Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lamb/ Goat Daikon Soup 羊肉白萝卜汤

Have you heard the Chinese saying: "fall/autumn's daikon is comparable to ginseng" 秋天萝卜是人参? It might be referring to the peak harvest of daikon during the cool season (in fall and winter months) that makes it a good source of Vitamin A, C, fiber, lignin, phosphorus - thus most nutritious and beneficial.

Perhaps, there is also this Chinese food therapy belief that when you consume more health-beneficial daikon during fall/autumn or subsequent winter, you rid the body of toxins accumulated during the often hot and dry summer months which might have tire the body. When you get rid of these toxins, the energy/"qi" in the body can be quickly replenished.

Lamb/goat is also considered warm and nourishing especially when consumed in winter. How about combining lamb and daikon in a Chinese-style soup? The combination of lamb and daikon is not uncommon as it is known to replenish and nourish the body during the cold winter months.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Whole Roasted Cauliflower 烤菜花

How many ways can you prepare, cook and present a cauliflower dish? Often, cauliflower can be prepared into florets then used in recipes such as Roasted Cauliflower Pizza, Sweet and Sour Cauliflower in the style of Gobi Manchurian, Almost Aloo Gobi - Spicy Cauliflower with Potatoes, Cauliflower Potato Cheddar Soup. Other times, cauliflower can also be sliced as "steaks", grilled or roasted as "steaks" and enjoyed as....a steak!

Now comes the biggie!

The first time I tried whole roasted cauliflower was in Turmeric Indian Restaurant in Sunnyvale, CA and that spicy whole roasted cauliflower served as part of buffet lunch left me very impressed, wanting more. But I can't be heading to buffet that regularly. So, without doubt, it became part of my to-do list, however knowing it was something that would not happen too soon. It was processing in my mind, deciphering and decoding - how such a dish can be easily achieved in a home kitchen by the home-cook.

Till I saw a dish at Angie Recipes that featured a whole-head of cauliflower - kept whole and cooked whole. Though not exactly the same, it reminded me of that restaurant's spicy whole roasted cauliflower,

Then I saw a photo shared in Facebook, and viola - this is it! It looks exactly almost like the restaurant's, read Spicy Roasted Cauliflower, and came with a recipe. Yay!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Easy Roasted Eggplant 烤茄子

Roasted eggplant is fiercely taking over steamed eggplant in my kitchen. Perhaps, I have been buying dark-purple-skinned Italian/globe eggplants more frequently these days and they are way better roasted, than steamed. Similar to Roasted Okra, roasting imparts a toasty fragrance to eggplant, the flavor that does not come from steamed dishes. Both roasting and steaming are fuss-free, easy, and healthy cooking methods - the choice depends on which variety of eggplant you are cooking. I prefer to roast the plump globe eggplant and steam the long and slender Chinese eggplant (try Steamed Eggplant with Gochujang Dressing).

If there is one tip I would like to share, it would be to cut and score the eggplant-flesh before roasting, just like how you would slice/score a mango.