Monday, February 28, 2011

鳳梨炒飯/Tropical Fried Rice with Pineapple and Prawn

Vancouver has been really cold recently.  It was snowing on the weekend.  Although we live by the ocean, it still looks like a winter wonderland outside.  I can’t wait for summer.  Since we aren’t having tropical weather here, I may as well bring the tropics to my dinner table.  This dish uses curry flavours to balance out the sweetness of the pineapples and makes me feel like I was in Singapore again.  It’s also very easy to make and takes about 20 minutes.

(Make 2+ servings)

·      2 bowls of cooked rice
·      3 oz shredded chicken
·      8 prawns
·      4 oz fresh peeled pineapple
·      A quarter red onion
·      Half small red sweet pepper
·      1 tbsp chopped green onion
·      2 eggs
·      A handful raisins
·      1 small Chinese sausage
·      2 oz carrots
·      1 asparagus
·      2 tbsp grape seed oil
·      1 tbsp curry powder
·      A quarter tsp salt

To marinate the shredded chicken:

·      1 tsp cornstarch water
·      Half tsp curry powder


1.    Marinate the chicken 5 minutes before cooking.  Heat up 1 tbsp grape oil in a nonstick medium saucepan or a wok, and then add chicken to cook for 2 – 3 minutes until the chicken is ready. Transfer to a plate.
2.    Cut the prawns down the center of the back and take out the vein.  Blanche prawns in the boiling water for 1 minutes until they turn pink.  Transfer to a plate.
3.    Dice the carrots, red onion, red sweet pepper and sausages.  Slice asparagus into small slices.  Cut the pineapple into small cubes.
4.    Beat the eggs evenly in a bowl. 
5.    In a nonstick medium saucepan or a wok, heat 1 tbsp grape seed oil over medium-high heat.  Add egg and cook for about 1 minute.  Once the egg is ready, add onion, carrots, sausage, red sweet pepper, pineapple and asparagus.  Add curry powder.  Stir for about 1 minute, and then add the rice, prawns, cooked chicken, chopped green onion and raisin.  Keep stirring everything for about 1 minute.  Add salt and then mix everything evenly.  Transfer to a serving plate.  Now enjoy your Tropical Fried Rice with Pineapple and Prawn.

滑蛋筍片炒牛肉/Fried Beef and Bamboo in Egg Sauce

My little 20-month old is getting more and more hyper. Her vocabulary is expanding so much every day and she repeats every word she learns all day.  She loves asking for food and making messes here and there, so I have to make quick and healthy meals otherwise I’ll end up spending more time cleaning than cooking.  I decided to make beef for dinner today because I haven’t made beef for a while and both my husband and I were really craving it.  This Fried Beef and Bamboo in Egg Sauce meal takes 20 minutes to make and if you are a beef lover, you will love this meal!


·      7 oz shredded lean beef
·      2 oz leek
·      5 oz pre-steamed bamboo shoots
·      2 chopped red chili pepper
·      1 green onion
·      1 oz sliced ginger
·      ½ tsp salt
·      A quarter tsp white pepper powder
·      2 tbsp grape seed oil
·      1 tsp sesame oil
·      2 eggs

To marinate the beef:

·      1 tbsp cornstarch water
·      1 tsp sesame oil
·      1 egg white
·      1 tsp soy sauce


1.    Marinate the beef 15 minutes before cooking.
2.    Cut the leek and green onion an inch and half long.  Slice the bamboo shoots.  Beat the eggs in a bowl.
3.    In a nonstick medium saucepan or a wok, heat 1 tbsp grape seed oil over medium-high heat.  Add the beef and cook for about a minute.  Transfer to a plate.
4.    Wash the wok, and then add 1 tbsp grape seed oil over high heat.  Add leek, chili pepper and ginger to cook for about 10 seconds.  Add bamboo shoots, pepper powder, salt and sesame oil.  Stir for about 2 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium-high, and then add cooked beef and green onion.  Mix everything evenly, and then add the egg.  Keep mixing it until everything is covered by egg.  Transfer to a serving plate and serve with rice.  Enjoy your meal!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

芒果杏仁冰砂/Mango and Almond Smoothie

Ever since my 20-month old discovered ice cream and frozen yogurt, she always asks for it.  If I refuse, she will say, “mama please, mama please!”  If I refuse again, she will use her last trick and look with a sad expression and say “Mama...  I love you!”  When she says that, my heart melts and I have to give her something.  

