Happy Valentine’s Day!
This is one of my secret Chinese diet recipes that keeps me fit for many years. It's not just dead simple to make, but a few ingredients needed. This recipes is absolutely a low fat low carb low calorie but high protein diet recipe.
Despite we don't count calories in China, I still try my best to give you the nutrition information for every recipe I am sharing here with you. I have been living in UK for 5 years, more or less I am cooking under some influence of western diet.
But "The latest research into weight loss shows that calorie-controlled, low-fat diets are less effective than low glycemic load diets, which is exactly what a traditional Chinese diet is." Western nutrition experts, Patrick Holford says.
So taking a soup, or a soup-based dish help you control your appetite and release nutrients from the food you are about to eat, and that is exactly what a traditional Chinese diet is.
Nutritional value (per serving based on 6 servings)
Carbohydrates: 15.6 g
- Sugars: 1 g
- Dietary fiber: 0.3 g
Fat: 5.3 g
- Saturates: 2 g
Protein: 6.3 g
Salt: 0.83 g
1. lean pork 200g, cut into thin stripes;
2. tomatoes 200g, washed, seeded and cut into stripes;
3. cellophane noodles 100g;
4. 4 spring onions white parts, cut into stripes;
5. 2 inches root ginger, cut into stripes;
6. 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine;
7. 1 teaspoon salt;
8. sesame oil;
9. 1.5 pints homemade chicken stock or water;
10. 1 teaspoon chicken powder（half teaspoon if using chicken stock).
1. Soak cellophane noodles in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside when it's soft.
2. Bring 1.5 pints of chicken stock or water to boil in a pot.
3. Add cellophane noodles, spring onions, ginger and Chinese rice wine to the boiling water. Cover and bring to boil again.
4. Then add the pork stripes and tomato stripes into the pot, stir it well, cover and bring it back to boil.
5. Sparkle with chicken powder and pour the soup into 4-6 indiviual soup bowls. Sparkle with few drops of sesame oil and serve hot.
The name - "Dan Dan" refers to a type of carrying pole (a ''bian dan'') that was used by ambulatory vendors - BaoBao Chuan who sold the dish on the streets in 1841. The orignal cooking method was using a copper cooking-pot which had been separated in the middle, one side was cooking the noodles while the other side was stewing either chicken or trotters.
Dan Dan Noodles are easily available in many Chinese restaurants, but nothing beats having a bowl of homemade one. This Dan Dan noodles recipe though is not authentic to China, but quick to cook, I made it as the school lunch for my boys. In my recipe I didn't use any meat as there is in the classic recipe, but it still is a wonderfully tasty meal.
Nutritional Information:(per serving)
1. 450g/1lb egg noodles;
3. 2 tablespoons sesame paste;
4. 6 spring onions, chopped;
5. 3 garlic cloves, crushed;
6. 2inch/5cm root ginger, peeled and finely chopped;
7. 1 tablespoons light soy sauce;
8. 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar;
9. 900ml/1.5 pints chicken stock;
Cook the noodles in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Drain and keep it hot When the noodles are tender.
Blend the sesame paste with 4 tablespoons water and place in a sauce pan, along with the chopped root ginger, crushed garlic cloves, light soy sauce and red wine vinegar. Cover over a moderate heat, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
While waiting for the sauce, bring the stock to boil and simmer for 2 minutes on another sauce pan. Then add the spring onions into the stock, stir well with the stock.
Divide the noodles and the sesame paste sauce between 4 soup bowls. Spoon over the hot stock and top with some chill oil according to your own teste. Serve hot at once.
My family never gets tired with my hand made food, especial these Chinese dumplings, also called JiaoZi in China. JiaoZi is actually the generic term in Mandarin for one of the Chinese dumplings.
JiaoZi are eaten all year round and can be eaten at any time of the day - breakfast, lunch or dinner. They can constitute one course, starter or side dish, or the main meal. It typically consist of minced meat and vegetable fillings wrapped in thin round flour dough skins or wrappers, which are then sealed and pleated by hand.
Every family has its own preferred method of making them, with favourite fillings - it can be pork, beef, mutton, seafood, fish, chicken, cabbage and Chinese chives, with more combinations of these ingredients. Vegetarian fillings are increasingly more common too. And of course, JiaoZi's types and preparation vary widely according to region.
Nutritional Information (24 dumplings):
1. 3 cups (300 g) plain flour(all purpose), sifted;
2. 180 ml (3/4 cup) lukewarm water.
1. 16 oz (500 g) lean minced beef;
2. 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste;
3. 3.5 oz (100 g) scallions(spring onions), chopped;
4. 3 teaspoons ginger, chopped;
5. 1/8 teaspoon five-spice powder;
6. 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder;
7. 1 tablespoon light soy sauce;
8. 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry;
9. 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce;
10. 1 tablespoon brown sugar;
11. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil;
12. 1 head savoury cabbage, medium to large size.
Preparing the filling:
1. The filling can be prepared one day ahead if you use fresh meat. First of all, remove the cabbage stem and blanch it in a boiling water for 1 minute or more until the cabbage leaves are soft. Cool it down for a while, then squeeze the cabbage leaves to get rid of some exceed water. Chop it finely.
2. Heat the oil to hot in a wok, then remove from the heat to cool down. Mix all the filling ingredients together, refrigerate it till ready to be used.
