Rice noodles are so versatile and a great pantry staple, I try to always keep a package on hand. So when I came across a recipe for pan fried-rice noodles with mixed vegetables and meat while researching Taiwan week, I was super excited to put my pantry supplies into action. Black vinegar adds a depth of flavor, and I happened to have some from a previous week, as well as another pantry staple, soy sauce. For veggies, I used what I had, which were peas, carrots, and scallions. I didn’t have meat, but I did have mushrooms, so in they went, too. A tasty, kid-approved dinner that will definitely make it into the week-night meal rotation!
This chicken recipe has a secret I never knew about before — sprinkling baking soda onto chicken for ten minutes to make it really tender, rinse off thoroughly afterwards and then cook it according to the recipe. It really worked, the chicken was super tender and delicious!
We were first introduced to Gua Bao at Momofuku Noodle Bar a few years ago and ever since then have eagerly sought them out. I’d say our first attempt at making them ourselves was a success. We’ve heard some people call these delicious sandwiches the Taiwanese Hamburger and they may be as popular in Taiwan as burgers are here in the US. They are not quite as easy to make as a burger because the pork belly slices have to braise for 2 hours to get melty and tender. A quick crisp on a smoking hot pan gives them some additional texture and flavor. Topped with pickled greens and a sweet peanut powder, this is a recipe that we will definitely go back to.
We used this recipe to make our Gua Bao
We’ve unexpectedly run out of rice so we’re in noodle mode tonight. Pork noodles is a pretty quick and easy recipe that’s great for a weeknight. It’s sweeter than anything we are used to thanks to a big chuck of rock sugar, but it works because it’s balanced with a good amount of cinnamon and star anise. It seems like the kind of recipe you can customize so we threw in some oyster mushrooms and baby bok choy just because we had some in the fridge that needed to be used.
Here’s the recipe we based our dish on.
This is one of Taiwan’s most famous dishes, and there’s a reason for that, it’s awesome. The flavor has a definite Szechuan influence with it’s heat and spices, but it’s sweetness gives it a unique taste. Traditionally the soup is topped with pickled greens which really help cut through the rich, fatty beef. We cut down on the cooking time by using the pressure cooker. Check out this recipe from the Taiwan Duck food blog.
Mango is big in Taiwan. They grow all over the country and when they’re in season, people do a lot of cooking with them. This recipe is a great example of contrasting flavors and textures. The shrimp is crispy from a dredge in potato starch and a quick fry in oil while the mango is soft, slippery and a little funky. Everything comes together in a creamy mustard and lemon sauce. We served it over rice and with a side of spicy, stir-fried green beans. This dish is pretty unusual and really good.
Click through for the recipe.
Salt and pepper style is popular for meat and fish in Taiwan, but we were feeling like going vegetarian and this works for tofu too. It’s pretty simple, tofu squares dredged in any kind of flour – we used rice flour – and fried until crispy. Then an assortment of finely minced aromatics are fried and poured over the top along with the recipe’s namesake, a mixture of salt pepper and Chinese 5-spice powder. The crispy, light, texture and intense flavor made this a winning recipe. We’ll definitely try it again with chicken, fish or shrimp.
Click through for the recipe.