Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Pork Belly, Tofu, and Eggs)

Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Pork Belly, Tofu, and Eggs) 1

After making Vegetarian Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Tofu and Eggs), it was obvious that I needed to make a proper version with pork belly. Oh did I like this version so much better! The unctuousness of the pork belly was absorbed by the tofu and perfectly complimented the bitter melon.

I cheated and simply added sliced pork belly to my vegetarian goya champuru leftovers, but I think my method of pan-frying the meat first to get a slight char also made it more flavorful. Feel free to substitute bacon for the pork belly if you wish.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Singaporean Chilli Crabs

Singaporean Chilli Crabs 1

I already had my menu set to make Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt and Vegetarian Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Tofu and Eggs) before my dad left town. But, when I went to the grocery store and saw crab on sale for $4.99 a pound, I had to include the addition of Singaporean Chilli Crabs.

In preparation for my trip later this year, I bookmarked a bunch of Singaporean dishes to try including the famous chilli crab. A chili pepper, tomato, brown sugar, shrimp paste, eggy sauce? Sounds right up my alley. I had two fist-sized hybrid red jalapenos that I had frozen from my tour of the Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Sriracha factory that I was saving for a special dish. This was it! Red jalapenos aren't really spicy for me, so added with the other ingredients and the butter from two crabs and the overall dish should just have a nice kick.

While I did save the shell for photos, if you're making it at home, I'd omit and save the sauce for the pieces of crab you'll actually eat. My brother and his wife and I savored each claw and leg. I fried up some Banh Phong Tom (Vietnamese Shrimp Chips), which were perfect for scooping up the extra sauce. But, steamed rolls, rice, or even Mi Xao Toi Bo (Vietnamese Noodles with Garlic Butter) Maggi Seasoning Sauce would go great with this dish as well.

Will the Singaporean Chilli Crab I eat in Singapore this summer taste as good? I kinda doubt it? If you've eaten the real thing and make my version, you'll have to let me know which comes out the winner!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 1

With how frequently I've dined at Hong Kong cafes through the years, and how often I order Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt (*Hint. Almost every time.), I don't know why it took me so long to get around to making them at home. If you like my Chinese Deep-Fried Pork Chops with Spicy Salt recipe, this is even easier.

I simply salted the wings, then lightly coated them in just enough flour so they'll be crispy when fried, and like the pork chops, tossed them with a mixture of sliced chili peppers, scallions, garlic, and Chinese 5-spice powder. The first time I made the wings, I didn't have the fresh aromatics on hand and used dried chili peppers. They were still good, but I wanted them look like in the Hong Kong cafes for the photos.

The second time I made them, my dad was in town and heading out the door to go to my youngest uncle's house. He said they looked so appetizing that he couldn't resist and sat down to eat several wings. Then he mentioned later that evening to my uncles that I made really delicious wings. Which, if you know how picky my dad is about food, is high praise indeed. I saved a few wings for lil' sis, who couldn't stop complimenting them while they were reheating in the toaster oven, while she was eating them, and again afterward.

Considering my dad is notoriously critical, I figured I'd make the wings again for him a few months ago before he returned to Oregon. For non-spicy eaters, you can omit the chile peppers if you wish, like I did for the niece and nephew. The just-a-touch of Chinese 5-spice powder sprinkled at the end is what elevates these chicken wings up a notch.