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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello…Every day is a Good Journey

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Hello and how are you doing?  After a two month hiatus,  back to my regular schedule!!

Want to know what have I been up to the past two months?  On Wednesday June 22nd, 2016  I will be on Ms. Deborah Moore’s radio show on Fairchild Radio 1470 at 10:30am sharp!  Here’s an outline for the program (subject to change and not in particular order)!

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

WE LOVE FISH AND PORK: Father’s Day

Father’s Day menu: Oven roasted sablefish with mushroom “jus”, sea asparagus, nori and green onion, steamed broccoli and roasted brussel sprouts, sister in law’s potato salad, deep fried pork cutlet “cubes” with spicy sweet and sour tomato sauce (think outside of the box), Fresh shrimp and garlic stem ‘scramble”, and a side of healthy wild rice blend.

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Happy Father’s Day!

Recipe: Sake Kasu and Miso  Sablefish (black cod):  (See other posting for recipe)

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Homemade: Oven roasted Sable fish with shiitake/shimeji “jus” , bok choy, sea asparagus, nori and green onion

My sources: Seafood City (Granville Island), Fujiya (Clark Drive, Vancouver), Vancouver Island Salt Company…

Check out Betty King Sauce (www.bettykingsauce.com) if you want a spicy kick for any dishes!

The return of sushi bars to Vancouver: Sushi Maumi (1226 Bute Street (and Davie)

For nigiri sushi lovers only; a small 10-seat restaurant, reservations required (three sittings 6 , 730 and 9), fresh fish from Japan and I love their anago tempura!

http://www.facebook.com/sushibarmaumi

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Rustic Italian Fare: Osteria Salvio Volpe  (Fraser and Kingsway)

Rustic Italian food focus on family style dining, fresh pasta and meats cooked in wood fire grill, love their roast chicken! Simple rustic tasty foods, friendly service and great atmosphere. Reservations recommended.

http://www.saviovolpe.com 

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Morel mushroom Linguine – Mangia!

 

 

Bingsoo time! We love desserts in Vancouver: Snowy Village (two locations; Robson Street in Vancouver and Alexandra Road in Richmond)

My hubby loves their bingsoos and we have been back four times already…

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Bingsoo!

 

 

Raincouver, Love you to the Moon and Back

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Gastown in the Rain; beautiful as ever

“Raindrops keep falling on my head…I ain’t gonna stop the rain by complaining.

I’m dancing and singing in the rain…why am I smiling?

Because I am living a life full of you.” – I love Vancouver.

Brunching in “Raincouver”….walking in the rain in Gastown and brunching at L’abattoir…it’s always great to revisit old favourites.

http://www.labattoir.com

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Enjoyed the wild mushroom Quiche!!

Attended our friend’s wedding (congratulations Bryan and Adelphie) on Halloween (that’s a first!!)


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Spent time cooking and experimenting at home….

My take on “Fish without Chips”: Baked lemon pepper panko crusted cod : Last month I adapted Just One Cooking’s baked croquettes method and made some fabulous kabocha edamame croquettes at home; using the same stove-top browning method to prepare the panko (a little olive oil and medium low heat on a frying pan), I encrusted the beautiful cod I got from Seafood City (Granville Island Public Market) with lemon rind browned panko mix (flour/egg/panko), baked the fish in 350 degree F oven for approximately 10 minutes..served piping hot on a homemade relish mayo sauce (OJAI lemonaise + greek yogurt + homemade relish)…now I just have to get those “yam fries” in next time (OO)

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It has been a while since I made Saba (mackerel) Soboro (Flaked Mackerel with carrots, onions and scrambled egg, check my recipe posting in the archives February 2014)…This one is for you: Shin, Teru and Rinka, we miss you!

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http://www.seafoodcitygi.com

http://www.granvilleisland.com

Life is always full of wonderful little surprises and always give us something to think about: GROW – COOK – SHARE – ADVOCATE

Two months ago I entered and won the Gastropost Vancouver “Good Food Changes Lives” contest via Instagram with my savoy cabbage salad photo.

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Warm Savoy Cabbage and Radicchio Salad with toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries, pancetta bits, parmesan Reggiano and a drizzle of homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette (1 Tablespoon manuka honey, 2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper season to taste)

The most meaningful prize gift basket came in early November; thank you thank you thank you Gastropost Vancouver and Community Food Centres Canada for your truly inspirational handwritten message and thoughtful gifts; I’m inspired to share my table and make a difference.

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http://www.vancouver.gastropost.com

http://www.cfccanada.ca

We are always learning something new: 

My friend PPQ and I attended a Nutrition Education Seminar hosted by the BC Cancer Agency two weeks ago at their Vancouver Research facility. The presentation by key speaker Ms. Desiree Nielsen RD is  informative and delightful (she’s a lovely speaker); Ms. Nielsen provided 10 simple steps to “unjunk our diets”, her insights and guidelines are geared towards preventing inflammation and general overall health improvement for everyone. I’m planning to read her book “Unjunk your diet” and research further..

http://www.desireerd.com

And when the “dining” stars were alignedPosh Noshing at Torafuku, the #CoolestCatOnTheBlock (958 Main Street, Vancouver tel 778-903-2006)

Finally we made it to Torafuku, “brick and mortar” location by the creators of Le Tigre food truck 

2 cocktails for him + 1 mocktail for me + 4 great dishes + 1 scrumptious dessert + great service +  friendly conversation with the bartenders = We will be back

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Gone Fishing – My favourite dish
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YUM! Vegetarians only – crispy mochi, seasonal veggies, mozza, torched mayo

Back to Ramen Butcher in Chinatown..this time for tsukemen (Check out their campaign specials on instagram)

http://www.theramenbutcher.com

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Tsukemen with Japanese char siu

Although my heart goes out to Paris...

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There’s always lots happening in my city:

http://www.vancitybuzz.com

http://www.eatlocal.org

Can you decipher the message? It echoes my sentiments towards “Raincouver”…

(Maggie, thank you for being the coolest teacher)

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LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK….

 

 

A Sweet and Savoury September

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Peggy’s Point Lighthouse

A Sweet and Savoury September..and a dream came true…”if it has to be, it is up to me”

Sharing: I had the best time learning how to make relish and canning with Jo and friends..

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A humbling and fulfilling experience as Kitchen Help Volunteer at Union Gospel Mission..

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Visiting friends and kids: Homemade kid friendly sushi salad lunch at home…

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Lunch with old friends and kids at home : A homemade kid friendly sushi salad – sushi rice, canned tuna+shredded crab meat+kewpie+Ojai lemonaise, boiled egg (or Japanese egg omelette), braised shiitake mushrooms, Japanese pickled radish (takuan) and seaweed. Broccoli and radish salad with ginger apple dressing, store-bought salt pepper roast chicken.

Had a fabulous dinner with hubby at Kinome Japanese Kitchen (2511 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC), this picture was published in the Province Gastropost Vancouver!

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Japanese pumpkin (kabocha) and edamame Korokke (panko crusted) with side salad at Kinome Japanese Kitchen

Dear friends delivered the Wickedly delicious creme brulee from Crackle Creme (245 Union Street, Vancouver Chinatown) to our home:

http://www.cracklecreme.com

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Take your pick: Yuzu, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Bean or Organic Matcha ?

And a travel dream came true – Snapshot by the Sea: My Maritime memories in Halifax, Nova Scotia (sneak peek of upcoming blog post)

http://www.novascotia.com

2.5 hours of Fun and Tasty Downtown Somo (South of Morris Street) Food Tour with Local Tasting Tours (Thank you Emily!)

http://www.localtastingtours.com

http://www.storiesdining.com

http://www.selwoodgreen.com

http://www.cafechianti.com

http://www.smilinggoat.ca

http://www.theuncommongroup.com

http://www.foxhillcheesehouse.com

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Cherry Yogurt Gelato at Seaport Farmers Market – Foxhill Cheese House
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Smiling Goat Coffee and Pastry (15 ingredients) and Mexican Chiapas Coffee
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Pan Seared Rice paper wrapped scallop at Stories

Delicious seafood risotto at The Bicycle Thief Italian Restaurant…

http://www.bicyclethief.ca

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After dinner stroll along the sea walk….

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A dream came true: I made it to Peggy’s Cove!

http://www.grayline.com

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Beautiful and quaint…beyond words can describe
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Scotsman and the lobster

Simple and delicious lunch at Mckelvies: Pan seared Local rainbow trout with tarragon sauce 

http://www.mckelvies.com

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One hour harbour cruise on Tall Ship Silva (old pirate ship) around the harbour:

http://www.tallshipsilva.com

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An old pirate ship: the brave and strong can try to pull the sails

A quick visit to the Nova Scotia Art Gallery: do you know who is Maud Lewis? She’s a famous Canadian folk artist, we learn something new every day…

http://www.artgalleryofnovascotia.ca

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Lobster roll (yes more food) at Seaport Farmer’s Market

http://www.halifaxfarmersmarket.com

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Goldwater lobster shack at the Seaport Farmers Market
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Lobster roll: Fresh baked bun and home made mayo with succulent Nova Scotia lobster meat..

And on my way home…quick stopover in Toronto to visit an old friend…and a quick visit to the St. Lawrence Market..yes it’s all about friendship and food..

http://www.stlawrencemarket.com

http://www.upexpress.com

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St Lawrence Market, Toronto
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Lunch at Le Papillon on Front: Love the spinach salad with feta and raspberry vinaigrette, I also enjoyed their Jean Pierre crepe (broccoli, spinach, onion, feta, tomato sauce – picture not shown)

When I returned to Vancouver…we enjoyed an Italian meal with my friends, Peter (@pastaboypeter on twitter) and James (house historian) who now lives in Italy and came back for a visit..

Stringozzi (shoestring fresh handmade pasta at home), bruschetta with concord grape compote/ricotta/pancetta bits and mozzarella di buffala with cherry tomatoes, salt baked sea bass, Avonlea cheese from PEI, warm savoy cabbage salad

http://www.seafoodcitygi.com

http://www.cioffisgroup.com

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Beautiful sea bass from Seafood City, Granville Island, my favourite seafood shop. 400F and 20-25 minutes later..

Warm Savoy Cabbage and radicchio salad, with toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries, fried pancetta bits (optional for non-vegetarians), shavings of Parmesan Reggiano with home made Manuka honey balsamic vinaigrette,  I took the main elements from the salad I had at the Bicycle Thief (Halifax Bishop’s Landing) and added my own touches, recipe coming!

http://www.eatlocal.org

http://www.cranberriesnaturally.com

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Homemade Warm Savoy Cabbage and Radicchio Salad

And today I’m on AM 1470 Fairchild Radio Ms. Deborah Moore’s show sharing my experience with all of you..Thank you Deb M for having me on your show, and thanks everyone for tuning in!

My wish for everyone: La Dolce Vita.

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