Posted in Chinese, food

Braised Beef Noodle Soup (红烧牛肉面)

山珍海味,都不如一碗红烧牛肉面让人满足😋

显摆一下,今天这碗牛肉面,连对菜很挑剔的某个同学(就不点名批评了😾)都说“哟,你这碗面有水平”。我个人也觉得是很久以来我吃过最好吃的面了。

在家里做牛肉面呢,是很考验耐心的一道功夫菜,倒不是费力,就是熬汤要很久。但我保证,你如果试过一次,肯定觉得值🙂

食材:
牛大骨(熬汤),牛腱(beef shank),beef stew meat (可省), 牛排(ribeye 或者类似,可省,但有的话很有特点,后面会说),酸菜或者泡菜,青菜,葱,姜,蒜,香菜。

话说现在要凑齐这些食材也不容易,大家灵活掌握。

流程:
🍲熬汤:牛骨头用水汆一下,洗净,加一大锅水,姜,葱,几粒花椒,大火煮开,小火煮4个小时左右。你如果有时间煮更久点也没问题。

🧑‍💻趁着熬汤的时候,我去干了点正事。两个半小时回来,接着做。

🥘红烧牛肉:

  • 牛腱切大块,beef stew也切大块,泡水15分钟去血水。
  • 锅里放一点油,把牛肉煎一下,倒入高压锅里
  • 红烧汁:锅里放一点油,把葱姜炒香,加入糖( ~4tbsp) 炒化,加入酱油 (~4tbsp),然后加水烧开,倒入高压锅里。- – 可以吃辣的同学可以在炒葱姜的时候加入几个辣椒,我没有加,因为娃不能吃辣。
  • 调料包:我没有现成的,而且特殊时期,家里调料也不全,所以只放了八角(2),香叶(2)和桂皮(1),实践证明也OK。
  • 高压锅meat/stew档,35分钟。喜欢肉有嚼劲的可以适当缩短时间。

⏳肉红烧着的时候,我们来做些其它准备工作。

  • 炒酸菜:酸菜可是牛肉面的好伴侣,增味,解腻。可惜,特殊时期,家里没有酸菜,怎么办呢🤔?我在冰箱里找到一盒韩国泡菜,冲泡掉泡菜的辣味,切碎,加蒜末,一点酱油,糖炒了一下,居然也可以👍
  • 牛排肉:切薄片,冲去血水,加一点酱油上色。放一边,等下拿牛肉汤烫一下就可以。
  • 葱和香菜切粒,备用
  • 青菜汆烫一下,备用。

⌛牛骨头汤熬好了。哇,一开盖子,香叶扑鼻。红烧牛肉也好了,捞出来放一边。

🍜现在开始准备乘面:

  • 锅里烧上水,准备煮面
  • 另外找一个锅,加入4汤勺牛骨汤, 4汤勺红烧牛肉汤, 烧开,把牛排肉快速烫熟。
  • 准备装牛肉面的大碗,3汤勺牛骨汤 + 4 or 5汤勺红烧牛肉汤。
  • 加入煮好的面,放青菜,葱末,香菜末,摆上红烧的牛肉和烫熟的牛排肉,加一勺炒酸菜和辣椒油(可省)。就好了!

注:烫牛肉嫌麻烦可以省略,而且一般店里是不这么做的。我自己觉得是一个亮点,可以体会不同风味和口感的牛肉,还有很重要一点是我们家娃很喜欢这种牛肉。

注2:喜欢吃辣的同学,做红烧牛肉汁还有炒酸菜的时候都可以加入辣椒炒香,吃面的时候加入辣椒酱也不错。我的做法里尽量省去了辣椒,因为要照顾到娃的口味。话说娃每次去面店最纠结的就是牛肉面,想吃又太辣吃不了🤭

Posted in food

Salmon Gravlax

This recipe takes 2~3 days to cure the salmon, but it’s quite simple to make. If you like cured salmon, it’s worth giving it a try.

