I cooked yesterday, which felt nice. (It's been a while.) I was also really successful! I made twice cooked pork, marinated cucumber, sweetened dragonfruit and rice. Recipes below. You'll have to pay a visit to a Chinese market to find some of these ingredients, but they should all be available. To be very Chinese, serve with jasmine tea and cheap beer on the side. Also, serve altogether since there is no dessert concept in Chinese cooking, only combinations of sweet, bitter, spicy, cooling.

回锅肉 (Sichuan twice cooked pork)
1-1 1/2 lb pork belly cut in bacon strips
1/2 head of Chinese cabbage, diced
2-3 diced green peppers
1/2 red onion, diced
3/4 cup diced scallions/green onions
bulb of ginger
around 10 dried whole red chili*
vegetable/canola oil
A few heaping tablespoons of Chinese chili flake oil (look for the brand with the picture of a grandma on front. Should have peanuts inside and be VERY red and filled with chili flake)
About one cup fermented black beans (whole beans, not paste)

Bring a wok filled with water and a few chunks of ginger to to boil. Add belly. Cook until belly turns white, around 10-15 minutes. Strain, put belly aside. Replace wok on stove, Add a few teaspoons of oil, just enough to coat the wok. Add red onion and peppers, cook for a minute or two, then add cabbage, belly, dried chili and chili oil. Cook for a few minutes, moving the meat and vegetables constantly, then add fermented black beans. Keep cooking at medium heat until the belly is very tender and all vegetables are coated in black beans. Slice a thumb sized bulb of ginger very thin and add at the last few minutes of cooking. Taste and adjust accordingly while cooking. When cooked, place in serving bowl and top with green onion.

凉拌黄瓜 (Marinated Cucumber)

4 large Chinese cucumbers (these are spiny on the outside)
About a cup of aged vinegar (in Chinese markets; it's very dark. Don't use white vinegar.)
many diced cloves of garlic (around 5)
1 tb roasted sesame seeds
1 tb sesame oil, or to taste (careful: this goes a long way)

Peel cucumbers with vegetable peeler, then dice up. Put in Tupperware-type container along with all other ingredients. Close top, shake and try. Adjust to taste. Place in fridge and serve cold.

Sweetened Dragonfruit

1 dragon fruit, cut in halves
1/2 cup sugar
around 7-8 chrysanthemum flowers, crushed

Scoop out dragon fruit and mash in a bowl. Add to a pot on low heat with sugar and flowers. Cook until sugar is incorporated, around 3 minutes. Remove from heat and scoop back into fruit halves. Serve very cold with a spoon.


about us said...

the food sounds delicious, the marinated cucumbers are one of my favorite things in the world...i just ate breaded steak from la palma...yummm & yuck at the SAME time!

we saw marina abramovic at fiu yesterday, she's a little arrogant but in genral a good performer; a little pissed about the commercial -and unrequited- gains of industry taken from art.

carlos is in town for spring break, and we all leave to georgia tomorrow. a secluded house in the woods, along with a fireplace awaits us. it should be nice to leave this place. the weather is strange these days, it's not hot or humid as it normally is this time of year...who knows what's going on?

love you lots,


Anonymous said...

sorry, but you lost me at "pork belly"!!!!! No organ meat for Granny T!!!!


ross said...

Mom, pork belly isn't pork stomach; it's the fatty underbelly of the pork, the exact same stuff bacon is made out of.