Monday, February 15, 2010

Veggie Chicken Soup (素雞 soup)

Veggie Chicken Soup (素雞 soup)

Finally! My first post~ After lagging and postponing it for so long, Justin persuaded me to post something even though it's so easy to make. - _-'''

For those of you like me who eat a lot of vegetarian meals during the week, you might feel frustrated at times about the selection of food for vegetarians. Ever since I started to eat more and more vegetarian dishes, I learned more about different options as well as ideas. Here's one super easy and quite tasty and nutritious dish- Veggie Chicken Soup (素雞 soup)

  1. One pack of 素雞*
  2. Few slices of ginger
  3. Handful of dried medlar, a.k.a Chinese raisin, 枸杞
  4. Handful of dried dates
  5. If desired, you may also put in a few slices of ginseng


Cut the 素雞 in big chunks and put the rest of the ingredients in a pot. High boil for 10 minutes, then turn the flames down to simmer for 15 minutes.

*素雞 usually comes with flavors already. For example, the one I got had lotus seeds, mushrooms, and medlar stuffed inside. Therefore, it's important to cut 素雞 in big chunks so the tofu will not lost the flavor as the soup is boiling. On the other hand, since the 素雞 is already flavored, so there's no need to add any salt unless you feel the taste is too mild.


  • 素雞 = around $10 'ish depending on what flavor/kind
  • Slices of ginger = less than $.50
  • Dried medlar = a pack cost about $ 1.50 and will last you forever
  • Dried dates = sponsored by Julie Sun. Usually a pack is around $2.00 and will last quite some time
  • Ginseng = Optional, but prices varies from $20 to $??? /oz


4 ~ 6 people so it's quite economic for a family. =) Enjoy!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Soy Sauce Braised Food 滷味

Alright! Here we go with the much promised lu wei!

1) Materials:
Rock Sugar ($3.99 / 4 = $1)
Soy Sauce
Green Onion ($1.49)
Ginger ($1)
Coca Cola ($2)
Tripe ($5.99)
Chicken Gizzard ($5)
Tofu ($3)

Spicy Red Pepper (Dried)
And mixed herb pack!
(~$20 / food enough for whole week (7 days) =~ $3/day)

Let's get started :)

2) First blanche your meats!

3) While your meat is blanching, cut up the other foods
Chop your green onion and ginger into big pieces, you won't be eat them so don't worry about presentation

4) Take the tofu

And chop it up to edible sizes

5) After the meat blaches, run it under cold water to cool the meat down.
So that the meat would get too stiff from overcooking.

6) Fill your pot with coke, soy sauce, green onion, ginger, herb pack, pepper, rock sugar, some water and other non-meat food you wish to braise.
The proportions depending on how you want the end taste to be. if you want it sweeter, put more cola + rock sugar, if you want spicier put more pepper.

Cook to boil.

7) Make good use of your time by taking out the trash while you wait.

8) After the broth boils, let it continue to boil for 15-20 more minutes.

9) Here's our secret weapon: Thermos Thermal Cooker!
Place the pot into the Thermal cooker, and wait overnight.

For you poor soul who doesn't have the Thermal Cooker, turn the stove down to Medium - Low, and let pot continue to simmer for a couple of hours, and turn off the stove but leave pot on stove overnight when you sleep.

The Thermal Cooker at work... This is where the rest of you would continue to simmer

10) Come back the next morning and find your delishly braised goodies
Tripe :)

Gizzard and Tofu

But wait, there's more!

What are we going to do with our big big pot of braise broth? Such a waste to dump it all...

Fret not, fellow cookers, the secret to any good Chinese braise food is the aged braised broth!

Here's what we do

Boil the braise broth, and let the broth boil down to manageable size

Keep broth and herb pack in sealed container, after cool down, put into freezer for safe keeping!

One thing you will notice after the broth freezes, is that there is a layer of white stuffs on top of the broth. That is simply the grease and fat from the broth, just scrap it off with a spoon and you will have a very clean broth for next time!

Bon appetite :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cabbage Roll

OK OK, I know I said I'll post 滷味 to compliment Julie's delish beef noodle, but I haven't had the time to cook it yet! But here's something that is easy to make and very satisfying as well!

Black Pepper
Cabbage - $2
Ground Beef - $2 / 1lb
Egg - 1 egg
滷汁(optional) - Free

1) Peel a few leaves from the cabbage, take as many as you want to make rolls with

2) Cut out the heart of the cabbage

3) Chop up the heart!

4) Make sure to dice it well!

5) Boil the cabbage for 10 min, only to soften the leaves

6) Important: Take the boiled leave and slice out the vein.
(without damaging the cabbage!)
This will soften the leaves to be rolled.

7) Chop out the veins!

8) Mix meat, egg, chopped cabbage heart, chopped cabbage veins, 滷汁, salt, and pepper

8) Mix well into a nice filling

9) Spread cabbage leave out

10) Place filling at bottom of the cabbage leave and wrap

11) Voila!

12) Boil the rolls, you can add some condensed broth, or just salt and plain water would work too

13) Place lid for faster results

14) After about 10 minutes, the rolls are ready to ready to eat!
But what to do with our wonderful cabbage broth?
Such a waste to throw it away!

Just add some more cabbage

And we have delicious cabbage soup!

This can be used with romaine lettuce rolls too!

If you had some extra meat fillings, fry yourself up some nice meatballs too :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Steamed Fish with Black Beancurd Sauce

As we had dinner and half way done with the fish, I remembered that I should've documented how I made this dish. Anyway, here is a picture of the aftermath... on the other piece of the fish.

Seabass (1 lb)
A: Salt, black pepper, chicken powder, cooking wine (moderate amount)
B: Black beancurd sauce (~2 spoons), and chopped green onions, ginger, garlic, red chili pepper, soy sauce (~1 spoon each)

1) Clean and pat dry the fish. Rub "A" on both sides of fish. Place in plate to go into steamer pot.
2) Stir fry "B" until fragrant. Pour/spread onto fish.
3) Steam fish on high heat for 10~12 minutes.

Note: Steaming time may vary due to size and thickness of fish.

Seabass is generally ~ $13.99/lb at supermarkets such as Marina and 99 Ranch, however wait for it to go on sale for $8.99/lb. I have not seen it be lower, so $8.99/lb is the price I'd buy. Actually 1 lb is good for 2~4 people, depending on how much fish you want to consume.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Baked Apple

Hello! Welcome to the ten dollar cafe! Here we are trying to gather a collection of recipe for under $10 / dish or $10 / person! Enjoy, look around, and get cooking!

The baked apple is something great for when you're sick, or just a cold cold winter night. It'll warm up your belly and soul!

Ingredients: Apple, sugar, water, and rum
Tools: Pearing knife, core remover, and small toaster oven

1) Cut the top off your apples

2) Next, use your core remove to take out the core of the apples

3) put 1 tblspn of sugar into the middle of the apple, and fill the rest with rum

4) Replace the top lid of the apple back, place the apples in the toaster oven tray, fill tray with water

5) Bake!

6) Occasionally rise your apple with the water in the tray to prevent charcoaling

7) After 40 minutes, the apples should be nice and toasted!
8) Grab a spoon and enjoy :)

Apple - $0.89
Rum - $5