⏳Day 1

  • 1 lemon, half a grapefruit (opt), squize out the juice and put aside
  • sugar: salt 2:1, I used 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4cup salt, a bit lemon zest, a bit grapefruit zest, 1/2 tsp grounded black pepper, half of the juice from the first step, mix well
  • salmon pat dry
  • put the remaining half portion of the juice on a plate first, then place the salmon, rub the mixture in step 2 on the salmon.
  • if you like, you can also cut the lemon and grapefruit skin to small pieces and spread on top (opt)
  • wrap it with food wrap, put something heavy on top, and let it chill in the fridge for 1~2 days

⏳Day 2 or 3

  • take the salmon out, remove the marinade, wash slightly and pat dry.
  • brush honey mustard on top
  • chop dill and spread on top
  • let it chill in the fridge for one more day

⌛ Day 3 or 4


Ready to enjoy 😋

  • slice the salmon to thin slices. Wow, what a beautiful color😍
  • you can enjoy it alone, with a cup of wine, make hand sushi roll, put it on bagels, … Your choice 👍
Posted in life, reading, work

The Rule of Awkward Silence

We are often afraid of “awkward silence”, and there are all sorts of discussions and recipes for avoiding it. However, this article tells us that we should embrace it.

The author noticed that Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, probably the two most intelligent people on Earth in this century, both have a habit when facing challenging questions: they’ll keep silent for a quite long time, from 5 seconds to 15 seconds or even 20 seconds. These two smart guys, even though excellent in thinking and processing information, they take their time to think, i.e. they embrace the rule of awkward silence.

“The rule of awkward silence is simple: When faced with a challenging question, instead of answering, you pause and think deeply about how you want to answer. “

Why they both practice this rule? What is it good for? First, it is great for critical thinking and helps us to give deeper and more thoughtful answers. Second, and maybe more profund, it allows our emotions get checked and allow us to deliver the responses less emotionally and more intelligently.

It’s interesting that our brains uses different part in thinking based on our emotions. When we are calm and rational, we typically engage a part of our brain known as the prefrontal cortex; but when we are under pressure, we typically use another part of our brain known as the amygdala, which is known as “emotional hijack.” By pause and slow down, we allow us to calm down, keep our emotions under control, and use the rational part to respond.

The example he used in the article is also one of my favorites: how Steve Jobs answered the tough question when he just returned to Apple and an audience said to him “You don’t know what you’re talking about” in the 1997 WWDC. If you are interested, check it out here.

So next time, when we face a tough question, especially questions making us emotionally uncomfortable, don’t be afraid of taking some time, embrace the rule of awkward silence and use it to it’s advantage.

Posted in Chinese, food

BBQ Pork (叉烧肉)

One very popular Chinese dish BBQ Pork (叉烧肉). It’s actually quite easy to make 🙂

Choose pork with a bit more fat, such as pork shoulder。I happen to have a piece of pork presa(松阪肉) at home. I know, its too good for bbq 🙂, but special time, use whatever you have 👍

Easy Recipe:

  • 3tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1.5tbsp rose wine or rice wine or regular cooking wine, 2~3tbsp honey, 2tsp red yeast rice powder (if you don’t have, can skip), 1/2 tsp black pepper, mix well
  • cut pork to 2~3 inch wide chunks, put them in a freezer bag, add the sauce, add some garlic and ginger slices
  • close the bag. Refrigerat for 1~2 days

I took it out after one day. Now, let’s cook it:

  • preheat oven to 400F
  • put the pork on a bbq rack, and make sure you protect the baking pan well with foil for easy clean (picture 1)
  • mix 2tbsp honey, 2tbsp oil and 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1tsp red yeast rice powder (picture 2)
  • brush the pork with the sauce
  • bake for ~10 minutes, take out, flip, brush sauce on the other side, bake for another ~10 minutes (picture 3)
  • take out, let it cool, cut to thin slices.
  • enjoy!
Posted in Chinese, food

Zongzi | Rice Dumpling (粽子)

The dragon boat festival (端午节)is this Thursday 6/25. Our tradition is to eat Zongzi | Rice Dumpling (粽子).

