Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cantonese Seafood in Quincy

Happy Thanksgiving, foodies! A special Thanksgiving edition: if you are seafood lover, maybe you often enjoy lobsters, but have you tried the lobsters cooked in the Cantonese way?
Here is the Steamed Twin Lobsters we ordered at East Chinatown Restaurant, located at 415 Hancock, Quincy, MA 02171. Fresh lobsters are steamed perfectly with minced garlic and scallion on top, and silk noodle under. I specially love the silk noodle, which is smooth and juicy because it absorbs the essence from the lobsters. Yum!
Steamed Twin Lobsters
Another seafood dish we tried was Sautéed Sliced Sea Whelks with Chinese chives. The sea whelks are sliced to the right thickness, not too thin and not too thick.  The sliced sea whelks tasted fresh and crunchy. Love it!
Sautéed Sliced Sea Whelks with Chinese chives

Monday, November 22, 2010

6 Steps for Homemade Bubble Tea

Craving for yummy bubble tea but no good place around? Try this easy 6 steps for your own tasty homemade bubble tea!
Ingredients: Lipton black tea bag, soymilk, Tapioca Pearl (bubble, I bought mine from Super 88 in Allston), honey
Tapioca Pearl (bubble)
Step 1: put bubble as many as you like into boiling water for 5 minutes
Step 2: take bubble out and put them into cold water for 10 seconds
Step 3: take bubble out and put then into honey for 1 min
Cooked bubble in honey
 Step 4: pour boiling water over a tea bag, and brew for 3 mins
Step 5: put soymilk into tea (soymilk:tea=1:3)
Step 6: put bubble into milk tea in Step 5, and sweeten to taste
Bubble Tea!
Enjoy your homemade yummy bubble tea :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homemade Cantonese Soup—American Ginseng Chicken Soup

Recently, I’ve been addicted to making all kinds of Cantonese soup in the same way my mom cooks for the whole family, and it makes me feel home :)
Today, let’s make anther traditional Cantonese soup—American Ginseng Chicken Soup.
Ingredients: chicken (around two pound, you could either buy a whole chicken or just chicken drumsticks), one bag of American Ginseng mixed Chinese herbs (which you can find at any Chinese supermarket, please see the picture below), salt
American Ginseng mixed Chinese herbs, from left: wolfberries, dried polygonatum, dioscorea opposita & Amercia ginseng
Packet of American Ginseng mixed Chinese herbs
Cooker: a pot that can hold at least one gallon of water (around 8-10 bowls of water)
Step 1: cut chicken into chunks (if you use only chicken drumsticks, you don’t have to cut them, which is easier)
Step 2: boil one gallon of water in the pot
Step 3: put the cut chicken into the boiling water for 5 mins
Step 4: take chicken out of boiling water, get rid of chicken skin, and wash them with cold water (it makes sure that the meat is as less fat as possible, so the broth is clear and non-oily)
cut and washed chicken
Step 5: wash the American Ginseng mixed Chinese herbs
Step 6: boil another gallon of water in the pot
Step 7: put the washed herbs and chicken into boiling water
Step 8: turn down the cooking heat to slow till the water is boiling again
Step 9: slow cook the soup for an hour and a half
Step 10: add salt according your personal preference, and then the soup is ready to serve!
American Ginseng Chicken Soup served in a bowl
Enjoy your homemade delicious and healthy American Ginseng Chicken Soup :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Homemade Cantonese Soup—Ching Po Leung

