Feb 15, 2017 by Liv Wan

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Apr 9, 2017 by Liv Wan

Caramalised Pineapple Coconut Rice Pudding

Feb 04, 2017 by Liv Wan

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Chinese Fish Fragrant Omelette

Nov 20, 2016 by Liv Wan

Red Cooked Pork Belly with Lotus Root

Feb 20, 2017 by Liv Wan

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Jan 22, 2017 by Liv Wan

Thai Steamed Fish with Coconut Quinoia

Oct 20, 2016 by Liv Wan

Dan Bing: Taiwanese Egg Crepe. Delicious!

Oct 10, 2016 by Liv Wan

Stir Fried Beef with Thai Chive Flower and Bean Curd

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Fish Fragrant Tofu Chinese tofu recipe

Fish Fragrant Tofu Chinese tofu recipe

fish fragrant tofu

I’ve mentioned so many benefits of tofu in my previous blog post and here is another tofu recipe that I want to share with you today.

“Fish fragrant tofu” (魚香豆腐) is one of many famous dishes from Sichuan cuisine. It has “fish” in the name of it but without fish in this dish. It’s called “fish fragrant” because the ingredients for this dish are usually used when cooking fish but people use it for cook tofu, eggplant and other dishes.

There is a story about this fish fragrant dish. A long time ago in Sichuan, there was a family who were really serious when It came to cooking fish. They will use ginger, spring onion, garlic, mince, chilli bean sauce and other ingredients to cook with fish. One day, the lady of this family didn’t want to waste the ingredients so she used the ingredients to cook another dish. She was however realy nervous that it wouldn’t taste nice and her husband wouldn’t like it.

Her husband came home while she was thinking about what she should explain to her husband later about this dish. Her husband was so hungry from work he didn’t wait for dinner to start and literally just took a few bites of this dish. He asked his wife: ”Oh, this dish is the most tasty dish that I ever had in my life, how did you do it?” She told him how she cooked it and they gave the name of this dish “fish fragrant fry (魚香炒)”. This is how “fish fragrant” this name came from.

People who are vegetarian can also cook this dish but just without using any mince. You can adjust the amount of chilli and chilli bean sauce if you prefer your food more or less spicy.

As people who follow my Facebook page will know, I recently bought a pink knife bag. I really like anything that’s pink and when I saw this bag online I just had to buy it! Here are some of photos of my new pink knife bag.

Credit: All photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

pink knife bag
pink knife bag
pink knife bag

Don’t you think this is the cutest knife bag ever!

 

Fish Fragrant Tofu Chinese tofu recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes tofu around 692g, I bought it from a regular supermarket
  • 1 spring onion chop finely. I used half for the sauce and the other half for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 2 slices ginger chop finely
  • 1 chili chop finely
  • 100 g beef or pork mince I used beef mince in this dish

Seasonings

  • 1 tbsp chili bean sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 drops sesame oil approximately
  • 1 cup water

Marinade for mince

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches white pepper powder approximately

Instructions

  1. Marinade mince with sugar, soy sauce, salt and white pepper powder for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the packaging from the tofu and cut it into 1.5 cm thick pieces.
  3. Heat a wok with 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry the spring onion, garlic, ginger and chilli for 30 seconds.
  4. Add mince into the wok and keep stir-frying it until the mince is cooked.
  5. Add chilli bean sauce to stir-fry it for 30 seconds. Add rest of the seasonings into wok and bring it to boil.
  6. Add tofu into wok and gently push them into seasonings and turn the gas power to the lowest and simmer it for 10 minutes.
  7. Place the tofu onto a plate and pour some sauce on top. Sprinkle the rest of the chopped spring onion on top and it’s ready to serve.

 

Deep fried chicken legs with savoury sticky rice

Normally for female chefs it’s very hard to get promotion and near impossible in my home country but no matter how hard you work men always seem to get the promotions first. So after I left college I worked as a chef for a period of time but couldn’t go anywhere with it and gave it up for a few years. Then I moved to the UK in 2007 and found I could get a job as a chef fairly easily and have gone on from since then.

