Search This Blog

Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy Lunar New Year! On CBC's Weekend Morning Show

 Happy New Year!  Tomorrow, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Interim Host, Laurie Hoogstraten, I will be presenting these Sichuan noodles, known as Dan Dan Mian.  The long noodles are for happiness with a long life.  There are many dishes for luck and wealth for the new year.  In the year of the Rooster, Dumplings, for wealth, sweet rice balls for family togetherness, rice cake to increase your status or income, citrus fruit for wealth and fullness, and fish, also to increase prosperity.
I was fortunate to live in Chongqing, Sichuan for a period, and enjoyed these noodles with ground pork.  The most remarkable place was at the Great Buddha in Leshan.  
Enjoy for luck, long life, and because they are really yummy!
* For the Chilli oil, great chili oils can be purchased.  I used this one with peanuts that I can purchase at SunWah Grocery Store.  

새해 복 많이 받으세요!
Chúc mừng năm mới!

Dan Dan Mian, aka for me, Great Buddha Noodles 

1. For the Chilli Oil: (you can purchase good chilli oil)
                2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
                1 inch-long piece of cinnamon
                2 star anise
                1 cup oil
                1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes

2. For the Meat and Sui Mi Ya Cai:
                3 teaspoons oil
                8 oz. ground pork (I’m using veggie ground round and it works nicely with the taste and texture)
                2 teaspoons sweet bean sauce or hoisin sauce
                2 teaspoons shaoxing wine (I often use Mirin or Vermouth)
                1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
                1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
                1/3 cup sui mi ya cai (optional Sichuan ingredient of dry fried vegetable. Packaged in small foil pouches)

3. For the sauce:
                2 tablespoons sesame paste (tahini) (I often use peanut butter as a substitute)
                3 tablespoons soy sauce
                2 teaspoons sugar
                1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
                1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder (we ground whole Sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle)
                1/2 cup of your prepared chili oil (to your taste)
                2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
                ¼ cup hot cooking water from the noodles

4. For the Noodles & Veg:
                1 lb fresh or dried white noodles, medium thickness
                1 small bunch leafy greens (spinach, bok choy, or choy sum)
                chopped peanuts (optional) chopped scallion (optional)

Cook the sauce and the vegetables and set aside.  Cook the long noodles and toss with sauce, vegetables and optional scallions and peanuts.  Enjoy for a long life!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Get to know your Butcher on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

 This morning on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with interim host Laurie Hoogstraten, I am featuring a pork dish using pork buttons that I got from Denny's Meat Market.  This is a rather "old school" kind of cut of pork and many stores and butcher shops don't carry them any longer but these are so simple to prepare and a great value. 

I'm always telling people to get to know where they get their fish, vegetables and meats.  Getting to know your butcher is really recommended for your own interest.  They will give you a great deal of information on what you want or what you may try and they may specialize in products that you can't find anywhere else.  Denny's Meat Market, for example, also specializes in fresh sausages of a wide range of flavours.

For this dish, you can use the pork buttons, pork belly, or cuts for Kalbi.  For the vegetarians, this segment doesn't leave you out either.  You can use the marinade for seitan, tofu, eggplant, firm mushrooms or cauliflower.

Dwaejibulgogi (from

For the marinade :
½ cup of crushed Asian Pear
¼ cup onion purée (I put a yellow onion and the garlic in a small blender container with a bit of water and puréed it)
4 cloves of minced garlic
½ ts of minced ginger
1 chopped green onion
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
a pinch of ground black pepper
2 ts of toasted sesame oil
3 tbs hot Korean pepper paste (Kochujiang)

I used a package of pork buttons from Denny’s Meat Market.  I let them marinade for several hours.  You can then grill, broil or cook in a pan until tender.  Serve with rice, lettuce leaves, fresh chilies, green onions, or on their own as an appetizer.


Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy New Year! Portzelki! Aka, New Year's Cookies, Olliebollie, etc.

Yesterday, even though I rarely deep fry food, I decided to give my hand to this traditional Russian New Year's delight.  I took some videos and images for a step by step process and, when breaking it down, it isn't too difficult.  Just get the Mise en place and it goes quite quickly.

First, soak the raisins in hot water and then dry on a tea towel in a slightly warm oven to plump up.  Set aside.  Second tip, I warmed the milk, butter, saffron and sugar together.  To cool the milk mixture enough so as to not kill the yeast, I added in the cooled raisins.

Third tip, separate the eggs and whip the whites prior to needing to mix them in and set aside.  Fourth tip, add salt at the end of the mixing of the second rising with the additional flour, again, so as to not kill the yeast.

Fifth tip, cook in a pot that will allow the portzelki to turn over and deep enough to hold enough oil.  If cooked at the correct temperature, the fritters will not absorb much oil or burn.
Have fun!


2  pkgs (~4 1/2 tsp) yeast in 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
Let stand for 10 minutes

2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 lb raisins or currants (soak and then gently dry on low oven on paper towel until water is off but plumped)
Flour for soft batter (~5 cups)
Optional:  good pinch saffron in warm milk

Combine milk, salt, sugar, baking powder, raisins and egg yolks.  Add 2 cups flour to yeast and milk and stir.  Let stand until bubbly.  Add remaining flour.  Beat egg whites to stiff peak and fold into batter.  Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil (375ºF).  Space evenly and do not over crowd.  Allow room for portzelky to turn over.  When fully cooked, drain and cool.

Serve with small bowls of sugar for dipping.