Cantonese cuisine is famous for its slow-cooked soup (called lo foh tong in Cantonese dialect). The Cantonese soup is a clear, non-oily and non-greasy broth, simmering with Chinese herbs and meat. It is a must-have dish at a traditional Cantonese family dinner, because people in Canton believe that the slow-cooked soup is good for their health.
I haven’t found any real authentic Cantonese soup at any restaurant in Boston so far, so let’s homemade one of the most famous traditional slow-cooked soups--Ching Po Leung, with only 10 simple and easy steps!
Ching Po Leung (a mix of Chinese herbs)
Ingredients: two pound of pork chop, one bag of Ching Po Leung (which is a mix of Chinese herbs that you can find at any Chinese supermarket), salt
Cooker: a pot that can hold at least half a gallon water (around 8-10 bowls of water)
Step 1: cut pork chop into chunks
Step 2: boil one gallon of water in the pot
Step 3: put the cut pork into the boiling water for 5 mins
Step 4: take pork chop out of boiling water, and wash them with cold water (it helps to wash off the fat of pork chop, so the broth is clear and non-oily)
cut, boiled, washed pork chop chunks
Step 5: wash the Ching Po Leung with cold water.
7 kinds of Chinese herbs in Ching Po Leung: on the left, from top--Jade Bamboo, Dried Foa Nuts, Lily Pulp & Barley
on the right, from top--Lotus Seed, Longan Meat & Chinese Yam
Step 6: put the washed Ching Po Leung and pork chop and half a gallon water into the pot
washed Ching Po Leung in the pot
washed pork chop and Ching Po Leung in the pot
Step 7: boil the water, and then turn down the cooking heat to slow till the water is boiling
Step 8: slow cook the soup for an hour and a half
this is how it looks after an hour and a half!
Step 9: add salt according your personal preference, and then the soup is ready to serve!
yummy soup served in a bowl
Enjoy your homemade delicious and healthy Ching Po Leung soup :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

BEST Summer Rolls in Allston

Besides Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), Le’s Restaurant has the BEST summer rolls I’ve ever tasted in Allston!
Summer Rolls
Fresh Summer Rolls (GOI CUON in Vietnamese) have fresh and nutritious ingredients like “shredded lettuce, mint and rice vermicelli”, and you can choose either “sliced pork, shrimp” or “a traditional combination of sliced pork and shrimp”.
fresh ingredients
All the ingredients are wrapped into “a softened rice paper”, which is so delicately made that you can see the ingredients through the rice paper. The low-fat rolls taste so fresh and flavorful, with peanut dipping sauce.
transparent rice paper
Fresh summer rolls also have vegetarian options, served with tofu.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

BEST Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) in Allston

Foodies in Allston, if you are a fan of Vietnamese/Asian cuisine, you don't wanna miss Le’s Restaurant, which is my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Allston. It is so great that I have to introduce it to you, although this blog is supposed to be about Chinese food… However, many Vietnamese actually speak Cantonese, because their ancestors were from Canton, which makes me feel home. Also, the Chinese concept of yin and yang—the balance of complementary opposites—has contributed to Vietnamese cuisine.
Le’s Restaurant, located at 137 Brighton Ave, Allston MA02134, has the best Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), and summer rolls I’ve ever tasted in Allston! The atmosphere is super nice, services are great and the people there are friendly!
Le’s Restaurant in Allston
Pho, which is “SPECIAL (DAC BIET)” on their menu, is their “most popular beef noodle soup combining sliced rare eye round, well done brisket, flank, tendon and tripe”. The Pho also has scallions, onions and cilantro, but you could tell your waiter/waitress that you want your Pho without them when you order.
Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
They serve the soup with “a plate of bean sprouts, fresh basil, sliced lime and green chili pepper on the side.” You can add some or all of them into the soup according to your personal preference. Personally, I like to put a little bit of everything into the broth, and wait for around 30 seconds to let the broth absorb the essence of the herbs.
bean sprouts, fresh basil, sliced lime and green chili pepper
Traditionally, Vietnamese have a special way to eat the meat in the soup. They combine the sweet & sour sauce (the black sauce on the table) and spicy sauce (the red sauce on the table) at the proportion of 2:1, and dip the meat into the mixed sauce to make a more authentic flavor. The broth is clear, flavorful, and not oily at all, with smooth noodle and tender meat. BEST Pho ever!
They also serve the BEST summer roll, which I’ll talk about in the next post. So stay tune :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Best Chicken in Boston

BEST chicken I’ve tasted in Boston ever!
This post is gonna be about my favorite chicken dish—Empress Salted Chicken! Even the name of the dish sounds so awesome: the chicken delicately prepared only for the powerful empress in ancient China, the mysterious land in the Far East. We can now all taste this dish at Ho Yeun Ting in Chinatown, located at 13 Hudson St., Boston, MA 02111.
Empress Salted Chicken
The restaurant is really not that flashy nor spacious, but the chicken is so good that I don’t really care about the simple decoration and limited capacity at all! The chicken is so perfectly cooked and salted that it is tender and juicy from outside to inside, and even you can taste its special salty flavor from the bones. So Yum! Also, they do take out, and you can either order half or the whole Empress Salted Chicken! I just looove saying the name :)

