Kai Lan with Garlic and Sauces

Recently, few of my friends told me that I don’t have any vegetarian recipes on my blog. And it’s true 🙂 I haven’t posted any vegetarian recipes yet on my blog. I did suggest vegetarian alternatives for few of the recipes I’ve posted… not sure if that’s counted as vegetarian 😉

My first choice of vegetable was Kai Lan (Chinese broccoli) since it is easy to cook. It is widely used in Chinese and other South East Asian cuisines. I mixed some cauliflower with it and cooked it the usual way with garlic and sauces. Addition of cauliflower gave a nice combination of green and white color to the dish making it colorful and attractive.

I had fun cooking this one… hope you enjoy it too 🙂

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Preparation Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Cooking Oil – 2 tablespoons

Kai Lan – 300 g, the leaves separated from the stems

Cauliflower – 320 g, cut into small pieces

Ginger – 1.5 teaspoon, grated

Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves, chopped finely

Cornstarch/Cornflour – 2 to 3 teaspoons mixed with 3 tablespoons of water

Salt – to taste (as required)

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For the sauce mixture:

Dark Soy Sauce – 1 tablespoon

Oyster Sauce (optional) – 1 tablespoon

Rice wine – 2 teaspoons

Sesame oil – 1 teaspoon

Cornstarch/Cornflour – 1 teaspoon

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Water – 3 tablespoons

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Mix all the ingredients of the sauce mixture together in a bowl and keep aside.

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Step 1: Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add ginger and garlic and fry for around 30 seconds.

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Step 2: Add the cauliflower and Kai Lan stems and add rest of the oil. Cook for around 2 to 3 minutes.

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Step 3: Add the Kai Lan followed by the sauce mixture. Add the cornstarch/cornflour mixture and cook until the Kai Lan and the cauliflowers are soft but not mushy. Add salt as required.

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Step 4: Serve hot with rice or noodles.

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A few tips:

  • You can add vegetables like carrots and corn to the Kai Lan instead of cauliflower.
  • You can also add a teaspoon of chili sauce to the sauce mixture if you want to give it a spicy touch.

Chili Egg with Honey

Yesterday when I opened my refrigerator, I realized I needed to go grocery shopping! The only stuff left were some eggs, onion, red pepper and half pumpkin (other than some chillies, ginger and garlic) . It was a bit late already and by the time I would return from the store, it would be too late for dinner. The choice was either to cook egg or pumpkin….and I chose the egg 🙂

However, I didn’t want to prepare the boring egg recipes like egg curry or scrambled egg! After thinking for a while, chili egg seemed the best option! Chili egg is a dish of Indian Chinese cuisine. You might be wondering what is that? It’s simply the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes. The cuisine is believed to have originated from the Chinese of Kolkata (back then known as Calcutta) and is very popular in India and in some South East Asian countries. Spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric are used in this cuisine, which are not much associated with traditional Chinese cooking. Hot chili, ginger, garlic are also frequently used in dishes.

I’ve made the dish quite a few times before. My mom used to prepare this dish too when I was a kid and it was one of my favorite back then! I would wait eagerly for dinner on those days.

But yesterday I wanted to give it a special touch, so I decided to add some honey with it; hence the recipe… “Chili Egg with Honey”. Chili gives the spicy flavor and honey soothes the taste… perfect! It was raining heavily outside and the spicy and sweet flavor seemed just the right combination for the weather.

I’m sure you too have your version of egg recipes… do let me know. I would love to try them out 🙂

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Serves: 3

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

Egg – 6 medium, boiled and shell removed

Honey – 2 tablespoons

Cooking Oil

Onion – 2 large, sliced

Garlic – 4 to 5 medium cloves, chopped

Green or Red Chili – medium hot, 4-5 chopped or ground

Ginger – 5 cm, grated (around 1 to 2 teaspoons)

Red Pepper – 1 big, cut into long slices

Cornflour or Cornstarch – 3 tablespoons

Soya Sauce – 2 or 3 tablespoons

Vinegar – 1to 2 tablespoons

Salt – to taste

Step 1: Cut the boiled eggs horizontally into halves.

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Step 2: Mix the cornflour/cornstarch in 1/4th cups of water. Heat oil in a pan. Dip each piece of egg in the cornflour/cornstarch mixture and fry them for a minute or so on both sides. Transfer on to a plate with kitchen napkins so that the excess oil is soaked off. Place all the eggs on a serving dish.

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Step 3: Wash the pan or use another pan – heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes until it’s translucent. Make sure it doesn’t get burnt. Add the red pepper and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the chili and toss well.

