Friday, September 3, 2010

Cooking class #2, with recipes!

My husband and I took another cooking class last weekend. The first time, we learned how to make fresh jiaozi (dumplings) and a few other cold vegetable dishes. This time, we chose a class that included a lot of meat! Braised pork, dry pepper beef, fish flavored eggplant, garlic spinach, etc. It was another amazing class and we made a lot of recipes that will be easy to make at home. I think for those of you outside of China (um, yeah. almost all of you!), the difficult part would be getting certain ingredients, but if you have a local Asian market, its definitely worth a try - because the food is easy to make, and its delicious.

#1: Canton Style Braised Ribs (广东烧排骨(shown in the picture on the left)


500g ribs

Seasoning 1:

a few pieces of sliced ginger

Seasoning 2:

dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp
light soy sauce, 2 tbsp
sugar, 2 tbsp
Chinese white wine (more than 30% alcohol), 1 tbsp


1. chop rib into section (the ribs we chopped into 2 inch pieces approx.)
2. season wok with 1 tbsp oil (canola oil is fine), add ginger, ribs, stir about 30 seconds until fragrant, and then add 200ml water.
3. add all of seasoning 2 to the wok, cover, cook over low heat for about an hour until the water is gone.

How easy is that? SIMPLE, minimal ingredients and hardly any work! And these were so amazingly delicious.

#2: Fragrant Spicy Beef (香辣牛肉


Beef, 250g


salt, 1/4 tsp
light soy sauce, 2 tsp
wine, 2 tsp
starch, 4 tsp
If meat looks dry, 1-2 tsp water


dry chilis, julienned(干辣椒) - how many you use depends on your personal preference for spiciness
sichuan pepper (these are the sichuan peppercorns 花椒), 1/2 tsp
ginger, julienned, 2 tsp
leek, 6 pieces, only the white part, julienned
coriander (we call this cilantro in the U.S., and its also known as Chinese parsley), a few pieces


sugar, 1 tsp
dark soy sauce, 2 tsp
sesame oil, 1 tsp


1. cut beef into 5cm long and chopstick thick, mix with marinade for 15 minutes.
2. Julienne all ginger, leek, and chili
3. season wok with 2 tbsp oil over high flame, turn down heat until oil is not smoking, add dry chili, sichuan peppercorns, then ginger, turn heat to high. When chili and sichuan peppers are fragrant and chili has turned a brown-red color, add the beef. Stir slowly until beef just changes color and separates, then add leek, sugar, dark soy sauce. Stir until leek is soft, turn off heat, and add coriander and sesame oil, mix, and take out.

#3. Fish Flavored Eggplant (鱼香茄子)- and no, it does not taste or smell like fish, nor is there fish in it.


Eggplant, 500g, cut into small finger sized
Minced pork, 2 tbsp (you can omit the pork, or you can even add pork strips)


3 pieces of pickled chili, minced and seeds removed (泡辣椒)pictured below

ginger, minced, 3 tbsp
garlic, 5 cloves, minced, about 2 tbsp
spring onion, 3 pieces, minced, about 4 tbsp

Seasoning 1: (add during cooking)

salt, (now follow me here...).... use 1/2 of 1/4 tsp
sugar, 5 tsp
light soy sauce, 2 tbsp
wine, 1 tbsp

Seasoning 2: (add at the end)

vinegar 1 tbsp
sesame oil 1 tsp


1. season wok with 1 tbsp oil, turn to medium low heat, add eggplant, stir until eggplant becomes soft, then take out.
2. season wok with 2 tbsp oil, low heat, add pork, stir until pork separates and changes color, add chili, ginger, garlic, and stir. Add wine and 200 ml of water.
3. Add salt, sugar, soy sauce, and add eggplant. Cover. Cook on medium low heat until the water is gone.
4. Add vinegar and mix well. Turn off heat, add sesame oil and spring onion, mix, and then take out.

YUM! Totally delicious!

The garlic spinach was sooooo good, too.... and it was simple. We just took a bunch of garlic, minced it, and threw it in a seasoned wok with oil, added the spinach, some salt, and stir fry until done.

Let me know if you try any of these things! I was told if you can't find the pickled chilis for the eggplant dish, you can use fresh red chili as a substitute.



  1. oh my gosh, these all look SO AMAZING! My H will be very grateful to you for this post :)
    I am definitely trying all of these!!!

  2. sorry I don't have better pictures of the food, by the time I realized I should take pictures, we had already scarfed most of it down! Definitely give it a try and let me know how it goes! For the soy sauce and vinegar, try to get a good quality Chinese brand if at all possible, I think it makes a difference.

  3. Amazing...and the half (okay, 80%) eaten dishes attest to how tasty they probably were.

    Thanks for sharing these...I will definitely be attempting the ribs recipe. Strange that the fish flavored eggplant doesn't have fermented bean past (dou ban jiang)? I thought that was a staple ingredient of that dish.

  4. The yuxiang qiezi dish was definitely different than what it is typically like when we order it at restaurants. Its a lot less oily, less syrupy and has less strong of a flavor. Usually when we eat it at restaurants, we always comment that its SO good but sometimes is too heavy, that sweetness it has? Its like we can never eat a full dish of it, and especially not without rice. But, when we made it with her recipe, it was so good, not greasy and not syrupy and not heavy - it didn't have that cloying sweetness to it. I have a feeling that maybe omitting or substituting the bean paste may have played a roll in the texture of the sauce. Anyway, it was really good! Different from restaurant style, but I think I prefer this more... its more eatable for me, if that makes sense. I'm sure you can see from the picture it doesn't look like a typical yuxiang dish! It doesn't have that really red syrupy color to it.

  5. Nihow! New follower here. Wonderful blog! I am a shanghai girl living in the U.S. I haven't been to Beijing since I was 4 and can't wait to go. meanwhile, I'll look forward to more of your posts.

    The Girlie Blog

  6. oooh, i think i want to try the fragrant spicy beef! thanks for sharing! :)

    <3, Mimi

  7. It all looks so yummy! However, I would have to go easy on the chili peppers, but maybe pickled chilies wouldn't be so bad...I have a low heat tolerance! ;)

    Liesl :)

  8. Hi,

    I just found your blog and I love it! following you:)

    welcome to enjoy and follow at

    <3 Anika

  9. Sounds like your having fun over there!


  10. I think I can smell it from here.... DROOOOOOOL!

  11. Wow. Authentic Chinese food. I have smell-o-vision here. Please keep cooking and sharing!

  12. Many thanks for such a write-up. I undoubtedly cherished reading it and talk about this it to my friends.