A [Chinese] Recipe for Crawfish

Crawfish!! I found them in store and bought them for dinner. I have never cooked crawfish before. These ones I got was already precooked. But I am sure my following recipe would work with raw and fresh ones. It will just take longer to cook.

Ingredients:
Crawfish- 1.5 lb
Garlic- 4-5 cloves
Ginger- 3-4 slices
Green onions- 3 full bunches
Oyster sauce- 4-6 spoons
Soy sauce- 2-3 spoons
Pinch of salt and sugar
Water

And, a medium-sized pan!

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1. Cut each garlic clove into halves, slice gingers, and cut green onions into 2 to 2 1/2 inch pieces. Then sauté all of them with pinch of salt and sugar with oil;

2. Once garlic, green onions and ginger get brown, add the crawfish in the pan until they defrost and heat up;

3. Pour oyster sauce and soy sauce on top of the crawfish; Stir well; (Optional: if you do like spicy food, you can add in jalapeños or red chili pepper, or even sprinkle some black pepper. )

4. Add in water that slightly covers the crawfish; Still use high heat until it boils and steams;

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5. As it boils, turn down to medium and let it cook and absorb the sauce for 20-30 minutes;
It’d be awesome if you could cover it with a lid!

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Lastly, prepare some paper towels and enjoy!

You can also top it with white sesame to serve.

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This recipe is also good with shrimp and crabs! Give it a try, and you will like it! 

Three Easy and Healthy Recipes

School has started for many of you. I remember the nights I stayed in library writing paper and finally had to leave because I was hungry and couldn’t focus any more. Yes, I did stop by Jimmy John’s and Subway from time to time. Not gonna lie to you. But eating late at night isn’t healthy actually. If you choose to eat at late night, eat healthy. You will need your functional body to get through your semester.

Or if you are in the workforce like myself, you should try to stay healthy because you can’t afford to call in sick, and you know this is true to death. So, I offer you these midnight snacks that are healthy and easy to make. They are also inexpensive. Not only are they good snacks, but also good appetizers. Give it a try.

Don’t eat too much before bed though. I know they are very yummy to refuse.

1. Noodles & Ramens

Basic Ingredient: Noodles/Ramen/Udon, and Your favorite sauce

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How can you not have noodles in your cabinet?

I am very sensitive to MSG (Though MSG enhances the flavors, I think natural flavors are the best); therefore, I almost never use the flavor pack. I usually boil noodles or ramen by itself and make my own sauce.

WAIT, don’t skip to next recipe yet. Making your own sauce is so easy. You must have those bottles of sauces in your cabinet that you use one at a time. This is the time you can be creative.

My favorite is sesame oil and soy sauce. If you like garlic, put some mixed garlic. The ratio should be something like 1:2:1 or 1:3:2 (Sesame oil: Soy Sauce:Garlic).

You can also substitute sesame oil with regular cooking oil, vegetable oil or olive oil. And microwave the mix sauce for 10 sec. Then just mix in with your noodles or ramen.

My recent favor sauce is dark vinegar, soy sauce and Korean chili paste. Chillies paste or hot sauce is totally optional. Then I topped my noodles with green onion, garlic, and Chinese picked stem (榨菜 Zhà Cài).

At last, if you don’t like to be creative in sauces or have a sensitive tummy, go for what you know you would definitely like.

Online Noodle Shop:
Yamibuy | This link will take you to the heaven of Asian ramen. So many different kinds to try.
Organic Ramen | In the picture, I actually use something similar to this.
Amazon | And, you always have Amazon to check out ramen!

2. Fried Rice Pancake

Basic Ingredient: Rice, eggs, and oil | Add-ons: anything you like!

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Rice and turkey sausage pancake

In every Asian household, rice cooker is a necessity. My rice cooker is awesome! If you eat rice a lot, definitely get one. Rice is very cheap. Fresh cooked rice is much better than pre-packed rice sold in grocery stores. Also, rice cookers have non-stick surface and are easy to clean, much better than cooking rice out of your pan. So true.

So you need to make rice, of course. I put in turkey sausage. But if you like veggies, you can put in veggies as well. Sauté your favorite ingredients, such as onions, mushroom,beans, etc.

Then use a big bowl to whisk eggs with a pinch of salt. Then add in rice and sautéed ingredients. At this time, your rice shall be saturated with the eggs. Add oil to your pan, and pour in the mix. You will hear sizzling.

Once the bottom is brown, you can flip it. Also, you don’t have to be a chef, trying to flip the whole thing at one time. You can cut it to bite size with your spoon. That’d what I do and is super easy, and it makes me so proud of myself.

Of course, always welcome to eat it with your favorite sauce. Sriracha is awesome with this.

*This, I cooked 1 cup of rice and used 2 eggs.

