This is a very long-delayed post for Helen, as I have promised her (on FB) to share some simple – simple Chinese recipes months ago. Really sorry Helen.
Well… but I have been thinking, the initial idea of having this blog was for sharing some really simple but authentic Chinese recipes. As all the recipes come along, I began to be a bit worried how about if the recipes were too simple, not ‘fancy’ at all, so I started making ‘not very simple’ recipes — Don’t know what happened, probably too much ‘thinking’ is not really a good thing. Ha ha…
Most of the Chinese everyday dishes are very simple, can be quickly made. In fact, I didn’t really realize that until one day, an English friend of mine said that he grew up with lots of Chinese stir-fried food — you can just imagine my surprise. He then explained that his mom was very busy when they were little, but she also wanted them to have healthy food, so she often quickly stir fried vegetables or with meat for them — as stir-frying is a quick and simple way to do. So, there you go, there is a definitely simple way of cooking Chinese. :)
Anyway, what I really want to talk about in this post is the basic simple ways of cooking Chinese food, the rest is all your creation. Firstly, you normally need to get the wok heated and dried. Then add in oil, and when the oil is hot, (but not super super hot,) add in what you are going to cook, then the basic seasonings, including the salt, sometimes, at the very end, you might need to drizzle some other seasonings, for example, sesame oil.
Of course, this is the very basic rule, it is useful if you are making simple dishes, stir fired eggs, for example. Other common ways of adding flavor to the dish are to add garlic, ginger or spring onion, or Sichuan pepper powder etc. to heated oil, before putting main ingredients in. Ok, adding salt is a very basic way, you can also add in soy sauce, sugar or other ingredients to enhance the flavor.
I do believe this simple way of cooking, and the rest leaves for your ‘creations’, for example, how to combine different vegetables or meat, how to have different textures… Then you can see those slightly ‘complicated’ way of cooking.
Here I share some simple recipes, at least, I think they are the basic and simplest ones, and watch this space, I will keep on adding on more.
You might have read my post for this recipe already. It is the very first dish I ever learned to cook, probably because of this reason, I always think it is the simplest one: Heat up the wok, put 2-3 table spoons of oil, when oil is hot, add in whisked eggs, stirring while the eggs are still in liquid form, so you can get smaller pieces of eggs, otherwise, you can get an omelet. There you can add in tomato (or any other vegetables or meat you want to cook it with), when tomato is softening, add in salt, probably a bit soy sauce, vinegar, sugar. Done!
Ok, it does sound simple, the trick is when you just stir fry eggs by themselves, you can add salt in the eggs while whisking them; also you can also remove the eggs from the wok once it is stir fried, then cook the other ingredients, for example, add a bit oil, stir fry tomato separately. Then put the eggs back into the wok to stir fry them together, and add salt and other ingredients afterwards.
The common northern style stir fried egg dishes are stir-fry eggs with tomato, eggs with green pepper, eggs with cucumber, eggs with garlic shoots, eggs with chives, eggs with beef slices, eggs with onions, eggs with black fungus, eggs with scrimps, eggs with spinach…
Oh, another thing, in general, in the plate, the eggs and tomato are small pieces after stir frying. However, in many occasion, especially when you are treating guests, for example, eggs with chives, it can be made into a spanish style omelet ..ish form. So when the first time I saw my husband made Spanish spinach omelet, I was very surprised.
Anyway, if you like, I can put all the details of these dishes here.
To me, it is the second simplest dish ever. Well, again, probably because it was the first dish I ever made for the whole family. It is so simple that you don’t have to do much apart from ‘shredding’ the potato. The simple way of cooking definitely can be applied here. A little trick to enhance the taste — to add a small pinch of grounded SIchuan pepper, and a few drops of (rice) vinegar. The potato does not have to be super soft or ‘mashy’, it can be crunchy and juicy, all depend on your preference…
(To be continued)