Today, I share a family recipe with you!

Whew! I worked up a sweat last night. I’m not normally an active person. The most active part of my day involves walking up (climbing up) the LONG and PAINFUL DC metro escalators. Other than that, I lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Last night, however, I decided to pop in a Tracy Anderson Precision Toning DVD. A classmate of Charkie (shout out to Rarkie!) introduced me to Tracy’s method. I’ll try to make a separate post about that journey. After the sweat, I decided to reward myself with a little homestyle treat. It was also a good way to free up some space in my crowded refrigerator.

6) Bon Appetit!

Lotus Root Pork Patties

Growing up, lotus roots were a staple part of my diet. I never really though about what the circular slices with weird holes came from. Most people have probably seen lotus leaves/flower float above water. Who knew we could eat the roots planted underneath the water or soil? I call that cray. There are many medicinal benefits to this plant according to Chinese medicine. It is common to see people mix hot water with lotus root powder to create a sort of concoction that is supposed to be good for the body (high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin just to name a few and quite low in saturated fat). I also love pastries that are made with lotus seed paste (such as in mooncakes or wife cakes, etc). This dish here (the one that I made last night), involves slicing the lotus root into thin patty-style slices and filling it with a sort of dumpling or wonton or meat bun filling and then coating it with cornstarch and flour to prepare for deep frying. It is great as an appetizer or on the go snack! The lotus root comes out crispy while the savory pork filling gives a juicy, tender to complement.

Ingredients List

  • Lotus Root
  • Ground Pork (or minced pork loin)
  • Green Onions
  • Chives (optional, you can just stick to green onions)
  • Minced Garlic
  • Minced Ginger
  • Egg
  • Cornstarch
  • Flour
  • Soy Sauce
  • Black vinegar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Chinese Cooking Wine
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper Powder (optional)
1) Create your pork (or veggie) filling!

1) Create your pork (or veggie) filling!

For the pork filling, I combined minced pork (you can use ground pork, or ground whatever other meat you’d like – I wouldn’t suggest using ground beef though), chopped chives, minced ginger, minced garlic, soy sauce, black vinegar, chinese cooking wine, salt, white pepper powder, red pepper powder, and cornstarch in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.

2) Slice the lotus roots

2) Slice the lotus roots

To create the lotus root “patty buns,” you should begin slicing the lotus root, as if you were creating a thin slice. However, stop just as you feel that you are about to completely cut off a slice. Move to what would be the beginning point of you second slice and complete the slice. This way, you have two thin slices that are attached to each other at one end.

4) Flour, Cornstarch, Egg, Water

4) Flour, Cornstarch, Egg, Water

Create the batter for frying! Mix flour, cornstarch, an egg and water! You want a thick consistency for this. Think pancake batter!

3) Fill lotus roots with tasty pork!

3) Fill lotus roots with tasty pork!

This part is fun! Fill each patty with the pork filling! 🙂

5) Fry, Fry, Fry!

5) Fry, Fry, Fry!

Fry the patties! For a healthier version, you could probably stick these in the oven. Let cool on a rack/use a paper towel to blot away some of that oil. Bon Appetit!

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Today, I feel warm and happy… (Pork Ribs and Wintermelon Soup Recipe)

I went on a trip to the Asian grocery store this past weekend with friends. The store was selling winter melon and I instantly thought of a soup that I’ve always loved while growing up: Pork and Winter Melon Soup. It’s a very light and clear soup. We’re not relying on any spices here. Rather, we want mostly the flavor from the pork and pork bones. The winter melon is really good at soaking up the pork flavor. In the recipe I have below, I added some mushrooms in there. I didn’t have any ginger in my kitchen this time around, but I highly recommend that you throw some chunks or slices of ginger while you’re making the broth. 🙂
Winter melon – Also called white gourd and has a thick, white flesh that is slightly sweet when eaten. It is commonly eaten in the winter, hence the name (though it is HOT HOT HOT here). Can you believe that it can be stored for 12 months? Crazy, right?! In Chinese cuisine, the winter melon is most commonly found in stir fry or found in a soup with pork/pork bones. And that’s a quick summary if you’re not familiar with the winter melon 🙂
Pork and Winter Melon Soup
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Ingredients: 
Pork Ribs
Winter Melon
Shitake Mushrooms – dry
Green Onions – chopped
Ginger slices
Salt
White Pepper
Sesame oil (optional)
1. Set a pot of water of the stove top. Add the ginger slices and half of the green onions in the soup
2. Wait for water to boil, add in the pork ribs and turn stove to low heat
3. Let pork ribs simmer. Slightly cover (but not all the way) the pot
4. After about 20-25 minutes, scoop out the gunk/residue that settles at the top of the soup
5. Add the shitake mushrooms
6. Lastly, add in the winter melon cubes, salt, white pepper, and sesame oil
7. Turn the heat to medium and let the winter melon cubes cook until they’re semi soft. This should take only about 10 minutes or so
8. Scoop into a bowl and garnish with the rest of the green onions
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Enjoy~
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