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 made wontons with my grandma.

Wontons are a delicious staple of Chinese cuisine! My grandma used to cook a lot, but isn’t physically able to manage much in the kitchen nowadays. Folding wonton is something she can still do one-handed, though!

The ones we made today had a minced pork filling with water chestnut for an added crunch.

Here are highly schematized depictions of how we folded them. I was happy to get my Pau Pau’s thumbs-up approval for my work.

Today, I bring you two new recipes!

Monday Night. I was quite the ravenous one. I decided to make two of my favorite dishes, molding my own recipe from tastes in China, in restaurants here in the States, and from the delicious/savory meals cooked by my father. I mentioned Chinatown Express in DC and their famous duck noodle soup in a post (read it here) back in the end of May. When my parents came to visit, they bought some smoked pork (or was it roast pork?) + duck for me. I ate some at the time and froze the rest. Last night, I figured I should go ahead and use those items. Cook two meals at once 🙂  Note that the two dishes call for overlapping ingredients 🙂

Duck Noodle Soup (Serving size: 1)

  • Freshly Pulled Noodles. I bought mine from the Asian supermarket. You could use any sort of noodle you want: udon, sphaghetti (though I would stay away from this one), angel hair, vermicelli, glass noodles, ramen noodles. Anything!
  • 4-5 pieces of duck breast/leg – already cooked/chopped
  • 1 stalk bok choy peeled & washed
  • ~ 1 tbsp chopped green onions (or scallions)
  • ~1 tbsp of ginger slices
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • ~2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of black vinegar
  • a pinch of white pepper
  • a pinch of salt
  • oil (see below)

Spicy Pork & Tomato Noodles (serving size: 1)

  • Sphaghetti – Again, any sort of noodles will work. I usually use freshly pulled noodles or soba noodles. But this time, I had leftover sphaghetti in my fridge
  • Chinese Roast Pork Belly (store-bought, already cooked) – cut into slices , about 1/4 cup
  • 1 stalk bok choy peeled & washed
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup of cherry tomato  halves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onions (scallions)
  • 1 tbsp of ginger slices
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 3 tsp of “Lao Gan Ma” Chili in Oil
  • 2 tbsp oil (any kind)
  • 2 tbsp kimchi (optional)

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Spicy Pork & Tomato Noodles

  1. Boil the spaghetti (add some salt for taste), rinse with cold water, and drain. Place in serving bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the roast pork on a baking pan/sheet in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. While the pork is baking, bring a pot of water to a boil and dunk the bok choy in the water for about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pot and place in your serving bowl on top of the spaghetti/noodles.
  4. Remove pork from over and cut into small slices or chunks.
  5. In a frying/sautee pan on high heat, add crushed red pepper and ginger and sautee until you see the pepper become absorbed into the oil
  6. Add the pork and sautee for about 3-4 minutes
  7. Now add the cherry tomatoes and kimchi if you would like a kick and sautee for 1 minute
  8. Crack an egg directly into the pan (or you can beat the egg first if you prefer) and mix/scramble that into the pork mixture.
  9. Mix in the soy sauce, black vinegar, and sesame oil.
  10. Place pork & tomato mixture on top of the spaghetti/bok choy and garnish with the green onions/scallions.

photo 2 (6) photo 1 (9)

photo 3 (5)

Prettay Egg.

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Packed away for lunch 🙂

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Duck Noodle Soup

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the duck on a baking pan/sheet in the oven for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove duck and set aside.
  3. Take the oil drippings and place in pan and sautee with ginger on high heat.
  4. Add in chicken broth/chicken stock.
  5. Add in the noodles and cook for a few minutes (Depending on which type of noodles you chose)
  6. Add in the bok choy and cook for 1 more minute and remove pan from heat.
  7. Add in the duck and serve in bowl, garnish with green onions/scallions
photo 3 (6)

Duck Noodle Soup 🙂

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Today, I am thinking of food…

or really when do I not? I accidentally subscribed to two additional magazines. It was an honest mistake, I promise! They have all these promotions everywhere. So I guess I’ll be all up in fashion, women’s health, beauty, love, etc…. ELLE, Glamour, Cosmo, Marie Claire. Wow. Oh well, all together… the 2 2-years and 2 1-year subscriptions cost me about a one time trip to Chipotle. So no big deal 🙂

Anyways, I’m thinking about food, past and future… so here it goes:

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Chives, Tofu and Pork stir fry-esque dish. Sichuan cuisine but really any cuisine.  I love Sichuan cuisine. It’s the closest I can get to Yunnan cuisine in the US. I used flowering chives, but you can choose the unflowered ones. Usually you want some sort of cooking rice wine + starch with your pork… but I just marinaded my pork in soy sauce and sugar and some spicy sauce. I know, not really descriptive here, but I haven’t really been one for written recipes anyways. Doesn’t work well and limits your creative abilities. 🙂 But at some point, when I get time, I’ll include my own recipes. I suppose. And Spiced Small Dry Tofu purchased at a local asian grocery store is good. Ta-da! Your meal is ready! Enjoy with some fluffy jasmine rice!

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The other day, I decided to experiment with bibimbap, with left over veggies and beef I had in my fridge. The sauce was made from red pepper paste (gochujang) + sesame oil + water + sugar (or you can use honey).

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Last night, I made my favorite beef noodle soup 🙂 So good. At some bok choy and green onions (or scallions) + ginger + garlic + spicy sauce … such a nice dish to have on a cold wintery evening.

What to look forward to next time:
and a secret new adventure in DC!