A friend of mine recently made a major discovery. She found a restaurant that serves a very spicy Szechuan chilli chicken. She loved it so much it was all she talked about for weeks and insisted that I go and try it out myself. So we made the two hour trip (yes, you read that right) to Zurich to have this chicken dish. After all, there is no distance too great for good food, am I right?
Usually when we think Szechuan dishes, we think Ma La; which is that numbing spiciness typical of Szechuan dishes and it’s Szechuan peppercorns that give it this flavour. Most Szechuan dishes you find in Europe are barely spicy, let alone numbingly so. So it was very satisfying to finally have a Szechuan dish in Switzerland that actually had the Ma La factor. Continue reading Going Numb – Szechuan Chilli Chicken 干锅鸡丁
It’s been more than 10 days since my last post. Yikes! I really don’t have any excuses. Sorry. I shall hang my head in shame now.
I have been cooking though! I just haven’t been taking any pictures because the weather has been so grey and depressing. That translates to poor light so I didn’t even bother to take any pictures. The skies finally cleared yesterday and I could take a couple of semi-decent pictures of this drool-worthy dish.
As you may or may not know, my parents came to visit a couple of weeks ago and I took them to one of the more authentic Chinese restaurants I know in Bern. It was there that I tried Ko Shui Ji (口水鸡 ) for the first time. And boy, was I glad I tried it. Hand on my heart, it’s the ONLY way I eat boiled chicken anymore (I’m sure it’s just a phase). My mum could not contain her amusement while she watched me devour the dish. Continue reading Let the drool flow – Ko Shui Ji 口水鸡
So if you’ve read my last post, you might have noticed a small plate of Kimchi lurking in the corner. To be precise, it was a plate of Mat Kimchi, which really just means that it was pre-sliced. I’ve always only needed sliced kimchi so this is just common sense (I told you I’d find all the shortcuts). It’s also a lot less work to make them pre-sliced, in my opinion anyway.
If you don’t already know what kimchi is, it’s korean brined cabbage. Whenever someone here asks me, I say it’s korean pickles for ease of explanation. Anyhoooo, it’s most commonly made with Napa cabbage and radishes but you can make it with a number of different vegetables. In fact, they do. You can find cucumber kimchi, bean sprouts kimchi, carrot kimchi, radish kimchi and the list goes on. It’s said that there are 187 varieties of Kimchi……that’s a lot of Kimchi. You can’t blame them though, it is such a versatile dish. Not only can you eat it on its own, but it lends itself to so many other mouth-watering dishes. Kimchi Bokkeumbap, Kimchi Jigae and Kimchi stir-fried pork just to name a few. Continue reading Easy Mat Kimchi
No, I wasn’t the one who couldn’t sleep. My son kept me up the whole of last night. Literally. I wasn’t allowed to put him down in his cot. We ended up with him “sleeping” on me in my bed. And by “sleeping”, I really meant climbing around on me until he found a comfortable position to lay his head for a half hour or so before shifting again to find a different position. I don’t know what was wrong with him. If he was old enough, I’d probably just make him count sheep.
I usually don’t sleep much. Most days I function on 4 – 6 hours of sleep. I’ve even had days when I’ve only had an hour of sleep. But that was my choosing and I actually did get some sleep, even if it was only an hour. Last night however, I got no sleep and it was most definitely NOT my choosing. I don’t know how he is still functioning because I am absolutely knackered.
Since we’re on the topic of counting sheep, I’m going to stretch it a little and use that to lead into today’s dish. Hakka Abacus Seeds. You know, because we use abacuses to count (Yes, that’s a word. I checked). I know I’m lame. Continue reading On counting sheep – Hakka Abacus Seeds 算盘子 (Chinese Yam Gnocchi)
Picture this. You’re out to dinner with a couple of friends and you decide to go for a nice Asian meal. You’re placing your orders and then you hear a friend say, “Could you make that extra spicy, please? Thanks”. You start to roll your eyes, only to catch the waiter rolling his. Sound familiar? Everyone has a friend like that. That friend ( usually asian ) whose tongue just can’t be beat by the Scoville scale. There is NO dish too hot or spicy for them. Or at least, that is what they want you to think.
I used to be that friend. When I first moved to Switzerland, nothing was spicy enough and everyone was challenging me. How hot could I go? And to be honest, that challenge wasn’t hard to beat here in the land of Chocolates. My dad is from Indonesia, so I grew up eating spicy food. I had a distinct advantage. You should see the way my family eat chilli. They don’t pair chilli with their food. Hell no! They pair food with their chilli! I’m the weak one of the bunch. Continue reading How hot can you go? – Ayam Rica Rica (Indonesian Chilli Chicken)