Asian cooking

Pumpkin, shiitake mushroom and coriander dumplings

1. Preparing dumpling dough

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup hot water, ½ cup cold water.

Instructions

Pour the hot water into the flour and use the chopsticks to mix well. Then pour the cold water into the mixture. Knead the dough until it's elastic and smooth, it will take about 20 minutes, then cover the dough with a wet tea-towel. Leave for 20 minutes.

Roll the dough until it is 1.5cm thick (just under ½ inch), then cut it into 1.5cm x 1cm pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball shape. Flatten the ball into a round shape which is 6cm to 7cm wide (2½ inches).

2. Preparing Dumpling filling

Ingredients

White Radish Cake

White radish cakePreparing the rice mixture
1 cup long grain-rice, cleaned
2 cups water
2 teaspoon of corn flour

Instruction
1. Soak the cleaned rice in 2 cups of water for 6 hours, or overnight.
2. Place the rice and water in a food processor. Blend the mixture at high speed until it's very smooth.
3. Add the corn flour into the rice mixture, and mix well.

How to make spicy Sichuan flower pepper oil

flower pepper oil in jarSichuan flower pepper oil combines the spicy hotness of chili with the unique numbing sensation of flower pepper to give almost any dish an authetic Sichuan (Szechuan) flavour. It's very simple to make, taking only five or ten minutes - although flower pepper can be difficult to buy in some places.

 

Why study cooking in Taipei, Taiwan?

Taiwan fried rice!“Food is one arena where Taipei — the world’s most underrated capital city, according to Monocle magazine — blows Beijing away. Its food incorporates more influences, spans street food to haute cuisine with greater aplomb and is out and out more delicious”, according to The New York Times.

How to be a wok cooking superstar

Stir-frying is a very efficient way of cooking. Compared to oven cooking, it only takes a few minutes to complete a dish.

Stir-frying food with a wok also looks cool! It looks like you're performing on a TV cooking show. Adding a little bit of this and that – we can all look like a cooking superstar.

After seven years, I finally got used to Kimchi

Korea's wonderful stone pot rice

October, 1999, was our first trip to Seoul. Almost as soon as we got into the city, we noticed the unbearably sour kimchi smell (fermented, pickled cabbage). We were feeling hungry after the flight from Taipei, but everywhere we looked, we couldn't avoid kimchi. Finally, we found a fried rice shop in a food court, so we could have some normal food.

Fried rice - too simple to make

I grew up with fried rice, it's part of our culture. Everywhere you go you see fried rice, every family eats fried rice. It has the same kind of position in the food culture as sandwiches in Western countries.

What is black sugar?

Black sugar is a common ingredient in Asian cooking, but when I show black sugar to my Western guests. They very often ask “is that brown sugar?”

Black sugar is healthier and more tasty than white processed sugar; brown sugar has a few of the benefits of black sugar, but really isn't as good.

It can look quite similar to brown sugar, but black sugar is even darker - almost black. Black sugar is popular in Taiwan. Compared to processed sugar, which has a very flat, characterless taste, black sugar is 'round', with a lot more flavor.

Unlike processed sugar, black sugar contains molasses, plus potassium, iron, calcium and other minerals.

Many Western women like to eat chocolate for comfort during their period, but Japanese women like to eat black sugar. For Taiwanese women, eating black sugar during their period is also a very common custom, probably because Taiwan is a former colony of Japan. They really eat pieces of sugar like it's candy.

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