Category Archives: Homemade

Shi’s Kitchen: Braised Chili Fish (Dou Ban Yu)

Dou Ban Fish
Man, Chinese New Year came and went so quickly. CNY is one of my favorite holidays because it brings together all my close friends and forces us to stuff our faces. It’s like Thanksgiving where the only purpose is to eat (and be thankful) but with better food (sorry).

So, on Chinese New Year, you pretty much HAVE to have a whole fish because of the Chinese saying “年年有余” or “every year you will have a surplus”. The word for “surplus” sounds like the word “fish” so… we eat fish to ensure that we’ll have more than enough to eat for the rest of the year (the culture really does revolve around food). You also can’t finish the fish (to show that there is, in fact, a surplus).

Dou Ban Fish
On the morning of my Chinese New Year party, I went to HK Supermarket in Chinatown and picked up a Live Striped Bass. The fish monger helped me gut and scale the fish so I didn’t have to attempt the mess at home. Continue reading Shi’s Kitchen: Braised Chili Fish (Dou Ban Yu)

Shi’s Kitchen: 糖醋排骨 (Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs)

Tang Cu Pork Ribs
I made this and am damn proud of it. Not because it was difficult to make, ’cause it wasn’t (at all), but because it tasted like the real thing! Sticky, sweet ‘n sour, saucy, and fall off the bone delicious. It’s way better than that American sweet and sour stuff, trust me. I made the ribs with some jasmine rice and vegetables and wolfed it all down immediately.

I can’t stress enough how easy it is to make. I only had to buy the ribs, everything else I had in my kitchen. If you cook Chinese food a lot, you will have everything needed in your kitchen as well. I adapted the recipe, changing a few things here and there, from Fushia Dunlop’s Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, which I found on Steamy Kitchen’s blog.

Tang Cu Pork RibsIngredients:

  • 1.5 pounds of pork ribs
  • 2×2 inches of ginger, sliced into thin “coins”
  • 6 green onions, cut into 2-inch sections
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese rice wine (I used Shao Xing)
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar (real recipe calls for 4 tablespoons. I think 2 is enough.)
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese black vinegar (can substitute with balsamic)
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch Continue reading Shi’s Kitchen: 糖醋排骨 (Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs)

Homemade Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken… made speedily with a pressure cooker.

I’d like to start by giving myself a pat on the back for keeping my kitchen intact. A.W., L.C., and R.Y. got me an amazing pressure cooker for my birthday and until this meal, I had yet to really use it for anything other speed-cooking rice. This is because pressure cookers are scary and if handled incorrectly, can turn into bombs and explode (don’t google “pressure cooker” with “bomb”, just don’t do it).

I had a set of chicken thighs and legs in my freezer that I had to use and was so tired of my honey-soy glazed version that I make so often now so decided to experiment with something totally new. I was also feeling lazy and wanted something fast and easy. The internet told me that fast, easy, juicy and flavorful chicken is inseparable from the pressure cooker. Feeling extra brave, I decided to just go for it. I found this Thai Chicken recipe here and modified the recipe so I didn’t have to buy any new ingredients. Continue reading Homemade Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken… made speedily with a pressure cooker.

Homemade Spicy Roasted Chicken with Miso and Ginger

chickenLacking scallions and enough garlic to make my usual honey soy glazed chicken thighs, I needed another recipe for the thighs and drumsticks I had in the fridge. Using my Google skillz, I found a recipe from The Kitchn that involved ingredients my very bare kitchen has (it’s the end of two weeks again where the roomies and I bike to Chinatown for our groceries).

Ingredients (slightly modified from posted recipe):

  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 3 drumsticks
  • 3 tablespoons of miso paste (darker is better for this)
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder  Continue reading Homemade Spicy Roasted Chicken with Miso and Ginger

Homemade Twice Cooked Pork Belly

This is LAW’s favorite dish and definitely one of my favorite ones to make because it is very, very easy, and very, very tasty. Twice Cooked Pork Belly (回锅肉) is a classic Sichuan dish. Every household has its own version of it. Common recipes include scallions, napa cabbage, and bell peppers. Twice Cooked Pork Belly literally translates into return-to-wok-meat because the fundamental part of the recipe is to boil the pork belly first (some use just water, others use broths with ginger, cloves, star anise, etc.), freeze it, then slice it up and return to the wok for stir fry.

