Growing up, I had heard about 蚂蚁上树 but had never had it. In my mind, I pictured something like ants on a log with raisins on celery sticks filled with peanut butter. But, it is a real Sichuan dish, which I found in the the re-issued edition of The Food of Sichuan by Fuchsia Dunlop. [...]

Stir-Fried Lotus Root


I prepared this dish based on the Caramelised Lotus Root recipe from Kylie Kwong’s My China with some substitutions and modifications. 3 pieces of lotus root, peeled and sliced thinlypeeled and sliced ginger2 cloves of garlicgarlic olive oil1 tbsp brown sugar2 tbsp shao hsing wine1 tbsp chinkiang vinegar2 tsp soy sauce1 tsp chili oil with [...]

Dry Roasted Cauliflower 干锅菜花


After having 干锅菜花 at a few Chinese restaurants, I’ve worked on a home version of my totally non-authentic dry roasted cauliflower. First, I start off with Chinese cauliflower, which I found available at selected 99 Ranch markets. I’ve been finding it consistently at the Cupertino and Mountain View stores, but not the Foster City one. [...]

Chinese Sous Vide Beef Shank


I’ve been making braised beef shank for many years, but the end product had never quite matched the description in my cook book. I’ve tried braising in a cast iron pot for 2 hours. I’ve also left the beef shank in a crock pot for 8 hours. In the end, I’ve never achieved the jellied [...]

Lima, Peru Chinatown

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I’m not a purist when it comes to Chinese food. Having grown up in America in the 1970s, I am accustomed to food that doesn’t taste quite like it does in China or Hong Kong. However, nowadays, the options are plentiful and the quality is much improved. When dining out in Chinese restaurants, we even [...]

Green Onion Pancake Recipe


This is my way of making green onion pancakes or 葱油饼. It is not the traditional way. 1. Boil a cup of water. 2. Measure 10 oz. of all purpose flour and pour into a food processor. I don’t use anything special. Just the industrial size bag of flour from Costco. I’ve tried countless green [...]

How to Make Naan


It all started at Howie’s Artisan Pizza. I really loved their pizza crust. After buying a dough ball from them, I discovered how dough should feel in the hand: soft and malleable. In other words, I was not using enough water in my recipes. With this insight, I was finally able to crank out green [...]

Año Nuevo State Park, Pescadero, CA


Inspired by AAA’s Top Beach Towns for Summer article in the most recent issue of VIA Magazine, I headed out to Pescadero for the first time. I first stopped at Arcangeli Grocery Co.. The original plan was to picnic at Año Nuevo State Park; however, since it was already close to lunch, we ate at [...]

National Rice Cooker Non-Stick Pan


Rice cookers are truly the work horses of the Chinese kitchen: toiling each day behind the scenes and maybe even taken for granted despite their constant effort to optimally prepare a bowl of rice. Our National rice cooker has faithfully delivered thousands of bowls of perfect rice over the years. However, it was beginning to [...]

Momofuku Cookbook


Last weekend, I found a copy of Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan at the local library. It’s part autobiography and part cookbook with plenty of color and colorful language. While I’ve never set foot inside a Momofuku restaurant, I have read or heard quite a bit about their famous pork buns, so I [...]