Soused Mackerel Japanese Style

Good with Sake or Beer
Samma Is Best

Rice Vinegar, ingredient in Asian cooking

Rice Vinegar

This is a pickled raw Fish dish. A typical appetizer in Japanese cuisine. It goes well with Sake or Beer.  The fish known as Samma is best for this one, but Saba will work fine too. Recipe adapted from one by Joan Itoh. Continue reading

White-Cut Chicken 白切雞

Good with Ng Ka Py  五加皮
Chicken as Chicken

White-Cut Chicken

White-Cut Chicken

White-Cut Chicken (白切雞 Bai Qie Ji) is one of the very common ways of cooking just “the basic dish of Chicken as Chicken,” as Buwei Yang Chao says. Its plain, neutral flavor makes it an ideal

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Peppery Chinese Cabbage Sichuan Style 辣 白菜

La Bai Cai

La Bai Cai

Peppery Cabbage Sichuan Style
La Bai Cai  辣 白菜

 

Chinese

A popular appetizer that normally comes free in Sichuan restaurants.  It’s easy to make at home, and goes well with a variety of dishes, for example, Continue reading

Beef and Shrimp Balls in Lettuce Cups / Cha Gio

A Vietnamese Fusion Dish
Memories of Old Saigon

Cooking with Vietnamese Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce

Fish Sauce

Beef and Shrimp Balls, or Cha Cio, are a classic of Vietnamese cuisine, with a variety of recipes and versions.

The Beef may be a part of the Northern heritage in Vietnamese cuisine, as Beef appears rather frequently as an ingredient in the country’s cooking.

Beef and Shrimp Balls in Lettuce Cups
Cha Gio

Vietnamese Fusion

Ingredients:

Shaoxing Wine2 ounces Mung Bean Noodles (Cellophane Noodles)
½ pound Ground Beef
¼ pound raw Shrimp, ground
2 teaspoons Ginger, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Chinese Shao Xing Wine or Dry Sherry
2 teaspoons minced Garlic
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
½ teaspoon Sugar

For the Sauce:

3 tablespoons Nam Pla, Fish Sauce
3 tablespoons Water
Juice  of half a Lime
1 tablespoons Sugar
1 clove Garlic, finely minced
½ teaspoon dried hot Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

For the Garnish:

12 Boston Lettuce leaves
12 Coriander leaves
12 fresh Mint leaves
12 Green Onion pieces, each 2 inches long

Method:

Garlic

Garlic

First, soak the Mung Bean Noodles in warm Water for 30 seconds and then drain them thoroughly.  Chop them into small pieces and put them in a large bowl.  Add the Pork, Shrimp, Ginger, Wine, Garlic, Vegetable Oil, Salt and Pepper.  Mix well to combine.

Divide this mixture into 12 portions and shape them into oval sausage-like pieces about an inch thick and set aside.

To make the Sauce, mix all the ingredients.  Ladle into four small serving dishes to ber used for dipping.

To prepare the dish, cook the Beef/Shrimp Balls in a hot broiler or over white-hot charcoal grill.  If you use charcoal, they should be 6 inches from the charcoal, and turn them until they are thoroughly cooked, about 10 minutes.

To serve, use one Lettuce leaf for each ball.  Top with Coriander leaf, a Mint leaf and Green Onion piece in the center of the Lettuce Leaf. Add one meat ball, wrap the Lettuce leaf to enclose the fillings.  Dip the end of the fitted leaf into the dipping sauce and enjoy them.  You may dip as often as you like in the sauce.

The recipe makes appetizers for four to six persons. Soaking time is about half an hour, and preparation would take about 20 minutes. The dish cooks rather quickly, say another 10 minutes once everything is ready.

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Viet Nam - Saigon 1966 - Cyclopousses

Indonesian Corn Fritters

Another Addictive Snack with Drinks
Bregedel Djagung

Canned corn

Corn

Like Indonesian Peanut Fritters, these are quick and easy to make and will soon become addictive, especially with drinks.  The name in Bahasa Indonesia means literally Corn Croquettes. At the E & O on Sutter Street in San Francisco, where the dish is a specialty of one of the chefs, the dish is called Indonesian Corn Fritters.

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Indonesian Peanut Fritters

Addictive Snack with Drinks
Rice Flour, Baking Powder are Key

Using Baking Powder in Vietnamese cuisine

Baking Powder

These Indonesian Peanut Fritters, or Rempejek, are addictive, especially with drinks, and are easy to make

They are one example of the small fritters served as snacks or appetizers in Indonesian cuisine.

The addition of a little Baking Powder to the Rice Flour used to make this recipe is the key to the delicate texture and is probably a Fusion touch, reflecting the Dutch colonial heritage. This recipe makes about 20 fritters.

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Lumpia – The Best Party Snack

Lumpia Shanghai,
The Best Party Snack

When people talk about Filipino food, one dish that always comes up is Lumpia Shanghai, the crispy egg roll appetizer or side dish with its unique sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Chicken and pork adobo, cardereta,or pancit may be national dishes of the Philippines – depending on whom you talk to – but lumpia has to be the best snack food from that country.

It’s popular not only in the Philippines but wherever people have had the chance to try it, in Filipino restaurants or homes anywhere in the world. What is it that makes this dish so popular? Continue reading