asian

Sichuan-style wontons

Simplicity and modesty are the two virtues that are close to my heart. It’s what inspired me in my everyday cooking and in the coming weeks, I hope you will see it translate onto my blog.  There is no greater joy in life than cooking for our loved ones and friends.  Some of my greatest relationships have been forged over a good home cooked meal and I hope it could help do the same for you.

For those who actually read my blog, you must’ve noticed my style of writing hasn't much to be desired.  English has never been my strong suit and as a result, it’s very hard for me to convey how I truly feel from pen to paper.  But I do hope that through my blog - you will see what I am truly passionate about and that’s bringing joy to others via my cooking.  

Some of my cookings will be derived from spontaneity, and as a result here is my vegan Sichuan-style wonton dish. This was created and inspired based on the fresh vegetables at the local market this morning.  I would like to give credit though, to this lovely lady, who inspired me while she was assembling those beautiful baby bok choy on her stand.  She even discounted me a few dollars for smiling

This dish is probably not as authentic as the Shanghainese but similar.  The original recipe is made with pork and this is the vegetarian/vegan version.  I do suggest to try making these wontons over the weekend because they do require a little bit of time for preparation.  

Sichuan-style wontons

Servings: 4 persons (around 20 wontons)    

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients: 

500g baby bok choy, chopped into small bits

100g soybean skin, chopped into small bits

50g baby corn, chopped into small bits

50g long green beans, chopped into small bits

1 tsp grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 cayenne pepper, seeded, finely chopped

2-3 tbsp rice wine or white wine

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 pinch white or black pepper

1 tbsp roasted sesame seed

1 handful chopped coriander

1 tbsp chopped scallions for cooking + 1 tbsp for garnishing

1L vegetable stock

20-25 wonton skins

extra-virgin olive oil

For the Sichuan sauce: 

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp Sichuan chili oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp sesame oil

Method: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  

Instructions: 

1.  Preheat a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp olive oil on medium heat, cook garlic, scallion, ginger, and cayenne pepper for 1 minute, then add baby bok choy, baby corn, green beans, soybean skins, and a splash of rice wine; cook 1-2 minutes until the alcohol evaporates.

2.  Add sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper as seasoning.  Cook 10 minutes until the moisture has evaporated.  Heat off.  Set aside.  

3.  There you have the fillings cooked already.  And now we make the wontons by wrapping the wontons with 1 tsp of the filling in the center of a wonton wrap.  Dap the outer edges of the wonton skin with water to seal the wontons by forming a small triangular shape.  Fold the two side corners with a small dap of water.  Go here for more folding techniques.  

4.  After the wontons are made, bring a pot of vegetable stocks to boil.  Add 8-10 wontons to the pot and when they start to flow within 1-2 minutes, use a strainer spoon to scoop them out of the soup.  Transfer the wontons to a large bowl.  Repeat the same step to cook the rest of the wontons.

5.  Mix the Sichuan sauce with a tiny bit of vegetable stock to balance the intensity of spiciness and taste.  

6.  Garnish with sesame seeds, chopped coriander, and scallions before serving.  

Sichuan-style wontons

Sichuan-style wontons

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle

Waking up to such horrific and grieving news today about the Paris attack got me utterly speechless.  Words could not portray this perplexed feeling inside me.  And I’m sure I’m not the only one.  A lot of thoughts and questions surged through my mind; leaving me in a deep sense of anxiety.  I could only use silence as my condolence.  

One thing I learned these years is to restore my well-being through food and photography.  Knowing for the fact that I’m just a minuscule fragment of today’s entire humanity, the only constructive manner I could offer is not by saying but cooking. 

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle 

Servings: 1-2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 small carrot, cut into small cubes

1 bunch long green beans, cut into small bits (can substitute with frozen green peas)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped 

1 tsp fresh minced ginger

1 package 350g soft tofu 

2 tbsp Chili Bean Sauce aka Toban Djan

2 tsp corn starch

1 cup vegetable stock

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1-2 tbsp rice wine or white wine

1-2 tbsp fresh chopped spring onion

1 small bunch chopped coriander

3-4 tsp sesame oil

100g rice noodle aka mei fun, cooked

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat a saucepan on medium heat with a drizzle of sesame oil, cook garlic, ginger, spring onion, and shallot until oil is fragrant.  
  2. Add carrots and beans with a splash of rice wine.  After the alcohol evaporates, place a lid on and cook the vegetables on low heat 2-3 minutes.  
  3. Now add chili bean sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar with the soft tofu and put back on to medium heat.  Mix well.  
  4. Pour in vegetable stock and corn starch.  Mix well.  
  5. Reduce to low heat, put a lid on and cook 3-4 minutes.  Heat off.  Transfer to a plate with the cooked rice noodle.  
  6. Drizzle a little sesame oil and garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander before serving.  

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle

my quick and easy lunch today - stir fry veggie udon!!!

This dish takes less than 20 minutes to make and it's delicious and pack with rich flavors.  The secret of my stir fry dish is really just HONEY...  :) honey honey..  Honey goes really well with soy sauce.  

Ingredients (for 1 serving): 

100g sugar snap peas

100g baby corn, halved

100g hard/fried tofu, quartered

1-2 spring onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped ginger

1/2 carrot, julienned

100g cooked udon

1/4 cup rice wine

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp sesame seeds

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat the frying pan with olive oil, add garlic, spring onion, and ginger; stir and cook under medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

2) Add the chopped vegetables and stir; add rice wine, turn the heat to medium high and cook for 1 minute.  Let the alcohol evaporates, then reduce heat to medium low.    

3) Add tofu and stir for 2-3 minutes, add udon, soy sauce and honey; stir evenly and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  

4) Turn off the heat.  Add some sesame oil to the udon.  

5) Transfer to the plate and garnish with some sesame seeds and chopped spring onion/coriander if you have any.  And it is ready to serve.  Simple and quick!