Saturday, June 26, 2010

Arrowroot with Cranberry Beans Soup 粉葛珍珠豆汤

One of the 'vegetables' that you might not be able to get from the supermarket is Fresh Arrowroot. This plant is also called Kudzu or Kuzu and 葛根 in Chinese. We commonly call it 粉葛 as it has a powdery feel when you cut it. Hence, the '粉', which means powder.  I was told that Arrowroot is good in dispersing Liver Heat 肝火.

A warning before you decide to try this. Arrowroot is very hard and you need a sharp knife, preferably a big one or a cleaver, to skin and chop it and not to mention some might. I remembered when I first bought it a couple of years ago, I ended up throwing it in the bin. :D I only had a small knife then and I just didn't have the strength to cut it. :P

But now I have the luxury of getting the seller to do it for me. ;) My bet is, they might just be the only one who would do it for their customers.

My mother in law used to cook it with lotus root 莲藕 but the kids preferred it with cranberry beans 珍珠豆. Both taste as good though.

  • 350g Arrowroot 粉葛, skinned and cut into pieces
  • 250g Pork Ribs
  • 200g Cranberry Beans 珍珠豆
  • 8 Seedless Red Dates 红枣
  • 1 piece Dried Octopus
  • a handful Wolfberries 枸杞子
  • 1.8 litre Water
  • Salt to taste

How to do it:
  1. Blanch ribs.
  2. Put all ingredients excluding salt and wolfberries in a pot of water.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce a simmer.
  4. Remove any scum that surface.
  5. Simmer for 4-5 hours.
  6. Add wolfberries an hour before end of simmering.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Serve.

Arrowroot 粉葛

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweet and Sour Squid 酸甜鱿鱼卷

This is a very simple dish.  To me, this dish is like an appetizer as it stimulate my appetite. The flavour intensity of this dish can adjusted according to your taste. Like it more sour, add more vinegar.  Likewise, add more sugar if you prefer it sweeter, etc. Here's my guide to this dish.

  • 3 Squid
  • 2 slice Ginger
  • 1 Fresh Chilli, seeded
  • 2 Spring Onion, white part only & reserve the green part for other use
  • 2 Shallot
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider or White Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cooking Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

How to do it:
  1. Clean and cut squid into pieces.
  2. Boil a pot of water.
  3. Add in ginger, spring onion, Chinese cooking wine and salt.
  4. Blanch squid pieces till they starts to curl and cooked.
  5. Drain and set aside. Reserve the liquid.
  6. Meanwhile, grind chilli, shallot, garlic together.
  7. Heat oil and saute the paste till fragrant but not brown.
  8. Add in sugar, apple cider, light soy sauce and 2 tablespoon of liquid from blanching the squid.
  9. Bring to a boil.
  10. Add in the squid pieces and mix well with sauce.
  11. Dish and drizzle on some sesame seed oil.
  12. Serve.