There is hardly any other fragrance in the world which can smell so seductively sweet as ripe strawberries. At the moment we can get the succulent and sumptuous red cuties in their full maturity from our regional market. I could really guzzle a huge portion of it every day, without batting an eyelid. 😉 Continue reading
Do you like potato salad? Have you ever tried the German potato salad with vinegar? I really like this version of potato salad with its light and slightly sour taste. This potato salad is simply unbeatable for every barbecue party. 🙂
As the barbecue season is officially announced, today I have an Asian interpretation of the potato salad for you! At first I cooked the potatoes with lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves together. Thus, the potatoes can get a wonderful fruity note. Furthermore, fantastic sour lime juice, savory fish sauce, aromatic garlic and fiery Thai chili come into the dressing. Last, but not least, I round off the salad with whole cane sugar (which tastes wonderfully like caramel, but is much more healthier) and olive oil in real good quality.
I am ready for the next barbecue party! 😉
Spring means to me: the plump red and addictive sweet strawberries and the crunchy asparagus from the farms of the region. Why not bring these two fabulous seasonal beauties together on the plate?
I love asparagus and it doesn’t matter if it is the green or white one. Asparagus tastes best for me, when it is briefly stir fried in a wok. Thus, it remains nicely crunchy. The popular Hollandaise sauce is too fat and too heavy for my taste. I prefer asparagus with a light yet aromatic sauce.
For those who just start to follow my blog since recently: the recipe for strawberry balsamic sauce can be found in the recipe collection. This sauce is easy to make and tastes delicious with vegetables and salad. The most important role is played by the homemade strawberry vinegar. This great color! This alluring sweet scent! I just love this fantastic vinegar! 😀
500g white asparagus tips
3 tbsp strawberry balsamic sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
- Blanch the asparagus in the water briefly, then drain it.
- Wash and clean the strawberries, cut them in half.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the asparagus to it and fry for about 5 minutes . Mix the strawberries gently with the asparagus. Add salt and pepper.
- Arrange asparagus and strawberries on a plate. Finally, sprinkle the strawberry balsamic sauce on it. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spinach is a popular vegetable in Asia. It can be cooked in a clear soup or be sautéed in oil with garlic and chilies. Very often it is used as a popular ingredient for the filling of Chinese dumplings. However, it is not consumed raw. Also, it is not pureed and processed into an indefinable “mush” what I know here in Germany. 😉 Continue reading
Actually I developed this recipe already a few weeks ago when it was the high season for strawberries. Now it is almost the end of the season, so I thought, now it has to be published before you guys cannot find any strawberries on the market anymore. 🙂
This year we have a late summer in Germany. Until beginning of July we were looking forward to the sunshine and strawberry season for a long time. Normally the season starts already between April and May. We used to live in a small and beautiful town named Ladenburg that is very close to the famous castle city of Heidelberg. Continue reading
The Strawberry Vinegar Recipe is from a German Magazine named „HeimatKüche“ which focuses on local food in Germany. I used to try Raspberry vinegar with asparagus in a cooking course and I loved that sweet sour taste very much. As I saw this version made of strawberries, I knew immediately I would make a dip with this strawberry vinegar for my new creation:
Summer Roll Italiano.
Ingredients for the vinegar:
1 tbsp. black pepper corns
1-2 stems of basil
250ml white balsamico vinegar
Put all the ingredients in a glass bottle and leave it in the refrigerator for about 7-10 days. Then you are ready for preparing the Strawberry Vinegar Dip! Or just use the strawberry vinegar for salad.
For the strawberry vinegar dip:
2 tbsp. strawberry vinegar
1 tbsp. fish sauce (for vegetarian: use the bright soy sauce instead)
1 clove of garlic (pressed)
1 red Thai chili
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. water
Put all ingredients into a blender to mix well.
This wonderful mild sweet and sour taste and the great color! Yummy!!!
What? These Chinese! They do eat everything! Now it is the cute ants!
Yes, indeed. For this dish you take 5 ant fillets (best is from the loin, as it is most tender)…
Nope, just kidding! I am not really talking about cooking ants for this dish. 😉
Well, I have to admit that we Chinese do like to eat a lot of things, sometimes also things that are quite strange for western people. Have you ever heard this saying about Chinese: “Chinese eat everything which has four legs except tables and chairs, and everything which can fly except airplanes.”? You know, every time when my international friends ask me about this “terrible” side of Chinese culinary habits, my answer is: “Well, part of this saying is true, but there is one BIG misconception: Not all of the Chinese, but only the Cantonese do!” Yes, the poor Cantonese from southern China have to sacrifice themselves and carry this bad reputation for their fellow countrymen. However, it is quite fair, because they indeed do eat more “strange” or “crazy” stuff than people from other parts of China. Where I come from, in Sichuan province, we don’t really eat too crazy things. OK, I have to admit, we also eat chicken feet, but come on! What are chicken feet, compare to snakes and insects?