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Step 4: Mix the soya sauce with rest of the cornflour/cornstarch mixture and add. Add in the honey. Cook for a minute or two. Add salt (as needed) and vinegar and mix well. Spoon the mixture on the eggs so that it covers evenly. Serve hot with noodles or rice.

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A few tips:

  • If ground chili is too spicy for you, you can add whole dried red chili (broken in halves) as well.
  • For cholesterol watchers, use only the whites of the egg and discard the yolk.
  • Use two color of peppers (red, yellow or green) to make your dish look more colorful.

Chicken Noodles

Before writing this post, I got a bit curious about noodles. Where did noodles actually originate from? So I did a quick search and found the following on Wikipedia:

“In 2002, archaeologists found an earthenware bowl containing the world’s oldest known noodles, measured to roughly 4000 years BP through radiocarbon dating, at the Lajia archaeological site along the Yellow River in China. The noodles were found well-preserved. They were described as resembling the traditional lamian noodle of China, which is made by “repeatedly pulling and stretching the dough by hand. The composition of the oldest noodles was studied by a team of Chinese researchers, who determined the noodles were made from foxtail millet and broomcorn millet. The earliest written record of noodles is found in a book dated to the Eastern Han period (25–220) of China.Noodles, often made from wheat dough, became a staple food for people of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). In Tang Dynasty, the noodles were first cut into strips, and in Yuan Dynasty, the making of dried noodles began.” This was quite interesting! It’s impressive to note how people actually came up with the food that we so love and enjoy today!

I’ve tried quite a few types of noodle dishes here at the food courts and restaurants and also when I travel. Starting from Bee Hoon, Hor Fun, Pad Thai, Mee Goreng, Laksa, Rice noodles, Glass noodles etc, I’ve tried almost all of them. But it’s still not the end. There are so many more dishes yet to try and every time I keep craving for more! It’s amazing how you can add ingredients of your style and taste and make it into a great noodle recipe.

Even when I say that… I had a lot of trouble making noodles at home. It always became sticky and somehow I was never satisfied with the dish and so I was always scared to try them at home. So, when I was discussing the same with my colleague, she said “Oh! It’s very simple. I’ll teach you how to make the basic noodle dish at home.” I was totally excited hearing this and I came back home that day and tried the recipe. Since then, I’ve never been scared to try noodles…it has been fun always! I will post my noodle recipe learnt from her later.

Today I’m posting a simple chicken noodle recipe. This doesn’t take much time and has an authentic Chinese taste. It needs only the basic ingredients and some sauces of course. I made it along with the Hot and Sour Soup (posted earlier) – a perfect and complete meal! Try it out and let me know your experience 🙂

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Serves: 4

Preparation Time: Around 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

Cooking Oil – 4 tablespoons

Chicken – 300 g, boneless, thinly sliced

Egg noodles – 1 medium sized packet

Bean sprouts – 1 bowl

Green Onion (Scallion) – 3, chopped

Marinade:

Ginger juice – 1 teaspoon (Grate around around 1/2 cup of young ginger. Mix with 2 tablespoons of water. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and you will have around 1/4 cup of Ginger juice.

Pepper – 1/4 teaspoon

Cornstarch/Cornflour – 1 teaspoon

Soy Sauce – 1 teaspoon

Rice Wine – 1 teaspoon

Sesame Oil – 1 teaspoon

Water – 1-2 tablespoons

Seasonings:

Chicken Stock – 1/2 cup (you can use stock cubes as well)

Soy Sauce – 1 tablespoon

Oyster Sauce – 1 tablespoon

Rice Wine – 1 teaspoon

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

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Step 1: Soak the noodles in warm water for around 10-15 minutes or until soft and then drain the water.

Step 2: Combine the marinade ingredients in one bowl and set aside. Combine the seasonings ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.

Step 3: Heat around 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok and add the noodles. Fry the noodles for very short time until they are golden grown and crisp (maybe for around a minute). Remove the noodles immediately and place on a clean serving dish.

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Step 4: Add the remaining oil to the wok and stir fry the chicken along with the marinade mixture over high flame for another minute, until cooked.

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Step 5: Add the seasoning mixture, bean sprouts and green onion and continue to fry until the sauce thickens and you have the consistency you want. Turn off the flame and quickly pour the chicken mixture over the noodles.

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Serve hot!

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A few tips:

  • You can use any other meat or seafood instead of chicken. 
  • You can add other sauces and vegetables of your choice to make the dish suit your palate.