Friday, October 29, 2010

Zha Jiang Mein 炸酱面 Fried Meat Sauce Noodles

Zha Jiang Mein 炸酱面 is a northern Chinese dish consisting of thick wheat noodles topped with a mixture of ground pork stir-fried with Zha jiang (炸酱), which is salty fermented soybean paste .If you're wondering what is zha jiang mein,just imagine spaghetti meat sauce or Bolognese sauce in Westernized version!! While back then when I was watching Kdrama(korean drama) almost every Kdrama talk about Jajangmyeon..As I understand zha jiang mein is a Chinese food,why it's so popular in Korea? If you hear clearly the pronunciation by the Korean it's almost similar to the Chinese zhajiang mein .After watching so many Kdrama I come to understand Korean, Korenized their jajangmyeon to suit their taste by using different type of soy bean paste and others ingredients that Chinese used for their zha jiang mein..But the basic method and ingredients are almost the same because this dish was originated from China..Well,today I'm not going to make Koreanized jajangmyeon but Chinese version of zhajian mein ..I know there are many many version of zha jian mein recipe out there but here I created something simple and easy to suit my taste with the ingredients I had in the fridge.Now I can said Chinese version zha jiang mein is not bad at all!! It's interesting and different from others type of cooked noodles I had tried!!

4 bundles of egg noodles *wonton noodles*(or use raw shanghai noodle)
300 gm minced pork or other meat
1 large onion,peeled and diced
5-6 button white mushroom,diced small
3-4 cloves garlic,peeled and minced
2 tbsp fermented brown soy bean pasta (I used tau-chu paste)
2 tbsp premium soy sauce
2 drops of caramel soy sauce (thick texture)
1 tbsp ground white pepper powder
1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
2 tbsp chili oil or chili paste *optional*
2 tbsp oil
1 small cucumber,peeled skin and shredded(remove seeds)

1:Prepare a medium stock pot with water at high heat.When water rolling boil,add 2 drop of oil and wonton noodle or Shanghai noodle to cook for 5-10 minutes.Use chopstick to loosen up the noodles while cooking..Remove cooked noodles with spider sieve to a large pot of running cold water before place in a large plate .(I prefer my noodle have al dente texture by dipping into cold water to stop further cooking
2:Prepare a large skillet at medium heat with oil and garlic.Fry garlic until fragrant,then add in minced meat,mushroom,onion ,bean paste,soy sauce,white pepper powder ,chicken bouillon powder and chili oil.Stir all the well ingredients for 5-8 minutes .Add in 1/2 cup water or chicken broth,mix well.Check the seasoning before dish out
3:As for the noodles portion,divide into individual plate,microwave for 2 minutes .Scoop the cooked meat mixture on the warm noodles.Top some shredded cucumber before serve.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

HoneyDew Bubble Tea 蜜瓜珍珠奶茶

Bubble Tea shops are popping up all over the Chinatown in NYC. I understand bubble Tea drink was invented in Taiwan and now it's spread all over the world..Whenever we visit Chinatown,Mishu and hubby always requested Bubble Tea if I said I'm going to get coffee from Chinese coffee shop.On our last visit at Flushing hubby asked for 2 glasses of Bubble Tea without the pearl.He dislike the pearl ,only want the drink..The price for a glass bubble tea is not cheap at all.Some store sell at $3.95 per glass and some store sell at $4.25!! One thing is for certain this drink is addictive.
Bubble Tea drinks are usually cool, refreshing, and a sweet drink with tapioca pearls sitting on the bottom of a clear cup. Sometimes the drink is made with fresh fruits, milk, and crushed ice to create a healthy milk shake. You can also find drinks that are made of powdered flavoring, creamer, water, and crushed ice. And if you like it like the Asians do, the cool drink usually includes a healthy tea, infused by a flavoring. When we was vacation in Montreal,I visited a Asian store in Chinatown.Saw bubble tea material on the store rack.Of course I have to get it!! I wonder if I make my own bubble tea at home would it's the same taste as we bought in the store.Well,the answer is I can open my own Bubble Tea shop now!!!haha!! Hubby said it's good!! if you're Bubble Tea lover,to save $$$ just make your own bubble tea at home!! Viola!!!

