Friday, May 17, 2013

Baby Bok Choy and Gai Lan stir fry

Got some goodies from my local favorite Asian market. Baby Bok Choy and Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli)

I purchased other items that I never tasted before, like Fish Sauce. I made a pork stir fry with it.
I honestly did not like the way fish sauce smells, it was off putting.
Other than the smell, the fish sauce gave the pork stir fry a nice flavor to it. The smell blends in with the rest of the ingredients and its barely noticeable. So if you decide to try it out, do not let the fish sauce smell intimidate you. Note: A little goes a long way, it's salty.

I began by sautéing the baby Bok Choy in a hot pan with a bit of coconut oil, added garlic, then removed the bok choy and set aside. I sautéed the pork, added chili oil, a few drops of fish sauce and then added back the baby Bok Choy and stir fried it until the pork was thoroughly cooked.
The dish was quite tasty, hot and a bit spicy.

This dish is vietnamese :)

I made the same recipe with the Gai Lan except I substituted the fish sauce with oyster sauce.
Gai Lan tastes to me like broccoli and asparagus, slightly bitter.

Both of these dishes are delicious, you can make the stir fry with chicken or thinly sliced steak.
You can also just steam the baby Bok Choy separately instead of stir frying it. Then once steamed incorporate it with the stir fry.

Try something new, explore different ingredients from other countries.
Get out of your comfort zone.
I love and enjoy doing that.
I feel like I traveled to the place the dish comes from and back!
So make new dish if you get bored of cooking the same old thing in your kitchen.

It's quite tasty and fun!


Dulce de Lechoza, Candied Papaya

My mother always made this around Christmas time and it is associated with that time of year in Puerto Rico.
The scent takes me back to that time. I used to watch my mother make it. She loved this stuff so much and so did I.
I found the recipe in her old cook book but it didn't have the ingredients she used to add, like cloves and cinnamon and brown sugar. So this version is my mothers version. I hope you all enjoy this sweet delicacy as much as my mom did.
This is the first time I ever attempt making this. I never made it around Christmas cuz I couldn't find green papayas but I found some now! So here you go :D


2 lbs sliced Green Papaya (remove the seeds)
2 liters of water
1 cup sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1 dash of salt
1 tsp of vanilla
Add all the ingredients into a large pot, simmer on medium high heat covered for 30 minutes, then cook on low heat for 1 hour to 2 or until the papaya is very tender and the water is reduced to a thick sugary consistency. Stir occasionally. Sprinkle a dash of salt, add vanilla. Use a candy thermometer it should read 222 degrees.
Let cool, store it inside a mason jar, or air tight container.

Tastes delicious cold!