Making the pastries:
1. Mix the flour with the lukewarm water gradually to make a dough. knead for 5 minutes until it is soft and springy.
2. Divide the dough into 4 portions and roll each one into a 12 inches long roll. Cut each roll into 24 pieces.
3. Flatten each piece. Using rolling pin to roll each piece into 2 inches (5 cm) circles.
Making Chinese dumplings(JiaoZi):
1. Place 1 portion of filling in the centre of each pastry(wrapper) and fold the dough over it, making a bonnet shaped pouch.
2. Pinch the edges together to seal the dumpling. Repeat until all the dough and filling are used.
Boiling the dumplings(JiaoZi):
1. Bring half big sauce pan of water to a boil over high heat, then add the dumplings.
2. Stir them around gently with a ladle, and let the water return to a boil. Add 1 mug of cold water to stop the boiling, then bring back to a boil.
3. When the water boils again, add more cold water and bring to a boil a third time. The dumplings will be done when they float to the surface. Remove, drain well, and serve with dark rice vinegar or your favourite dipping sauce.
I love bean sprouts because they contain more nutrients. Studies have shown that during the sprouting process, the vitamins, minerals and protein increase substantially and the calories and carbohydrate contents decrease.
According to the naturopath and herbalist Isabell Shipard (Shipard, 2005) - “Sprouts are a tremendous source of (plant) digestive enzymes. Enzymes act as biological catalysts needed for the complete digestion of protein, carbohydrates & fats. The physiology of vitamins, minerals and trace elements is also dependent on enzyme activity.”
Bean sprouts is one of the very useful ingredients in Chinese cooking, and you will find lots of recipes with bean sprouts as an auxiliary ingredient. The recipe I am showing here is the simplest one that makes a great side dish any time any days and the main ingredient is bean sprouts.
Nutritional Information: per serving
- saturated: 1g
1. 300g/10oz bean sprouts;
2. 3 spring onions, shredded;
3. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil;
4. 1-2 tablespoon(s) light soy sauce;
5. 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry;
6. half teaspoon chicken powder.
1. Heat the oil in a preheated wok, add the bean sprouts to stir fry for 2-5 minutes or until it's tender.
2. Add the spring onions and stir fry further 30 seconds to a minute.
3. Pour the soy sauce and Chinese rice wine into the wok, stir it well with the vegetables.
4. Sprinkle some chicken powder and serve hot.
Bean curd(tofu) is becoming somewhat of a widespread phenomenon—nearly everyone has heard of it, but few have actually tasted it or know how it can be cooked.
As bean curd(tofu) is one of the most diverse ingredients and its texture allows it to soak up the flavours of other dishes and ingredients. Also, because it comes in both firm and soft varieties, it can be used to make anything from soup to veggie burgers.
The recipe I am showing you here is "Frozen Bean Curd(Tofu) Soup with Shrimps". So it is always very handy to freeze some fresh tofu when you don't want to eat it right after you bought it.(Fresh bean curd requires you to change the water once a day or two.)
1. 500g - 800g frozen bean curd(tofu);
2. 100g - 120g shrimps;
3. 3 spring onions, chopped;
4. 1 inch root ginger, minced;
5. 25g fresh coriander, chopped;
6. 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry;
7. few drops sesame oil;
9. half teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper;
10.1.5 litres chicken or fish stock;
12.2 tablespoons groundnut oil(peanut oil).
Nutritional Information(per serving)
1. Heat oil in a preheated wok, add spring onions and root ginger into the wok and stir fry for few seconds.
2. Pour the stock into the wok and bring it to boil.
3. Add the frozen bean curd(tofu) in the stock and bring it to boil again.
4. Add the shrimps, Chinese rice wine and Szechuan pepper to the soup, mix it well together. Add more water if necessary, seasoning with some salt.
5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for 10 minutes.
6. Add the sesame oil, chicken powder(optional), fresh chopped coriander and serve immediately.
In China, noodles is another staple food after rice and dumplings. Of course there are plenty of choices out there for your convinces, but homemade noodles has always been my first choice. People usually think it is too difficult to make your own noodles, but I found it's quite opposite.Making your own noodles it's not only simple but also healthy as well. The only thing can possibly hold you back, I would say is the time. But invest a little time to your health, it is well worth it, plus there is so much fun to share with your family and kids if you invite them to join you.
This is the Chinese way to make wontons, as easy as it is, yet low in calories and taste delicious. Once you are familiar with the basic skill, there is no limit for wonton fillings, pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, oysters, crab, vegetables even cheese can be a filling.
I had been worked on my blog's new design for about two weeks, and it's been very hard and stressful. I am not a designer and didn't get any help either. But I have to say, despite the stress, I enjoyed achievement when it's eventually been done.
1. Heat a wok up in high heat, add the garlic and stir fry for few second, and soften the onions for 2 minutes.
2. Add the parsnips, sweet potato and white radish wedges into the wok, cook for 2 minutes. Then stir 3 tablespoons flour into the vegetables.
3. Transfer the vegetables to a large pan, add 2 pints of stock or water in. Bring the soup to boil, then turn the heat down to simmer until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes).
4. Stir 1 tablespoon chill sauce into the soup and add tofu puffs to the pan. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
5. Add peas and cook for further 5 minutes.
6. Serve hot with rice or bread. And caution with tofu puffs, they absorb the juice very well, and can be very hot in the centre.
I am mother of two teenage boys with my English husband living in Edinburgh.