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Steamed Mussel with Fried Garlic

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I wanted some seafood but I was concerning about the recent seafood quality due to the Gulf oil spill. The BP oil spill incident  has been more than a month without great solution to stop it. It is now becoming the largest oil spill in the history.  I am not sure how much it has affects on the consumer’s seafood choices, but with up to 5 thousand gallons of oil spill a day this is seriously contaminating the ocean and killing the sea life.

During this time, I would highly recommend consumers to do some research and study before consuming seafood. The  high levels of mercury and PCB in mussels from the Gulf of Maine are a concern. So for safe I bought the easy frozen farm raised mussels over the fresh ones. Selecting the farm raised mussels is also an environmentally friendly seafood choice. Remember to eat healthy!

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Stir-fried Kai Lan with Canned Abalone

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It’s time to come back for some serious cooking and blogging after a groovy vacation from Malaysia. Oh yes! I did have a lot of heavenly food back home ike Ipoh bean sprouts and chicken, Ipoh Sar Hor Fun, Penang laksa, curry mee, Char Kway Teow and etc. I might post some pictures of them later. Now let me get back to the topic – Stir-fry Kai Lan with Canned Abalone.

This dish was introduced to me by my brother, Shawn. Basically, it’s an uncomplicated yet delicious veggie dish.  Kai lan or Chinese kale is a green leaf vegetable featuring thick stems, big glossy leaves and bitter taste. This leafy green is eaten commonly in Chinese cuisine, especially in Cantonese Cuisine. That is why I love eating it.

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Salt & Pepper Oyster Mushroom (椒鹽豪菇)

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A friend of mine who is a vegetarian asked me to prepare some vegetarian dishes sometime in our post. I remembered one time we went to this local vegetarian restaurant and she introduced many good vegetarian dishes. They definitely didn’t taste like the “real deals” but I enjoyed them very much. One dish I like the best was the “Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushroom”. The dish is an imitation of the Salt & Pepper Chicken, but instead of using chicken, the mushroom was used as an substitution and it is so good.

This was my first time of making this scrumptious vegetarian dish and apparently I need more practice and time to master it. I over-fried the basil leaves twice and finally I got it right.  Do not use too high heat or it will burn the basil leaves. However I would need her advises in mastering this dish. For my friend and all my vegetarian friends, this dish is specially dedicated to you all.

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Black Bean and Pork Ribs Soup (黑豆排骨湯)

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Last Christmas when my mum was visiting she brought over so much of food and we haven’t finished them yet. Curry paste, chili powder, herbal soup packs, coffee, tea and etc. so much I couldn’t even remember all. Including are the two bags of black beans. Mum already cooked the Black Bean Soup for us once when she was here and left the other bag so we can cook it some other time. I like the soup but not the color because it is almost brownish black (:P). But Eric loved the black bean soup so much as he can eat the beans while enjoying the soup.

Soup is so easy to be prepared but just a bit time consuming to cook. What you can do is put everything into a pot of water and start cooking, walkaway to do your stuff and come back in 1 1/2 hours. Add some taste and the soup is ready to be served. This hot bowl of black bean soup is great as an easy weekday dinner.

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Ipoh Shredded Chicken Hor Fun (鸡丝河粉)

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Ipoh is famous with its signature dishes of Bean Sprouts Chicken (芽菜雞) and Shredded Chicken Hor Fun (雞丝河粉). You can actually find many of these combination food stalls all over Ipoh. The locals recommended Lou Wong (老黃) or Onn Kee (安記) in the town if you have a chance to pay a visit in Ipoh.

This time I was only preparing the Shredded Chicken Hor Fun or Flat Rice Noodle, and in an easy way. Usually a whole chicken (preferably free range chicken / 土雞) is used by poaching in a hot water bath till cooked, and then cool down in an icy bath. This is the important part to maintain the smoothness and juiciness of the chicken texture. But for a smaller portion I am just using a chicken quarter and breast for cooking.

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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