My version breaks this fundamental rule but I promise it’s still really good. It’s very quick to make and goes really well with a bowl of steaming rice (下饭). I only use 4 ingredients:  Continue reading Homemade Twice Cooked Pork Belly

$2.33 for Dinner

chinatown groceriesHong Kong Supermarket
157 Hester St.
(between Mott St & Bowery)
New York, NY 10013

Every two weeks, LAW, H.W., and I bike down to Chinatown with empty backpacks to stock our fridge with two weeks worth of groceries. It has become a ritual. The smooth cruise down Avenue A to the hectic area around Mott Street transitions from certified East Village hipsters to peppered Chinese grandpas carrying bags of fresh fish. We load up our backpacks with as much food as we can carry and bike our way back home. This is where all my groceries come from. This is proof that you don’t have to pay a Whole Foods premium to eat well!

Continue reading $2.33 for Dinner

Homemade Spicy Short Rib

Mama Shi bought me some short rib a while ago when she was visiting. I’ve never made short rib before. The recipe I decided on, a fall-off-the-bone slow-cooked short rib, required so many additional ingredients that I have just avoided it as much as I could. It has stayed in the freezer since. Meat can be such a headache to cook.  This past weekend, K.C. made us all some Korean bbq short rib with a very simple recipe and inspired me to finally take these ribs out. I reinterpreted K.C.’s delicious recipe to make a Sichuan version.

The night before cooking, I took out the ribs from the freezer and coated them with soy sauce, sugar, mirin (like rice wine but lower alcohol content and higher sugar content), sichuan chili pepper, scallions, green horn peppers, and garlic. Continue reading Homemade Spicy Short Rib

Eating My Catch: Fishing for Fluke in Brooklyn

Seaqueen VII
2250 Emmons Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235

This past Saturday, I got up at 4:50AM and got on the train at 5:20AM to Sheepshead Bay to board the Captain Steve’s Seaqueen VII. J.P. organized this lovely morning trip (that I almost didn’t go to until I found a Groupon deal for half the price: $35 for two, instead of $35 for one). Nothing against J.P. or fishing at all, I’m just really not a morning person. I grumpily made my way to the boat and complained about my hurting stomach and stinging eyes (my symptoms of lack of sleep).

My sleepy fingers were not excited about touching these little guys until… the first catch of the day was made. An experienced young fisher caught a 26 inch fluke. The entire boat erupted in loud cheers. In 20 minutes, cheers were happening all over the boat as more and more people caught fish. If your fluke is 19 inches or longer, you get to keep it and take it home. I started to wake up because I realized I could be bringing home dinner. That would make my trip worth it. I started trying and about two hours later, I caught something. It was a pathetic 10 inch little guy.

As small as this looks, this is actually my second catch. I only made two catches on Saturday, but the second one made the cut at a full 22 inches! My roommates on the trip, LAW, H.W., and S.S., were probably all selfishly (sel-fish-ly?) happy because they knew we would have a fresh catch for dinner. Continue reading Eating My Catch: Fishing for Fluke in Brooklyn

Homemade Honey Soy Glazed Chicken

Soy Glazed ChickenI’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while because it is friggin awesome and so so easy. It’s also great for cooking for larger parties too. I made this for our last roomie dinner where I had to feed 3 hungry boys, LAW, H.W., and B.A., and myself, one very hungry girl (I doubled the portion from this post for our dinner). The chicken only takes about 15 minutes to make and is extremely flavorful and juicy. It tastes great with a bowl of piping hot jasmine rice. Add some veggies on the side and you have yourself a pretty balanced meal. I got the recipe here but added more of most ingredients to amp up the flavor.

Soy Glazed Chicken
The recipe calls for garlic, fresh ginger, scallions, and red chillies. I cut up a lot of each, especially the garlic. The recipe asks you to use 2 cloves of garlic… I think I used something closer to 5… Continue reading Homemade Honey Soy Glazed Chicken