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Archive for the ‘No Asian Take-Out Required!’ Category


 

The Chinese New Year begins on February 14th this year, which of course, happens to be Saint Valentine’s Day. Cupids and tigers (It’s the Year of the Tiger) aren’t always a good mix!  But this year, the rare convergence of these two events (only the third time since 1900), creates an auspicious occasion, which is the perfect opportunity for you to pull out your wok and stir-fry your way to a fabulous Chinese meal!

Creating your own Chinese feast is the most delicious way to shower your Valentine (or Valentines) with love.  After all, the Chinese New Year, like Valentine’s Day is all about gift giving.  “Double happiness” and delicious Asian recipes are available in abundance in Nancie McDermott’s cookbook, 300 BEST STIR-FRY RECIPES (2007), published by Robert Rose. To celebrate, treat  yourself and purchase a copy; it’s the gift that keeps on giving!  

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Coconut bubble tea

Bubble tea finally made it to Columbia!  It has been a huge drink craze in Asian communities worldwide for the past twenty years.  The unique drink  was created in Taiwan, where I had my first sip.  It goes by several names including boba (BO-bah) tea, pearl milk tea, black pearl tea, pearl tea latte, snow bubble and jelly gumdrop smoothie. At the height of its popularity, bubble tea captured the attention of major media outlets, magazines and even daytime TV on The View. The Asian treat is on the menu at Caffe Corner, a trendy coffeehouse in Northeast Columbia at Sparkleberry Crossing Village on Clemson Road. 

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Here are the recipes for three ‘almost instant’ summer kim chee dishes. They are versatile, allowing you to vary the seasonings to suit your own taste. The small salad-like dishes are tasty and pair well with Korean or Western meals.

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Recently, State food writer Allison Askins and I explored Hyundai Korean Market on Decker Blvd., to be able to tell you about the wonderful foods you can purchase there. We found a wide variety of exotic offerings including gallon jars of colorful cabage kim chee. We were able to sample the kim chee and found it delicious-not too fiery – with just the right amount of heat! You can read more about our adventures in Allison’s article in the State Newspaper today and online.

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This version of Hot and Sour Soup is from the cookbook of Ruth Law, a Chinese cooking expert. She says, “you can serve it with crusty bread as a one-dish meal or with a dinner.”

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In January, a group of friends gathered for a ‘lunch & learn” session of Mongolian Barbecue, a favorite dish served at many Chinese restaurants. All were expert Asian cooks and especially enjoyed an opportunity to cook together and socialize. Read on to learn how to duplicate this dish at home.

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Today is the first day of the first Chinese lunar month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system. The Dog days of January have begun! It is the Year of the Red Fire Dog. Fire is equivalent to the color red in the Chinese Five-Element system. Since fire is hot, can we say that 2006 will be the year of the ‘HOT DOG ‘

In news reports, residents in Beijing were allowed to set off fireworks and firecrackers on New Year’s Eve for the first time in 12 years. They made the most of the opportunity and filled the skies with brightly colored explosions until the early morning hours. Windows shook and pedestrians often scattered but the massive displays of pyrotechnics were believed to attract the God of Wealth to people’s homes.

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