During my time in the UK I have worked in two really top quality restaurants and a number of lesser quality restaurants but as some may now getting promoted as a chef takes time. So, I joined the Witchery in March of this year and after six months I have a promotion. When I was told I have it I nearly danced across the kitchen and almost cried my eyes out but I was afraid he would think I’m a lunatic.

So, it’s now time for me to share a new recipe with you. I saw this “Deep fried chicken leg with savoury sticky rice” dish a long time ago but I’ve always wanted to try to make this dish and now it’s the time for it.

Even though the cooking method for this dish is deep fry it’s not entirely deep-fried. The chicken legs must steam first to make sure the whole shape has set but then you can deep fry it to make the skin turn crispy. I hope you can try it and give me some feedback.

 

Ingredients for savoury sticky rice:

2 cups sticky rice, soak with 3 cups of water for 1 hour
300g of pork belly. Remove the skin and cut it into rectangle shape as per the procedure photo.
4 dried shitake mushrooms, soak in warm water to soften it and thin slice it after.
2 tablespoons dried shrimp, soak in warm water to soften it and chop roughly after.
2 slices ginger, chop roughly
2 cloves garlic, chop roughly
1 spring onion, chop roughly

Seasonings for savoury sticky rice:

½ tablespoon rock sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cut soy sauce
1 ½ cup water
1 tablespoon rice wine

 

Procedures for savoury sticky rice:

  1. Cook the sticky rice in the steamer or rice cooker. The water and rice percentage should be 0.9: 1. So, if it’s 100g of sticky rice and you should pour 90g of water in the rice to cook with. I, personally use a rice cooker to cook my rice so I put my sticky rice and water in a big bowl and pour a cup of water outside of the bowl to cook. It will take around 45 minutes to cook the rice.
  2. Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons oil and stir-fry the garlic, ginger, spring onion. Add the rock sugar after the aroma starts to come out of the wok.
  3. Add pork to stir-fry it until the pork is cooked on the outside.
  4. Then add shitake mushroom and dried shrimp, mix evenly.
  5. Add all the seasoning and water. Boil it first then simmer it to reduce down the sauce.
  6. Mix everything together with cooked sticky rice and pour ¼ teaspoon of sesame oil. This is the savoury sticky rice done.

Ingredients for Deep fry chicken legs with savoury sticky rice:

2 chicken legs, including thighs. De-bone them but we keep the skin.
Some sticky rice

 

Seasonings for Deep fry chicken legs with savoury sticky rice:

1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
½ teaspoon rice wine
Some corn flour

 

Procedures:

  1. Marinade the chicken legs with salt, black pepper powder and rice.
  2. Wrap some sticky rice within the chicken legs and wrap up with cling film. Steam for around 15 minutes.
  3. After the chicken legs have cooked. Cool it down before you remove the cling film and coat them with corn flour and deep-fry it in 180-degree oil until the ouside is a nice golden colour.
  4. Cut it into 1.5 cm ~ 2 cm slice to serve with some sweet chilli sauce or ketchup.

* Chicken legs must cool down first before removing the cling film or they will easily break up and cause a problem when deep-frying them.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

Wuxi Ribs Redone

Wuxi Ribs Redone

wuxi ribs recipe

Recently I spent a week in Spain, which was absolutely fabulous and I’ll be blogging pictures from this holiday here soon, but while on holiday I received two really negative comments for my Wuxi Ribs recipe. I genuinely forgot to type that one needs water in the recipe, even though I did actually use it, but of course we make mistakes and English isn’t my first language.

But anyway, while on holiday two people who live very close to each other in Plano, Texas, emailed me to say I was a “sad phony”, my recipe “can’t be real as the food in the end is completely different” and that my photos were “random ones taken from the internet”. This really angered both myself and my husband who took the photos. He works as a photographer and we have the meta data to prove that we take all of the photos.