Hong Kong Style BBQ in Chinatown

In Hong Kong, BBQ meat is one of the very important dishes at family dinner, as well as in big holiday feast. Vihn-Sum BBQ restaurant, located at 58 Beach Street, Boston, MA 02228, has some of the best Hong Kong style BBQ meat in Chinatown.
The restaurant doesn’t have much decoration, but it is very clean and spacious, with two floors.
We ordered a BBQ combo including everything—roast duck, roast pork (char siu), roast pork chop, and roast pig (siu yuk). All of the BBQ meat were authentically and traditionally grilled, very juicy and tender! Yum yum!
Hong Kong Style BBQ (from top: roast pork chop, roast pork, roast duck & roast pig)
They also have a take-out BBQ booth, where the skillful butchers cut the BBQ meat quickly and precisely according to your order!
Another dish we ordered was Shredded Chicken. It was a cold dish that came with a lot of vege like carrots, tomatoes, green pepper and red pepper, and white sesame on top. Not really Hong Kong/Cantonese style shredded chicken, so I don’t recommend it…
Shredded Chicken
Vihn-Sun also has a broad Hong Kong style menu, from sandwich, congee to milk tea. I’ll follow up with another review about it soon!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taiwanese food in Allston

One really good Taiwanese restaurant in Allston is Jo Jo Taipei (I had a post about its lunch special earlier). Today, let's explore some of its best authentic Taiwanese dishes. Hope you are excited like me!! :)
“Three Cups” Chicken is a very popular dish in Taiwan, and the name “Three Cups” is originally from the three cups of required sauce for this dish, including soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil. It comes in small portion, but still a small pot of delicious chicken. Recommend it!
“Three Cups” Chicken
Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Sauce is a typical dish from Southern China, tender pork chops perfectly seasoned with homemade sweet and sour sauce, yum!
Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Sauteed Pig’s Kidney with Chili Sauce: I know I know, it is pig’s kidney, but if you wanna try something new and authentic like several of my friends, I think there is a good chance that you’d love the perfectly cooked dish with onion, green and red pepper. It is mild spicy though.
Sauteed Pig’s Kidney with Chili Sauce
Salted Fried Jumbo Crab: the flavor and the seasoning were great, but the crab was not that jumbo… The crab was so skinny, and honestly I could get much meat from the crab… It should be a perfect dish during the crab season though!
Salted Fried Jumbo Crab
Bow Bin: snowy-like crushed ice with fresh, homemade, sweet toppings (including red bean, jelly, etc.), and dressed with corn syrup and condensed milk. It is just a perfect refreshing dessert to finish off a big and satisfying meal!
Bow Bin

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cantonese Noodle in Newton

Today, my badminton teammies and I really craved for Cantonese noodles, and really wanted to explore one new restaurant that we have never been to, so we decided to try this noodle house—No.1 Noodle House, located at 51 Langley Road, Newton Center, MA 02459.

It is petite noodle house, nothing fancy about it. Like in a fast-food place, we ordered our noodles at the counter, and grabbed chopsticks and napkins by ourselves, but the only difference was that our waitress brought the dishes to our table. The owner and most of the staff are friendly Cantonese people.

I really recommend their Laksa, which is coconut milk and curry noodle soup. We ordered two Laksa—Seafood Laksa and B.B.Q. Pork Laksa. The noodle soup is a perfect combination of slightly sweet coconut milk and mild spicy curry. Yummy!
Seafood Laksa
B.B.Q. Pork Laksa
I don’t recommend any of their Stir Fried Noodles. We order two of them—Beef Stir Fried Noodle and Seafood Stir Fried Noodle, both of which were dry and had plain flavors…

Beef Stir Fried Noodle
Seafood Stir Fried Noodle

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sichuan Food in Cambridge

After the Sichuan intro in last post, now let's taste some real authentic Sichuan cuisine!!

