Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bean Sprouts Salad 豆芽沙拉

With a quick and easy bean sprouts stir-fry, this salad-style bean sprouts dish which is even quicker and easier to prepare and cook, immediately caught my attention.

Quick and fuss-free side-dish recipes are great when cooking the main dish itself takes a little more time, and when stove-top space is limited. With this Bean Sprouts Salad, all that was required was a pot of boiling water to blanch the bean sprouts 1-2 minutes, then season the blanched sprouts to make a flavorful and light side-dish salad.

Now, with the side-dish taken care of, I can start cooking the main dish chicken rice; starting up two stove-top burners - one for making chicken stock and chicken (Poached Chicken recipe), and one for cooking the rice (Chicken Rice recipe).

Friday, November 06, 2015

Container Gardening - Herbs, Chili, Watercress (Update)

Remember towards the end of last summer, I gave a little update on our vegetables, fruits, and herbs? It has been a year (plus a month)! We are now in fall/autumn.

Some plants e.g. Chinese watercress survived through last winter while others e.g. chili, basil did not.

However, in every gardening project, no matter how minuscule, we learn and improve - from choosing the correct vegetables, herbs and fruits to grow; to picking the platform to grow them e.g. raised bed and container gardening, and especially with California drought conditions - how to create a water-smart garden.

Chinese watercress 西洋菜
August last year, we planted Chinese watercress from rooting store-bought Chinese watercress in the City-Picker container (see photo) and it was a success. We have already had at least five harvest from last August batch. With fresh home-grown watercress, I usually cook them in soups e.g. Chinese Watercress Soup and rice congee/porridge.

Chinese Watercress
The Thai Dragon Chili and Thai (Bird's Eye) Chili, unfortunately, did not make it through last winter due to the chilling temperatures. Although they were kept in the greenhouse during winter, the pots/containers were placed directly on the ground during winter and the roots probably could not survive the low soil temperatures (conduction from the cold ground to the soil in the pot) during winter.

The Serrano Chili somehow got lucky and survived! Luckily, before winter last year, all the chili were put to good use either through pickling (Pickled Chili - pairs well with Stir-Fry Noodles) or making chili sauce (Garlic Chili Sauce - perfect condiment with homemade chicken rice).

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Homemade Chicken Rice 鸡饭

The preparation of chicken (Poached Chicken recipe) and the rice is separated into two posts, so that Chicken Rice does not to sound too intimidating when cooked at home. When making chicken rice, it is recommended to cook the chicken before cooking the rice. Most importantly, do not forget the chili sauce (Homemade Chili Sauce recipe).

Chicken rice or shall I say home-style chicken rice is actually not unhealthy; in fact, it can be quite a balanced nutritious meal considered that carbs, proteins and vegetables are all taken care of in this dish. Though I use the word "intimidating", chicken rice is actually not difficult to cook at home.