Tag: dishes that are good with rice

Long Hots with Braised Fried Eggs

I saw this dish on Youtube and my first thoughts were…What?! Fried eggs in sauce? This is so weird.
The more I watched, however, the more this jolly slightly round Taiwanese chef’s cooking won me over! Even more cool to note, this dish follows the recent theme of twice cooked items; these eggs are slightly fried first, then braised in a simple yet tasty sauce. Unlike meat braises, this braise is rather quick and can be cooked in less than 30 minutes (if you have your mise en place ready).

It’s a pretty delectable combination of creamy eggs and tender crisp peppers swimming in a sauce of savory, somewhat spicy goodness. My favorite aspect is that this dish has so many goodies to adorn your rice and eggs with- either soft slices of garlic or scallion, fiery peppers, or salty black beans.

You probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen, so make it tonight!

Long Hots with Braised Fried Eggs 

adapted from this jolly Taiwanese chef

Serves 2-3 as part of a multi-dish meal

6 eggs
12 long hot peppers, sliced thinly on the diagonal
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
3-4 stalks of scallions, cut into 3 inch segments
1-3 red chili peppers of any heat that you wish
1 1/2 tsp dried black beans
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp rice wine
1/2-1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
cornstarch slurry: 1/2 tsp cornstarch + 1/2 cup water

1) Fry the eggs first. To make sure eggs don’t stick, get the pan very hot- you can test by adding a drop of water to the pan- it should bead up and dance around. (Dump the water out before adding oil) Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the hot pan, then crack an egg. Unlike a regular fried egg, don’t worry about trying to get a concentrated circle of egg white- more surface area is good, in this dish.

2) Cook the egg until the whites are somewhat set and you can see the bottom of egg white browning. Use a fish spatula or spatula to fold the egg white over itself from edge to edge, so that you enclose the egg yolk. Keep your spatula there until the egg whites congeal together and the yolk sets more. Be careful not to poke the egg yolk or press too hard! If you break the yolk, it’s okay, and try to scoot the egg yolk close to the white. Remove from the pan. If needed, add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp oil in between egg frying, to ensure non-sticking.

3) Saute long hots in 1 tsp oil until they are cooked but crisp-tender. Remove from the pan.

4) Over medium heat, add garlic, scallions, and red peppers, and saute until you can smell them and the scallions start to get yellowy/brown. Add black beans and continue to saute over medium heat until you smell them.

5) Add the liquid seasonings (oyster sauce, soy sauce, wine), then the sugar, white pepper, and one cup of water.

6) Add the eggs back into the sauce.  Use a spoon or Chinese-style wok spatula to baste the sauce over the eggs while it is reducing. When the liquid has reduced by roughly half, add the cornstarch slurry in, swirling the pan to help mix the sauces together.

7) Swirl the pan and let the cornstarch cook until the sauce thickens.

8) Add the long hots to the pan and gently mix together with the sauce.

9) Transfer to a plate and eat! As with all saucey Chinese dishes, make sure you have rice to go with this.

-The jolly chef shown here uses a stainless steel pan, so you should, too! I didn’t catch if he explains why he uses it (instead of a wok), but I assume it makes it easier to fry-fold the eggs. Also, because it is a saucey dish, the flat bottom and short sides will help the sauce reduce.
-If you don’t have eggs, you could try using firm tofu as a substitute- pan-fry the tofu until it’s golden brown first.
-If you are not a pro at “folding” the eggs and your yolks break, fear not! Just leave the broken-yolk eggs out of the braise, and add them in at step 9 instead. Your eggs just won’t taste as saucey =/.
-If you can’t find long hots, use any other mild pepper, like I did.

Half Recipe Series: Black Pepper Steak

I really like black pepper. As a kid, I used to shake a bunch of black pepper onto my New England Clam Chowder at Souplantation (Sweet Tomatoes in the South), and would put tons and tons on my scrambled eggs at church retreats (so much that sometimes I contemplated unscrewing the cap for a bit).

When I staged at the French restaurant, one of the line cooks informed me, rather authoritatively, that black pepper was supposed to be an accent, not a main flavor. Though I agreed that one should not be able to detect black pepper as a main component of most dishes (exceptions include black pepper ice cream?), it made me kind of sad! Two memorable food items include the black pepper filet mignon on Chinese banquet menus, and black pepper sauce at Hong Kong-style cafes like Regent or Garden Cafe.

I had some flank steak to use up, and the poor celery was getting limp from too much time in the fridge.

Black Pepper Steak

1/4-1/3 lb (114-151 g) flank steak, or other cut of your choice
a bit of cornstarch
soy sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
4-6 stalks celery, thinly sliced along the diagonal
1/4 to 1 onion, thinly sliced
Several grinds of fresh black pepper

1) Slice the beef: first, cut on the diagonal, against the grain, so that you have thin slices. If you need to, cut these slices in half so that they are only a little longer than your pinky, maybe 2-3 inches.
Then, stack a few thin slices at a time to cut thin strips. When in doubt, go thinner!

