In this series on the most common aromatic flavor bases of Chinese cooking, we're looking first at those regions famous for their spicy garlic-and-chili flavors. Today, Kung Pao made with fish instead of chicken serves as an example of Sichuan's mouth-numbing, hot mala style, characterized by dried chilies, Sichuan peppercorns, and garlic.
'stir-frying' on Serious Eats
There's tofu, and then there's dry tofu. This stir-fry with snappy green beans and rice has a hint of chili and a gingery kick for a tasty and filling meal with that takes all of five minutes to cook.
Whether it's stir-fried, boiled, braised, steamed, or deep-fried, lotus root remains crisp yet tender, with a creamy and starchy texture that's similar to taro root. Lotus seeds can be boiled and added to dessert soups or ground to make lotus seed paste, a common ingredient in sweets like mooncakes and daifuku.
For lack of a snappier marketing term, these bean curd noodles—also referred to as tofu strands or shredded tofu on the packaging—have been taking the place of wheat noodles in my kitchen when I'm in the mood for a flour-free staple.
One of the wonderful things about The Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook by Vanessa Maltin is that it doesn't rely heavily on gluten-free ingredients such as hard to find xanthan gum and rice flours. For the most part Maltin has created delicious recipes that are more incidentally gluten-free. This Stir-Fry with Tofu, Green Beans, and Tomatoes is a perfect example, the list of ingredients is minimal and they can be found at pretty much any supermarket.
Admittedly, iceberg can't touch cabbage nutritionally. The latter is packed with fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, while the former makes you feel slightly better about eating a burger. Still, both deserve more respect as potential stand-alone dishes. And this pair of recipes should help that process along.
Squid is one of the cheapest and easiest things to cook. Luckily it's also really tasty. This recipe puts a Korean twist on the squid with soy sauce, garlic, hot pepper powder, and sugar. It comes out spicy and aromatic. Less squid squeamish now?
By far the smallest kidneys I've had the pleasure of cooking, these lamb kidneys pack a lot of aroma into one small package. I had originally planned to grill the kidneys but after one whiff, I knew they needed plenty of tongue-numbing chilies and pepper and alcohol (like rice wine) to counter their assertive smell, so I went with this recipe for fried kidneys by Fuchsia Dunlop.
"Snow pea tips are so flavorful they don't need garlic or other aromatics when stir-fried." Stir-Fried Snow Pea Tips View the complete recipe here » Come February my fingers grow restless whenever I pass by the seed packets at the hardware store. The days may still be ensconced in wintry weather, but I'm already dreaming of spring lettuce and summer corn. An entire row in my garden bed will be devoted to snow peas, not only for the bounty of sweet pods, but also for the tender and crisp shoots that grow abundantly from the stalks of the plant when the pods are nearing completion. Around this time of year Chinese vegetable stands are full of snow pea tips, which,...
"What's most surprising about this stir-fry is the lack of any gloopy sauce." I think this is the third time I've checked out Fuschia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook from the library. I've been wanting to conquer every recipe for a...
Principles of Stir-Fry, Part Four Previously Principles of Stir-Fry, Part One » Principles of Stir-Fry, Part Two » Principles of Stir-Fry, Part Three » All Seriously Asian coverage » My mother has a way of transforming vegetal chaos into order....
I started my search for the perfect wok by gathering information about the different materials available: carbon steel, cast iron, and aluminum. Find out which performed best.