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Old 04-04-2008, 12:54 AM   #1
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Cashew fry chicken breasts - Kaixin Chinese Home Cooking by Xiaosui

Kaixin means Happy Heart

Hi

I have just had a look around the Forum and 'Ethnic Foods' ... Yum!

Here is the intro again, for those who did not see my Intro Post.

Hi, my name is Xiaosui. I moved to Australia last year and I am loving living here!

In China I owned a small school that specialised in teaching children who did not want to learn at school. We taught them how to enjoy learning. I also found many women looking for something to do. So the school started classes in many things, such as Chinese brush writing, paper-flower making, painting, English …

I made many friends at the school.

When I came to Australia my husband encouraged me to start a Blog to write about my Father who was a historian and a very wise man, he taught me how to face the life. Also, to write about growing up during the Cultural Revolution.

He also loves my cooking and suggested I include a section about Chinese Home Cooking, which I have done.

Cooking Chinese food is not difficult. I was doing it when I was 3 years old. My parents told me how good it was; my sister told me it was terrible.

I have learned a lot since then.

I want to show you how a typical Chinese mother cooks a meal for her family.

There are two main things you have to know before you begin. The first is that Chinese food does take a lot of preparation and the second is that it takes a lot of cooking utensils. The food is good, with rich variety, but the washing up is ‘terrible’, as my sister would say. My sister was six years older than me, so often when we were sent to do the washing up, it was I who had to do it all.

The photos are of meals I prepared at home for my family, taken just before they were served and eaten. They were taken with our little travel camera to show you that they really are the meals we eat at home. I want you to be able to do the same.’

Cashew fry chicken breast

Ingredients: 1 chicken breast (or 250gms of chicken mince), 6 cashews, half a carrot, 1 spring onion.

Seasoning: 1 desert spoon of vegetable oil, 1 desert spoon light of soya sauce, a little salt.

Preparation: If you purchased chicken breast, chop the into mince. Mix the chicken mince with light soya sauce. Chop the carrot finely. Chop the spring onion finely.

Cooking: Heat Wok, put in oil, fry cashews, put on a side plate. Fry the chicken mince until light golden brown, put on the side plate. Stir-fry the carrot, add salt, and then add the chicken and cashew. Stir-fry for another two minutes then add the spring onion and cook lightly. Good, now can eat. Hao Chi!

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Old 04-14-2008, 09:39 AM   #2
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I often cook chinese beef curry delicious
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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Kaixin, thanks so much for the wonderful recipes. Your English is really outstanding. I visited China last year because my son and his family live in Wuhan, where they both teach in an international school. I had the pleasure of eating many, many wonderful foods. I will check your blog regularly and begin to try to cook some Chinese dishes.
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:20 PM   #4
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xie xie ni
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:43 PM   #5
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Ask your son about - 're gan mian'

Also ask him - 'ta ai chi re gan mian ma'
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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OK, I will....
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:01 AM   #7
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Kaixin,

Thank you for sharing the recipes. What cut of pork do you prefer for your dishes?
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:23 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your time in writing down all your wonderful recipes, Kaixin.....Chinese is one of the first cuisines that I attempted when I first married and my wonderful cook of a mother in law gave me a wok for a gift for my birthday after 6 months of marriage......I have never looked back......We love all kinds of Asian cuisines.........You're a doll to share so much with us here at DC....
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:29 AM   #9
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xie xie expatgirl

I enjoy cooking at home and I wanted to share how we eat at home, day to day. I started to make a pork bone soup a few weeks ago. My husband loves it and said I should put it in. So it will be next. It is very nutritious.

zia jian

xiaosui
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:26 PM   #10
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'a wei'

Kaixin now has a writing competition if anyone is interested - The subject is China, the entry to be between 1,000 and 1,500 words, there is a first prize of $250 and the winning entry will be permantly published in Kaixin. There is an entry fee of $10.

We are looking for different perspectives on China. The comptetion will be held every two months. This one ends 30th September.

See 'writing competition' in Kaixin

'a wei'

Every morning six-o-clock my mother took me to the old women’s home, before walking to worked. My sister was six years old, but she couldn’t go to kindergarten because my parents didn’t have enough money. So sister stayed at home by herself. She did a lot of cooking for the family. No one believe such young age could do a lot of housework.

Graeme – We visit Xiaosui’s sister and her family often in China. Her husband is an engineer and also a magnificent cook. He prepares sumptuous feasts for his extended family. He came from a family with nine children. He says that when he was growing up he never remembered being full. I sometimes ponder on how the little girl of six who prepared the family meals can now sit back while her husband prepares a feast for her. Sometimes ‘the sky’ gets it right.

That time, all of China used wood or scraps of wood to make small fires for cooking. I didn’t know at the time, I was too young, and took for granted that my sister set the fire and prepared the food. I now realize how young she was to make the fire in the small stove. She did not make a big thing of it, she just done.

