Mains (Asian)

Simple chicken stir fry with vegetable, egg and peanuts (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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On Fridays I work from home so I can drop my little boy off at school and pick him up. I am often swamped with work and I have something really quick for lunch at home (like a bowl of instant noodles cooked in the microwave). This week I was in luck with some free time – so I decided to cook a simple stir fry for lunch.

Simple chicken stir fry with vegetable, egg and peanuts (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Asian style kebab on lemongrass stick (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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With winter coming, I cut back a bush of lemongrass in the garden. I ended up with a huge bunch of lemongrass sticks which I used for this pork and beef kebabs.

Asian style kebab on lemongrass stick (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Pan fried fish with chili tomato sauce (FODMAP Friendly)

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Many years ago I cooked for a elderly relative while  his family was away on holiday. I found an inexpensive fish in his freezer and made him a pan fried fish with chili tomato sauce. He loved it a great deal and gave me many praises. It was one of those moments that I suddenly discovered that I could cook !

Here is a FODMAP friendly version – I used a whole bream today but you can use any fish that is not too thick or too large. You can also use fish fillets if you are not a fan of fish bones. But the recipe tastes really nice with a whole fish.

Pan fried fish with chili and tomato sauce, FODMAP friendly

 

Recipe is as follows:

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Spicy green beans

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This is a simple dish with chili bean paste and pork or chicken. It can be served in 20 minutes – it is salty, sweet and spicy.

Spicy green bean with soy bean paste

Recipe is as follows:  Read the rest of this entry »

Scrambled eggs with garlic chive and prawns (gluten free)

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Have you ever been to a suburban Chinese restaurant that serves a prawn omelette that is dry and uninteresting? Try this simple, tasty and moist scramble eggs with garlic chive and prawns and I bet you will never look back.

Scrambled eggs with garlic chive and prawns (gluten free)
Scrambled eggs with garlic chive and prawns (gluten free)

Recipe is as follows:  Read the rest of this entry »

Korean BBQ

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At work, I sit next to a Korean lady who told me about this specialty Korean butcher at Homebush (Sydney) with marinated ready-to-BBQ meat.  Today was my day off and I managed to leave all the chores behind, drove 15km to visit the butcher. I picked up three different kind of marinated meat – beef knuckle bulgogi, grain fed pork steak and chili pork. At home, I already marinated some thinly sliced beef topside over night. I can wait to taste them all.

The picture speaks for itself – all so yummy !

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Kimchi chicken with preserved vegetables

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Some weeks ago I made a huge batch of kimchi using Maangchi’s recipe.  I freeze the kim chi in small bags so we can enjoy for months to come.  I also topped up my pantry with loads of dry goods including a few packs of salted radish.

Today I made a simple dish with the salted radish and kim chi. I first bring some cooking oil to high heat in a frying pan; add slice onion & some sliced salted radish. I stir fried the ingredients briefly, then added sliced chicken thigh fillets to brown the meat. Once the meat is browned, I added sliced kim chi. I coverred the frying pan with a lid and let is simmer for 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Dinner is ready, easy!

Kimchi chicken with preserved vegetables

You can find Maangchi’s kim chi recipe here https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/tongbaechu-kimchi

Homemade kimchi
My homemade kimchi

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Sambal eggplant with dried shrimp

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I love eggplant. The best eggplant dish I ever tasted was a sambal belacan stir fry.

Sambal is a delicious chili paste with garlic, ginger and shallot.  Belacan is a fermented shrimp paste with a strong aroma.  Both are available ready made from Asian stores.

Many years ago I was a poor university student who worked for an Asian restaurant as a casual waitress. One evening, a casual cook rocked up to fill a shift. He made us a dish of sambal belacan eggplant for staff meal.  The dish was so aromatic and delicious that I can still remember his nameless imagine today – cranky,  middle age,  distinctively Chinese-Malay with his strong accent.