Ingredients:(my own creation/version)
2 packs of Honeydew flavor powder ( any flavor), 25 gm each pack
1 cup warm water
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup sugar or to taste
1 cup ice plus extra
100 gm big tapioca pearl 黑珍珠
Yield 3 big tall glass

1:Prepare a cup of warm water with honeydew flavor powder,mix well until the powder diluted.No bubble or lump at all.
2:Prepare medium stock pot with 3/4 water.Boil tapioca pearl for 25 minutes or until cooked.Remove cooked tapioca pearl to a pot of running cold water to prevent from sticking together.
3:Pour milk ,sugar, ice,honeydew mix and water into blender.Press smoothie button or ice-crush button for 3-5 minutes to blend all the ingredients well.
4:Scoop 2-3 tbsp tapioca pearl into a tall glass,then pour the fruit drink from blender into the glass.Use big fat straw or spoon to drink this sweet delicious drink.

un-cook tapioca pearl

Mishu happily having Strawberry Bubble Tea when we was in Montreal Chinatown.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stir-fry Sweet Potato Leaves with Shrimp in Sambal Paste

I like to eat sweet potato leaves especially stir-fry with dried shrimp and sambal(spicy shrimp paste chili) paste. I think sweet potato leaves look similar like Water Convolvulus.The leaves of the sweet potato plant are light green, heart-shaped and have prominent veins that radiate out from the base of the leaf.Normally I can only find sweet potato leaves at Asian market during summer..I can't find sweet potato leaves sold in any of our local supermarket .I guess American or Western doesn't know or not used to eat sweet potato leaves..Maybe they didn't think the leaves is editable..By the way the price for sweet potato leaves is not really cheap if compare with other Chinese vegetables ..But for the sake of me missing eating sweet potato leaves,I don't mind getting it once in a blue moon..Of course,as usual the only style of cooking sweet potato leaves is Malaysia style!! Spicy !! one words for this dish!! super-delicious!!

1 bundle sweet potato leaves,about 1 1/2 lbs washed and remove the end part
3 tbsp sambal-tumis
100 gm dried shrimp,soaked and chopped coarsely
10 shrimp,shelled and deviened
2 long red chili,sliced
1 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

1:Remove end part of the leaves for about 2 inches and only use the upper part of the young leaves..wash thoroughly and drained.
2:Heat large skillet or wok with oil at high heat.Add in dried shrimp and fry for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.Then add in sambal-tumis and shrimp.Toss for about 3 minutes before add in sweet potato leaves,salt and sugar.
3:Use spatula to fry the ingredients well for another 5 minutes.Check the seasoning before dish out
4:Serve warm with steamed white rice.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dry Curry (Rendang) Pork

One of my favorite Malaysia local dish is Rendang (Dry Curry) .You might wonder what is the different between dry curry and regular curry.Well both dishes used the same spices but the only different between dry curry and regular curry is Rendang must have kerisik(fried grated coconut),limau purut(kaffir lime leaf) and daun kunyit (turmeric leaf)..Of course ,rendang must be dry,no ample of sauce or gravy like regular curry.I like turmeric leaves added into rendang but too bad I tried to grow turmeric plant from fresh turmeric during summer but nothing happened until now!! Big failure!!The whole bulbs (about 6 bulbs) of turmeric still look like before I shoved it into the pot ..I even bought a bag of fresh potting soil for it,hope the plant grow big and green!! Unfortunately, nothing happen to my turmeric bulbs(not even a sprout on the tuber) and I can't get any turmeric leaves from any Asian market here.I need to find an expert to advise this "DUMMY" how to plant turmeric plant !! no kidding!! You might wonder what is in the bowl next to rendang,right? Yes ,it's look like steamed rice,right?? Actually it's brown rice mixed with jasmine rice..I tried to collaborate both rice together for healthy reason..It's might sound weird,but as you know eating just plain brown rice is not fun(hard to sallow bcoz the texture is rough) especially for beginner eater like my daughter..She told me the rice doesn't taste good,yucky!! haha!! If I just serve her just plain brown rice,she end up not eating the brown rice at all, so I think this method will train her taste bud slowly to get use to brown rice..

