BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘Chinese

Chinese-Thai Chanterelle Stir-Fry

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Improvised stir-fry with chanterelles, carrots, tomato, beet greens and fresh banana peppers, with Thai basil, Shaoxing wine, soy, honey, a splash of fish sauce--surprisingly good. Lots of minced garlic and ginger sauteed in oiled wok first.

 

 

It's prime chanterelle season! The wet weather yielded a good harvest. One of the bright spots of fall!

 

We’ve got such meaty fresh chanterelles at markets this season, I can’t find enough ways to use them. My default recipe is Ivy Manning’s whole wheat pasta with chanterelles, which always appeals. I’ll have to also check out this salad recipe of hers. Then we’ve topped pizza with sauteed chanterelles and slip them into tomato pasta sauce. But I’d never tried them in an Asian stir-fry, until tonight.

Sauteed chanterelles cook down into velvety morsels with concentrated flavor. They’re so much more dense and complex than the shiitakes I usually use in stir-fry. For this impromptu dish, we began with hot peanut oil in the wok, in which we quick-fried some minced ginger in garlic. Then in went the cleaned and sliced chanterelles, then the carrots, then some salt, then after they fried a bit, some Shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan. Then we added chunks of a whole fresh tomato, which cooked down into a sauce, and fresh banana pepper and finally some wilted beet and turnip greens long neglected in the fridge. And pieces torn from a bunch of browning Thai basil, which reminded me to later add a splash of fish sauce. As it cooked, I splashed on a drop of sesame oil, light soy sauce and honey. Just before turning off the wok, we mixed in some day-old Basmatic rice. It was a Chinese-Thai fusion dish, which isn’t uncommon. At our local Thai restaurant, Dan likes to order “drunken noodles,” which is basically stir-fried broad-cut Chinese noodles or chao fan.

Any other suggestions of what to do with chanterelles before this fleeting season runs out? I’d love to go foraging again sometime. But I’ve lost some motivation since they’ve been relatively inexpensive at the market, often less than $10 a pound.

 

Ivy Manning's whole wheat pasta with chanterelles, from her beautiful Farm to Table cookbook.

 

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Written by baltimoregon

October 14, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Longjing Xiaren with Tiny Oregon Pink (Bay) Shrimp

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Dragon Well Green Tea Shrimp with sweet and sustainable (unfortunately precooked) Oregon pink shrimp.

Somehow blogging has gotten away from me again, with the start of the new term. Evenings are chilly here now — fall is in the air. Pumpkins and other orange-fleshed winter squashes fill the markets, while we’re still enjoying the last of this fickle summer’s (mostly green) tomatoes, cukes and zukes. I’m trying to enjoy it all (and put some food up as time allows) before it slips from our grasp.

I’ve been reporting from the Coast some for KLCC. In Newport recently, I had a chance to pick up some extra-fresh (and sustainable!) tiny Oregon pink shrimp at Local Ocean. I thought they might most resemble the sweet, Chinese river shrimp you can’t find here. I needed them for the Longjing xiaren (Dragon Well green tea shrimp) recipe I ran with my recent NPR Kitchen Window column. Only problem is the Oregon shrimp only come pre-cooked. So I just cooked them as quickly as possible with my recipe. They fell apart a bit, but still had a sweet, mild taste. I especially recommend dipping the sauteed shrimp in sherry (or similar brown) vinegar for an umami punch. That’s how the Longjing Xiaren were served at the tony 28 Hubin Road restaurant at the Grand Hyatt in Hangzhou.

Just whatever you do, don’t use canned Oregon pink shrimp from Trader Joe’s. I was excited to find them, but they’re disappointingly mushy and fishy. I tried in vein to make a shrimp salad with them. There are other salads I’d like to try with the fresh specimens, such as this Asian shrimp salad from Portland-based Newman’s Fish Company.

Sorry, Trader Joe's: Your canned Oregon shrimp are mushy and fishy, really anything but crisp.

Written by baltimoregon

October 3, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Pan-Asian in Richmond; Peanut Dipping Sauce for Salad Rolls

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Vietnamese salad rolls from last summer.

Tan-A Hong Kong-style Asian supermarket in Richmond.

It’s nice to see your hometown, that southern, Confederate capital city that you’ve always looked down on, grow more diverse, especially when it comes to culinary opportunities. A tiny, whole-in-the-wall Asian market we used to frequent when I was growing up is now a full-fledged, Hong Kong-style supermarket that seems straight out of Elmhurst, Queens. Now my parents visit the store almost weekly, stocking up on anise-flavored purple basil, palm sugar and dried lemongrass, as Dad cooks up all things Thai these days: Ivy Manning’s zebra eggplant and chicken green curry, pad thai, spicy calamari salads. It seems they now eat Thai more nights than not.

