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Archive for May 24th, 2010

The inspiration for these dishes come from several sources.   During our previous visits to Shanghai, one of the dishes that were often ordered as an appetizer was mochi stuffed lotus roots.  On our last visit, I found out that some of the restaurants flavor the dish with Osmanthus flowers (guihua).  Totally unrelated, but at a family style Japanese restaurant that I frequent, one of the side dishes that often accompanies the entrée is pumpkin (Kabocha) simmered in a sweet shoyu sauce.  This past weekend, The Cat wanted to eat light (no meat).   

I “found” a package of dried Osmanthus flowers we purchased during a previous trip to Shanghai.  The Cat likes a syrup made with Osmanthus flowers but I never got around to making it.  I also “found” a few pieces of frozen Kabocha pumpkin.  Both were at the back of our freezer.  I simmered the Kabocha in a little water, sugar, salt, and Osmanthus flowers. 

Dried Osmanthus Flowers

Osmanthus Flavored Kabocha

 If you’re wondering what the design of the dish the Kabocha was served in, this is what the dish looks like empty:

 

The Cat's Dish

 We also had some frozen lotus roots in the freezer.  I simmered the lotus roots in a light shoyu, sugar, and Shao Xing wine broth.  

Simmered Lotus Roots

Lastly, I boiled a carrot and sprinkled it with roasted sesame oil, sea salt, and roasted black sesame seeds. 

Carrots with Sesame Oil, Sea salt, and Black Sesame Seeds

We ate the vegetables with two onigiri (Japanese rice balls) we bought at our local Japanese supermarket earlier in the day. 

Here’s the Wikipedia article for Osmanthus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmanthus

Here’s the Wikipedia article for Kabocha: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabocha

The Cat said it’s getting harder to eat out.  Some of my cooking is comparable to eating at a restaurant.  🙂 

Enjoy. The Mouse

 

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One of our friends in Ningbo, gave us a package of “black fungus” to take home.  

"Black Fungus"

 

Here’s the description on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auricularia_auricula-judae.  The texture of the fungus tends to be on the crunchy side, no matter how long it’s cooked.  The Cat likes the texture to be on the softer side.  She said that the fungus is more nutritious. 

For The Cat’s lunch today, I stir-fried head cabbage with “black fungus,” dried mushrooms (rehydrated), fresh Enoki mushrooms, and thinly sliced pork belly.  I pre-boiled the fungus before adding it to the stir-fry.  I also rendered the fat from the pork belly to use in the stir-fry.   The Cat said yum.  The fungus is supposed to have medicinal properties (as well as the cabbage and mushrooms) but I think the pork fat balanced out the benefits. 🙂 

Stir-Fried Cabbage with Mushrooms and Pork Belly

 

The Mouse

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