Tonight she tried her trick so I thought why not try to make her something like ice cream but healthier.  After going through my fridge, I came up with this Mango and Almond Smoothie.  Since we already had dinner I used ice instead of milk so that it's not as heavy.  If you want to make a thicker Mango and Almond smoothie, just simply follow the same recipe and use milk (or almond milk) and a scoop of ice cream or yogurt instead of water.

Ingredients (this is enough for two people):

·      1 mango
·      1 banana
·      20 raw almonds
·      2 tbsp honey
·      1 cup of ice
·      1 cup of water


1.    Peel the skin from the mango and banana and chop into small chunks.
2.    Add all ingredients into a blender.  Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until mixture is creamy.  Pour into a glass and enjoy.  You can also refrigerate until you are ready to drink it.  Just give it a quick stir or blend if it settles.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

豉油雞小波菜沙拉 /Soy Chicken Salad with Mandarin in Ginger Dressing

Recently, I have been so busy with my little hyper girl because my nanny got the flu this week.  With my little 20-month old running around, I had to make a meal really fast so I decided on this salad for dinner tonight.  It took only 10 minutes to make and my little daughter even got to help by peeling the oranges (even though she snuck a few into her mouth before I could add them to the salad).

I based this recipe on Asian chicken salads that I've seen on menus and already tried at Western restaurants.  My version is a little bit different than what you may have seen because I use Chinese soy chicken, which I bought from a local Chinese restaurant.  Soy Chicken is chicken slow roasted and marinated in soy sauce.  It is often seen hanging in shop and restaurant windows in Chinese restaurants and freshly sliced when ordered.  It is very popular in Hong Kong and each restaurant has its own taste and recipe.

The ginger salad dressing is a very common staple at Asian grocery stores if you can't find it at a local store.  The ingredients are fresh and each piece of orange that you bite into will make you want to eat more and more.  This salad is also great for parties because it can be kept in a room temperature for a couple of hours and it’s very easy to make.

Here is a photo of Version 2 of this Soy Chicken Salad.  I just added strawberries and blueberries and they tasted delicious in the dressing.  Even my daughter had a lot.


·      5 oz boneless Chinese soy chicken (you can use BBQ chicken instead if you don’t have it)
·      5 oz baby spinach leaves
·      1 tbsp dried cranberries
·      4 fresh mandarins peeled into segments
·      2 tbsp walnuts
·      Half oz mint leaves
·      Half oz basil leaves
·      1 tbsp chopped green onion
·      A few radish sprouts
·      3 tbsp ginger salad dressing


In a large mixing bowl, shredded the chicken by 
hand.  Add spinach, dried cranberries, mandarin, walnuts, mint, basil, chopped green onion and the dressing.  Mix everything evenly and then transfer 
to a serving plate and garnish with radish sprouts.  Now you are done!

Friday, February 25, 2011

蝦仁炒飯/Prawn and Veggie Fried Rice

Do you know fried rice can be made very healthy too?  The answer is yes - homemade fried rice.  Today my husband told me that he was craving fried rice but didn’t want to eat at the restaurant because it’s so greasy and packed with MSG.  After he mentioned it, I started craving it too so I decided to make some at home. 

If you have already cooked rice, this dish will take 15 - 20 minutes to make at most.  When you make fried rice, make sure not to cook the rice too soft or runny.  I used Indian Basmati rice to make this meal because it is naturally grainy.  It was delicious and my husband and I finally fulfilled our craving.


·      2 bowls of rice (cooked)
·      8 prawns
·      2 eggs
·      1 carrot
·      Half cup of peas
·      1 asparagus
·      2 small Chinese sausages
·      2 tbsp chopped green onion
·      ½ tsp salt
·      About half tsp white pepper powder
·      1 tbsp olive oil


1.    Cut the prawns down the center of the back and take out the vein.  Blanche prawns in the boiling water for 1 minutes until they turn pink.  Transfer to a plate.
2.    Dice the carrots and sausages.  Slice asparagus into small slices.  Blanche peas and asparagus in boiling water, and then use a large pasta scoop or a skimmer to take everything out.  Transfer to a plate.  
3.    Beat the eggs evenly in a bowl. 
4.    In a nonstick medium saucepan or a wok, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add egg and cook for about 1 minute.  Once the egg is ready, add carrots, peas, sausage and asparagus.  Stir for about 1 minute, and then add the rice, prawns and chopped green onion.  Keep stirring everything for about 1 minute.  Add salt and white pepper powder.  Mix everything evenly. 

