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Boiled Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce

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Most of you must know that to cook a good Hainanese Chicken Rice (海南雞飯) or White Cut Chicken (白斬雞) involves a lot of work. These are the dishes that we can easily order in a Chinese restaurant but not to cook by yourself. This  is why we haven’t had a chance to make the Hainanese Chicken Rice yet. But to satisfy the craving for Chicken Rice, this is a trick that we learn to do. We only buy the chicken breast and thighs, not the whole chicken, then just steam or boil the chicken parts. Cool down in a icy bath and chop up the chicken into pieces.

You can either choose to steam the chicken or boil the chicken. The appearance might not be as nice as what you can get from the restaurant, however this is definitely an easy chicken dish that you want to learn. The most important thing is to make a dipping sauce to go with it. You can serve the chicken with chicken flavored rice or plain white rice.

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Crab Rangoon (炸蟹角)

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I must say Crab Rangoon (炸蟹角) is a Chinese fusion appetizer introduced to the American Chinese cuisine. Yes, Americans love Chinese food too, but not all of the traditional Chinese food. Therefore a lot of Chinese food in the States are modified to catered based on the Americans’ taste. Crab Rangoon is one of them. I never had these before in Malaysia until I came to the United States. I was studying in Lincoln, Nebraska and there are two or three traditional Chinese restaurants I can recall, the rest are American Chinese restaurants such as Panda Express, Pick Up Stix, or other local ones like Golden Wok and China Wok. So I was able to try these delicacies in these Americanized restaurants.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually think the Crab Rangoon is a break through from the traditional Chinese cuisine in adapting to the American culture. The Crab Rangoon is filled with cream cheese (I like mostly anything with cheese), imitation crab meats or canned crab meats, scallions, garlic or other seasonings. They are wrapped with wonton egg wrappers or egg roll wrappers and deep fried until golden.  Here in the States, some restaurants serve the Crab Rangoon with sweet and sour plum sauce or mustard for dipping. I just like mine plain and simple.

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Steamed White Pomfret (清蒸白鲳魚)

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Chinese Lunar New Year is exactly in two weeks time. I always get really excited during this time of the year. Remember back home in Malaysia when I was young, there was no school for a week, we got to go shopping for new clothes, we could hang out with family, cousins and friends till late night, we got to play fireworks and we received red packets money (紅包) from elders and married couples. The most cheerful thing was we could eat all day long like a food marathon.

Chinese New Year literally starts on Chinese New Year Eve (除夕夜) where members of family will go home to have a reunion dinner (團圓飯) with the family, kind of like Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve. Then a complete Chinese New Year starts from the 1st day of the Lunar month in Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th day which is the Lantern Festival. It is the longest yet the most important festival for the Chinese people, that we will always prepare sumptuous and traditional dishes that signify good luck, wealth and prosperity for the coming new year.

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Pork and Cabbage Dumpling (豬肉水餃)

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Chinese dumpling or Jiaozi (餃子) is one of the traditional yet popular Chinese dishes prepared during the festive season of Chinese New Year. Maybe not for the Malaysians, but for Chinese (especially from Northern part of China) or Taiwanese, this dish is usually served during the Chinese New Year Eve or some other family get together occasions. This is because the dumpling is shaped like a yuan bao (元寶), a traditional money used during the Ming Dynasty, that means good luck, wealth and prosperity.

Being born and raised in Malaysia, I never have dumplings really. Until I attended  university in the United States, my Chinese and Taiwanese friends would make these delicate dumplings for me. And I must say once you’ve tried it you will love it. This Chinese Lunar New Year falls on the 14th of February which is also the Valentine’s Day. You can learn to make this recipe ahead and prepare for your family or loved ones just in time.

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Shrimp with Scallion and Ginger (姜葱炒虾)

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It has been raining cats and dogs since Monday until today and it will be raining tomorrow as well. Thank God for bringing us the rains due to the water crisis in California but sadly, the rain is way too much than what we long for and it flooded some areas in SoCal.

The indolent weather caused me so lazy and inconvenient to drop by the grocery store to pick up some meats after work. Thus my only meat choice to cook for tonight dinner was a pack of shrimps in the fridge. When I thought of peeling and deveining the shrimp, I felt so headache! Anyway, I had no choice but just dealt with the process. I’ve prepared the shrimps with scallion and ginger this time. Easy and delicious!

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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