Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wakame Seaweed Fresh Mushrooms Soup 紫菜海带鲜菇汤

This recipe is similar to Seaweed, Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach Soup, however made simpler this time (without spinach) with wakame seaweed and two kinds of mushrooms - fresh shiitake mushrooms and bunashimeiji beech mushrooms.

To save time, fresh mushrooms are added directly to a simmering pot of soup. However, if you have a little more time on hand, mushrooms are more fragrant (making the soup more flavorful) when lightly sauteed before they are added to the soup.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stir-Fry Pea Greens 蒜炒大豆苗

These soft-stemmed vine-type sweet pea greens with large tender leaves (of matured pea plants) 大豆苗/豆叶 are unlike the delicate pea-shoots (of young pea plants) 豆苗. Both the pea greens and pea shoots have a strong grassy-taste compared to the peas themselves; but the matured pea greens of the pea plants are sturdier, thus more fibrous and tough, compared to the young pea shoots.

Most commonly, the Asian way of cooking pea greens is stir-frying; and without fail turns out amazingly delicious, just like pea shoots in a stir-fry.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fruits in Taiwan - Spring/ Summer 春夏水果在台湾

We missed out on some of these fruits last November. So, this April/May trip in Taiwan, we had our fair share of in-season fruits.

Wax Apple 莲雾 - the peak season is sometime in February/March but we hopped on to the end of the season's harvest and enjoyed some subtly sweet, juicy and crisp wax apples. The texture is no where near to apples, instead something in between crisp-firm Chinese pear and crisp-soft watermelon.

Black-Pearl Wax Apple

There are a few varieties commonly found in Taiwan namely "Bullet-Shaped" Wax Apple 子弹莲雾 and "Black-Pearl" 黑珍珠. The fruit lady actually told me the elongated "Bullet-Shaped" Wax Apple is the modified version of the bell-shaped wide-base Black Pearl (shown above).