So today, here is Wuxi Ribs redone. The setting is the same but I myself took the preparation photos and we even have a photo of Chris taking the final photo (albeit it’s a really noisy photo as the ISO setting on my camera was changed accidentally).

And to the two people (same person?) who made those comments, I’m sorry I made a mistake with the recipe and I wanted to reply to your emails but neither could be replied to. I hope the comments weren’t spam.

So, after my little rant, here is the recipe again with fresh photos and typed up with water included in the recipe.

wuxi ribs ingredients

 

Wuxi Ribs Redone

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork ribs
  • 10 spring onions cut in half
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce for marinade the ribs
  • 1 cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese dark vinegar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 pinches five spice powder approximately
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown or rock sugar
  • water

Instructions

  1. Marinade ribs with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, heat up 2 cups of oil in the wok with full gas power.
  2. Cut the spring onion in half and slice the ginger finely.
  3. Fry the ribs in 180C Oil for 2 minutes and place it on a plate. This procedure is for colouring the ribs.
  4. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the onion and ginger until aromatic. Place the spring onion and ginger into a stock pot.
  5. Add all the spices, Shaoxhing rice wine, soy sauce, dark vinegar and water (enough water to cover the ribs) into the stock pot and use full gas power to boil everything at first. Once it has boiled reduce the temperature to the lowest gas heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
  6. The water should just cover the ribs.
  7. Add the sugar and ketchup after the ribs have simmered for the 1.5 hours and keep simmering until the meat on the ribs is soft.

 

Wuxi Ribs

Wuxi Ribs

wuxi ribs

A long time ago I watched a Taiwanese cooking show which taught people how to cook Wuxi Ribs. This dish needs to simmer for a couple of hours to make the meat on the ribs really tender. For most people, I know spending a couple hours preparing a dish is a long time but this dish is so tasty that I ensure you it’s worth your time.

This dish has a really nice story behind it. During the Song Dynasty, a homeless monk travelled to Wuxi. He asked some people for food but no-one was willing to give him some food behind he was both dirty and smelly. Finally a restaurant owner came out and gave him some meat to eat.

The monk wolfed down the meat but still felt hungry so he asked the restaurant owner if he could have some more food. The owner gave him a little more meat which the monk again wolfed down but he was still hungry and asked for more. The owner got a little angry and shouted at the monk “What shall I sell the customers tomorrow if you eat all of my meat?” The old monk told him “you can sell the bones tomorrow”.

The monk then threw pieces of his hand fan into the pot and an amazing smell came out of the pot. Back in those days fans were often made of leaves and the smell of the meat could be smelt throughout the city. Everybody in Wuxi city wanted to buy the ribs from that restaurant and the restaurant owner then realized that the monk is not just an ordinary monk, but he is the Buddha Ji Gong. Ji Gong is a famous Buddhist character in Chinese folk stories.

Here is the recipe for Wuxi Ribs. Although we don’t have Ji Gong’s hand fan we can control the heat and seasoning appropriately.

Credit: All photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Wuxi Ribs

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork ribs
  • 10 spring onions cut in half
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce for marinading the ribs
  • 1 cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese dark vinegar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 pinches five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown or rock sugar
  • water

Instructions

  1. Marinade ribs with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, heat up 2 cups of oil in the wok with full gas power. Fry the ribs in 180C Oil for 2 minutes and place it on a plate. This procedure is for colouring the ribs.
  2. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the spring onion and, ginger until the fragrance comes out.
  3. Place the spring onion and ginger into a stock pot and place     ribs on top of the spring onion. Add all the spice, Shaoshing rice wine, soy sauce, dark vinegar and water (Water to slightly cover the ribs) into the stock pot and use full gas power to boil everything at first. Once it has boiled turn reduce the temperate to the lowest gas heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
  4. Add sugar and ketchup after the ribs have simmered for 1.5 hours and keep simmering until the meat on the ribs is soft.