Sambal eggplant with dried shrimp

My version of sambal balacan eggplant is  really simple: Read the rest of this entry »

Simple green banana curry (low FODMAP, gluten free, vegan)

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I bought this big bunch of green bananas from the supermarket a week ago – the bananas didn’t fully ripe after all these hot weather!  Well, we shall not waste them…

This banana curry is quite simple once you have invested in a few spices. If you can find a low FODMAP curry power, great.  Otherwise the spice mix I adopted was a few spices laying in cupboard and a few thing from my freezer (tamarind paste, frozen ginger & frozen chili). If you don’t have some of these spices (except for turmeric), feel free to skip a few.

What does it taste like?  – give it a try.

Simple green banana curry (low FODMAP, gluten free, vegan)

Method is as follows:

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Chop suey with chicken and Chinese vegetables

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I was really keen to make some fun-guo dumplings this week for Chinese New Year.  When I finally got around to made the filling for the dumplings, I ran out of time to make the dough. We had this chop suey for dinner with some rice, it was really yummy.

Chop suey with chicken and Chinese vegetables

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Twice cooked pork with chili soy bean sauce (Hui Guo Rou 回锅肉)

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This twice cooked pork is aromatic, juicy and can be seriously spicy. My friends told me, as they walked down to my house for dinner, they could smell the cooking from the top of the street. This dish is so tasty and satisfying with a bowl of rice, or a few freshly steamed ‘Man Tou’ (plain steamed buns).

Twice cooked pork with chili soy bean sauce (Hui Guo Rou 回锅肉)

I have posted the ‘Man Tou’ recipe here.

Recipe is as follow:  Read the rest of this entry »

Asian spiced chicken drumsticks (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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Growing up in Southern China, chicken drumsticks were the most desirable parts of a chicken. This is because the meat on the drumsticks is juicy and flavorsome, whereas chicken breast meat is thick and it is difficult to infuse flavors into the meat.

I love baking drumsticks in an oven bag –  just taste extra juicy and pack of flavors.

Here is my version of an Asian chicken drumstick recipe with soy, ginger, chills, coriander, turmeric, coconut milk, sesame oil and tomatoes.

Asian spiced chicken drumsticks (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:

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Sambal eggs with vegetables, drizzled with a tangy son-in-law sauce

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There was a fete in my little boy’s school and I made some of these for the Asian food stall. It was a fusion of sambal eggs & son-in-law eggs – spicy, tangy, sweet, salty and delicious.

Sambal eggs with vegetables, drizzled with a tangy son-in-law sauce

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Cloud ear ‘salad’ with tofu and garlic chive

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A mum from my little boy’s school was over one Friday afternoon. She was born in the countryside in northern China and taught me a dish with cloud ear, egg and soy/oyster sauce. The dish was dark and mysterious, I was not too sure about it.  But I was inspired by the idea, and made this cloud ear salad with tofu for the Asian Food Stall at the school fete.

Cloud ear 'salad' with tofu and garlic chive

Recipe is as follow:   Read the rest of this entry »

Chicken chop suey, my father’s story of radish

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Chicken chop suey, my father's story of radish

I sent some chicken chop suey with sweet-salty radish to father’s house today. Examining the food, my father told me the following story.

My father went to a major university in Wuhan in the late 50s. During the 4th year in the university,  the school canteen ran out of food, meat or vegetables, as they were not able to source any supplies locally. With very little excess funds, the university  asked the students for loans. When the school collected sufficient money, they sent a truck to farms in the next province and came back with a load of radish. Students were organized into groups to preserve the radish – peeling, sliding and drying the radish in front of the dormitories.  The canteen cooked dried salted radish most of the year with steamed plain wheat buns (‘mantou’).  That was the year my father suffered malnutrition with swollen legs. Many people died over this period, referred to as the ‘Great Chinese Famine’. Fortunately, the situation improved quickly after a couple of years.

My father and other college students having a picnic after a swimming session,  summer 1961
My father and other college students having a picnic after a swimming session, summer 1961

Father and I sat down to enjoyed the chicken chop suey I made. It was juicy, sweet and salty. We were thankful for our delicious food.

