Stir Fry Chicken with Potatoes

Lately I am the mood of blogging my everyday dish. Since I won't able to try something special during the weekend as much as I would like to, I think maybe i just start from my everyday simple cooking. This dish is my husband favorite dish. Not that he love to eat this but the fact that it is so easy to made. I remember every time when I run out of idea what to cook for dinner, I will asked him for suggestion. He will response with what do we have in the fridge. If chicken is one of the ingredient, his response will be "what about Stir Fry Chicken with Potatoes or Stir Fry Chicken with Cream Corn?" so here you go. Ingredients:

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, julienne
  • 4 chicken thigh, de-boned and cut into bite size
  • 2 medium size potatoes cut into cube
  • 1 tsp shao xing wine
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1½ tbsp oil
  • 1/3 tsp salt to taste
  • ½ tsp sweet dark soy sauce
  • ¾ cups water


  • Marinate chicken with soy sauce and wine.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add garlic and scallion, stir fry until soft
  • Add in chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until chicken turn brown.
  • Add in potatoes and stir fry for another 2 minutes
  • Add in water and dark soy sauce. Cover the pan with lid and bring to boil.
  • Turn the heat to medium and continue simmers for 15 – 20 until the potatoes are soft and sauce are thickened.


Co-worker A brought some Figs to the office yesterday for us to try. I had never tried a fig before and was not originally plan to try.

After a few emails floating around within team with these comments,

Co-worker B, C, D and E all gave them a resounding "hey! ... they're not awful".

E said “I rather liked them personally - better than 'not awful' :-)”

Response from my manager “Ugh” and in return from co-worker A for my boss response “Says the guy that likes a glass of grapefruit juice with chocolate cake :)”

I couldn’t resist myself to try it out.

My response: “ No too bad, quite sweet”

So the next question is would I buy it for snack?

Answer: Maybe not, but when I come across a better way to enjoy this fruit in some dessert form, I will surely it.

Out of my curiosity, so I google the nutrition fact for this fruit and found that Fig is high in dietary Fiber, good source of calcium, sodium free, cholesterol free and fat free fruit. This is a prefect fruit for those who are trying to loose weight. More information can be found in World Healthiest Food website. Maybe I should include Fig as one of my fruit shopping list.

Pork and Taro Root in Fermented Bean Sauce

When I ran out of idea what to cook, I will ask my mother in law for suggestion. This is one of the recipes she provided via a phone call to HK long time back. She doesn’t provide the exact quantity she uses but just a rough idea on the ingredients and method. I try to recreate this dish from my memory and these are the ingredient and quantity I used. You may adjust the quantity to suit your taste.


  • 8oz minced pork
  • ½ tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1lb of taro root quartered and slice into 1/4inch thick
  • 2 tbsp fermented black bean
  • 3 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup water


  • Marinate pork with soy sauce and corn starch. set aside.
  • Clean the fermented black bean water and discard the water.
  • Remove the skin of garlic. Minced the garlic together with black bean. You can use mortar to mash them into paste consistency.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add the garlic and black bean paste in the pan and sauté until fragrant.
  • Then add in pork and stir fry until the pork turn brown.
  • Add in taro root and stir fry for another minute.
  • Add in water and cover the pan with lid. Turn the heat to medium and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce is thicken. Depends on the thickness and the taro root, you may add more water if needed.

Steam Bun

In my previous post, I mentioned that I am going to cook something simple this weekend and look this is what I come up with - Chinese steam bun. I have a Vietnamese steam bun flour in my pantry and there are some left over BBQ pork in my fridge. so I decide to come up with char shiu pao for my Sunday breakfast.
I made the dough according to the instruction listed in the package. Overall, it took me about 2 hours from start to finish. The bun taste ok. A little dry and not soft as those you get from the restaurant. I am always curious how people made the bun so soft and tasty... if you have some tips, please let me know..

Misc Cupcakes

Another Friday afternoon, spending most of my time researching and planning for Aidan's birthday party, i just don't see myself can have any break this weekend. Still no clue what food project this weekend but I am sure it's not going to be something complex. Want to take a break from food recipes but just want to share with you some left over cupcakes photo taken from my hubby last week.

Shrimp Pasta Alfredo

A lazy Sunday lunch with limited ingredient on hand. This is what I can come up with a simple pasta dish that took me no time to prepared.


  • 12 oz of pasta
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • I cup frozen mixed veggie
  • 1 ½ cup shrimp
  • Some dried parsley
  • Cook pasta in a pot with boiling water and some salt
  • Heat pan with olive oil, sauté onion and garlic until soft
  • Add shrimp and sauté over high heat until the shrimp turn pink
  • Stir in heavy cream and cooking until the sauce thicken, turn off the heat
  • Add in pasta to the sauce and mix well
  • Finally sprinkle parsley, pepper and cheese

Mimosa Rice

Saw this recipe from Green Mangoes and Lemon Grass. According to the book, this is an Vietnamese dish. It is like a fried rice but the rice is cooked with coconut milk. I modify the recipe slightly to suit my own taste and replaced the chicken with shrimp. The rice smell absolutely wonderful with coconut scent. Hubby gave it a thumbs up and thinks that shrimp is the best option to go because it added some seafood flavor to the whole dish. Here's my version and cooking method.


  • 560 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2(400g) cup long grain rice
  • 4oz pork fillet diced
  • 2 Chinese sausage
  • 4oz shrimp diced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 2 spring onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 2 hard-boiled egg separated
  • 3-4 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • Put the coconut milk and salt into rice cooker.
  • Add in rice and cook accordingly
  • Marinate pork and shrimp with fish sauce, sugar and pepper
  • Steam the chinese sausage until done and cut into slices.
  • heat oil in a pan, then stir fry the garlic and spring onion until soft.
  • add the shrimp and pork and stir fry over medium heat for 5 minute.
  • Add peas, chinese sausage and stir fry until cooked.
  • Add in cooked rice from the rice cooker and dark soy sauce to mix well.
  • Transfer to a serving dish. Place the egg white on the top then sprinkle the top with egg yolk. and some fried shallot.

Happy Papa's Day

This is hubby first Father's day as papa. We didn't not have any special plan but stay home and spend some fun time with Aidan.
The celebration started with cupcakes baking and peek-a-boo card making. I found this cute cupcakes decoration and this handmade card from a magazine (Thanks to my weekly allergy shot. I was able to check out some cute idea from magazine while waiting in my doctor's office), and decided to give it a try.
The card was made from a cutout Aidan's hand print and his cute dinner picture I took last week. Since Aidan love peek-a-boo game so much, I thought this was the perfect card for happy papa's day.
As for the cake, to make sure I won't screw up the cake, I decided to go with a cake mix route. I baked 24 cupcakes from Pillsbury pineapple cake mix and decorated with homemade cream cheese frosting. The cake was light and soft and the frosting is super sweet, in my opinion.
Overall, it was a relax and easy Sunday( except for my car broke down in the 2nd half of the day).

Shortcut Glutinous Rice

Traditional cooking involve soak the rice over night, and steamming and mixing. I like this shortcut version because all I need is to mix everything together and let my rice cooker take over the job. Easy and delicious!


  • 5 dried mushroom
  • 4oz pork thinly slice
  • 1 chinese sausage cut into small cube
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp
  • 2 cup of glutinous rice
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp of wine
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • ½ tsp of white pepper
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 shallot slice thinly
  • 2 cups of glutinous rice
  • 1 ½ cups of water ( for each cup of rice add ¾ cup of water)


  • Soak mushrooms in water until soft then cut into think strip.
  • Rinse dried shrimp and drain.
  • Marinate pork with ¼ tsp of white papper and ½ tsp soy sauce.
  • Heat 4 tbsp oil, sauté shallot until brown then add mushroom and chinese sausage. Continue sauté for 5 mins then add dried shrimp. Stir fry until fragrant.
  • Add pork and stir fry until brown.
  • Add wine, remaining soy sauce, salt, sugar and pepper, sesame oil and mix well.
  • Finally, add rice to the mixture. Turn off the heat and mix the rice with the stir fry until all the ingredients combine.
  • Pour the rice into rice cooker, add 1 ½ cup water and let the rice cooker do the remaining job.

Vegetarian Stir Fry

This is a traditional Chinese New Year dish my family prepared during the first day of Chinese New Year. My mom doesn't cook this very often because preparation work is quite lengthy. Therefore, she will usually prepare everything ahead of time before the actually cooking.

  • 1/4 cup of black moss (fat choy)
  • 1/4 cup of black fungus (cloud ear)
  • 7 dried mushroom
  • 1 sheet of dried bean curd skin
  • 1 bunch of cellophane noodles
  • 1/4 cup of julienne carrot
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoot
  • Some Napa cabbage
  • 1 1/2 piece fermented red bean curd (Nam Yee)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • MSG to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water


  • Soak mushrooms in water until soft then cut into think strip. Keep the water.
  • Soak black moss (Fat choy) and divide into smaller portion, discard the liquid.
  • Soak black fungus and cut into bite pieces, discard the liquid.
  • Soak cellophane noodles until soft, discard the liquid.
  • Mix 2 tbsp of water into the fermented red bean curd and mash it with fork until become paste consistency.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil to fry the dried bean curd skin until turning light brown.


  • Heat pan with 1 tbsp of oil and sauté garlic until fragrant.
  • Add mushrooms, carrot, black fungus and bamboo shoot and continue stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Then add napa cabbage and 1 cup of liquid from the mushroom.
  • Cover with lid and bring to boil.
  • Add the remaining ingredient: black moss and cellophane noodles, and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add more water if the sauce gets dry out.
  • Add soy sauce and pinch of chicken bouillon to taste.

Banana Muffin

What do you do if you have some ripe banana sitting in your kitchen? Found to recipe from my favourite food blog. A steam banana cake or banana muffin. So hubby think that steam banana cake sound a little wierd so we decide to try lily's banana muffin this time.


  • 75g/3oz vegetable oil
  • 250g/9oz self-raising flour or 250 g all-purpose flour + 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp banana essence
  • 3 medium, ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml/4fl oz milk
  • Walnuts
  • Heat the oven to 375F
  • Mash the bananas well. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl, add caster sugar and stir through.
  • With a fork, beat together the eggs, vanilla extract, banana essence, oil and milk in a second bowl. Add the mashed banana and stir through.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture, fold in with a biggest spatula (don't over mix) until it is a lumpy paste.
  • Grease the moulds well with a little extra oil or butter and using an icecream scoop, spoon in the mixture until almost full. Top each one with some walnut.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins come away from the side of the pan when touched. Rest the muffin tray on a wire rack for five minutes then remove the muffins and leave on the rack for another five minutes before serving.

Serves 15

Braised Seacucumber with Pork Loin

Never imagine I cooked this dish but hey I did it. Thanks to my in-law who brought these wonderful dry seacucumbers all the way from Hong Kong and cleaned them for me and also the recipe was provided by my mother in law.

I seldom eat seacucumber at home and usually they only serve seacucumber in the wedding reception dinner. Seacucumber is quite an expensive seafood but according to my in law, they are very nutritious especially to women.

Cleaning Seacucumber takes a lot of patient and steps. I don't really know how to clean them. If I recall correctly, they need to be soak in the water for couple days then boil it with ginger and scallion and then let it sit in the boiling water for another day or 2. The finished seacucumber should be double its size and a good quality of seacucmber should taste tender and not too chewvy after cooking.

