In our recent post on how to poach a chicken, a reader mentioned Mark Bittman's version of Hainanese chicken with rice. It's a pure, simple meal: Chicken poached with garlic and ginger, then shredded. The light, ginger-scented chicken broth is used to cook rice, and then the chicken and rice are served with a sprinkle of scallions and cilantro, and a drizzle of sesame oil.
It sounded like heaven on a plate, a nourishing meal for spring. And you know what? It is.
Chewy, flaky, and savory scallion pancakes are one of our very favorite Chinese restaurant treats. This pan-fried bread has a lot in common with Indian parathas and other simple flatbreads, and if you follow a few simple steps, they are easy to make at home. Here are instructions on how to make addictively delicious Chinese scallion pancakes in your home kitchen!
Perhaps you've seen these trees with the beautiful fan-shaped leaves in your neighborhood or in a local park. The female members of these trees produce an edible nut; unfortunately, the fruit enclosing the nut smells really bad. Their fragrance deters most people from trying them, much like the durian fruit.
Perhaps you've seen this vegetable at Asian grocery stores or at farmer's markets. These long bundles of green (or purple!) pods are usually gathered together with a rubber band. Usually called Chinese long beans, they also go by asparagus bean or snake bean.
Perhaps you've noticed these thin, brown slivers of crunchy, squeaky mushrooms in hot and sour soup or in stir-fries. Called wood ear mushrooms, they're more easily found in dried form, but fresh ones can sometimes be found in Asian markets. And like their name states, they do grow on trees and they also look like ears!
One of my favorite soups is Hot & Sour Soup, and I was flabbergasted to discover that it's really quite easy - and cheap! - to make. Who woulda thunk it? Called suan la t'ang in Chinese, it gets its tang from the addition of white vinegar. Click through for the recipe.
According to the lunar calendar, the moon will shine brightest on October 3 this year. In countries from China to Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, people will gather with family and friends to enjoy the view, give thanks for this year's harvest, and feast on delicious cakes and dumplings.
This month, we're talking about quick meals, and the time-consuming dumpling might not seem to fit the bill. But if you assemble dumplings on the weekend or a quiet evening, by the time that busy weeknight rolls around, you can have a super fast, filling meal in minutes.
When most of us think "lotus," we may think of the beautiful aquatic flower or the yoga position. But did you know that the rhizome of the lotus plant is edible? On the outside it looks like a long cylindrical brown tuber, but slice one crosswise, and you'll be rewarded with beautiful, lace-like slices of a crunchy and delicious vegetable.
I became a vegetarian at age five, thus passing up the opportunity to eat many of the world's strangest foods (or delicacies, depending on how you look at it). No octopus terrine or alligator sausage for me. Being the daughter of a Chinese-Vietnamese food lover and cook, however, I could not have avoided the experience of at least a few unusual dishes...