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Poached chicken in Chinese rice wine (gluten free)

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If you like flavorsome, juicy & tender white cut chicken, you should try this recipe with Chinese rice wine. So simple and no recipe required.

Bring a pot of water to boil, drop in 1 inch of ginger (sliced), 2 inch of lemongrass (lightly bashed), 2 chicken breast fillets (whole) and season with salt; bring the water back to gentle boil; turn off the heat and leave the pot on the stove (not turn on) for 25 minutes or so; Check the chicken, this should be just cooked after 25 minutes; Slice the chicken into strips and pour over Chinese rice wine that is just enough to cover the chicken pieces;  drizzle with some sesame oil and a small dash of soy (optional); leave the dish aside  in room temperature for a while (30 minutes) for the flavor to develop; Serve at room temperature or chilled;  Garnish with chopped shallot that’s been quickly pan fried in some hot oil then dusted with some sea salt.

Poached chicken in Chinese rice wine (gluten free)
Poached chicken in Chinese rice wine (gluten free)

‘Salty-sweet-sour’ chicken with soy, vinegar & preserved turnip

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I bought a pack of preserved turnip from an Asian grocery store over the weekend, and decided to use this to create a salty-sweet-sour dish. It is really simple –  300g chicken sliced chicken fillet marinated with a sauce consists of a dash of soy sauce, a dash of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs of sugar, 1 tsp of potato starch mixed well with 1 tbs of water and 1 tbs wine.

The cooking method is also super simple – heat up a frying pan with some cooking oil, first add a few pieces of thinly sliced ginger, then 2 tbs of diced salted turnip, quickly stir fry for 20 seconds, and add the marinated chicken, stir fry until cooked on medium heat – you may prefer to close the lid for a few minutes which will keep the chicken juicy.  Served on a bed of rice and salad or steamed vegetables.  Really hearty and flavorsome.

'Salty-sweet-sour' chicken with soy, vinegar & preserved turnip

Chickpeas with bacon, tomato, turmeric, garam masala and cumin

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I love my ‘ordinary’ chickpeas stew with spicy chorizo. The other day, I was feeling a bit bored so I ditched the chorizo for bacon and Asian spices – nearly the same thing, right?

I first cooked the dry chickpeas, with some salt & water in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes on high.  I added some cooking oil in a frying pan, sauteed some bacon, onion and garlic before adding turmeric, garam masala and extra cumin; I added the chickpeas to the frying pan, gave it a little stir; then transferred the ingredients back to the pressure cooker with tinned tomatoes. Another 15 minutes on high, and lunch was ready with some crusty bread.    So easy and delicious.

Chickpeas with bacon, tomato, turmeric, garam masala

Golden turmeric prawns (gluten free)

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If you have a spice collector like me, you may have turmeric & cumin in your pantry. I also keep ginger pieces and chilies in my freezer. With a onion, this prawn dish is 5 minutes away … no recipe required.

Golden turmeric prawns

Clean 12 prawns; dice the onion, slice 1 chili, mince a little ginger (optional); heat up a frying pan with some cooking oil; add the onion, ginger & chili; stir fry until onion  is coated with oil; add turmeric & cumin (I use about 1tsp each for a mild taste); stir for the spices to coat the onion; push the onion to the side; add prawns, 1-2 minutes each side until cooked through; stir through the onion; season with salt.

I serve this with an Indian inspired chickpea & bacon stew.

Steamed turmeric chicken, with coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger rice (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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Have you ever try a one-pot meal using a rice cooker?  A rice cooker often comes with a plastic steamer – it is handy when you want a quick & easy meal.

Steamed turmeric chicken, with coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger rice (low FODMAP, gluten free)

Here are the simple steps: Read the rest of this entry »

Clams with XO sauce, and the life story of my uncle from TaiShan 台山

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These lovely New Zealand clams reminded me my first clam experience, a dish made by my uncle’s family from the countryside of TaiShan, GuangDong province in China.