Anyway, I don’t eat ants! But what kind of dish is this then? There is a very famous dish from my hometown called “ants climbing up the trees” (螞蟻上樹), which consists of minced meat and plenty of glass noodles. Since the tiny pieces of fried minced meat look like small ants and the glass noodles like the tree branches, some Chinese with extraordinary imagination gave this dish this extravagant name. I like this kind of romantic way of giving names to dishes. But sometimes it is really very difficult to decode what the dish actually consists of. There are names from which you might still be able to guess the main ingredients of the dish, like “Spittle chicken” (yes, I know, this doesn’t really sound mouth watering and anyway who is going to order a chicken which comes with spittle?). Actually this dish’s name is said to come from the fact that everyone started drooling when he or she heard about this chicken dish. So, these kinds of names are easy-peasy to guess. Then, what about “Phoenix Paw”, “Rolling donkey” or “Red lion head”? Now you will probably get a bit confused, maybe also a little bit curious and want to know what hides behind these dishes’ mysterious names. OK, I promise, I will give you the answers at the end of this text. (No! Don’t scroll! Patience is a virtue!) 😉
At least now you can guess what kind of dish mine is! On the photos you can see the “huge” forest (a.k.a. lettuce leaf), some small meat pieces and some glass noodles. Doesn’t it look like small ants climbing up and down the tree branches and feeling lost in the giant forest? So I decided to give my dish the extravagant name: “Lost ants in the forest” (迷失森林的螞蟻)! You see, even fifteen years of living in Europe couldn’t help me to get rid of this “terrible” habit from my Chinese roots: giving nothing-saying-names to dishes. But, as I admitted, I love these kinds of funny names! You cannot guess what you are going to get to eat, but after having read the name once, you will never forget that dish!
Now back to my dish: “Lost ants in the forest”. As I already mentioned, my recipe was inspired by the famous Sichuan-dish “Ants climbing up the trees”. But instead of minced meat I took chicken chest filets and sliced them into mini cubs. To increase the taste I used some pickled vegetable. Since I prefer to serve this dish as a starter or as finger food, I decided to use a fresh lettuce leaf as a kind of wrap. The refreshing taste and crunchy bite of the lettuce leaf blends very well with the aromatic and spicy taste of the chicken. And the glass noodles balance these different tastes in the best way.
I am so happy to see my creation work out really very well! Wrap it and enjoy the “ants”!
Ingredients (6 Portions as a starter or finger food):
200g chicken breast filet
3 red and 3 green chillies
100g pickled vegetables (brown mustard, if you can find this in the Asia shop)
50g roasted peanuts (crushed)
10g grated ginger
10g pressed garlic
20g glass noodles
Some leaves of lettuce
For the marinade:
2g sea salt
10g cooking wine
2g soy sauce
10g sesame oil
25g potato starch
50g vegetable oil (e.g. canola)
- Soak glass noodles in hot water for 10 minutes. Then rinse with cold water and let drain on a sieve.
- Cut Chicken breast fillets into tiny cubes. Mix all ingredients for the marinade, add the chicken cubes, mix well and chill in the refrigerator.
- Wash and chop the chillies into small rings.
- Pour oil into the pan and heat on medium flame. Pour the marinated chicken into the pan, stir constantly. Take the chicken out of the pan and place on a paper towel. Fry ginger and garlic with the remaining oil for a short time.
- Then add the pickled vegetables with the chillies to the pan and fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken and keep stirring until it’s getting almost dry.
- Add sugar and sesame oil.
- Put some short cut glass noodles on each lettuce leaf, put the chicken mixture on top and garnish with crushed peanuts.
- Enjoy the ants! 😉
Oh yes, the answers for those crazy Chinese dish names!
Phoenix paw = chicken feet
Rolling donkey = glutinous rice rolls stuffed with red bean paste (the rice rolls are covered with roasted brown bean powder, which reminds some people of donkeys playing and rolling around on the dirty ground, getting covered in brown dust)
Red lion head = Braised meat ball in red-brown sauce (don’t ask me why lion head, not tiger head. I can only guess this might come from the lion dance during a Chinese traditional festival. The meatball supposedly looks like a mask of a lion head used for this festival).