Category: China

Pork Chopsuey Recipe

Pork Chopsuey, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Pork Chopsuey Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork belly, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced and cut into flowery shapes as per picture above
  • 1 small cabbage, chopped roughly
  • 1 medium onion, sliced roughly
  • 1 cup sliced baby corn
  • 1 cup sliced green beans
  • 1 cup trimmed mange taut
  • 1/2 small head of cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour, stirred into a cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 small bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a wok a large casserole pan.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant and golden, not burnt.
  3. Add the pork, sauté for 5 to7 minutes or until brown on all sides.
  4. Pour in the soy sauce.
  5. Stir in the carrot and then cook for 3 to 5 minutes more.
  6. Add the bell pepper, baby corn, green beans, mange taut, cauliflower and cabbage. Stir-fry for a few minutes until just about tender.
  7. Pour in  cornflour mix. Stir and cook until the texture of the dish thickens.
  8. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt (according to taste) and pepper.
  9. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve.
  10. Enjoy with freshly boiled rice or fried rice.

Love ‘Til the End of Summer – Chinese Drama Review

Love Till The End of Summer

Love ‘Til the End of Summer – Chinese Drama Review

In this world, there are no geniuses, only lazy fools. – Fu Xiao Si

The first 4 episodes of this Chinese drama have just been subbed (subtitled in English).

I have watched the first episode and I am hooked.  Love the characters, who are of course, shiny and bright, well they are still pure and innocent, afterall it is only the first episode. 🙂

The drama started on how the main characters met in high school and from then on will forge a life-long friendship, according to the blurb anyway.  Apparently this drama is based on a spectacularly popular novel by Guo Jingming, Rush to the Dead Summer.  The novel chapters ten years in the lives of the friends from high school to when they spread their wings into the world and make and put mark into their own destiny.  (From 1995 – 2005.)

The friends were Li Xia, Xiao Si, Lu Zhi Ang, Cheng Qi Qi & Yu Jian

Apparently even if life is being rather shitty 🙂 all hardships are surmountable if love is present in your life!  I would like to see more of that!  🙂

Sounds interesting.

So far so good.

……

Li Xia, the leading female is supposed to be ultra sweet, pure and innocent.  But sometimes I find her rather annoying.  Her innocence goes beyond being sweet.  She is either a consummate flirt or stupid.  Fancy over-pouring chemicals into a beaker! She just wanted Xiao Si to hold her hands.  There are times also that she is lifeless, spaced out!!! You just want to shake her from her stupor.

Li Xia has pouted her way to episode 38.  Why can’t she be more animated?!!!

……

Updates:  Do not read if you do not want to know what is going on!

Just watched episode 38.  It is much darker than the sweet high school life of Li Xia, Xiao Si and Lu Zhi Ang.

Cheng Qi Qi is now a famous singer in a very cutthroat business and she was behaving like a tigress protecting her domain even from her friends.

Cheng Qi Qi saw Yu Jian as a potential rival that she personally ensured Yu Jian does not progress into her climb in the ladder of musical success.

The cute Lu Zhi Ang is still hung up on Li Xia but has found a cute girl, Yan Mo, who was a bit of a stalker.  She was too full on but she does grow on you.  She is feisty and spunky.

Xiao Si has been diagnosed with colour blindness, which is rather fatal to his career as a painter.  In fact he was being sued for fakery because his previous works were different from his current ones.

We all know that when the main characters have promised to be together forever no matter what during the course of the drama, it can only mean one thing, a nail in the coffin of their relationship.

And it comes in episode 41-42.

Qi Qi called Li Xia to ‘confess’ who the supposed father of her unborn baby.  It turned out it was Xiao Si from a drunken one night stand about 2 months ago.

Li Xia sought a break from her relationship with Xiao Si, she up and left.

Xiao Si then went to see Qi Qi, who was only too happy to meet up.  She said she wants to start over and raise a family together.  Xiao Si said that he will take responsibility for the baby( he does not remember if he did sleep with Qi Qi) but nothing else.  He then left immediately.

Behind the scene, Zhi Ang still played the protector to Xian Si, who was having trouble with a vengeful hard-done-by painter.  Unfortunately Zhi Ang half killed the painter resulting in Zhi Ang to run and be  fugitive from the law.

 

Episode 43

This is a sad one. I thought Yu Jian was going to get her forever happiness with the lovely Duan Qiao.  But on their way to their registry office wedding, Duan Qiao said he had to leave Yu Jian for a brief moment to get a surprise for her.  You are shouting no, don’t do that. You can see a mile off what was going to happen!  He was going to get run over!  And he did. Yu Jian was ‘widowed’ before even married.

…..

There are those who say that there are 48 episodes altogether but there those who say that there are only 46 episodes.

Anyway 45 & 46 have nicely concluded the drama, though some might say it is an open-ended one especially on the relationship between Xiao Si and Li Xia.  Earlier on, it showed Li Xia with a new man and looked like there were engaged and shopping for their new house.

Qi Qi is shown looking rather forlorn and all alone, no sign of a baby (I am not sure whether she made up the whole pregnancy thing as I can’t watch episode 44, it was a broken link).

Thank goodness, there is some sort of a happy ending with one of the couples.  Lu Zhi Ang, after his release from 3 years incarceration, and Yan Mo got married.