Dad wooed us with a coconut-creamy pad Thai the other night with shrimp, chicken and tofu. Then last night, I made refreshing Vietnamese salad rolls for my second time. You just wrap halved cooked shrimp, lettuce, Thai basil, cilantro, mint, cooked cellophane noodles and sliced carrots in those soaked, circular rice-paper sheets, like a mini-burrito. I’m still refining my technique. It’s hard to get the roll to stay closed without tearing the wrap.

It’s also essential to get your peanut dipping sauce for the salad rolls right. I finally found a good one here, in Linda Doeser’s Chinese: The Essence of Asian Cooking, calling for plumy hoisin sauce and a smudge of tomato paste, for just the right sweet, tangy flavor. The Splendid Table’s one above would also work. But here’s Doeser’s recipe.

Peanut Sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1-2 red chiles, finely chopped

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1/2 cup water (note: may need more to achieve right saucy consistency)

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar (I used more viscous Thai palm sugar)

juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup roasted peanuts, ground

Heat the oil in a small saucepan, and fry the garlic, chilies and tomato paste for about 1 minute. Add the water, and bring to a boil, then stir in the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, sugar and lime juice. Mix well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Spoon the sauce into a bowl, add the ground peanuts and cool to room temperature. Serve with the prepared salad rolls, cut in half if you like, but watch for the contents, which tend to spill out.

Dad's Pad Thai.

Fresh tumeric that Dad and I both discovered recently; he got his from Tan-A in Richmond.

Written by baltimoregon

December 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Sinusitis: Trying to Heal Myself, Naturally

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Soothing breakfast: soft-boiled eggs and strawberries

Soothing breakfast for an invalid: soft-boiled eggs and strawberries

Ah, to breathe freely through the nostrils again. My sinusitis, whether bacterial or viral, has finally subsided, likely thanks to the natural remedies I tested out on myself. Though many urged me to take antibiotics, I tried to hold out. After all, medical studies have shown antibiotics don’t cure sinus infections but may make patients more resistant to the drugs in the future. I tried to be patient, sleep and test out some natural remedies instead.

Having a Neti pot is key, so you can clean your nasal cavities out with a saline solution, sucking the liquid in one nostril and out the other. Be prepared for a bit of brain burn from the saline. You cough a bit up. Of course, I was so congested at first the saline solution didn’t go through. I then swabbed coconut oil into my nostrils to soothe them after the astringent rinse. I ingested raw garlic and swabbed some in my nose and ears (luckily I couldn’t smell my breath!). I ate a paste of local honey mixed with tumeric. I swallowed echinacea/goldenseal capsules and a platycodon herbal blend. I ate some lacto-fermented kimchee and avoided sweets, processed carbohydrates and dairy. And I drank lots of fluids: Emergen-C and a tea of fresh ginger, lemon, peppermint and honey.

And I watched a public television documentary on two Chinese immigrants who ran an herbal apothecary in rural Oregon just after the Gold Rush. It inspired my resolve.

Western medicine seems to always search for the quick fix, but often our bodies can heal themselves, with some natural prodding, and albeit more slowly. We pop antibiotics so we can get to work or other engagements the next day, but what complications might await us down the road?

Written by baltimoregon

June 8, 2009 at 2:14 am

The art of rolling and pinching dumplings

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I helped my Chinese conversation partner make pork-celery-green onion dumplings from scratch this afternoon. I’m helping her with her English and she is jogging my memory on basic Mandarin (figure I might as well put in the time while I’m between jobs).

Making dumplings is a painstaking but satisfying process. First, Heli finely minced a large slab of pork steak by hand. Then the ginger, green onions and blanched celery. She has the patience to chop much more finely than I do. I need to gain some knife skills somewhere. Culinary school might be worth it for that alone! I always nick part of my nails off.

She let the simple flour and water dumpling dough rise while prepping and sauteeing the filling. Then we rolled it into a snake, dusted it with flour and cut it into small discs. You do a 360 with the rolling pin to stretch out the discs into dumpling wrappers, leaving a thickness in the center circle so it doesn’t rip. Then you intriquely pinch each filled piece together. Off they then go into boiling water. First boil comes, add cold water. Second boil returns, add cold water. Then the third boil means the dumplings are done! Serve with black Chinese vinegar and chile oil paste.

Written by baltimoregon

November 18, 2008 at 1:27 am

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