3 lbs pork or (chicken and beef) sliced to 1 inch thick each
4 tbsp curry powder(meat flavor)Baba's or Burung Nuri brand
1/2 cup chili paste (if you like extra spicy) I blend fresh red long chili and birds's chili..or you can use sambal olek which you can get in any Asian store.
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut,roasted or fried and grind fine
1 can coconut milk,400 ml
5-6 daun limau purut(kaffir lime leaf)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chicken boullion powder
salt to taste
2 fresh stalks lemongrass,removed the end and smashed the white part
3-4 tbsp cooking oil

1:Heat deep skillet or stock pot (medium) with oil at medium heat.Add in sambal-belacan-paste ,chili paste,curry powder and kaffir lime leaves .Sauteed all the spicy for 5-10minutes or until fragrant.
2:Add in meat and coconut milk.Simmer the meat for 20 minutes (if it's chicken wt bones cook longer) or until the oil floated on the surface.Add in chicken bouillon powder,salt and sugar,mix well.
3:Simmer for another 10 minutes or until the gravy become thicken..Add in grated roasted coconut.Use spatula to keep stirring until down deep the bottom to prevent burn.Check the seasoning.
4:Removed from heat .Dish out individual and serve warm with rice,bread or noodle.Ideal to cook in large quantity,pack individual and freeze it for later use .

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chicken Katsu with Tonkatsu Sauce

Chicken Katsu or Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese dish that we can order from any Japanese restaurant.The word "katsu" meaning cutlet and "tonkatsu" meaning breaded and fried cutlet.Well, in Western world Chicken Katsu is like Breaded Chicken Stripe or Breaded Chicken Cutlet.Instead of using regular BBQ sauce ,I used Tonkatsu sauce as dipping sauce.This savory, delicious sauce has a thick consistency, and this dish is great when accompanied by steam white rice.Jasmine rice or calrose rice(Japanese rice) is ideal for this dish..This dish is also suitable for children who loves chicken nugget or chicken pop corn!!

2 pieces whole boneless chicken breast,cut into 2 pieces each side
2 tsp seasalt
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 tsp salt

2 cups panko (Japanese plain bread crumb)do not use Italian or flavored bread crumb
1 cup canola oil
Tonkatsu sauce for dipping


1:Cut and slice boneless chicken into 2 pieces for each side of breast..Use meat mallet or meat tenderizer to tenderize the meat first before season with salt,ground pepper and garlic powder for 30 minutes or longer.

2:Prepare 2 flat trays or plates: One for flour mixture and another one for panko.Beat eggs with milk in a medium bowl.

3:Use aluminum skillet or fryer.Heat oil at 350 F or medium heat.Coat chicken with flour mixture ,then dip into milk mixture before coat with panko.(remember to coat the flour and panko thoroughly)
4:Slowly place chicken cutlet into the hot fryer.Fry chicken to 5-8 minutes or until lightly crisp golden brown.Remove chicken cutlet from fryer into prepare plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.(Do not overlap or overcrowd the chicken when frying in the fryer or skillet)
5:Slice chicken cutlet,serve warm with tonkatsu sauce over steam white rice.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

I like to use shrimp with head-attach when cooking Asian or Chinese dishes.I guess being Chinese ,I used to eat un-shelled and head attached shrimp.Hubby always complaint when he see shrimp with shell or tail attached in his meal..He said it's not enjoyable or appetizing to eat un-shelled with tail attached shrimp.I guess I can said this American or overall American are spoiled or they dunno how to enjoy real succulent seafood.(*prepare to get bash now* no offense to all's just something I observed for many years while living in this wonderful land.I guess you can said it's culture or eating method are different )I really enjoy sucking the succulent juicy liquid in the head of the shrimp..That same goes for crab or I decided to cook a special dish just for myself:Salt and Pepper Shrimp !!!.hehehe!! yea... you hear me right? For myself!!


1 lb un-shelled and head attached shrimp,wash
5 tbsp rice flour
2 cloves garlic,peeled and minced
1 long red pepper,sliced
1 medium onion,peeled and cut diced
2 sprig curry leaves
1 egg
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper powder
2 tbsp butter
5 tbsp canola oil


1:Heat skillet at high heat with oil.Coat clean shrimp with rice flour before place on the hot skillet.Pan-fry shrimp on both side until crisp golden brown.Remove cooked shrimp to a plate and set aside.
2:Use the same skillet,reduce heat to medium ,add in butter,curry leaves and garlic.Fry garlic until fragrant,toss in red pepper,onion and egg.Stir in all the ingredients until well mixed.
3:Increase heat to high,toss in cooked shrimp,sugar,salt and pepper for 30 seconds .Check the seasoning before dish out and serve warm.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Red Snapper in Oyster Sauce

When I was clearing my freezer at the end of summer,I found out I still have a pack of boneless Red Snapper sitting at the bottom of the freezer.I remember I bought the Red Snapper from Trader Joe's months ago.Considering the price $6.99 per pound is not bad at all because what written on the tag the Red Snapper is "Wild" caught.I know Red Snapper is a premium fish if it's compare with Tilapia..Well,what should I cook with it? spicy or non-spicy? hmmmm....I want to cook this red snapper for Mishu.Wishful thinking...But it's end up,I'm the one who finish all up!!!