I’ll try to show how to make Zongzi in this post. But before we start, I have to warn you that this food is very challenging for our patience 😉

Ingredients you need:

  • glutinous rice
  • reed leaves
  • cotton string

optional:

  • chicken thighs
  • red beans
  • dates

⏳~24 hours before making:

  • soak the reed leaves in water
  • cut the chicken thighs into small pieces, season with 3tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp sugar, 1.5 tbsp cooking wine, 1/2 tsp 五香粉,1/2 tsp white pepper, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and put in refrigerator.

⏳~2 hours before making

  • soak 3 cups of glutinous rice in water
  • soak half cup of red beans in water
  • soak about 20 dried shiitake mushrooms or use fresh ones
  • soak about 20 dates in water

⌛Okay, now we are ready to make it!

Split the glutinous rice to two portion:

  • one portion add 2tbsp soy sauce and 1tsp sugar. If you have time, you can also fry it with oil to make it a bit more tasty.
  • one portion add 2tbsp sugar

There are many different ways to make Zongzi. Today, I’ll show two ways my family often use. It’s a bit hard to explain in words. Here are some pictures, and hopefully you can get an idea 😇

三角棕:

  • put two reed leaves together, cut the hard part at the bottom, fold up from the right side (picture 1)
  • put rice at the bottom, add filling (chicken + shittake mudroom, or red beans, or dates), then add rice to cover (picture 2)
  • press the two sides in while fold down the leaves (picture 2)
  • fold down and wrap around (picture 3)
  • wrap with the cotton string and tight (picture 4)

小脚棕 | 小三角棕

  • one reed leaf, fold and roll from the middle, and shape it like the first picture below.
  • other steps are similar as 三角棕
  • the finish looks like the second picture below.

It may feel hard at the beginning. Try a few and you will get the feel. See I made this whole batch in about an hour 🙂

Now it’s time to boil it. Two options:

  • boil in a big pot on the stove: put Zongzi in after water boil, after ~2 minutes, turn down the heat and let’s cook for 2 ~ 3 hours
  • use an instant pot: meat/stew setting, 45 minutes.

😍 After so much hard working, finally can enjoy it now! It tastes so much like home …

Posted in food

Pineapple Cake (凤梨酥)

If you also love baking like me, this is a perfect way to relax and enjoy a delicious Sunday afternoon. Homemade pineapple cake is so much more refreshing and tasty😋

Ok, let’s start!

Making the pineapple filling:

  • 1 pineapple, skin and core removed, slice to big chunks, put into blender, and ground coarsely.
  • filter out juice and put the pulp into a cast iron pan or a no-stick pan.
  • fry for ~15 minutes, mix well
  • add 1tbsp maltose, fry for ~15 minutes, mix well
  • add 15g unsalted butter, fry for ~10 minutes, mix well.
  • done! You should see the filling easy to stay together and dry.
  • put in refrigerator to let it cool.

Making the cookie dough:

  • 150g flour(1.2cups)
  • 100g butter, softed in room temperature
  • ~1tbsp powder sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Mix the first three, and then add the egg, mix well. Wrap with plastic food wrap, and put in refrigerator for half an hour to an hour.

Ok, after about half an hour, now everything is ready. Let’s make the pineapple cake!

Devide both the filling and the dough equally to 20 small balls each.

Flat the dough ball and wrap the pineapple filling inside. Use a mold or your hands to shape it well.

Preheat oven to 360F, bake for 25 minutes.

Enjoy with a cup of red tea, so good 😘

Posted in Chinese, reading

周末读书 -平庸的恶和极权主义

最近重新翻看这两本书,平庸的恶(《Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil》)和极权主义(《The Origins of Totalitarianism》),因为觉得在当下,对我们反思今天的社会现象,以及每个个体的责任,依然是非常有帮助的。

极权主义是指“一个对社会有着绝对权威并尽一切可能谋求控制公众与私人生活的政治制度”。它的代表是纳粹和法西斯,但它更以隐蔽的多样的形式出现在我们周围,而且我们常常一无所知,甚至成了帮凶。