Thailand Café, located at 302 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, is actually a Sichuan cuisine restaurant, despite its name—I am still confused why it is called that way. It is not a spacious and fancy decorated restaurant, but it is close to Harvard and MIT, and it has some good dishes (not every dish is great though). Here are the dishes we ordered:
Roast beef, tongue & tripe with chili-peanut vinaigrette: it is a hot appetizer. It is one of the best house special dishes. Tender beef with flavorful chili-peanut vinaigrette. Yummy! Strongly recommend it if you are into spicy food.
Roast beef, tongue & tripe with chili-peanut vinaigrette
Poached chicken with chili sauce: it is a hot appetizer. Tender chicken with authentic Sichuan chili sauce, and a mixed flavor if you eat it with the peanut on the top. Another dish I'd recommend :)
Poached chicken with chili sauce
Double cooked Chinese style bacon: it is not a spicy dish, so you might want to try it if you are not a big fan of spicy food. But I’ve had better in other restaurants which I’ll write about later.
Double cooked Chinese style bacon
Chong Tsing dry hot chicken: not recommend—it is supposed to be a hot dish, but to me, it is neither dry nor hot enough.
Chong Tsing dry hot chicken
Braised whole fish with Sichuan chili sauce: not recommend—it is supposed to be a spicy dish, but still, it is not spicy enough, and it even tasted a little bit sweet…
Braised whole fish with Sichuan chili sauce

Szechuan Beef on FoodistaSzechuan Beef

Sichuan Food Intro

Sichuan (also known as Szechuan in the states) food is an important regional cuisine in China, one of the four major Chinese cuisines as well as Canton food, Shanghai food and Shandong food. It is originally from the region of Sichuan, a province in southwestern China.
Video about Sichuan, which is also the hometown of the lovely Pandas :)

Sichuan food is famous for its hot and spicy dishes, but not all Szechuan cuisine is spicy. Some dishes even have five taste flavors (sweet, sour, spicy, salty and bitter).
Common ingredients include chili peppers, peppercorns, Sichuan peppers (also known as flower pepper), sugar, vinegar, dried orange peel, garlic, ginger, etc. Common cooking methods are smoking and simmering, which allow all the ingredients enough time to infuse food with rich tastes and flavors.
You can find Sichuan dishes in almost every Chinese restaurant, and you can ask them to alter the spicy flavor according to your own taste.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sichuan Brunch in Belmont

HI foodies, how do you like the previous post on Shanghai brunch? I hope you love brunch as I do, because... we are gonna do Sichuan (which is spelt as Szechuan in many Chinese restaurants) brunch today!!

Shangri-La, located at 149 Belmont Street, Belmont, MA, 02478, is the place my friends and I would go to when we crave for a traditional Sichuan brunch. Be aware that they are usually super busy on weekends. Here are the dishes we ordered:

Roast beef in soy sauce (cold dish): perfectly cooked beef, chewy but not too chewy, not like the well-done steak nor the soft stewed beef.
Roast Beef in Soy Sauce
Beef noodle soup: tender beef and soft and thick noodles with flavorful soup.
Beef Noodle Soup
Five flavor beef with pancake: I don’t know for sure if it has exact five flavor, but definitely tasty beef and crispy pancake.
Five Flavor Beef with Pancake
Steamed pork chop with rice flour: a traditional Sichuan dish that not every Chinese restaurant has to offer. A mixed flavor with soft pork chop and sticky rice—strongly recommend it if you have never tried.
Steamed Pork Chop with Rice Flour

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shanghai Brunch in Allston

In Shanghai, people there have their own brunch style, just like Cantonese have dim sum for brunch.
Shanghai Gate, located at 204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134, is the place that I’d go to when I crave for a Shanghai style brunch, not only because of its authentic Shanghai food, but also its decoration and setting that remind me of the old Shanghai.
Graphic on their wall, sooo Shanghainese!

For brunch at Shanghai Gate. I always order Dou Jiang (soymilk, and you can choose sweet or non-sweet) with You Tiao (Deep-fried dough sticks), which is perfect combo -- please see the reason as you scroll down :)
Dou Jiang (soymilk)
You Tiao (Deep-fried dough sticks)

The reason why they are perfect with each other is that traditionally, Chinese put the You Tiao into Dou Jiang, wait till You Tiao is soaked a little bit, and then eat Yao Tiao and drink Dou Jiang.

Xiao Long Bao (steamed pork bun/Shanghai soup dumplings) is something that you cannot miss. There is a special way to eat steamed pork buns:
Step 1: have a tiny bite of the bun peel
Step 2: drink all the soup inside the bun (be careful, the soup is HOT!)
Step 3: put some vinegar into the bun through the tiny bite
Step 4: enjoy your steamed pork bun!
Xiao Long Bao (steamed pork bun/Shanghai soup dumplings)