August 2016: One Thing Leads To Another

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Mural on Main Street

Want to know what have I been up to in August?  On Wednesday August 31st, 2016  I will be on Ms. Deborah Moore’s radio show on Fairchild Radio 1470 at 10:30am sharp!

If you have any feedback or recommendations, I would love to hear from you!  Drop me a line anytime at goldenapron@gmail.com

“Ai and Om Knives” in Vancouver Chinatown

Having the right and suitable kitchen wares certainly makes doing the job better; and a good knife takes you a long way…

I really don’t know much about knives, my limited knowledge came from tips I’ve picked up at cooking classes, or friends’ recommendations and through reading  I don’t really like to get too technical with almost everything, I just know what “feels” right and what works for me personally.  The last purchase for the “Santoku” was more than 10 years ago (I’m still loving my Wusthof Santoku. Since April I have been on the search for the “right” nakiri  ((菜切り包丁) a great vegetable knife). There were a couple of choices but somehow it didn’t feel quite right; I kept thinking I might as well wait and pick up one when I travel to Japan….Until last Saturday…

My hubby always say I like to “tuck” information away and somehow I can miraculously pull it out when timing is right. I came across the posting about ‘Ai and Om”‘s opening on Instagram (through another instagrammer MaknMing)  around three months ago; and finally it opened on August 21st.

Last weekend I decided to check things out; I was standing outside their door; just one glance at the display window and there it was….I summoned the courage and went in…

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The picture below says it all….and I was happily chopping and dicing away on Sunday..

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Thank you for your help, Yvonne and Douglas (and thanks for answering my message!), I will introduce myself properly next time and will be in touch soon!

Check out their store and ask for recommendations: 129 East Pender Street, Vancouver Chinatown.

I found this article afterwards:

http://scoutmagazine.ca/2016/05/11/diner-chef-douglas-chang-to-open-ai-om-knife-store-on-e-pender-street-in-chinatown/

 

FoodVideo: Chinese cooking channel on YouTube, WeChat and Weibo:

This channel is so much fun to watch: the videos are short and stylish; cooking demonstrations and instructions are simple to understand; there was this particular video which showcases two simple family style dishes from Yunnan cuisine (something I am not familiar with also); it looked so delicious and simple to make, the names are interesting also, roughly translated to “Red Three Chop” and “Black Three Chop” .

I certainly put “Nakiri” into good use over the weekend. As I am unable to find some of the ingredients (the “black coloured” pickled Brassica juncea – mustard green), I sourced out local ingredients and came up with my versions; I wanted to find out what is the English name of the pickled vegetable used and I contacted the home cook on weibo; I was thrilled to hear from her!

“Triple Red Dice” and “Triple Green Dice” : Great with rice or noodle, suitable for entire family and it’s easy to make.  Initially I “googled” the Chinese ingredient and the translation I got was ‘Kohlrabi”, big head vegetable (haha).  Have you ever tried cooking with kohlrabi?  The first time I had it was at Pidgin Restaurant (more than 4 years ago I still remember the Dan Dan Kohlrabi), and more recently I’ve used the raw kohlrabi for the Dan Dan Noodles (Thanks Nourish Vancouver); it’s the first time I try kohlrabi in its cooked form and it has a very nice sweet flavour.

Triple Green Dice: minced garlic and ginger, minced pork, kohlrabi, green pepper, Serrano chili pepper, shiitake mushroom, green onion, Tamari soy used as seasoning, and finish with Vancouver Island Fleur del Sel. (triple green: green pepper, kohlrabi, Serrano chili pepper)

Triple Red Dice: minced garlic and ginger, minced turkey (non-medicated and free range), heirloom tomatoes (they are in season!), red pepper, Thai chilli pepper, green pepper,  Tamari soy used as seasoning, a drizzle of maple syrup and finished with Vancouver Island and Co. Fleur del Sel. (triple red: tomatoes, red pepper and Thai chili pepper).

This is what I truly believe in: Cook with love, always think of who you are cooking for, remember to season and adjust to personal tastes and dietary concerns!

Vancouver Island Salt Co : I met them at the Dinner Party YVR Event and I’ve been using their product ever since..(my personal favourite: smoked sea salt).

http://www.visaltco.com

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My take on Yunnan Chinese food using local ingredients: my friends call it Deb’s brand of fusion (I dislike this word but what can I call them?) – Triple Red Dice and Triple Green Dice

Fun on Fraser Take Two: Change is Constant

As our beloved city of Vancouver kept growing,  the little hubs in our neighbourhood kept changing; old favourites might be gone, perhaps finding new love…

Opa!  Nammos on Fraser:

I must confess I am not the biggest fan of Greek food but somehow having dined at Nammos twice (Brunch and dinner),  I love their fresh and no fuss approach: Family style share plates with great vegetarian options, fresh and light tasting (try their crispy calamari with the beet dip), good size portion and reasonable pricing; the restaurant is spacious and airy, patio seating available…and it’s right next to Earnest Ice cream (OO).

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Share plate at brunch: Calamari with beet dip; Nammos Salata: spinach, arugula and manouri with honey vinaigrette, a side order of swiss chard, grilled vegetarian sandwich
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Tender grilled octopus: one of the shared plates we had for dinner

Penang Bistro on Fraser (Used to be Bodhi Choi Heung)

Celebrated a friend’s dinner last week at Penang Bistro (Back to Fraser Hood!);  Three things which stand out: the fluffy roti and the pork chop (sweet and sour) with fried kabocha squash; and lastly I must commend our server for his food knowledge and superb service, he understands the menu and the components for each dish very well.

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Sweet and Sour Fried Pork Chop with Fried Kabocha
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Fluffy Roti; my friends had the beef and chicken satay skewers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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