Category Archives: Ethnic

Chinese Fried Red Chili Sauce

I visit the Asian markets probably about twice a month. I often pick up green papaya for making som tam, maybe some dumplings, or siapao, and a couple of condiments. One of my favorite condiments is this Chinese fried red chili sauce. It’s basically a lot of red chili flakes, garlic, ginger, and fermented black beans that is slow cooked in a bunch of oil. It’s flipping amazing. I put it on everything, and I mean everything. It’s almost as addicting as Sriracha, but more mellow. It stores great as well which makes it even better. As I ran out, my buddy sent me a recipe that I tweaked ever so slightly, and it was just as good, if not better.

Chinese Red Chili Sauce

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of Chinese black fermented beans
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated into a paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated into a paste
  • 1 cup red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 cups peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp salt

Start by adding the fermented black beans, and any remaining garlic ends into a food processor. Pulse until it is nice and fine.

How to make Chinese Fried Red Chili Sauce

Add the oil to a saucepan on medium-low heat. Add in the ginger, garlic, and fermented beans, along with the red chili flakes. Give a good stir, and cook for about 30 minutes, making sure the oil mixture stays at about 225 degrees. Once cooked at that temperature for 25 minutes, remove from the heat and let cool.

Once cooled, stored in a sealed tight container.

Chinese Fried Red Chili Sauce

Again, the sauce is awesome. It is perfect in every way. It’s not to spicy which is why it goes great with pretty much everything. I put it on my eggs in the morning, kebabs, rice, pasta, and well, you get the idea. Give this one a shot, I’m certain you will love it as much as I do.

Son-in-Law Eggs

I’ve told you before, but I will mention it again, I am a big fan of hard boiled eggs. They are so simple to make and provide a quick energy boost when you have a busy schedule. I have been hooked on the 8 minute eggs, but then again I am always thinking of other creative ideas such as these Son-in-Law eggs. If you have never heard of Son-in-Law eggs, don’t worry, that’s why I am here to tell you about them, and after you make them, you can thank me. Trust me, these are wickedly awesome.

I’m not too sure of the naming of this recipe, but it probably has something to do with having a man’s mother-in-law inflict a bit of fear into the man, that if you do not treat her daughter with respect and love, well, she will indeed inflect some fear into you and well, you probably get the point. But there is something beyond this, and something so amazing about the combination of flavor and texture that really makes this dish shine.

Son-in-Law Eggs Recipe

This is a perfect use of hard boiled eggs, and believe it or not, the eggs are deep fried. Yep, deep fried. Who would have thought?

The sauce has this great sourness and spice that when paired with the creamy deep fried egg and shallots, just blows ones mind. Again, trust me. You will probably want to use the sauce on things like fried chicken or fish. It’s awesome.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole eggs, cooked to your hard boil liking (I go with 8 minutes for a creamy, yet set yolk)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar (you could use light brown sugar as well)
  • 4 tbsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, smashed
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • 3 cups of cooking oil for deep frying
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Start by making your sauce.

Add the one tablespoon of cooking oil to a small pot. Bring to medium heat, then add in your garlic. Cook for about a minute, then toss in the fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind, and chili pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and set it to the side.

Peel your hard boiled eggs.

How to make Son-in-Law Eggs

Heat another pot with the cooking oil on medium heat. After a few minutes, add in the thinly sliced shallots, and cook for about 5 minutes or so, until they are lightly browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set them on to some paper towel to drain.

Bring the oil back to about 350 degrees, then carefully add the peeled hard boiled eggs. Cook for about 8 minutes or so, until they are lightly browned. You can go longer if you want, but I always think they are going to explode. Once lightly browned, remove with the slotted spoon and let them drain on the paper towel, lightly patting.

Slice the eggs in half and add them to a serving plate. Shower the eggs with the fried shallots, then pour the sauce over the eggs. Shower with fresh cilantro and dig in. Feel free to serve with cooked jasmine rice if you desire.