Clams with XO sauce

My mother and her brother were children of a concubine who married an elderly man returned to China after years of hard laboring in Malaysia. During the second sino-Japanese war, both parents died as the family ran out of money. For some reasons unexplained to me, the family offended some important locals with considerable power. My uncle, at the age of about 7, was sent to prison as a Japanese traitor. When he was released, he was so weak & sick that he was carried out.  He was never the same again.

During one school holiday I was sent to stay with TaiShan uncle and his family in the village. My uncle was a man with very few words, not smart, worked a lot, and always smiling.  He was very skinny and looked sickly. With money sent by another uncle from Singapore, he was able to get married. He married a kind, strong, capable and hardworking woman and they had 3 children. As rice farmers, they did not have sufficient rice for me to eat. So I brought them food stamps, some money and some old clothes which they treasured.

Taiishan village - the lane way leading to the house my uncle's family once lived
Taishan village – the lane way leading to the house my uncle’s family once lived

The eldest boy, Zhong, who was a few years younger than me, was responsible for providing ingredients for lunches and dinners. Some days we went to the rice field with some threads & small potato pieces – we fished out frogs from the water. Some days, we went to the creek, searched through mud to find tiny little clams. The frogs were small and we chewed the bones as well as whatever little meat on it. The clams, half of a bowl to share among us, was so very delicious and moreish.  I still remember the satisfied looks on the children’s faces at the end of each meal. They never complained about wanting anymore or anything else.

A run-down traditional house at the ThaiShan village
A run-down traditional house at the village

When economy improved in the 80s, the rice field was sold to make way for factories. There was no more farming to be done. My uncle figured out that if he collected soft drink tins and bottles, he could sell them for money to buy snacks. Reportedly, he was the happiest soft drink bottle collector around town.

I felt happy and sad when I cooked & enjoyed this delicious New Zealand clam dish with XO sauce.

Cooking method is as follows:

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Home style tomato and egg stir fry with oyster sauce 番茄炒蛋 (FODMAP friendly)

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This is one of my childhood favorite – a dish that can be cooked in 10 minutes. It is sweet, sour, juicy and tender. Best of all, no recipe required. Simply cut 2 tomatoes into pieces;heat up some cooking oil in a frying pan, lightly scramble the 2 eggs; add tomato pieces, oyster sauce, a little sugar, stir well; cook with lid closed for 5 minutes and its is ready to serve.

 

Home style tomato and egg stir fry with oyster sauce 番茄炒蛋 (FODMAP friendly)

Soy braised pork belly with bamboo shoots (gluten free)

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For Chinese cooking, pork belly is arguably one of the most popular cut of pork – it is juicy, full of flavor and mouthwatering fatty. It can be stir fried, steamed, boiled, braised, preserved/dried & roast. This pork belly dish was originated from a traditional dish called  ‘red braised pork’. It so happened that I have a jar of spicy bamboo shoots in the pantry. Bamboo shoots go so well with pork and  I added a few table spoonfuls to the pork belly.

Soy braised pork belly with bamboo shoots (gluten free)

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

White cooked chicken with a tangy soy and vinegar sauce (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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When I got off the train from work this evening, I realized that we didn’t have any food in the fridge for dinner. I picked up some chicken thigh fillets and a bunch of shallot from a local grocery store, and walked home to make a quick meal.

When I got home, I first put on the kettle for some hot water; then put on some rice in the rice cooker. I placed the whole chicken fillets in a saucepan with a piece of ginger and a few pinch of salt, poured over the hot water to cover all the pieces, brought it to boil over the stove top, then put the lid on and turned the heat to very low. Off I went to get change out of my work clothes. When I was back in the kitchen, I chopped up some shallot and chili (note1). I heat up a frying pan with some oil, pan fry the shallot & chili with a little sugar & salt (1 minute) –  dinner’s nearly ready.