There was a rather poignant scene between Yan Mo and her father on the eve of her wedding, which is a very nice touch.

The last bit of episode 46 showed Xiao Si catching the wedding bouquet and the next scene was seeing Li Xia in front of him.  Awww Does it mean they are going to get it together again?!!!

Noodles for Longevity

Spaghetti Bolegnase, Photo by PH Morton

Noodles for Longevity

I was watching an episode of Father is Strange last weekend when there was a scene where the family insisted Joon-Young, who finally passed his civil service exam after many tries, to slurp the whole of the noodle strands rather than biting into it.

I was intrigued enough that I googled what it meant.  🙂

Apparently it is a Chinese tradition (or superstition), which seems to have a widespread effect that neighbouring countries had adapted it.  I know in the Philippines, eating noodles is a must during birthdays.  The long strand means longevity of life.  I was not aware though that you had to slurp the whole thing into your mouth and then chew, rather than biting a bit of it as you chew.

Anyway, it is encouraged to slurp the strand in all its length so that one does not cut off one’s span of life.

Thank goodness, this superstition is applied only on birthdays and other milestone celebrations.

I couldn’t be going to restaurants, especially posh ones, and slurping my pasta down my throat. It would be unethical and extremely embarrassing.  LOL

 

Must See Chinese Dramas (CDramas)

Destined to Love You

Must See Chinese Dramas (CDrama)

I love Chinese drama.  Of all Asian dramas, Chinese dramas have the most ‘feel’ of its Western counterpart.

My list is of course a work in progress and not in any order:

Mango Panna Cotta (Mango Pudding)

Mango Panna cotta, photo by JMorton

Mango Panna Cotta (Mango Pudding)

Oopps, though the photo seems to be slightly saucy, LOL, this pudding is absolutely delicious.  Just right to cleanse the palate after some feasting on Chinese or Italian food or even Indian food.  It is a grown up jelly pudding. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe mangoes, peel and remove the seed, be sure to scrape every bit of the sweet fragrant flesh from the seed.
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin sheets
  • 160ml milk or coconut milk
  • 60ml whole cream
  • ½ – 1 cup granulated sugar (according to your taste)

Instructions

  1. To soften the gelatin sheets, they must be soaked in water.
  2. Using a heavy bottomed sauce pan,  heat half of the milk or coconut milk, sugar and the soaked gelatin over slow fire.
  3. Stir continuously to help dissolve the gelatin as well as the sugar into the liquid.  When done, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the mango cubes into a blender and whizz until liquidised.
  5. Pour the mango smoothie into the the heated milk/coconut milk.
  6. Mix well until smooth.
  7. Then stir in the whole cream until completely incorporated.
  8. For smoother texture use a sieve to pour in this concoction into individual ramekins or jelly molds.
  9. Set aside to cool down and then transfer them in the fridge to set and chill.
  10. Serve decorated with sliver of fruits and more liquidised mangoes.

Enjoy

Hot & Sour Soup Recipe

Hot & Sour Soup, photo by JMorton

Hot & Sour Soup Recipe

Hot and sour soup is Peter’s favourite.  He loves the tanginess and spice in the soup.  It is just the right starter for a hearty meal of Chinese cuisine.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken stock (or 4 chicken bouillon dissolved in 6 cups of hot water)
  • 200g of lean pork belly sliced in thin strips a la julienne (chicken is a good substitute if preferred)
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic (use a mortar and pestle)
  • 1 tbsp red chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 5 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom
  • 1/2 cup button mushroom, sliced
  • 150 g  bamboo shoots (canned is good)
  • 150g sliced water chestnuts
  • 200g soft tofu, sliced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Method of Preparation:

  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil and then lower down the heat and leave to simmer.
  2. Add the soy sauce, pork, and the mushrooms.
  3. Stir in the chile paste and garlic, simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Tip in the ground black pepper, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and tofu.
  5. Pour in the vinegar and simmer for a least 10 minutes.
  6. In a bowl mix in the cornflour with 1/2 cup of water.
  7. Pour the cornflour mix to the soup.  Stir it well to incorporate thoroughly.
  8. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Gently pour in the beaten eggs to create a cloudy stream over the surface.
  10. Finally drizzle in the sesame oil.

Enjoy this invigorating soup.  Good for one’s tastebuds if one is under the weather. 🙂

Chinese Fried Chicken & Mushroom

Fried Chicken & Mushroom, photo by JMorton

Chinese Fried Chicken & Mushroom

2 chicken breast, without skin
1 onion
200 g  cremini or brown mushrooms
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced finely
3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper

For the marinade:
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp. Shaoxing wine (rice wine)
1 tsp. cornstarch

Method of Preparation:

Cut chicken breasts into thin slices and place in a large bowl.

In a separate container, mix  the marinade ingredients together; mix well then pour over the chicken pieces to marinate.

Clean the brown mushrooms with a damp paper towel, trim the stalks, then cut in halves.
Heat a wok or a large frying pan over high heat.

Add the oil and swirl it carefully around the wok. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until nearly cooked. Set aside.

Using the same wok, add the chicken and stir-fry the slices. Cook until the chicken had whiten.

Add the ginger, garlic and onion and continue to stir until deliciously aromatic.

Stir in the mushrooms and check the seasoning by adding salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with freshly boiled rice or some green salad.

Enjoy!