Thursday, December 2, 2010

My 200th post - The Chinese Feast


Olé! Olé! This is the official 200th post on Random Cuisine. I'm currently writing this post in the bus as I'm heading to Ottawa to visit my PhD superviseur. This is the start of a whole new chapter of my scientific career and an opportunity to explore new branches in nanotechonology, the field of research which I really enjoy doing research on.


In October, I was really pumped to start my new research and I had planned my farewell party three weeks before the departure date. A few days before the farewell party, I received an e-mail from the institute that I can't work due to "security issues" and these issues should be cleared by the month of February. I felt heart broken, but at least my life as a graduate student is not ruined. I can still pursue research at McGill with my Master's superviseur while the institute resolved these bureaucratic issues. Well, the new graduate students of my "old" research group are glad that I can share my scientific know-how. My friends are also glad that I continue organizing weekly cooking sessions which  have been running for over 2 years now. As I can't officially start working in Ottawa, occasional visit like the one right now and e-mail exchange with my PhD superviseur are the only possible solutions. Life is full of ups and downs. We have to live by our choices and let the dice rolls.

Despite these unfortunate circumstances, I didn't want to cancel the "farewell" party after weeks of planning the menu and food preparations. Here is the final version of the menu:

Soup

Ginseng Soup

Appetizers

Vietnamese Rolls
Pork Dumplings

Vegetarian

Mixed Chinese Vegetables
Singapore Noodles
Choy Sum (Chinese Leafy Greens)

Meat

Sweet Glutinous Rice
Curried Pork Chops
Sauteed Beef with Sugar Snaps
Shrimp in Rice Wine Sauce
Stuffed Eggplants in Oyster Sauce
Roasted Turkey

Desserts

Hong Kong Egg Tarts

The menu is a tour of some traditional dishes usually found in real Chinese restaurants. These dishes would not be realized without the help of my brother and my parents. I can guarantee you this Chinese feast can feed up to 50 guests. At the end of the night, everyone was really full and ended up bringing 2-3 large tupperwares of leftovers home.

Warning: the following images can make you drool. I simplify some of the recipes to 4-6 servings, the images might or might not be representative. I don't have all the recipes in hand, they will be updated in the future. Sorry for the incovenience...

Ginseng Soup

A traditional Chinese herbal soup which consists of ginseng cooked in homemade chicken stock. The soup tastes a little bit bitter and provide health benefits (according to my parents).


Vietnamese Rolls

A refreshing appetizer which consists of rice noodles, thinly sliced vegetables, and Chinese mushrooms (wood ear, shiitake, cloud ear) which are then wrapped in rice paper. These rolls can be dipped in either soy sauce or plum sauce. You can find this recipe in one of my past post found here.


Pork Dumplings


This appetizer is suitable for dim sum lovers, my mom loves to make it for breakfast when ground pork is on special. This filling is customizable, you can find alternative ones such as Assorted Mushroom Dumplings and Steamed Gyoza. Here is our family version of the filling:

Serves 6
Preparation Time: 1hour
Cooking Time: 10 mins per dumpling

Ingredients

1lb ground pork
4 oz. nappa, finely diced
3 shiitake mushrooms, finely diced (optional)
1-2 tbsp chives, finely diced
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 dash Worcestershire sauce

Procedure

1. In a large bowl, combine well filling ingredients. Cover and place in fridge for 30 mins.


2. Place a teaspoonful of filling in center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with water. Fold in half to enclose filling and pinch edges to seal.


3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Arrange dumplings in pan, avoid overlapping. Cook for 2 mins until light golden.

4. Add about 1 cup water to pan, cover and cook for 5 mins. Uncover and let liquid evaporates, about 1 min. Serve hot.

Mixed Chinese Vegetables

This will sure satisfy your vegetarian guests. This dish contains broccolis, carrots, fried tofus, lotus roots and, shiitake mushrooms cooked in a light soy sauce.


Singapore Noodles

Curried vermicelli noodles consist of a blend of vegetables. Meat such as chicken, pork and shrimp can be added to the dish. This recipe will be added soon...


Choy Sum (Chinese Leafy Greens)


A classic Chinese vegetable mainly found in Chinese market. You only need to cook these vegetables in boiling water with 2 crushed garlic cloves. It is fully cooked once it changes from light to dark green. These are usually served with a drizzle of oyster sauce and light soy sauce.


Sweet Glutinous Rice


This rice requires an overnight soaking before employing it. Once ready, the rice is then cooked in a rice cooker. Chinese sausages, dried prawns, shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce are then mixed with the rice to provide a sweet and salty taste.


Curried Pork Chops

This dish is a family favorite, all you need is to marinade the pork chops in curry and it is ready to use for your next meal. The recipe can be found here.


Sauteed Beef with Sugar Snaps


I love my mother's marinated beef. If you need to make a quick dinner, this is it and complement it with rice and vegetables.

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Marinade Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 lb beef tenderloin, thinly sliced

Marinade
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp rice wine
2 tsp ginger, cut into matchsticks size

1 garlic clove, minced
200g sugar snaps or snow peas, ends removed
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water

Procedure

1. In a bowl, combine marinade with beef. Cover and let it marinate for 30 mins.

2. In a wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add beef and sauteed for about 2 mins. Set aside.

3. Add in sugar snaps, sauteed for few seconds. Add oyster sauce and beef stock. Cover and cook for 2 mins.

4. Meanwhile, make slurry by mixing cornstarch and water.

5. Return beef to wok. Add in slurry to thicken. Mix well and serve.

Shrimp in Rice Wine Sauce

A classic Chinese dish which consists of shrimp cooked in a rice wine sauce.

Stuffed Eggplants with Oyster Sauce

This is Japanese eggplants stuffed with grinded shrimp and fish. All is cooked in a rich oyster sauce.


Hong Kong Egg Tarts - Dan Tat

What is the best way to end this Chinese feast? Even with a hyper full stomach, there is always room for desserts. See my post on Hong Kong Egg Tarts - Dan Tat for details.


This is all folks! I hope you enjoyed reading this one in a lifetime 200th post!

17 comments:

  1. Omg, wat a vitural feast..yummy spread Victor..Congrats on ur 200th post..keep rocking.

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  2. Ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık. Hepsi Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı görünüyor.

    Saygılar.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, what a feast! And congrats on the 200th post. We are glad to still have you in Montreal a little bit longer!

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  4. Congrats on your 200th post. This is indeed a feast - even a festival - of flavors.

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  5. Congrats on your 200th! Keep posting, that is quite some feast.

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  6. Congrats on your 200th and best wishes in your continued studies!

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  7. Congrats on this fabulous roundup for your 200th post awesome job!

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  8. I can't believe you guys made all that food, it looks like restaurant quality. And it's making me so hungry I have to cook dinner now :)

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  9. congrats lovely feast
    vietnamese rolls look really yummy

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  10. This truly was a feast. Congratulations of your 200th and also for the wonderful attitude you've been able to maintain under pressure and disappointment. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

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  11. What a mouth-watering feast! Everything looks so delicious! I'm sorry about the problems you're having - hope they get worked out.

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  12. That's what I call a meal! What an amazing array of delicious food! I'm sorry you're having to work through some problems, but I'm confident everything will work out for you!

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  13. This is a beautiful food spread! I am glad you went ahead with your farewell party. I have no doubt that this will work out for the good.

    Cheers.
    Velva

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  14. Thanks for all your support and nice encouraging comments! I'm hoping that everything will be resolved asap.

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  15. Congrats on your 200th post, Victor! My Lord, that is a LOT of food!

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