The chicken was just cooked (approx 15 minutes) – beautifully tender and juicy. I sliced the chicken and mixed the pieces with a dash of soy (use gluten free soy sauce for a gluten free option), a dash of sesame oil, a dash of rice wine vinegar, a dash of white wine. Add the pan fried shallot and chili, garnish with coriander, and dinner was served.

White cooked chicken with a tangy soy and vinegar sauce (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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Green beans and eggs, with oyster sauce (low FODMAP)

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When I was a child, this was a popular dish at our house  – grandmother raised a coup of egg-laying chickens at the roof top terrace, and green beans from the market were always fresh and cheap. The soft eggs compliments the crunchiness of bean; the oyster sauce enhances the freshness of the beans & eggs. So simple, quick & tasty – goes really well with a small bowl of hot rice.

Green beans and eggs, with oyster sauce (low FODMAP)

 

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Banana chilies stuffed with lamb, topped with an Asian sauce of oyster, soy and sesame oil (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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I saw some beautiful banana chilies in the local fruit shop & can’t help thinking of this dish –  a popular dish in Southern China with freshwater fish as stuffing. I like to use lamb & cabbage, it goes so well with chilies.

Banana chilies stuffed with lamb, topped with an Asian sauce of oyster, soy and sesame oil (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

Recipe is as follow:  Read the rest of this entry »

Steamed tofu with pork floss (肉松), noodles, soy and vinegar

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This dish is simply refreshing & refreshingly simple – the silkiness of the tofu, the tangy soy & vinegar sauce enhanced by the sweetness of the pork floss, add soba noodles to make a full lunch out of it.

Steamed tofu with pork floss (肉松), noodles, soy & vinegar

Recipe is as follow:  Read the rest of this entry »

Pork belly with Chinese dry mustard greens (Mei Cai Kou Rou 梅菜扣肉)

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Pork belly with Chinese dry mustard greens (Mei Cai Kou Rou 梅菜扣肉)

When I was a little girl, my grandmother often sent me to the market across the road to get groceries. At the market, there were urns of soy sauce, slabs of tofu, loads of vegetables, a fish stand and a pork stand.  When it was my turn at the butcher’s stand, with his huge chopping cleaver in his hand, he looked down to me and asked loudly: ‘soup or for stir fry’. I looked up and quietly said: “kou rou’. He would then cut me a small piece of pork belly and tight it with a bamboo string as I handed over coupons and money.

A Chinese butcher at the market
A Chinese butcher at the market

I still remember how the bundles of dry ‘Mei Cai’, or salted Chinese dry mustard greens, hanging from the bamboo racks at the markets. There were preserved greens as well, being fermented in large brown urns. In the good old days, ‘mei cai’ was popular in China – it was cheap and can be use with so many dishes. If one ran out of money, ‘mei cai’ and boiled rice was considered a far superior option than soy sauce and boiled rice.

Here is one of my grandmother’s favorite dish – ‘mei cai kou rou’, or pork belly with Chinese dry mustard greens.

Recipe is as follows:  Read the rest of this entry »

Mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐), and my father’s story of two spoonful of oil

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Mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐), and my father's story of two spoonful of oil

The province of Sichuan in China is famous for its taste bud killing pepper corn & spicy food.  One of their most famous dishes is the ‘mapo tofu’, sometimes translated as the ‘pockmarked grandma’s bean curd’.

When my father was a young lad, he attended a university far away from home. Ever since then, he developed a strong desire for traveling. After graduation, he worked for a state-owned factory with a starting salary of 51 yuan a month. He did not have the money to travel other than travelling for work.

One year, he was fortunate enough to be sent to Sichuan for a research project. He asked my grandmother for an oil coupon.  Those days most essentials were scarce and required coupons. When he arrived, he took the coupon to a well-known local restaurant and ordered a big bowl of mapo tofu. ‘The tofu was so good,’ he said to me, still with great enthusiasm, ‘ it had two spoonfuls of oil in it.”

A young traveler, somewhere in the Nortern China
A young traveler, somewhere in the Northern China

I have had many mapo tofu dishes over the years – they all seemed to be overly oily. But I liked them just like that  – I soaked up the oil with boiled rice. I could feel  my father’s joy and excitement as a far-away-from-home young traveler.