The whole frying process takes about 5 minutes.  There is not too much oil and no MSG.  Now you can enjoy your healthy homemade fried rice.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

四川麻辣涼面/Sichuan Spicy Cold Noodles

Vegetarian Sichuan Spicy Cold Noodles

I was born in Chongqing, China, a major city of 30 million people in southwestern mainland China and one of the five national central cities.  Chongqing is in the center of Sichuan Province making it the culinary center for the best Sichuan cuisine as well.  Sichuan Spicy Cold Noodles is one of the most famous Sichuan cuisines on the menu.  When I was a child this was my favourite dish and my mom always had it prepared for my brother and I.  Ever since I made this dish for my husband it has become one of his favourite dishes too especially in the summer.

This dish is very simple and if you like spicy food you will love this dish.  One of the unique ingredients is ground Sichuan peppercorn which adds a numbing sensation to the lips and tongue.  Today I’m making a vegetarian style but it also can be made with meat.  This dish is served cold and as long as you keep the cold noodles and the dressing separated it can be stored in the fridge for 24 hours.


(Make 2+ servings)

·      8 oz fresh noodles
·      2 oz mung bean sprouts
·      4 oz fresh spinach (or any other vegetables)
·      2 tbsp olive oil
·      ½ salt
·      1 tbsp walnuts

For the dressing:

·      3 tbsp low- sodium soy sauce
·      2 tbsp vinegar
·      1 tbsp sugar
·      1.5 tbsp sesame oil
·      3 tsp chopped green onion
·      1.5 tsp roasted sesame seed
·      2 tsp Sesame Seasoning Vinegar
·      2 tsp ground peanut
·      2 tbsp ground garlic
·      2 tsp ground ginger
·      1 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorn and oil
·      1 tbsp homemade chili oil


1.    Bring half a medium pot of water to a boil.  Add ½ tbsp olive oil and salt to the water - this will help to keep the spinach green.  Blanche the spinach in the boiling water for 1 - 2 minutes.  Transfer the spinach in a colander, let cool.
2.    Take off all the roots from the bean sprouts and blanche the bean sprouts in the boiling water for 1 minute.  Transfer the bean sprouts into a colander, let cool.
3.    Add the noodles in the boiling water, and cook for 2 minutes.  Transfer to a colander, rinse with cold water and drain the water.  Add 1½ tbsp olive oil to the noodles, and then mix evenly.  Let cool.
4.    In a large mixing bowl, add bean sprouts, spinach, cold noodles and the dressing.  Mix it evenly.  Serve garnished with diced walnuts and green onion top.

Here is a photo of Sichuan Noodles Salmon Salad - just simply place the smoked salmon on top of the cold noodles, you have this completed fusion seafood meal.

Sichuan Noodles Salmon Salad

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

涼拌小黃瓜/Mini Cucumber Salad

I got a request to make a Cucumber Salad from a friend of mine.  She told me that she had a Cucumber Salad at a Chinese restaurant and it was so delicious.  The only thing that she didn’t like was that the MSG was too salty and made her thirsty afterwards.  So she asked me if I knew how to make this dish and she wanted to learn how to make this dish at home.

This salad is very easy to make.  There are just a few simple ingredients but it is so delicious, every time I always regret not making enough of it.


·      6 mini cucumber
·      3-quarter tsp salt
·      ½ tsp olive oil
·      1 tbsp chopped green onion
·      1 tbsp minced garlic
·      2 chopped red chili pepper
·      1 tsp sesame oil
·      1 tsp prickly ash oil
·      Half tsp ground prickly ash


1.    Peel the skin off the mini cucumbers and slice into half inch slices.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.
2.    Add salt and olive oil to the cucumber and mix evenly, let it marinate for 5 minutes.
3.    Add minced garlic, chopped red chili pepper, sesame oil, prickly ash oil and ground prickly ash into the salad and mix evenly.  Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with chopped green onion.  Enjoy!