Thursday, July 02, 2015

Easy Bibimbap, Mixed Vegetables Rice 韩式拌饭

Do you agree that Bibimbap is considered easy to prepare?

I cater to my own convenience(s) when I cook, so this might not be very authentic Korean bibimbap. However if you are looking for a fuss-free, quick and easy way to NUTRITIOUSLY and HEALTHILY satisfy lunch or dinner, then such a home-style bibimbap fits the bill.

Clockwise from left: Organic bell pepper, fried egg, cucumber, sauteed onions, Nori seaweed, garlic spinach

The recipe for Easy Healthy Bibimbap first appeared here. The ingredients on top of the rice can be switched up, played down but one ingredient that remains true will remain true - Korean hot pepper paste Gochujang.

This is also a good opportunity to take on the creative role and give it your own spin. Whichever vegetables (or proteins), try to include as many different colors as you can, typically five colors. Why five? Read more here.

GREEN (baby spinach, cucumbers, or any salad greens, even kale or Bok Choy); RED (bell pepper), YELLOW (egg); BLACK (seaweed, mushrooms); WHITE (onions, tofu, radish). Note: typically soy bean sprouts or bean sprouts represent "White" but I did not have them available.

It might be hard to believe but strangely this combination translates to a balance and harmony of flavors.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Napa Cabbage, Bok Choy with Mushrooms, Tofu 大白菜焖蘑菇豆腐

Is this a vegetable stir-fry or a vegetable braise? This dish leans towards quick and simple braising (in this context which means frying it quickly then simmering in a covered pot with a small amount of liquid) of  Napa cabbage with mushrooms and tofu.

Unlike Napa Cabbage, Mushrooms and Tofu Stew which can afford a little more cooking/simmering time, this vegetable dish should not be overcooked due to the presence of other vegetables particularly leafy greens.

If there are leftover vegetables such as Bok Choy, cauliflower in the fridge, they can be added to this dish and it will make quite a substantial dish; a dish that can be good enough to go solo or to pair with rice. With the addition of four varieties of mushrooms - oyster mushrooms, beech mushrooms, crimini mushrooms and enoki mushrooms, a vegetarian dish can be made very wholesome, nutritious, healthy and delicious.

The fancy name, often used in some Chinese restaurants, is Buddha's Delight 罗汉斋; otherwise it is also known as Combination Vegetarian Stir-Fry 什锦炒菜.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Taiwanese cuisine, Fu Lou Restaurant, Tainan 福楼台南

Fu Lou Restaurant (福楼)in Tainan, Taiwan has garnered very good reviews from locals and foreign visitors. The menu is amazingly extensive from sashimi, teppanyaki to local Tainan delights.

One of the top ten recommended dishes: Roasted Sponge Gourd

The entire menu or even the Top Ten dishes cannot be covered (and tried) in a single restaurant visit but the fact is, we can only do once this time. Therefore, the best (easy-way out) is to try some of the popular and recommended dishes.

Clockwise from top-left: Baby Napa Chinese Cabbage with Dried Red Cherry Shrimp 炒娃娃菜, Homemade Shrimp Rolls 虾卷, Roasted Sponge Gourd,Grilled Squid,

All the dishes were spot-on delicious. Homemade Shrimp Roll - the shrimps were not too finely minced, therefore the fillings did not turn out pasty. In fact, the shrimp rolls had that springy bite, and were so juicy and moist, quite different from the shrimp rolls in Chou's and A-Sha though all delicious. Fu Lou's rolls were also generous with the shrimps - the rolls were mainly shrimps with a little minced-up Chinese celery that gave the savory rolls a good fresh balance.