Recipe is as follows:   Read the rest of this entry »

Steamed blue eye cod 蒸鱼 and the market across the ‘Yayan Lane’ 雅言里 (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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How I love steamed fish!

Steamed blue eye cod with shallot & soy (low FODMAP & gluten free)

Growing up in Guangzhou in the early 1970s, we lived in a rundown 5-bedroom terrace house on a little lane way called the ‘Yayan Lane’ 雅言里  , translated as the ‘elegant words lane’. The house was bought by my grandfather in early 1950s for $1,200 yuan from a tea merchant. At the time there was a ‘movement’ to crack down tax evasion. Like some other small businesses, the tea merchant had to sell his house to pay his tax bill.  It was said that most houses on the market were going cheap over that period.

IMG_5013 #1
My grandfather at the old terrace house, Yayan lane, guangzhou

There were many family members lived at the terrace house at various intervals – my great grandmother, my grandparents, my family, 3 uncles & 1 aunt and their families. My grandma cooked dinners for all the families. Food & basic essentials such as rice, oil, meat, fish, coal & fabric were on rations, and we had books of colorful coupons.

There was a state-ran market across the road from our lane way. The market sold all sort of food – meat & vegetables, seafood, Chinese sausages & BBQ meat, tofu, preserves, oil & soy sauce. When very small fish were caught from large schools, sometime coupons were not required.  The neighbors always kept a look out for such rare occasions, and we would hear a shout across the lane way.  Grandmother and I would grab a bamboo basket as fast as we could, rushed over to join the crowd.  There were no such things as lining up – layers of people cramped in front of the concrete table where the fish piled up among large blocks of ice, pushing each other, yelling to attract attention. The fish was always fresh and undeniably small,  not longer than my little hand.  My grandmother steamed the fish with soy sauce for dinner. Our skinny house cats would fight over the bones & left-over sauce mixed with some rice – a rare treat for them.

Riding a bike at Yayan Lane, GuangZhou, China in 1970s
Riding a bike at the Yayan lane in 1970s

Today, we are so very lucky in Australia with all the wonderful seafood, spices & herbs. My favorite method of cooking fish is steaming. From time to time, when I enjoy a good steamed fish, I could still smell the sea at the crowded market place across the road from the Yayan Lane.

Here is my version of steamed fish – fresh & simple.  I used Blue Eye Cod on this occasion. You can use most sort of white flesh fish. My favorite fish for steaming is perch.

 Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese traditional steamed pork ‘cake’ 蒸肉餅 (gluten free)

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My old aunt & my cousin are coming over for lunch today.  My aunt can’t cook much any more, so I am cooking them a traditional Chinese meal.  No other meat could be more traditional than pork. I remembered that my old aunt had a secret for all good Chinese pork dishes – ginger, shallot, soy & wine.

Chinese traditional steamed pork 'cake' 蒸肉餅 (gluten free)

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

White cut chicken with Vietnamese slaw, memories of the Chinese New Year’s Eve feast

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White cut chicken is so very close to my heart.

When I grew up in the early 70s in Southern China, we lived simply on limited resources. Earning a first prize in school meant a lot to me, as the prize was typically a pencil with a rubber at the end, a real luxury. I would jump for joy if I received a prize of a few new exercise books as they were frequently out of stock at the shops.

My father was a university graduate and a mechanical engineer.  The year that I was born, he was ‘redistributed’ to work at a factory 150km away from home. Those days, 150km means a 5 hours journey on a train. My father’s monthly salary was about $60 yuan (approx USD10 based on today’s exchange rate). He kept $30 yuan for himself and sent the rest to us. My mother was a factory hand whose monthly salary was $37 yuan (approx USD6 based on today’s exchange rate).  Once a year, our Singapore uncle sent us a little money. My mother would buy some fabric, sew a new piece of clothing for me on my grandmother’s old sewing machine. Our Singapore uncle was very kind to us –  he had a large family to support and he was not well off himself.

