Month: May 2016

Making a delightful spicy chicken stir fry at home

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Today after working out at the gym I needed a protein-jammed recipe and of course the go to food for that is chicken breast. So I created what I call a spicy chicken stir fry, behold it in its gain-fueling wonder.

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A delicious and healthy spicy chicken stir fry.

So how to make such a delightful and tasty dish? Here are the ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 bunches of cilantro, chopped.
  • 2 big bunches of celery
  • 1 white onion chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons of Chinese lajiao (Chopped pepper chile sauce)
  • 2 chicken breasts

Take 2 frozen chicken breasts and boil them in water for about 10 minutes to thaw and partially cook them. While they are boiling chop up the vegetables. When the boiling is done, remove the chicken breasts from the pot and slice them into chunks. Then add some olive oil to a frying pan and heat it up for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken, and add the vegetables and stir together to coat in the oil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add a couple scoops of lajiao and mix well to get the lajiao well distributed. Transfer the stir fry to a plate and garnish with chopped cilantro. Eat and enjoy your daily protein. Please have a look at the recipe video below!

That’s all for today, but stay tuned for some interesting videos from Hong Kong, later this week!

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Eating fried noodles in Shenzhen!

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Today I went to another local laoban that we frequent to order some pidan zhou – Which I have already written about in this blog before, a few weeks ago. Unfortunately they were sold out of the zhou, so we had some chaomian (炒面) instead. Chaomian are high heat wok fried noodles with eggs, pork, and vegetables added along with some spices.

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A glimpse of our delicious chaomian, before consumption

These people are very  nice and we frequent their establishment at least a few times a week. Today I asked if we could film them cooking and if they would do a little quick sit down interview with us. They agreed.

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The laoban tossing the noodles over a high heat wok flame.

Chaomian can be hit or miss in China. I have had great chaomian, and totally lousy chaomian. Of course you can guess that this particularly lady does the chaomian just the way I like them – with 2 eggs, pork, and vegetables added. The end result is an absolutely delicious dish you would very rarely find back home in America, and no, Panda Express does not cut it. Check out the video  below to see the cooking, tasting and interview with the laoban.

Hiking Wutong Mountain outside of Louhu in Shenzhen

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A few days ago I went with my expat American friend Loren and his brother to Wutong Mountain (梧桐山) which is a small mountain village outside of Louhu in Shenzhen. The village is home to one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever had the pleasure of hiking in my life. Wutongshan is a rainforest-esque climb chock full of bamboo, wild birds chirping, torrential waterfalls and an absolutely breathtaking view of Shenzhen and Hong Kong at the summit.

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It’s not an easy climb, either. In fact, Loren’s brother had to turn back about halfway up the mountain because he was too tired to continue. When I came to Shenzhen about two years ago and weighed 50 pounds more, I also could not complete this climb. There are seemingly endless sets of stairs that just keep going higher and higher.

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Me sprinting up one of the long flights of stairs during the mountain climb.

Probably the coolest part about the hike is the myriad of beautiful waterfalls you will experience (Provided you take the stair route – if you decide to just walk up the road to the summit base, you may not see any waterfalls)

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There are points where you have to practically rock climb to keep going. Once you get to the summit however, it’s pure bliss and satisfaction as you observe one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen in China.

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The view from the summit. Unfortunately it was a bit of a foggy day but on a clear day the view is even more beautiful!

Overall, I have hiked this mountain 3 times all the way to the summit now and it is an incredible workout, full of breathtaking views and an amazing  way to get into nature in Shenzhen. Check out the full video of our hike complete with music below!

Making Chinese style Philly Cheesesteak.

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Sometimes, I end up missing foods from home. There are usually ways to replicate these foods by cooking at home, but usually you can’t get things 100% spot on due to a lack of ingredients here in China. I love a good Philly Cheesesteak, which is the steak sandwich from Philadelphia with steak strips, green peppers onions and cheese on a bun. Now, using all those ingredients except the bun (Which I replaced using shou zhua bing, a common Chinese flatbread here) I decided to make what I call a Chinese Philly Cheesesteak.

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The ingredients are as follows:

  • 200-300g of beef sliced into strips.
  • A red onion, sliced
  • A green pepper sliced into strips.
  • Shredded cheese
  • 2 shou zhua bing flatbreads
  • Salt (Optional)

To make this is actually a very easy recipe. First, start buy slicing your onions and green peppers. Next, heat up a pan with some olive oil and add in the peppers and onions. Stir to coat in olive oil. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the beef into strips. After the vegetables have cooked a few minutes, add in the beef and stir it in. Let the beef fully cook, at least 5-7 minutes. After it is fully cooked, separate the piles of meat and vegetables in piles of half. sprinkle shredded cheese over each half and cover the pan, after turning the heat off. Let the cheese melt. Next, cook the shou zhua bing in a pan. Heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Next, spoon the beef and vegetables and cheese mixture onto the shou zhua bing. Wrap, eat and enjoy! Check out the recipe from my YouTube channel here:

 

 

Walking around Laojie’s (Dongmen) food street in Shenzhen

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Last night was epic! We took the MTR train from Dafen to Laojie (8 stops, about a 15 minute ride) which is home to some of the best shopping and food in Shenzhen. For my YouTube video channel I made a video sampling a few foods, and touring around the area.

