Hakurei Turnip & Shiitake Soba

I had always thought of turnips as the boring version of potatoes. A vegetable to be tolerated, but not enjoyed. After reading that Hakurei turnips are the “caviar of the turnip family,” I was thoroughly intrigued. I was able to get my hands on a bunch through our CSA. If you are lucky enough to acquire this tender turnip, usually outside of the realm of the grocery store, then I suggest trying out this preparation inspired by a PBS recipe. The resulting dish is highly complex, slightly sweet, and refreshing. Continue reading “Hakurei Turnip & Shiitake Soba”

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Leek-Corn-Potato Chowder

Cow stomach? Yum. Pidgeon eggs? Loved ‘em. Pig ear? Strangely crunchy… but still good. I’ve eaten plenty of things that the average American might consider unconventional, usually at the coaxing of my husband- a son of Taiwanese immigrants. So, why in the world was I scared of eating leek greens? You know, those leathery stalks that are innocently attached to their much-more-desirable counterparts: the whites of the leeks. Continue reading “Leek-Corn-Potato Chowder”

Cold Sesame Noodles

I love nuts and seeds; this dish really delivers on both counts. Using only pantry ingredients, these noodles are our stand-by contribution for potlucks (we clearly don’t know many people with nut allergies…) and mountain-top picnics with friends.

This is pretty-solidly a Level 1 recipe (see my last post in which I sort basic Chinese ingredients into three different levels), so it’s a good starting point for beginners. Continue reading “Cold Sesame Noodles”

Basic Ingredients for Chinese Cuisine

Cooking authentic Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine can be intimidating; the first barrier to entry is the plethora of sauces and esoteric ingredients that many recipes require that the average American kitchen just does not have. For my friends who are looking to incorporate a dish or two into your cooking repertoire, I understand that you don’t want to buy an entire bottle of fish sauce or Lao Gan Ma that will just be gathering dust in the refrigerator (if there is dust in your fridge then you should probably get that checked out).

Therefore, I have grouped common ingredients by their frequency of use in the recipes that we cook on a regular basis. Continue reading “Basic Ingredients for Chinese Cuisine”