Archive for June, 2011

Refried Beans

Learned something new today.

I hadn’t really thought about refried beans much. The Cat was pretty ambivalent about them. Recently she went to a Mexican restaurant, and now she likes refried beans.

I always thought refried beans was hard to make (frying beans twice?). For me, even trying to warm up canned refried beans are a bit iffy (if the pot is too hot, the paste sticks).

On one of the cooking programs, refried beans were made (the host said even can beans could be used).



Okay, I can do this. One can of black beans, some lard (the program substituted olive oil and butter), a pinch of sugar, a dash of chili powder, and a sprinkle of Japanese style red pepper blend (shichimi tōgarashi). I didn’t say this was authentic, I said I could do this.

Heat beans through, add spices, mash with spoon or fork (whatever is handy at the time). Tah duh! Refried beans.

Refried Beans

To quote an insurance commercial (and an earlier commercial for dish detergent, I think), “easy peasy lemon squeezy.” Another notch in my cooking knife or dish in my quiver.

The refried beans accompanied left over fried rice, chicken feet soup, and vegetables. Talk about food without borders.

After doing a Wikipedia search for refried beans, I discover that the beans are not twice fried after all but a mistake in translation.

BTW, in keeping with the “live to eat, eat to live” theme …

High in Fiber

Very important for and The Cat and The Mouse’s digestive systems (especially in the morning, sorry TMI). 😛


The Mouse.


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Sometimes it’s just not possible to come up with new dishes. That’s life.

These are dishes I’ve posted about before with minor variations (think whatever was on hand at the time). I added some ginger to the bitter melon this time.

Stir-Fried Bitter Melon

Chicken Feet Soup

And …

Chicken Feet Soup with Mustard Greens

All were on the menu this week. If they ain’t broke, don’t fix them. I thought the pictures turned out better this time  around though.


The Mouse

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Macao Manapua

I was in the neighborhood and stopped in here. I didn’t have my camera with me, sorry, no sign picture. In the showcase there was a basket of “Macao Manapua”.

Macao Manapua

If you’re like me, I had to ask what in the world is a “Macao Manapua”? A baked bun filled with Portuguese sausage.

Interior Shot

Not bad. I would have preferred a steamed manapua, I always prefer steamed over baked for manapua. I grew up with steamed manapua and it wasn’t until much later I experienced baked manapua. For me, baked manapua is more “hamburgery” than manapua.

Worth a try.


The Mouse


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I’ve posted about doufu gan before.

Doufu Gan

However, according to The Cat, the best way to prepare doufu gan is with celery.

Chop about six stalks of celery

Cut doufu gan into “cubes” similar in size to the celery

About two tablespoons of peanut oil, stir-fry celery until crispy tender

Add doufu gan and toss to warm

Salt, sugar, ground Sichuan pepper, and Chinese five spice to taste

Plate, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for texture


Stir-Fried Celery with Doufu Gan

The Cat is right, the doufu gan is best with celery.


The Mouse

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An Investment Tip

Someone forwarded this investment tip to The Cat. Thought we’d pass it along (just in case).

Two friends met on the street.

Man One: Hi, how are you?

Man Two: Doing great! And how are you?

Man One: Oh, you know, my investments are up and down. Right now they’re kind of down. How are your investments?

Man Two: No investment but always making money.

Man One: How are you doing this?

Man Two: Brother, let me give you a tip. I don’t invest in the stock market, I make doufu!

Man One: Doufu?

Man Two: Yes! Market up or down, doufu is safe. On a good day, I make soft doufu. If the doufu comes out too soft, I sell doufu pudding (doufu hua). If the doufu is too thin, I sell doufu skin (doufu pi, or fu jook). If really not enough beans, I sell soy bean milk. If the doufu is too hard, I sell dried doufu (doufu gan). If the doufu starts to spoil, I sell stink doufu (chou doufu). No waste, never lose money, always make money.

Man One: Ah so!

We’ll be opening The Cat and Mouse doufu factory in the very near future (just kidding, maybe not).

Food for thought. Hope that brought a smile to you. 😉


The Mouse and The Cat

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