• Braised,  Chinese/Taiwanese,  Meat,  Noodles

    Chinese Braised Brisket Lo Mein

    It was Mid Autumn Festival [中秋节] yesterday. The harvest moon was high and bright in the sky, and I was craving a homely meal and some lotus paste mooncakes. I don’t live with my parents anymore– and since they are quite a distance away, I have to resort to my own kitchen to satisfy my cravings. Thankfully, I do enjoy cooking :). I figured I would cook one of my dad’s favorite dishes, mun ngao lam (braised beef brisket). I gave him a call after work and asked him in detail of the ingredients and steps to prepare this dish.         Ingredients  2.5 – 3 pound beef drop flank,…

  • Braised,  Chinese/Taiwanese,  Epic Recipes,  Noodles

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

    Noodle soup is the purest form of cultural expression. Noodle soup is truth. Ok, am I exaggerating a little? Maybe. Noodle soup always tells a story. It is said that during the Tang Dynasty,  Muslims brought beef noodle soup to western China. The Muslim populations influenced Chinese food heavily with beef dishes and unique spices. La mian (hand-pulled noodles) supposedly has Muslim origins as well. Over time, beef noodle soups gained popularity and became a staple in Lanzhou and other regions of China. Beef noodle was then brought to Taiwan during the early 1990’s after World War II. It is now considered the national dish of Taiwan.  Are you ready to…

  • Chinese/Taiwanese,  Quick & Easy

    Sichuan Mapo Tofu

    I’ve grown up eating mapo tofu. My dad always made his own Cantonese version, which I would happily gobble up with my rice. Despite the fond memories, I was not satisfied with the mapo tofu I’ve come to know. It was too much like soybean, too mild in spice, and totally lacking the iconic numbing peppercorn. It didn’t have that robust flavor I was craving.  So what makes the flavor robust? Good question! Pixian doubanjiang has actually been fermented for much longer than the Hong Kong brand, giving it a much darker color and earthy flavor. If I had to draw a parallel, it would be similar to a smokier…

  • Chinese/Taiwanese

    Pan Fried Pork Buns (Sheng Jian Bao)

    I AM KIND OF a purist when it comes to SHENG JIAN BAO (生煎包). For a sheng jian bao to be good, the pork filling must capture all the essences of pork flavor. The bun must be fluffy, the filling must be juicy and porky, and the bottom must be seared to a crispy golden-brown. With that said, I generally dislike the following in my buns: Milk Five spice powder Too much sesame oil Vermicelli  Root vegetables However, if you want to get creative with your buns, feel free to explore! Just don’t shoot down this bun until you’ve tried it.   Step 1. Make the dough. The dough will need…

  • Chinese/Taiwanese,  Quick & Easy

    Caramel Plum Spareribs

    After at least an hour of agonizing over dinner, I dragged my heels to my local supermarket and decided on pork spareribs. I debated between Vietnamese caramel ribs and my dad’s plum sauce steamed ribs. That was a no-brainer. Sticky, gooey ribs always wins, but why not have the best of both worlds? For this recipe, you will need fish sauce, plum sauce, and sugar. I typically use Koon Chun brand plum sauce, which I’ve been able to find it in most Chinese super markets.  If you love sweet, sticky and tender pork ribs, then you’ll love this recipe. Give it a try!