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Stir-fried Green Bean with Chicken

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Green bean (French bean or string bean) is definitely one of my top three favorite veggies. I like the fleshiness and sweetness of it. It’s so special! A simple dish like stir-fried green bean with chicken is good enough for me to gobble 2 bowls of steamed white rice. Nothing fancy is needed for this dish. Just few simple steps will give you a simple yet appetizing dish.

Another favorite green bean dish of mine is the干煸四季豆 (literally translated as dry-stir string bean). It is essentially a popular dish to be served in most Chinese restaurants and I will order it mostly. I will post the recipe for it next time.

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Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

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I like tofu so much and I’ll always stock up some different kinds of tofu in the fridge for cooking. They are so many varieties ranging from extra firm to extra soft tofu, including the fresh tofu, braised tofu, deep fried tofu or any other processed tofu. Tofu itself has no taste and many people think that they are plain and bland. One of my coworkers doesn’t even like tofu and I don’t understand why. I like the texture of tofu, it is so soft that just melts in your mouth. Most importantly when you cook it together with other ingredients, the tofu will absorb the taste and flavor of the dish.

You can see how the Korean people like tofu so much because the ‘Spicy Tofu Pot’ is one of their well-known cuisines. Tofu is beneficial to our health as it is made from soybean that contains calcium, iron and magnesium. As a matter of fact, Korean spicy tofu pot is a bit similar to Mapo Tofu dish that I am presenting today, they are both spicy tofu dishes but ingredients used are different.

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Easy Yong Tofu / Stuffed Tofu (釀豆腐)



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Yong Tofu or Yong Tau Fu (釀豆腐) is a Chinese dish originated from Hakka cuisine. It is a soup dish uses tofu and a variety of vegetables to stuff with meat paste mixture of fish and pork. The dish originally uses tofu for stuffing, therefore it is called Yong Tofu,  which literally means “stuffed bean curd”. Ever since Yong Tofu gained its popularity, a variety of vegetables are used for stuffing such as the bitter gourd, green or red chilies, eggplant, okra and etc. Thus the name of Yong Tofu has been used to all foods prepared in such method.

The last time we prepared the dish was last year, when Sam made a big whole pot of Yong Tofu for New Year celebration, we ate that for lunch and dinner for a couple of days. This time we were so lucky as my good Hakka friend Heidi decided to make Yong Tofu for our small gathering a few weeks ago.  She mentioned that her mum makes traditional style Hakka Yong Tofu, she will buy fresh fish from the market and hand chop the fish into fresh and smoother texture. Also she will have to chop and beat the ground pork so they are smooth and juicy to combine well.

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Stir-fried Opo Squash with Dried Shrimps

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I first got to know about opo squash (calabash gourd) was few years ago when I was living with my aunt in NYC. I remembered it is one of those vegetables she planted in her small little farm at her backyard. This vegetable is a kind of fruit with light green smooth skin and white flesh. It is commonly used for stir-fry or soup in the southern Chinese cuisine as what my aunt did.

I don’t normally pick up this vegetable and it was on sale in the Asian food market. Thus I bought one home and tried to make a dish with it. Opo squash doesn’t have much taste on itself. It is similar as the cucumber. So I decided to make it simple by stir-frying it with the dried shrimps. It turned out to be a decent dish for dinner. Share with me if you have any good recipes for opo squash.

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Sambal Telur (Sambal Egg)

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Nasi Lemak or Coconut Milk Rice wrapped in banana leaf is an all time Malaysian favorite dish. The traditional Nasi Lemak basically comes with a handful of fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, cucumbers and Sambal Egg. The dish sounds really simple, but we could just gobble down and be satisfied with a plain Nasi Lemak and lots of Sambal. Yes, the key ingredient to one great Nasi Lemak is of course the Sambal.

Sambal or Grounded Red Chili is one of the important components in traditional Malay cooking. The basic ingredient is just the fresh red chilies, then you start adding a little bit here and there of garlic, shallot, ginger, tamarind or others for a more robust flavored  Sambal. Once you do a couple of try outs in making your own Sambal, you can always prepare a full list of scrumptious Sambal dishes, such as Sambal Okra, Sambal Sotong, Sambal Asparagus with Shrimp, Vegetable Curry and etc.

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Lama Kitchen is a food and cooking blog fills with savory food with great cooking recipes and ideas for those of you who love food and home cooked meals. Read more