A few months back, I published a recipe for Chinese Spaghetti (aka Zha Jiang Mian). This was my 3rd or 4th time making this dish, so naturally, I undeservedly felt like a pro. That is, until my mother dearest momsplained all the ways in which I messed up. So recently, I revisited this dish, using mom’s suggestions and adding a little flair of my own.
Dad was home this week for a business trip so we were fortunate to have several family meals together. For our Thursday night meal, mom sentenced us to 30 minutes dumpling hard labor upon walking in the door. To be fair, although these dumplings were wrapped by dad and myself, much of the work of making the actual dumpling fillings (in this case, chives, pork, shrimp) was done in advance by mom. Thanks, Mom!
The first time I made this dish, I was told it didn’t really count because I didn’t pickle my own mustard greens. This past weekend, thanks to my mom over-buying mustard greens at the store (“it was on sale!”), I tried my hand at a more authentic preparation. I liken this dish to a baked potato – you start making it in hopes that when you’re done (5+ hours later) you’ll actually be hungry for it.
There was no other meal we enjoyed more in our childhood (and even now) than our mom’s pot stickers. Mom would make these en masse and we’d enjoy them for many a meal – often accompanied by corn soup.
There are many names for this classic Chinese dish – Zha Jiang Mian, Chinese Fried Sauce noodles, Spicy Pork noodles, 炸醬麵, etc. Growing up in the Jeng family, however, this dish was most commonly known as Chinese Spaghetti.
Noodles and meat sauce? What’s not to love?!
This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes to make because a) it’s relatively easy and fun to do with a group, b) once you assemble them, there are multiple ways to serve them (more to come later) and c) look how cute!!!!
Mom invented yet another dish tonight, inspired by this hole-in-the-wall restaurant we went to when we were in Hong Kong earlier this year. Mom did not love the ambience (she refused to touch anything and insisted they turn off their fans), but I guess the memory of the clay pot rice stuck with her.
Here’s what she whipped up tonight – clay pot rice (cooked to crispiness at the bottom) with homemade salted pork, bok choy and leeks. We ate every last bite.
I’ve shown you how to make/fold wontons and how to cook them in a soup. Now it’s time to show you how to prepare them my favorite way. This type of wonton is served ‘dry’ (aka not in a soup) with a sesame paste concoction. The direct Chinese translation of what our family calls this? Saucy sauce wontons. So let’s go with that.
Six. That’s how many phone calls it took to extract this recipe from my parents.
Five-spice pork over rice (or Lu Rou Fan) is a classic and popular Taiwanese dish. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned the Lu Rou Fan I’ve always known is actually pretty unique to our family. I like to say that it’s ‘fully-loaded’. On this cold winter’s night, I’m attempting to re-create this warm and savory dish with the help of my parents who are just a quick phone call away. Of course one quick phone call quickly spiraled into many as I tried to make sense of their piece-meal instructions: