Friday, February 06, 2009

Greetings From Taipei

Finally after a confusing trip, we arrived in Taipei, my hubby hometown. We are totally dead tired because the flight that take us to Taipei depart at 1 AM. For further story on why we ended up stranded in Singapore, you can read it here....

Anyway, a brand new day is a brand new adventure, and in my case is always evolve around food.
I will stay here for 12 days so I will try my best to keep it up to date the Food Adventure news.

For today adventure, R brought me and our friends to eat at this Fish restaurant. They are located near Taipei water reservoir dam, in that dam, there are lots of fresh water fish. They catch the big one only.

When we arrived, they directly told us to pick our fish from their fish tank. Most of the fish weight about 6 kg , there are some fish that is bigger off course. Our fish weight 6 kg. Then from that one fish, the chef can create maximum 10 different type of dishes. It is based on the customer request. We do not request that many dishes though.

Here are the photos of dishes that the chefs made for us from that one fish...

Pic: Fish cooked Kung Pao style

Pic: I love this fish soup the most because the broth is very flavorful using all the bones and the head of the fish.
Pic: Stir-fried fern, yum !

Pic : Fish with mapo tofu.

Authentic Mapo Tofu

1 block bean curd ( about 1 pound )
4 baby leeks or 2 leeks
1/2 cup peanut oil
6 ounces ground beef
2 1/2 Tbs Sichuanese chili bean paste ( if you can't find it, buy Lee Kum Kee's )
1 Tbs fermented black beans
2 tsp ground Sichuanese chilies ( or you can replace it with cayenne pepper powder , but if you scared, omit this from the recipe )
1 cup everyday stock or chicken stock
1 tsp light soy sauce ( this is just a reverence )
salt to taste
4 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 6 Tbs cold water
1/2 tsp ground roasted Sichuan peppercorn (this will make it taste real authentic!)

  • Cut the bean curd into 1-inch cubes and leave to steep in very hot or gently simmering water that you have lightly salted. Slice the leeks at a steep angle into thin "horse ear" slices 1 1/2 inches long.
  • Season the wok, then add the peanut oil and heat over a high flame until smoking. Add the minced beef and stir-fry until it is crispy and a little brown, but not yet dry.
  • Turn the heat down to medium, add the chili bean paste and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until the oil is a rich red color 20-30 seconds until they are both fragrant and the chiles have added color to the oil.
  • Pour in the stock, stir well, and add the drained bean curd. Mix it in gently by pushing the back of your ladle or wok scoop gently from the edges to the center of the wok - do not stir or the bean curd may break up. Season with sugar, a couple of teaspoons of soy sauce, and salt to taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the bean curd has absorbed the flavors of the sauce.
  • Add the leeks or scallions and gently stir in. When they are just cooked, add the cornstarch mixture in 2 or 3 stages, mixing well, until the sauce has thickened enough to cling glossily to the meat and bean curd. Don't add more than you need. Finally, pour everything into a deep bowl, scatter with the ground Sichuan peppercorn and serve.

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