Laojie is a beautiful place. Lots of beautiful women, amazing street barbecue and other foods, what could be sweeter? After getting off at exit D with a couple friends I met up with my girlfriend and we started walking around. I apologize for the low quality pictures, I was filming most of the time and I completely spaced out on taking some high res photos! These are all video grabs from this week’s video:

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Some barbecue we found before getting to the food street!
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The view outside Exit D at Laojie station

 

I hadn’t  been to the food street that many times so we got lost for a couple minutes, but we found it pretty quickly. While walking there, we ran into an outside barbecue that was serving up youyu ( 鱿鱼 , squid), and yangrou (羊肉, lamb). We couldn’t resist the temptation and we all got a few skewers. The barbecue is well priced, too. You can get 4 skewers of squid for 10RMB ($1.50 USD) or 2 skewers of lamb for the same price. The squid was nice and chewy not overcooked, with lots of spices added. The lamb was delicious and fatty, and for me that’s great because I love animal fat. (Not in excess, of course!)

 

 

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Some beautiful yangrou (Lamb skewers)

 

After devouring our skewers, we headed off to the food street. We got there around 9:45 which is pretty late for laojie. Although it is very easy to find street barbecue going until 3-4 in the morning in Shenzhen, Laojie is a bit of a different case. Around 10:00 it appeared that lots of vendors were starting to close down, but lots of people were still serving until we left (Around 10:45) I bought some lotus root (藕片) and some potatoes. There isn’t much to say about the potatoes except that these ones were actually a little bit overcooked (These were leftover at the end of the night) but still pretty tasty. However, they were a bit too salty. The lotus however was very good. Lotus has a really interesting texture and it is probably the crunchiest vegetable I have ever eaten. It’s somewhat comparable to the crunchiness of an apple.

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Some crunchy lotus root!

After walking around a bit more and having some delicious leng mian (Cold noodles, 冷面 ) we decided to take the train home since it was early enough (The train stops around 11:30 and it was only around 10:45) and called it a night. Please check out the video of the food crawl below, and if you like it please feel free to subscribe to my channel 🙂

 

 

 

Chongqing noodles: Spicy and delicious!

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Today while walking around Dafen my girlfriend Maggie and I stumbled upon a restaurant from Chongqing, a city about 1500 kilometers northwest of Shenzhen. The laoban was serving Authentic Chongqing noodles so we decided to have a try. I ordered ma la xiao mian (麻辣小面, pungent and spicy noodles) and Maggie ordered paigu xiao mian (排骨小面, pork rib spicy noodles)

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Chongqing noodles, a famous noodle dish from the city of Chongqing.

The laoban was a very nice guy. He allowed us to film him cooking the noodles and even sat down with us and had a quick chat. In the video, he boils the noodles and adds them to the soup broth. He then adds a number of things. He adds some chili powder, lajiao, a little more broth, green onions and cilantro. Maggie ordered paigu which has meat in it, so he added some pork ribs to the dish as well.

Upon trying these noodles for the first time, here are my thoughts. The noodles were not too chewy, which I really like, very easy to eat. The sauce and dish overall is pretty spicy. You can taste a lot of chili oil in there and the bite you get from the lajiao is not a normal spicy. It has almost a citrusy sour flavor to it. It sort of reminds me of hot pot, but it’s not really the same thing. The greens (green onions and cilantro) do a lot to enhance the look and flavor of this dish as well.

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That’s all for today’s entry but be sure to check out the video for this afternoon’s lunch on my YouTube channel:

Cooking up some Chinese style carne asada!

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Today is Sunday, our day of rest. Of course for me, it’s always a day of cooking, too. Using my new Canon G7X I filmed a recipe for tudou niurou,  牛肉和土豆, or beef and potatoes.

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Tudou niurou, Chinese beef and potatoes with onions, lajiao and cilantro.

The recipe itself is very simple, and the ingredients are few:

  • 5-6 medium potatoes with the skins included
  • 350-500g cubed beef
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • 1 whole onion chopped
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese lajiao (拉脚) OR
    • 2-3 red chili peppers chopped with seeds

Directions: Cut the potatoes in cubes and cut the beef into smaller cubes, like the size of what you would see in a Mexican style burrito. Add olive oil to pan and let it heat up for 10-20 seconds. Add potatoes, stir to coat in oil, then leave for 10-12 minutes minimum. While the potatoes are cooking, slice the beef and the whole onion. Also, add 2 teaspoons of lajiao or 2-3 chopped red chili peppers at this time. After potatoes have been cooking for 12 minutes, add the beef and spices. Stir, and allow to cook for 5 minutes more. After 5 minutes goes by, add the onion and some more spices if desired and cook for 3-5 moe minutes. Add in chopped cilantro at the end and stir it in. Serve and enjoy!

Check out the recipe on my cooking channel below!