Sunday, January 25, 2015

Roasted Whole Okra 烤秋葵/羊角豆

Why have I not tried roasting okra earlier? Besides stir-frying okra (which I seldom do), I usually either steam them e.g. Steamed Okra with Gochujang Sauce or cook them in stews e.g. Squash and Okra Stew. Not only does roasting imparts a smoky flavor to okra, this quick and easy recipe also cuts down the slime in okra when they are roasted whole.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Japanese Ramen, Udon, Tonkatsu in Tainan, Taiwan 台湾日式料理

I should not be dining in air-conditioned food courts and instead, should be out there trawling through the streets of Taiwan for street-food. However, convenience turns evil when I am just steps away from department store - Shinkong Mitsukoshi (新光三越). Moreover, unlike Taipei which is well-connected and served by the Metro, Tainan does not have a rapid transit system. To move around, you either have to take the bus or a cab; or maybe drive, ride a scooter or walk. However, I would say it even takes experience to walk along the streets in Tainan, because many times, there might be no pedestrian pavement or sidewalks, and you might find yourself running into scooters along the road and randomly-parked cars along the pavement.

That gave me more excuses to walk next door, to the mall, out of convenience; and I had three first experience(s) with chain-restaurants/eateries within the mall.

My bowl of Shiromaru Motoaji 白丸元味, al-dente noodles in less-sodium broth @Ippudo Ramen

First was Ippudo Ramen (一风堂)at this branch location at Tainan Place/Tainan Fun Center (台南新天地/小西门) adjacent to - Shinkong Mitsukoshi Tainan Place. I seem to be hooked on their Shiromaru Motoaji 白丸元味  - the most basic of classic Hakata-style ramen in the store - finding myself with this same order on multiple visits, different days.  The Shiromaru Motoaji is delicious and deeply-flavored. It is also the most budget-friendly yet most classic bowl of ramen in the store. I also like that the store caters to different customers with options of sodium level (standard or less sodium) in the broth; and options of varying texture of noodles (ranging from al-dente to soft texture).

Besides Ippudo Ramen, I have also tried Inaka Udon (稻禾乌龙面)that has 25 years of hand-made udon noodles tradition. Without fail, I go for most basic and classic which is udon noodles in bonito-infused broth (柴鱼上汤).

Basic classic udon noodles @Inaka Udon, with side-dish vegetable salad @Inaka Udon

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Chicken Stir-Fry 青菜炒鸡肉

Chicken breast. That is how I am beginning the post for today.

I am not after "white" healthy lean meat in any way. In fact, I am a "dark" meat person when it comes to chicken. There must be health freaks out there waiting to strangle me right now. While drumsticks ("dark" meat) is cheaper than chicken breast ("white" meat) in the USA, the other way is true in Asia where drumsticks are typically (or always?) pricier than the not-so-popular often-bland-and-dry chicken breast.

So why am I cooking with chicken breast today? It was the "sales" fault.

Let us make a healthy and nutritious all-in-one-skillet, one-pan of mainly cruciferous vegetables (e.g. kale, brussel sprouts) and lean chicken breast meat.

Do you prefer "dark" chicken meat (e.g. drumsticks, thigh) or "white" (e.g. chicken breast)?