这就是Hannah对于“平庸的恶”的洞见。Hannah认为“平庸的恶”来自于人们的不思考状态,不去思考自己行为的目的和后果,只是盲目地服从或跟从。

极权主义和个人的冷漠,盲从是相辅相成的。一个糟糕的社会,并不只是因为几个处心积虑的阴谋家和大奸大恶之人,还有我们每一个冷漠,听从和无所谓的人。

Eichmann是平庸的恶(无思考,盲从)还是radical evil,这个在当时和之后的好多年都是非常有争议的话题。Hannah也因此饱受犹太人的诟病。对Eichmann的审判,不管他是平庸的恶还是根本的恶,都是一个法律问题,法律问题看的是即成事实,该由法院裁决。

Hannah在她的书里讨论的是一个政治哲学问题,她从Eichmann事件本身,反思的是我们应该怎么做以避免极权主义和平庸的恶的相互构建和类似悲剧的发生。她给出的答案是“不思考”的反面 – 思考。她认为思考的能力和判断力是我们避免平庸的恶的根本。这个答案听起来有点悖论和原地绕圈的意思,就像说“何不食肉糜”一样。

可能这个问题的本身就是一场角力。极权主义是消灭个体人性的奴役之路,每个不思考,冷漠,盲从的个体都是加速这台机器运转的部件;而每个有思想的,自省的,有判断力和个体都是保存人性的根本,社会进步和自由的希望。不想坠入奴役之路,每个人就都有责任思考,参与,选择自己的行动,对自己的行为负责,避免平庸之恶。

Posted in food

Pineapple Fried Rice (菠萝炒饭)

Got many pineapples recently, and working very hard to consume them 😇. Ha, why not make pineapple fried rice, one stone two birds: dinner and pineapple 🙂

This is a very simple recipe. Here are the ingredients I used, but you can replace many things with what you have:
– 3 eggs + a bit salt, beat and fry, put aside
– Shrimp and/or chicken, fry, add a bit white pepper and salt, put aside
– Fry vegetables, I used carrots, mushroom, onion, a bit garlic and green onions
– Add ~2 bowl of cooked rice, fry for 2 mins, season with salt and a bit sugar.
– Add the eggs, shrimp and/or chicken
– Spoon to the pineapple, add a bit crushed peanuts and parsley (opt.)
– Enjoy!

Posted in Chinese, food

Taiwanese fried chicken (咸酥鸡)

Very tasty and easy to make with an air fryer 😋

  • Skinless chicken thighs 1b, cut to small pieces (~2.5 cm)
  • in a big bowl, mix chicken with: 2tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp cooking wine, ~1/2 tsp white pepper, ~1/2 tsb 五香粉 (opt), 1tsp sugar, a bit salt, minced garlic, sliced onion, 1tbsp sesame oil. Refrige for half an hour to one hour.
  • add 1 egg white to the meat mixture, mix well.
  • mix 3tbsp topioca starch, 1.5 tbsp flour, a bit salt, a bit sugar, a bit white pepper
  • put chicken pieces into the flour mix, about a dozen pieces a time. Roll them gently to make sure the chicken pieces are all wrapped in flour. Spray a bit cooking oil.
  • put the batch (~12 pieces) in the air fryer, 360f, 8~9 minutes, flip in the middle.
  • prepare the next batch when the first batch is almost done.
Posted in Chinese, life, music

[Eyes on me] 随感

因为周深618现场唱了这首歌被惊艳到了,所以又单曲循环这首歌。

很多年前喜欢的一首歌,当时喜欢,是因为final fantasy,是因为词好旋律好,更是因为王菲唱得好。

多年以后再听,已不复当年的心境,歌词也不再是fantasy。。。

“As if you never hurt / As if you never down…” 成熟了的,懂事了的我们,都这样善于掩饰,害怕受伤,几曾敢袒露自己的真心呢。

……
Same old songs, just once more
My last night here with you
Maybe yes, maybe no
I kind of liked it to your way
How you shyly placed your eyes on me
Oh, did you ever know
That I had mine on you

……