2) Marinate the meat: Put beef in bowl. Add some soy sauce and cornstarch. how much? You don’t want the beef slices to look like they are gasping to be coated with soy sauce or cornstarch, but you don’t want them drowning, either. Just enough to coat the beef. Mix in sugar and several grinds of black pepper.

3) Heat some oil in a wok until the oil starts to smoke, then transfer the beef to the wok, stirring so separate all the beef slices. Cook only until 80% of the beef has changed color..you want the beef between a rare and medium rare at this point. Transfer beef into a bowl.

4) Heat some more oil in a wok until the oil starts to smoke, then add the celery and onions. Add some salt to season the vegetables. Cook until the celery and onions are slightly softened, then add more black pepper! Add the beef, juices and all, back to the celery and onions. Saute until all the beef changes color and is cooked through.

5) Serve with lots of rice, and maybe more black pepper 🙂

-Feel free to substitute or add ingredients here. Please keep the onions, though. Onions and beef are good friends! Mushrooms, while earthy and meaty tasting, may drown your beef in their juices if not cooked properly, so make sure cook the ‘shrooms in small batches on high heat.

Lu Rou Fan / Rou Zao Fan

There are so many names for this recipe…
I knew it as rou zao fan growing up, but when I went to Taiwan, everyone called it lu rou fan. At one hotel we stayed at, they kept it in a slow cooker in the buffet line. Pork seems to taste better in Taiwan..
Rou Zao Fan is definitely a street snack you would find at a Taiwanese vendor, like this (though this isn’t where I got mine):

From my trip in 2011:

lu rou fan

You can’t tell the size of it here, but for 30-35 yuan (~1 USD), it is more of a light dinner portion (at least for me). BTW, that’s pickled radish- a nice addition to offset the fattiness/richness of it. I guess you can eat however much of it as you want, but I decided to add some “healthier” components and make a meal out of it.

I made this back in college, with diced shiitake mushrooms, and a side of shanghainese bok choy, during my Cafe 1010 days!

lu rou fan

Taiwanese Minced Meat Rice
lu rou fan / rou zao fan
3-4 servings

-1 lb of ground pork, OR 1/2 lb ground pork and 1/2 lb pork belly, sliced into chubby matchsticks*, or you can decide whatever ratio you want. All pork belly makes for a VERY oily dish.
-1 cup of sliced fresh shallots + 1/4 cup canola oil (or neutral oil), OR 1/2 cup of fried shallots – make sure you get fried shallots, and not fried onions!
-2 Tbsp Shaoxing or rice wine
-1.5 tsp brown or white sugar
-1/4 tsp white pepper
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-pinches of salt (optional)
-3 cups of water +/- some
-5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in room temp water for 15 min if possible (optional)
-2-3 medium boiled eggs, peeled (boiled enough just so that you can peel them without the white collapsing on you) (optional)

1. Cook the meat, then add the shallots, then the rice wine. Keep stirring, then add sugar, white pepper, soy sauce, and mushrooms.

2. Add 3 cups of water, or enough to barely cover mushrooms and meat. If you didn’t have time to soak your mushrooms, then add 1/2 cup of water more. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 30-35 minutes, or longer, depending on the cut of meat. The meat should be very tender. If the sauce has evaporated too much, add some more water.

3. Check the flavor- it should be a tinge of sweet, but mostly soy saucey and shallotey taste. Some soy sauces are saltier than others…mine is more mild, so I added a pinch of salt and a little more soy sauce.

4. When the meat is tender, add the eggs and cook for 5 minutes. If you like your eggs with more flavor, add them in during the simmer. I added them in later to avoid the infamous green ring

5. Serve with rice!

*it is much more luscious and buttery with the pork belly, obviously, but also more expensive and labor intensive because cutting of meat (gasp!) is required.
-If you are using fresh shallots, fry them in 1/4 cup canola oil first, until they are a deep golden brown. Drain and save the oil for some other use.
-A good accompaniment is any green vegetable stir fried in garlic and a little bit of salt.
-Should you have leftovers that you don’t know what to do with or don’t want to freeze, this tastes excellent over blanched vegetables, preferably leafy and flat so the leaves can soak up the sauce: (Chinese A 菜 or romaine lettuce come to mind)
-Don’t like hardboiled eggs? Want to avoid the extra step of boiling and peeling? Top the rice with a fried egg (I saw this offered on the menu in Taiwan…it seems like everything can be topped with a fried egg these days)
-The proper sweetener (at least what my mom always used) for this dish is actually rock sugar, comes in large chunks in a box. I don’t always have rock sugar on hand, and I’m not always willing to take the time to break the large chunks into more manageable pieces. But, if you really want to use rock sugar, use a chunk the size of half a ping pong ball.
-If you want to stretch your rou zao, consider adding some firm tofu or pork chops during the braise time. They soak up the sauce, too!

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