Tag: hua jiao

La zi ji – Chicken with Dry Hot Peppers

la zi jiDoesn’t the pinyin look like “lazy ji(chicken)”? Anyway..I guess I am on a chicken kick, because this is my second chicken dish in a row! And, coming from a porky household, that says a lot.

La zi ji is a dish that is prettttty popular among Sichuan food lovers, and I can see why! Who wouldn’t like fried chicken pieces nested in tons of hot peppers? (Okay, maybe not people who don’t like spicy…) In addition to frying the chicken, most restaurant versions of this dish also coat the chicken in quite a bit of cornstarch, so then it’s like half cornstarch coating and half chicken.

I really don’t like deep frying in our apartment, because it splatters grease everywhere, and it uses up a bunch of oil, and it makes me feel guilty when I eat the food. Of course, there are obvious exceptions to this rule, but for the most part I don’t make fried foods as a habit. By pan-frying the chicken instead of deep frying, it makes la zi ji a rather simple dish to make to satisfy spicy food cravings while not splurging so much on  calories.

I realized that I really like to eat this dish by getting a piece of chicken, followed by a piece of pepper (with rice, of course). Sometimes a piece of Sichuan peppercorn will also make it to the mix, for a true ma (numbing) la (spicy) taste 🙂

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Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Hello everyone! Sorry for the delay in posting; life has been getting in the way of me sitting down to write posts. I actually have hefty backlog of posts to work on….

This week has been pretty packed, with Mr. ABC Chef (my husband, Tim) coming back from PyCon in Montreal, celebrating his birthday with two birthday dinners (one where I made Korean food for him and 4 of his buddies!), and going to Hopkins Alumni weekend, which was mostly an excuse to hang out with my best friend 🙂

The best friend and I ate out every meal, except Sunday breakfast, which we made together- dou jiang and fan tuan, which are staples of Taiwanese breakfast. Stay tuned for a fan tuan (deep fried dough aka you tiao, dried pork, and salted and slightly sweet radish bits- all wrapped up in sticky rice, almost like a sushi roll!) recipe to come.

Then on the way home, Megabus was delayed a whole hour, so I spent over an hour in line, doing nothing but trying to get the intermittent WiFi to idly browse Instagram and Facebook, while fighting the cold breeze.

Anyway, now we are back to our regular schedule!

I would regularly ask, “媽媽(mama), how do you make this?” when we just ate something really tasty at a restaurant. Or, my mom would shake her head and discreetly mutter to my sister and me that the restaurant was taking shortcuts because x and y dish should not be made this way, but that way instead.

媽媽 always said that the Chinese “salt and pepper”seasoning should just be toasted salt, and Sichuan peppercorns, ground up. Nothing else. When we got salt and pepper pork chops (because they were always the least expensive and you would get more than if you ordered squid or shrimp), I would look forward to the deep fried pork pieces that were laced with this addicting seasoning, and when the meat was gone, I would use my chopsticks skills to hunt for abandoned pieces of scallions and jalapenos, and mix it with the restaurant white rice in my bowl. I wondered why no one else would eat these pieces of salty goodness that were left behind, but was also glad that my sister and I had these morsels all to ourselves.

salt and pepper shrimp

 I’ve been wanting to post a recipe for salt and pepper shrimp that would do justice to its name. When you make the salt and peppercorn powder, prepare to be blown away by the mysteriously addicting aroma that is created by the marriage of two simple spices!

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