Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Luffa (Loofah) Salad 麻油拌丝瓜

In-season Luffa (loofah) (which happens to be now!) is fresh, young and tender. Quite typically, I like to make a quick "stew-like" stir-fry in my kitchen, with eggs e.g. Luffa with Eggs; or tomatoes e.g. Luffa with Tomatoes. Occasionally I also cook them with clams - a popular Taiwanese-style dish.

However, when I watched on television, how a Chinese chef preparing it so quickly, blanching 10 seconds then served in a carrot puree/sauce, I was motivated to try this quick-cooking method.

The chef highlighted that this way of cooking luffa will render the luffa still crisp with a tender bite, compared to the soft spongy texture of luffa when stir-fried and simmered like a quick stew.

For today, I will omit the sauce on this quick-cooked luffa. It means one-less step, less hassle and less cooking time. And surprise surprise surprise, I really enjoyed this other dimension of luffa - fresh and tender with a firm bite.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Zucchini, Bell Peppers, Mushrooms Stir-Fry 西葫芦灯笼椒香菇小炒

Ever since I successfully made zucchini noodles, I wanted to have a similar dish again but with more colors (which means more nutrition!), layered flavors and versatility.

So here today, I made zucchini noodles with mushrooms, plus multi-colored bell peppers. This dish can be enjoyed with steamed rice or tossed with noodles/pasta to make vegetarian noodles or noodle-salad.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pan-Fried Japanese Sardines 煎沙丁鱼

The problem about shopping in the Asian supermarket be it Indian, Japanese, Korean is the possibility of not being able to decipher (or read) what is on the package unless you are proficient in multi-languages, meaning able to read Japanese or Korean, for example.

I can't, and find myself borrowing help from the translated-to-English package label/sticker typically stuck on one corner of the package; however that translation description can never be as exact as what is on the original "foreign-language" package.

I may have made a blunder recently. The sardines I bought from the Japanese supermarket were not what I expected it to be. They were overly salty. The package may have said "salted sardines" but I did not know. At the point of purchase, I went along with gut feeling that they are standard sardines, albeit the frozen version. Both being imported frozen fish products, I prefer yellow croaker (imported from Korea) to this sardine variety from Japan).

If not fresh (the best!), there is always frozen or canned sardines e.g. Brisling Sardines to depend on for easy sardine recipes such as Oven-Cooked Sardines and Onion-Tomato Sardines.