  • 1 seacucumber (hoi sum) Soak and cleaned ready to cook
  • 1lb pork loin cut into 3/4 inch size
  • 10 mushrooms
  • 5 scallops
  • 10 dry oysters
  • 1/4 cup black moss (Fat choy)
  • 4 slice of ginger root
  • 3 scallion cut into 2 inches long
  • 2 -3 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp juice of ginger
  • 1 tsp chop garlic
  • 1 tbsp Shau Heng wine
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp corn starch


  • Soak mushrooms into water until soft then cut into half. Keep the water.
  • Soak scallops into water until soft (about 1 hour). Keep the water.
  • Soak dry oysters until soft (about 1 hour). Keep the water.
  • Combine all soaking water into a larger bowl for later use.
  • Soak black moss (Fat choy) and divide the moss into smaller portion.
  • Cut seacucumber into 8 to 10 pieces
  • Mixed all the marinate ingredients together. Add cut pork loin into marinade and let it marinate for 30 minutes or longer.


  • Heat work with 3-4 tbsp oil and Place the pork on the wok 1 by 1 to brown the meat. Once all the meats are browned, set aside.
  • Place sliced ginger root, scallions at the bottom of big pot.
  • Place sea cucumber above the ginger and scallion.
  • Mix oysters' sauce with 2 1/2 cup of the soaking water in a bowl.
  • Pour the mixture into the pot and pour remaining soaking water into the pot until the sea cucumbers are covered with water.
  • Bring to boil and let it simmer for another 1 hour.
  • Check the pot once a while to make sure the sauce don't get too dry.
  • Cook sea cucumber until it reach the tenderness you preferred and the sauce reduced and thicken.
  • Add the remaining ingredient: pork loin, mushroom, oyster, black moss, scallops and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Salt to taste.

Pine & Bamboo Garden Shawnee Kansas

There aren't many authentic Chinese restaurants you can find in Kansas City area. Pine Bamboo Restaurant is one of a few restaurants in this area which serve decent authentic Chinese food. This is the second time we had our dinner there and I must say I like it better than first time. When we eat in Chinese restaurant, usually we will order something we don't made from home such as deep fry or a very strong taste dishes. This time we ordered 3 dishes to try.

Pork Chop in Peking Sauce
Crispy Tofu Spicy Salty Seasoning
Salty Fish Egg Plant with Meat Floss

We waited quite a bit before the foods arrive but the waitress did inform me that because we are ordering special Chinese food as opposed to the regular Chinese menu, it was very nice of her. I do recommend this restaurant if you in the area and looking for authentic Chinese food.

The also serve Dim Sum during the weekend between 11am - 3pm. So far I think their dim sum is the best you can find in Kansas City.

Ba Le Vietnamese Bakery

I heard that one of the Vietnamese specialty is Banh Mi AKA Vietnamese hoagie which made with a French baguette filled with Vietnamese Sausages, pickled veggies and mayonnaise. After some research, I found this Ba Le bakery online and people were giving very good review about their sandwiches. So we decided to stop by to pick up some sandwiches for picnic.

The store is located at Chicago up town area. They area looks ok and safe and they are quite a bit of Vietnamese and Thai community in that area. We arrived at the bakery around 8:30AM which there are already people in and out the store for breakfast.The store are very clean and loaded with all Vietnamese specialties food. if you arrive as early as we are, you can feel that all the food are still warm and fresh out from the kitchen.

Since we have not had Banh Mi before, we decided to go with Ba Le Special sandwich which only cost $2.75. Instead of order another sandwich, we picked up a few other items to try on. We selected Vietnamese Spring roll, 2 Shrimp balls, 1 sticky rice cake and sausage sandwich and a cup of cold Vietnamese coffee. Total cost were $15.40 which I was quite shock. It turns out that the sandwich is the cheapest among all item we get from the store. A cup is Vietnamese coffee cost $3 and 2 little Shrimp balls $4.50. Oh well, I guess it's worth the experience since we hard find a good Vietnamese restaurant in my area.
Here's the verdict for my tasting:

Sandwich - it was pretty tasty. I like the French Baguette. Very fresh and crunchy and the pickled veggie taste great in the sandwich and I wish there are more meat in the sandwich.

Iced Coffee - That's reminded me Malaysia Kopi tiam Coffee with condensed milk. Hmmmm..

Shrimp Ball - taste ok, nothing special but it's a bit pricy in my opinion

Sticky rice cake with sausage- The sausage was fresh in the bakery. I was thinking maybe I can get 1 home. So I asked the cashier how long can the sausage store in the room temperature and she said the sausage will get spoil after a day if I don't put it in the fridge. So she recommended this rice cake to me. The rice cake is basically a sausage sandwich with 2 piece of glutinous rice flour dough like a mochi and the whole was wrapped by 2 pieces of banana leaf. It was quite tasteless actually. I prefer Mochi over this.
Spring Rolls - instead the Nuoc Cham dipping sauce, this spring roll actually come with a sweet dipping sauce much like the Chinese hoisin sauce. Either way, I love the Spring Roll. It is very refreshing food I think.

Todai Seafood Buffet at Schaumburg IL

It was about 5 years back when we went to Todai for the first at LA location. Since then the restaurant become our favorite place to go every time we travel to city where this place can be found somewhere within the close distance.
Hubby and I are seafood maniac, can't blame us because we both from a country where we can have seafood in every meal and now we are in the middle of the great plain where we are no way close to the sea and the seafood are costly and limited choice.

Basically there are 4 stations for food you can start with.
Cold food station consists of premix salads, raw oysters, shrimp cocktail, sushi and sashimi.

Hot food station served all kind of Japanese Udon, Ramen, fried rice and noodles, BBQ Rib and all variety of cooked seafood.

Salad and fruits station loaded with all different kind of fruits, cheese and veggies
Last and not least the dessert station served all type of dessert where there are oriental flavor or western flavor.
We had a blast with the long waiting seafood and sushi meal with 1 exception surprise that my husband think I should blog about this. It was Aidan's first paid meal! 1 cent for children 3ft or under. I guess I do need to pay for the hot water to heat up the milk.

Chicago China Town Captain Bakery

I love bakery. Sometime I wish I went to a culinary or pastry school instead of the current field I am in which I have absolutely no interest with. Anyway, I want to show you some bakery treats we bought from Chicago China Town.

We don't have any Chinese bakery at my home area, so I am especially excited when I saw those lovely cakes and breads displayed in those Chinese bakery stores and wish I could try them all.

We didn't know how many bakeries they have in Chicago China Town, while we were shopping we just ran into this Captain Bakery where their cakes and bun looks quite attractive.

We picked up a few items from the store. I don't think they are especially delicious but i think it's quite tasty.

After bakery shopping, we also stop by one of the locals and visitors favourite place Joy Yee Noodle shop for some dessert. Even though Joy Yee was named as noodle shop but they actually quite famous with their specialty drinks Bubble Tea or Asian Flavor Smoothies. They offers variety of mixed drinks and you have the choice whether to add the tapioca to you drinks or not. I ordered an Avocado Coconut with tapioca. Very rich and creamy which I think it's little too much for an afternoon snack especially after a full meal. I would recommend stop Joy Yee for some sweet smoothies or bubble tea if you go to Chicago China Town.

Penang Restaurant in Chicago

I believe this is the only Malaysian restaurant you can find in China Town Chicago. Not sure if it is chain or franchises, I have been few different Penang restaurants in the United State: Chicago, Philly and Atlanta. The menu are a little different, some taste better than other. I have to admit that Chicago Penang wasn't my favorite among all the Penang I have been but I couldn't resist myself from going to the restaurant to have some Malaysian food. This are what we order from Penang: Penang rojak consist of cucumber, Jicama and ripe mango mixed with Shrimp paste sauce and crush peanut and balacan powder. I was quite disappointed with this dish. Even though the ingredient can be hard to get in the state but I think this can be much done in a better way. Or Maybe I should make my own rojak.
Mee Goreng means Fried Noodles Indian Style. The taste was alright, not as spicy as the Mee Goreng you found in Malaysia.
Sambal Udang or my hubby calls it Sambal Onion because 70% of the servings were onions.
In my opinion, this place is a bit run down and we weren't very impress with the service and food. If you never try any Malaysian cuisine, I think it is worth to give it a try.