Rice on Amazon | I eat about a cup of rice for one meal. When I eat rice nearly everyday, a 15lb bag of rice lasts more than a month for myself. They go as low as $8.99 at H-Mart.
Rice cookers | You can go fancy with the $140 rice cooker, or basic with a $13 one. They do the same job, except fancy ones can steam or make soup, etc.

3. Apple chips!

Basic Ingredient: Apple slices | Supply: Parchment paper (for I didn’t have any baking sheets) and an oven 

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Apple chips. Don’t need to buy them in stores any more! Bake your own. Healthier and cheaper.

I love dried fruits and fruit chips. I had a few old apples before and wasn’t sure if they were still good. So I baked them. And they turned out AWESOME. You sliced them. The thinner you slice them, the more quickly they will bake and crispier.

Bake them at a low temperate, 270F. They get burnt easily at a high temperature. This was the temperature I baked them at for almost two hours. I took them out and they were still a little soft. So I let them air dried. Guess what, they became crispy! Well, Illinois is pretty dried in the winter with the heat and wind. If you are in a humid state, definitely bake them longer before they get burned.

Some recipes online you can dip them in a sugar syrup. But I tried it without; they are good too. So you don’t have to. I just prefer less sugar.

While you bake them, enjoy your TV show, a book, or get your homework done! You can even pack them with you the next day. How awesome is that!

Treat your tummy nicely and feed it some good healthy food. I hope you like my recipes.

Some thoughts of eating alone

 

This post is inspired by eating alone. It’s not pathetic. And please keep reading.

I like food and enjoy finding local food everywhere I go. For me, food is more than food. It’s an cultural experience obtained through tasting.

I like all kinds of food, sushi, burger, pho noodles, cheese and on and on and on.

Right now i am sitting in this Bangkok Place Thai restaurant in Elkhart, Indiana, and having a seafood Tom yum soup. The mushrooms are fresh. The sourness blends into the mild spiciness. The tomato isn’t mushy. And the shrimp isn’t rubbery.

Then I ordered this chicken and vegetables fried noodles. The rice noodles are fried with carrots, broccoli, snow peas, bean sprouts and mushrooms. Overall, it’s pretty good. Not too salty or sweet; yet, ingredients are pretty fresh.

From time to time, I like to eat alone and enjoy my food, like now. Not that I can’t eat and enjoy food properly usually; it’s just I’m busy on weekdays with school and weekends with work. Oh well, and still wonder where life is taking me to. I really think one should always sit down alone and think nothing. My brain usually rests when I eat. So I guess when I say I would like to enjoy my food, I am spending some time meditating over food and life.

Click for Tom Yum Soup Recipe.

 

Six-week vacation, briefly

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My six-week vacation in China was fun. The fun includes hanging out with family members and friends and having some good food at home. Home makes everything so much better. I really like it; especially I don’t get to go home in China often. My home is on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

I am not a fish person. But I love salmon. I know, I know, it’s such a contradiction. I like salmon because it doesn’t have that bloody fishy taste. I got the impression from my mom’s way of steaming the fish with ginger, green onion, oil and soy sauce. I never like it that way. So I never eat fish at home. Fish is a common dish in China. People LOVE fish. It’s a must-have item on a dinner table in an eat-out occasion.

I usually say, “I don’t usually eat fish.”
Then my friends would ask, “so when do you eat fish?”
“I eat fish when they don’t taste fishy,” I say.

I also went to Shanghai for a weekend. It was a rush trip. I stayed with my friend on the first night and with my aunt the next day before I returned home. I was in Shanghai for 3 days and 2 nights. It takes about 20 hours to get to Shanghai from Guangzhou by train. It was a five-day trip actually. And, I was all by myself.

During my stay in Shanghai, I told my friends and aunt, “please take me to eat.” I wanted to try different food. Different kinds of dumplings, buns, chicken, soup, bread and noodles. They were so delicious. I wish I could blog. But WordPress is banned in China. So blame the Internet censorship.

This semester, I have my own apartment for myself. I love it so far. I can fart as loud as I can. There’s no need to close the bathroom door. I can throw everything everywhere literally. And I will, of course, enjoy cleaning up later. I like cleaning my apartment.

The windy fall is here. The wind caught me, and I am having a cold, fever, and soar throat.
But I really wanted to updated this blog. So it’s still a brief one.

A quick update

I took my friend to Chicago on the labor day weekend. Of course, I took him to Giordano’s for deep dish pizza. I love the cheesy pizza. Yum

Yup, this will be a quick update, after almost a 3-month disappearance on my own blog.

I had a busy summer before I returned home, China, on July 10. I stayed for six weeks, rested, and did absolutely nothing for six weeks besides having fun with my family and friends. It’s always good to see them again.

Then I came back for school, my last year of college.

Then my friend came visit and stayed for two weeks, which was also the first two weeks of school.

