special chinese mushrooms dried by my mom’s uncle and brought from China
dried goji berries
dried red dates
(some mystery chalky white ingredient.. dried chinese yam??)
few slices ginger
whole chicken (traditionally black chicken)
dried “longan” (lychee?)
Have the dried ingredients rinsed (at least) and soaked (optional)
Bring the whole chicken (which has been washed, inards removed, and quartered) to a boil
THROW OUT THE WATER after boiling maybe 3 minutes, as the water is “dirty”
Fill the pot with boiling water right away
(I like to have a kettle ready with just boiled water)
Bring chicken and other ingredients back to boil
Cook maybe 1.5 hours
* another soup can be made with the second pass
Treasure each sip
chinatown dish shopping
A trip to Chinatown (Vancouver, BC.) is always a trip to another world, one I am neither confident nor brave enough to take without my mother. I always try and test out my rusty Chinese with the checkout clerks and other shoppers. I also always end up spending a little more, no doubt caught up in the frenzy of all the imported and specialty foods.
I’ve needed soup spoons for a while, now, as well as a proper noodle bowl and soup bowl. And teapot. And of course cups to match. The size of the dish really matters! I have soups and noodles more often than you’d expect, and its just a sad workaround when I have to sip from my ikea spoon scooping from my rice bowl. As for the noodles bowl, there are days when I use my Pyrex mixing bowl. I cannot emphasize the importance of the right depth and capacity of my bowl!
Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, I did break my large teapot not long ago and I have been suffering with only my tiny Chinese teapots (trust me.. they are so small) and resorted to dedicating a French press for my tea. Now finally I have a new tea set.
There is a way to select your Chinese dishes. Apart from inspecting the obvious, like clarity and saturation of the ink, thickness of the China, any other imperfections.. run your finger along the rim and the bottom ridge of the dish. Both should be smooth to the touch. It may be tedious, but, trust me, selecting carefully will pay off while you’re dining blissfully in your own eastern world.