Winter Melon 冬瓜

The Biggest Melon
A Cold Food for Slimmers

cropped-Winter-Melon.jpegThe Winter Melon (Dong Gua in Mandarin) may be the biggest melon, even bigger than Watermelon.  It can grow as big as 45 kilograms, though the ones found in shops are usually much smaller.

A native of the area around Thailand, Malaya and Java, Winter Melon has been known in China for a long time, since Continue reading

Steinbeck, East of Eden and Ng Ka Py 五加皮

Steinbeck, Rotten Applies and Ng Ka Py  五加皮
For Cooking or Drinking?

China - Carved Jade Eastern Zhou DynastyAn Epic of Biblical Proportions  John Steinbeck’s masterpiece novel “East of Eden” is an epic full of good and eveil, hatred and love, failure and redemption. It has been regarded as Continue reading

Has Anyone Tried This Japanese Hot Sauce? Hint – It’s Not….

Hot Chili Sauce (Rayu) But Something Else
A Shocking Spice

Sanshio Hot Pepper SauceThat would be Sanshio Hot Pepper Sauce, made with Japanese Hot Pepper or Sanshio.

Is anyone else familiar with this Sauce and its uses?

Sanshio is a spicy powder that comes Continue reading

Snow Peas

Gregor Mendel’s Peas?
Crisp and Tender, Raw or Barely Cooked

Snow PeasUntil recently, Snow Peas were considered an exotic Oriental specialty in North America.  Now they are available most places at supermarkets and in frozen form around the year.

There is a question where this vegetable comes from: Some Japanese encyclopedias and cookbooks assert Continue reading

Grenadine Syrup

The Quintessence of Pomegranate
Use for Persephone Cocktails

cooking with pomegranates

Pomegranates

Of course Grenadine Syrup — a key ingredient in several classic cocktails including the Persephone — is available commercially in bottles.  But many purists will want make  their own, for its distinctive and unique flavor, which is the embodiment of the Pomegranate.

Grenadine Syrup

Ingredients:

5 or 6 fresh Pomegranates
Continue reading

Chicken Stock

Good for Teriyaki or Soup
Nobu’s Chicken Stock

Cooking with fresh ginger

Fresh Ginger

This way of making Chicken Stock is from Nobu Matsuhisa’s Restaurant Nobu in New York and has been called Nobu’s Chicken Stock.  He uses this stock to prepare Chicken Teriyaki at Nobu’s, but it would also work as a soup base or for a variety of vegetable dishes. Continue reading

Bitter Melon

Quinine-Like Bitterness
Mentioned by Kipling

The house-beams shall fall,
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover it all!
— Kipling, Jungle Book

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon is sometimes called Turia, Kerala or Karela  in English, the last names alluding to its possible Indian origin.

The vegetable is also known as Bitter Gourd or Karela. In botany its name is Momoradica charantia. It is one of Continue reading

Kalua Pig

This is Luau Food
Making Kalua Pork without an Imu

In a traditional Hawaiian Luau in the Islands, Kalua Pig is an essential.

In the real deal, a whole pig will be baked for hours in an underground earthen oven called an Imu.

The pit will be lined with volcanic rocks and hot embers and often water is added at some point to create steam. Continue reading