At the end of each Chinese Luna year, my father was entitled to a 10-day holiday to spend Chinese New Year with the family. As a special treat for the New Year’s Eve family dinner, my father always brought home a farm chicken which cost around $10 yuan. He had to save up for months to buy the chicken. My grandmother carefully slaughtered and poached the chicken, then served it at the Chinese New Year Eve dinner.  The chicken was shared among the whole family – grandmother, uncles, aunties and us.

White cut chicken with Vietnamese slaw   &  the Chinese New Year's Eve feast

There were only a few pieces for each of us. Grandmother was entitled to the chicken’s bottom, a delicacy. I was the first grandchild born in the house and was entitled to one of the wings – another delicacy. How delicious it was, our once a year white cut chicken feast.

Over the years in Australia I had many white cut chicken dishes – some were delicious, some were cooked without care. I started cooking my own version of the boneless white cut chicken, and my friends always enjoyed the dish.

This recipe is a modern fusion of Chinese & Vietnamese – gently poached juicy tender chicken breast fillet on a bed of fresh Vietnamese style slaw.

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Rare beef salad with Vietnamese slaw

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A simple and delicious beef salad – juicy aged rump pan seared 2-3 minutes on each side, on a bed of tasty Asian salad with mint and coriander.

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Lamb rendang (gluten free)

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I use lamb for this curry, as I love the tenderness of lamb.  I use the words ‘a few’ in this recipe, as this is a ‘modern’ rendang,  you can ‘play’ with the ingredients to suit you taste.

Lamb rendang (gluten free)

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Soy bok choy, memories of my grandmother’s chicken coop (Low FODMAP, gluten free, vegan)

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Vegetables & melons are popular food in China – bok choy, choy sum & cabbage are some of the most common vegetables.

While I was a little child, we lived in a terrace house with my extended family including uncles & aunties. My grandmother was responsible for cooking dinners for the whole family. To supplement the food coupons, my grandmother raised a coop of chickens on the roof top terrace. Before I was old enough to go to school, every afternoon I went to the market with my grandmother to collect left over green vegetables. We brought the vegetables home, chopped them up on a huge wooden chopping board, and fed to the chickens. While she was chopping, grandmother told me stories, so many stories. One of the stories was about me – while I was still a crawling baby, I crawled up to the roof top terrace, helped myself to the egg storage urn, cracked every single egg and smeared the eggs on the stairs.

That was not the only time that I was naughty – I remember when I was little, bored and feeling mischievous, I put some rice behind the door to the roof top terrace. I peeked through the gaps, waited till the chickens started pecking on the grains, suddenly opened the door – chickens were flying everywhere!  The naughty little girl laughed and laughed.  My grandmother was always very kind to me and never punished me.

Some days we were lucky enough to collect some good vegetables, and grandma cooked them for dinner with a little oil, a dash of soy sauce and nothing else. Soy sauce was always cheap and no coupon needed.

Here is my version of a simple soy bok choy, with fond memory of my wonderful grandmother.

Soy bok choy (Low FODMAP, gluten free, vegan)

Easy method is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Chicken stir fry with lemongrass and chili (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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Thai food always brings back memory of a pink restaurant where I worked for a few years during my university days.

The restaurant was owned by a kind Vietnamese couple – An the husband and Ly the wife.   Ly looked after 3 young children and worked in the tiny kitchen every night. An was a full time engineer who managed the dinning room and delivered takeaway food.

When they spoke about their past, I could see Ly’s eyes sparkled, and warm smiles on An’s face. In the old days back home, Ly was known as the ‘Saigon rose’ for her exceptional beauty, and An was a young, well educated officer working for the American army.

I learned to cook some wonderful dishes from Ly. One of my favourite was a ‘xa ot’ dish, meaning lemongrass and chili.

Here is my version of a xa ot chicken.

Chicken stir fry with lemongrass and chili

Easy method is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »