When we lived in China we were introduced to a vegetable that was not commonly used in the U.S. pea tops (sometimes sold as “pea leaf”)—the tender ends of the pea shoots. Pea tops is not something you will find in Western supermarkets, you will only find them Asian markets—in season. Frequently, I would use these in a soup, but today wife Jan asked for them in a stir fry. Lately, there has been a bowl of Mandarin oranges on my counter and—as I was gathering ingredients for my stir fry—I decided, “Why not throw a couple into the mix?”
Tag Archives: sichuan pepper
Easter is here and—for my family—this means lamb. The question is which flavor? Greek lamb—my usual choice—is out, because daughter Miriam is off garlic and onions. Thirty years ago, we visited Kashgar in the far west of China. Shashlik and Naan is a popular meal in that city. Meat and bread call for a salad and a traditional Xinjiang dish would be a tomato and cucumber salad.
Daughter Miriam has been “off” onions and garlic for several months now. As a result I have been adapting some of my old recipes. The last time I made a Sichuan pepper tri-tip I used a wet overnight marinade with lots of ingredients and garlic. This time, I greatly simplified the recipe and I used a dry rub. This came out very well.
As I was buying the other vegetables for my stir-fries, I had an urge for pickles. For Chinese meals, the number of dishes you serve is a sign of respect. The greater the number of dishes the greater the respect—but also the greater the guanxi debt that person will owe you. I am making roast pork, a vegetable stir fry, and a mushroom dish for Sunday’s dinner.
It is just Jan and me for a Saturday night. Eilene is off at a party, so Jan asked for something with mushrooms, like mushroom soup—something Eilene does not like. Soup calls for a salad and crackers.
I am making Asian pork lettuce cups this week. The filling for lettuce cups is meat heavy with a deeply flavored sauce. I wanted my second dish to be simple and elegant. Last week, I made Szechuan salt & pepper shrimp and it was so popular Jan wanted something similar this week. Anyone for Szechuan salt & pepper scallops?