Again, the flavor combination is out of this world. Thai food at it’s best in terms of texture, and flavor. Hope you enjoy!

 

Chana Masala

Lately I have been on an Indian food craze. Well, maybe not so much a craze, but let’s just say I cannot get enough of the flavors of Indian cuisine. Maybe it is a phase that I am going through, much like when I go through a Thai craze, or a Mexican craze, but whatever it is, I’m cool with it.  A recent dish I made, the Indian green lentil curry with kidney beans, along with a recent posting from a friend of mine, sparked the idea of making the chana masala. Basically, chana (chick peas) masala is a very common Indian dish that is a bit spicy, and a bit dry in the sense where there is very little liquid. The dish can be eaten as a side dish, or topped onto rice. I prefer just eating it as a main dish as it is extremely comforting.

Chana Masala Recipe

What I love about this type of recipe is that many of the ingredients are already ones you have in your home, and if you do not have the basic spices, well, now is your opportunity.

Let’s get started.

  • 15 oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, diced
  •  1/2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste (or fresh ginger)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Start by heating your oil on medium heat. After a couple of minutes, add in your onion and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they have sweated through.

Next add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add in the garam masala, chili powder, ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamon, and turmeric. Stir, and cook until  you have a dry paste.

How to make chana masala

Next add in your tomatoes and cook until much of the liquid has absorbed, a few minutes. Add in the ginger paste, and stir. Cook another minute or so.

Add in the chick peas and water. Stir, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring on occasion.  Add in the chopped chili pepper, and stir again.

You are now ready to plate. Serve in a bowl and shower with some of the fresh cilantro.

The flavor is out of this world. This spice mixture, well, let’s just say it’s addicting. A bit spicy (which I love), and the great earthy flavor is just dynamite. Hope you enjoy!

Chana Masala
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
  • 15 oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, diced
  • ½ tbsp ginger and garlic paste (or fresh ginger)
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp cardamon
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
Instructions
  1. Start by heating your oil on medium heat. After a couple of minutes, add in your onion and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they have sweated through.
  2. Next add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add in the garam masala, chili powder, ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamon, and turmeric. Stir, and cook until you have a dry paste.
  3. Next add in your tomatoes and cook until much of the liquid has absorbed, a few minutes. Add in the ginger paste, and stir. Cook another minute or so.
  4. Add in the chick peas and water. Stir, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring on occasion. Add in the chopped chili pepper, and stir again.
  5. You are now ready to plate. Serve in a bowl and shower with some of the fresh cilantro.
  6. The flavor is out of this world. This spice mixture, well, let’s just say it’s addicting. A bit spicy (which I love), and the great earthy flavor is just dynamite. Hope you enjoy!

Ramp and Basil Pistou

Last weekend was a blast. My wife and I (more so my wife) planted the vegetable and herb garden, and got all of our planting done. Not only that, but I was able to venture off and go on my first foraging adventure. I had signed up to go foraging for morel mushrooms with Braise restaurant some time ago, and I was really stoked to learn about mushrooms, and foraging in general. I was lucky enough to find three morels that weekend morning, along with a bunch of ramps, and violets. I donated the morels to the chef as he prepared a lunch after the hunt, but I did keep the ramps to be used in in pistou.

Ramp and Basil Pistou

Pistou is much like a pesto, however pine nuts are not used, and well, I’m a big fan of that. I actually prefer a pistou over a pesto as I like it’s texture much better. Pistou’s can be used in salads, sandwiches, or pastas to name a few, and they can also be made with a variety of herbs, not just basil.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 cup ramp leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 cup of fresh Italian basil, leaves only
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ~ 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt

Add the garlic, herbs, cheese, and salt to a food processor. Turn on and slowly start drizzling in the olive oil. Store in a sealed container until you are ready to use.

How to make pistou

I used mine in a simple pasta dish by adding about 1/2 cup to one pound of cooked penne pasta. It was super awesome, and simple. Who doesn’t love that right?

Ramps and Morel Mushrooms

The result is a sauce that had that subtle hint of onion and garlic, along with that great basil.