Then I have to catch up with the first two weeks in the third week of school.

Now the third week had gone, and the fourth week starts tomorrow. Dang it, I am not ready yet.

 

But I will blog about the food I had in Chicago. They were all awesome food.

 

To be continued…

My love story with Kimchi

The spicy green onion Kimchi

Kimchi is a very Korean traditional side dish. Once I was told, Koreans bring Kimchi with them on trips. They must love Kimchi so much! Well, you can see I was the one who thought they were crazy for doing so. But now I am almost as crazy as them: I fell in love with Kimchi.

I started working in a Korean restaurant last October. And that was when I fell in love with Kimchi.

The funny part of our love story was that I didn’t like spicy food. Excessive spicy food actually makes me sick from coughing and asore throat. Cough and I don’t get along. The coughing viral stays in my body for at least two weeks before it gets better. Therefore, I try to avoid spicy food.

Kimchi is a must-have item on the dinner table. When Kimchi’s missing, something’s wrong. IT’S NOT NORMAL.

There are so many kinds of Kimchi, cabbage Kimchi, green onion Kimchi, radish kimchi, oyster kimchi, etc. Some of them are very spicy, like green onion Kimchi. Its own spice will add to the chile powder that will make the kimchi extra spicy. But it’s so good with rice. Rice is a little chewy compared to the crispy Kimchi. This combination is heavenly delicious.

I indeed prefer cabbage Kimchi more. It’s equally sour and spicy. Yet, the sourness also balances the spiciness from chile powder and garlic. Cabbage Kimchi goes with pork and tofu. Today I had cabbage Kimchi with garlic chicken soup. The soup was just of boiling water and chicken with garlic. It’s a very natural and rich soup. Chicken is slightly tasteless. I mean, all the chicken’s taste has gone to the soup. Chicken is good with Kimchi or a mix of pepper and salt. Very good.

Summer has come, and I don’t work in the Korean restaurant any more. I just miss Kimchi so much. I sometimes go there and just order Kimchi soup, which has

Sour and spicy cabbage Kimchi

plenty of kimchi and some pork. Kimchi, kimchi, how am I gonna live without you when I return home next month? So I am wondering if I could pack some Kimchi with me.

Yes, I love Kimchi this much that I’ve eaten too much and my body has learned to accept it.

My love for Kimchi has grown so much in the past months, more than I like any body in the past months. Kimchi, my soulmate. Do I seem a little psycho right now? 

Actually, not everybody likes Kimchi. Some may find it hard to accept the sour and spiciness. Some think it just tastes weird like expired can pickled cabbage. Well, Kimchi is pickled. But the ingredients of the pickled sauce keep the cabbage or green onion still fresh and crispy. You could also add in raw oyster.

Like it or not, at least give it a try. Then you will have no regrets, whether it’s a decision of food or life adventure. Falling in love with Kimchi may have become one of my most wonderful life adventure.

Afternoon escape

This Vanilla Bean Raspberry Cake is from Pekara Bakery in downtown Champaign.

At times, I totally want to run away. It’s the most romantic adventure that I’ve long longed to experience. At least once in my life I hope to run away from the present tense for a while without consequences.

Fine. I can’t run away, as the matter of fact. But I walk away. I just do sometimes.

I just realized I’ve been moving every two years before. Due to a one-year postpone of graduation, it will be a third year, minimum, before I move out of this cornfield. Two years ago, I graduated from Olney Central College in summer and transferred to University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. EVERYWHERE IS FLAT. So when I saw mountains, I get so excited as if I’ve never seen one in my life. Very ridiculous.

The two years in Olney was one of the best time in my life. I had my close friends as my neighbors. When I was sentimental, I just went to next door and talked to them. Sometimes we would chill, have couple of beer and get goofy. It was good time. Then we talked about whatever popped up in our minds.

More often, I complained that I don’t have friends. But I do enjoy sometimes. When my roommate irritates me, unintended, I go out. In other words, I walk away. A change of environment a people just makes my day better. I could be very mean when someone pulls the trigger. I know this. So sometimes I rather leave the whole messy situation than staying and letting my insanity rule.

Somehow, this just sounds like I am Hulk. Well, there’s a Hulk living inside of my heart. I try not to free this destructive figure out of the inner me. I control it.

Food calms me down actually. Good food puts me to sleep and gives me a break from irritations.

Multiple things have been gone since I’ve moved in this apartment. They just disappear. How can I not be upset or depressed? My things are GONE, for no reason. Oh well, should I just let Hulk come out and deal with it? I should have let Hulk take care of this.

Today’s cake calms me down a little. Pekara Bakery in downtown Champaign has become one of the places I escape to. I escape from my apartment to here and write my research paper. I came here to chill after internship in the children’s museum.

It’s all good, HULK.
I am doing just okay.