Cooked dinner for some friends today, dish ideas to share (all amounts approximate and to personal taste):
* Beefball soup with enoki mushrooms
Season ~ 1/3 pound ground beef with salt, white pepper, a splash of chinkiang black vinegar, a splash of sesame oil, superior light soy sauce, minced white part of from scallions and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix in a handful chopped waterchestnuts. Shape into meatballs.
Bring some chicken stock to boil. Add 1 star anise, a splash of chinkiang vinegar, soy sauce , salt and pepper to taste. Simmer beefballs in chicken stock for ~15-20mins till the beefballs float. Add enoki mushrooms. Simmer for ~15mins or so.
Garnish with caramelized shallots, cilantro leaves, minced scallions (green part).
* Bean Curd with dried shrimp sauce
Steam a block of bean curd/tofu; slicing into 1cm thick slices might make serving easier. I prefer silken bean curd.
For sauce: chop up a handful of dried shrimp (xia1 mi3), saute in oil with minced garlic, shallots and a few silvers of ginger till the shrimp is fragrant. Add a cup of chicken stock, bring to a low boil. Beat an egg, stir in quickly while it's at a low boil for an "egg flower" or egg drop effect. Add some cornstarch dissolved in chicken stock (thicken to you desired consistency). Pour over bean curd. garnish with julienned scallion.
* Scallops with egg whites
Slice half pound of sea scallops horizontally, ~4-5 slices per scallop. Saute chopped shallots, a good pinch of slivered ginger, the white part of scallions cut diagonally to 1.5cm lengths. Add scallops when the shallots are very lightly brown. Stir fry at high heat for 2-3 mins (important: don't cook for more than that time or it will be overcooked). remove, set aside.
Beat 4 egg whites, lightly scarmble in the same wok, keep very very soft, a minute at high heat should be fine. Add back scallops, mix at low heat for a minute. Serve with cilantro garnish.
* Black cod in sake sauce
Warm ~ half a cup each of sake and mirin on stove to remove alcohol. Marinate 1 pound of sliced black cod with a splash of that, salt, white pepper, a pinch of sugar, a dash of white vinegar and soy sauce. Reserve the rest of the sake/mirin mix. Soak a handful of dried woodear.
In hot oil, saute ginger slivers, minced shallots and slivered scallions (both white and green parts). Add wood ear, stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add fish, stir fry gently so as not to break up fish into flakes. Add the remaining sake/mirin mix, a good splash of fish stock or water. Thicken slightly with cornstarch. Salt, soy sauce and white pepper to taste.
Can add sliced fresh bamboo shoots if desired.
A garnish of caramelized ginger silver or cilantro.
* Chicken with shiso and pinenuts
marinate bite sized pieces of chicken thigh (~1/2 pound) with white pepper, a good dash of cayenne pepper, salt, pinch of sugar, dash of sesame oil, soy sauce, dash of chinkiang vinegar, a table spoon of cornstarch.
Saute minced garlic, shallots, a few slivers of ginger in a sizeable pool of oil. Add a good handful of pinenuts, saute till pinenuts are very lightly brown.
Add chicken, stir fry at high heat till almost cooked. Add Julienned shiso, ~15 leaves (to taste). Stir fry for another minute or so, serve. garnish witha sprinkle of caramelized shallots.
* Pea shoots
Basic str fry, finish with a dash of sesame oil. Top with a good amount of caramelized shallots.