Our home had a black dog, it was very good dog, his name was “a hei” ( ‘hei’ in Chinese means ‘black’ and is pronounced ‘hay’; ‘a’ is pronounced ‘ah’). Sister often went to the food market to buy the vegetables and meat. Every time when sister went to the market ‘a hei’ must go with her. My father would attach a purse to a rope collar around ‘a hei’s’ neck. In the purse was the food ration tickets and the money. My sister and ‘a hei’ would set off to do the shopping together, the little girl and the big black dog. At the markets all the people knew ‘a hei’. Sister would choose the food and the shop keeper would put it in her basket. Then ‘a hei’ would stand up and put his front paws on the counter and let the shopkeeper take the ration tickets and the money.

If someone bully sister, ‘a hei’ just made a big noise and bite their trousers. So when ‘a hei’ accompany sister, my parents never worried. Also, in this area, everyone know ‘a hei’. Many people talk about ‘a hei’, and say how he is such a loyal dog.

After the old women looked after me three months, my father got into trouble and lost his job (See ‘The Cultural Revolution through my eyes). He had to stay at home and write many statements of repentance. He didn’t have any income and my family couldn’t pay for the old women. So my father looked after me.

Everyday, mother went to work and father at home wrote a lot of this trouble things. He also looked after me and sister. Each Thursday, my father must take his written statement of repentance to the government and attend a meeting. When he was away sister looked after me and ‘a hei’ always sat near the door. If there was any strange footfall, he made big noise and let the person know not to come near our home. He knew my father was not at home and he must look after the two young children. We all loved ‘a hei’ and felt safe with him around.

In that time the “ju wei hui” people ( ju wei hui was a government office to manage a area) often came to our home and checked on my father. Every time the ju wei hui’s people came ‘a hei; always big noise and never let them get in our home until my father asked ‘a hei’ to stop. But he still was suspicious of the ju wei hui’s people and would walk round our home all the time they were there. So the ju wei hui’s people were very afraid and hated ‘a hei’. Eventually, they didn’t came anymore because of ‘a hei’ and my family could have some quiet time.

When I was one year old, that year China government had a new law. Every family couldn’t have any poultry and animal at home. Mao called this the ‘cut capitalistic tail’. It sounds funny now, but it was not funny then. When the government made the proclamation the ju wei hui’s people came to our home and told my father they were going to take ‘a hei’ to be killed. My father said to them, “we will kill ‘a hei’ by ourselves, we will do it tomorrow”.

When the ju wei hui people left our home, my sister hugged ‘a hei’ and cried. She begged father not kill ‘a hei’. She asked ‘a hei’ to run away. Father cried too. He told to sister if ‘a hei’ run away someone must find him and must be kill him soon. My mother said maybe we can hide ‘a hei’ at home. My father talked to ‘a hai’ and said that “the people want kill you, now you can’t make any voice, you must hide under the bed”.

At that time our home used two long stools to put a board on become a bed. So under the bed had many space. We used a long bed sheet so people couldn’t see under the bed. ‘a hei’ hid inside. He knew everything. From that night, he never had any sound. When the people sleep, father let ‘a hei’ outside. But, it was just a few days before people told the ju wei hui that our home still had dog. One day the ju wei hui’s people came and told my father to kill ‘a hei’ in a minute.

Father hugged ‘a hei’ and told him he must kill him. ‘a hei’ cried. Yes, I tell you, ‘a hei’ cried. He then sat and looked at father in understanding. ‘a hei’ did not try to run away or make any noise. Father used a stick to hit a hei’s head, just once. ‘a hei’ died. Sister cried a month for ‘a hei’. Now, she still will not touch a dog. A young child’s memory can be very strong.

After a hei died, my father needed to go to the government everyday for self-examination, because he confronted the law and didn’t kill the dog soon. Sister by now was in school, year one, so there was no one who can look after me. My mother sent me to another person’s home. They had three children at home and mother paid them 10yuan per month. The wife looked after their three children and me. I was young, but I cried for ‘a hei’ for a long time too.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:45 PM   #11
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Pork Bone Soup

Ingredients: 1kg of pork bones

Seasoning: 0.5 cup of Soya beans, 10 red date seeds, some licium fruit. A big piece of ginger.

Preparation: put the pork bone into a big sauce-pan, put some water in to cover the pork bone. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Take out the pork bones and wash them. Discard the water. Wash the soya beans, red date seeds and licium fruit. Cut the ginger into thick slices.

Cooking: Put the pork bones, soya beans, red date seeds, licium fruit and ginger into a big sauce-pan and put water in to cover the pork bone and ingredients by around 5cm. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for around 1.5 hours. Put some salt in to taste. Turn off the stove. The longer it sits the better, So try to prepare well ahead. Serve a piece of bone with each bowl of soap. Have a side plate so the bone can be picked clean and all the meat eaten. Hao Chi

You will find licium fruit at a Chinese shop
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:22 PM   #12
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Lehman Bros Debacle - "tai gui le"

Xiaosui cooked three great dishes last night, the recipes will follow soon. I thought given the events on the NY stock exchange, the following could be of interest - Graeme Mills (husband of Xiaosui)


"Tai gui le - Too expensive".

