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Showing posts from June, 2006

Turmeric

Turmeric comes from the root of Curcuma Longa, a leafy plant in the ginger family. The root, or rhizome, has a tough brown skin and bright orange flesh. Ground Tumeric comes from fingers which extend from the root. It is boiled or steamed and then dried, and ground.


Turmeric is a necessary ingredient of curry powder. It is used extensively in Indian dishes, including lentil and meat dishes, and in Southeast Asian cooking. Turmeric is routinely added to mustard blends and relishes. It also is used in place of saffron to provide color and flavor. Turmeric is mildly aromatic and has scents of orange or ginger. It has a pungent and bitter flavor.

Cranberry Bean - 珍珠豆

Shell beans, or "shellouts," are other names for Cranberry Beans. These beans have a nutty flavor and creamy texture. It's rounded with red specks, which disappear on cooking and available fresh or dried. These beans are a favorite in northern Italy and Spain. In Singapore, cranberry beans are known as "Pearl Beans,珍珠豆", which is a literal translation from its Chinese name and they are sold fresh in their pods in most vegetable stalls. So next time when you happened to see these beautiful beans do buy some back and make soup... it really taste wonderful.


Recipes On Cranberry Beans:
Cranberry Bean, Lotus Root & Huai Shan Soup
Lotus Root, Pumpkin & Pearl Bean Soup
Pumpkin, Cranberry Bean & Cordyceps Soup

Common Fresh Herbs

Each HERB has it own Unique Aroma and Form. They are always the soul of different dishes and they heighten your sense of taste and smell. So if you happen to see these beautiful herbs around do try them in your dish and you will be surprised of what you had......



Bay Leaves-月桂叶
Bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance, and may be used Fresh Or Dried. The Bay Leaf is useful in hearty, homestyle cooking. When you are making bean, split pea and vegetable soups, meat stews, spaghetti sauce, and chili, a Bay leaf can be added for a more pungent flavor. Alternate whole Bay Leaves with meat, seafood, or vegetables on skewers before cooking. Be sure to remove Bay Leaves before eating a dish that has finished cooking. The whole leaves are used to impart flavor only and are bitter and hard to chew.

Chinese Coriander-中国芫西
Coriander is a delicate annual herb with several branches and lacy leaves with jagged edges belonging to the carrot family. Native to South Europe…

Zhi Ke Tang - 止咳汤

Since the Weather is changing very fast during these few months, it's good to drink this herbal drink regularly to relieve cough and strengthens functions of respiratory system. You can have this at least once or twice a week like normal herbal drinks.



Ingredients: (serve 3-4)
40g Sweet & Bitter Almond(南北杏)
2 Ju Bing(桔饼)
15g Chuan Bei Mu(川贝母)
10 Dried Figs(无花果)
6g Gan Gao(干草)
5-10g Dried Chrysanthemum(菊花)
1-2 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar(optional)

Methods:
1. Roughly rinse the ingredients then add in add around 1.5 litres of water and boil for 1 – 2 hours under low heat and serve.
2. Or you can transfer everything to a slow cooker and simmer on Auto Function for 2 hours.

Notes:You can get thosedark brown sugarin chinese medical hall, it's good to use them in herbal drink as it had some detoxify function according to some old folk tale. If not, just add in some rock sugar if you want it to be sweeter.
Chuan Bei Mu(川贝母)
It’s bittersweet in taste and slightly cold in nature. It clears Heat,…

Basic Chinese Herbs - Part II

Just like taking herbal medicine, medicinal diet needs to be handled with the same care. Improper dosage or use would result in undersirable or side effects. All those wanting to include herbal medicine in their diet for better healthy should learn the functions and nature of food items and herbs thus use them wisely in relation to your own body needs.



Bei Qi(北耆)
It strengthens the heat, promotes urination, lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system. Eg: Dang Gui Chicken Soup

Dang Gui(当归)
It benefits and balances the blood, regulates menses, treats pain and soothes the intestines. Eg: Dang Gui, Huai Shan & Black Chicken Soup

Dang Shen(当参)
It supplements energy and benefits spirits, grows saliva ad stops thirst. It also strengthens body and stomach, improves fatigue and tiredness, dry mouth and tongue. Eg: Dang Gui Chicken Soup

Hai Zhu( 海竹)
It is the root and stem of Yu Zhu which helps reduce sediments and also softens the blood vessel. Serve this soup frequently is good to the He…

Basic Chinese Herbs - Part I

In Chinese Culinary Culture, soup has been viewed as the soul and indispensable part of a prefect meal. Certain soup also have healing qualities such as: Pickled Cucumber Soup With Coriander and Century Egg heals sore throat. In my soup recipe blog I usually Long-stewed the soup with different combination of Chinese herbs which I found them very useful. So in this two pages, I would roughly display some of the common herbs and their usage for stewing soup.



Dried Cordyceps Stem(冬虫草茎)
Taste slightly sweet and of neutral nature, it nourishes the Ying, strengthens the lungs and kidney, benefits Qi and expels sputum. Eg: Chicken, Huai Shan & Cordyceps Soup

Dried Lotus Seeds(干蓮子)
It strengthen the Heart, Liver, Spleen and Kidneys and also energize the Qi and promote blood cell formation.

Dried Figs(无花果)
It is rich in vitamins A & C, proteins and fibers. It strengthens the Spleen, lubricates intestines and helps with dry cough and sore throat. There are two types of figs, fresh and dried.…

Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a fail-safe addition to many winter meals and they become lanterns at Halloween and they carried Cinderella to the ball. Pumpkin's use goes beyond the Sunday roast and they are delicious, low in fat and kilojoules which are good source of dietary fiber, vitamins and carbohydrates.

There are many types of pumpkins, but there is little difference in flavour. Varieties include the bell-shaped butternut pumpkin, with it's creamy-brown skin and orange flesh; the Japanese pumpkin, with it's mottled grey-green skin and sweet , nutty taste as well as Queensland blue, golden nugget and jarrahdale.

Choosing Pumpkin
Should yu buy pumpkin whole or pre-cut? Both have advantage, the hard part is already done with pre-cut pieces and you can inspect the flesh- choose pieces that look moist and crisp. Pale pieces are generally watery and bland, so go for deep orange coloured flesh for a rich flavour. When buying whole pumpkins, look for blemish-free and firm skin with a good weig…

All About Flour

The term "Flour" is generally used to refer to any edible substance in powdered form. Of all the cereals milled into flour, Wheat Flour is by far the most versatile, as it provides the elasticity in dough required for baking. Rice flour and Cornflour do not have this property.



Bread Flour(高筋面粉)
It is a high-protein flour, ideal for making all varieties of bread, buns and other flour-based products.

Cake Flour(低筋面粉)
It has the least amount of gluten of all wheat flours, making it best for light, delicate products such as sponge cakes, and some cookie batters. Cake flour often comes bleached, which gives it a bright, white appearance.

Cornflour(粟粉)
It is also known as cornstarch or maize flour, is milled from the starch of corn kernels. It contains no gluten and is used as thickener, giving sauces a smooth consistency. It can be combined with other flours for baking.

Plain Flour(普通面粉)
It a mutli-purpose wheat flour made from a blend of hard and soft flour. The husk particles are sifte…
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