1 pound boneless Red Snapper,thawed
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp rice flour
2 cloves garlic,peeled and minced
1 inch old ginger,sliced
1 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp rice wine(shao xiang)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground white pepper powder
soy sauce to taste
1 tbsp corn flour + 2 tbsp cold water
5-6 tbsp cooking oil


1:Season red snapper with some salt.Then coated with rice flour.Heat deep skillet with oil at medium high heat.Place coated red snapper into hot oil.Pan fry both side of the fish until golden brown.remove the fish from skillet to a plate,set aside.
2:Use the same skillet,remove some oil if it's too much oil leftover from pan-fry.Add in sliced ginger and garlic into the skillet.Fry until fragrant or lightly brown.
3:Add in rice wine,oyster sauce,sugar,soy sauce and pepper powder,stir and mix well.Lastly add in corn flour dissolve into the gravy to make the gravy have thicken or googy texture.Check the seasoning.Place the pan-fry fish into the gravy before dish out and serve warm .

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pan-Fried Tofu with Chicken and Green Peas

Just a simple tofu cooked with chicken for our dinner...I can said tofu it's a easy meal to cook ,no hassle! The fact to the matters is tofu is a healthy food that we can consume in daily basic especially it's will benefit our mind and body.No wonder, Japanese and Korean woman's facial skin look so fantastic!! Pure ,clean not to said they have their own natural beauty without makeup to cover up!! Hmmmmm......maybe I should start practising Japanese woman diet,lifestyle and skin care strategies....don't you said so?


1 large block medium soft tofu(bean curd),cut to 6- 8 pieces
1/4 cup corn flour
1/2 whole pieces chicken breast,about 250-300 g,sliced + 3 tbsp corn flour +1 tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic,peeled and minced
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp ground white pepper powder
1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
1/2 cup green peas
1 cup water
1/2 oil for pan-fry
1:Heat skillet with oil at medium heat.Coat tofu with corn flour ,slowly place coated tofu on the hot skillet.Fry tofu on both side until crisp golden brown.Remove fried tofu from skillet to a plate,set aside.
2:Use the same skillet.If too much oil remove some before add in garlic,fry garlic until fragrant before add in water,oyster sauce,chicken bouillon powder and ground white pepper.
3:When the gravy bubbly boil,add in marinated sliced chicken.Use spatula to slowly spread the chicken.Cook the chicken for 10 minutes before add in fried tofu and green beans.Simmer for another 5 minutes.
4:Check the seasoning before remove from heat.Dish out and serve warm.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mango Salad (Kerabu Mangga)

I recalled the last time I ate Kerabu mango that was more then 2 years ago,when I visited my mom in Malaysia.My mom used her own home grown apple's mango to make this delicious appetizer for me..Sadly I can't find apple's mango here in U S and A.The only green mango I found here is not really raw green or creamy like apple's mango which is abundant in Asian countries.Anyway,the mango I bought only look green on the skin but have slightly sweetness taste with light yellow flesh on the ripe side...I used my mom recipe but tweak slightly to make this mango salad..I know many recipe out there used fish sauce and peanut but I just want to try using lime and fried anchovies as the main seasoning ingredients to create this Kerabu.I think the flavor or seasoning of kerabu is distinctive interesting and exotic especially using mango as salad ! One word,this mango salad is heavenly deliciously..!!


1 large green mango,peeled and shredded,about 1 pound
100 gm fried anchovies(Ikan bilis goreng),coarsely mashed
1 tbsp sugar
1 large lime,squeezed
3-4 bird's chili,chopped
1 red long chili,finely chopped
1 stalk cilantro,washed and chopped

1:Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl,toss well.(Do not add salt since anchovies is salty).Check the seasoning..Chill in fridge for an hours before serve cold as appetizer or salad.

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About the Author:

Hi!! My name is Lesley and I'm a simple SAHM(stay at home mom) who currantly live in Long Island,New York with my daughter Mishu and hubby Eliot .I'm Malaysian who live in US and A for many many moon and I'm also a person who love to eat, cook and bake. If you have any suggestions ,questions or comments please feel free to email me at beachlover1917atyahoodotcom. To know more about my life or my kitchen you can always hop over to my other 2 blog.