Those were the first Chinese words I used. I had walked out of the customs area at GuangZhou airport and was an obvious mark for the helpful young men who descended on me. One led me off with much gesticulating and obvious heartfelt concern for my well-being. The asking price for helping to negotiate around 60 metres was 100 Yuan. I did not know if that was too expensive but I did know that all prices had to be negotiated, so I negotiated. He looked crestfallen, as if I had insulted his mother, grandmother and a string of ancestors. I probably just looked confused. Hence the final price was 60 yuan, which was probably three times as much as I should have paid.

On time, 99% of the time. Dream on. The one announcement burned into my psyche is along the lines of , rattle, squawk, static, we regret to inform you that flight CS - 983 to Nanning has been delayed. They pack many more people into Chinese domestic aeroplanes. I got an un-interrupted view of the cabin wall, while resting my knees in my ears.

On the flight into GuangZhou I saw how a country could accommodate 1.4 billion people. They do it in countless high-rise apartment blocks. I was intrigued to see farmers working the land beside the airport and in and about the high-rise apartments and factories. That was to become a feature of China for me: the 21st Century beside millennia of tradition - poverty side by side with wealth.

In the West we rely on fossil fuels to plant and harvest our food and transport it to where the population is. In China, they rely on labour to a far greater extent do the same thing (though that is obviously changing, see the price of oil). Hence, if there is a major oil shock, the industrial capacity of China will be affected, but they will still be able to feed themselves, basically. How will we do that in the West, since we cannot even plant the crops, let alone have the widespread knowledge to do so? I am not a doom-sayer, indeed I am optimistic about the [re]emergence of China. However, I know which world leaders will be more relaxed about a world oil shock in the short term.

My China experience is not travelling and sightseeing, it is not going from doss house to doss house and living on noodles, it is not travelling on public transport (though I did go on an extended overnight train journey to KunMing, of which I will regale you with tales of woe and discomfort later), it is not business, it is not teaching. It is fitting into the heart of a Chinese family and a close network of friends in a small Chinese city largely un-influenced by the west. Indeed, I have only met two Europeans. When I am in China, I live in an apartment in the centre of the city beside a lake in the city of Nanning.

Nanning is located about 250 north of the Vietnamese border. It has always been the trading city between China and Vietnam and still is. It hosts a major Expo each October for SE Asia and is looking to become a hub for SE Asian commerce. Like all cities in China, it is constantly evolving and growing with apartment blocks springing up like the proverbial mushrooms.

On my last stay, as I was being driven around, rather alarmingly, I could not help thinking to myself that if the people in America are wondering where all their money has gone, I can tell them. It has and is being used to build high-rise buildings and factories in China.

I think of America and China as two houses side by side. America had built a large mansion and tended its gardens very well, growing food and flowers. Beside it was a small mud hut with the land being inefficiently tilled. Then the people in the mud hut started to make clothes for the rich people next door, who soon forgot how to make their own clothes. Then the people in the mud hut built a second mud hut and asked the people in the rich mansion if they could help them set up a factory and show them the technology to make widgets, of which the people in the rich mansion where particularly fond and which were a real pain to make. Best of all, the people in the mud hut could make the widgets for less and less money. And, although widgets only had a limited life, that was OK, since they could keep on buying them from the people in the mud hut for ever and ever, cheaper and cheaper. There was obviously no need for the people in the rich mansion to ever work again; the people in the mud hut would do it for them. And so on and so on. However, the people in the rich mansion soon found that without working they could not buy widgets, or clothes. So rather than work, they first spent their savings, which didn’t take long, since they were very meagre indeed. Then they persuaded their friendly central bank to print lots of money and being devilishly clever, they paid for the widgets with bits of paper. Ha Ha Ha, sucks on you Chinese. BUT! those little bits of paper were still real claims on the wealth of the Rich Mansion.

Over time, the people in the rich mansion not only gave all their money to the people in the mud hut and told them how to make just about everything, they, rather than work, borrowed money to purchase their widgets from the people in the mud-hut who all the time were very polite and smiled a lot, while reading Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'.

Now, in 2008, the people in the rich mansion - which is starting to need some maintenance, I gotta tell you - are in effect renting from the people in the mud hut who have watched in amusement as this young nation full of hormones goes around the world fighting everyone and throwing its wealth away. 'The Art of War' counsels that you should never extend your lines or dissipate your strength on far away battles, and that the nation that does will surely lose the war.

I use the references to 'The Art of War' in an economic tactical and strategic sense not a military sense. China is certainly not looking for a war (in the western sense) with any county. Well, possibly with the exception of Taiwan ... in the fullness of time ..­. when it is propitious .…. when the people in the rich mansion are fixing their leaking roof.

Now, courtesy of Mr and Mrs Lehnam, the people in the rich mansion are bankrupt and the people in the mud hut are eyeing off the rich mansion. I wonder how the people from the rich mansion will go living in the mud hut?
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:50 PM   #13
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Kaixin, this is a great thread!

I like both the recipes and the opinion essays.


I'm going to try the cashew chicken breast this weekend.

I like the last essay in particular.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:43 PM   #14
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xie xie, brazen amateur - Xiaosui

(thanks mate - graeme)
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaixin View Post
xie xie, brazen amateur - Xiaosui

Bu Xie

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Old 09-18-2008, 04:19 PM   #16
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:)
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