Saturday, August 26, 2006

A quick and easy Chinese dinner

My boyfriend and I cook a lot of Chinese dishes since he lived there until he was 10. This meal is very easy to make and takes very little time at all. A normal Chinese meal may have 5 or 6 different dishes, but since its just the two of us we usually make 2 or 3. Tonight we made steamed Tilapia, stir-fried bok choy, and egg & tomato.

Steamed Tilapia

You will need:
-One fresh Tilapia, about 1 lb (We get ours from a Chinese seafood store where they kill and clean the fish for you. Its best to get a fresh fish and to leave everything but the insides intact. Don't filet the fish.)
-Chopped ginger (about 1 tbsp)
-Chopped scallions (2-3)
-Chinese Cooking Wine (about 2 tbsp. This can be found in a Chinese supermarket.)

First, cut a 2-3 slits in the meat on either side of the fish. Then rub salt onto both sides. Put some of the ginger and scallions inside of the fish and leave some on top. Then, pour the cooking wine over it.

You will need some sort of steaming apparatus. We use a large stock pot with a metal vegetable steamer in the bottom and some water. We put the fish in a glass pyrex bowl (with all of the ginger, scallions, and cooking wine) and then put the bowl on top of the vegetable steamer. It works fine.

Let the water in the pot boil and then put the fish into the steamer. Steam for 8 minutes. Then, turn the heat off and let it sit for 2 minutes.

To eat the fish, use chopsticks or a spoon to pick the meat off the bone. Be careful when eating it since all the bones are still intact.

Stir-fried Bok Choy

Bok Choy is a common Chinese vegetable and should be very easy to find in a Chinese market. Its one of my favorite vegetables. The specific kind that I like is called Shanghai Bok Choy.

You will need:
-Bok Choy (about 3 bunches)
-Vegetable oil (enough to cover the bottom of your wok)
-MSG (just a pinch. MSG can be found in any asian grocery store. It brings out the flavor in any dish)

To prepare the bok choy, remove each stem from the bunch. They will break off easily from the bottom. Wash well. Cut off the leaf portions from the stem portions and keep them seperate. Chop each stem into pieces of similar size. With stir-frying, its important that things are the same size so that they will cook evenly. Also chop the leaf potions.

Add some oil to the bottom of your wok and let it heat. Add the stem portions to the wok and fry them up until they are slightly tender (about 2 mins). Add some salt. You can decide how tender you like it, I like mine with a little bit of a crunch. Then, add the leaves. The leaves will quickly cook down. Add a pinch of MSG. Mix and serve.

Egg & Tomato

This is one of the simplest Chinese dishes.
You will need:
-2 large eggs
-Chinese cooking wine (about 1 tsp)
-Chopped tomatoes (2 large or 3 medium)
-Vegetable Oil
-Sugar (1 tsp)

Chop the tomatoes and put to the side. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl and add cooking wine and some salt. Add some oil to your wok and let it heat up. Add the eggs to the bowl and quickly cook them. Remove the eggs from the wok and put to the side.
Next, add some more oil to your wok. Add the tomatoes, sugar, and salt to the wok and let them cook until they become tender. Add the eggs back to the wok and mix together, breaking the eggs up into smaller pieces. Finally, add a pinch of MSG.

Serve the dishes with some cooked white rice. Enjoy!


Lily said...

I felt the urge to comment that my Grandmother used to cook the egg and tomato dish for me when I was a little kid. I always thought she made up the recipe though ;)

Ciaviel said...

I made the fish tonight, but I baked it (tightly sealed in foil in a 350 oven for 15 minutes or so), because I didn't have a way to steam it. Mmmm....delicious!