your family/guests) are going to devour this dish within minutes!

Eggplant salad queendom

Ingredients :

Eggplant (cut into chunks) x 3-4 *
Oil (generous amount for the size of your own wok/pot/pan)
Garlic (minced) x 4-5 cloves
Green Onion (finely chopped) x 3
Cilantro (finely chopped) x 1.5 cups
Oyster Sauce x 1.5 tbsp
Soy Sauce x 2.5 tbsp
Sesame Oil x 1tbsp

Recipe:

1. Heat up the oil to 325 degree F.
2. To make the sauce, in a bowl, mix garlic, cilantro, green onion, oyster sauce, and soy sauce together. Stir to make sure it’s well mixed. Then add in sesame oil at the end, and let it sit.
3. Deep fry eggplant with medium heat for 5 minutes until soft.
4. Prepare a plate lined with some paper towel.
5. Take out the eggplant and lay it on the plate of paper towel; let it sit for about 2 minutes.
6. Plate the eggplant and drizzle the sauce on top of it evenly.
7. Get ready to fall in love with eggplant all over again!

 

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